Amazon Seller Tools We Use to Build our E-Commerce Businesses

Episode 010

On today’s episode David and Ken share the top 3 tools they each use in their business, that are a must-have.  We discuss each tool and provide a quick breakdown of how the tool adds value to our business.

Helium10 –  Coupon code FTM10  10% off every month – FTM50  50% off first month!
Jungle Scout – 30% OFF with <<<- this link
QuickBooks
Fetcher
Splitly   <– Gamechanger ALERT!
Feedbackwhiz  <– Need Reviews?

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David (00:00):
These are things I use in our businesses every single day and you know, they’re the top three tools for each of us.

David (00:06):
If you are having a lot of sales at a negative profit margin, you’re screwed, right?

Ken (00:12):
Basically the pulse of my business.

David (00:14):
It is a positive ROI activity for sure

Ken (00:17):
Has changed the game for me in terms of profitability.

Intro (00:21):
Welcome everyone to the firingtheman.com Podcast, a show for anyone who wants to be their own boss. If you sit in a cubicle every day and to know you were capable of more than join us, this show will help you build a business and grow your passive income streams in just a few short hours per day. And now your host serial entrepreneurs, David Schomer and Ken Wilson.

David (00:46):
All right, everyone. Welcome to the firing the man podcast. Today, Ken and I are going to be talking about tools that online sellers can use to enhance and improve their business. I’ve got three of my favorites written down. Ken has three of his favorites and we’re going to be talking about what we like, what we don’t like, and what’s really made a meaningful impact in our business.

Ken (01:07):
So David, before we get started, and by the way, I’m super excited about this show though, seller tools. I love data. I love digging around and, and, and uh, getting, you know, bang for my buck. So let’s, let’s share with the listeners. You know, what kind of tools are out there? What w what are they going to help you with? Uh, explain high level for the listeners.

David (01:25):
Yeah, absolutely. I would say that the driving force behind this market is that, uh, there is a ton of data out there when it comes to running an eCommerce business and there has been a flood of companies coming to the eCommerce space and developing data-driven technology that allows sellers to better understand their products, better, understand their customers, and make data-driven decisions. You know, there are pros and cons to tools, but I think that for some of the high level sellers, it is, it’s an essential part of a, of running your businesses.

Ken (02:05):
At the end of the day, the tools are there, you know, they’re, they’re there to make a manual process simple and faster, right? Like, if you only have an hour, you know, say you come home at night and you’re like, you’re like, damn, I’m tired. I work all day, but I got to build my business. Right? Well, you want to go into your office or to your space and work on your business and you want to have the best tools possible that make, make your, your hour. You want to maximize that, right? So if you have a tool that you can do something that would manually take you 30 minutes, if you can do it in 30 seconds, that’s a tool that you want to have in your arsenal, right? Uh, you know, a lot of the tools that are out there, you know, they have a 30 day free trial or free membership, uh, you know, so it’s, it’s easy to evaluate some of these tools and kinda kind of add ’em in if, if, if they’re going to benefit or not.

Ken (02:56):
And you know, uh, if you go to https://firingtheman.com/index.php/resource-library/ go to our resource library, we’re going to have links to all of the tools we’re talking about on today’s show. We’re going to link there. We have some of them, some of them are affiliates, some of them you can get a free trials or discounts, uh, maybe not all, but some of them are. So go there and check it out. Uh, you know, these are tools that David and I use in our businesses every single day. And you know, they’re the top three tools for each of us. So it’s, you know, you can’t go wrong.

David (03:23):
Absolutely. I think, you know, we’ve pointed out the pros. Um, you know, I think we ought to evaluate the other side and look at the cons.

Ken (03:31):
No, David, everything is always good and pros, right? So, absolutely. Let’s give him some dirt. Come on.

David (03:37):
You know, one, one thing I’ll point out is that if you look at, uh, who is providing information and training online, it’s oftentimes companies that are trying to sell you these tools. And I’ll give you an example. Jungle scout and I’m a big, I’m a jungle scout fan boy. Um, but they have some awesome free trainings. And in those trainings they’re using their tools and it’s a way to upsell and kind of get you into their funnel. And so, you know, I think that is, that’s a definitely a positive, but I think a lot of new sellers when they’re looking at this, the online trainings, they’re thinking, I don’t, you know, I’m already strapped for cash.

David (04:14):
Uh, when it comes to, you know, placing my first order, I can’t afford $90, you know, helium10 97 bucks a month. I don’t want to pay 97 bucks a month for, for this tool that this training is telling me that I need. And so, you know, one con is that, uh, oftentimes these are monthly subscriptions and they can be a cashflow suck on your business. And so, you know, can you, you shared a, at one of our recent masterminds, you shared an interesting tip that, that you do with some of your online subscriptions, uh, just to make sure that they’re still useful. Can you share that with the audience?

