RSVP: Tips for Using a Product Insert

Product inserts are seen as a low-cost marketing tactic, but are they just that or more?

Are they even effective at increasing sales, like Amazon’s URL shortener?

Should an Amazon seller use them?

This post answers all your questions about product descriptions and explains why you might be missing out if you’re not using them.

What is a Product Insert?

A Product Insert is anything – a business card, postcard, flyer or coaster(!) – that you put in the box with your product. Obviously they need to be IN the packaging, so if you are doing FBA you will need your suppliers to put them in there during the packaging process.

Product Inserts have a lot of good points in their favor – they can talk directly to the buyer about the good parts of your business and product.

Top 5 Reasons To Use Product Inserts

1) Earn More Reviews

It seems like a ‘chicken and egg’ situation – to sell more products you need reviews and to get reviews you need to sell more products.

At Zonmaster we say that the trick to getting more reviews is deceptively simple: ask for them! A simple printed card saying ‘Please leave us a Review’ will have a significant impact on your review count (as does sending an email via Zonmaster or using our Auto Review Request Tool!).

To ensure that you don’t run afoul of Amazon’s Terms of Service make sure that you in no way imply that you only want positive reviews.

2) Promote Your Other Products

Product Inserts are a great way to get your other products that you are selling on Amazon (you are selling more than one thing, right?) in front of more customers, without having to pay for advertising or clicks.

This is a great way to highlight slow-selling products, or related products. And your customer is much more likely to buy from you a second time. if you are careful you can even offer a discount (more on this later) to help you shift some of those slow sellers!

3) Customer Relationship Building

We all like to feel special, and maybe it seems obvious to you but customers like to be told ‘thank you’ and how important and valued they are.

To build the customer relationship (or any relationship, really) the first thing is to be open. Highlight that you are interested in hearing any complaints the customer might have. This also has the added benefit of somewhat deflecting any negative seller feedback.

Aside from a simple ‘please comment’ card, put other little surprises in the box. Customers love it.

4) Buyer Targeting

You already know what the customer is interested in – the just bought it! A great leveraging tool to use here is to include free samples of other products (if possible). As mentioned in point 2, related products will have a much smoother road to a purchase here.

5) Low Cost Marketing

Product Inserts, when compared to PPC and other channels, are a huge bargain. The hit rate is much higher and the knock on positives can’t be duplicated with just another online ad.

How To Stay on the Good Side of Amazon’s TOS

1) Promote the product, not your website

Amazon is all about keeping the customer. So do not include a ‘call to action’ on your printed materials either. Do NOTEVER! – ask the customer to buy from your website.

2) Neutral Language for Reviews

Another big no-no in the eyes of Amazon is in any way asking for only positive reviews. Don’t say things like ‘if you love this product leave a review’.

That being said, it is a good practice to encourage buyers to contact you directly in case of questions or complaints so that their issue may be resolved and a negative review can be avoided.

3) Don’t Mention Reviews and Discounts in the same place

Don’t ever say this: ‘Leave us a review and get a 10% discount!’

Not unless you want to see Amazon go crazy.

What you can do is, preferably on the other side of the paper from where you ask for a review, have a ‘no strings attached’ coupon code.

4) Make Sure They See The Insert

If you’re going to go to the trouble of putting the insert in the box make sure they see it! Use bright colors! Or special paper. And use some imagination.

The next best thing to a product insert is to use the tools on Zonmaster! Our powerful email templating system lets you set up custom emails that can go out to just the right customers at just the right time. Or save yourself the trouble of writing emails let Zonmaster automatically trigger Amazon’s own Review Request feature!

Start your free trial today! Learn more over at the Zonmaster website!

Instruction Updates

New, Improved Zonmaster Order Manager

We’ve uploaded a new video to our YouTube Channel that details the functions and features of our new Order Manager page.

You can see the video here:

For those of you who prefer to read we’ll try to summarize things here.

Accessing the Order Manager

To get to the order manager select Orders from the Orders menu at the top.

The order manager provides all your details for both Amazon and Merchant (FBA and MFN) fulfilled orders.

