I was having a discussion recently with a friend who has a fairly large stock portfolio.
He spends a large amount of his time wondering about the future of the economy, the future of certain countries, or certain interest rates, everything having to do with things that would affect the stock market long-term. I think he spends way too much time involved in it, but however, it’s something I think he enjoys, too.
I started thinking, why do we as Amazon Sellers not spend more time, or at least some time, wondering about where Amazon’s going. I thought it might be fun really just to some thoughts out there, some ideas on where do you think Amazon’s going to go, and more importantly, how we can benefit from it as Amazon Sellers.
What I wanted to do today is just break this up and see if we can start out … Maybe just talk about where I think Amazon’s going. Let’s talk about what dealing with suppliers has going, and let’s talk about maybe dealing with where software’s going and what we can do in that regard.
One of the things if you think about Amazon, all Amazon is is an emerging market. Years and years ago I spent some time studying emerging markets, and if you remember back in the hated statistics class in school where you had the Bell Curve and where things started out, and then way up and then way back down, and then out as an industry matured and died.
I still like to believe and think that Amazon is at the very, very beginning of the Bell Curve. Some people think it’s a little bit farther along, and I wholeheartedly disagree. I think it’s just about to start up on the Bell Curve.
Really, what that means is the wild west stage, the very initial stages, the chaotic stage, if you will, before it starts to grow and mature, and then peak and be taken over by something else a few decades from now or other, maybe never.
I think if you look at Amazon and its “chaotic wild west” type of scenario, there are a lot of things that we as Amazon sellers are able to come in and do and stay ahead of this literal stastics-type curve, Bell Curve. I think part of that is because it’s always easier to play offense than defense.
I think in this case, as Amazon continues to mature, I think their algorithms are going to get better to where we’re not going to be able to do promotions, and get reviews, and different things like that to be able to move in your listings as quickly.
I think they’ll factor in. However, I think they will take into account and reward you, as they do now, continue to reward you even more for being a seller who has good pictures and has good copies. Ultimately, all that leads to conversion rates.
I think as weaker sellers start to fall out, you’re going to see the stronger sellers continue to get stronger. There’s a belief I have that’s kind of funny, is that most sellers on Amazon are on the most powerful drug in the world, which is hope-ium.
They’ll go get a product. They’ll get it listed and then just hope everything works. They won’t do very much promotion. They won’t do anything else, even run PPC. They try and get many reviews. They won’t do the things that it takes to get successful.
I think when that eventually changes, a lot of those people will fall out, and those of us who have done things the right way, and have paid the dues, put our time and effort in, and run our business the right way, we’ll only continue to grow and prosper.
I don’t see a lot of fundamental changes coming with Amazon, other than, I think, more and more people are going to continue to buy from Amazon. Over Christmas of 2015, I read a report that Amazon added over three million new Amazon Prime buyers to their company.
Ultimately what it says, one out of every five people in the country, one out of every five adults had access to an Amazon Prime account. If you figure most people are married and live with a family, really what that means is about half of the people in the country, at least I the United States, and I’m sure it’s that way in Europe and other places, but about half of the people here have access to Amazon Prime.
That’s only going to get better. I think really that locks people into buying on Amazon, but more importantly, that means more and more people are going to buy online. The same article said now that one out of every ten purchases is made online. In the next five years, it was predicted that was going to double to two out of every ten. 20% of all sales are going to be made online. More and more of those percentages, I think, are going to be on Amazon.
If we were to put the Swami hat on or have the crystal ball here, I think it’s only going to be … Amazon’s only going to continue to dominate the online marketplace. Ultimately, I think we’re all in the right place at the right time.
From a supplier standpoint, I think it’s easy to realize right now, it’s even more chaotic than it is dealing with Amazon. Every time I take a group of buyers to China and we go to the Canton Fair, you just see the desire to want to be able to sell their products to those of us in the western world, but they’re really not quite sure how to go about it. There’s a little bit of a language issue, a little bit of a technology issue in putting up websites that communicate to us well in the United States.
