Building Your Business Off Amazon with Joe Reichsfeld of Ecommerce Optimizer

Building Your Business Off Amazon with Joe Reichsfeld of Ecommerce Optimizer

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You can’t call yourself a serious e-commerce seller if you’re not selling on Amazon. But if this past year has taught us anything, it’s that you can’t be a serious e-commerce seller and only sell on Amazon. Exploring off-platform is something Joe Reischfeld of Ecommerce Optimizer believes wholeheartedly. In fact, it’s the basis of his business and his main message to sellers. Today he’s here to explain why to survive, you must diversify.  

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Joe’s Background

Joe’s been in the e-commerce game since Amazon advertising was just four cents per click. He eventually sold his first e-commerce business, but it wasn’t his inventory that won over buyers. At the time, his most valuable asset was his list of buyers, subscribers, and loyal followers. 

Now, e-commerce is a hotter than ever industry. But a staggering 99% of new sellers fail before their first year. With that figure in mind, Joe started courses to help sellers get the guidance necessary to build a brand, not just a brand on Amazon. Enter Ecommerce Optimizer, a platform with courses and workshops on everything from Pinterest to PPC.

America’s Cash Register

As sellers, we often forget that Amazon shoppers are on Amazon to purchase. That’s it. They’re not on Amazon to socialize or compare product information or sift through brands. So to reach people when they’re researching or asking friends and colleagues for advice, you must be off-platform.

Joe also reminds us that ads don’t work. The only way to stop the scroll is to build your advertisement like a conversation and use emotional triggers. As sellers, we’re too close to e-commerce to make great ads from our minds. You must step into the heads of your friends and family to write something compelling. 

And don’t get complacent on Amazon. Just because Amazon offers unparalleled traffic, that doesn’t mean it’ll always be on your side. Should your account shut down or the algorithm shift, what’s your fallback? If you don’t own your audience, you don’t own anything. 

Listen To Your Audience

So as wholesalers, where do we go? Joe says, it depends on your products. If you’ve got a niche area, forums are great places to live. They’re essentially a highly condensed version of your core audience, so take advantage and find forums here. Better yet, create a website and build your own forums. Q&As and How-Tos will rank you highly when it comes to keywords and phrases. Not to mention, your followers will tell you where to go: which influencers they’d buy from, what product features they value, and what content they’d love to see. 

And because you own these forums, you’ve cut out the Amazon competitors. 

In short, build your community. An owned list of loyal followers is more valuable than any of your inventory, flowery marketing language, and stellar Amazon traffic combined.

Other Off-Platform Tidbits 

Did you know that eBooks and PDFs convert better than coupons? So make them! Plus, Amazon has free marketing opportunities for Kindles so consider creating something that you can release on Kindle as well. Joe also recommends tapping into relevant influencers, creating original SEO-drivers like How-Tos and listicles, and running giveaways on social media.

In Sum

While it may sound hypocritical coming from a podcast all about Amazon, don’t limit yourself to life on Amazon. We should all strive to own our own audience. Because we don’t work for Amazon, we work for ourselves. That’s just part of being an entrepreneur. 

As always, happy selling everybody.

Resources From This Episode

Outline Of This Episode

[00:51] Todd’s introduction to this episode

[01:35] Joe’s background in e-commerce

[09:51] Where 80% of your audience is

[16:14] Best platforms for wholesalers

[33:27] No website? No Problem

[46:31] How ECommerce Optimizer can help

Transcript

Joe (00:00):
People go to Amazon to purchase period. They don’t go to Amazon to socialize, or they ask their brother, which one to buy. They don’t do any of that. They do that before they get to Amazon. When sellers come off of Amazon, they don’t understand how to market to those other stages, stages of the buyer’s market of the buyer’s journey. And that’s actually 80% of their audience is in earning those stages. So just moving your marketing or expanding your marketing off of Amazon exponentially blows up your audience potential

Announcer (00:35):
Welcome fellow entrepreneurs to the entrepreneur adventure podcast, where we talk about Amazon wholesale and how you can use it to build an e-commerce empire, a side hustle or anything in between. And now your host, Todd Welch,

Todd (00:51):
Welcome to another episode of entrepreneur venture. I’m your host Todd wealth. And today we have Joe Rice felled on and he is the founder of e-commerce optimizer. He’s been in this e-commerce game for a long time. He’s got a bachelor’s of science in business administration from the university of Phoenix. And what’s really interesting is at the time he was the youngest person admitted and graduated from the university of Phoenix at the time, which is pretty cool. So, Joe, I really appreciate you coming on the show. Why don’t you tell us a little bit about being the youngest person at the university of Phoenix and more about your background in e-commerce?

Joe (01:35):
yeah, well, what I remember about it, so it was a long time ago. It was it was, it was pretty cool. At that time university, Phoenix was still new and the minimum age was 25.

Joe (01:46):
So I had to get waivers and stuff and I tested out of all of my lower division credits. So I guess about a year and a half of college just to get in there. And everybody was like 35 and 40 and corporate officers and stuff. So it was really, really cool. I, I made a lot of good connections there. Started a company while I was there in some of these corporate people wanted to invest money. So I knew I had a winner.

Todd (02:12):
Very good. And you were 18 at the time?

Joe (02:15):
I was 18. I was 18 when I finished. Yeah.

Todd (02:18):
18. When you finished. Very nice. That’s impressive. I don’t know too many people that have done that.

