97. Taking An Amazon Business Omnichannel w/ Andrew Maffetone

The Brand Builder Show
The Brand Builder Show
97. Taking An Amazon Business Omnichannel w/ Andrew Maffetone
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Building a successful ecommerce brand should never be about winning on one channel, but instead being everywhere your customers are.

In this episode of the Brand Builder Show, learn how to take your Amazon business omnichannel with ecommerce growth expert Andrew Maffetone.

Subscribe to Andrew’s podcast: https://ecommshow.bluetuskr.com/ 

Learn more about Blue Tuskr: https://www.bluetuskr.com/ Get our weekly eCom Memo: https://brandbuilderuni.com/newsletter

Talking Points

  • 00:00 – Introduction to Guest: Andrew Maffetone
  • 01:09 – Andrew’s eCommerce Background
  • 04:29 – Understanding Omnichannel and Its Benefits for Amazon Sellers
  • 07:04 – Considering the Right Stage for Amazon Sellers to Go Omnichannel
  • 13:55 – Leveraging Amazon Success for Off-Amazon Growth
  • 16:24 – Choosing Between Expanding Channels or Product Lines
  • 19:03 – Approaching Omnichannel Strategy: Paid Ads vs. Organic
  • 22:36 – Exploring Additional Channels Beyond Amazon and Own Website
  • 25:16 – Exploring TikTok Shops
  • 27:58 – Overcoming Challenges in the Omnichannel Journey
  • 34:22 – Final Thoughts on Omnichannel Success
  • 36:53 – Andrew’s eCommerce Podcast and Where to Connect
Ben Donovan  00:00
All right, folks, welcome back to another episode of The Brand Builder show. And if you’ve ever wanted to take your Amazon brand on the channel and explore other channels beyond Amazon, which you absolutely should be doing in 2024 and beyond, by the way, then you really, really want to listen to this episode to talk through this topic, we’re joined by Andrew. Andrew, welcome to the show today.

Andrew Maffetone  00:20
Hey, Ben, how are you doing? Thanks for having me.

Ben Donovan  00:22
Yeah, I’m doing good. We were saying before, it’s a bit cold, very cold. It’s like zero degrees here in the UK at the moment since Celsius. So that’s like 20, 25, 27 Fahrenheit. So I’m pretty cold. Just come back for from football training with my son’s soccer training, as you guys would call it, so I’m just thawing out right now. So got a nice radiator on and stuff. So I’m ready to have a good fiery conversation as well to to warm things up about ecommerce. I’m really looking forward to this topic, I think is a massive one that I’ve been bringing home to our community that you really need to think beyond being an Amazon seller and actually trying to go omnichannel and exploring what other options are out there. So I’m excited to dive into it. Before we dive into all of that good stuff. Why don’t you let our audience know who you are and why you are the expert on this topic? 

Andrew Maffetone  01:09
Sure. So Andrew Maffetone. I’m the founder and CEO of BlueTuskr. We’re a full service marketing company for E commerce sellers. I actually have been in the E commerce marketing industry for a little over 15 years now. I was basically my first job for the most my first big boy job because I always called it my father actually acquired a brand that was more or less completely brick and mortar. He wanted to take it online, did really well with it and was actually one of the first people that was offered to sell something on Amazon other than books. And it’s my favorite topic to talk to him about because he turned it down. So it makes it a hilarious conversation. I wouldn’t be doing this if he did. Yeah, so I’ve been in ecommerce pretty much ever since in different capacities. I’ve been in house at big eight figure brands, I’ve been in multiple agencies, I was a partner with an agency prior to this that we had exited in late 2019 ish. Really what had happened and kind of the reason I’d started blue, Tosca was during my time in house, I was the sole marketer almost every time. And I would be overseeing several agencies and several contractors and getting them to all work together was a nightmare. And so what I knew I wanted to do was develop, which is a little bit of a kitschy term, but a little bit of like an agency of agencies. So our team are all specialists in their certain areas. Everyone has, you know, we have a strictly an SEO department and paid ads department, marketplace, department, website, design excetera. And really, that allows us when we’re putting our account strategists kind of act as fractional CMO. So when they’re putting a campaign together something, it allows us to oversee the entire thing. And then the reason I always am preaching omni channel. At that same time when I was in house, I’d started working there for like, I think it was like three months or something like that. And it was this was 2005 No, not that far grow. Sorry, 2015, 2016, somewhere in there. So Amazon still in the heyday of new sellers making good money. And it was I think 80 something percent of our revenue. And we were two weeks into the busy holiday season right around this time of year, actually, at least as the time of this recording. And typical, you know, a big seller spending a lot credit card maxed out, couldn’t get it cleared in time. So we went to switch the credit card. For whatever reason, Amazon thought was fraudulent completely suspended the entire account for two weeks during the back end of Q4. And I thought I was out of a job. I thought like we gotta get more revenue on the website so that I’m not so relying on this. And ever since then, as I started to get deeper and deeper into it, I’ve had more and more horror stories like that. Plus, I’ve learned a lot about the acquisition side of you know, when someone goes to sell if they’re just on Amazon or not. So really like all signs point to omni channel. So it’s been a big focus of ours for years now. Perfect.

