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January 13, 2021

Episode 16: How Amazon Fashion Relates to Your Business

Sell Rank Win Podcast Episode 16: How Amazon Fashion Relates to Your Business

In This Episode

Tommy and Mark chat with Andrew McGarry and Hannah Reyes of the McGarry Agency, a top UK marketing agency helping fashion brands connect to new customers. Learn more about Amazon Fashion, and tactics to reach customers on Amazon and beyond – even if you don’t sell in fashion.

TRANSCRIPT

Tommy Beringer:

What's up, you data-hungry Amazon sellers? This is your host, Tommy Beringer, of the Sell Rank Win Podcast for MerchantWords. And in this podcast, we give you the answers to your most burning questions, actionable insights that you can take away and implement into your business today. So let's go ahead and dive right into today's episode. What do you say? Let's go.

Tommy Beringer:

Well, welcome everybody to the Sell Rank Win Podcast. Thank you, everyone, for joining us. I am your host, Tommy Beringer, alongside with the President of MerchantWords, Mark Liu.

Mark Liu:

Hello.

Tommy Beringer:

And we have a couple of very special guests here with us. We have Andrew McGarry, who is the founder of the McGarry Agency, and alongside with his partner, Hannah Reyes. She is a paid media specialist over there at the McGarry Agency, and they've been helping fashion brands connect to new customers since 2014. So this conversation's going to be around fashion and Amazon and things like that, and we're just going to have a discussion organically and just have some fun here. So is everybody ready? Let's dive in.

Andrew McGarry:

Yeah, I'm ready.

Hannah Reyes:

[inaudible 00:01:08].

Mark Liu:

All right, so tell us a little bit about yourself, Andrew. How did you ... What do you guys do? You have an agency, you guys are ... You have a lot of fun out here in Europe. You and actually met many years ago on Twitter, which we can leave aside for the minute, but let's hear your story. Tell us a little bit about where you're from, what you guys do.

Andrew McGarry:

Sure yeah. So I'm an Irishman, living in the UK and I set-up our agency in 2014. And we specialize in digital marketing for fashion and lifestyle brands. Before that, I'd been working in franchising lead generation and in software sales. So yeah, bringing that up to kind of present day. Obviously, as you mentioned there, we're part of an agency that specializes in the fashion industry and also the lifestyle aspect of that. So sometimes it can expand into other things, whether it's cosmetics or footwear. For example, we're paying close attention to the sneaker market right now.

Andrew McGarry:

And also because of COVID and everything that's going on this year, the wider context around that, say the [inaudible 00:02:13] aspects as well. But yeah, just looking forward to having a good Amazon focused chat today.

Mark Liu:

Absolutely.

Tommy Beringer:

Well, speaking of sneakers, Andrew, I was talking to you on LinkedIn last night, and I saw a quote from you that you helped the brand Sneakersnstuff, which is actually located here in Venice, I believe, out in Los Angeles. And I think you helped them get to the top of the page here on Google.

Andrew McGarry:

Yeah.

Tommy Beringer:

And we want to walk through some of the tactics there, and then maybe how you're going to carry that over to Amazon.

Andrew McGarry:

Sure yeah, what I would say ... And hopefully I can bring my colleague, the very talented Hannah Reyes, on here. But I think for certain brands ... And I think with Sneakersnstuff, that's maybe a great example of ... For example, Nike pulled out of Amazon not that long ago. And I think for certain multi-brand retailers, the picture's a little bit more complicated than simply like, "Hey, there's 150 million Prime customers, let's go get them." But certainly, for Sneakersnstuff, we've been very pleased with the work we've done for them and I think that for this conversation today, I think the kind of wider aspects of what we've been seeing because of COVID ... I mean, I'm happy to talk sneakers all day long, I'm not against it, but I do think in terms of what we've been doing and certainly, Hannah, the things that you've been seeing, like the wider picture for this year in digital marketing has been kind of crazy, hasn't it?

