Amazon grows and grows and grows. The marketplace has now become one of the most important sales channels for many companies.
Of course, with Amazon’s enormous growth, many service providers, such as Amazon consultants, popped up in the industry.
By now, there are thousands of freelance consultants and even entire consulting agencies that provide businesses with Amazon consulting services.
But what do these consultants exactly do? How can they help your business grow? And how do you find the right consultant for your business? We’ll show you.
What does an Amazon consultant do?
What a consultant can do for you varies.
There are Amazon consultants that specialize in a particular aspect of selling on Amazon, such as Amazon SEO or Amazon PPC. These consultants are particularly suitable for you if
- you only need help in one area of your business
- you already have specialized consultants for the other areas of your business
- you want to expand on your own skills in a certain area
There are also consultants or Amazon consulting agencies that offer a more holistic approach.
This means that they can provide you with a comprehensive consultation and guidance – from A-Z.
This type of consultancy is particularly suitable for you if
- you are not yet selling on Amazon but you’re planning to
- have just started selling and have a hard time navigating through the Amazon jungle
- have been selling on Amazon for some time but your sales are stagnating and you don’t know why
Whether specialized or not, there are five basic tasks that every consultant should perform:
1 Situation Assessment
In the first step, an Amazon consultant first examines your current situation and analyzes it. On the one hand he looks at your general business situation, i.e. which sales channels are used, who your customers, your target group and your competitors are, your positioning, how you use your financial resources, how you advertise your products and so on.
On the other hand, he focuses exclusively on the Amazon sales channel and how you can fully exploit it. Which things he considers depends on whether you’re already selling on Amazon or not.
If you don’t have a presence on Amazon yet, he’ll assess whether Amazon is a suitable distribution channel for your product in the first place.
For example, Amazon may not allow your product to be sold on its marketplace or your product may not be in demand by Amazon customers.
If you are already actively selling on Amazon, he will look at all available account and sales information.
Your listings will be analyzed, your past and active advertising campaigns, your account health, seller performance and other data will be evaluated.
2 Strategy Consulting
After evaluating your current situation, the consultant will develop appropriate strategies for selling your products on Amazon.
For example, they will give optimization suggestions regarding your brand positioning in the market and your niche.
The consultant will work out an advertising strategy as well as a strategy on how to SEO-optimize your listings so that your products achieve a higher ranking in the search results.
Another important step is the development of a suitable logistics structure so that your products are always sufficiently in stock, but not in too large a quantity, so that you do not have to pay expensive storage fees.
An experienced Amazon consultant knows how to design efficient logistics processes.
3 Budget Consultation
When developing your Amazon sales strategy, a good consultant will always keep your budget in mind.
Especially for inexperienced sellers or vendors, it’s often difficult to estimate how much budget is required for which steps.
For example, if many of your listings need to be optimized, you will need budget for professional product photographers, creative copywriters and good graphic designers.
With many different costs involved, it’s easy to lose track. A professional Amazon consultant, on the other hand, will have everything under control.
4 Establishing efficient Workflows
In the next step, your consultant will ensure that you implement efficient workflows into your work routine.
You wouldn’t believe how much time you can save each day if your work processes have a clear and routine structure.
In some cases, your consultant will advise you to outsource certain tasks, such as customer service or creating performance reports.
For easy and standardized tasks like these, you can hire a virtual assistant who is experienced with Amazon.
5 Monitor your Development
The strategies and processes your consultant proposes to implement are one thing. Evaluating whether these strategies bring the desired outcome is another one.
Measuring the performance of PPC campaigns is a science in itself.
And that is only a small part of your business.
It can quickly be overwhelming to monitor dozens of metrics simultaneously and analyze which changes have led to an increase or decrease in your sales.
Your Amazon consultant will help you and show you the tools and tactics to make monitoring your business development a breeze.
What are the benefits of hiring an Amazon consultant?
Okay, you got it. An Amazon consultant can do many things for you, give you comprehensive advice and train you.
But what are the explicit advantages of working with a professional Advisor?
1 Avoid Rookie Errors
Most importantly: if you hire an Amazon consultant, you are spending money on his services, but he also prevents you from making expensive rookie mistakes.
Beginners often burn a lot of money with PPC campaigns that perform poorly.
Or, they have to pay high fines because they neglect their tax obligations and don’t have fees in mind.
With the help of a consultant, you can skip the learning curve that most other Amazon sellers go through.
2 Implement proven Systems
With the help of an Amazon consultant, you don’t have to think about your own strategies and workflows. Forget testing over testing over testing.