Ben Donovan  04:10
Well, it’s a great setup for the conversation really, for our listeners that are maybe just selling on Amazon, why don’t you kind of give us a bit of background on what does omnichannel even mean, you know, go back as far as that and then you know, what are the benefits of going omnichannel for for Amazon sellers?

Andrew Maffetone  04:29
If you’re solely selling on Amazon, really, you can start different tactics from an off Amazon perspective, to really focus still on your Amazon business. You don’t have to go from Amazon to a website and jump into everything. There’s ways to really ease into that. But when I refer to omni channel, I’m referring to brands that have you know, their own website and then they’re also available on Amazon and Walmart and eBay and chewy and Wayfarer, wherever else they have and using their market. same strategies to manipulate the audience into going into whichever direction they need it to based on where the brand is at that time. So we put strategies in place where sometimes we might be driving a lot of traffic to Amazon. Sometimes we might be using Amazon as more of a customer acquisition channel, and we’re trying to bring people back to the website, it could be the same thing for other marketplaces. So it’s really about developing more of a holistic marketing approach across all of your sales channels, as opposed to what tends to be the case, which is a lot of sellers that will focus their marketing initiatives on individual sales channels, almost like treating them like separate businesses, we come in and treat it as one holistic business to do what we can to bring in obviously, as much profit as possible, but also really grow that customer base. 

Ben Donovan  05:48
Yeah, I know, it may be just semantics, but multi channel, Omnichannel, channel, he thinking the same thing when you use those terms, or is one different to the other? 

Andrew Maffetone  05:58
More or less when I kind of when I think multi channel, I think that you’re a multi channel seller, so you sell on a lot of different channels. But an omni channel strategy is really having your marketing over looking the entire concept. So having different aspects of where you’re directing traffic and things like that, like a lot of sellers will solely look at their Amazon business. And then that’s all they focus on. Then they have their Walmart aspect, and that’s all they focus on, then they have their, their website, and that’s all they focus on. They treat them like, like, let’s say in that scenario, three separate brands, three separate businesses, almost like three separate brands, an omni channel approach is more of how do we treat these holistically, and let our consumers shop wherever they’re most comfortable? And have our marketing initiatives be a little bit more aware about where the products are available, depending on where that consumer prefers to shop?

Ben Donovan  06:50
Yeah, nice. That’s a helpful and important distinction, I think. So thank you for that. Do you think should listeners that are just selling on Amazon and thinking? Sounds good? I’d like to try it should all sellers go omnichannel? Is there a stage of their business on Amazon that they should think about going to omnichannel? Should they go omnichannel from the start? What are your thoughts there?

