Vol. 127 - NO. 39

Blog Startup CPG

SINCE 2019

3 Keys for
Growing on Amazon as a Bootstrapped Brand

Allison Escovedo Owen is the CEO & Co-Founder of Sweet Logic, creator of the world’s first keto-friendly mug cake mixes. After struggling with hormonal imbalances throughout her early twenties, she began eating a low carb diet and struggled to stay consistent due to a lack of sweet, keto-friendly treats on the market. In 2018, she left her engineering job to co-found Sweet Logic with her husband Matt, so that others eating low carb didn’t have to compromise. Sweet Logic is now a best-seller on Amazon and in over 40 retailers across the US, gaining more traction every day. Alli lives in Littleton, CO with Matt, their two dogs, and are expecting their first child this winter.
Patricia Menegoto, a CPG brand marketer and Startup CPG head of Markteting Community, contributed to this article.

The shift to e-commerce has never been more important than in COVID times. New brands are finding it harder to get placed and turn on shelf and consumers are spending more and more time at home browsing the internet. At Sweet Logic, we’ve seen 600% growth YOY and been featured twice as Amazon’s #1 hot new releases in the baking mix category. Here are some top tips that have helped us to grow.

1. Optimize your listing

Amazon will show 7 images on your listing, utilize all 7! The first image should be the front of packaging and second should be the back with important callouts.

Other image ideas:

  • Infographic explaining how to make your product
  • Cross – sell other products on your list
  • Answer frequently asked questions with an infographic
  • Lifestyle image- how do people interact with your product?
  • Key features and differentiators
  • Create Q&A to common questions you already get from existing business
  • If you have video content, use it to create an educational product video

Make sure to utilize all 5 bullets with “features and details,” optimize your title, and be specific on the product description. If you don’t know where to start with this, look to other brands on Amazon that are killing it and use their listing as a template.

I am Once you get your trademark, go into the Brand Registry portion of Amazon and request to be approved for Brand Registry. Then you’ll be able to create A+ content which will allow you to use graphics in the product description rather than just text. You’ll also be allowed to create a store where you can showcase more about your brand store and product lines.
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2. Get more reviews

We launched a new SKU in June of this year and have already received 106 reviews. Our most popular SKU has over 400 reviews now.

We did this through using Amazon’s early reviewers program as well as feedback emails sent through Feedback Five requesting reviews.

Avoid asking friends and family to review your product as Amazon will flag your account and potentially shut it down.

Try to respond to as many reviews as you can (especially the negative ones).
Don’t take reviews personally, but notice major themes and adjust accordingly. We made a packaging change this year because there was repeated confusion around the net carb calculation.

If you already have an email list or social media presence, ask your past customers to review you on Amazon. Verified reviews are best, but anything is better than nothing in the beginning!

Another great way to get some early reviews is to join the Startup CPG review exchange – check out the slack for more info.

 

3. Run ads

We chose to make Amazon a key growth area for 2020 and hired a consultant to manage our Amazon PPC business.
This is key because once you start showing Amazon that you are converting for specific keywords and phrases with certain ads, Amazon will start ranking you organically higher for those keywords and phrases as well. Since utilizing ads, we’re now #1 and “Amazon’s choice” for keto mug cakes and our seasonal flavor, pumpkin spice ranks #1 for “keto pumpkin.”
You can also run ads off of Amazon and drive those ads to your Amazon listing. Amazon ads can be pricey, so this is a strategy to drive traffic to your listing from platforms that might have more competitive costs.
We chose to hire this out after we had set ourselves up for success by finishing steps #1 and #2.

 

Final thoughts

Start slow. We began by doing all our own fulfillment (FBM) out of our garage in 2018, then moved to fulfilled by Amazon (FBA) in 2019, then began ads and started seeing serious growth in 2020. Be patient, don’t expect growth to happen overnight and look at every challenge as an opportunity to grow and learn something new. Learn and do as much as you can before you look to outsource.

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