Hannah Reyes:

Yes, it has been. I mean, you know that the typical channel for us to advertise in has always usually been Google ads, but there has been an increase in people shopping in Amazon, of course, most definitely both pre-pandemic and during the pandemic, as well as Instagram. I mean, I know this is an Amazon focused podcast, but we shouldn't be ignoring all these other marketplaces that are emerging as well. I mean, I'm not sure if you've heard of Miracle, it is a start-up [inaudible 00:04:26] platform who are providing marketplace solutions for businesses, and they are growing. They just got like $300 million investment from different investors and they just got their unicorn status. These are the type of marketplaces that you shouldn't really ignore. You need to focus on these things as well. You need to know what Amazon is doing as well as the competitors around them.

Mark Liu:

It's where the eyeballs are, right? I agree with you. I think, actually, I would welcome the opportunity to step-back a little bit and kind of blend this all together. Because if you think about our day, the 24-hour day, how much attention these things are vying for all day long, whether it's on [inaudible 00:05:12], Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and even on Amazon, these are all programs that are vying for your attention all day long. And if you're in Instagram, it makes total sense, eventually if they were, for example, to come up with a one-click buy on Instagram, imagine that.

Andrew McGarry:

Yeah, and I mean I've certainly seen ... Amazon are obviously trying to make inroads. We've seen the Amazon influencer program that they've tried to make happen. I don't think that's gotten much traction, I could be wrong. But if you look at how they've decreased the affiliate payouts, I'm not necessarily convinced that the influencer route is something that they've put their heart into. And I think it's more ... When we see what they're doing with the luxury stores and [inaudible 00:06:00] that they've done, I think that that, obviously, is going to be a much more important tactic for them.

Andrew McGarry:

But I mean, to put it into context, I've been doing a lot of research, coincidentally, in the last few weeks into other markets like India and stuff like that. So when you look at the numbers, Amazon India absolutely gigantic. And India, because of the internet penetration across that country that's going out of the cities into more rural areas, they're looking at I think it's 330 million online shoppers right now. So outside of North America and outside of Europe, we do maybe sometimes forget about Amazon's global reach.

Andrew McGarry:

I mean, okay, the Netherlands is maybe not a great example because it's a small country, but there is places that Amazon is still reaching out into. There is still opportunities for people who if you're not an Amazon Marketplace seller to date, maybe you could be in the future. I mean, some of the stats that you see ... This thing of there's nearly one million new Amazon Marketplace sellers every year. I was pulling up the stats earlier, and in terms of competition ...

Andrew McGarry:

I think this goes into the whole thing of why the competition is so competitive year on year. The whole reason we're having this conversation today is for a long time, if anyone ever asked me about market research or market opportunity, when it came to Amazon, I was like, "Well, I take it you have MerchantWords, because if you don't, what are you doing?" And I don't mind saying that because at the risk of sounding like a shell or like there's a check in the post, for me, I've always invested in the research tools and what is the market intelligence. And it's like I said before, not having those tools would be like trying to drive a car with the windshield blacked out, it just makes no sense.

Andrew McGarry:

Particularly in COVID, you think about ... There was that graphic doing the rounds about the 100 products that have gone up and the 100 products that have down. You could have a Marketplace niche that was doing really well pre-COVID and now all of a sudden this year you've had to pivot. So there's all these things to take into consideration.

Mark Liu:

Yeah, just getting back to India for a second, we also see that scale as well. So every month we run through and we pull down upwards of 100 million keywords in United States. Well, we get it from 11 markets worldwide for Amazon. So we kind of have this unique view into what's happening all over the world. What we can tell you is that the second-largest market in terms of search is India. The number are just in it's favor right?

Andrew McGarry:

Yeah, huge.

Mark Liu:

100 million consumers is not something you can ignore. So yeah, a lot of growth outside. We've also seen a rapid growth in Italy of all places. They're actually the fourth-largest marketplace, according to keywords, from our measurements as well. So all of these places now, to your point about being affected by COVID, and having to change their habits, and thinking about consumption, just differently. It's happening. We're in this really interesting place.