Search and Filter

You can search and filter on a variety of aspects:

  • Date Range
  • ASIN
  • SKU
  • Buyer Email
  • Shipment details like city, state, postal code or tracking number.

For date ranges you can search on a predefined set of ranges, or enter in exact dates.As we’ll see later, you can also set date ranges by click on our charts.

On top of the searching, you can also filter your data.You can filter by

  • Fulfilment Channel
  • Orders that used promotions
  • Orders that generated seller feedback
  • Limit by marketplace here, or by chart clicking.
  • Order status – from unshipped to delivered, or returned or refunded
  • Whether the buyer is a repeat buyer
  • If the order or buyer has been marked as Do Not Solicit
  • Whether the order has been sent emails, not been sent emails or is has an email waiting to go out.
  • Whether an order has or has not had a review requested via Amazon’s review request feature.

Whew that’s a lot of filters!

But there’s more!

You can also filter orders by clicking on the charts at the top of the page. These charts show your entire history that we have inside Zonmaster. If you want to see orders for a specific channel, you can click that channel in the Sales By Channel pie chart. You can also limit by month by clicking on the month is the sales bar charts. These two can be combined as well, or also combined with any filters you might have set in the filter section.

You can set any of these things, then click filter to update the table below.

Order Data

The order details we show here are

  • The marketplace
  • How the order was fulfilled
  • The purchase date
  • Some order info such as order id, how many items were purchases and what asins and skus were purchased. You can click on the Order ID to go to the order details page on Zonmaster, or, you can click on the little amazon  logo to be taken to the order details page on Amazon. We show more info on our page I think
  • Order status icon. You can hover over this to get a little more info, or see the full info on the order page.
  • Basic location info of the shipment, like city and region or state or province, depending on country.
  • Quick summary of how many emails this order has been sent, if there is seller feedback from this order and whether a review request has been issued.

Select and Act on Orders

We also have a bunch of actions you can do on an order or orders if you select them. You select orders by clicking on the select box in the first column.If you select and order and go to the top of the select column you’ll see a dropdown. (you can also click on the box there to select or deselect all orders showing)

Send On Demand Email

You can see the first item after the selected order count is ‘Send Email’. Zonmaster finally gives you the ability to manually send an email template to an order.

If you choose the ‘Send Email’ option that dropdown a popup will appear.

Here you can choose what email template to send out. If you need to create a new template or want to edit an existing one you can click on the link in the green note at the bottom. If you choose a template from the dropdown the preview area will appear and you can see how to email will look to your buyer when they receive it.You’ll see that this is a good reason to give your email templates good names!

It’s important to note that the email WON’T go out if

  • the order or buyer is marked as DNS
  • the order has already received the email template before.

If you’re happy with it you can click continue to review, and then click send now to have the emails queued to be sent as soon as possible.

Other Actions

From the drop down you can also set orders as Do Not Solicit for Order. That means that no more emails will go out for the selected orders. If you choose Do Not Solicit for Buyer  – previously called Blacklist on Zonmaster – that means that no more emails will go to that buyer, for this order or any future orders they may buy from you.If you select these you’ll see the status updated on the order row. It can of course be easily removed.

Custom DNS Upload Tool

If you have existing list of orders you want marked as DNS you can use our Custom DNS Upload tool which can be found under the Orders menu.You can paste in up to 1000 Amazon order ids, select the action you want – either DNS on the Order or DNS on the Buyer – and whether you are setting or removing the flags. Click submit and that’s it!

We hope you like the enhancements we’ve made to the Order Manager!

Zonmaster helps Amazon sellers monitor, manage, and automate emails, product reviews, orders, and feedback. Build professional email templates with gifs, emojis, buttons, and attachments. A/B test subject lines and view open rate analytics. Send or exclude emails based on triggers such as refunds, shipment, delivery, feedback, and repeat buyers. Track and manage all product reviews. Instant notifications whenever a review is posted.

Start your free trial today!


7 Tips For Better Listing Descriptions

You’ve done all the work – found the product, done the packaging, had it shipped to Amazon, got it listed, run some ads – and now people are actually coming to your product page on Amazon.