Andrew Maffetone  07:12
I like Amazon as a proof of concept type of channel, you know, you can obviously make a lot of revenue on it. But because of Amazon’s margins, profit is tough sometimes. And you know, going from, you know, Amazon and then immediately starting to sell on your website, or developing a website and stuff like that, like unless you’re funded, that’s a very expensive approach. I like doing it in a lot more of like a kind of a tiered approach and going through steps to test the area, right. So you want to prove your product or your product lines, viability going on Amazon is great, they got pre existing audience. So you just got to make sure that your listings look great, you have good advertising in place, it’s a lot harder than it sounds. But that’s really what Amazon is, at the end of the day is just leveraging their existing audience. Then what you can do as time goes on, if you’re like, Okay, I want to start testing some selling off Amazon. What I always say is put your efforts into building out a really nice storefront, your Amazon storefront, and do some sponsored brand ads, and send that traffic to your storefront to see if you can get the storefront to convert. So once you can prove that your storefront can convert or at least drive reputable traffic back to your listing, and that’ll convert there, you’ve now proven that your storefront is able to convert from there, what you can now do is go okay, who is my customer base? Or do I need to educate them? Is it a wildly competitive space? In which case I might want to do social media ads or something like that? Or is there a lot of search volume for this. And competition is relatively lower to I want to try Google search ads or maybe even Microsoft search ads, right? Then I’m going to use Amazon attribution and I’m going to drive that traffic back to that storefront, I’ve already proven that the storefront can convert. So now I want to see, can I take off Amazon traffic, drive it to the storefront and still get it to convert at a certain level. I don’t necessarily need it to be completely profitable. Because I also want to keep in mind that once I do diversify and build my own website, my product margins are actually going to be better. So I just want to factor in like a breakeven is great, because I know I’m going to make even more once I get it to convert off Amazon. Once you prove out the storefront then it’s your choice, right you have the option of you could invest into building a website and starting to the process. Really what the end goal is, or you can still ease into it and you can do, maybe you just do a landing page. Maybe you focus on just a single product for a little while or a bundle or something like that. Take that same traffic you are driving drive it to that storefront if you’re in the states you have the ability of the buyer with prime buttons so you can still benefit from some of that pre existing Amazon brand awareness. Or you can even make your own button if you’re in if you’re in the UK or something Link. And then that way, when you’re driving that traffic to that landing page, now you just want to see like, Okay, now is my product viable off Amazon. And if you start getting those sales and you start seeing it through, well then grow it to wherever you’re most comfortable on what you need your funding to be, take that investment, put it into your website, and at that point, you’ve got data, you’ve probably grown a little bit of an email list, you’ve probably got some social media followers, and you’re not starting completely from scratch, but you’re really baby stepping the entire way. So that you’re not jumping into the pool on the deep end, and spending tens of thousands of dollars on a new website, when traffic driving off Amazon is a lot more difficult and takes a lot more time than if you just launch on Amazon. So I think that’s kind of the easiest way to kind of ease into it without diving too deep.

Ben Donovan  10:47
I mean, that’s a playbook right there, you’ve kind of laid out step by step. That’s, that’s awesome. If anybody who’s listening, you know, home without a pen and paper, they should probably pause it go back and write those steps down. Because it’s like a little playbook for anybody to grow, grow that omnichannel side of things. You mentioned funding a couple of times there. How much of this is a financial consideration? And how much is it a product demand time of the owner of the business consideration?

Andrew Maffetone  11:16
Depends on the expertise of the owner. Like for me, even with our own agency, like I don’t really outsource anything until I feel like we know enough about it internally, whether it’s you know, obviously marketing were fine, but like sales side or an operational side, or you know, bookkeeping, stuff like that, like, I need to know enough to be dangerous when I hand it off to someone else. So I always say like, learn enough so that you can speak to it. And then if you feel you need to hand it off, hand it off the financial side, I mean, when it comes to, let’s say building your storefront building landing page or building the website, those are those are how to explain it, that’s kind of that’s where your brand is conveyed, right? That’s where you’re the person is getting their first impression, where they’re learning about your brand. So to PAF as one of those things is not a very good start, it’s a horrible experience right off the bat. So I never suggest going inexpensive for any of those things. Because one of my favorite sayings that one of my parents has said to me since I was a kid is cheap is expensive. And if you go to any, you try to go cheap on something, there’s a good chance you’re going to have to redo it over and over and over again. And it’s actually going to end up costing you more money than if you just bit the bullet and did it correct the first time. So like a landing page or shop like building a Shopify site, nine times out of ten, we’ll have someone come to us with a Shopify template they created, plugged in some imagery, they had changed up some copy. And then they are wondering, like, why is nothing converting. And you’ve got to remember that once you start venturing away from Amazon, you’re competing with yourself on Amazon. So you have to provide a great experience, a great customer experience, it needs to be personalized, because Amazon’s not really personalized. Amazon has just this vast marketplace of stuff. So if you can make it very personalized, and let them really enjoy their experience, they’ll of course continue to come back. So you’ve got to keep that stuff in mind when you’re when you start to venture away as well. Yeah, nice. Do you typically build out the stores on Shopify? Yeah, so we, as a full service, we do everything on the marketing side. So we do a lot with Amazon advertising and listing optimization, storefronts, campaign management, that kind of stuff. So we do a lot with the store fronts, we’re Shopify partners. So we usually tend to lean towards that. But we build out landing pages and websites all day long. And we also partnered with by with prime, so a lot of times, we’ll incorporate that kind of approach as well.

