Bryan Porter, the co-founder, and chief eCommerce officer of Simple Modern, went against the current and set its company's Amazon advertising budget to zero.
Even with a zero-dollar advertising budget on Amazon, Simple Modern is still on track with its stream of organic and loyal, repeating shoppers to its Buy Box. Apparently, it's not that complicated.
Amazon advertising has yielded billions of dollars in recent years. According to Business Insider, it stands as the third-largest digital advertising company, with a staggering $31 billion in revenue in 2021.
Amazon PPC advertising's business model works like this: search engine page results (SERP) have ad spaces bought in an auction-style bidding system. The advertiser with the highest bid gets the best spot, but higher bids can be declared later. Unfortunately, this scheme hurts small businesses with the rising advertising costs when competitiveness in Amazon is more achievable through PPC.
And this is where Porter explains why Simple Modern now has a zero advertising budget on Amazon. Instead, with an established brand reputation, catalog of quality products, solid reviews, and an organic following, Simple Modern seeks to revolutionize how Amazon selling works by steering its wheels away from PPC and focusing more on brand building.
With over 200 million unique online visitors, Amazon is an online retail giant. It has always prided itself to be the most customer-centric online shopping website. But that comes with the responsibility of providing a safe and secure shopping experience for everyone.
This year, Amazon has taken another step to ensure review credibility in its shopping platform by filing lawsuits against Rebatest and AppSally, two fake-review brokers. They run a scheme of sending empty parcels to customers, making them eligible for a commissioned review.
Consequently, product listings found on both websites were removed by Amazon. Some affected members of Amazon Sellers Group (ASGTG) said that they were victims of their competitors who framed them into appearing on those websites.
There is a reason why reviews are highly sought after by sellers. Approximately 79% of customers base whether or not they will purchase a product on the reviews and ratings. This is where Amazon needs to step in — by securing the legitimacy of these claims. Its fleet of 10,000 employees working against fraud and abuse has to step up and realize a fair system for its third-party sellers.
Third-party seller Ting Hong Yeung admitted that he created multiple seller accounts on Amazon to run his well-thought-out and seemingly effective scam. He'd go about it by listing high ticket items that never shipped to his customers. He accumulated up to $1.3 million by doing this, which he then used to buy gold and silver bars.
Schemes dating back to 2013: Yeung would list high-cost furniture and home decor items at significantly lower prices than what other sellers offer and find a way for Amazon to pay for his customers' refund requests. Yeung, however, didn't even have the items he claimed to sell.
After a customer placed an order, Amazon would hold the funds in Yeung's seller account for two weeks. He'd then enter a phony tracking number which allowed the payment to be processed.
Once the customer realized that the order was not arriving, they'd ask for a refund, prompting Amazon for the request. Coincidently, there were no funds available to be refunded from Yeung's account, so Amazon covered it in line with their A-Z Amazon guarantee.
Other tactics: Along with Yeung's sketchy bait and switch scheme, he would also scam sellers by purchasing items from their storefront, only to return them with a different and cheaper item, claiming that they were not what he expected.
This isn't Amazon's first rodeo when dealing with fraudulent activity on its platform. Still, as Amazon actions extra measures to manage suspicious activity, it shows that sellers at every level should still be wary and alert when selling on Amazon.
If you're wondering about trending products right now, here are a couple of ideas from JungleScout on what to sell for the quarter.
Sundresses: Summer and spring are just around the corner, and people are getting excited. Even if this domain is competitive, the demand is also pretty high, so you might want to take advantage of this opportunity!
Bathing suits and beach accessories: Q2 is the perfect time to get beach-ready, and this goes both for men's and women's swimwear. If you're not keen on selling apparel, you can always choose from other beach accessories such as towels, bags, tanning lotions, and beach toys!
Travel accessories: Aside from going to the beach, traveling has also followed an upward trend. Expect a spike in demand for travel accessories such as bag organizers, luggage, and portable items!
Make sure to get your listings and inventory before May 30, 2022!