🏦 TikTok to Bankroll 50% Holiday Discounts
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ALERT: BRAIN BUFFET OF ACTIONABLE INSIGHTS COMING UP
🤶 TikTok Wishes You a Very Merry Holiday Season
Life Isn’t Perfect, but Renders Are
🧠 Amazon Announces New AI Tools in Seller Central
🪅 Mexico Unseats China in Imports
🚢 Sellers Caribbean Cruise - Kevin, Norm, Carlos & more
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TIKTOK PLANS HOLIDAY PRICE WAR WITH AMAZON
TIKTOK TO FUND 50% CUSTOMER DISCOUNTS!
TikTok, with over 150 million active US users, has launched a physical products shop that looks similar in many ways to Amazon’s Marketplace.
The ‘Shop’ feature is located between the 'For You' and 'Following' video feeds. Tapping initially takes you to a scrollable feed of “random” products based on your past app interactions.
Products don’t list brands upfront. Descriptions appear to be tailored more for algorithms than human shoppers. TikTok also instills urgency in buyers by showing product sales numbers and sale countdowns.
It’s currently full of cheap Chinese-made goods, but the platform is actively recruiting US-based sellers to rapidly pump up it’s inventory in time for the Q4 shopping season.
Similar to issues Amazon faced, the TikTok marketplace offers a broad range of products, some with questionable pricing or potential counterfeit indications.
Despite talk of focusing on American sellers, several Chinese brands previously removed from Amazon for false reviews have found a home on TikTok Shop
Spencer Soper and Alex Barinka of Bloomberg report TikTok plans a month-long holiday discount campaign starting in late October, with the intention to draw shoppers and outdo Amazon and Walmart.
TikTok is hosting training sessions with its marketplace sellers this month and proposes to fund up to 50% discounts to motivate sellers' involvement in its month-long Black Friday event from Oct. 27 to Nov. 30.
TikTok believes the holiday season, with an expected $284 billion spending by US shoppers, is crucial for its new marketplace to stand out and is willing to bankroll significant discounts to get things rolling. TikTok’s goal is to capture at least $20 billion in sales.
Some sellers, having tried selling to US users, found that TikTok video campaigns boosted sales both on TikTok and on competitor sites like Amazon and Walmart. Significant discounts funded by TikTok may drive them to in-app purchases right on TikTok instead.
TikTok's actual Black Friday sale starts at 8pm EST on Nov. 23, while its Cyber Monday sale spans Nov. 28-30.
TikTok says it has over 200,000 verified US merchants offering genuine products on its Shop, including over 150,000 vetted beauty products.
A built-in affiliate program enables creators and merchants to connect and make commission-based deals. There’s no TikTok Pay yet, but the platform integrates third-party payment platforms and secure checkout.
Flowspace with its nationwide network and established SLAs has partnered with TikTok. It is directly integrated to provide fulfillment service for TikTok Shop sellers in the USA.
🌎 STATS YOU SHOULD KNOW
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The USA’s % of Chinese imports has nearly halved in the past 8 years.
🔥 PRIME PICKS
→ Amazon’s sandbox
Amazon held their fourth annual Accelerate event last week in Seattle. More than 2,600 sellers converged for networking and insights on the latest tools and features from Amazon.
A bunch of tools at Amazon Accelerate: Tim Jordan (Carbon 6 CCO), Greg Mercer (Jungle Scout founder), Kevin King (Helium 10 consultant).
AMAZON ACCELERATE’S KEY SELLER ANNOUNCEMENTS
Unified Dashboard with Generative AI Capabilities:
Introduced new product listings dashboard that makes fixing listings 40% faster.
Future feature: Provide product attributes from a URL or photo for both new and existing listings.
Shoppable A+ content soon available with comparison charts showing retail prices, review summaries, and "add to cart" buttons.
Generative AI Tools for Product Listings:
New AI tool simplifies creation of new product descriptions, titles, and listing details.
Sellers can also enhance existing products with AI.
Uses large language models (LLMs) trained on significant data, potentially Amazon's own listing data.
Supply Chain by Amazon:
End-to-end supply chain solution.
Combines existing programs like AGL, PCP, AWD, FBA, MCF, and BWP.
Benefits with AWD: no peak season storage fees and auto replenishment to avoid stock outs.