Joe (02:24):
I enjoyed it. That was a good school then I really enjoyed it. It was challenging high school. Wasn’t challenged that high school. Wasn’t challenging.

Joe (02:33):
That’s why I was going to college in high school at the same time.

Todd (02:35):
Very nice. Well, I definitely was not the youngest person am. I still had a good time learned, learned a lot, but a good you’ve been selling online for how long? 21 years when you start.

Joe (02:51):
Yeah, I started in 1999 my ex-wife was really artistic and she would paint cow skulls. I live in Arizona. Cows skulls are kind of common here, so she would get Cows skulls and paint them and decorate them. And they were hanging all over her house and she, she wasn’t real good at going to gift shops to get them to put them for sale. So I opened up a website and I know from previous experience, if you want more people broaden your offering. So we, we, we brought in artists, not, not manufacturers, but actual artists, Southwest style furniture, native American art, Indian jewelry.

Joe (03:34):
I mean, it was all one-off. So it was all authentic. It was all dropped ship, which was nice drop ship and consignment. So I had no overhead in that sense. And I did a million dollars in India in jewelry in 18, within 18 months and Baca on the internet. It was, I had a store here, but it was on the internet just through my website. I had a listing on Amazon. I had listings on eBay. I probably had the highest price listings on Amazon and eBay, but, but then you could put your URL for your website in your listing. So I really used to them to drive traffic to my listing and it worked and I was a beta tester for the original pay-per-click at 4 cents a word I remember being really off when it hit 15 cents a word and look at what it is now.

Joe (04:28):
But yeah, we did Cina dolls and it was, it was a lot of fun. I enjoyed it. It was, it went really well. I owned that till 2003, and then I sold the whole thing to an Enron executive who was having to get out of California. And it’s, it’s still in business. He not that far from here, it’s still in business. He still does pretty well. I took I took a year off after that and then started consulting and started selling on Amazon, started helping a couple of mortgage companies during the mortgage before the mortgage crisis with their SEO and with optimizing their online applications. So I was in several industries at once. Then, you know, the housing market went to crap. So I went solely into marketplaces and stuff.

Joe (05:22):
And in what 2009, 2009, I swore off ever working with three P sellers again, because it just, you know, how it is, you know, sometimes they just don’t want to do they think they can’t get out of their own way? I mean, that’s, I mean, we’re all guilty of that. So I started working with corporations then, and I have clients that I’ve had for, well over 10 years that are worldwide brands. One’s doing a million a week just through his website and he has eight fulfillment centers around the world. And then I have others, you know, most of my clients sell on and other places. I know a lot about Amazon, but I actually know a lot more about diversifying your business and selling on multiple platforms. You know, Amazon, Amazon is a great place to sell. It’s a great marketplace. You and I can’t come up with enough money to match the exposure that they give you your brand, just for being on there. So you can’t be a serious e-commerce player in the U S and not sell on Amazon, but if 2020 taught us anything, it’s that you can’t be a serious e-commerce player and only sell on Amazon because they, they have you buy the, you know, they can cut you off in a heartbeat and then what do you have? And, and that’s, and that’s wrong. Yeah, that’s wrong.

Todd (06:47):
Yeah. That’s you know, we, we all kinda live afraid of that. Do you know if I wake up in the morning and I’ve got that little red flag and my account is down for whatever reason if you’re doing things on the up and up, it’s almost always a model, legitimate reason, right. It can happen, you know? Right.

Joe (07:10):
And that’s the sad part. It’s a year. It’s not if it’s when at some point, and that’s, that’s the crappy part, but you, because if it is wrong, you could be, you could lose months worth the revenue. In four weeks during November, they, they suspended 70,000 accounts for related accounts and new, new sold, or used sold as new. And they gave them no quick pathway to get reinstated. So these are businesses that had a terrible 2020, and we’re counting on that time of year to make their year. And they lost that. That’s wrong. That is so wrong.

Todd (07:53):
Yeah. I understand Amazon having to cover itself, but it is really bad that there’s not an easy way to appeal and get someone on the phone that actually knows what they’re talking about and get it figured out instead

Joe (08:07):
That’s on purpose. Yeah. And then you gotta start and you have to start over and, you know, but, but the programs that work for them, you know, FBA and all this other stuff, they’re specific programs, they weren’t perfect, but the seller facing stuff is a nightmare. Hopefully this new CEO, because he’s coming from AWS, hopefully he focuses on that and fixes that. I really hope that’s what happens. Because it’s, it’s, it’s as a business owner, that to me is so unacceptable that somebody’s control can control my livelihood like that. That, that that’s wrong. And, you know, for a lot of sellers, they think, you know, if I’m going to get off of Amazon, I got to spend all this money all this time and, and do this, this, and this, that, and the other. And, you know, I, I’m a Shopify partner and I’ll be the first to say that Shopify is not for everybody at all.

Joe (09:02):
Most sellers, if they’re just dabbing their feet in the water, don’t need Shopify yet. You know, they, they should, they should prove their concept first and prove to themselves that they, they will put, make the effort. They really need a landing page for starters. And, and can go from there. And I mean, you can get a landing, you can build a landing page for free with MailChimp, and you’ve got Unbounced and you’ve got drip. And I mean, there’s a million different landing page builders out there that where you can host your one page. And so, you know, I just, I see people that they rush off Amazon, they get the Shopify site and they don’t know anything about code. They know even less about SEO and marketing. And, and they’re like, okay, so what do I do? And they fail because on Amazon, Amazon is America’s cash register.

