After three successful years, we’re back in Manchester on Thursday 23rd May 2019 for our annual conference in collaboration with Online Seller UK. This year we’re focusing solely on Amazon, the tech-giant that eCommerce businesses and online sellers simply cannot afford to ignore. We’ll be discussing everything from pricing strategies, PPC and private label brand protection to social selling and how to scale your business. The event will be a great opportunity to learn valuable insights, share tips and mingle with some of the industry’s key players.

In the run up to AmafestUK we’ll be sharing interviews with each of our keynote speakers. To jump to a specific speaker, click one of the links below!

Beth Blake

Jerome De Guigne

Danny MacMillan

Nadine Schopper

Paulina Masson

Jana Krekic


Beth Blake – Social Selling for Amazon Sellers in 2020

1) What can people expect to take away from your talk at Amafest 2019?

We’ll discuss how to develop a social media presence that compliments a marketplace’s strategy and speaks to the customer at each stage of their buying journey. Selling on Amazon makes it more difficult to show your brand’s personality at the point of sale – but that shouldn’t have to mean that you compromise your ability to engage with your customers and deliver great customer service.

2) Can you tell us a little bit about your background? What experience do you have working with Amazon?

I’ve worked both in-house and agency side as a marketer in the eCommerce sector, most recently with SocialB, an International digital and social media marketing agency. I work with quite a few eCommerce brands, many of which sell on Amazon, so I have experience in tailoring social media and online marketing strategies to compliment different marketplaces.

3) Do you think Amazon is a threat to traditional brick and mortar retail?

I don’t think anyone can argue that it hasn’t changed the playing field for retailers. It’s certainly shaken up the way we all shop. The limitations we have in the UK on store opening times make it very difficult for brick and mortar shops to compete with the 24/7 convenience that Amazon offers, besides the fact that it can be difficult to match Amazon prices when you have store overheads.

However, if you consider this shift in shopping behaviour at an individual brand level (rather than the sector as a whole), it’s perhaps more of a challenge than a threat? Yes, Amazon make it more difficult to survive in this sector, but it’s also easier than ever for a new brand to enter the market. There’s nothing stopping any of us from setting up online or indeed from using Amazon to their advantage.

4) What are the main benefits of selling products on Amazon as opposed to other platforms such as eBay?

I would say the main benefit is being able to stock control easier – so if you have a few main products with lots to sell, you can do so on Amazon easily. Also, the reviews system encourages each user to review your product, taking some of the hard work away from you having to chase for it.

5) What’s your top tip for Amazon listing optimisation?

Include as much information as you can about your products on your product pages! It sounds obvious, but not only does this improve conversion rates, it’s also an opportunity to inject a bit of your brand personality into the copy – opportunities to showcase your brand values are limited on Amazon. Aside from this… encourage people to leave reviews of your brand and your products on your social media profiles as well as on Amazon. This is because as well as checking Amazon reviews, 75% of people consult social media before buying online.


Jérôme de Guigné – Panel Discussion: Challenges and Opportunities for Amazon Vendors

1) What can people expect to take away from your talk at Amafest 2019?

They will get a good understanding of the opportunities of becoming a vendor, the benefits and challenges this go-to-market option holds

2) Can you tell us a little bit about your background? What experience do you have working with Amazon?

I was head of Europe for a Chinese brand in Europe, and was in charge of growing the brand and managing the distribution for 10 years. Since 2013 I have been helping brands grow quicker on Amazon globally. We help brands with their strategy for Amazon, to open up their accounts (vendor or seller), we list and optimize their products, handle their accounts, and drive their advertising in Europe, North America and Japan.

3) What’s your top tip for someone who’s thinking about selling on Amazon?

Make sure you have a clear strategy before starting, adapt to the Amazon system, and be agile as much as possible.

4) Do you think Amazon is a threat to traditional brick and mortar retail?

It is a threat because they offer an incredible customer experience. It’s also an opportunity to push them to be creative and fight back.

5) What are the main benefits of selling products on Amazon as opposed to other platforms such as eBay?

Amazon gives us all the tools to drive the sales, so you can drive your sales. The traffic is there, you need to send it over to your products and monitor closely your conversion rate.

6) What’s your top tip for Amazon listing optimisation?

Tip for starters: make sure you have understood the different options, your plan, and what you have to do, get organized. Tip for experienced sellers: check in details your conversion rates, and if your results are not as expected, change and test new things.


Danny MacMillan – Looking at PPC Through a Different Lens

1) What can people expect to take away from your talk at Amafest 2019?

I’m going to be talking a lot about PPC, but not the obvious stuff that most people talk like campaign structure and best practices. As an agency we work with a tremendous amount of data and I want to share some of our experiences that people can put into practice and understand what they would not normally find by working within the confines of a software platform or inside their seller central account in the campaign manager.