But what do they find? We’ve covered elsewhere ways to improve your overall listing quality, but in this article let’s dive into basic copywriting skills to make that product description the best it can be.

Reign in the Tech Speak

Yes, people want to know that your socks are the best at keeping them warm. No, people do not want to know the thickness of the thread used in making those socks.

Learn to distil down the technical details into what people want to know versus what facts and figures you have available.

Specs and Sizes

No, this does not contradict point #1! ?

Amazon gives you space to list 5 features of your products. Use ONE of those slots to explain the technical aspects of your product (if necessary).

Do not look at these tech specs as selling points, but purely informational and a great way to back up any claims you may make elsewhere in your listing.

Write to the Audience

We here at Zonmaster believe in the concept of creating a ‘customer sketch’ and using that to inform your marketing. So, pick who you want to buy your product and write your copy to that person!

Know what they want. Look at how your competition addresses the audience too. And look at reviews! Customers will tell you exactly what was good and bad about a product and often it will be a description of what they wish they’d known before buying.

Find Your USP

Your USP is your Unique Selling Proposition. Find a way to set your product apart from the competition. That can be key benefits or unique features.

Steve Jobs famously believed in selling experiences rather than products. That approach was Apple’s USP.

Keyword, Keyword, Keyword

Check our other article about finding keywords, but here let’s just say that it is vital that you weave the keywords that people are searching for into your descriptions.

We can’t say it enough: keyword research can make or break your Amazon selling experience.

Be Yourself, Be Honest

90% of customers have a pretty good BS meter. They know – and have probably heard before – any outlandish claims that you might make about your product. They won’t fall for it and forever they will lump you into the BS Artist category.

Treat people like you would want to be treated (why this one simple concept is so difficult for people to follow is beyond us!)

No product is infallible. Your customers will appreciate your honesty if you point out some things that your product WON’T do for them!

Call To Action

Without being overly spammy, urge your buyers to actually BUY! If your product is limited, tell them it’s limited. Tell them to buy 2 if it really will be out of stock for a month or so. Also, consider bundles. They motivate people.

At the end of your features list, make sure the customer knows that now is when they are supposed to buy.

If you are selling on Amazon you really should be using Zonmaster – the Leading AutoResponder Tool for Amazon Sellers. It’s much more than an autoresponder tool – it’s a customer contact system, a review, product and order manager as well. It even can track your true profits.

Sign up today for your free trial! Subscriptions start at just $6.99 a month.


6 Ways To Find New Amazon Trends

A special kind of joy is evoked when you win the Buy Box on a hot trending product on Amazon. It’s what all Amazon Sellers wish for. But how to spot a trend or a hot product?

Below we’re going to give you 6 good ways to get the jump on what’s hot.

Study Amazon’s Own ‘Best Seller’ Listings

Visit any Amazon website and click on ‘All’ in the top left. A drop will show you a bunch of categories PLUS, right at the top, will be ‘Best Sellers’.

Updated hourly, the Best Seller listings are a heirarchical list of what’s hot in all categories. You can even drill down a few levels to find a specific niche.

For example, you can start with ‘Clothing & Accessories’ and drill down in ‘Men’s Fashion’.

Amazon shows you the Top 100 items in any category.

Bonus Tip: This is also a great way to research when you want to break into a new region or marketplace.

Follow “New Releases” and “Movers & Shakers”

Just below ‘Best Sellers’ in the Trending section of the menu will be ‘New Releases’ and ‘Movers & Shakers’. Despite its name, ‘New Releases’ doesn’t just show you what is new on Amazon, it uses Amazon’s own A10 algorithm to identify which new and upcoming releases are also best-selling items.

‘Mover & Shakers’ will show you products that have had a recent significant upswing in sales.

Both sections can give you great insight into what is catching fire (hopefully not literally, as I am fairly sure that’s a violation of Amazon ToS!) in all categories.

Changes in Your Own Inventory

Sometimes we discount our own experiences in favor of thinking that other people have it figured out. But, this is not the case. You are sitting on top of one of the best indicators: what’s happening with your own sales and inventory on Amazon!

Understanding what is working and what isn’t on products that are already in your store can help you to decide what courses of action to take including building around the things you are having success with and improving on the things that you aren’t.