Joe (09:51):
People go to Amazon to purchase period. They don’t go to Amazon to socialize or to ask their brother, which one to buy. They don’t do any of that. They do that before they get to Amazon. When sellers come off of Amazon, they own, they don’t understand how to market to those other stages, stages of the buyers market of the buyer’s journey. And that’s actually 80% of their audience is in earning those stages. So just moving your marketing or expanding your marketing off of Amazon exponentially blows up your audience potential. If, if, if you approach it correctly, you know, you can’t, Amazon is all about closing the sale, closing the sale, and it should be, if you have that, you know, if you take that outlook with your landing page or your Facebook ad, it’s going to do miserably. And that’s what, where, you know, that’s where the problem is.

Joe (10:44):
Do you go to social media, make purchases ever? No, neither do I neither do most people. So what, what do you do when you see ads? You keep scrolling, right? But if, if you see something that you don’t know as an ad, and it just jumps out at you because it touches something that is a problem that you, you experienced, you’re going to stop and you’re going to, you’re going to look at it. So if, if all they did was position their ads as conversations and go for that emotional trigger, you know, that that fear that their audience can relate to right there, that starts the conversation. That’s what, that’s what social media is. It’s a conversation, ads, don’t work pictures of pictures of the back of my head, looking at my computer as an ad on Facebook is not going to work. You see that all the time, you know, immediately, Oh, add, you know, you know, and you just keep going.

Joe (11:38):
This is what you see when you see somebody looking at social media on their phone. And the goal is to stop that finger. You know, the hardest thing is to stop the finger, to stop the scroll. And that’s the first step. And I mean, on any social media platform, Pinterest, Instagram, any of those so really, you know, for sellers, just taking a step back and taking the Amazon hat off and just being a consumer, being a user and thinking about themselves or their kids or their family, and how they interact with the different, you know, we’re all weird because this is what we do. You can’t judge, you know, you can’t judge how other people are gonna react based on what you or I do online, because this is what we do. We’re not the normal, you know, clientele. It’s frustrating to see sellers go through, you know, the trials and tribulations that they go through when they, when they do try to expand because Amazon pushes this myth of we’re the only place in the world you can sell, you know, we’re the best nobody can do what we do, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah.

Joe (12:43):
And it’s BS. But it’s easy to fall into that because Amazon gives you this giant nut of traffic, you know, that first sale, that first sale, that first sale and a new seller, that’s why you get GED. It’s really easy to get complacent on Amazon because of that.

Joe (13:04):
And, and, you know, you think about Jeff Bezos, that guy has a broom and he’s sweeping money into the bag, you know, and he’s taking money home by the trash bag. And what that is is that’s your list. That’s your list. The value of a buyer on a list is 10 times the initial purchase. So think about how many new people over the years you’ve brought to Amazon, where he gets those other nine sales. You only get one and you can’t contact them ever again. That’s to me, I still have my list from 1999. I still have people on my list from, from them. And I, you know, I talk to them at least once a year, twice a year. I’m sure I could fire it up and crank some sales out of it fairly easily. Amazon doesn’t give you that opportunity. And that is your future as an e-commerce seller.

Joe (13:55):
So one of the things that I’m focusing on this year is teaching Amazon sellers how to build their list. I mean, if you’re going to sell online, even if you don’t have a website, yet you should be collecting email addresses. You can go to MailChimp, get a MailChimp account. It’s free, they’ll host your landing page. You can start building an email list. The key with Amazon is not what tos says you can’t do. It’s what tos doesn’t talk about. That’s really the key to winning on Amazon. Forget what tos says. You can’t do stay away from that stuff that just don’t even go there with the review. Don’t even play those games. But what does tos not talk about at all? That’s where it’s wide open. There’s no rules on that stuff, you know? So you gotta, you have to think outside the box.

Joe (14:46):
You know, there’s, there’s lots of ways to, to get people to your off of Amazon that are within tos at nowhere in tos. Does it say the word hashtag nowhere? So you can put on your, on your insert. We love to see pictures of our users with our product, take a picture of yourself, using our product and post it on any social media anywhere using our branded hashtag. And we’ll enter you into this contest. You’ve got social proof and testimonials now going up on social media for your product. And these are people that are putting it on their own profile, and then you’re copying it to your profile. That, that beats the crap out of any Amazon review. When you’re that’s, pre-selling people know they, then what the people that see that then go to Amazon, they’re doing a branded search where they’re going right to your listing. And that changes everything

Todd (15:42):
Now for myself. I’m mostly sell other people’s products. And I am mostly on Amazon right now, like 98, 97%, a little bit on eBay. What’s your recommendation for someone like myself or someone who’s only selling on Amazon other people’s products now. So we’re not talking about like making our own brand, what platforms do you see as being the best opportunity to expand outside of Amazon kind of diversify?

Joe (16:14):
So your listings you’re on listings with other people, other resellers, correct? Correct. Right. So really on Amazon, your you know, you’re different, your, your differentiator on Amazon is unfortunately price. Most of the time off of Amazon, you have all kinds of opportunities. So are your products in the same allegory, or do you have products in multiple categories?

Todd (16:38):
I have kind of specialized into a couple of categories, but I do have them outside of that in different areas as well.