Mark Liu:

Which leads me to how we sort of brought this podcast together. You two had mentioned that there was big waves being made by Amazon in order to make some inroads into the fashion market. So I'm wondering if you can just tell our listeners a little bit more about what you're seeing there and what sort of changes are kind of on the horizon there.

Andrew McGarry:

Sure, Hannah, you want to take that one?

Hannah Reyes:

Yeah sure. Historically, Amazon really isn't the place to buy your favorite shirt. Up to now, there's not much effort, especially here in the UK, that we see in terms of selling your luxury items and things like that. There is nothing, of course. Recently, Amazon launched luxury stores in the U.S., back in September. But even before they had launched luxury stores, they are already starting to plant the seed in your head that they're going to do it, because they had partnered with the CFDA and a [inaudible 00:10:23] for the Common Threads Initiative, which is kind of like a marketplace as well within Amazon, in the way that they have given these independent designers and brands who were struggling during the COVID. They are high-end, well, not high-end, but designer brands who are being affected.

Hannah Reyes:

So, it was a start. They didn't pick up that much traction, but now they have launched this luxury stores initiative. They started with Oscar Delaurentis', and now they've added certain specific designers in the platform as well.

Andrew McGarry:

That's some great points there. To kind of just re-cap quickly there, I think that when we ask the question why has there been a historic struggle for Amazon in this particular category? Because we know it started out with electronics, it started out with books, but what is this challenge with fashion? Well, here is the strategic answer to that, if you're initial marketplace USP is price, then there's immediately a lot of status brands that don't align with that. When you think about it, it just doesn't comfortably align with that.

Andrew McGarry:

When I was thinking about this in advance, I was thinking in recent years we've seen Jeff Bezos rubbing shoulders at the Oscars and the Emmys with celebrities, investing in premium TV shows. I mean, look, we can laugh about it, but it's true. We see it. I think that's the thing, that broadens the brand canvas. So instead of being the place where it's super cheap, all of a sudden it's like, well hang on, the face of the company is hanging out with Brad Pitt and he's hanging out with celebrities. And that does broaden that brand canvas.

Andrew McGarry:

And I think that when you have the volume of prime subscribers that they have and you launch something like luxury stores, and as Hannah listed all of the types of brands that are getting on board, it's because you've got two things there. You've got primarily the commercial opportunity. And I mean, even if you're a brand team that holds your nose and goes, "Well we don't really like this," the bottom line is if as a brand team, you spend three-quarters of the year investing in your brand, the commercial team can then use Amazon in Q4 to do ... Look at Levi's, look at Tommy, there's massive brands now doing very, very big numbers because they have got that balance between what your brand story is and how to close the sale on Amazon and do the numbers.

Andrew McGarry:

And I think that it's a tricky balancing act to pull off, but let's face it, the few brands that are as big as the likes of let's say Apple, I know that's not a fashion example, but they are perceived as a premium brand. You've got to be the size of Nike or Disney to be able to turn around and go, "Nah, we're going to pull out." Most people are not in a position where they can afford to go, "150 million Prime subscribers? Nah, that's okay, we can pass."

Tommy Beringer:

Yeah, especially with all these bigger brick and mortar's going out of business, what was it? Bloomingdale's, I forgot. But it's going to continue to trend that way, and I think that's why they're opening up these luxury stores. Do you think it's going to survive the long-haul with the luxury stores? More and more of these luxury brands coming on? What do you think?

Andrew McGarry:

It's hard to know. I can definitely see a situation where that kind of curated bespoke experience. I'm probably going to show my age a little bit here, but I think that the older consumer has money and wants the VIP treatment. Let's call them the TikTok generation, I think the TikTok generation are leaning more towards, "What is the cause and is this an ethical company?" I mean, in Europe, we've seen [Zalando 00:14:41] take on Amazon and carve out market share. So for example, Amazon have been eating everyone else's market share, and putting the likes of [inaudible 00:14:52] and [inaudible 00:14:53], inadvertently, allegedly into administration and all that kind of thing. But you see a Marketplace player like Zalando and they say, "Right, if you want to buy fashion from us, we will have a sustainable option. We will make that very clear in our navigation." And what I think is really interesting is when I talk to Hannah about this, Hannah, your probably go-to would be maybe Zalando before Amazon? Is that a fair comment?