A consultant has already developed strategies and workflows for other customers in the past and can easily apply them to your business.
3 Be in the loop
As you know, Jeff Bezos and his team enjoy changing the rules and guidelines that govern sales on Amazon.
What’s allowed today might get you suspended tomorrow.
If you run your business alone, it’s almost impossible to keep track of all the changes.
That’s why it’s good to have a consultant at your side. He informs himself daily about changes and, may even have insider contacts.
What are the qualities of a good Amazon Consultant?
Of course, every Amazon consultant out there claims to be the best and most experienced of all. But there are big differences in quality. So what makes a good Amazon Consultant?
They know the importance of good SEO
Nowadays, many online shoppers start their product search directly on Amazon. To be more precise, almost fifty percent of all US shoppers type their product search straight into the Amazon search bar (46.7%).
For that reason, it is essential to invest in listing optimization and other Amazon SEO measures. After all, when potential customers search for your product type, you want your products to catch their attention.
An important step to get the customer’s attention is reaching the highest possible placement in the search results.
The higher the better, because a higher ranking means a higher sales probability.
A good Amazon consultant knows how the Amazon search algorithm works and how important it is to act according to its parameters.
They have lots of experience
Of course, experience is also an important factor. The more experienced the consultant is with Amazon, the better.
A common misconception is that a consultant is only good if they themselves were an Amazon seller once and have sold their own products there. This is not the case.
The required experience can also be gained, for example, by working in a consulting firm for a longer period of time or by being responsible for the Amazon sales channel as an employee of another brand.
They don’t believe in “one-size-fits-it-all”
An experienced Amazon consultant has seen many strategies work and fail. Thanks to this experience, he knows what makes an Amazon business successful.
But a good consultant has not only one strategy that he applies to every client, but knows how to apply his knowledge to your business on an individual basis.
They will develop tailor-made solutions for you that take into account the many individual characteristics of your company, your products and your structure.
They understand your brand and vision
A good Amazon consultant needs empathy.
This means developing a sense of your brand and vision and understanding the values on which your entire business is based.
For example, if you sell vegan products, he needs to consider in his strategy development that sustainability and environmental awareness are the core values on which your brand is built.
He must be able to empathize with your vision – even if he eats meat everyday, drives a monster truck and throws his plastic waste straight into the ocean.
They base their decision on facts
Rationality is key. As a business owner, you often make decisions based on your own opinion. This can be very detrimental to your success.
Let’s take advertisement as an example. Just because YOU think that a certain advertisement is good it doesn’t mean that it is also appealing to your target group.
If you personally like humorous and flashy advertising but want to sell a high-quality stainless steel knife sets to a very conservative target group, the decision which ad is the right one will most likely differ from your own preference.
A good consultant bases his decisions on facts rather than gut feeling or subjective perception.
This means that he works a lot with split testing, evaluates all relevant data and then takes the next steps based on information.
They are extremely honest
Of course, you expect everyone around you to be honest with you. For consultants, this is a particularly important characteristic.
First of all, they need to have a sense of how many consulting hours and extra services you will need, what the cost will be and how long the project will take.
There may always be unforeseen extra costs or the project may take a little longer, but the initial assessment should at least approximate reality.
And your consultant should not only be honest when it comes to estimating the project workload. He should also communicate his opinions openly and honestly – even if they do not correspond to your own opinion.
Sounds obvious, but it is not. Many consultants don’t dare to tell you their true thoughts and opinions because they fear losing a profitable client.
But that’s exactly what you need. An objective, independent opinion.
Because sometimes it can happen that you develop a tunnel vision and can no longer assess what is best for your business.
They only recommend white hat methods
Another characteristic of a good Amazon consultant is that he only uses white methods. This means that he does not try any tricks that violate the Amazon guidelines and/or the law.
Even if black or grey hat methods are tempting (because often you can see results faster), believe me: it’s not worth it.
Amazon’s algorithms and its employees are constantly on the hunt for sellers who violate the rules of the game. Your product listings and your account could be suspended temporarily or even forever.
A good consultant knows that the successful sale on Amazon is not a sprint, but a marathon and will not advise you to use methods that endanger your account or – in the worst case – even bring you to court.
They know the best tools
Seller tools are now a dime a dozen. You can easily lose track of which tools you really need for your business, which ones offer good value for money and which ones are well compatible with other tools.
Profit dashboards, product research tools, keyword tools.
Should you buy a lot of individual software or one that can do it all?
A good Amazon consultant can answer all these questions. He knows which latest tools have just been launched, which established tools are the best ones, perfectly match your needs and fit your budget.
