Selling on Amazon takes a lot of work. There’s inventory to manage, product listings to optimize, rankings to worry about, and on top of all that, you need to make sure your customers know how to traverse the crowded e-commerce space to find your products in the first place. It’s no wonder many top brands turn over these tedious and time-consuming tasks to an Amazon consultant.
In this blog post, we’ll identify what an Amazon consultant is, what services they need to offer to help brands get results, and how you can find the right Amazon consulting services for you.
What is an Amazon Consultant?
An Amazon consultant provides expert advice for selling on the Amazon marketplace. Amazon consultants have extensive knowledge and experience selling on this platform and offer education, tools, and support to help brands with everything from supply chain and inventory management to listing optimization and data analysis.
An Amazon consulting agency has an entire team of experts with specialized areas of expertise who can help make selling on Amazon easier, often at a lower cost than hiring the same personnel in house.
Who Might Hire an Amazon Consultant?
Anyone selling on Amazon can hire an Amazon consultant, especially one who offers a variety of services. While you can hire consultants that specialize in a single area, such as an Amazon SEO consultant or an Amazon FBA consultant, an ideal Amazon consultant should understand and be able to assist with any of your Amazon seller or vendor needs.
If you’re new to selling on Amazon, you could absolutely hire an Amazon consultant right away and save yourself a lot of stress and headaches. Established sellers can also benefit immensely from what an Amazon agency has to offer, as selling on Amazon is simple enough to start but difficult to master. Here are a few types of sellers who should consider hiring an Amazon consultant:
- Private Labelers
- Established retailers
- Wholesalers / Manufacturers
Notice this list includes both Seller Central accounts and Vendor Central accounts. Just because your brand wholesales to Amazon Retail (also known as first party or 1P) doesn’t mean you can’t take advantage of what an Amazon Agency has to offer. And, as we discussed in How to Switch from Amazon Vendor Central to Seller Central, hiring an Amazon consulting agency is a critical step if you’ve decided to make the transition from Vendor Central to Seller Central.
Best Amazon Consultants: What to Look For
Amazon consulting experts all swear they are the best in the business, so how do you determine which Amazon consultants are actually the best fit for your brand? Let’s break down the following qualities you should look for when hiring an Amazon consultant:
Hands-on Experience selling on Amazon
While experience isn’t a service, an Amazon consultant with first-hand experience selling on Amazon is a huge bonus because they have already struggled with and solved many of the challenges you’re facing. Experience also goes hand-in-hand with data; the longer they’ve been active, the more data they have for trend analysis and forecasting.
Knowledge of Effective Strategies for the Marketplace
Experience and knowledge are two sides of the same coin, and an Amazon consultant who has both is incredibly valuable. Knowledge is often based on experience, but it can also be gained through testing different strategies and analyzing the results.
The best Amazon consultants know which strategies are effective for both short- and long-term success. They also adhere strictly to white hat strategies, knowing that shady practices will only hurt your brand’s sales and reputation in the long run.
Tools to Collect and Analyze Data
The best Amazon consultants also have the tools to help solve your brand’s specific pain points and opportunities. These consultants don’t make assumptions or guess: They use tools and software to A/B test different strategies, analyze the data, and make informed, fact-based decisions.
The best tools create simplicity, translating raw data into actionable insights. There are “set it and forget it” tools, but if you’re seeking an Amazon consultant instead of self-service software, then you already know that a tool is only as good as the person using it. A human touch is still required to validate and implement those insights. Hiring an Amazon agency not only gives you access to the right tools, it gives you experienced masters to wield them.
Understands Your Brand, Your Vision, and Your Customers
The best Amazon consultants take time to understand key aspects of your brand – i.e., eco-friendly, vegan, or made in the USA – as well as your brand’s vision for how your products benefit your target customers. They can help you craft unique Amazon advertising campaigns based on different customer personas and develop a stronger, clearer brand voice across multiple platforms.
Beware of anyone offering a ‘one-size-fits-all’ solution to their partners. The best Amazon consultants will create a customized plan that fits your brand, your vision, your customer, and – importantly – your budget.
Adaptability Based on Proven Track Record
The rules and regulations of the Amazon marketplace are constantly changing, and what worked a few years ago might not work today. Even without Amazon’s penchant for last-minute changes, the last few years have shown us brands must be adaptable to unexpected changes in buying behaviors, supply chain logistics, and inventory management to maintain stability while selling on Amazon.
The best Amazon consulting agencies demonstrate a proven ability to quickly respond to and pivot with unexpected changes.