Inside of Zonmaster we are building out more and more financial tools to help you get a better view on what’s going on with your data. You can enter in your Cost of Goods (COGs) and landed costs and get a clear picture of your true profit. All of this can be done inside our ‘Profit Center’.

Monitor Your Niche’s Publications (and Websites)

Sellers of electronic products have access to dozens of great gadget and technology websites that discuss and review the most popular products throughout the year. Toy and game sellers can use various wish lists and message boards to find out what the hottest and rarest toys of the season are.

No matter what market you’re in, there are sure to be some great resources to add to your reading lists or watch lists. Facebook groups or Twitter lists can provide you with links to relevant articles in your field. Even sites like YouTube’s trending page can give you insights into products and Amazon market trends that influencers are talking about. Make it a habit to tap into the resources the internet has to offer so you can stay on top of niche trends.

Research Keywords

Looking at Amazon search trends can often provide valuable insight into what’s working for top sellers. Every now and then, it’s a good idea to simply search for the top keywords in your company’s field and see what comes up. Are the products that appear in the ads as top performers working well? What products are showing up organically on the first pages of search results?

Take notes on some competitors in your area and come back a few days later to look for changes in search rankings, sales rankings and reviews. This due diligence can help you determine which keywords are worth your advertising investment and what other trends you may be able to leverage to improve your profitability.

Monitor Reviews (on your products and others)

Take the time to delve into the review sections on the topics of interest. Products that generate lots of sales are also likely to generate lots of reviews. These reviews can tell you why the product in question is becoming popular. Is it a new innovation in the field? Is it something the buyer’s child has been asking for after seeing it on Tik Tok? Are there other products that have the same feature as this product that are also doing well on Amazon?

Negative reviews can also be helpful. Maybe you can see a recurring trend. Are buyers confused by the description of the product? Is there a way this product could be improved? Whether you’re planning to buy a private label product to compete with it, or you’re just brainstorming for your own product line, it’s very helpful to understand product strengths and weaknesses based on reviews.

Don’t forget that Zonmaster offers you a suite of tools to monitor your orders and products. And also (of course!) great tools to help you get reviews and feedback. And we support all Amazon marketplaces around the world. Start your free trial today!


The Power Of Labels

We’ve uploaded a new tutorial on YouTube that gives a quick overview of our new ‘Labeling’ feature that is available inside the Products area.

With Labels you can assign meaningful categories to your products so that you can quickly see how they are performing against each other.

We have pre-seeded your products with Labels based on the categories that Amazon thinks apply to each of your products. You can chose to remove these, or add additional labels of your own. (You can also re-scan the Amazon category labels if you feel you’ve made a mistake!).

As always, we look forward to your help in keeping Zonmaster the best Auto Responder tool for Amazon Sellers but more and more you will see us branching out into other post-sales, financial and listing management areas too! 2021 will be a big year for Zonmaster.

Of course, all features are available at all subscription levels, including the $6.99/month start level! Start your free trial today


5 Ways To Improve Your Listings

As an Amazon Seller – and if you want to be successful at it – you should be constantly focusing on listing quality. Here we’re going to quickly give you 5 key areas that you should be looking at.

We may have said some of these before, but listing quality is the number one factor in what affects your sales and your reviews (because failed expectations are the main reason listings get bad reviews).

1. Always Think Of The Algorithm

Amazon’s latest algorithm update – know as A10 – seems to put the most weight on:

  • Page Impressions
  • Conversions
  • CTR
  • Internal Sales

Having content that has the right keywords drives a lot of this so….

2. Look at Your Backend Attributes

(oh there’s a great joke in that title somewhere!)

Amazon’s backend attributes area lets you enter keywords that strongly affect ranking and discoverability. Backend attributes and Amazon’s focus on filling in “important product information” with the dashboard go hand in hand. It is a good idea to frequently revisit this in the Seller Central listings manager, especially for products you feel aren’t performing as well as they could.

3. Talk Yourself Up

Focus on the features that your customers love and need and brag about them! Don’t overstate (see the comment above about managing expectations) but don’t let the customer click away without knowing what your product does the best.