Ken (04:49):
Yeah, sure. So, not too long ago. Well, a little while ago, uh, I went to a new accountant, so I had everything reshuffled and every, every month when I get my P&L I go through the P&L and I look and I evaluate all of the money that I’m spending on the business, right. For expenses. And you know what I have, I have shiny object syndrome. I, you know, maybe you have that David, maybe our listeners have that when you see something and like, damn, and I want to go get that, you know, I need that, I need that. So there’s a couple of things that I do. One is I sit on that for a while. If I see a tool and like, Hmm, okay, let me, let me kick that around. How is it going to add value to my business? Is it going to pay for itself? And then, you know, every month when I evaluate my expenses, uh, all the, all the money I’m paying for tools, if that, if that tool is not something I have used in the previous month or the previous six months as some of them get to, I’ll cancel it.

David (05:47):
Absolutely. And I think, you know, the companies that we’re going to be talking about, they probably wouldn’t love this message, but, um, say you’re doing product research and, uh, you want to use some technology to help you with that process. Well guess what? You can sign up for the 30 day free trial or you can pay for one month and then when you’re done with that month, cancel it. And I think that’s something that re-evaluating on a monthly basis or you know, on a quarterly basis is good because oftentimes you sign up, you put your credit card in, it’s on auto pay, and before you know it, you’ve, you’ve paid out a couple of hundred bucks for a service that you haven’t used in a couple months. So, um, anyway, I’m glad we kind of laid out the pros and cons. Uh, but let’s dive right in. So, Ken, what’s your, what’s your, uh, if this is a draft, all right, what’s your, if we’re picking teams in football, what’s your, what’s your number one pick?

Ken (06:41):
So I brought three tools to the table today. Right. And, um, and if I had to rank them in order, my first one is Fetcher. So, you know, Fetcher is a tool that I use every single day. I’ve got to pull up in front of me right now. It is a tool that, it’s basically the pulse of my business. It tells me my sales, my profit, my expenses, my refunds, my PPC, you know, margin. It has everything on the numbers. I can put in expenses for my employees, I can, you know, add shipping everything. And you can export P& L, you can, you can do a lot of stuff with it. So Fetcher syncs with your Amazon seller account and it imports all of it. All the data from the backend of the Amazon seller account into Fetcher. And it massages those numbers and to make some usable. Okay. Cause I’m not like David, I’m not an accountant.

Ken (07:39):
I don’t speak Excel, right? Like I could go to Amazon seller central and I can download these reports and like these reports are in a funky format. I don’t know what to do with that. I have to use Fetcher. Okay. So now that we have that understanding, it pulls all the data from Amazon seller central and it makes it usable and in reports and, and you know, a really usable format. And I have, like I said, I have two seller accounts for one, for each brand and both of them are synched with Fetcher. So I can, I can easily toggle back and forth between the two and I can do weekly sales, monthly sales, daily sales. Uh, it tells me my PPC, my refunds. It has a lot of stuff, you know, the, the, the dashboards got a great user user experience and you can toggle between a bar view, graph view.

Ken (08:27):
Uh, the other thing that I really use it for also in a really quick snapshot, your sales, it gives your inventory the value of your inventory and your average daily sales. You can also put in your lead time from your suppliers and get you a kind of a, a basic inventory management system. Uh, it tracks your Amazon fees, your cost of goods, pay per click, you know, it’s a, it’s a, it’s a really, really good tool for me. And I would say it’s kind of, you know, if I had to kind of, it, it’s kind of the heartbeat of my business. It’s a daily tool that I use.

David (08:59):
Awesome. So tell me this, Ken, on a say cyber Monday, when you want to check in and see how your sales are doing, how the business is doing, are you getting on your phone and opening the seller central app or are you getting on Fetcher?

Ken (09:13):
I do both. If I’m traveling or, you know, if I’m out somewhere, I might pop on my phone, but I rarely get on my, my phone app. So I, I, I normally use Fetcher for that. Uh, but like I said, if I’m traveling or something, I can, I can, I can bring that up. But you brought up a good point. If I look at Fetcher, if I glance at Fetcher at noon or a 4:00 PM I kind of know what sales I should be having that day. And if I don’t have those sales, there’s something wrong because Fetcher’s a, you know, it’s a real time. It syncs with Amazon or you know, probably every 30 seconds or every minute or two. So in a, just a really quick glimpse, I can tell, Hey, there’s something wrong, you know, Amazon shut a listing down. Well, you know, whatever it is. So, Oh, so the answer that is, that was a long answer man. So remotely, I used the app and anytime I’ve got my, my command station set up, I’m using Fetcher.

David (10:07):
You know, as an accountant, I am a big fan of people being in touch with their numbers. And so although I don’t use Fetcher, I’m going to talk about the tool that I use. I think everybody should, any, any seller that is doing a decent amount of volume, you should have something that is giving you insight into the heartbeat of your business and not just sales, right? If you are having a lot of sales at at negative profit margin, you’re screwed, right? You, yeah, you’re in trouble. And so I, that’s one thing that I, you know, you’ve shown me your Fetcher dashboard and the thing I like about that is it does have the profitability info and uh, ability to, to give you your profit because you’re not seeing that on seller central.

