How a company started in a college dorm turned into a 7-figure business.
For a business like FRESHeTECH, which created the first bluetooth shower speaker, going retail wasn’t an option due to cash flow constraints. Instead, the college company started by three friends in a dorm room tapped into ecommerce and Amazon and made a major profit. The business now does seven figures in yearly sales with and employs 12 people. If you have a product-focused business and want to start selling online, utilize the following these four tactics like FRESHeTECH did to get started:
1. Understand your audience
Before starting to sell any product, it is crucial to understand who will be buying that product. Answering this question will help you know what sales channels you should utilize and the type of advertisements you should be running. As an example, for a trendy accessories brand like Cork Supply, targeting fashion-forward millennials may be a great first approach. After testing audiences, though, the company may find that an unexpected demographic has a higher conversion rate. When understanding what audiences to sell in, testing and retesting will be a major factor to success.
2. Conduct a keyword ranking analysis
Whether you plan to sell your products through Google or Amazon, finding the right keywords to rank for is a crucial first step. Keywords refer to the actual search terms someone plugs into Google in order to find your product. As an example, when FRESHeTECH launched their flagship product the Splash Tunes Pro, they aimed to rank for keywords like "shower speaker."
If you have a product and want to figure out what keywords you should rank for, using Google’s Keyword Planner is a great starting point. Using this free tool, you can understand the competitiveness of each keyword and how many people are actually searching for this term every month.
3. Create an Amazon sales strategy
One of the best reasons to start selling on Amazon is that Amazon ranks their search results based on what products the searcher is most likely to buy. By contrast, Google ranks search results off of what answers best address the searcher’s query. This stems from the fact that Amazon makes money when their merchants sell goods.
Your product’s ranking on Amazon is tied to a few core components like conversion rate, relevancy and customer satisfaction. Conversion rate focuses on a number of people who buy your product divided by the number of people who actually see it. Relevancy refers to the actual way your product is described in comparison to the search term. Customer satisfaction is the actual reviews left on your product by previous customers. To rank your product on Amazon, all three of these components will be crucial.
4. Develop scalable partnerships
Partnerships can enable small businesses to scale fast. If you ink a deal with a major player in your industry, chances are you’re going to be selling a lot faster than you would be without the partnership. When thinking about what partnerships to pursue, consider the direct sales channels that would enable you to get access to the most customers.
This often means partnering with other websites in your industry. For example, FRESHeTECH partnered with Android Headlines and Cult of Mac to offer a limited time deal for the readers of those media outlets. Though their speakers sold at a discounted price to these people, the sales volume made up for the lost margin.
With more and more products being sold online, it’s important to use every sales channel available to you. If you have a product you want to start selling online, first understand your audience, then research keywords. Next, create an Amazon sales strategy and, finally, develop scalable partnerships.
Originally posted March 29, 2017 on Entrepreneur.com