4. Look The Part

Amazon lets you add photos and video to listings – do it, and make them the best possible images and videos you can to highlight your products features and uses. Answer questions with your images.

Also, the best visual assets will let potential customers easily imagine this product in their own lives. Because of that, show a pic or video of your product in use! Not just boring soft-box product eye candy.

5. Tell A Story – The Readability Factor

We’ve all seen it – product listings that are like someone put a long list of keywords in a blender with some ‘ands’ and ‘ifs’ and then dumped it out on the page.

Amazon’s A10 Algo does detect readability. Write your listing like it’s a blog post or a story or a conversation with a potential customer. Point #3 above said to talk about your good points – but don’t over do it. Be friendly, not a used-car salesman.

Your listing is a perfect chance to present your brand and brand personality. Don’t throw that away.

When you have made the sale, don’t forget your after-sales responsibilities. There’s no better choice that Zonmaster as a way of communicating with your customers and monitoring your reviews and feedback. Start your free trial today and see for yourself!


8 Tips for Selling Internationally

Selling Globally

During this seemingly never-ending Covid19 pandemic people around the world are turning to online shopping. If you are focused purely on and the American market you are missing out on the huge opportunity of selling globally, the likes of which we have not seen in eCommerce since the early days of online shopping.

How big?

Europe is the second largest economy (based on GDP) in the world, and with just a few clicks Amazon lets you access that marketplace. In this article we are going to cover some of the reasons why you should be selling globally and some top tips on how to go about doing it.

First: Why?


eCommerce reports predict non-US shopping trends to have a 5x increase in the next 5 years. With the right budget, product, and optimization, you can successfully launch a product and get your slice of the pie.

Ease of Selling

Amazon provides FBA in all of the world’s major marketplaces. Selling in Germany (or Japan or Australia) is no more difficult than selling in the US – ship your products to an FBA warehouse and let Amazon do the rest.

Build International Listing (BIL) Tool

As if FBA didn’t make it easy enough, Amazon also offers the BIL tool. BIL allows you to manage offers for multiple marketplaces all from one main marketplace. Once you make changes to your offers, BIL automatically scans for qualifying listings in other markets and updates them for you. It is designed to save you time and money, as you don’t need to update each individual market separately.

The Tips

If you are now motivated to give international selling a try, let’s look at some top tips for a successful launch.

1. Find The Right Product

Not every product translates well to a new marketplace. Investigate marketplaces just like you did when you chose your first products. Look at what sells, what reviews say and what fits your budget.

Don’t forget to do keyword research in the marketplace as well!

2. Find The Right Supplier

Every market has its own special needs when it comes to product manufacturing. On top of that, different suppliers have different understandings of local packing/product requirements. That means you need to find a reliable product supplier capable of manufacturing to your specific requirements.

3. Hire A Local

Perhaps it goes without saying, but, if you are putting a listing on Amazon Japan you need to have your listing in Japanese. Or German for Germany, Italian for Italy, etc etc.

Despite advances in machine translation, do not be tempted to simply translate your English listing using Google Translate and post it. First of all, the translation will be horrible (sorry Google!). Second, it is not just the words, it is the meaning. Different cultures will want to focus on different aspects and the best way to bridge this gap is to hire a native speaker of the your target language and someone who lives in the target country. A freelancer can even help you identify unique cultural pain points you didn’t think of.

4. Use Single Sign On (SSO)

It’s easy to get tangled up with numerous seller accounts spread over different regions. SSO eliminates that problem by providing you with one spot to sign-on, using only one username/password. From there, you can choose which marketplace you want to look at. 

SSO currently supports the following markets: North America, Europe, Japan and India. In order to do this, you must:

  1. Sign into your Seller Central account.
  2. Link your seller accounts by going to the Inventory tab, and clicking on “Sell Globally.”
  3. If you have an eligible seller account, it will appear here along with a “Link Accounts” button. Select which account you want to connect, and click it.
  4. If you do not have any eligible seller accounts, Amazon will give you the option of creating one and then linking it.