Ken (10:47):
Yeah, absolutely. And the profit, you know, the margin is right there weekly and is calculated, you know, per sku and per account. So you can easily say, okay, over the last two weeks, you know, if your PPC goes out of whack, right, you’re going to see it in there because the margin is going to go down. And then you click around and say, okay, well PPC is, it’s got a pie chart. You know, PPC went up from 12% to 18% and why do PPC go up? So now I’m going to go investigate that. Yeah.

David (11:19):
My number one draft pick would be helium10 and I’ve been using it for about six months now. I had a similar come to Jesus meeting with my books where I sat down and at that time I was paying about 50 bucks to jump send for email followup. I was paying like 40 or 50 bucks to jungle scout for a monthly subscription for product research. I was paying, I forget what I was paying sellics, but it was a PPC management tool. Uh, but it was a lot. And, and I had always strayed away from helium10 because, uh, it was, I think at the time it was 97 bucks a month for their intro level. And I was like, that’s cool, that’s way too much. But then I was looking at what I was paying everybody else and it was like, Oh yeah, I’m, I’m, you know, I have 200 bucks a month wrapped up in, in my other subscriptions.

David (12:11):
And so I decided to bite the bullet and uh, and I signed up with helium10 when they came out with their email followup. And so I was able to cancel my jump send subscription. I was able to cancel my jungle scout subscription and sellics. I decided not to self manage my PPC so that just kind of went away. But anyway, with in helium10, it is a suite of tools. Uh, it’s got product research, it’s got an, and it’s got, it was called helium10, cause they had 10 tools. Uh, but they’re up to maybe like North of 20, and I don’t even really use them all. And so I’m just going to talk about, um, a couple of things within helium10 that I really like to use. Uh, the first one is called refund genie. This thing, it scrubs all the back end data from your Amazon reports and it’ll identify, uh, missed or damaged or lost inventory.

David (13:08):
It prints out this a text file. All you do is copy and paste it into a case. You open a case with Amazon and you copy and paste the text file from refund genie and submit it. And I can tell you that I’ve gotten over a thousand dollars of refunds this year. I’m not looking through my inventory reports, uh, with as much attention to detail as refund genie is doing. And, uh, and I’d say that this thing has paid for my helium 10 subscription and, and the first one is the best cause it scrubs all the data since you’ve ever joined. I think my first I signed up for it in my first refund was like 500 bucks and that was great. So anyway, I would say if any, even if you’re not a fan of helium 10 check out the refund genie if you’ve never done it and most likely that’ll pay for your subscription for the next few months.

Ken (14:03):
Absolutely. That’s one of my favorite reports to get. I have it I believe mine is setup up to email now. I log in, spend 30 seconds, copy paste, submit a case and I get all the refunds in. It’s magical and go like you said, going through those reports, that would be maddening to go through. I don’t even like to look at Excel anyway. I’m not going to look at all that stuff. And if I have a tool that that will email me a report and say, Hey, Amazon owes you money, can you take 30 seconds of your time and open a case? And you’ll get money back. Oh absolutely. That’s, that’s one of it’s hands down. Probably one of my favorite, uh, well one of them out of the, out of the suite.

David (14:40):
Absolutely. The next like sub tools within the helium 10 space that I use and I’ll kind of go through these quickly. The nice thing about helium 10 is they have good training on all of these, but I really like magnet. It’s a keyword research tool. So you plug in a seed keyword and it’s going to spit back out a ton of associated keywords. And so whenever I’m writing a listing, that’s my starting spot. The next one is Cerebro and this is a reverse ASIN lookup. And what you do is you go out and you find a competitors of similar products and you take their ASIN, which is just a number for people that don’t know what that is, it’s just a number in the listing and you plug it in there in it, it will identify a number of, of keywords that are associated with that listing.

David (15:29):
And so if my competitors are converting really well on a, a long tail keyword that I might not think about, man, that’s great data to have. And so, you know, I use magnet and Cerebro kind of in conjunction whenever I’m writing a listing. Uh, the next thing is it’s called Frankenstein. So I’ll take my magnet Cerebro data and I’ll copy and paste all of those keywords into Frankenstein. I love that name. I’m sorry to cut you off, but it’s solid and name is bad-ass solid. I wonder how they came up with that. I would have fits well to write it is. Yeah, it cause you grab a little bit from here and take a little bit from there and mash it all in. You know what that will do is it will take 10,000 keywords and you can select certain criteria. So for instance, you can, you can take out common words like, and, or, or you can look for keywords that are, you know, two words or three words.

David (16:21):
You can look at keywords that are, uh, Amazon’s choice. Uh, it’s, it’s just a really nice way to synthesize all your keyword research in one spot. And so when I’m done with that, I will copy and paste that over to scribbles. And previously when I would write my listings, I would open a word doc, just Microsoft word, and I’d write my bullets. I would write my listing title and then I’d copy and paste that and I’d go to some website and see how many characters I had. And then when I would use a keyword, I would highlight it and maybe I put it in bold. It was a very manual process with scribbles. You just put all the keywords you want to use in this box and then you start writing your listing and it keeps track of how many characters you use. It keeps track of a few, use a keyword, it’ll just cross it off on your list.

