Is it time to hire an Amazon consultant?
Any successful Amazon seller understands that a “list it and leave it” approach to selling simply doesn’t fly on Amazon. Building and maintaining a truly prosperous Amazon business takes considerable time, resources and expertise.
But just how much time should you dedicate to managing your Amazon business? Should you hire an Amazon consultant to help keep your business on track? These are commonly asked questions, but, unfortunately, there is no cut and dry answer. That’s because many factors play a role in determining how much attention your Amazon account needs. These include:
How many products you sell on Amazon
Whether or not your business is enrolled in FBA
How robust your Amazon advertising strategy is
Whether you are a new or experienced Amazon seller
How many employees you have dedicated to your Amazon business
Whether you conduct business elsewhere or sell exclusively on Amazon
If you are a new or experienced Amazon seller wondering whether or not a consultant is for you, ask yourself the following questions. If you find yourself responding with mostly yeses, a consultant could be a great asset to your Amazon business.
While these are just a few determining factors, you can see how the question of whether or not to hire an Amazon consultant can be a tricky one to answer. And while we pride ourselves on offering all of our clients with awesome results, we’ll be the first to admit that not every business requires Amazon consulting services.
1. Are your ads falling short?
Sponsored ads are an integral part of any Amazon strategy. They get your product in front of more people and help you sell more faster. But if you’re paying more for conversions than you’re getting out of them, you’re ads aren’t doing your business any good. If you’re looking to lower your ACoS, but aren’t sure what’s going wrong, an Amazon consultant can be a great resource to help audit your current campaigns and course correct to help you achieve maximum ROI.
Here’s a bonus tip: If you’re not currently incorporating advertising into your Amazon strategy, you should be. Ads are the best way to ensure that your products are getting in front of the right customers. Need help setting up an advertising campaign? An Amazon consultant can help with that, too.
2. Are Amazon updates throwing you constant curveballs?
It can feel as if Amazon is changing at an ever-accelerating pace. From product guidelines to tax policies, sellers must always stay up-to-date on these changes if they want to keep their account in good standing. And even if you manage to keep on top of policy and agreement updates, it can be difficult to know how to navigate them.
Amazon consultants make it their job to stay informed on these updates and armed with best practices on how to respond to them. On top of that, most reputable consulting companies have a close relationship with Amazon, giving them insider access to new changes and updates.
3. Do you feel like you’re constantly playing catchup?
Too much work and not enough time is a constant complaint we hear from potential clients. Entrepreneurs are used to rolling up their sleeves and doing everything themselves, but as they transition to Amazon, many business owners find that the demands are simply too much for them to tackle on their own.
If you are trying to manage your Amazon operations while juggling the other areas of your business, it can feel as if your work is never done. And often that’s because it isn’t. Amazon consultants can help carry much of the load so you can hand over day-to-day operations to them and concentrate on the overall growth and development of your business.
4. Do you find it challenging to manage your inventory levels?
For businesses that are accustomed to selling their goods wholesale, the transition to Amazon can be a tricky one. Instead of shipping out large orders every so often, they’re now shipping out individual orders on a regular basis. The shift can cause inventory issues for even the most competent sellers.
Amazon consultants are experienced in managing inventory for countless sellers. They know how to strike the perfect balance between meeting demand and not having excess inventory on hand. They can even help you determine whether or not FBA is right for your business.
5. Are you losing money, but have no idea why?
Because of the unique nuances of the Amazon marketplace, it’s not uncommon for sellers to bleed money and not understand why. This can be one of the most terrifying circumstances for sellers since you can’t fix a problem if you can’t identify the issue.
In these cases, a lack of knowledge is usually the culprit. And this is completely understandable since most business owners don’t, and aren’t expected to, have an in-depth understanding of the Amazon marketplace. Consultants, on the other hand, make it their job to understand all the ins and outs of Amazon. This makes them much better at identifying leaks and keeping them from arising in the future.
6. Are your rankings not where you want them to be?
The quality of your product content is the most significant factor affecting your rankings. Without keyword-rich, highly-optimized content, your rankings will never reach the level you want them to. It takes a thorough understanding of Amazon’s A9 algorithm to optimize your content and boost your rankings.
Again, this is knowledge most business owners don’t have time to obtain. Knowing what keywords to target, how to incorporate them into your content and how to best formulate and format copy for Amazon can be a challenge. Luckily, it’s one that Amazon consultants are happy to take on.
7. Are you new to the Amazon marketplace?
The transition to Amazon can be a bit of a culture shock, especially for sellers that are used to selling in brick and mortar stores. Amazon is a highly competitive and complex environment and one that most businesses cannot just jump into and navigate at the drop of a hat.
This leaves Amazon newbies with three options: they can hire in-house help, they can try to figure it out by themselves or they can outsource to an Amazon consulting team. We may be less than impartial, but consultants are usually the quickest and most cost-effective way to get your Amazon business up and running the right way.
8. Do you feel like you’ve tried everything, but nothing’s working?
There are countless articles, people and companies out there claiming they have the secret recipe to Amazon success. If you’ve tried all the tools and techniques, but still your sales aren’t improving, this can be a clear sign that you need an Amazon consultant.
Good consultants don’t hang their hat on overnight success. They utilize proven methods and best practices to create sustained profitability and increased sales over time. If you’re feeling lost and defeated, an Amazon consultant can help put you back on the right path.
9. Is contacting Amazon Support like pulling teeth?
Lack of communication with Amazon Support is one of the biggest complaints among 1P and 3P sellers. For 1P sellers, reps are often responsive at first but then become harder and harder to get in touch with over time. From the very beginning, 3P sellers often find it difficult to make contact with anyone at all. This isn’t to say that Amazon doesn’t value its sellers or want them to succeed. It just means that their number one priority is their prosperity – not yours.
Consultants, on the other hand, are only successful when their clients are successful. While Amazon is all about creating the best possible experience for customers, consultants are all about creating the best possible experience for sellers. Because of their vast expertise, consultants can often answer many of the same questions you would ask an Amazon rep – and, moreover, they are happy to do so promptly.
10. Has your account been suspended?
Amazon only suspends seller accounts that have been warned of their violations yet continue to make mistakes. Sellers in this situation usually don’t understand what is causing their violation or how to fix it.
Hiring a consultant is the fastest and more surefire way to 1) get your account up and running again, and 2) avoid any future suspensions. Suspensions can be disastrous to your Amazon success, as just a few days of downtime can equate to numerous missed sales. Therefore, correcting and avoiding suspension should be your top priority.
Making Your Move
If some or all of the above apply to you, it’s time to make your move and hire an Amazon consultant. As you vet consultants, think about the following criteria:
Identify your areas of weakness and find a consultant that specializes in that kind of support
Put together a list of questions and quiz prospective consultants during your first consultation
Know your budget and how much you are willing to spend on a consultant
Look for a consultant who has years of expertise in the field and has client case studies to back up their claims