Ben Donovan  13:55
Nice for people that have an existing audience or audience is a strong word for Amazon sellers. But maybe, you know, branded search is growing, and people are starting to recognize their brand on Amazon. How can you leverage that when everybody is so afraid of driving traffic away from Amazon with inserts and there’s like, what’s acceptable? What’s not? How can sellers leverage a good start on Amazon to get a good start off of Amazon?

Andrew Maffetone  14:25
You can actually look at it in the flip too, because a lot of people that solely sell off Amazon and decide they want to venture into Amazon, the way that they figure out how they want to if they should sell on Amazon is they’ll get like a Helium 10 or a Data Dive or Jungle Scout or something like that. And they’ll keep an eye on if people start searching their brand name because now they immediately know there’s some kind of need for their product and then they figure out like which products they want to put on Amazon, whether it’s one or two or all of them. And Amazon sellers can do the exact same thing. Get an ahrefs or SEMrush or something like that and monitor are a Google search results and see if people are starting to search for your brand off Amazon. Because that right there is going to tell you that there’s some kind of viable market off Amazon Go. Now, you could also just do the research into the search volume for your product type and see what the competition looks there, what your cost per click is that kind of stuff. But to also answer your other question about like getting the inserts and that kind of thing, it’s a very touchy area. It’s, it’s one of those things where it is technically against TOS in theory. If you have packaging, and something is inside your packaging, that’s part of the product that’s not against TOS. You can’t really, but if they see it, and you’re constantly driving them away, it’s a little bit different. So people get a little iffy on that every product is very different. To me, my opinion. If you have, you know, a great experience on the listing, you have really made sure that they’re aware of your brand name, maybe you have an insert, maybe you don’t, but maybe your product packaging is very branded, and very clear. And it’s a nice experience, they’re going to immediately be curious about the rest of your brand. So if you actually just elevate the overall experience, they will eventually get some kind of interest to then come over to, you know, your website or something along those lines.

Ben Donovan  16:23
Do you generally recommend people take one successful product, say a new brand launches with one or two products a small product line? And then go on the channel? Or would you say double down on one channel that was working well? Grow your product line before expanding out to channels?

Andrew Maffetone  16:42
I think it depends on the product line. I think the thing that’s very frustrating with Amazon is like, you know, you launch one product, and it does really well. Awesome, then you launch a second one, you’re starting all over again, there is no, you know, yeah, you can have followers on your storefront and like kind of do some email stuff and whatever, but it never really goes as well as you want it to. And you’ve got you know, you’re launching a new product, you’ve got that like 60 to 90 day honeymoon period before your organic ranking goes to where it’s going to go with everyone else. So it kind of depends on the product line, I like the idea of adding in variations and improving on that single product. And then finding something that’s complementary to that product. So that if I do need to make it a second parent listing, I can do like my own sponsor display ads, or maybe I do like comparison chart kind of stuff. And a plus like something I can do to leverage the existing asset, which is that initial good listing that’s doing well to get over to the new one. But it can really depend on the product line, venturing off Amazon, when you’ve only got like, a handful of products. And you know, you go omnichannel can be very difficult. People want to also while they while they want to feel like they’re part of a cool new brand, and they want to find this cool new product and that kind of stuff. They also want to kind of have like a one stop shop. And that’s the big benefit of Amazon, right? Like I can get everything for my house as well as the coolest new gadget in one place. If I go to a specific website, I can’t do that. So you’ve got to not only provide a very good experience, but probably need to have a semi decent offering or your product needs to be so differentiated, that’s where you want to end up going to get the website like I use coffee as an example all the time, like that’s very, very difficult to get going on Amazon. And it’s even worse to get it going off Amazon because it’s so crowded. So it kind of depends on like the approach you want to take with it.