David (17:09):
So then, you know, it’s magical, it’s great, it’s just super convenient. So when it comes to, uh, writing a listing, that’s, I think that’s the way to go. Um, and then, you know, the last thing, like I mentioned, I use it for email followup and uh, you know, I think that this is, we’re recording this in January of 2020, I think email followup in, in that way to interact with your customers is probably falling by the wayside. You now can go into your orders report and actually request a review from your customers directly. And so I think Amazon is kind of playing big brother here and uh, taking away your ability to, to interact with your customers via email. So, um, but that, that was something that I liked and, and you know, as we record this, it’s not against terms of service, uh, but they are kind of tightening down on their rules.

David (18:04):
So the last thing, and this is just kind of bonus content. I really like training. I’m always looking for the next Amazon hack. And they have, if you have a subscription, they have this free online training with Kevin King. And I don’t know if you know who Kevin King is, but he is, he’s a legend. He is a legend. He has been doing marketing. I mean since the beginning of time he talks about doing marketing and phone books. I mean, I haven’t, I haven’t seen a phone book in 15 years, but, but he is kind of the OG of online marketing and I really like his stuff. I have you went through that training?

Ken (18:42):
I have not, but I, I have, uh, sat through a couple of trainings from Kevin and he, he’s, he’s really next level. Like it’s tough for me to keep up. Um, I’m writing notes like a banshee and yeah, it’s good stuff, man. Anything he does is his next level

David (18:58):
in the thing I like about him is it, you know, with some trainings I’ve noticed that they’ll tell you half of what they know, but they’ll then they’ll say, Hey, if you want to know the other half, come buy my course. And he just lays it all out there. He says, you know, here’s everything that I know and I really appreciate that about him. So I’m a big fan of Kevin King and having access to that training has been great. I’ve went through that in the last two months. And, um, I think it’s great for beginners, but man, I, you know, I’ve been selling for a while and I picked up on some great stuff. So, um, anyway, you can probably tell I’m a helium 10 fan boy, but, uh, that’s why they’re my number one pick in the, uh, the tool draft.

Ken (19:36):
Yeah, that’s awesome. No, I, I really, I use helium10 to, and not to the extent you do David, but, but it is a bang for the buck you’re getting, you’re getting a lot of bang for your buck, you know, for, I think what you say was in 99 bucks. Now it’s, there are so many different tools in there. If, you know, if you’re just starting out and you don’t want a piece meal together, a bunch of different tools that that’s, that’s a really, really good place to start

David (20:01):
for sure. And we just reached out to them. Uh, so go to our resource tab, uh, for exclusive discounts for helium 10. I think it’s their, their affiliate link is 10% off, uh, for the lifetime of your membership. So check out our resources tab on www.firingtheman.com and save yourself some money. You know why not?

Ken (20:22):
Absolutely. I like to save money. Yeah. Our, our resource library. We’re building it, you know, to help us to help everybody. You’re like, you know, David and I have spent countless hours, lots of money going through these tolls, all this, all this stuff. You know, we were, we’re trying to build this vault, you know, this, this hardened vault of tested and tried and true resources for someone that’s just starting. Go to the resource library, all that stuff in there. We stand behind.

David (20:53):
All right. What’s your number two pick for the, uh, the tool draft?

Ken (20:57):
My number two pick is going to be feedbackWhiz at a high level communication tool. And you know, actually it has multiple products within the suite. So I use it specifically for building relationships with my customers. I add in PDFs to the email, Hey, this is a, a product guide, you know, instruction manuals, things that can help customers get a, I want to deliver value to my customers. So it’ll add, automates emails, let’s say, let’s say every time. Okay, so my businesses is at the level now where I’m doing thousands of orders a month. I cannot go and sit down and reply to all 6,000 of my customers. Right. Well, feedbackwhiz is magical. You go in and you build out campaigns and one time build out these campaigns what you want to say and, and to your customers and that in feedbackWhiz automates everything. It links into Amazon, my Amazon seller central and it will when an order comes in, automatically sends an email. Yes, you build templates campaigns. It’s a really, really good tool and like I said, you know it, it essentially automates all of your communications. Some of the other features that it has, I use, I use some of them, I don’t use all of them. It will review. It’ll, it’ll actually monitor your product, reviews, your product feedback. It has a reporting feature, your orders. It’s really huge to something else that I do use. I pull up my orders and it’ll tell me if I have I can pull a report on repeat customers. So then I can market to them, you know, give them discounts, different, different things. Um, so it, you know, in my suite it’s, it’s high up there in the ranking.

