A few months ago, YLT Translations started working with the Amazon aggregator. Although so much of YLT’s business came from Amazon sellers, the shift in business was agile and necessary. In any case, after considerable back and forth and endless correspondences and calls, YLT got over that first hump. The reward for Jana’s patience is consistent, steady work for a minimum of 6 months per Amazon aggregator.
There’s nobody more primed to give an insight into the world of the Amazon aggregator. In short, an aggregator, or an Amazon roll-up, acquires brands and scales them up. They have a large amount of funds at their disposal, and the knowhow to help a company expand. In fact, according to this article by eComEngine, aggregators raised more than $12bn in 2021 alone. They are recognized as fast-moving, highly professional, very experienced, and quite aggressive.
On a recent podcast with Amazing FBA, Jana talks about the experiences she’s had with Amazon aggregators. Where do they do well, and how can sellers follow their example? Where do they need improvement, and how can sellers leverage on this information?
Give the podcast a watch here:
Where Do Aggregators Miss Out?
Talk of Amazon roll-up businesses is intimidating to many sellers. Of course, professional and experienced sellers may already have an exit strategy in mind; they may already be in talks with an Amazon aggregator to sell their business. Keep in mind that aggregators don’t buy just anybody; there are many articles on what aggregators look for, and here’s a good start. Nevertheless, sellers don’t need to feel intimidated by the Amazon aggregator. According to Jana, they aren’t an ivory tower. There are areas where sellers excel and aggregators do not.
They aren’t familiar with Amazon terminology and knowledge
“Did they just watch a YouTube video?” Jana quips. It’s shocking sometimes how little the employees inside Amazon aggregators understand about Amazon. These Amazon roll-ups are often put up by ex-sellers themselves, but cascading the knowhow must be difficult, because many of the staff don’t understand the nuances of Amazon. If you understand the playing field, you already have a leg up versus your friendly neighborhood Amazon roll-up business.
They lack in their keywords
Some brands are on Amazon just for the heck of it. Obviously, those big name brands can live without a fully optimized listing; they have worldwide brand presence and huge marketing teams that can enforce brand messages. But many brands inside your standard Amazon aggregator are not this huge, and they should do better on their keyword research. It’s appalling how many listings from big aggregators have boring one-liner bullet points, images that cover the absolute bare minimum, and no keywords to speak of. Sellers, don’t expect your product to sell itself; there’s space for little guys and little girls to excel with a well done product listing.
Where Can We Learn from Aggregators?
Nevertheless, they’re doing something right; after all, they’re able to scale rapidly and maintain flawless air-tight operations. What can a seller learn from them? Here are some of the traits that sellers could adapt from the Amazon roll-up.
Their documentation is flawless.
“Their stuff isn’t in Google sheets!” Jana shares. Aggregators are highly professional entities, with the documentation to match. Many sellers probably already have the systems in place, because they’d need that in order to exit their businesses, but smaller or beginner sellers probably don’t have proper documentation. Make it a point to map out SOPs, develop invoicing systems, and to automate what you can. “(Smooth operations) isn’t ClickUp and 2 VAs,” Jana half-jokes.
Their branding, storytelling, and company culture are intact.
Jana is extremely fond of Poo Pourri. She chuckles when she thinks about their “brilliant marketing.” Aggregators have the budget to farm out creative execution to an advertising agency, if they so wish. Definitely, that VC funding goes to good use. However, sellers win in one very special aspect – they’re not beholden to a brand bible or a specific way of communicating things. “Think outside the box!” Jana encourages sellers. Differentiate yourself and be creative. “Have imagination!” Jana pleads.
What Does a Seller Need to Win at the Game?
There are 4 main things a seller can leverage on to win:
- Quality of research
- Creative copywriting
- Understanding marketing
- Understanding context
This is why YLT has native speakers (understanding context) who also do the copywriting per listing. They’re all well trained in the quality of research required to execute a tight listing, and they are equipped with Amazon knowhow. Let’s face it – many sellers, aggregators and private sellers alike, don’t think too much about international expansion. This is where you can excel – but mapping out your global strategy, diversifying your eggs away from the amazon.com basket, and scaling up. But do so responsibly, with people who understand the 4 things.
Start off with a free listing audit. Get your product listing looked at, free of charge, by the experts, and see where you need to improve. But listen to the podcast first, so you know precisely where you need to improve.