It has now been one month since my product has been live on Amazon and I am here today to give you all an update on how it has unfolded so far!
Before we hop into the good stuff, make sure that you are fully caught up on all of the previous updates:
- PART 1 – Intro to Case Study
- PART 2 – The Game Plan
- PART 3 – How to Find Profitable Products to Sell on Amazon
- PART 4 – How to Find Suppliers on Amazon
- PART 5 – Info About my First Order + Calculating Profit Margins
- PART 6 – How to Utilize your Samples
- PART 7 – FNSKU Labels and UPC Barcodes
- PART 8 – I Placed my First Order + a Minor Setback
- PART 9 – How to Brand your Amazon FBA Business
- PART 10 – How to Setup your Amazon Sellers Account
- PART 11 – My Product has Shipped + Updates
- PART 12 – The Definitive Guide to Getting your Product Pictures Taken
- PART 13 – My Product has Arrived + My Initial Launch Strategy
- PART 14 – Results from my First Month of Selling on Amazon
- PART 15 – Increased Rankings and Sales + Ordered a New Shipment
- PART 16 – Details of My First 90 Days Selling on Amazon
I know a lot of you have been waiting for this update and I am excited to get into all of the details of my first month of selling on Amazon. There has been some ups and downs, but overall I think it was a great first month for me.
I will be going over a lot of different topics in this article including results of my first month selling, how many reviews I have, how many sales, how my launch went, future plans and a lot more!
To start the article off, let’s take a look at a brief snapshot of the results from the first month of being live on Amazon.
First Month’s Results
Here is a screenshot of my sellers dashboard:
This is a look at the first months results, I sold 172 items and made over $3k in revenue.
Yes, this is awesome but these numbers are deceiving and they aren’t actually as good as it looks. Here is why:
- I did a 100 product giveaway for reviews so I actually didn’t sell 172 items, that number was closer to 70.
- That $3k is not profit. I still have to factor in FBA fees, manufacturing fees, shipping fees and the fact that I gave away 100 products at $.99.
I actually ended up losing money this month (more on that later). However, you will see that this is still a good start and I am very happy with the progress so far. Now that you have an idea of how my first month went in terms of sales, I now want to dive into what exactly I did this month and the results I achieved from doing these things.
What I did in the First Month
In the last case study update, I laid out my launch plan that I was going to use for my product. This plan consisted of 3 main things:
- Get as many reviews from friends/family as possible
- Use a launch service to get reviews
- Amazon PPC + Follow Up Email Sequence
Let’s break each one of them down and see the results.
Get as many reviews from friends/family as possible
I mentioned in the last update that I was able to get 1 review from a family member at the time of writing that article and I said I wanted to get around 10 reviews.
In the past month I was able to 7 more reviews from family/friends which brings the total amount of reviews to 8.
All in all, I was able to get 8, 5 star reviews from my friends/family. This is a tad short of my 10 review goal but that is okay. These 8 reviews gave me a solid foundation of reviews to work with and helped increase my ranking on Amazon for my keywords.
One thing that I had a couple of my friends do is upvote certain reviews that I thought were the best. I did this because the reviews that are voted as “Most Helpful” will appear above all of the other reviews for your product. I wanted the best review to be above all of the others so that it would help with conversion rates.
Use a launch service to get reviews
In the last update, I said I was deciding between a couple of different launch services to help me launch my product. The service I ended up using is called Spike Listing.
I was contacted by the owner of this service and he helped me launch my product. Overall, I was VERY pleased with this service and it achieved exactly what I was looking for.
To get started, I gave him some of my competitor’s products for him to track for a week and he was able to determine the optimal amount of products to giveaway to get the best results. He thought that giving away 100 products at $.99 was the best place to start and I have to say, I think he was right!
Results from the Launch
Like I said, I did a 100 product giveaway at $.99. This launch started on September 28th and the majority of the 100 products were sold by September 30th. You can see the huge spike below:
Side Note: If you are in the PiP Amazon FBA Facebook group, you may have seen a post from me on September 28th saying that I was selling a huge amount of units and I didn’t know why. I thought maybe I had started to rank on the first page for a major keyword or something. Little did I know, this surge of sales was from doing my launch lol. I didn’t realize that the launch was started yet. I was so excited and thought I was raking in the money!! It was a little bit of a letdown but it’s all good 🙂
Now let’s back to the results of this launch.
Since I was giving my product away at $.99, I was actually losing money for each item I gave away. You can see below how much I was losing per unit that was sold at $.99:
I was losing $4.03 for every item I gave away, which was 100. This means in total, I lost $403 doing this giveaway. The reason I was losing money on each sales was because Amazon was still taking their fees from each sale.