2) Can you tell us a little bit about your background? What experience do you have working with Amazon?

I’ve been online since 2008, I was originally from the music industry. Obviously the internet ate the music industry, so I embraced the internet. I started back in 2008, I developed my skills over time with PPC, conversion optimisation, running start ups, that kind of thing. Then in 2015 I decided I want to reverse engineer a marketplace platform. Funnily enough I started with eBay and thought ‘I’ll give it a go I already do commerce so i understand through working with ticketing and dealing with constant tickets doing PPC and SEO etc’. I thought I’d try a marketplace because the traffic is already sent to the marketplace, all you need to do is create visibility on the marketplace and place your product there.

I started with eBay and didn’t really know what I was doing. I was taking pictures in my back garden because of the sun light. I just sold loads of junk around the house to get going and get a feel of things. Then I walked to the end of my road and realised my post office had closed two years ago. I don’t drive so I thought to myself ‘what can i do now I’ll have to catch the bus to the post office everyday’ and it just wouldn’t be scalable. So I went back home and went on the eBay forum, it was 31st March 2015 and I discovered Amazon FBA. That’s when the light bulb came on because I realised I didn’t need to worry about the logistics point of view. With FBA you can ship all your stock to Amazon and they will take care of it from there. So that was a game changer.

In terms of my experience working with Amazon now, obviously I sell on Amazon UK and US. I work with 6 and 7 figure sellers, we also have the agency datagroup – we work with large companies with lots of SKUs dealing with the complexities there about algorithms. I also get the chance to speak around the world at different conferences. I also have a podcast called Seller Sessions, we publish three times a week and it’s the largest podcast for Amazon sellers.

3) What’s your top tip for someone who’s thinking about selling on Amazon?

Amazon is a real business so you need to park and put aside the idea of financial freedom and being able to work from the beach. In reality it’s none of those. The gold rush days, if there were any on Amazon, are gone. You need capital to operate on Amazon, you have to treat it like running a proper business. So if you’re serious about building a commerce business then Amazon is a great way to do it because you already have traffic on the platform. As long as you adhere to the confines of the platform and choose good products then its really down to the finances and marketing smarts to make things work. You need to do your research and understand your products very well. So my top tip is to think about Amazon as a serious business, not a passive income or a cheap way of selling things. If you want to sell bits and pieces from around the house start on eBay. If you’re looking to sell products you’ve developed yourself you’re going to need capital to get going.

4) Do you think Amazon is a threat to traditional brick and mortar retail?

Yeah of course, Amazon are eating them and taking them out for lunch at the same time. People like Mike Ashley are trying to do this whole thing about taxation on the internet. There’s a lot of stories in and around it . He’s trying to save the high street that’s his whole thing. He believes the internet should be taxed for that to help the high street. In my opinion he’s feathering his own cat. He says that once you reach the greater part of your business on the Internet then tax should kick in. He will be happy to not sell on the internet. By looking at the historic investments he’s done, you can tell he’s ‘Mr Save-the-highstreet’. If he had to sell less than 20% of his business on the Internet then I’m sure his opinion would differ. But what he’s happy to do is get taxation on the internet so their prices aren’t as competitive and they are on the same level as the high street. I get his game and it’s very clever, but I definitely think Amazon is eating the high street and the high street hasn’t done itself any favours. When I worked in the music industry people were trying to save it but the old industry eventually turned into a new industry. Things have to go through a process of progression and regression until it gets to a new part. If it doesn’t it basically dies.

5) What are the main benefits of selling products on Amazon as opposed to other platforms such as eBay?

In 99% of cases Amazon is a much larger platform. A lot of eBay sellers are happy because that’s what they do and they’re very focused on that. But if you ask people who sell on Amazon as well as eBay as a second platform, their eBay sales will make up between 3 and 15% of their sales. eBay doesn’t compare to what Amazon does. Obviously there are certain products that sell better on eBay. I’m talking about private labellers who sell on amazon who look to use a second channel such as eBay.

6) In 2016 the amount of sellers using Fulfillment by Amazon rose by more than 70% but what’s your opinion on FBA, do you think it’s worthwhile?

Yes I think it’s worthwhile. Most people think it’s expensive but it depends how your business is set up. If you’re trying to want to run a warehouse and have staff overheads and stuff like that. If you want to be able to add the dynamics of ordering products from china or your supplier and sending that in to amazon then thats a great business to get started. It reduces your overheads and makes it easier for new people to start building business without having them hanging round their necks on a monthly basis. There’s a lot of demands to be met there. Definitely think it’s great if you want a flexible business to reduce your overheads. There’s also the combination of time inventories. In some cases amazon FBA may be a bit more expensive but you can get a 3PL to keep your stock at a lower price and then send in on sales velocity.

