Welcome to Master The Marketplace
Master the Marketplace delves into the inner workings of all things ecommerce, from deep dives into major online marketplaces like Amazon and Walmart to best practices for online brand protection, supply chain optimization, digital marketing and more. Master the Marketplace is hosted by Kunal Chopra, CEO of etailz, a leading tech platform that empowers brands to grow every aspect of their online business. Each episode, Kunal will be joined by established industry experts to discuss critical topics for a successful online business.
Should Companies Get Political?
Lisa Wideman, etailz’s Senior Director of Human Resources, joins Kunal to discuss whether businesses should take a stand when it comes to the two major crises currently happening in our country: the COVID-19 pandemic and the Black Lives Matter movement. In this episode, the pair talk about etailz’s response to both crises, the importance of empathy and compassion in and out of the workplace, and etailz’s enduring commitment to diversity.
Spokane: The Next Great Tech Hub
Tom Simpson, a co-founder of etailz, Inc., board member, and active angel investor, joins Kunal to ask the big questions: is Spokane, WA going to become the next big tech hub, how it will happen, and why it’s likely to happen. In this episode, they discuss the great quality of life, affordability, entrepreneurial community, and amazing educational institutions of Spokane, WA.
Partner Perspective: Chamberlain’s Leather Milk Discusses Diversifying Sales Channels
Aaron Snow, Director of Sales & Marketing at Chamberlain’s Leather Milk, joins Kunal to share his experience with balancing online marketplaces, direct-to-consumer sales, and wholesaling. Their discussion dives into issues surrounding shifting sales channels, selling on non-Amazon marketplaces, and selling internationally. Before wrapping up, Aaron and Kunal dive into the current COVID-19 pandemic’s effect on online sellers.
Product Compliance & Risk Management on Amazon
There was a spike in price gouging and non-compliant products entering the market as the coronavirus spread. To help businesses navigate marketplace compliance during this time, we’ve brought back Jed Nelsen, the Senior Manager of Compliance at etailz. With Kunal, Jed discusses Amazon’s compliance policies, when and how they enforce those policies, and what costs go into product testing. The two also explore when it’s reasonable (and compliant) to pass on increased manufacturing costs to consumers, how to identify business risks, and how to break those risks into quantifiable details that you can use to create a practical risk management plan.
Driving Success on Amazon, Featuring ‘Buy Box Experts’
James Thomson is a founding partner of Buy Box Experts, a managed services agency that helps brands sell on Amazon. Before starting Buy Box Experts, James was the first FBA account manager at Amazon and helped onboard thousands of brands into this now ubiquitous Amazon program. In this episode, he joins fellow former-Amazonian Kunal Chopra to discuss how Amazon has changed over the last 13 years and how these changes have empowered or impeded brands. They also share best practices for combating counterfeits, improving product visibility, creating a positive customer experience, and more, before concluding their conversation with a review of Walmart’s ongoing efforts to challenge Amazon for online market share.
How to Source Products & Optimize the Supply Chain
Denise Abraham returns to Master the Marketplace, this time to discuss product sourcing and supply chain optimization. Denise draws on over 30 years of sourcing experience, primarily in textiles, and has worked extensively in Asia, Europe, and Central America. In this episode, she explains how her team identifies product opportunity, sources product, and finds efficiencies in shipping to cut down costs and increase margin. She also discusses the pros and cons of sourcing from China compared to other countries in Asia and Central America, and describes the best method for expanding product lines.
Social Media Marketing and Amazon
Social media is a powerful tool for establishing connections and building relationships. Brands can leverage social media to reach more shoppers and cultivate authentic, engaging experiences with their customers. In this episode, etailz’s Inbound Marketing Manager, Katie Capka, joins Kunal to discuss the myriad uses and benefits of running active social media accounts for your business, when and how to leverage paid social ads on platforms like Facebook and Instagram, and the rich opportunities afforded through influencer marketing.
Amazon Sponsored Ads – Strategy, Performance, Budgeting, and More
If you sell on Amazon, you’ve likely heard of Amazon Sponsored Product Ads. In this episode, etailz’s digital marketing manager, Jeremy Rossow, joins Kunal to pull back the curtain behind the uses, strategy, and typical performance of the different Amazon ad types, including Sponsored Product Ads, Sponsored Brand Ads, Sponsored Display Ads, and Demand Side Platform (DSP). Their conversation also delves into the uses of Amazon Brand Stores, Lightning Deals, and Amazon coupons, before venturing beyond Amazon to discuss Walmart Sponsored Products and the importance of high quality creative assets to support ad performance.
Partner Perspective: Magique Beauty Discusses Counterfeits, 1P vs 3P, and the Coronavirus
Mark Tacconelli of Magique Beauty joins Kunal to share his experience selling on Amazon, Walmart, and other online marketplaces. Their discussion explores the challenges of counterfeit products pervading the marketplace, as well as strategies for protecting brand integrity, such as hidden packaging designs and Amazon’s Transparency Program. Tacconelli also shares his experience working with 1P on Amazon and Walmart, and why he has chosen 3P as the best fit for Magique. Lastly, they discuss how the Coronavirus has affected Magique’s business and the steps they’ve taken to mitigate the impact.
EPISODE 5: TRENDING TOPICS
The Coronavirus’s Impact on Commerce
In this special episode, Kunal meets with Denise Abraham and Jed Nelsen to discuss how the coronavirus outbreak is impacting brands and sellers around the world. As of February 25th, there are confirmed cases in 19 countries. Factories in China have slowed production and transportation has been heavily restricted. As production and shipping delays persist into March, small and large brands alike face cascading threats to inventory levels and financial stability. Denise Abraham is an experienced supply chain professional and has worked in over 30 countries, with over 120 visits to China. Jed Nelsen leads etailz’s compliance department and specializes in risk mitigation.
The Amazon Jungle: Operations & Marketing on Amazon
In retrospect, Amazon.com was aptly named; it’s a jungle for brands planning their entrance to the online marketplace. Keri Rhodes, etailz’s Director of Marketing, joins Kunal to help brands navigate the complicated Amazon landscape. Their discussion explores Amazon’s fulfillment models, including FBA, MFN, and SFP, and the requirements of each. They also review the various on- and off-platform marketing strategies brands can use to support their Amazon sales.
Protecting Your Brand Online: Counterfeits, Pricing, & Rogue Sellers
Amazon is under increased scrutiny from the media and the government as counterfeit products threaten market integrity and consumer safety. Kelsey Gruis, General Manager of etailz Agency & Subscriptions, joins Kunal Chopra to discuss what brands can do to protect themselves and their customers from external threats. Key topics include the importance of consistency, why pricing matters, how to combat counterfeits, and how Amazon has responded to calls for improved brand protection tools.
Expanding to New Domestic and International Marketplaces
Kelly Leary, Director of Global Supply Chain at etailz, shares his experience and advice for expanding to new marketplaces domestically and internationally. Together with Kunal Chopra, Leary discusses key considerations for entering international marketplaces, including pricing, brand protection, and fulfillment services. They also explore the need for marketplace diversification, as well as how to determine which markets and marketplaces offer the greatest opportunity for brands.
Which Amazon Business Model Is Right For You? First-Party vs Third-Party
Mitchell Bailey, COO of etailz, joins Kunal Chopra to discuss selling on Amazon through first-party (Amazon Retail/Vendor Central) vs third-party (Seller Central). They’ll explore the pros and cons of each model, including pricing structures, available services, growth potential, Amazon’s efforts to guide brands to 1P or 3P based on their size, and how to determine which model will best serve your business based on goals and needs.