They have a large network
Due to the time they have already spent working in the Amazon industry, good Amazon consultants have large networks with valuable contacts.
Why is this important to you?
Because your consultant can put you in touch with service providers he knows are doing a good job.
In addition, you will usually get cheaper offers through the referall of your consultant.
They think long-term and see the bigger picture
As an entrepreneur, you obviously want to see success as quickly as possible. However, that is not always possible.
A good Amazon consultant knows that. He always focuses on the bigger picture and thinks long-term.
He will remind you that you should not invest in short-term sales promotion measures such as PPC, but also in long-term measures such as SEO, so that you can maintain a high level of traffic on your listings.
They can adapt to an ever-changing environment
Things change. Constantly. Monthly. Weekly. Daily. Hourly.
On the one hand, Amazon constantly implements new rules and regulations in its Terms of Service.
On the other hand, laws are constantly changing, such as product safety laws, or other factors affecting your business, like import tariffs (as in the case of the American-Chinese trade-war).
In addition, a lot can change within your organization without any prior notice.
Employees can suddenly quit, unforeseen costs can arise that reduce your budget, your warehouse can burn down (ok, this example is a little extreme) and so on.
A good consultant is always able to adapt to new circumstances and find new solutions.
Where can I find a good Amazon consultant?
So far so good. Now you know the advantages of hiring an Amazon Consultant and what makes a good consultant.
The only question now is where to find one. There are three main approaches.
A classic. You simply type “Amazon Consultant near me” into Google, Bing or any other search engine.
Google search has some disadvantages. On the one hand, it is difficult to navigate through the hundreds of millions of search results.
You’ll probably stop browsing after three or four search result pages at the latest – if you keep browsing at all. Most people limit their choices to first and second page results.
However, on these pages you won’t necessarily find the best Amazon consultant, but the consultants who have invested the most in SEO efforts to appear far ahead in the Google search results.
You can’t make any statements about his performance.
A second popular approach is to ask for recommendations. But even these should be treated with caution.
A place where many sellers ask for recommendations are online forums like Quora or Amazon Seller Facebook Groups.
Often dozens of members comment on the search queries posted.
But be careful!
Many of the people that comment on your post have a great self-interest that you follow their recommendation, because they are either financially rewarded for every successful referral (i.e. they get a commission) or they themselves are founders or employees of the recommended consultancy.
Of course, you can also ask people you know personally.
Suppose you ask a friend of yours who is also an Amazon seller for help. Since you are friends, it is highly unlikely that he will give you a bad recommendation.
But just because the consultant was good for your friend’s business, product and niche, it doesn’t necessarily mean that he can help you.
Every Amazon business is individual and therefore it is better to listen to more than one opinion.
Online Platforms & Marketplaces
The best way to find a suitable Amazon Consultant for your business is to search on a platform for Amazon service providers.
Sermondo, for example, offers a convenient way to search.
On the platform you can easily filter for Amazon Consultants and see where they are located on a world map (this is especially handy if you want to sell to another country).
Plus, – most importantly – you see the reviews and experiences of other Amazon sellers that worked with the consultants before.
This way you get a good impression of what good and professional Amazon Consultants there are.
How do I choose the right Amazon consultant?
Now to the crucial part: How do you now choose the right consultant?
Make up your mind
Before you start your searching, you need to ask yourself a few questions, for example:
- Where is your business right now and how should it grow?
- Which markets do you want to tap into?
- Where do you see the biggest problems right now?
- What is your budget for an Amazon consultant?
- What kind of consultation do you want?
The more you know what you want and what your current situation is, the more you know what kind of consultant you need to achieve your goals.
Do your Research & Compare
Research does not only mean that you search for different consultants, but also that you research which costs for which services are normal in the country involved, which services are normally performed by the consultant, etc.
Once you have a good overview of what you can expect from your consultant, you can start your search.
It is important that you compare several consultancies with each other in order to be able to better assess which ones charge too high fees or offer too few services.
You should then pre-select about three Amazon Consulting companies and talk to them on the phone.
Ask them how long they’ve been in business, where they got their knowledge from, if they have experience with your type of product, what their organizational structure looks like etc.
Ask anything that you want to ask and listen closely to their answers.
If they’re trying to evade your questions and give unclear answers, don’t get involved.
As mentioned above, directness and honesty are among the most important qualities of any Amazon consultant.
When they fit your criteria, have them send you an individual offer.
Remember that you shouldn’t take the lowest-priced one, but the one where you feel the most comfortable working with.
After all, the better you work together, the faster and better results you’ll get.