Joe (16:45):
So, so what I would say to you, you know, if we were sitting down and were trying to make a plan for what to do in the next six, nine months, three years, whatever, I would say. Okay. So take your, your, the category that you have the most product in, and you want to build a community based on the greater subject that those products are a part of. So let’s say that you have you’re in the auto parts category and you have a Jack stands and a car stereo faces and you know, a little appearance things for your car. So I would say build a community based on car accessories, car X, car accessories, but even more than that beautifying your car now, like what my kids do, you know, they put nicer tires on the car, they put giant boom boxes in the back, you know, Oh, that stuff, you build a community, not based on product, but based on the pain points of doing this stuff.

Joe (17:43):
So how to, you know, a forum maybe for a forum where, where you have question and answer areas and how tos for specific vehicles and, and things like that. When you do that, you rank for a ton of keyword phrases. I have a client who who’s done that with. He has three, he had three agents. It’s not on Amazon anymore. He just finished out last year. He did 12 million in sales on his website. He has 111,000 ranking keywords, keyword phrases. That’s nuts. You can’t get that with PPC, you know, and he did that with content. And the investment he made into content to get that started was less than one month PPP PPC spend on Amazon and his last year on Amazon, he did $6 million between January and October. And then he was suspended at the beginning of October and did $6 million on his website.

Joe (18:44):
So, and it, it kind of worked out to be a little bit of an accident. So we started this website. He was selling on Amazon. We weren’t selling on the website. If you wanted to buy his product on his website, you were referred back to Amazon. So we were able to get the emails of all of his Amazon buyers, because they all went to his website after they made their, their purchase. So when he got suspended, we emailed all of his Amazon buyers and we said, Oh, by the way, we’re not on Amazon anymore. You can buy your product here now. And we were able to successfully move his subscribe and save business from Amazon to his website. And he, he did, he had a million, a million unique visitors this last March or last I’m sorry, November, which is nuts, but 111,000 keyword phrases that he’s ranking for.

Joe (19:38):
That’s crazy. That’s crazy. And he overdid it on purchasing content. So they don’t the people that work directly for him. They wrote nothing on the website. All the content was outsourced. And he spent about 12 grand for 300 articles. He could have done it for four grand, with a hundred articles, but he got a little carried away. He still has a hundred articles. He hasn’t posted because now he has doctors and influencers that write for his website and submit for free every month. And, you know, and, and again, it’s built out from not the product, but the greater subject that the products are part of. So it hits and it’s in the health business. So it hits all the pain points, but you got recipes, you’ve got exercises, you’ve got all kinds of stuff. You can just kind of grow. So in like the auto part, you know, back to the audit, the automotive example you have Honda’s, you’ve got Toyota’s, you’ve got Fords, you’ve got Mazdas, you’ve got accessories, you’ve got performance parts, you’ve got replacement parts.

Joe (20:45):
There’s all kinds of things that you can do with that, to build it out. And when you have a forum, a question to answer for your users or filling it with content, with their questions and answers, and they’re answering each other and they’re building your content for you. And that stuff ranks, you know, they’re the keywords that they inadvertently put in their answers rank. And SF comes up back before Facebook forums where our was our SEO or not our SEO, our social media forums and my space, you know, we’re our social media. And there’s a lot of categories still have forums out there. I mean, there’s a forum search search engine called board reader.com. And everybody should search their keyword phrases on there because there’s a lot of categories that still have forums. And those forums are highly concentrated groups of your audience, all in one place.

Joe (21:43):
And there’s no the competition because people don’t advertise on, on most of the forms anymore. So it’s actually, you could find a larger concentration of your target audience. Then you find on Amazon with less competition. So when you come off of the first thing, anybody that’s thinking about trying to diversify off of Amazon, the first thing I’m going to ask them is, have you done your buyer personas? Do you know exactly who your ideal buyer is? Because I’m going to ask you what influencers do they worship? Where do they get their news? What pain points do they have in life? Because that’s where we’re going to find the best places to target them on Amazon. And through paid advertising, you’re targeting one purchase at a time. PPC targets, one purchases, purchases, and time, which is the reason PPC costs as much as it does.

Joe (22:39):
If you found that you’re one of your categories, all had this, you know, influence or Tony Robbins or somebody like that, that they, that every, you know, all those people in that category, you just worship and listen. His every word it’s worth it for you to take your PPC investment. Even if it costs that much, to get him to endorse your product, or to get him to let you do a guest post. I mean, I don’t recommend spending that kind of money if you don’t need to, but, but that’s, when you think about it, if he recommends you to his followers, that’s implied trust, that’s warm traffic. They don’t need to see reviews. Tony Robbins recommended it. I’m going to go buy it. Aye. I don’t th I don’t have to question anything about it. I’m going to go buy it. Oh, me too. Yeah.

Joe (23:27):
And so rather than targeting one person at a time, you just got this whole big audience click funnels, Russell Brunson, his, his book, traffic secrets. That’s what he talks about. Click funnels is what it is today because he made a list of a hundred influencers. And he started calling every of them, trying to try and to partner with them to, to get an interview, you know, to, to get some space. And 48 of them said, no. And number 49 said yes. And after he got a phone number 49, he called the first 48. And he said, Hey, thanks. I appreciate it. You know, thanks for, thanks for, you know, considering it, and Oh, by the way, number 49 said, yes, have a nice day. But so those other 48 are, are thinking to themselves, wow, what did he see them in him that I didn’t and ClickFunnels is what it is today because of that.