Hannah Reyes:

Yes, actually. You might kill me for saying this actually, I haven't really purchased anything during Prime Day.

Tommy Beringer:

Oh no.

Andrew McGarry:

Right, okay.

Hannah Reyes:

I know, surprising, right? Because I've already costed my purchasing excitement before Prime Day with all these discounts happening. But yes, Zalando is one of my go-to for designer brands, as well as Matchesfashion, [inaudible 00:15:49], things like that. Only because when you go to their site, you could tell that they are premium and they are luxury. When you go to Amazon, you won't see a speck of luxury in that site. Just imagine if Oscar Delaurentis is on Amazon.com, could you imagine having your $6,000 gown in the same shopping cart as your dishwashing liquid?

Tommy Beringer:

I mean, it's 2020, anything can happen [crosstalk 00:16:21]. It's not going to surprise me.

Hannah Reyes:

So I mean, the move for luxury stores being in an app is really a smart choice. It's in a separate platform without all these household things that you can see in Amazon as well as the data that they would have, [crosstalk 00:16:46] will be very important to that specific luxury brand as well.

Mark Liu:

I think that's kind of picking up on something that both of you had said, it's just that access to a large number of people is kind of hard to just turn away. So in that regard, how does a practitioner here ... How do you handle something like this? This isn't your thing and as we had said, Amazon isn't the only place in space that your agency plays. How does this change your calculus for the future? Or is it a part of it at all?

Andrew McGarry:

Yeah no, it is definitely a part of it. I think that this kind of comes under, let's say, what's best practice for fashion brands. I think that there's a lot of things that can grab our attention because they're new and they're shiny, and we're immediately drawn to them. But the boring but profitable answer, if you're working with Amazon, I would say it's things like the quality of your product data in your content. And that comes from attention to detail. And there are certain things ... It's a bit like when you say that we're all aware this thing of we should have a healthy diet and we should get exercise. That's not rocket science, we all know that, do we do that? Maybe we don't. And whenever I talk about digital marketing, it's very easy to get attracted to the shiny things like AI and machine learning and things like that, but I have never smashed a Q4 target because of the new shiny thing.

Andrew McGarry:

I have always ... Okay, I better be careful I don't sound like I'm trumping my own horn here, but this thing of ... It is that attention to detail. I mean, anyone in the affiliate space, and I know there's maybe a lot of Amazon marketers that aren't very happy with the Amazon affiliate space right now. But it's always amazed me how pure quality a lot of the biggest players in the space war. And I think that's maybe the advantage that when you work with Amazon, is that they have the infrastructure. It's this idea that Amazon isn't a shop, Amazon is an infrastructure. And when you tap into that infrastructure, you're able to leverage.

Andrew McGarry:

Let's face it, you're talking about Super Bowl numbers. Advertisers, you may not be a sports fan, but as a brand, you might be looking at the Super Bowl. And that's kind of why I see all of the plays, whether it's luxury stores or anything else, that's what I see looking at Amazon now and going ... You've got to be Nike or Disney to be able to say, "Yeah, we're not interested in the Super Bowl. We're not interested in those numbers." And so, therefore, I definitely think that ... Yeah look, automation is great, but ultimately it comes down to quality control. And when you turn on your advertising, how are you able to make sure that you have the right insight so that you can understand the market opportunity.

Andrew McGarry:

There's this thing in paid media called the law of inefficient click-throughs, which was penned by Andrew Chen. He calls it the law of click-throughs, but I'm not sure if I'm allowed to say that on the podcast.

Mark Liu:

Absolutely.

Tommy Beringer:

Fire away.

