The product’s here! Our Amazon FBA private label product launch checklist | HonestFew Show #2
Welcome to the HonestFew show, where I show you every detail of launching a physical product on Amazon from scratch.
So come along, let’s go on an adventure. You’re watching a brand start from 0, which is pretty cool right?
Just 2 weeks ago, the product was in China.
I issued shipping instructions to our supplier. He did as I asked, and shipped 300 units to Amazon.com and 1200 units to our location here in Canada.
The 300 units have arrived at Amazon. Here’s a screenshot from Seller Central. If you’re new and you want help navigating the platform, check this out.
When you click on the quantity, it’ll show you the status of the products that are in stock. In our case, they’re “Active” and ready to sell.
And 1200 have arrived at our place in Canada.
A few technical notes about shipping:
– we shipped it by air from our supplier using UPS. DHL would also work and has similar rates.
– because it was air instead of sea, there was no freight forwarder involved. But, I still needed a party to help clear the shipment from China to our location in Canada.
– I got a call from UPS that said something like “You know, UPS is a licensed customs brokerage and we can help you clear it. Do you want to?” I said “yes”, I paid the duty fees ($600), and I now have the product.
When you import anything, there are often 3 costs:
Product cost. The per unit cost. If you want to know more about how to source products, I created a definitive YouTube sourcing guide with templates and examples.
Shipping Cost. Paid to the supplier for the transport of products to you or directly to Amazon.
Duty fees. This amount isn’t known in advance. In my case, 6 10lb boxes for $600. The charges depend on weight, volume, and declared value.
Cool. So the product arrived on May 24th, which was 3 days ago.
We’ve all been there: the product arrives, you’re excited, and now it’s time to roll up your sleeves and sell.
When it comes to e-commerce (Amazon and beyond), here’s the checklist we use. If you’ve got this stuff, you’re good to go. I hope you’ll find it useful.
There are 3 main things to do before an Amazon product launch:
(1) Create digital assets.
(2) Create written assets.
(3) Get initial sales and reviews.
(1) Create digital assets. Photos and video.
Photos: we shot with an iPhone 6S with the Camera+ app and a lightbox, which is made of a roll of white paper (to create a seamless edge at the back), two white foam core walls, and studio lights that emit white light. And then, we eliminate the shadows in the background with Adobe Photoshop. After all, Amazon wants your main product photo to be on white.
Video: We shot a quick 30-second video (in the iPhone 6S’s 4k video) of the product in use (also on white) for future use. Since everything set up already, you might as well grab some video. The video was edited in Adobe Premiere. Regular sellers can’t use video on Amazon, but we’ll use it on our website and when we pitch retail, etc.
(2) Create written assets.
So for Amazon, that means an optimized title that reads like a sentence but still contains relevant keywords from the Google Keyword Planner tool.
Price: create some urgency by setting a price, then slashing it slightly.
Bullets and product description infused with ad copy that appeals to people’s true desires: survival, enjoyment of life, life extension; enjoyment of food and beverages; freedom from fear, pain and danger; sexual companionship; comfortable living conditions; to be superior, winning, keeping up with the Joneses; care and protection of loved ones; social approval.
And backend keywords that, like your title, relate to your product and you find on the Google Keyword Planner tool.
One of HonestFew’s most popular videos is about Amazon listing optimization and I go into a lot more depth there, so check that out if you haven’t already.
(3) Amazon keyword ranking strategy (sales) and social proof (reviews).
You can have the best photos, video, and ad copy and your product STILL won’t sell. You need to get momentum from somewhere so that Amazon’s algorithm notices you and says “this thing seems popular. I should show it further up the page.”
On Amazon, this means…
Get sales. So that your BSR (Best Seller Rank) increases on Amazon, and you appear higher in search results. Most sellers use heavy discounts because it’s not about making a profit per unit at this point: it’s about sparking the fire.
Get reviews. So that regular shoppers, who start seeing your product around see it as a viable option. Along with photos and ad copy, reviews are a strong factor in every customer buying decision.
If you’ve launched and you need help troubleshooting, check out this article.
Thankfully, this is what HonestFew does as a service, so we’ll be using HonestFew.com to get our initial sales and reviews. We’ve also been building an Instagram audience in the background (we passed 1000 followers the other day… thank you, thank you), so that we can also offer the product to that audience at a discount when we launch. We are using Instagress to have our account like and comment on specific content, allowing our audience to grow a little more every day.
Patrick, do I need a website? Social media pages? Facebook ads?
My opinion is no.
If it’s your first launch ever, just focus on Amazon.
Don’t build a brand website or a social media page if it’s not part of your Amazon launch strategy. The idea is to maximize Amazon as a sales channel first, get it right, and then expand to other channels.
That’s it for now. In the next episode, we’ll be launch and actually getting the product in front of customers, and I’m really excited that you’ll be there as well. Leave a like and subscribe if you enjoyed, and I’ll see you in the next one.
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