5. Use The BIL Tool For One-Stop Listings Management

As mentioned previously, Amazon’s BIL lets you manage multiple listings from one marketplace. You simply link the parent from your existing marketplace to the listing in your target marketplace. BIL will then go and automatically edit the child listings for you, as long as they actually exist. 

For access to BIL you need the following:

  • Have a Professional Seller account in good standing.
  • Operate linked accounts between regions.
  • Run a North American and/or European Unified account if you intend on selling in either places.

You should be aware that even using BIL you need to:

  • Manage inventory levels for marketplaces
  • Ensure your product meets local regulations for packaging.
  • You must manually remove listings in the individual marketplaces if you wish to suspend them.

6. Choose Your Fulfillment Type

For selling Amazon products from the USA to the UK, you have to take a deep look at your business’ needs. There are multiple ways to sell within the EU market. Here are the options:

  • European Fulfillment Network (EFN) is tailored towards less experienced sellers. In this type, Amazon covers all of your logistical needs. You ship all your items to one warehouse, and Amazon takes care of shipping them across borders in exchange for a fee.
  • Pan-European Fulfillment (PEF) is for sellers who deal with large volumes of products. You ship everything to Amazon and they store it in a warehouse closest to where they predict the most customers will buy it. You do not pay any fees for shipping across borders.
  • Multi Country Inventory (MCI) lets sellers choose which country they want to ship their product to. They can divide things up as they see fit, with a maximum of 5 countries allowed. 

7. Look Into FBA Export

FBA Export is slightly different – it lets you ship internationally from a single location. Under this option, Amazon stores everything in one US warehouse and ships products to international buyers for you. 

The benefit of FBA Export is that anyone, anywhere who has access to Amazon can buy from you. With over 60 countries all purchasing from your market, there’s a lot of growth potential. 

8. Use Zonmaster

Of course, Zonmaster lets you manage all your customer contacts and review management (and more!) regardless of what or how many marketplaces you sell in around the world. Zonmaster supports ALL Amazon marketplaces, from Europe to North America to Australia to Asia. All in a single Zonmaster account – yes, even the ones starting at $6.99 a month!

Start your free trial today! We have some exciting new features coming soon that will change the way you work!


Buy Box Demystified

It’s an interesting dilemma. Amazon has one page per product/ASIN. But there may be multiple sellers offering the same product. How to choose who is the ‘highlighted’ seller?

The ‘highlight’ is called the buy box, and the highlighted seller is known as ‘winning the buy box’. Winning the buy box has a HUGE impact on sales. Over 90% of purchases on Amazon are made through the buy box.

In this article we’ll take an in-depth look at the buy box and what you can do to win it.

How Does Amazon Pick The Winner?

Amazon uses AI to model what it thinks a user would do to choose a top buyer for a product. It does this by asking a series of questions.

  • Which offer has the best price?
  • Which offers are in stock and are Prime?
  • Which ships the fastest?
  • Does the seller have positive feedback and reviews?
  • Does the seller have enough stock to fufill the entire purchase?

It therefore goes without saying that you need to pay attention to these factors (and more) to win the box. We have another article about account health that can help.

Being Eligible for the Buy Box

To be eligible for the buy box you must have an account in good-standing Professional Seller account (if you aren’t a pro-seller then you can only win no-competition buy boxes).

If you’re a Professional seller, you can determine if individual items are eligible for the Buy Box by going to Manage Inventory in Seller Central, clicking Preferences, and selecting Buy Box Eligible in order to display eligibility in the Manage Inventory grid. 

What Steps Can You Take To Increase Your Chances of Winning the Buy Box?

Competitively Price Your Listings

Price is an important factor in winning the buy box – but it is not always about the lowest price! As stated above, price is just one factor in Amazon’s decision making process.

You should investigate Automated Pricing to help you in this area. Amazon has their own Automated Pricing Tool inside of Seller Central and there are also third-party companies that offer a similar service.

Seller Central offers a very lightweight repricing solution for sellers just starting out with repricing. Its Buy Box rule lets you price below the current Buy Box winner by any amount that you set. This works well if you are a smaller seller who has consistent competition and you know how much you have to beat them by in order to capture the Buy Box. 