Ken (22:52):
Um, you know, one of the other next level features that it has that I really like is I can split test campaigns, right? So I’m not a really good at copy. You know, if you see some goofy shit on our website and it doesn’t look right, it’s probably written by me, not David, right? So I’m not good at marketing or copy so well. But what I am good at is working really hard. So I went in and I created multiple campaigns, right? So on the subject line, I might say, Hey, thanks for buying product X, Y, Z. And the next one it might say, Hey, read this dot, dot, dot, and the next one might say, look at this amazing thing. You know. So I set those campaigns up, split test, and per 30 days, and I go back and see how many people opened.

Ken (23:40):
You know, the most amount of people that open. Number three, right? Okay, well 47% of number three opened it. Well then the other one’s got 10% open rates. I’m gonna make number three in my primary. So that’s in a sense the split test that does and that’s it’s kind of next level is that every few months I can split test them and make them better. Uh, what else does it do? It does a listing, monitoring. You know, if Amazon changes your title or you know, which they, you know, they’re known to go in and change the, you know, the weight of your product or the title or whatever without your permission or you know, without you knowing it monitors a lot of that stuff. It will tell you if you get a positive feedback. So if you get a positive feedback, odds are that customer is happy with you, right?

Ken (24:27):
You could essentially send them an email asking for a review. Right. So that’s one little tip I’ll throw out there.

David (24:36):
I think, you know, that’s, I want to go a little deeper on this. Cause when you and I, this was a couple months ago, I was talking about jump send and you were talking about feedbackwhiz in that the ability to have a trigger, that sentence, if someone gives you positive feedback, write four or five stars, then you, there’s a trigger built in there to, in correct me if I’m wrong, that you can go back and ask for a review. But if they leave you three stars or two stars, you don’t ask them anything. So it kinda, it kind of identifies people that already like your product and then ask them for product review. I think that’s next level. Um, it, did I accurately.

Ken (25:16):
That’s absolutely correct. Yeah. So it, it monitors all the feedback and if, and if, you know, taking it a step further, if I get a one, two or three star, then I want to find out why and I can improve that. I can use that data. I don’t shy away from negative feedback, you know, I think that’s almost as, it’s not as valuable as positive feedback, but I think it’s almost as valuable because I can use that. And if there is something that I can use to improve, I can improve that. On the other side, most people selling on Amazon will tell you positive reviews is probably in the top three challenges that they have. Right? Like, and what drives what drives your sales and your profit, right? So if you can consistently get positive reviews from an automation, that’s something you want to do. So yeah, when I get a four or five star feedback that comes in, I have an automation set up and it automatically asks that person for a review.

Ken (26:13):
So and there’s you know, we can have discussion, you know, there’s a, Amazon has changed like you mentioned prior Amazon changes, they make changes every month, every two months. So now I believe there’s a feature in seller central that you can request a review. And I think some tools are starting to, and I don’t think, I know some tools are already releasing. I believe jungle scout released theirs. You can, you can automate that. But I don’t know if there’s a trigger that will only go to, you know, positive feedbacks or any of that stuff. So any feedbackwhiz has that as of January 20, 20. Anyway, I want to wrap that up. Uh, it’s a great tool. I’m multifaceted and I really use it to build that strong customer relationship, provide value and help out with my reviews. David, what’s next on your list?

David (27:05):
Why? Number two, pick for the tool. Draft is the jungle scout Chrome extension. And for anybody that listened to episode five of the firingtheman.com Podcast, how to pick a product to sell online, I go into great detail on how I use this and I go into specific metrics that I’m looking for when I’m trying to find a new product, but to back up for those that haven’t listened to this episode. So the way it works is you get on Amazon and you cannot, you search for a particular product. So, so say for instance, you search a leprechaun loincloth. Um, what it’ll do is obviously on Amazon, all your results will come up and you in the top right corner of your Chrome browser, uh, you click the jungle scout Chrome extension and it will come up with the top 10 sellers and it’ll give you a lot of information about all of the vendors that are selling leprechaun loin cloths.

David (28:02):
So of note, it’ll tell you the brand, the price, the monthly sales in the daily sales, monthly revenue reviews, rating, BSR, and it gives a listing score. And then it also gives an opportunity score. And that is based on a demand and the number of people that are supplying that and the opportunity score. It’s something that I’ve, I like, it’s, it’s a quick measuring stick for is this a good product to sell? Um, but this, there’s a lot of really good data in here. And so, you know, like most people I sell on Amazon, but I also use Amazon. And so, you know, whenever I’m shopping for something, oftentimes I’ll just hit the jungle scout Chrome extension and see, Hey, what, you know, is this a good product to sell? And you can see, Hey, there’s, you know, there’s a lot of traction here or there’s not a lot of traction or there seems to be an opportunity here. And the thing I like about it most is you pay once and then you’re done. I think when I bought it, it was 99 bucks. Really? Yeah. And I, I’ve have it forever.

Ken (29:07):
It’s a lifetime purchase, huh?