I also got to take into account that it cost me $4.16 per unit to manufacture and ship. This means I lost another $416 on top of the $403, which brings the total cost of running this giveaway to $819.
However, even though I lost over $800 doing this launch, I was able to gain more valuable things in return such as reviews and increased rankings in Amazon.
Number of Reviews Gained from Launch
I was able to get 47 reviews from this 100 product launch, which seems pretty good to me! There are also more reviews trickling in each day and I think I will easily end up with over 50 reviews from this launch.
I currently have 55 reviews for my product, with the majority being 5 stars. You can see some proof below:
I was very pleased with the quality of these reviews as well. There were a very, very small amount of reviews that were short. Most of the reviews were a couple of paragraphs long and were incredibly detailed.
Around 10 of the reviews included images of my product which is awesome and something that will help the conversion rate of my listing. One thing that I was extremely happy about was that someone left me a video review!
Video reviews greatly improve conversion rates and it is awesome that someone took the time to make one for my product.
All in all, I was very pleased with the reviews I got from this launch and the quality of them blew me away. Granted, I have never used another launch service so I can’t compare this service to any others, but I have to say this would be hard to beat.
Rankings Increase and BSR Boost
Not only did this launch give me a good amount of reviews, it also helped with increasing the rank for the keywords that my product is targeting.
Let’s take a look at how my rankings fluctuated for the main keyword that I am targeting:
Main Keyword Rankings (55,000 monthly searches)
Alright, there is a lot going on in the image above, but it explains the results I saw from the launch. I was ranking in the 35-60 range before I did the launch.
Then, shortly after the launch I saw a spike in rankings to the ~20 range (peaked at 19), Since then, I have held consistent rankings in the 20-30 range and I am currently sitting at the 27th position. Even though I was able to reach the first page for a little bit, I would have liked to stay there. Nonetheless, I am still pleased with these results.
Let’s take a look at some of the other keywords I am tracking (thanks to Amz.one) and see how they reacted to the spike.
Secondary Keyword Rankings (13,500 monthly searches)
This keyword is not searched for as much as my main keyword, but it still gets 13,500 searches a month which isn’t too shabby. The rankings were in the 30-50 range but then spiked to the 11th position after the launch. The rankings have held since and I am still ranking in the 11th position.
Secondary Keyword Rankings (63,500 monthly searches)
The next keyword gets the most searches out all of the keywords I am targeting with 63,500 searches per month. However, even though it gets the most searches it is not my main keyword because it is not as targeted as my main keyword. With that being said, I still would love to rank for it!
All of the keywords basically tell the same story, which is that the launch helped spike the rankings, the keywords peaked, and then the keywords dropped a little bit but have now stayed steady at a higher rank than before the launch.
I am happy with the results in terms of the rankings increase and it has lead to a nice increase in organic sales (more on that later).
Now let’s briefly talk about the BSR boost I saw. My BSR peaked at 701 in the pet products category and is now in the 4,000-6,000 range. This is awesome to see but I don’t see the real value in increasing the BSR of your product.
My Thoughts on the Launch Service
Even though it cost me $819 in losses, I think the amount of reviews I received along with the increased rankings made it worth every penny. These reviews are priceless and do wonders when it comes to conversion rates.
I was blown away at the quality of the reviews as well and even got a video review for my product. The launch didn’t spike my keyword rankings to the top of the first page, but it did help increase the rankings and they are higher now because of the launch.
Overall, very pleased and would recommend Spike Listing as a great launch service for your product!
Amazon PPC + Email Follow up Email Sequence
My plan was to get a good amount of reviews and then start doing some Amazon PPC. I have yet to start with Amazon PPC but I plan to very soon.
I have been using an email follow up sequence for all of my product sales and I have been very happy with the progress. I decided to use Sales Backer, which is an awesome software created by Chris Guthrie of Upfuel.com. I mentioned Chris and his site in my top 10 Amazon FBA blogs and he has been a huge help to me while I was getting started with Amazon.
Sales Backer is meant for emailing your customers who buy your products and it helps you get more reviews. You can choose the type of follow up sequence you want, but it will send 3 different emails at different times (right after sale, 5 days later, then 10 days later) to your customers and it will politely ask them to leave you a review.
I am not going to get into all of the features and details of Sales Backer in this post, but I will show you the success I have been having with it!
These results are a little skewed due to me doing my launch, but these are still impressive numbers! Out of 152 order I was able to get 50 product reviews and 28 seller feedback reviews. This means that 33% of the people that bought my product left me a review and 18.4% left me a review for my sellers account.