Third-party rule-based pricing works in much the same way but typically gives you more options to choose from. You’ll often be able to change how you compete based on the competition’s fulfillment type or ratings, what to do when you’re the only seller for a product, and how to react when a product isn’t eligible for the Buy Box. 

Faster and or Free Shipping

We covered this extensively in another article, but, to summarize:

Fast – and ideally free – shipping increases conversions, average order value (AOV), marketplace benefits and customer loyalty.

The easiest way to offer great shipping options is to be use Amazon’s own FBA service. Being part of Amazon Prime also helps!

Focus On Customer Service

Amazon measures Customer service in a variety of ways, including (but not only)

  • Negative Feedback (note: not Product Reviews, but Seller Feedback)
  • A-to-Z Guarantee Claims
  • Credit Card Chargebacks

In Amazon-speak this is know as the Order Defect Rate.

You have to keep this under 1%. Over 1% and you risk account deactivation! Monitor your Seller Feedback and Product Reviews using Zonmaster to stay on top of this.

For the buy box specifically, keep your Cancellation Rate below 2.5%. And if you have decided to not use FBA, make sure your Late Shipment Rate is below 4%.

Keep Inventory Levels

Check your inventory levels to make sure you can fulfill orders. You can do this with either the Amazon Selling Coach or even inside of Zonmaster – where we are looking to launch inventory alerts in the near future!

There’s Not Always A Winner

In extreme cases, Amazon might remove the buy box from a listing page – even if there are sellers offering the item with it in stock. If you ever see that (as a buyer) you know that none of those sellers are what Amazon considers good! Don’t fall into this trap!

With an overwhelming percentage of sales happening through the Buy Box because of its prime page real estate and easy checkout flow, it should be one of the primary metrics you track for the health of your Amazon account. If you have the margin to play around with prices and you can use an automated repricer, you are going to have a leg up on the competition. But if you don’t, remember that there are many other factors at play in earning that coveted spot. Putting effort into improving all of them will go a long way towards securing your share of Buy Box wins.


7 Tips To Finding Suppliers in Asia

Back in the heady days before Covid19 (remember them?), if you were serious about sourcing products from China or other Asian countries you would have got on a plane and gone to one of the major trade fairs in China or Singapore designed to help you connect.

Now that getting on a plane for 18 hours has lost its appeal, let’s look at other ways you can connect with reputable sellers in Asia.


The behemoth in the market is of course Alibaba. Formed in 1999 by Jack Ma and friends from his apartment in Hangzhou, Alibaba has rocketed up to a valuation of over $75 Billion (yes, with a B). Alibaba, unlike other sites like eBay and so on, was built from the ground up to be a B2B (business to business) connector site. It is the biggest database of Chinese factories on earth.

But, it is not JUST Chinese factories. You can filter on location, and often non-Chinese suppliers will be better priced and more hungry for your contract. Of course, quality varies from supplier to supplier (you should always get a sample), but multi-million dollar businesses have been built on little more than a search on Alibaba.

A rival to Alibaba, also has an impressive database of Chinese and Asian suppliers. Some suppliers ONLY list here (citing better rates than Alibaba), so it is definitely worth adding this to your list of places to check when you want to find interesting products to sell on Amazon, or a factory partner to develop your own idea.

HKTDC (Hong Kong Trade Development Council)

HKTDC have a great website that includes a section on sourcing suppliers and partners. This is often overlooked by the beginner, but the site has a lot of resources that are worth reading to become familiar with the region and the marketplace.

They also have a great list of upcoming events, both in Hong Kong and internationally. Sign up for their newsletter to get updates.

Industry Newsletters

Every industry and sector has a governing body, or more than one, and many of these produce online newsletters or have a mailing list where they talk about industry news. If you are, for example, interested in producing or sourcing toys then you could look at something like the ‘China Toy & Juvenile Products Association’ and sign up for their mailings.

Again, treat this as what it is – your business. Becoming familiar with the industry and the community around not the consumers but the manufacturers will give you great insight into the process.

Trade Shows

Even though many trade shows are now on hold due to the pandemic, many of them still have websites or hold online versions of the show. There are general trade fairs, industry specific trade fairs and also trade fairs aimed directly at helping you find a supplier that is Amazon-friendly!

