How they launched their ecommerce business on Amazon.com
Debbie spent decades as a news reporter, including spending time in New York City as a copy editor putting out breaking news, headlines and stories from around the world. After moving back to Singapore, and fueled by a desire to be in more control of her own time, she decided to launch an ecommerce business on Amazon.
“Telling people about news and selling products are actually on opposite ends of objectivity and subjectivity, which was challenging for me. But one of the things I learned as an editor was to be very concise with my words, and transferring that to my Amazon listings to explain the benefits of my products has been very helpful.”
Today, she is the proud founder of Rui Smiths
, whose brand mission is to make a meaningful contribution to society through products that make our lives easier.
Telling people about news and selling products are actually on opposite ends of objectivity and subjectivity, which was challenging for me. But one of the things I learned as an editor was to be very concise with my words, and transferring that to my Amazon listings to explain the benefits of my products has been very helpful.
Ivan was always fueled by an entrepreneurial spirit, even while he was studying in university.
“Growing up, being young, all I wanted was to make more money. My family wasn’t very well off, so I tried many different ways to try and earn a source of income, including multilevel marketing, reselling handphones, investments, trading… many of which failed.”
Despite his unconventional path and many ups and downs, Ivan never gave up, and his desire to succeed financially gradually transitioned into wanting to build something that has longer-term value. That eventually led to the launch of his ecommerce business and brand, KeaBabies
, co-founded with his wife, and built on the promise that KeaBabies will be there to support parents every step of their journey.
Growing up, being young, all I wanted was to make more money. My family wasn’t very well off, so I tried many different ways to try and earn a source of income, including multilevel marketing, reselling handphones, investments, trading… many of which failed.
Learning from customers to find success as an ecommerce business
Customer engagement is key to running a successful ecommerce business, and involves building and maintaining a positive relationship with customers through various channels to communicate your unique brand story and values and build connection with your customers. When done right, customer engagement can help you increase brand salience, improve customer loyalty, increase repeat purchase rates and lower customer acquisition costs.
Tip 1: Listen to customer reviews, and use them in a constructive way to identify product gaps and make improvements for your products
“As a brand owner, you always think your product is the best. When you start to get real market feedback, including negative reviews, you can’t help but think that it’s a bogus review and perhaps even a competitor attack. Over the years, we’ve refined our approach to customer reviews, to take them as real market feedback to help us identify the flaws in our product and identify where we can further improve the quality of our product for customers.” – Ivan
Get genuine customer reviews with Amazon Vine
Amazon Vine* is a program that invites the most trusted reviewers on Amazon to post opinions about new products to help other customers make informed purchase decisions. If you participate in this program, you can provide free units of your products to this selected group of reviewers to post customer reviews for your products.
*Terms and conditions apply.
Tip 2: Don’t compromise on product quality – it’s vital to ensure product quality standards to build trust with customers in the long-term
At one point in her selling journey, Debbie also had to respond to customer feedback and make some difficult decisions. She was looking to diversify suppliers for her product to find more cost-effective alternatives. After spending months working with a new supplier, she learned that quality was key to keeping her customers satisfied.
“I spent 10 months experimenting with a new supplier and accepted a lower quality product. However, the moment I listed it bad reviews started coming in. I had to abandon the listing right away, liquidate stock, and write off the investment of time and money over the 10 months and return to my original, high-quality supplier.” – Debbie
Tip 3: Customer feedback can help you understand customer pain points, and help you market your products better
Customer reviews can also be related to lack of understanding of how to use a product, or fulfillment and shipment concerns. Debbie has learned to take all this feedback to be more conscious of customer pain points, in turn translating them into ways to market her products better, such as addressing customer concerns upfront in product listings and improving instruction manuals – all in a bid to build trust and assurance with customers.
Building long-term trust is also key for Ivan, especially when it comes to baby products, which is why his brand promises a 365-day full refund, no questions asked, to provide assurance to customers.
Optimize product listings on Amazon
Amazon search engine optimization (SEO) is the process of optimizing product listings to help them rank higher in product searches on Amazon.com. A few simple steps can improve listings for product search, boost sales, and help shoppers find your brand.
Building loyal supporters through a strong knit community and meaningful engagement
Listening to customer feedback can help you with product innovations and improvements, but customers increasingly want to feel personally involved with the brands they buy from. So how else can we create an inclusive and supportive community of customers who actively participate with your brand?
Tip 1: Engaging with customers beyond selling products
KeaBabies created the KeaCommunity as a place for parents to encourage, support and motivate one another through the ups and downs of parenthood. Created in 2018, the Facebook Group has now grown to over 21k members.
Through this group, KeaBabies aims to fulfil their promise to support parents at every step of their parenting journey and build long-term brand connection and loyalty.
We need to understand that behind every sale of our product is a human being buying and using the product. We wanted to humanize this whole process, especially for new parents going through a new phase of their life – so we created this support group called the KeaCommunity, for customers (usually new parents) to discuss, rant, learn and share their feelings and concerns for emotional support.
Attract customers with engaging brand stories and products
Stores on Amazon allow businesses to create an elevated shopping experience. By using this feature, you can include engaging content such as text, images and videos to showcase your brand and products.
Stores play a key role in driving awareness and consideration for your brand, potentially boosting sales as customers are more familiar with your products.
Tip 2: Growing communities via organic means
Growing the community to over 21k members is no easy feat. KeaBabies does this through a number of organic ways, such as sending instructions to join the community after every product sale and through word-of-mouth. By growing the group organically, they are also able to build more genuine connections with their community.
“We want to establish that we are not just selling baby products. Ultimately, we want to build a lifestyle for our customers and remind them that KeaBabies is beside them every step of the way. This will also keep our brand top-of-mind so we’re always the no. 1 brand that comes to mind whenever they need baby products.”
Tip 3: Leveraging interactive and user-generated content to build meaningful engagement
Besides growing the community, it’s also important to think of new and creative ways to engage with customers in the long-term. KeaBabies does so through creating AR filters, GIFs and stickers that customers can use in their everyday life, to create top-of-mind awareness for their brand. They also create regular themes and contests to encourage customers to engage with their products and create user-generated content.
Brand building is a long-term game – where do you want your brand to be in the next 10 years? How do you want people to perceive your brand? Looking for ways to build your brand and engaging with customers might cost money, but we see it as a long-term investment.
Make informed marketing decisions with Amazon Brand Analytics
Brand Owners selling on Amazon can leverage Amazon Brand Analytics* to gain valuable insights. Data provided includes your product’s performance, customer search terms and your competitors.
This allows you to make smarter, strategic decisions about your products and marketing activities.
*Terms and conditions apply
Note: The information contained in this guide is conﬁdential and proprietary to Amazon. These materials are subject to the confidentiality obligations in your agreement with Amazon or in a non-disclosure agreement between us. Any unauthorized disclosure, dissemination, distribution, copying, or the taking of any action in reliance on the information herein is strictly prohibited. The information contained in this guide does not constitute legal, tax or financial advice. If you are in doubt as to the action you should take, please consult your legal, financial, tax, or other professional adviser. In addition, the content in this article is for information only and must not be construed as a guarantee of future results. Many factors influence the demand for a seller’s products, including price fluctuations, consumer demand shifts, and sellers remain responsible for determining the products they sell and their prices.
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Debbie - Beauty Tools & Accessories
Ivan - Baby Products