Joe (24:19):
He, he talks to all about it in traffic secrets. That’s how he made, he built click funnels, you know, and he talks about, you know, spending money on ads or feeding his family. That’s how, you know, that’s how close it got real interesting, those stories. But it, you know, as a seller, as a small business owner, you have to maximize the potential of every dollar you spend. And really PPC is very effective on Amazon. And it can be very effective, but that’s not the best. It’s not always the best outlet for your, for your money on Amazon. It is because you don’t only have so many, so many choices, but off of Amazon, there’s lots of other things you can do. I mean, for like content, I can get a 2000 word article of 2,500 word article written for about 35 bucks. So I can get a hundred of them for 3,500 bucks. That’s nothing. When you think about it, good articles, and then you can pay a VA or somebody to SEO all of them and boom, less than $5,000, you have a content site. Yep.

Todd (25:29):
It speaks volumes to what I’ve talked about in the past and finding a niche and diving into that niche, getting lots of products and going deep, then you, you could start a community or in a website around those products. Yeah.

Joe (25:46):
Chasing shiny objects thing. Is, is it just means that you’re going to work really hard for your whole life. You know, if I, if I find a winner I’m going to, I’m going to grow that company horizontally. You know, if I, if I ha if I’m, if I’m selling blenders and my blender is doing really well, I’m going to try to carry every blender the Amazon has. Yeah. It’s to my advantage. Then if I, then if I don’t get the sale on one, I get it on another, I’m going to expand horizontally. I’m going to do blender cups. I’m going to do, you know, different smoothie cups. I’m going to cover that whole thing. And so now I have a brand that’s that value to it. And when you and your list, and when I sold my company in 2003, he bought my list. The value of that company was in the list. And little did we know then, you know, what we’re lists would go, but the value of the company to him, I had $40,000, maybe, maybe $40,000 worth of inventory, which was nothing. But he spent a lot of money on my business and it was the name, the brand, and you know, the reputation, but the list yep.

Todd (26:56):
That you owned that.

Joe (26:59):
Yes. And that’s exactly it. What do you own of your business? You own, you own your inventory. If Amazon will give it back to you. But your list is something that you own. You can lose everything. If you have your list, you can recover. Yep. You have your list and your, your, your reputation, you can recover and recover fast. You can also go to a different platform with your list. And if they trust you, they will buy from you. There. It’s going to be hard. But you know, it helps. One of the things that I don’t like about Amazon and about a lot of the marketplaces is their review systems. Amazon, to me, there’s nothing that Amazon can do to fix the review problem, except walk away from it and give it to a third party aggregator like Birdseye or Trustpilot to aggregate reviews you as a seller.

Joe (27:53):
If you leave Amazon and you go to another marketplace, it’s frustrating as hell that you have to start over and establish your reputation and all that stuff, your, your reputation and your better business Bureau report, whatever you want to call it, that should care. Go with you. You’ve worked very hard for that. That should go with you. So I like the idea of a review aggregator, because then that’s what happens, you know? So if you’re a dirt bag, you’re still a dirt bag over there too, because that’s the follows you, you know, you know, I mean,

Todd (28:27):
Yeah. I would love to see that happen. That’d be a pretty cool thing, because then, like you said, you can get the reviews from all over the place. It happens all the time where you’re on Amazon and maybe it has four and a half out of five stars on Amazon. And then you go to Walmart and it has like three stars out of five and target or best buy has something else. And one or not. I don’t know if it is what’s going on, but

Joe (28:53):
That, and that makes you question the integrity of those reviews. Yep.

Todd (28:57):
You y’all know what you don’t know what highest reviews out of all of them.

Joe (29:01):
Yeah. Yeah. You don’t, you don’t know what to question or who to question, but last year buyers were surveyed and only 18% of them said they trust Amazon reviews. They said they trust Walmart reviews more than Amazon, which is a real kick in the nuts for Amazon Mark, Laurie, the guy that built jet, he just left Walmart. Now he’s only consulting for them for another six months, and then he’s done. Any, anything in everything Wal-Mart’s ever touched online, went to crap until they bought jet and let him run their e-commerce. So I it’ll be interesting to see what happens with walmart.com after September, when he actually finally leaves, because the person that they have replaced him was their retail CEO. And that’s always been their problem. They apply retail principles to their e-commerce and it’s always, always made it fail. Walmart may not be a player for that much longer, but one, you know, this year proved a lot of things.

Joe (30:05):
75% of all first time e-commerce purchases in the first six months of last year were on walmart.com. Yeah, that’s crazy. When you think about that, that’s crazy. Walmart revenue from new business last year was $540 million. Amazon’s revenue from new business was 230 or something like that. Nice. For the first time ever, Shopify merchants out sold Amazon merchants from black Friday through cyber Monday. Really? I did not know that. Yeah. That’s I mean, that’s it right. That’s really interesting. And the good thing in that space for sure does. And when you think about it, it didn’t hurt Amazon. There’s plenty of business out there for all three of them and others as well. There’s playing a business out there. That’s the whole thing. So that says, if you’re only on one, you’re not getting any of that other business, you know, or you’re only on two it’s it’s about getting your name out there. It’s called the web for a reason

Todd (31:11):
Outside of building out our own website and community and stuff like that. Do you recommend any other marketplaces to go into which ones do you see as, as the best ones to take the time?