Some to look at are:

The list is pretty much endless!


There are agents who can help you find suppliers. Often they are American companies with Chinese offices (or Chinese companies with American offices!) and have good contacts with local Chinese suppliers.

Definitely be wary here and do test runs before any big purchases. Also once you settle on an agent, ask around to see what others say.

Importer Databases

This used to be an expensive option, with companies like Zepol charging thousands to get a look into their database. But with companies like ImportGenius coming online the price of admission has dropped dramatically.

Definitely worth a look at if you want to see who is bringing what into the US.

Buyer Services

Many of the major sourcing websites also offer a companion buyer service that will look for local Chinese suppliers and factories that match the criteria you supply. Often this is a good, cheap alternative that can be done in parallel – without obligation – with your own sourcing and research


Why You Need 2-day Delivery

Let’s face it, we’re spoiled. The more we, as customers, get into the eCommerce revolution the more we expect not only great selection and value from the comfort of our own home, we also expect great speed in getting our purchases.

Amazon has pushed speed and efficiency as important factors and its customers agree.

In this article we’ll look at why fast shipping matters and how to get it, regardless of what kind of Amazon seller you are.

The Reasons You Need Fast Shipping

It is not only customer expectations that benefit from fast shipping. It’s proven that your business metrics improve as well.

Fast – and ideally freeshipping increases conversions, average order value (AOV), marketplace benefits and customer loyalty.

Let’s take a look at these points

Customer Conversions

Customers are more likely to buy from fast shippers because they want instant gratification. The reasons for this can be multifaceted – of course they want the thing they are buying asap, but also getting something free and fast gives that sense of VIP treatment. Free and fast shipping has been show to increase conversion rates up to 300%

Average Order Value (AOV)

Fast and free shipping with a threshold motivates customers to add more items to their shopping cart. The customers want to get to the free threshold and will add items to get there. Often they will add even more because they see they’ve already reached free, so why get something else!

Marketplace Benefits

Amazon likes sellers who sell. The more you sell, the more they like you. Because free and fast shipping increases conversions it has a direct effect of pushing you upwards in 2 key areas:

  1. Organic Search – more conversions is proven to help with search ranking.
  2. Winning the Buy Box – fast delivery directly impacts winning the buy box

Customer Loyalty

Jeff Bezos coined this term ‘The Flywheel Effect’ which is a positive cycle for your business in which customers return, unprompted, to buy from you because they had a great experience. Features like 2-day delivery greatly motivate people to return to you, especially if you are selling consumables that need to be replaced.

How To Provide 2-Day Shipping

Here let’s look at the 3 basic scenarios – merchant fulfilled, marketplace fulfilled, and 3-rd part fulfilled.

Merchant Fulfilled

This involves using your own space and pick, pack and posting your own orders. There are pros and cons to this.



You have control over the entire fulfillment process, from how much inventory you store and the shipping carriers used to where you invest money and cut corners. 

Seller Fulfilled Prime Badge

If you can maintain service level agreements, you may be eligible for marketplace fast tags through your in-house fulfillment.



You need a lot of space to maintain inventory and have a good area to efficiently pack and store while waiting for pickup.


You pay for all fulfillment costs, including warehouse space, insurance, wages, heating, cooling, shipping, and packaging.

Marketplace Fulfillment i.e FBA

FBA of course is the easy option, but is not without it’s drawbacks. It can be unreliable, and you are without recourse if it is. It can also be expensive.

On the upside, often the shipping fees are less than what you as an independent can negotiate. Also is the benefit of being part of Amazon Prime, which gives a boost to sales.

Third Party Fulfillment

Outsourcing 2-day deliveries to a fulfillment company involves handing over your entire fulfillment process to a fulfillment service, including storing, picking, packing, and shipping. 

It is a lot like using FBA, but just with a different company.

As always, there are pros and cons.

The major con is the cost, which can be higher than either FBA or MFN, depending on the products you are selling. Also be away that some third party fulfilment services may not be able to scale with you! Stay on top of this as you grow.

The major pro is if you are also selling in other marketplaces like Walmart or eBay you can use the same company to fulfill.