Ben Donovan  18:41
Yeah. And I would be interested to hear about that approach. Because a lot of Amazon sellers try to launch their own store and think, Well, I’m making, you know, 20, 30, 40, 50 sales a day on Amazon, there’s so much volume for this product, and then they launch their own store. And it’s kind of you know, crickets, and then they have to delve into the world of paid advertising, et cetera, et cetera. What is your approach when you do take a brand omnichannel? Is it a lot of paid ads? Are you leaning more on organic these days? What’s your sort of go to strategy though?

Andrew Maffetone  19:16
You know, I’m gonna sound a little bit like a broken record, but it really kind of depends on the product, right? Yeah, like if your product is let’s say it’s either in a really competitive space, or it’s like wildly differentiated. So like, maybe it’s an invention or something like it requires a lot of education. Social media is going to be your best play, because you need to have some video to get in front of someone to educate them on why the product is better than the competitors or how it works or something like that. If you’ve got a good amount of search volume and not that much competition, Google is a great way to go search engine marketing. SEO is another great way to go. I’m a fan of have a nice bow Once of everything, I love Seo still, because I know that eventually, once it gets me to a certain point, it’s going to keep working. It doesn’t turn itself off overnight, it doesn’t all of a sudden scale, it’s very predictable. So I love SEO, because I know everything I do now six months to a year from now, I’m going to be glad I did it. paid ads kind of keeps the wheels on the bus. And it’s stuff that I can turn on a lot faster. So there’s a mix of short, mid and long term marketing that I always try to have a nice little balance of. But it also depends on where the brand is, if I need to get revenue in now paid ads is going to be the best way I’m just going to pay for my revenue. But if I can invest in the future, I’m going to thank myself later on so that I’m not hurting down the line. 

Ben Donovan  20:48
Do you ever find you get brands that sell well on Amazon, but just don’t seem to do well on your channel?

Andrew Maffetone  20:54
Oh, yeah, there’s a there’s a lot of products on Amazon, that there’s a term for a camera, what it’s called, but it’s like, you know, if you’re in like a drugstore or something, and you’re like, oh, I need this, and you walk by it, and you just kind of grab it and you walk away, right? And you’re like, it’s or it’s up by the register, and you grab it. And that’s it. There’s a lot of that kind of stuff on Amazon. And even if it’s like a new cool candy or something like CPG stuff very, very difficult. So those are sometimes things that people will be like, Oh, well, while I’m here, I’m also out of this, let me search on Amazon to see if they have it like band aids. But like, if you start your own omni channel brand new venture off into trying to build a website and you know, really building a brand on band aids, you’ve got to be very differentiated, and prove that there’s a big hole in the market for the type of band aid that you’re selling. So there’s a lot of that lower price point stuff, because that’s another issue, right? Like from a paid ads perspective. Google can be very expensive, but the conversion rates really high. Because you’re it’s more middle of funnel, right? They’re actively looking for a solution they’re already aware of. Social media, less expensive, but the average cost per click on Facebook leads last I looked was like $1.07 or something like that. So if you’re selling a product for $10, $15, you’ve got to have a very high conversion rate, then in order to make that profitable, because that’s the other side of everything, your Amazon listings average conversion rate, so like 30 to 60% sometimes. On a website, if you break 5% You’re like a god among people. So it’s you got to factor that kind of stuff into.

Ben Donovan  22:36
Yeah, that’s good. That’s good. Another question that’s going to be depends on the products, but just to try and give some direction? Obviously Amazon, your own website? Beyond that? What’s your What are your feelings about good channels to explore? You know, you mentioned sort of chewy Wayfair. That may be a bit more product dependent, but many that are more general like Walmart, eBay, it’s a are you sort of seeing any trends, you know that you’re really going I know, some people are talking about Walmart kind of rivaling Amazon. I don’t really see it yet what your feelings are.