Joe (31:26):
Well, it’s, you have to know your audience. If you know your audience and, you know, you know, their struggles and, and who they’re responding to many times that will tell you where the, what marketplace or form or where you should go with your product for every, every seller is going to be slightly different. But from just a overall generalized place, places to go, Pinterest is really good. Pinterest has a, Pinterest is not social media. It’s classified as social media, but it’s not. It’s a visual planning. E-Commerce search engine, the word planning in first, I’m not ready to buy it today. And they’re not. The funnel on Pinterest is three and a half weeks long. So Pinterest, Pinterest has 40%, 40%, 30% more referrals than any social media site to, to e-commerce something like 93% of Pinterest users state that they’ve made purchases based on things they’ve seen on Pinterest.

Joe (32:33):
But with Pinterest, they’re not stupid though. That’s the thing. So if, if all you have on Pinterest is Amazon pins, you’re going to get people that look at it. They see the Amazon URL and they’re not going to click it because they know they’re, they know what’s at the end of that rainbow. They’re not ready to buy, so they may save it. They may not, they may click into your profile to see what else you have in your profile. And if all you have is Amazon pins, they might not want to save it. That happened. There’s, there’s a lot of pushback from that on Pinterest. So as a, as an Amazon seller, even if you don’t have a website it’s to your advantage to create simple content pins lists they’re called listicles lists on Pinterest are the best producing pin for saves and for for shares.

Joe (33:27):
So what do you do if you don’t have an, if you don’t have a website, you create a PDF, a list you know, let’s go back to the car parts. You know, you create a, a, a list of the five the five easiest upgrades that you can do to any car to make it look better. And you create a PDF out of that. And on the P on the PDF, you make sure you have links to your products, because those are live links when you save them as PDFs, and you distribute that everywhere, every saving, every, every sharing site Dropbox, Google docs, everywhere you distributed everywhere, your pin can link right to that. Your pin can go to your MailChimp landing page with an opt-in that connects to that file. On your landing page, you can, pre-sell your product if you want on that landing page. So then the people that are hit, that landing page that are ready to buy can go right to Amazon and buy. But those that aren’t ready to buy, they just joined your mailing list and to get their thing. Well, now you can use a, an email sequence to nurture them to the, to the decision that you are the best choice to solve their problem. And, and it works. I mean, that stuff works. People, PDFs and videos, videos, and eBooks convert better than coupons.

Todd (34:57):
Yeah. Can people like to get those little quick guides and, and things like that? I’ve done a little bit of that.

Joe (35:06):
Yeah, the eBooks, you know, both are expensive. So when you’re giving somebody an ebook, a lot of people see a lot of value in that because it’s free a lot of value. And some that I’ve, I’ve kind of learned over the last 12 months or a year, is that if you’re making an ebook released on Amazon as a Kindle book also. Yeah, because Amazon has built in for all kinds of free marketing opportunity for Kindle products. So let’s say you created an e-book for your products. The last page of that ebook, upsells your products with, with links, you put that, that ebook on you still give it away for free through your landing page, but you also put it on Kindle. Amazon kicks in, and they do some marketing for you. Anybody that reads that e-book, that gets value out of it is going to click those links.

Joe (35:59):
And they’re going to go to your website. Well, Google sees any click out of a PDF as a high domain authority. Backlink from Adobe. They see any click out of a Kindle book as a high domain, a high domain authority back link from Amazon. Whether the link is whether the click is next week, next month, or 10 years from now, my best performing backlinks are from PDFs that I’ve created and just kind of spread around. So if you have products that you sell that just naturally have a lot of spec sheets or, or instructions create PDFs out of that, everybody that every, everybody that sends you an inquiry about your product, send them the PDFs, you know, put post the PDFs to SlideShare and the different sharing sites, make sure they have live URLs in them. And that actually helps build your domain authority for your website, but it, an Amazon sees that those as high domain authority, backlinks, Amazon rewards off Amazon traffic better than it does PPC traffic.

Todd (37:06):
Yeah. Yeah. Very interesting. Yeah. I never really thought about like posting it around on those different sites. Cause like, if you’ve ever looked for a manual for a product or something like that, you find those PDF sharing sites all the time and yeah. So you can actually put the PDF up there and it would link back to your website or maybe Amazon, whatever you choose to do, but then you’re gaining that, that traffic

Joe (37:35):
Again, you’d have to think about more than just your products. Let’s say. Let’s say that you sold kids shoes, look at you. So you could, you could get yourself involved in some local program for shoes, for little shoes, for homeless kids, something like that. You create PDs around it, create PDFs about proper shoe sizes, where little kids, how do you, how do you measure you? You don’t take your kid to the store when they’re little, how do you measure their feet to know what size shoes get them without having to come home with five sets of shoes to figure out which one works? How did you do that? So you can create instructions like that. I like the homeless kid shoe thing, because that is polarizing. And you can get pressed out of that as well. But when you have that stuff, create PDF, make copies of it and put it on those sharing sites.

Joe (38:33):
Even if it gets buried, people will see different people will see it and we’ll click on it. And the fact that those are there and link back to your site or your product page, if you don’t have a site, that stuff helps you out. And at some point, I don’t know why it hasn’t happened already, but at some point, Amazon has going to reward new new subscriptions. They’re going to reward buyers. They’re going to really reward sellers for bringing in new buyers, people that have never bought before, because all this time, you know, over the, over the years, Amazon’s contributed a lot to, you know, inventions the growth of the internet via other companies. But Amazon only grows through acquisition. Pinterest is bigger than Amazon now. Tik TOK is bigger than Amazon. Snapchat’s bigger than Amazon. Who’s not bigger than Amazon. I don’t know any more.