David (29:08):
Yeah. And so not the jungle scout. Um, they do have like their product research tool and other things, the Chrome extension Chrome extensions one time. And so, you know, I like that it’s, it’s been something that I’ve been using for probably a year and a half. It’s super helpful. So, um, again, if you want to hear specific detail on how I’m using this and you know, you can export reports and uh, you know, you can look at certain criteria like how many people have over a hundred reviews. That’s a metric I really like to look at. You know, there are actually five very metrics that I like to look at that are output from the jungle scout Chrome extension. Check out episode five. I go into great detail on this and, uh, but anyway, this is, this is my number two pick and something that I think, you know, especially since it’s buy once, cry once, um, that if you’re a serious seller, it’s, it’s not a bad thing to, to add to your arsenal.

Ken (30:06):
Number number three on my draft list and rounding out my list is Splitly. It is another tool. Actually, you know what I just realized, you know, uh, a Fetcher and, and Splitly are, are, are in the jungle scout family, the suite of tools. I, I just remembered that. Um, but Splitly is, uh, it’s a next level tool and I’ve just started using it really effectively about maybe six months ago and it has changed the game for me in terms of profitability. So what Splitly is, uh, so for our listeners that just kind of coming in at a, at a 10,000 foot view split testing you. So split testing is if, let’s say you have, you know, you’re selling, you’re selling a product and you have, you want to see if your image is getting people to click on it or not. Right? Cause you could, you could put up an image, put up a listing and you know, let’s say you’re getting a 10% conversion rate.

Ken (31:14):
So for every 10 people that come to your listing, one person is clicking. That’s a 10% conversion rate. Let’s say you want to test another image and you put side by side, you send, you send 10, you send 10 people to each one. One image gets 10% conversion rate, one click, the second one gets three clicks or 30% conversion rate. Just imagine if you multiply that to a thousand right? If you’re, you could triple your sales with, with one split test. So that, that’s kind of the power of split testing and split Splitly offers, split testing on lots of, lots of different parts of an Amazon listing. And you know, some of the ones I’ve got listed here, you know, it’ll do images, it’ll do price, it’ll do title, it’ll do your bullets. And I believe those are the five main, it has another feature that I really, really like.

Ken (32:18):
And it’s probably the feature that that really made me buy that, you know, it’s called profit peak. And what that does is as if you’ve ever been on amazon.com uh, you know, the other hundred and 50 million people, if you look, if you’ve seen a random product that’s, let’s say it’s a leprechaun loincloth, right? Well there’s not any on there, but if there was some one on there, it was for $17 and 41 cents. I’m like, who the hell sells something for $17 and 41 cents? Well, profit peak. What it’ll do is it’ll, it’ll, it’ll test different, different prices and you can set it for, sit to the penny to the 10 cents a dollar, whatever you want, and it’ll auto adjust the numbers. And so you put in there how much you pay for the product and you give it a range. And it has, it gets really, really deep.

Ken (33:07):
But I’m just scratching the surface here. So if you have a $20 product, you, you sell it for, let’s say I have a product for 1998 actually, you know what, let’s, I’m going to give a real world situation. When I first started this using profit peak, I had a product that I sold for 12.99 I had launched it about six months prior. It had maybe 30 40 reviews. I was selling it for 12.99 all my competitors were around 11.99 12.99 range. My product was better. I knew it was, I designed it better. So I turned on profit peak and I, and I said, okay, Hey, I’m for this product. I, I land it for $4 and I will sell it in this range from, you know, 9.99 to, you know, actually at the time I think I went to 14.99 within two weeks, profit peak was dinging at me, Hey, increase your, your top price.

Ken (34:02):
And I’ll say, what? I increased it to 19..99 within another two weeks. I was selling that product at 19.99 and my sales went up 40%. And the reason, uh, it, it gives shoppers, you know, it lets them, they, they think, Oh, it’s a higher price. It’s a better product. It’s a marketing, right? It was a better product. It is my, you know, my, my competitors sell their product and I’m a flimsy little polybag and mine’s a nice packaging and nice user experience. But, but besides the point, when you see something that’s higher price, you think that’s a better, better quality. So over the course of, you know, that month and a half time of just testing profit peak, my profit doubled, tripled. It went, it skyrocketed. One change, one change. So Splitly is huge. And just, just using profit peak alone on your, on your products is, is it’s massive.

Ken (34:56):
Um, you know, some of the other ways I use profit peak actually only use two, uh, two other, uh, portions of it is image testing and title testing. And in that order, you know, I watched a Greg Mercer, you know, he, he owns Splitly owns the jungle scout suite. I watched a demo and he was basically saying, Hey, those are the, those are the kind of the three tests that you really want to, you know, you really want to run to get the best bang for your buck. And um, yeah, so some of the other stuff, it does a track a track your products. So if you know something changes or uh, you know, you can track ranking, um, you know, I don’t use for that, but you can track ranking, it’ll sync your product feed with your, with your Amazon account. Um, what else? It’s, it’s super easy to set up. You know, it literally took me, I’m not that smart ask David. I’m not very smart. It probably took me maybe 30 minutes to set it up, you know, so it’s pretty sweet. Download it, let it sync with your, your product feed with Amazon. Come back, set up a couple of split tests, let it run, come back. Guess what money’s in the bank,

David (36:05):
you know, if, if Splitly and profit peak would have made it on your list, it definitely would have made it on mine. And the thing that really stands out to me is when I’m, when I’m trying to make any business decision, I often ask myself, is this a positive return on investment activity? And I think, you know, I think the subscription for Splitly is I’m paying about 99 bucks a month with profit beak. I’m make, I make that money up. I probably make that money up by the fifth of the month. It is a positive ROI activity for sure.