7) What’s your top tip for Amazon listing optimisation?

There are hundreds of tips if you put a checklist together. The failing that most people make is lack of relevance they chase search terms based on search volume from tools that do not produce real search volume. The only way you can get an understanding of the search volume is by running PPC campaigns. As long as them keywords are relevant to your category and your product then you may find that in some cases these will not run and you’ll get no impressions on that search term. So the top end of this is that you need to do your research and find search times that are the most relevant to your product and category. Once you start there the rest of it you can pick up quite easy. I definitely think as we move into 2019 focus should always be on relevancy first and then build back from there.


Nadine Schopper – BidX: Fully Automate Your Amazon Advertising

1) What can people expect to take away from your talk at Amafest 2019?

Since we developed a software for automated PPC management on Amazon, I will talk about the possibilities of an automated ad control with BidX and the advantages the sellers or vendors get by working with us. Additionally, we will give some recommendations about campaign structures and optimisations.

2) Can you tell us a little bit about your background? What experience do you have working with Amazon?

4 years ago, my co-founder Max started selling on Amazon. He noticed the enormous effort of bid and keyword management in the context of Sponsored Product Ads (SPAs), especially if you want to do it correctly. We were wondering why there is no automated solution for this task. That was the beginning of BidX. Max and me started to develop the software based on his experiences as an Amazon seller and my background in IT, so that we could directly target the needs of Amazon sellers and vendors.

3) What’s your top tip for someone who’s thinking about selling on Amazon?

Amazon is the world’s largest internet retailer. Due to the variety of sellers, SPAs are one of the most important possibilities to increase visibility and customer awareness. A correct and permanent Ad management is the key to save time and to optimise the ads.

Besides the optimisation of ad campaigns, I would recommend to find a product that has USPs compared to competitors. Since there are already a lot of sellers, it’s getting more and more important to have really good and high-quality product and of course a good listing – which is always the foundation for good performing advertisements.

4) Do you think Amazon is a threat to traditional brick and mortar retail?

The Internet has changed customer behaviour. Many customers buy online to save time. Nevertheless, there are some customers for whom personal advice is very important and who prefer to buy in a stationary shop. I do not think Amazon is a threat to brick and mortar retail. It’s rather a possibility for stationary shops to get additional traffic to millions of potential customers. If they are not afraid of selling online, the new distribution channel offers great opportunities.

5) What are the main benefits of selling products on Amazon as opposed to other platforms such as eBay?

Nearly half of all product searches (46,7%) in the US start already on Amazon, according to a survey made by Adeptmind in May 2018. This trend is also observable on the EU marketplaces, especially in the UK and Germany. This shows the enormous impact and relevance of Amazon compared to other platforms.

6) In 2016 the amount of sellers using Fulfillment by Amazon rose by more than 70% but what’s your opinion on FBA, do you think its worthwhile?

Definitely. Especially for smaller companies that do not have storage or personnel capacities Amazon offers a great added value.

7) What’s your top tip for Amazon listing optimisation?

It is important to make sure that all Amazon SEO basics are taken into account. This includes 5 professional photos including use cases, 80-200 character title and 1.000 characters for the 5 bullet points. Additional are free shipping or Prime, vouchers and enhanced brand content. As Amazon uses more and more metadata, make sure to fill all the backend keywords (249 bytes) and filter.


Paulina Masson – Amazon Product Pricing Strategies

1) What can people expect to take away from your talk at Amafest 2019?

I’m going to talk about a very important topic for Amazon sellers – Pricing Strategies. You will learn whether you should use .99 at the end of your prices, the psychological effects of choosing particular digits in your prices and other pricing related tips. All of my tips will be demonstrated using screenshots of Amazon product examples and Seller Central walkthroughs.

2) Can you tell us a little bit about your background? What experience do you have working with Amazon?

I started selling on Amazon over two years ago, created my own private label line of products in the Apparel category, and today I am still a successful seller with an active Amazon business today. I am also the founder of Shopkeeper, which is an accounting app for Amazon sellers; so I have a lot of knowledge about all types of fees, taxes, ROI and everything to do with numbers.

3) What’s your top tip for someone who’s thinking about selling on Amazon?

People often say that ‘you need to do your research first’. But I would say don’t get stuck on it for too long. So many people get overwhelmed by the product research stage that they never actually start their Amazon FBA business. Time is ticking. Amazon FBA will not be a goldmine forever. Maybe this year, and maybe the next. But after that many doors will be closed.