Andrew McGarry:

But it's this thing of there is a cost to acquiring a customer, and there is a higher cost if it's a first-time customer who's got less brand affinity. So it doesn't really matter whether it's Amazon or Google or Facebook, your profitability ultimately is about reaching that kind of optimum number of people who are familiar enough with your brand that they will buy the product at let's call it an optimal cost. And then after that, every customer after that knows you less, needs more convincing, and therefore costs more money to convince, and therefore your profitability is going to go down.

Andrew McGarry:

So you take someone like Hannah. If Hannah has got a client that is really aggressively trying to get certain sales targets, we have to hope that the brand story, the brand affinity, all of those aspects are in play. Because if they're not, then you're always going to have that tipping point. Certain people in the digital marketing industry have described it as one-trick ponies get shot. And it is that thing of I'm trying to reach new customers, but if I have to keep re-inventing the wheel all the time it gets more expensive.

Andrew McGarry:

This is why Amazon Prime is so successful because once you get people invested in an ecosystem, they're looking for an excuse to buy. And I think all of us that are Amazon Prime members outside of the U.S., when there's a new fashion service that comes available, you do look at it. I've looked at Prime Wardrobe. I haven't used it yet, but I certainly want to know what are the things that Amazon could offer me as part of my Prime membership that's going to make my life more useful.

Andrew McGarry:

But I do think that things like AR on phones, the ability to use the latest iPhone and maybe see what does that pair of shoes look like, or what does that home furniture look like in my living room? I can see that being a shiny thing in the future that's more practical. But certainly, I think that Hannah, whenever you've had to deal with these kinds of situations, it really just comes down to the quality of the product data. Is that fair?

Hannah Reyes:

Yes, absolutely. If you don't have anything to analyze, how are you going to move forward as to solving a problem, for example? So definitely, quality of data is important.

Tommy Beringer:

Absolutely. And then something I think you alluded to earlier, Andrew, was in regard ... We're talking about external traffic and then also Prime memberships and things like that. There's been a recent change to Amazon's A9 algorithm earlier in the year, it's a new iteration, so some people are calling it the A10, I don't know if Amazon's calling it A10. But what I think is one of the major changes on that algorithm is that when you're driving external traffic via Facebook, Google, Instagram, or what not, Amazon is rewarding that. So it's actually more heavily weighted than actually sponsored ads.

Tommy Beringer:

Now sponsored ads are still in-play, we still need to do sponsored ads within Amazon, but it's now even more and more important, especially now, to drive that external traffic. I was just listening to something earlier this morning, there was this brand, I forgot the name of the brand, but they do a 23 and me but for pets, to get your pet ...

Andrew McGarry:

Oh yeah.

Tommy Beringer:

Stuff like that. So what they were describing what their strategy was for Prime Day, and what they did was they ran a Prime Day deal, a Lightning Deal, and then they were just driving a ton of external traffic to their listing. And they ended up ranking at the top of the page, above all the best sellers, above everyone. So now this has to be a strategy is driving external traffic. Especially what you guys are doing, driving this outside traffic to Amazon. And I don't know if you guys notice out there in the U.K., or in Spain, Mark, but in L.A., I'm seeing more and more commercials of these companies telling the viewers to go to their Amazon listing, just from a TV commercial. I've never seen that before, but this past maybe 30, 60 days, I've been seeing that more and more. And I know why they're doing that because Amazon is giving them more ranking levels because they're more heavily weighting the external traffic. So it's going to continue to build more and more.

Tommy Beringer:

And then, in turn, getting more new-to-brand customers and probably the Prime memberships are going to go up and up and up. Because if they're driving outside traffic, maybe some people don't have Prime membership, which is going to force them to get that Prime membership if they want a Prime Day deal or a Prime ... Because you have to have Prime in order to get the Prime Day Deal or the shipping options.