Andrew Maffetone  23:13
People have been talking about Walmart rivaling Amazon for like six years, and they still haven’t done it. Every time Walmart releases something Walmart reminds me of like if Android and Apple were flipped, right like Android, even though there’s not as many people out there that use it, they invent something, they come up with some cool new feature. And then like four or five years later, Apple does it. To me, it’s almost like the flip with Amazon and Walmart, like Amazon does something and then like four or five years later, Walmart finally does it. So I think I compare Google and Bing to Amazon and Walmart. I think that people should absolutely be still running ads on Microsoft, it comes pre loaded on most computers, if it’s an older audience, they’re not changing their desktop. So it is what it is or their browser. So you know, real estate is real estate. So on Walmart, I think the same thing you’ve got here in the States. I mean, you got people, a lot of people in middle America, love Walmart, they use it all the time. They go to Walmart, you know, either they use it online, or they go in and visit the store. And so if you want to make sure that you’re also hitting that audience, I think it’s a great spot. There’s so many marketplaces out there now, you know, you’ve got Walmart, Wayfair and Chewy and Rakuten. And what else there’s another one I’m thinking about that my head target started doing stuff. And then Home Depot’s got stuff now and so it’s like, really depends on you just want to be where your customer is. I always say, go through the fight, get on to the marketplace. And then the worst case scenario, you find out that the effort that you have to put in just to keep the listings alive is too much. But at that point, then yeah, then you pull it down, but even if it’s pulling in some kind of revenue for you So you’re in the correct area where your customer is shopping. And I think that providing your customer the best experience you can, which also means being available everywhere that they shop is going to be the way that digital marketing and specifically e commerce is going to go over time.

Ben Donovan  25:16
Yeah. Well, that Tiktok shop, have you looked at it that much? 

Andrew Maffetone  25:20
Yeah, for some brands that does great. I mean, it’s very reliant on it getting picked up by some viral video kind of thing. And, you know, having a big presence that way. You know, TikTok is a lot, it’s a very, very different platform compared to, you know, prior social media channels, the content you got to create on there is very different. And you’ve got to change it like every few days. So it’s fast paced. But if something picks up and it trends, you’re in a great spot, and so having it available on TikTok is fantastic. It’s not hard to get set up on it, you know, especially with Shopify, you just feed it directly in. And then if you’re doing any kind of influencer marketing, it’s almost a no brainer. Yes,

Ben Donovan  26:04
That’s what I love about it is the whole creative side of it is very different, as you said to any other platform, and the possibilities of creators just coming in and saying, you know, I want to promote that. And the commission side is already set up, you know, they’ve already got that sort of all connected in it’s quite innovative in that sense. I think there’s there’s definitely a lot of potential there for some brands.

Andrew Maffetone  26:27
Yeah, I mean, the fact that they kind of gave it that like affiliate market aspect where anyone can be an influencer is great. So now it’s just a matter of put your stuff up there. And if people like it, they’re just gonna start plugging it for you. Yeah, like, right. So I have a podcast. He comes show I primarily speak with other ecommerce sellers. I just had the director of ecommerce for health, with a big, big kombucha brand. And they were telling me he’s like, we plugged in Tik Tok shop. And we started to, you know, tell a few influencers that we had. But then all of a sudden, I think it was a few months ago, he mentioned that TikTok, like all it just became a trend for kombucha and he’s like we sold out in retail, we sold out online, like they were just scaling super fast. And it was mainly because they were just available on TikTok. And they gave it a little bit of a nudge, but then outside of that it just took off on its own. And so you know, it’s another one of those like, you just want to be where your customer is. When you’re investing your time, and you’re really starting to like hone in on a channel. I’m a, I’m a very big proponent for like, focus on a single channel, nail it and then move on. But doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t just have some kind of presence in the other ones that you know, you want to get to eventually, because if you wait until like, last minute, and then you get on there, someone could take your username, you could have like, no following, it becomes a whole nightmare. 

Ben Donovan  27:58
Yeah, definitely. Well, about challenges and challenges of omnichannel that, you know, are common and need to be considered as people approach it.

