The era of Amazon brand alarmism is upon us. There has been an explosion of companies — especially former sellers — who now bill themselves as consultants that are actively marketing services to Amazon Vendors.
We’ve seen some very interesting outbound tactics, but the one thing that really caught our eye is the “free analysis” to identify a significant problem with your vendor account that they can now “solve.” We’ve seen these personalized emails arrive in very slick form, some even including a video on YouTube with screen walk-throughs. While some are legitimate, others are simply intended to create fear, uncertainty, self-doubt, and confusion.
All of these emails — from content quality and review ratings to brand gating, price changes, and MAP — are designed to elicit a fear response that maybe you’re not doing something right and they alone have the solution. While some of the issues brought up are valid, this is a marketing tactic that you should look at with healthy skepticism.
Here are 10 PRO TIPS for what you should look out for:
- Watch out for pricing claims and MAP control. These could potentially be illegal.
- Be skeptical of brand gating claims. Amazon is the only entity that can truly gate sellers.
- Services that aren’t legal groups that proclaim to be able to de-list sellers need to be working with a legal group.
- Do your homework on content quality evaluations. Many services that do this don’t discern between 3P and retail listings. Also, consider their grading criteria.
- Beware the “only we have the secret sauce to fix this” because a lot of what can be improved relies on good analysis and “informal logic.” Informal logic has been around formally for a few thousand years.
- Seller Experience doesn’t equate to Vendor Experience. Many groups try to conflate the two because they don’t have experience with the latter.
- Watch out for narrowly focused solutions and offerings. If they just do headline ads then every problem will look like it can be solved by a headline ad. Your business is complex and has constraints that once relieved will reveal new constraints. That’s “Continuous Improvement” which is a very powerful Amazon tool for success.
- Beware of small groups that claim to “do everything,” and if they do check reference customers.
- Beware of companies that aren’t transparent about their team and personal background. The team members should be listed on the group website and you should be able to see a complete Linkedin profile for at least the Principles of the company.
- “Size” the issue brought to your attention in terms of lost or potential revenue. Beware of spending time and resources on something that provides a smaller or high risk and low reward return. You may have other areas of the company that need more attention.
With all that said, there are highly experienced Amazon Navigators who can solve amazingly complex problems for you. Often they are ex-Amazon Managers who have worked for a number of years building brands on Amazon. Ask them for evidence of success and reference customers. They will be happy to provide them.