Concerns exist over sharing extensive supplier and manufacturing information with Amazon.
Customer Loyalty Dashboard in Seller Central (US):
Provides detailed customer journey metrics.
Enables brands to segment top customers and boost loyalty.
Customer Sentiment Insights:
Allows sellers to understand customer sentiment at a detailed level.
Provides benchmarks against category best-sellers.
Review feedback for product development and R&D.
Computer Vision in Amazon Fulfillment Centers:
Announced "No Box Shipments" pilot.
Computer vision identifies defects, preventing damaged/expired products from being sent to customers.
Other Notable Points:
Amazon is venturing further into last-mile logistics, competing directly against UPS, FEDEX and the U.S. Post Office. You can now ship items you don’t sell via Amazon using Amazon Shipping in 15 major U.S. metro areas.
Amazon is piloting a service allowing 2 million merchant partners to send inventory directly to physical retail stores and warehouses.
SIDE NOTE: eBay’s new IOS-only generative AI product description tool based on photos is not impressing sellers.
💰 SPARE CHANGE
→ immediate impact tips
LIFE ISN’T PERFECT - BUT RENDERS ARE
Ever wonder why product imagery from certain brands always look amazing on Amazon? It’s very simple; their imagery isn't photography, it's 3D rendering.
Product 3D renders are computer generated images that look like real-life objects. Using exact dimensions, a model is created onto which life-like textures and lighting is added. The result: your product looks better than it’s ever looked before.
All you need are images of your product. These can be simple smartphone images of each side of your product (pretend the product is a dice - you need an image of each number).
GOOD TEXT ON AI IMAGES NOW POSSIBLE
Using generative AI tools to create images with text has been a challenge - until now. A new state-of-the-art AI tool from former Google Brain researchers makes creative expression more accessible, fun, and efficient.
Ideogram lets you do image prompts with text added. Great for A+ content, print on demand, logos and social media.
PROMPT: Need Coffee Right Meow, poster, photo, typography, cinematic, 3d render
PROMPT: Create a logo with text "CrickStan" add a ball, background cricket stadium make ball fire, illustration, typography, 3d render
🛠️ FEATURED RESOURCES
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FAST TRACK YOUR WAY TO AMAZON DOMINATION
The boys and girls at Signalytics have released a slick 4-page guide full of tips and a comprehensive list for launching, growing and scaling your Amazon business.
For example, you’ll find guides on
• “Retail-reading” your product on Amazon
• How to launch with a bang
• Ways to minimize costs, maximize gains
• Amazon business launch template
FOR THE COACHES AND GURUS
BDSN is read mostly by Amazon sellers, but 15% of you are service providers and gurus. So this one is for you:
Asynchronous software for coaching is the rage right now.
Convert 1-on-1 calls to an async monthly subscription to take on more clients with predictable, stable revenue
Your clients get more value by being able to request help on-demand rather than taking a 60 minute time slot
How it works:
Your clients pay you a monthly fee (eg $200/month)
In return, they can send you a set number of video or text requests per month
You reply to these requests asynchronously with your feedback or advice (in the form of video or text)
A tool like ClarityFlow manages this super easily.
🗣️ COMMUNITY SHOUT-OUTS
→ Tidbits from readers who share the newsletter
💃 LIVE IN LONDON OR EUROPE? Don't miss Kayleigh Bendall's eClimbSummit at the Pan Pacific London on Friday September 22.
The event is tailored to big sellers and features speakers like Ali Grey ($500M seller), Danny McMillan, Alan Vlaic, Matt Parker and Mels Terlouw.
She will also be welcoming the marketing brain behind FMCG brand WONDERSKIN - Michael Malinsky. He’ll be talking about how online behavior has changed and what’s critical for survival.
💸 PROFITABLE PPC CHALLENGE. Chris Rawlings is hosting a 5-day live event for sellers that promises to transform your ability to scale your brand using Amazon PPC. The event starts today, September 18.
Want to be featured in this section? Use your referral link at the bottom of this email to refer at least 10 active subscribers first, then email me to get your event, course, webinar or tool “Shouted-Out” free.
🎧 LISTEN UP
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✌🏼 That’s all folks.
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Back at you on Thursday …
The answer to today’s STUMP BEZOS is October 26, 2023