How Amazon produced a tenfold increase in business

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I can’t help but be impressed with the recent stories I hear about Amazon sales. Almost every seller that uses Amazon as part of their sales channel has stories of hitting the “Buy Box” and being instantly flooded with orders until they run out of stock. Unlike most other channels where orders come in a steady flow Amazon is the one venue where, if you get everything right, your biggest problem will be how to despatch the deluge of orders.

ChannelAdvisor have just produced a video case study of Normans Musical Instruments which tells the story from a lack lustre website, to discovering eBay and using shopping comparison sites. They finally branched out to selling on Amazon which they describe as “almost impossible to cope” with the amount of orders generated.

Having generated a tenfold increase in sales Normans is now looking to the future with more reliance than ever on their online strategies.

10 Responses

  1. Nice to see a good story. Interesting reference to amazon’s charges “enough margin to cover amazon’s fees”.

    What is the pricing for CA?

  2. When will these people realize that if you are the only seller on Amazon you will make a fortune until anyone who sells the same things as you sees your success and jumps on board undercutting you.

    If I was to go back on Amazon after I was brutally undercut on my lines I would not tell a living soul and this Norman should keep his gob shut.

    And anyone telling the world how fab Amazon might just encourage YOUR competition to give it a go to.

    Ebay would be fab for me if 3 or 4 certain other sellers would stop, it doesn’t take many sellers to destroy a niche market!

  3. I’d like to know what the pricing is for Chanel Advisor too 😀 I have had a demo of eseller pro, which is very very impressive, but would be difficult to justify in terms of cost just yet.

    I would say that if you sell in significant volume then I think that E-seller Pro would be worth a look. Though it would only be fair to compare it to the CA offerings also. So CA care to make a “guinea Pig” out of me? 😳 I’m shameless!

  4. Swan, Are you saying that business would be great without any competition? 😯

    Of course it can be frustrating when someone undercuts you in any market place either online or High Street, but that is how the business world goes round and has done since time immortal. One either offers it cheaper or adds value, there is no other way. Without competition, people would find other ways to meet their needs for “goods” because they would not want to pay the monopoly holders inflated prices.

    Embrace your competition, learn from them, mimic them when you need to (I don’t mean copy their pictures!! lol) recognise when they get it right and then do it better, if you are doing that and they are not, you will succeed.

  5. swan, that would explain why CA dont have many of their customers banging drums 😀 on their website. All I could find was some guy selling towbars and second hand IT equipment. All the other sellers are keeping mum and pocketing the cash.

    On a sort of related sales note (ok, ok, enough with the puns already ) I found this article linked on the CA website:

    “Time delays between initial site visit and purchase change based on the particular industry vertical. Floral purchasing took the least amount of time with an average of 3:31 hours. ….. aquarium supplies took the highest with 92:50 hours between browsing and purchasing.

    Slippery customers to net!

  6. OK – I just wrote a LENGTHY reply to all your posts and then IE just went and crashed on me…. 😯

    Not impressed Mr Gates.

    OK – he’s a short recap on my thoughts, I apologise for the short comments, but I’ve a meeting rapidly approaching that I need to be at…

    Swan – I don’t agree that Gareth from Normans keeping his mouth shut would be the best course of action. He’s not giving away and trade secrets but what he is doing is generating some great free PR for his business and website ( by doing this video. Notice we didn’t link to his Amazon listings because he’s already paying Amazon for their traffic – instead we directed interested new customers to his most cost-effective channel – his webstore.

    Gob – fully agree – competition is good and keeps us all on our toes. Gareth is already onto his next project and has gained several months lead over any competitors who chose to follow him into the Amazon channel – plus several months experience of what it takes to be successful on Amazon (which isn’t just a case of listing your products and sitting back to wait for orders – find out more at Amazon’s Merchants@ Masterclass at our Catalyst conference in April)

    Biggles – you’re right we don’t have many case studies on our website (although if you dig down some more into the product pages you’ll find some more paper case studies on UK customers). The lack of case studies is something that we’re addressing right now – and the Norman’s video case study is the first of many. Subscribe to our YouTube channel to get alerted as we add more (one a month is our target). Many of our customers have volunteered to be the subject of these as they know they’ll acquire new business as a result of the free PR.

    Jade – I think eSellerPro have a good solution for eBayers and I think you could do a lot worse than their platform as a first step into the world of third-party management solutions. Whilst you’re obvious doing a great job in building your business, I think it’s a little early for you to look at ChannelAdvisor solutions based on the volumes I see you currently doing on eBay. We’ve found in the past that for sellers of your turnover/sales volume the work involved in setting up the system is actually much more than the time the automation saves you. Our system (and pricing) really only makes sense when you’re shipping higher volumes or selling over multiple channels.

    Why don’t you give eSellerPro a try and see how it does for you first? Make sure you ask them for two or three UK customers with businesses similar to yours so you can call them for a reference – it’s a big decision after all.

    Or check out our standard MarketplaceAdvisor solution which may be a better fit for you right now – there is a 14-day free trial on that product so it’s a great way to get a taste for the work involved in setup, etc.

    Hope you appreciate I just want to set realistic expectations upfront and not make false promises. 🙂

  7. Thanks for that James, if you are suggesting that esellerpro are a better fit for me, given that I thought that even they were expensive, I shudder to think what the cost implications are with you guys? 😯

    I don’t mind the effort involved in setting up the system, as I have every intention of growing the business rapidly but safely over the next 6 months and I want to have the infrastructure in place to cope. But the killer for new biz like ours is how much of my pie I have to give you, to use your service. I do sell into Amazon to and I am at the stage where I am about to significantly increase my activity with them. Do you offer any kind of pricing strategy that helps lower volume sellers start off with your service?

    Oh and BTW I have no objections to you setting realistic expectations, I won’t throw my dummy out of the pram because I feel you are suggesting I’m small time 😉 You found that shaver yet 😈 🙄

  8. Jade

    Its going to be around 2% of your sales. It is a LOT of work when you first get started with CA but worth it IMO.

    Our sales have continued to grow since we moved from marketworks (now owned by CA) a year ago but CA is not a silver bullet. You still have to work 😉

    If you are going, or plan to sell volume it will save you time and help you organise.

    If you want to chat about it let me know.


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