David (36:38):
One thing that’s really surprised me as I’ve used this tool is how often I’m wrong. For instance, I’ll have two images and I’ll say, Oh clearly this one’s going to convert better and I’m going to make more money. And then I’ll split test it and I realize, Oh you’re wrong. Same thing on price. I’ll be like, Oh, the market, you know, this kind of feels like a 14.99 product and then you know, you’ll run it on profit peak and I’ll be like, Oh no, it’s, this is a, uh, this is a 19.99 product. And I would say, and I’m interested in, in your, uh, your experience, but I would say I am right. Maybe two out of 10 times. But you know, it’s a nice thing is data-driven, right? Like, you know, it tells you what’s the clear winner and it’s not hard to interpret. It has a bar graph and it says, Hey, this one’s the better option. This is the one you should use, this is the photo you should use. And so, uh, but anyway, like do you guess, right?

Ken (37:34):
No, no. So you’re, you’re exactly right. Like for example, that product I said, Hey I’m going to sell it for 12..99. Right? Cause that’s what my competitors were selling for. And I re I did the research, I developed a, a better product, right? So then I put that, you know, I thought, Oh, maybe, maybe I can sell for 13.99, 14.99, nine, no, 19.99. And you know, and in terms of images, like what you were explaining now, like who’s gonna, who’s gonna know, right? Like who’s you, you might, you might think that the image, Oh yeah, I would buy that. But are you the demographic? Are you buying that product? Now? You know what, what beats real data? Nothing. So David, rounding out your draft list, you got one more what you got.

David (38:18):
So my third pick for the tool draft would be QuickBooks. And, uh, as you guys know, I’m a CPA, a recovering CPA, and I can’t emphasize the importance of knowing your numbers. You know, everybody gets into this to make more money. Uh, you know, add some disposable income, save some money to go on a vacation, quit your job, fire the man, whatever. But it is so important to know your numbers. And so QuickBooks, when it comes to accounting technology, QuickBooks is probably the, uh, number one accounting platform used by small businesses. And in particular, there’s a separate plugin, it’s called A2X and it hooks up to your Amazon account and it’ll go in and pull all your sales reports and it syncs up with QuickBooks very easily and it gives you a balance sheet in a profit and loss statement on a monthly basis. And you know, you will even drill down to a weekly basis.

David (39:20):
And so, you know, my advice if, if you have, you know, some background in accounting or background in finance or business, you know, try setting up your own QuickBooks. However, you know, I’m a CPA but I have a bookkeeper for this business because I hate doing my books. It’s something I just don’t look forward to and because I don’t look forward to it, I don’t do it on a timely basis and I’m not putting a hundred percent effort into it. And so I actually just sent my bookkeeper an email a couple days ago asking her if she would be on this podcast. She is specifically a bookkeeper for, well, we use the same bookkeeper. Right? Um, so, uh, she is a bookkeeper specifically for eCommerce businesses, which is great. If you say PPC to your average accountant, they’re not gonna know what that means. Um, but she is, uh, gives me great reports.

David (40:09):
And, and the reason this is so important is because, and I’ll give you a, for example, say you have a profit of $5,000 in a month and you want to reinvest and add more inventory. Let’s say that’s going to cost you 10,000 bucks. Well guess what? You’re going to need to cough up that money. You know, that’s going to be a personal investment or you’re going to need to go out and borrow that money. And so knowing your numbers and having an, even if you don’t know anything about accounting, having a good accountant, and I’m not the guy, I hate doing books, so don’t call me. Um, but going out and finding someone that has, you know, an accounting background specifically in e-commerce background, I think that’s even better. You know, having somebody do your books and knowing your numbers and looking at your numbers on a monthly basis.

David (40:53):
And if you don’t understand them, then talk to your accountant and have them explain them. But I, you know, I really, I am a bit biased because I am from the profession, but you know, we talked about firing the man, you know, you talked about quitting your full time job in and you know, going out on your own. Well, one thing that’s going to give you confidence in doing that in something that’s going to give you confidence in firing the man is knowing that you have the income there that’s going to support your family and your lifestyle. I mean, I can’t think that that’s probably my biggest fear is just covering my eyes and blindly quitting my job and, and just hoping things work out. I mean, that’s a terrible idea. And so, you know, to the firing the man tribe, if you’re planning on quitting your job, know your numbers and know that you’re not going to put your family or your personal lifestyle in a tough spot.