Andrew Maffetone  28:08
Attribution. That’s a that’s a major one. You know, you can like, let’s take Facebook, for example, Facebook, and Amazon actually just announced things last week that they’re working together on actually connecting now, so you can actually optimize. But assuming that that doesn’t happen, right, like the current way that things are, if I drive Facebook, ad traffic, or Google ads, traffic to Amazon, yeah, I’m probably going to use my Amazon attribution, make sure that I can like see what actually converted and what didn’t. But Amazon isn’t communicating that to either platform, so it can’t optimize. So if I’m driving, let’s say Facebook and Instagram ads traffic to a listing, and it’s hopefully converting, that’s great. But if I’m driving a lot of traffic, because I can only target link clicks, I might be driving too much traffic to the point where it’s going to reduce my conversion rate, which might hurt my organic ranking over time. There’s theories on that. But so that’s something to factor in. And then the other side of it is the profit margin, right? Like, it’s a very, very common conversation and headache for a lot of the sellers we work with, for us to try to explain that by having let’s say the Buy with Prime button or driving people directly to Amazon, every now and then during a product launch or something is beneficial. I know you’re going to see a reduction in margin. And that’s a lot of the issue, right? As sellers don’t want to send traffic to Amazon, they’ve diversified away from it for a reason. Then you get the sellers who are like, Oh, I don’t want to I don’t want Amazon to have my data because they’re gonna knock off my product and then put me out of business and they, it’s great that you think so highly of your product, like it’s probably not going to happen. So like there’s stuff like that, where it’s like, okay, there’s margin issues or attribution issues, but especially ever since the iOS change, in my opinion, digital marketing is becoming a lot more and more like traditional marketing, where you can’t really measure everything. And there’s top of funnel stuff that you need to be doing in order to feed the middle and the bottom of the funnel. And so not everything can be tied to an ROI, you need to look at the entire thing holistically. So when we look at metrics, the first thing I always look at is, what are you spending across every single channel, and what are you making, then we can narrow it down and see where we want to put more money or less money in certain areas. But really, like, I’ve got to find a way to factor in the brand awareness, you’re getting the, you know, the bleed over of channels, like how many people are going from your website over to Amazon, it’s usually like 10, 15%, at least are going that way. We’ve done a bunch of tests on that. So there’s stuff that that’s hard to track. So it’s like, trying to get the ROI of a specific billboard, like you’re never going to do that. And as time goes on, and as you know, these different privacy laws and things like that going into place, attribution is going to be really difficult. And the users getting so used to shopping on all these other marketplaces that if they find a brand they like, but they prefer to shop on Amazon or Walmart or any of the other ones, they might leave just to go see if you’re available there. Because I’m an avid customer of that marketplace. And I know that it’s easy, and maybe I get points or something like that. So there’s things like that, that sellers have to factor in. And I think that this transition of how fluid the customer journey is right now make sellers like really uneasy, because they’re used to the good old days of being able to track like every little tiny dollar that they spend. So true, it’s amazing how much of it is like almost come full circle that is so much for now just comes back to good product, good marketing. You know, I’ve just finishing up reading, writing our newsletter for this week, and just kind of breaking down a little bit of what’s happened with Thrasio. And where they’ve maybe gone wrong, you know, who am I to, you know, criticize the company, whatever, but just kind of seeing maybe some of the strategies where they’ve gone wrong. And one of them is obviously just buying up brands that maybe didn’t have good products and thinking that they could get by with with average marketing. And it really I feel it’s kind of the closing thing that I wrote on there is that the key right now is getting good ecommerce, because the people that are good at eCommerce, you know, creating good products and marketing them well, are going to win for the next 5, 10, 15, 20 years. It’s not about some little strategy or little hack or attribution trick. It’s going to be good products and good marketing. I know you’re the guest, and I want to learn from you. But yeah, there’s just that I think just to reciprocate, what you’re saying is, you know, it’s so true. You know, that’s, those are the core elements, right? Yeah, it’s, it’s incredibly true. I mean, all of our best clients, like the ones that are doing the best ones that had a great Black Friday, like that was all based on really, really good products. The guys that are like, Oh, we’re still tweaking things, we’re still updating stuff, like, you get into this issue as a marketer of like, okay, you know, there, this person wants to pay us and they have the funding to do it. And this is the direction they want to go. And we do know this, this industry, so let’s take the strategy and implement it. But at the end of the day, when the customer starts getting the product in their hands, I can only do so much. Yeah, a marketers real job is to get people to become aware of the product, and how they can buy it when they’re ready. We’re not salesmen, we’re just supposed to walk them through, make them feel a certain way on why they might want the product and certain points and make sure it’s top of mind when the decision comes for them to purchase. And if it’s a great product, it’s going to happen. So marketing becomes very, very easy, and it makes us look great. But if you’ve got a product that’s like kind of like iffy, and we’re trying to figure out like, how do we dodge all these reviews? Like at a certain point, it’s like you really need to even there’s even been times where like can we please pull back our ad spend. Let’s stop some of the strategies we’re doing hold for like three or four months so that you can keep that that revenue and please invest in like fixing some of the product issues because I can’t, at a certain point, it’s not marketing’s fault becomes product fault. Good product sells itself marketing, just make sure it’s in the right place. 

