It’s hard to ignore Amazon. It captures roughly 40% of U.S. e-commerce spending, according to eMarketer
If you aren't selling your products on Amazon, it’s easy for a counterfeit producer to sell something similar — and they might not treat customers as ethically as you would.
Skip Amazon, and you risk hindering sales and hurting your brand. It’s safer to join the 6 million+ retailers on the e-commerce platform.
But that’s not easy, either. Amazon isn't a set-it-and-forget-it channel — it has its own algorithm and its own rules.
It takes its rules very seriously. After all, Amazon is "customer-centric," as founder Jeff Bezos puts it, and and failing to please its customers or abide by its seller policies can get you banned from selling on Amazon forever.
It’s worth hiring an Amazon consultant to make sure that you’re making the most of the channel — instead of cruising for a suspension.
But how do you go about hiring an Amazon seller consultant? And more importantly, how do you even know you need one?
If you don't know the signs to watch out for, don't worry, we've got you covered. We asked a panel of experts why and how you should hire an expert Amazon seller consultant.
- Jimmy Zona, director of e-commerce and digital marketing at Turbie Twist
- Brittany McCormick, an Amazon consultant at Story Box Management
- Rob Schad, an experienced Amazon consultant
Why invest in an expert Amazon consultant?
While investing in a growth marketer can help your Amazon campaign, someone with deep channel expertise can often make a bigger impact.
“The biggest upside [of hiring an expert] is the understanding of Amazon as a platform and how different it is compared to DTC channels,” Schad told MarketerHire. “A lot of stuff that works in DTC does not work for Amazon.”
"A lot of stuff that works in DTC does not work for Amazon."
For example, DTC brands often rely on search engine optimization (SEO) to rank on Google SERPs — but ranking on Amazon SERPs doesn’t work the same way. Instead of amassing backlinks, Amazon sellers need to focus on sales volume, and click-through rates.
When you’re trying to make an impression on Amazon and boost conversion rates, these differences between Google SEO and Amazon optimization can have a considerable impact. Going in underprepared is not an option.
“I think it is important that you’re fully aware of what you’re up against when you’re launching these new products,” said McCormick. “[Amazon is] a lot more competitive than it used to be.”
5 signs you need an Amazon consultant ASAP
There are a few clear signs that your business needs help with its Amazon listings and content. Our experts said to watch out for these signs that you need the help of an Amazon consultant as soon as possible.
1. You haven’t really considered selling on Amazon.
Welcome to the 21st century! Amazon is a key channel for B2C sellers, especially small- and medium-sized businesses (SMBs). In 2020, SMBs sold over 6,500 items per minute on Amazon.
If you’re holding back because you don’t understand how to get started or need advice on funding, an Amazon consultant can help you understand what you’re in for.
“They can give you some realistic expectations that you might not know about going into Amazon — how much it’s going to cost, and things of that nature,” McCormick told MarketerHire.
For most brands, $3,000-$4,000 is enough to cover startup costs, including product creation and Amazon fees.
2. You want to sell on Amazon, but you’re not sure how to start.
If you’ve realized how valuable Amazon is and want to start selling on the platform, it’s crucial to get off to the right start with an Amazon consultant.
“Those individuals are gonna set you up for success,” said McCormick. “They’ll get you ramped up faster than what you could potentially do on your own.”
“They’ll get you ramped up faster than what you could potentially do on your own.”
Zona echoed the sentiment, warning that the time you take to set up campaigns on your own could cost you.
“The sooner you start working with the marketer for Amazon, the better… by the time you’ve learned it, mastered it, and scaled it, you might be too late,” he said. "Every day you wait to hire an Amazon marketer you are giving your competitors a leg up."
3. You started an Amazon store, but you’re struggling to break even.
If you’re struggling to earn back the costs involved in setting up shop on Amazon — think the price of joining the Amazon Brand Registry, or the monthly fee for Fulfillment by Amazon — you might be running into some basic problems.
Listings that don’t match Amazon product guidelines
- Too few reviews (or too few good reviews)
- Product descriptions created without Amazon SEO in mind
That last bullet is big. There are two things Amazon stores struggling to achieve profitability often have in common, according to Schad.
“They’re not writing content that’s maximized for SEO, and they’re not creating images that maximize conversions,” he said. “They’re just following brand guidelines and basically copying and pasting what they have on direct-to-consumer sites.”
Don’t assume you can repurpose content from other marketing channels — or your own website — for your Amazon store.
Amazon is like TikTok: You have to create new assets for the channel.
4. Your Amazon sales have flatlined.
“I would say if you’re at a point where your sales just aren’t moving in the right direction, you’re going to need to hire someone to help you move that along,” McCormick said.