Andrew McGarry:

Yeah, I think those are all fair comments. Ultimately, Amazon are in the battle for ad dollars when it comes to, "Hey, what do I spend on Facebook?" CFO's are trying to figure out, "What do I spend on Facebook? What do I spend on Google? What do I spend on Amazon?" And they have to make those decisions. Certainly, I've been fortunate enough to see how Google perceives Amazon when I have been invited to Google events, for example, in the European HQ in Dublin. And it can be quite eye-opening to sit in a room with other brands. For Amazon to now have become the point where peoples' research begins on Amazon. And I read the stat there, it said 23% of people don't even have a specific product in mind. They're just, "Hey, I'm in the habit of doing it." And that has got to be eating into Facebook's share. They're used to being the go-to for research.

Andrew McGarry:

But if you think about it, let's say I want to buy a leather jacket. It used to be if I went back 10 years ago, even 5 years ago, I would go to Google, I would type in stuff to do with cool leather jackets, and I would start reading blogs. The chances are now unless I see some kind of niche brand like Straight to Hell or something like that on Facebook, I'm more likely to ask the question of, "What's on Amazon?" I may not want to initially go there, but it's the habit. I've already got that habit, I've already got the app.

Andrew McGarry:

Amazon, like I say, they've got the infrastructure, they've got the users, they've got everything apart from that cool factor. And they just have to figure out when brands are so brand-sensitive, when the story is not strong enough to ... It goes back to the whole thing of price. If price is your USP, you've got to figure out another way to do this. And that's a big part of ... The minute I read this is going to be an invite-only thing for luxury stores, I was like, "Okay, they're getting it, they're waking up." Because that is ...

Andrew McGarry:

You think about Tesla, not everybody can get a Tesla, you've got to get on a waiting list. And then even if you get on a waiting list, they might tell you no if they don't like you.

Tommy Beringer:

The FOMO, you're creating the FOMO.

Andrew McGarry:

Yeah, exactly.

Tommy Beringer:

And then ... I mean, it wasn't too hard to get in luxury brands. I tried to sign up for it, I think I was approved in maybe five hours. But anyway, it is smart that they're doing that. There is a kind of like a barrier to get in there, a little one.

Andrew McGarry:

Yeah, well this is it, it's that classic thing of exclusivity.

Tommy Beringer:

Absolutely.

Mark Liu:

So last thing if I may, a question popped into my head. How do you all make sense of the flows of traffic? Given that, ultimately, we know now based on what you're saying that Amazon is something that you definitely have to take into consideration, but it's a part of your more holistic approach or strategy. So, when you're organizing these things, whether it be Google ads, Facebook ads, Instagram, what have you, how do you think about this? How do you think about the way that your traffic goes in and out or is there a ... Even if you're [inaudible 00:28:34] ready to say so, do you have preferences for where you think that the ultimate conversion or sale should happen?

Andrew McGarry:

Yeah, I mean it really does vary from brand-to-brand. Hannah, when I think about the brands that we've worked with, it does tend to be a case of whether ... It's almost as if the evolution of the brand, what stage they're at. So for example, if they are earlier in their cycle, they may just feel like, "We don't want to endanger the brand, and we aren't experienced enough to know how to get the balance right." So I would say for smaller brands, it can be quite challenging.

Andrew McGarry:

You look at Albert's, you can get cloned pretty quickly in Amazon if they decide, "We want to copy your product." And certainly, I think that we generally take our steer from what is the international expansion plan? It's pretty straight-forward if someone says to you, "Look, I just want to sell in North America," or "I just want to sell in Italy." That's a much easier conversation. But when someone comes along and says, "Well, we're strong in this one or two territories, but we'd like to know, what is the global marketplace opportunity?" That is a much bigger conversation then because then it's about, "Well, how big is your budget? Exactly how much world domination are you after?" Hannah, that's probably I ...