I’ve already come across several people who are literally trying to bridge that divide by helping them make more western-type websites where we can order products easier, and understand their pricing structures a little bit easier, and break down some of the barriers of things. I think as different languages continue to go through translators and different things, I think it will make it easier to communicate with suppliers. I think probably overall, the biggest change is going to come from how we communicate with our suppliers.
Right now, even Skype has released something a few months ago where if I’m speaking in English, it will in wording, like closed captioning on TV, on the bottom of the screen print out in Chinese what I’m saying. If they’re speaking in Chinese on my screen, it will print out what they’re saying in English.
The first step to being able to have some of these different language barriers go away, I think is really very, very close on the horizon. I think international payments for being able to buy things will become smoother. I think ultimately the process of dealing with these Chinese suppliers is just going to become drop dead easy.
It’s fairly easy now, but it’s going to get significantly easier going forward. I think as China continues to have more and more smaller manufacturers, and I’ve studied a little bit of their economy, and these factories, these abilities to own their companies, is getting easier all the time.
China is communist, and that’s really the government, but they really almost have a capitalist economy, and they’re realizing that where their growth is going to come from in the twenty-first century. They’re empowering all of these people in these small towns to start these factories that are going to make quantities for the sizes and quantities, or products for the sizes and quantities for those of us as Amazon sellers.
I think probably the biggest changes going to come in Amazon is dealing with the suppliers, where it’s just going to be push button easy to be able to do. I think really the last thing that we’re going to see lots of changes in, I think, is going to be software.
When I started private labeling twenty-five years ago, there was no software even, there were no computers, but even as I started as an Amazon seller a few years, there was really no software. The industry was not big enough nor was it mature enough to be able to have software to do things, then you started having some keyword research, then we’ve had some software come out, things like Jungle Scout where you can literally be able to determine how well a product is selling and get some sales estimations on what that is.
They just come out with a product now that will help you actually pick products based on certain filtering that you do and certain criteria. All types of things are coming along those lines. Jungle Scout has just upgraded their products a lot, by the way. If you want to take a look at Jungle Scout, I’ve actually made an arrangement with Jungle Scout to get a discount, so just go to JungleScout.com/Mark, and they’ll tale 10% off your software that you want to order.
I think I’ve got my first cold of the year, so forgive me for coughing. I think the other thing that’s going to happen is that as people continue to have bigger and bigger Amazon-type companies, you’re going to see more software that’s going to help you manage inventory, much like a traditional retail store has a lot of different SKUs and different management things in place. You’re going to see some of those same, whether they’re called point of sale, or POS software type of things translate and come into the Amazon world.
You’re going to have it be easier and easier to maintain, to where so many of these things are going to be smart functions like you maybe will have and think of on your phone, where you’re going to automatically have maybe some automatic ordering, automatic different things.
Really, ultimately, it’s going to come down to your skill in picking markets and products, because the market is not static. It’s constantly dynamic, which means it’s constantly changing. I think the role for us going forward in the long-term on Amazon, for those of us who are left standing, is to be able to spend your time and effort looking at products and being able to build long-term viable brands as opposed to just individual products.
When I talk about this, I guess I could go on and on and on and talk about it, but I just believe the future is bright. I believe those of us who run this like a real business are going to continue to evolve and grow. It’s only going to get easier than what it is right now. Anyway, I just had somebody …
We were talking about stocks and [all of them you might be interested in trying to relate the same type of thing to Amazon. I would encourage you to sit down and run your own things in your own mind on where you think this is going, and then be able to try and adapt that to your business. I won’t cough on you again. Let’s go ahead and end this. It thank you for being here. See you next time.
Mark Scott Adams is a serial entrepreneur who has started, built and sold six businesses. He has sold millions of dollars of physical products on and offline over the last two decades. He is currently a speaker, author and successful Amazon Seller. To take his free amazon sellers training click here. To Get his free product checklist list click here