Amazon is such a competitive sales channel competitive that searching for “sneakers” produces over 50,000 results.
Growing a business alongside nearly every other brand in the world is tough. Product sales can flatline due to:
- Niche encroachment
- Supply chain issues
- A rash of less-than-stellar review
An Amazon sales consultant can help your brand find its growth trajectory again.
“If there’s a market fit for [your] brand on Amazon… having an expert there will help you address it and get closer to gaining that market share,” Schad said.
5. You’re killing it on Amazon, but that’s kind of an accident.
If your Amazon store is doing well, but it’s been an ad hoc effort so far, an expert consultant could guide your growth.
An Amazon seller consultant can come in, audit your existing strategy, and create a comprehensive plan that accounts for paid Amazon ads, keyword research, SEO, content, product listing optimization, logistics and more — and fits your budget.
“Typically, SEO content and advertising are going to be your two biggest assets on Amazon,” McCormick said. “Then, generating reviews is important, but that’s going to come organically if you’ve got the correct copy, SEO, and advertising in place.”
“Typically, SEO content and advertising are going to be your two biggest assets on Amazon. ”
5 expert tips on hiring the best Amazon seller consultants
Any old Amazon Prime member can claim to be an Amazon expert, but they can’t accomplish what a channel specialist with years of experience can.
Here are five tips to help you find a high-impact Amazon consultant.
1. Hammer out your brand identity.
Brand marketers can help you establish your position and style guides, but an Amazon consultant translates your brand’s core themes to Amazon’s platform, where you have few customization options.
During onboarding, Zona explains that it’s essential to align with your Amazon consultant on brand identity and set clear expectations.
“If someone’s going to do your entire Amazon page, you want it to be consistent with your website, with the rest of your messaging.”
Even though you can’t change much about how product listings look on Amazon, you can telegraph some aspects of your brand identity in A+ content or your brand store.
2. Set a budget for the role.
Like most hiring decisions, compensation considerations play a big role in the Amazon consultant or marketing agency you choose — especially because there are several different compensation models.
“Some people want a cut of all sales,” Zona said of his own experience hiring Amazon consultants. “Some people want a cut of ad sales. Other options want flat fees. So, I would advise people to really weigh those carefully.”
Make sure Amazon consultant fees won’t cut into your general operations budget.
If you’re just starting and can’t afford the best Amazon consultant’s retainers, consider hiring someone on an hourly basis instead.
3. Look for marketing and operations know-how.
In fact, Schad says your consultant can’t just craft marketing strategies — they need to be “50% marketer and 50% operational manager.”
Proficiency in areas like inventory management and account management lets your Amazon seller consultant make real-time decisions about items to keep in stock, changes to an ongoing pay-per-click (PPC) campaign, and more.
Overall, your Amazon seller consultant must be proficient in:
- Amazon SEO
- Amazon advertising, especially Amazon PPC campaigns
- In-depth platform knowledge
- Operations and logistics (including Amazon FBA)
Read more about the essential Amazon marketer skills here.
4. Look at their track record.
“A lot of companies... don’t have the history that you would want,” said Zona. “I suggest working with people who work for companies you respect.”
“I suggest working with people who work for companies you respect.”
It’s best to hire someone who has a proven track record of producing results on Amazon — and has avoided clients that rely on unethical tactics, like fake reviews.
So during the interview process, get a clear idea of the consultant’s previous experience. Ask what sort of traffic, revenue and conversion rate lift their work has driven, and what tactics they used to achieve those numbers.
5. Ask about keyword research.
Amazon consultants aren’t cheap, so to get the most bang for your buck, look for one who knows your niche well — or is willing to do a deep dive into the data.
“There are a lot of people who do outstanding research and can find those little niches that are easy wins… instead of just going after the more expensive, general keywords,” Zona said.
“There are a lot of people who do outstanding research and can find those little niches that are easy wins.”
If you’re a new sneaker company, you’re probably not going to rise to the top of Amazon’s “sneaker” SERP, but you might be able to rise to the top of the “retro shoes” one — which has about 10% the competition.
So before you hire an Amazon consultant, ask them about their keyword research process, and any past experience growing revenue in a competitive Amazon niche.
How to take your Amazon revenues from zero to hero
Investing the time and effort to find an excellent Amazon consultant can pay off big time.
For example, Amazon marketer Kyle Goguen helped a clothing manufacturer to launch their business and generate $85,000 in monthly revenue in less than a year.
But finding the wrong consultant can result in myriad issues, and at worst, a lifetime Amazon ban.
If you don’t have time to handle the recruiting yourself, find pre-vetted Amazon consultants on MarketerHire’s freelance talent platform. We only accepts the top 5% of marketing talent — try us today.