Joe (39:28):
Tell you the truth. Everybody’s bigger than Amazon right now. Now what does that say? That says that you’re not hitting the Mark you’re you’re Prudential. If you only appeal to an Amazon audience, it also says that if you’re running Facebook ads, you can get people in your funnel that don’t buy on Amazon. Like me. If I get in your funnel on a Facebook ad and you only offer me Amazon buy, so what we do and what I recommend to everybody, if you’re going to, if you’re going to Mark it off of Amazon, get a Stripe account, get PayPal account, get a buy button. And on at the bottom of your funnel, rather than say, here’s my Amazon link say now available with these fine websites and put Amazon and eBay and maybe, you know, your Shopify or a PayPal button so that your, your potential audience can pay how they are most comfortable. People are platform loyal. I’m not an Amazon customer. So I won’t click that Amazon button to go buy on Amazon ever. And if that’s all you offer me, you’ll never get a sale for me because I can’t find your website, but every sale that you don’t do on Amazon, every sale you do through your PayPal button, your Shopify light button, or your Stripe on you just made 15% more. If you have five of those a month, that’s money, you know, I mean it’s money. And

Todd (40:57):
Now I’m thinking that I need to I need to get my, I’ve been thinking about putting up a website around the topic that I have a lot of products, and I’ve already been doing the generating content side of things for one of my private label products, but I could do the same kind of thing for that. You know, more general website that selling a bunch of different brands on it, right? And drive that traffic and build a whole another income source right there.

Joe (41:26):
It’s all about income streams. It is all about income streams. Then if one breaks you have the others. What I recommend to people as far as going in that direction is start with WordPress and get the shot by light program. Shop by light program is the buy button. And, and you, you get the backend of Shopify. So you instantly have nine payment methods and you have a shopping cart and it’s backed by Shopify. So you don’t see credit cards. It’s all secure. All you do is insert the code into your WordPress site. And you’re using Shopify on WordPress. You’ve got the best of both worlds in my opinion. And there’s a lot of flexibility there, you get the SEO, WordPress, you get the e-commerce of Shopify without having to learn liquid code. And the other stuff on shop buy.

Todd (42:17):
Yeah. Good idea. Now, what if you do that though, when you click, when they click that buy now button, does it take them, your website to shop

Joe (42:27):
It opens up the shop by cart on your WordPress site.

Todd (42:31):
Okay. And then I frame it does embed right in

Joe (42:35):
Yep. In an eye, in an I-frame that’s SSL.

Todd (42:38):
Okay, good. Cause that’s always, the lead I’ve had in the past with Shopify is 10 bucks a month separate site, you know,

Joe (42:48):
And the Shopify light program is 10 bucks a month. It’s not, if you don’t have a Shopify store, you just have the Shopify back end. But if two years down the road, you’d decide you ready? You expand to a store, you flip a switch on Shopify and you’re done. Yep. It’s, it’s, it’s that easy because you’ve already built that whole back end of it. For bigger, for, for sellers that have say more than 20 skews, 20 agents that they’re going to do that for. Then what I would suggest would be get a Shopify store and get a WordPress site and skin, the WordPress site to match the Shopify site. There’s, there’s actually themes. Now there’s WordPress themes for Shopify now, so that you can use them together and then use one or the other as the sub domain. So it would be, you know, my WordPress site is www.url.com.

Joe (43:43):
And my store is store.url.com. And they look the same. You go right from one to the other and it works. It works really well. And that you, you, WordPress SEO, they’ve got that cornered. And there’s an a new plugin that is 10 times better than Yost. I’m a diehard Yoast user and rank math kicks the crap out of Yoast rank. Math is it’s it’s current. It’s got all the new requirements from the search engines. My traffic has gone up 40% in a month of using rank math, which is nuts. 40% is a lot

Todd (44:25):
Rank math. You said rank math. Yep. I’m using on my private label, WordPress sites.

Joe (44:34):
So you want to get ranked mass? I would get ranked math pro, which is 59 bucks a year. It’s well worth it because it gives you a schema and a couple of other little extra things and then get nitro pack and nitrile pack is new. You will instantly be under all of Google’s speed requirements that go into effect in may. So starting in may, if your site isn’t fast enough, Google is going to start D indexing it and suppressing sites. Yeah. There’s no WordPress site, no Shopify site, no WIC site. None of them out of the box can pass any of those requirements. All of them have to have something done to it. I’ve been working on my own site for a year and I was really close, but not close enough. I installed this nitro pack and I’m 95 and better mobile and desktop on every single page. Nice within hours. So installing it, no coding. Yeah. I mean, I was absolutely floored now. I don’t have to worry about it.

Todd (45:41):
Yeah. You got to have a fast loading time. Otherwise people are gonna leave

Joe (45:46):
Higher site loads in less than two seconds. And I have pages that have 35 podcasts on them. You know, my podcasts are kind of page has 35 videos on it from different podcasts I’ve been on. I have, you know, different court, you know, different workshops and stuff that have all kinds of video and stuff on it. And they’re all loading really fast. And that I’ll see an increase in traffic from that as well. Yep. 40% in four weeks blew my doors off.

Todd (46:14):
Yep. All right, Joe. Well, this has been really good. I think a lot of good things for people to talk about tell us quickly what people can find over on e-commerce optimizer if you would.