David (41:42):
So QuickBooks is a great way to do that. And I would also say that when you go to sell your business, everybody uses QuickBooks. It’s, and say you switch accountants. Everybody’s familiar with QuickBooks. Um, you know, their plans started like 20 bucks a month. And, uh, I think, you know, I think it’s a tool that I’m not personally using, but you know, when it, if you want my advice as an accountant, I think it’s a great platform to start with. It’s name brand, you know, it’s backed by Intuit and uh, it’s, it’s a good spot to start on your bookkeeping and you know, you can run a, just a side hustle off of it, but you know, there are multi billion dollar enterprises that run off QuickBooks, so it’ll grow with you.

Ken (42:27):
A couple of of items that you mentioned, I want to kind of highlight knowing your books, right? So, uh, I was doing my QuickBooks myself for, I dunno, six months. You know, the first, first six months, nine months in my business, I’m going to be honest, my books were a shit show, right? I thought, Oh, I’m going to get QuickBooks and I’m fairly smart, right? And I’m going to put this stuff in there and I’ll figure it out as I go. Well when you do that, at least for me as my business grew and it got more complicated and I added things, uh, you normally work on the stuff that you like and the stuff that you’re good at, right? Guess what got left behind the books, right? So I get deeper and deeper in. Okay. I’m just kinda guessing at, at, at shit like, Oh well I have the money, do I really?

Ken (43:15):
So, you know, and then the fast forward to now I have a bookkeeper and I get monthly P&L’s out of QuickBooks and I know exactly where my money is. I know exactly where every penny is and that’s huge on. And that helps me make decisions for my business. If I didn’t have that, I’m guessing, like you said, you’re guessing, right? And you don’t want to guess when it comes to your business, you know, leaving your job, do you have enough money and you know, something we’ll talk about on another, you know, another episode is exiting your business. If you talk to any broker, what’s the first thing they ask you? David, let me see your books. That’s exactly right. Let me, what are your books look like? Right? If you have, if you don’t have clean books, guess what that broker is going to do. Yeah, call me in six months when your books are clean, right? For sure if you’re just starting your business or if you’re a few months in or whatever, get clean books. That’s one thing that I read that I highly recommend I wish I would have done earlier in my business. So to kind of circle back on that, that though, that’s huge.

David (44:21):
It’s something that’s not that expensive to outsource and it will pay for itself. You know, we talked about Splitly paying for itself. If you have good books and, and you are making a numbers based decisions when you’re ordering inventory or ordering new products, it’s going to save you a lot of headaches and uh, you know, it’s going to prevent you from putting yourself in a tight spot. You know, you talked about cleaning up your books. I’m a CPA. I, uh, I hit just shit books for nine months and if I had more money on the first of every month, I’d write down how much money was in my checking account for the business and the following month if I had more money, I kinda just was like, it was just kind of a finger in the wind test, which is just like I was capable of doing it, but I didn’t want to.

David (45:05):
It’s just was, uh, you know, I do accounting all day at work. I didn’t want to come home and do accounting and so, um, but I’ll tell you, it has made a huge difference in my world. Um, just because, you know, if I’m adding a new product, I can just, like, now I know like, Oh, the company can fund this or you’re going to need to draw on a line of credit or you’re going to need to cough up some funds out or you’re, you know, out of your personal bank account. It allows me to make information based decisions and you know, that’s the name of the game. That’s, it’s the name of the game in this business.

Ken (45:41):
You know, something that I want to add to the show that we haven’t, that I, that I keep forgetting. You know, wherever, wherever you are in your journey, if you hate your job, if you’re sitting in your cube right now or if you’re in your car on the way home, you want to make a change in your life. You don’t like your job, you want extra income, you want to quit your job, whatever it is, shoot us an email, you know, support@firingtheman.com say, Hey, you know, I need, what’s the next step that I need to take? Reach out to us. We’re here to help. If if you’re, if you have one product on Amazon, you’re struggling. You don’t know you’re PPC sucks your images, you don’t know what you’re, you can’t get sales going. Email us. We’re here to help. If you’re, you know, you have, if you’re selling lots of products on Amazon and you have questions about tools or processes that David and I use in our businesses, email us. We’re here to help. Okay. So I just want to throw it out there that we are here for you guys.

David (46:34):
When you talk about firingtheman.com One, you need a plan, right? You need, you need to have the finances in place so you can have a smooth exit and a, you know, when you talk about a team that can help you fire the man. Um, you know, I definitely understand the numbers. You know, I can help draw out a roadmap. And this would be a fun episode to do is, you know, let’s draw out a roadmap for someone that wants to quit their job. You know, I understand the numbers. Um, Ken is a legend in e-commerce, and online marketing, uh, between the two of us. We can help you come up with a plan. So send us an email, uh, get in contact with us and uh, let us help you fire the man. If you like today’s episode and would like similar content, go to firingtheman.com or check us out on social media at firing the man on Instagram, firing the man Facebook page and firing the man on the YouTube for digital shorts. Thanks for tuning in We’ll see you next time.

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