Hannah Reyes:

Yeah, I agree with you that it just depends on the client that we're working with. Because let's say, for example, we had clients where they're really strong in Google ads, and we had clients who were really strong on Facebook. We also had clients who were most of their purchases came from influencers trying to drive traffic to the brand. So it just depends, not only does it depend on the brand, it also depends on where the customer is at on the stage of their purchasing journey. I think in one of our vlogs that we do for the website, we said that if it's a returning customer, they may respond better to an ad with a New Arrivals message. If they're new to the brand, then they might want to know more about the story and how it started, just to get to know the brand more. So there is a lot of factors, obviously. But [inaudible 00:31:10] is definitely one of them. [crosstalk 00:31:12]

Andrew McGarry:

Yeah, and to bring it back to sneakers, I know that we've mentioned about Nike directly pulling off the marketplace. I have no problem with people showing me ads that I'm interested in. So, if Adidas or Converse want to show me ads when I'm on Amazon, of heavens forbid, if I'm watching something on Amazon Prime, I'm okay with that. And the sneaker market is pretty competitive. And certainly, going back to what we mentioned with Sneakersnstuff, when we're looking at that kind of global world domination plan, and one day we're saying, "Okay, we want to look at the market in Japan, what can we do there?" I mentioned earlier about India, Amazon is so big in India, the numbers are massive. And we do, we have to make these decisions around what ...

Andrew McGarry:

And it's a little bit complicated in that brands like Nike are aggressively pursuing a much greater DTC model. So they look at the middle-man, whether it's JD sports or Foot Locker, and they look at all of those players and they go, "Well, they are not going to present our brand as well as we can, so why would we want them?" So I think that if you are a re-seller, I don't care about how small or how big you are, I think there is an argument now that you have to be a desirable destination. You have to be somewhere where if you're going to be a middle-man, you better be cool. You better bet worthwhile engaging with.

Andrew McGarry:

And I think particularly in the fashion and lifestyle market, I think that is really important. Because people want to be able to ... It's almost like there is this balance between we know how important reviews are on Amazon and certainly we've talked about micro-influencers. You almost want a certain amount of social proof so that you're cool, but not so much social proof that you're common. That's a really tough balancing act to pull off, because you want to have, "Oh yeah, so and so had that pair of sneakers and that's really cool, I must check that out," as opposed to, "Yeah, my dad would buy that." Sorry Dad. But you know what I mean. It's like, "No, that's where my dad buys his shoes." So there's always going to be that whole thing.

Andrew McGarry:

For example, there's definitely times where we're in the office and Hannah will look at me because I've made some '90s reference, and she's like, "I have no idea what you just said."

Hannah Reyes:

Yeah, I just [crosstalk 00:33:49], I don't [crosstalk 00:33:50].

Andrew McGarry:

Yeah, and for when we talk about ... I'm looking at all of these classic Nike sneakers from the '90s and all this kind of thing, I do feel like when we talk to Sneakersnstuff, they are very much trying to build that brand experience. So that even when a company like Nike wanted to go very heavily and invest in DTC, that they are still a really cool place to shop from.

Andrew McGarry:

I think that a lot of Amazon Marketplace sellers over time will have to pivot. They will have to look at the impact of COVID, they will have to get used to the fact that some brands are going to be more or less brand sensitive. And I think that is really important. And this is where I think, again, MerchantWords is so valuable for that market insight, that you are able to do your research, see which products are trending down, and look at that bigger picture of, "Is this there vertical that I want to be in?" And if you are, like if you're super passionate and you're a sneakerhead, that's cool, but if you're not and you were just doing it for the money, then you probably want to make sure that you're not in one of these verticals that COVID has decimated.

Tommy Beringer:

I mean, I don't want to toot our own horn, but you guys are already tooting it. Really quick, though, what's really cool about MerchantWords, if you are a bigger brand or if you're a brand who's starting to drive external traffic, you can go to MerchantWords, type in your brand name, and see how these buyers are searching for it on Amazon. You might not even be selling on Amazon yet, but you'll see there's actually a lot of buyers. And you can look into all of the marketplaces that we have data, Japan, India, Italy, U.S., U.K. So that's what's super cool about it, is you can see how your outside efforts are working for you especially.

Andrew McGarry:

Tommy, let me tell you a really quick story about how cool MerchantWords is for business intelligence. Just give me two minutes, I'll tell you this quick story.