Joe (46:30):
So I started this, this agency to help third-party sellers. What I saw was questionable things being taught to third-party sellers and not the whole picture. Just the different that, you know, 95% of all new sellers fail their first 12 months. That to me says the common methods taught suck, and they’re not, they’re not effective on a long-term sustainable basis. So I, you know, what I teach people is the basics of establishing a foundation for your company. That’s going to outlast your Amazon store outlast, you know, whatever marketplace is coming or going right now because you’re building a brand. So I have workshops on the site starting at 1995 a month. You get access to all the workshops, there’s content creation, there’s buyer persona there’s pub, there’s a publishing workshop on there and they’re, they’re really very in-depth workshops plus I offer coaching and one-on-one consulting.

Joe (47:37):
So I do a lot of coaching one-on-one coaching with clients. And the goal there is that I’m using my 20 years of experience to help you find the way down the right path. So, you know, you want to go here, but you don’t know how to get there. I know what you need to do. So I’m holding the light and I’m helping you get there and eliminate the goal is to eliminate your learning curve, shorten your learning curve or eliminate it. And, you know, my background, our back, our experience of the assets that I have available, you know, I make that stuff available to my clients to help them move ahead. And they, and they do I’ve I’ve helped a lot of people expand and diversify and some have re completely replaced Amazon, which I really, I don’t necessarily recommend that because then you lose a portion of the market, but you know, for each everybody’s got a different opinion of where they want to go.

Joe (48:36):
There’s nothing wrong with that. The only thing that is holding anybody back, any sellers or anything is themselves. Amazon’s 10% of the internet users, where are the other 90% buy-in from not, they’re not buying from Amazon sellers. So who are they buying from? That’s the whole thing. Where is your audience? Your whole audience does not reside on Amazon. And you know, some audiences like teenagers, you sold products that appeal to teenagers, and you’re doing PPC and all that other stuff. You’re wasting your money because teenagers don’t hang out on Amazon. They hang out on Snapchat, they hang out, you know, in their, wherever their, their places are. And Amazon might feel like the best answer, but it’s not always. And the thing that Amazon offers is all that traffic. So it’s really it’ll cloud. It really clouds the reality sometimes that, Hey, I can go to this forum and be busier because there’s nobody there.

Joe (49:35):
Gun broker is a great example of a niche website, 12 million gun nuts on that website. So if you sold products for guns, you’re going to do really well on Amazon, but on gun broker, you have specifically people that are there for only one thing, gun products you need, you should, you should be there to, you know, there’s, I know of 250 different niche marketplaces around the world. I’m sure there’s a lot more everybody should be looking for niche smart marketplaces, where their products can fit in certain, you know, search for your keyword. Kid’s shoe, marketplace, kid’s shoes. E-Commerce, you’d be surprised what you find. You might find a B to B marketplace where you can put your products and appeal to retailers and get your products in front of retailers. You might find a brand new marketplace and be one of the first sellers on it, and they help you with your advertising. You just never know, because there’s so much going on. I mean, this industry is changing so fast. I can’t keep up with it. I mean, it’s, it’s, it’s impossible to keep up with all the news and all the changes. So it’s, it, it helps to revisit that stuff. She just don’t know.

Todd (50:56):
So you mentioned earlier that you are going to give our viewers a discount on a coaching call if they were interested, how can they take advantage of that?

Joe (51:09):
They should come to my website, which is e-commerce optimizer, or they can find me on Facebook which is e-commerce optimizer. And I will I will send you a coupon code today that they can put in when they go into register for that. And it, yeah I, I mean, I will sit down with anybody. We’ll do a coaching call. I can review their business, or we can review their goals. We can talk about options for them. I, you know, I’ve been a part of the launching of 7 million products over the last 20 years. My product finds products. So I’ve seen the same thing done, but under different circumstances a million times. So it’s always done a little different. And that’s, you know, that’s the value of experience. You have options, you know, and it’s all, it’s all about options. When you have options and backup plans, you have something to fall on back onto, you have different things to try. So, you know, that’s what I try and bring to the space with, with everybody I talked to is, you know, try this, here’s this option that I know works. Here’s this place that I know you’re going to find your audience, here’s this technique that it resonates with your category? They’re all different. That’s the whole thing. What works well with one category might not work with the next

Todd (52:31):
Well w I’ll we’ll put that promo code in the show notes and a link to get that code call, if they’re interested and your website is e-commerce dash optimize their.com. And like you said, he got a lot of good workshops and different things on there. So I recommend people

Joe (52:51):
And there’s a free Pinterest workshop on there for e-commerce for sure. I’ve had it for a year and it, it can get anybody started on Pinterest.

Todd (53:02):
All right. Very good. Well, Joe, I really appreciate you coming on the show. I think a lot of really good information in here any last words of wisdom, and then we’ll wrap up.

Joe (53:14):
Don’t let anybody tell you, you can’t do something you’re not, you know, you’re only limited by, by yourself. You can sell anywhere. It’s finding your market. If your market’s there can sell.

Todd (53:26):
Absolutely. I agree. A hundred percent. All right, Joe. Well, I appreciate it. You have some day. Yeah, you too. Thank you.

Announcer (53:36):
This has been another episode of the entrepreneur adventure podcast. Thanks for listening fellow entrepreneur and always remember success is yours. If you take

Todd (53:48):
It.

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