Communication is Quick, Confident, and Frequent
You are your Amazon consultant’s customer, so great Amazon agencies exemplify good customer service by being responsive and answering your questions quickly and thoroughly. They should be confident in the information they give you, and if they don’t have the precise answer you’re looking for, they should have the network and resources to point you in the direction of someone who does.
Excellent Amazon consultants also keep their customers in the loop with broader industry trends. Through emails and blog posts, they discuss industry news, updates and changes to Amazon’s rules and regulations, and how current events may impact sellers on Amazon. These relevant and frequent communications help brands stay ahead of the curve and can make a huge difference in competitive markets.
Must-Have Amazon Seller Consulting Services
Most Amazon consulting agencies will have the qualities listed above to one degree or another. To help you drill down on whether an Amazon consultant is worth the cost, here’s a list the non-negotiable services your Amazon Seller consulting agency must have:
- Organic marketing – Whether or not you invest in paid marketing campaigns, organic marketing is still an essential component of any brand strategy. Amazon consultants can help create drive organic traffic and conversions with high-quality imagery and videos and listing optimizations.
- Paid marketing – Amazon has several options for paid marketing, including Sponsored Display ads, coupons, custom product deals, and Amazon DSP. Your Amazon seller consultant must be able to identify which strategies will work best for your brand and create a customized approach based on your goals and budget.
- Inventory management – A truly excellent Amazon consultant should be able to help with everything from ordering and inventory forecasting to storage and supply chain logistics. Amazon consulting agencies can also help you navigate various FBA, FBM, and third-party fulfillment options to choose the strategy that works best for your unique needs.
- Brand protection – Protecting your product and reputation is not something most brands think of right away, but it is an absolute must-have when shopping for an Amazon consultant. They can help put a stop to unauthorized sellers, negotiate
- Reporting – Amazon consultants have access to the latest Amazon reporting software and can give you specific insights into who is clicking on what links and where they came from. You can use this data to create targeted advertising campaigns with better than average conversion rates, usually at a more efficient ad spend than you’d get from general campaigns.
While it is possible to find individual Amazon consultants or agencies for each of these must-have services, it really is much easier and more cost-effective to work with a single agency. This gives you a more cohesive strategy and makes it easier to test different campaigns with the same variables.
Reasons to Hire an Amazon Consultant
By now you have a clear idea of what an Amazon consultant does and what to look for. If you’re still not sure if your brand could benefit from working with an agency, here are the most common reasons to hire an Amazon consultant:
- Get on track to hit goals
- Develop more efficient workflows
- Manage finances
- Avoid common mistakes
- Help with suspension appeals
- Expand to international markets
- Optimize product listings
- Test and improve ad campaigns
- Refine product catalog
- Connect with customers
- Stay current on the latest regulations and trends
Even if you’re still not ready or concerned about cost (more on that in a moment), the benefits of identifying some of these pain points can help focus your resources when it comes time to take the plunge.
Questions your Amazon Consultant Should Ask
An Amazon consultant partners with you to help grow your business. Like any good partnership, your consultant should take the time to get to know you and your business so they can put together a customized and effective plan. Be prepared to answer all of the following questions:
- Who is your target audience?
- What are your goals?
- What are your challenges?
- What Amazon experience do you already have? (SEO, copywriting, PPC, FBA)
- What are your top sellers?
- What would you like to promote?
- What is your budget?
Again, even if you don’t end up working with a consultant or agency right now, answering these questions helps prepare your brand to find the right partner in the future.
How to Choose the Right Amazon Consultant for Your Brand
You’re ready to work with a consultant and you know exactly what to look for. Here is your final checklist to help you find the right match:
- Identify your brand’s unique pain points
- Talk to different agencies
- Look for a team of excellent communicators and problem solvers
- Evaluate knowledge, tools, and expertise
- Go with who you feel most comfortable with
The final step is often the most overlooked, and it’s one of the most important. This is a partnership, and ultimately, you’ll want to work with the agency you feel most comfortable with.
How Much Does an Amazon Consultant Cost?
The cost of an Amazon consultant varies depending on which services you require. While agencies can find creative ways to work with almost any sized budget, a top-quality Amazon agency is always worth the extra investment.
The math is actually quite simple: Does the Amazon agency generate a large enough increase in revenue that they pay for themselves (and more)? If an Amazon agency costs you $5,000/month, but revenue increases only $3,000/month, you’re losing money.
Working with an experienced Amazon consultant can take many of the most time-consuming e-commerce activities off your plate while diverting precious ad dollars to the most effective campaigns. Not only can it increase your overall sales, it also frees up precious time and resources to devote to other areas of your business.
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