I’d say the most important steps are:

1. Start fast. Start today. Don’t worry about what product you choose. Choose any random thing that comes to mind and order 20 units from Aliexpress.

2. Get used to Seller Central. While you wait for your products to arrive, open your Amazon Seller account, get approved/ungated in the categories you intend to sell in, create your listing with bullet points and a description, do some keyword research and find some product images to use before you can upgrade them to your own.

3. Promote your product. When it arrives, label it yourself and print the shipping labels, then send it to the FBA warehouse. That way you will have first hand experience on how things work. Next create some Sponsored Ads campaigns, maybe reach out to a few bloggers. Research how to rank your product and outbid the competition.

After around a month you’ll know how things work, so you’ll start to get a feel of whether your product choice was a good one. You can repeat the steps to find a category you will want to stick with. Then start reaching out to Alibaba suppliers etc.

To sum up, don’t do research until you’re stuck and dead. Order some products today, right now. You will be miles ahead of many other sellers who are just getting started.

4) Do you think Amazon is a threat to traditional brick and mortar retail?

Yes it is. Just the fact that this question made it to this interview proves that it is becoming more and more apparent.

5) What are the main benefits of selling products on Amazon as opposed to other platforms such as eBay?

If you look at Google Trends for eBay vs Amazon, you’ll notice that in 2014 eBay started going downwards while Amazon had a gold rush. Now, eBay is so small compared to Amazon, that it’s really not even worth selling there in most cases. Especially if you are only a beginner.

6) In 2016 the amount of sellers using FBA rose by more than 70% but what’s your opinion on FBA, do you think it is worthwhile?

Generally yes, you want to use a third party fulfillment service rather than wasting your time and money on doing it all yourself. These days there are many other alternative fulfillment options, with FBA being the most expensive. Still, I would recommend continuing to use FBA to maximise the benefits of Prime.

7) What’s your top tip for Amazon listing optimisation?

I often add text on my images (apart from the main one of course) to explain what the picture is about. For example, ‘will easily fit under the hanging clothes in your closet’ or ‘shines like a diamond’. Most buyers don’t even read descriptions or bullet points, but 100% of buyers look at the images. Having text on them will get your point across to all potential buyers, therefore vastly increasing your conversion rates.


Jana Krekic – Proven Strategies to Boost Your Sales on Non-English Markets

1) What can people expect to take away from your talk at Amafest 2019?

I’ll be talking about the issues we’ve come across after working with a variety of sellers. We work with both beginner and advanced sellers, so the tips will be helpful for everyone. There will be lots of advice to take away, regardless of whether you are selling on a couple of markets or haven’t started selling yet.

2) Can you tell us a little bit about your background? What experience do you have working with Amazon?

With 9 years of experience working in the online language industry, I’ve done everything from foreign language business training to multi-language eCommerce. Having trained translators to cross-over and work and think as marketers, I’m now enjoying developing that area to its full potential at YLT.

3) What’s your top tip for someone who’s thinking about selling on Amazon?

Do a lot of research! You should choose your market and product wisely. If you do your PPC campaigns and customer service the right way, you have nothing to worry about. You should always prioritise quality over quantity.

4) Do you think Amazon is a threat to traditional brick and mortar retail?

It might be, but you don’t have to consider it as a threat to your business. Online shopping has increased heavily in the past couple of years and so has the number of eCommerce sellers on online platforms. It’s always a good idea for you to have various channels of sale. I wouldn’t see Amazon as a threat if i run a different type of business, I would just see it as an additional channel for expansion of my sales business.

5) What are the main benefits of selling products on Amazon as opposed to other platforms such as eBay?

Both platforms are successful in different ways. I would say that there are a lot more buyers on Amazon. Also, it has an excellent customer support and FBA warehouses working without any problems. Whilst eBay has lower fees for sellers, Amazon has the biggest growth potential in the world. So I would say that the results are pretty tied, but I would give the advantage to Amazon for its massive growth and the popularity it has gained.

6) In 2016 the amount of sellers using Fulfillment by Amazon rose by more than 70% but what’s your opinion on FBA, do you think it’s worthwhile?

Definitely. It makes it easier for you to expand in Europe and to sell on various markets, because it can all be shipped from the same warehouse. Since Amazon is charging fees for this service, when using FBA service, your products will be ranked better in organic search.

7) What’s your top tip for Amazon listing optimisation?

I would like to mention 3 top tips which I like to recommend:
1. Do A/B testing – there are various ways you can check how your e.g. title is performing – before and after you made changes.
2. Do proper keyword research, use converting search terms – we love to use Helium 10 to get some good results when doing listing optimization and translations.
3. Pay attention to the search term report, it can show you a lot valuable things.

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