Ben Donovan  34:22
Yeah, definitely. Great thoughts. This is obviously a massive topic going omni channel. But just to sort of round things off, are there any key things that we’ve missed or any kind of like final closing thoughts that you would have around successfully taking a brand omni channel?

Andrew Maffetone  34:39
Especially when you’re getting off of Amazon, which tends to be the majority route that people take, you know, you prove the viability of the product on Amazon because you get a lot of sales. But what happens is sellers think that okay, I’m getting a lot of sales. So now I know I’m gonna get all these sales off Amazon. It is not how happen overnight, you are now on a whole new area where you’ve got to get the traffic to come to you, as opposed to leveraging the existing traffic. But when you get off of Amazon, you have to know your customer better than anyone else. Who is your customer? Why are they buying what you’re buying? How do they feel when they’re buying what you’re buying? And how do you want them to feel after they buy what you’re selling? So there’s a real like, deep connection of meaning to understand that in order to be successful from an omnichannel perspective, because a lot of sellers, you know, they’ll they’ll start a website with a template and throw it up. And then they’ll take their Amazon ads data, grab some keywords, throw it into Google and be like, Oh, I can’t sell anything off Amazon, doesn’t work. Why do people even do this? Like, it becomes this whole conversation. And there’s so much nuance around it, that knowing how your customers feeling, and then knowing where they’re at is incredibly important. Because a lot of times we’ll get people come to us and they’ll be like, I want to do Facebook ads, and we’ll look at their product. Like why like this has no sense. And you don’t need to do that. There’s more search volume, just focus on middle of funnel. They’re like, Well, I was in a mastermind, and they told me I should do that, like, okay, you’ve got to know your customer and where they’re at. Because too many people are given too many opinions. And everyone’s just trying to check a box because they heard that they’re supposed to when in reality, like if you know your customer, and you know your product, you’re gonna know better than anyone else, even outside his mastermind. So knowing your customer is 100% key once you start going omni channel. 

Ben Donovan  36:35
Absolutely, absolutely. And it’s the work that some sellers just don’t want to do. You know, they want to keep playing Alibaba to Amazon arbitrage. And it just is not a model that works in modern day ecommerce. You’ve got to get good at E commerce. So no, I couldn’t agree more, man. I’ve loved the thoughts you had. And it’s been super, super helpful. If people want to keep sort of learning from you. What’s the podcast again? And where can people find about that? And also, anything about you and the agency? 

Andrew Maffetone  37:02
Yeah, podcast is the E comm show. New episodes every Wednesday. Otherwise, you can check out I’m on pretty much every social channel at Andrew Maff, so is our company at BlueTuskr, or you can just go to Bluetuskr.com it’s bluetuskr.com or just email me andrew@bluetuskr, but I’m always happy to help out and point people in the right direction. 

Ben Donovan  37:25
Awesome, man. Well, we’ll get the links for those in the show notes and everything as well so people can find that easy. Thanks for taking time out. I know you must be busy with lots going on. So appreciate you taking the time out and sharing with our audience.

Andrew Maffetone  37:36
Yeah, appreciate you having me.

Ben Donovan  37:37
No worries man. Awesome, folks. Well, you heard it there you got to get good at E commerce if you want to go omni channel Don’t be lazy. Don’t just try and sell random rubbish from Alibaba to Amazon and think that it’s gonna go well on multi channel because it won’t actually do the work get good at E commerce go omni channel and see what you can build. If you have enjoyed the episode today, please give it a like, subscribe, all that good stuff and we will see you in the next episode same time, next week. Take care!

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