Tommy Beringer:

Go for it, you've got the floor [crosstalk 00:35:55].

Andrew McGarry:

So I've got a client in London and they're doing a major branding and print advertising campaign. So they do this campaign and they're thinking, "Right, we're going to get loads of brand awareness, loads of interest, it's going to be great." And after a couple of weeks, I get a phone call ... We weren't in charge of the campaign, it was just we were being consulted on. And they said, "We couldn't see any uplift, we couldn't see anything in Facebook, we couldn't see anything in Google." And of course, I asked the question, "Have you looked on Amazon?" And they all looked at each other and they went, "No." And I'm like, "I bet that there was a spike in Amazon when you did that."

Andrew McGarry:

So we went into MerchantWords and we looked at the data, and then we took the data from the campaign, and the spikes were identical. And I thought that was brilliant because I was able to go, "Here is when you advertised, and at the exact same moment, here's where your brand searches spiked in Amazon." And they were just dumbfounded.

Tommy Beringer:

Yeah, that's awesome. And another thing is you can see what other countries are searching your brand as well. Like for myself, I was kind of shocked to see that Canada was doing ... This was a while ago, before I started selling in Canada, Canada was looking for my products. And then I just said, "Okay, I need to move over to Canada." And then, sure enough, it's working. Cost [inaudible 00:37:20] in Canada is a lot lower than U.S., but that's a whole other podcast.

Tommy Beringer:

But anyways, definitely, you've got to check. If you're driving outside traffic, you've got to check what your temperature on Amazon.

Andrew McGarry:

Yeah, without a shadow of a doubt. And that's the funny thing that people overlook it. There's almost this old school habit of, "Oh well, we'll check Google." And then almost as an afterthought, "We'll check Facebook." I mean, Amazon is honestly the number of ... And I think it's because it's usually traded by the wholesale team and the wholesale team don't usually eat lunch with the ecom team, the ecom team are like, "Oh, that just never occurred to us." And I'm like, "Well, they're kind of big. You might want to go check out."

Andrew McGarry:

And all this-

Tommy Beringer:

[crosstalk 00:38:07]

Andrew McGarry:

Yeah. So again, to me in my mind it's Super Bowl numbers, it's like that's where you've got this gigantic audience. So if you're doing any branding anywhere you might want to go check was there a spike.

Tommy Beringer:

Makes sense. And I want to be respectful of your guys' time and just wrap this up. You both, we know that you are very, very busy people. And we really are very happy that you guys came on with us today and spent your time with us to talk some shop about Amazon fashion, ecom, and then all this other stuff that we went into. This is awesome stuff. Love to have you guys on again-

Mark Liu:

[crosstalk 00:38:50].

Tommy Beringer:

So just wanted to say thank you guys, so much.

Andrew McGarry:

Yeah, thanks. Obviously, it's a super busy time of the year and it's been a super busy year. But if I could end every Friday getting to talk, that would be great. I'm okay with that.

Mark Liu:

Might take you up on that.

Hannah Reyes:

He's not had enough throughout the day. There you go.

Andrew McGarry:

It's Hannah, you got to feel sorry for Hannah, she has to put up with me.

Tommy Beringer:

Praying for you, Hannah.

Mark Liu:

We all need a Hannah in our lives.

Andrew McGarry:

We do, we do, yeah.

Tommy Beringer:

Bye guys.

Andrew McGarry:

That was great guys, thanks very much.

Tommy Beringer:

Absolutely, thank you guys. Talk to you soon, okay?

Andrew McGarry:

Talk soon, bye.

Hannah Reyes:

Bye.

Tommy Beringer:

All right, thank you guys so much for listening. And if you got any value out of this podcast at all, please let us know at the place that you listen to it at, whether it be iTunes, Stitch, or whatever it is. Give us some love, give us an awesome review, and let us know maybe some things you want us to talk about on the next podcast. Until next time, stay awesome and be awesome.

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