These numbers are extremely high and will come down now that my sales will be all organic and not from doing a launch.
I will write a more detailed post about Sales Backer later on down the road and explain the features of it fully to you guys. For now, I just wanted show you the results I have gotten so far.
Organic and Natural Sales
Now that I have covered what I did in the first month of being live on Amazon and the results of the launch, I now want to show you the organic sales I have been making.
I classify “organic” and “natural” sales as sales that were made from random people on Amazon searching for a product similar to mine and they ended up buying mine. These are natural sales and in my opinion, the most important types of sales.
In the previous update, I told you all that I made my first organic sale and I was pumped about it! Now that a month has passed, let’s see how many I have sold naturally.
I have sold a total of 172 items, but a total of 161 orders (some people order more than one per order). So with 161 orders, 100 of those are from the launch and 8 sales were from friends/family.
That leaves us with 53 total organic sales!
The majority of these sales have occurred after the launch, which shows that the launch has been very helpful in terms of increasing the amount of natural sales. Let’s take a look at the sales timeline of the past month to get a better look at the improvement.
September 9th – 27th: 23 Orders (Before Launch)
From September 9th (first day product was live) to September 27th (Day before launch started) I made a total of 23 sales. This is also including the 8 orders from my friends and family, which really means that I only made a total of 15 ORGANIC sales during this time period (first box in the image above).
In 19 days I made 15 organic sales, which comes out to .78 orders per day. Not bad, but let’s compare this to the period after my launch.
September 28th – 30th: Product Launch
I am not counting these 3 days because almost all of the sales are from the $.99 giveaway which means most (if not all) were sales from the launch and not organic.
October 1st – 9th: 46 Orders (After Launch)
In the 9 days after the launch, I made a total of 46 orders!
The image above is a screenshot of the sellers dashboard for October 1st – 9th.
With 46 orders in 9 days, that comes out to 5.11 orders per day. This is a huge improvement over the .78 orders per day before doing the launch.
I even had a day where I sold 13 units in one day. You can see that the improved rankings in Amazon for my keywords helped increase the sales I was making.
Did I Make any Money?
This is the most important part. Yes, making sales is nice but if you aren’t turning a profit what’s the point?
However, I am looking at this first month as an investment for the future. I was not worried about making money this month and instead I was more worried about getting reviews and improving keyword rankings. If this meant I had to take a loss the first month then so be it. I know I will make it back in the months to come.
With all of that being said, let’s take a look at my income statement:
These number do not take into effect the manufacturing fees and shipping fees that I had to pay. These expenses above only include the fees that Amazon charges me.
Only looking at the Amazon numbers, I made $114.72.
You can see that a HUGE chunk of my income was deducted due to promo rebates which is due to my giveaway.
Diving Deeper into the Numbers
Now that you have an idea of the how I did last month in terms of sales, let’s now look at the true profit/loss from this month after all fees and expenses are factored in.
Units Sold: 172
Amazon Fees: ($1,237.23)
Shipping/Manufacturing Fees (based on 172 units sold * $4.16 PPU): ($715.52)
Net Income: ($600.80)
In total, I lost slightly over $600 this month but you have to remember that this was due to the launch I did. It sucks to lose money, but I am looking at the bigger picture here and doing what will benefit me the most down the road.
I think that getting over 50 reviews and increasing my keyword rankings in Amazon is well worth the $600 loss. I am expecting the upcoming months to be much better in terms of profit.
NOTE: The shipping and manufacturing fee was calculated by multiplying $4.16 by 172 units. It cost me $4,200 to manufacture and ship 1008 units which comes out to be $4.16 per unit.
My Profit Margins
Now that my product is selling on Amazon I can get an exact amount for my profit margins. Before when I was estimating my profit margin I was using estimated numbers.
Here is a look at my profit margins per unit sold:
Sale Price: $19.99
Amazon FBA Fee: $7.02
Shipping/Manufacturing Fee: $4.16
Profit per Unit: $8.81
Profit Margin: 44.1%
These are actual numbers from Amazon for my product, no more estimates!
This means that I am making $8.81 per sales, which comes out to be 44.1% profit margin. Not bad! 🙂
These numbers are actually better than I had estimated in the 5th case study update. One quick note, the profit margin does not take into affect fees such as Seller’s Account fee, storage fee and other miscellaneous fees. I am only looking at the fees per unit sold.
What Would my Numbers have Looked like without the Launch?
I know it isn’t good to create scenarios and what-ifs, but I want to see what my numbers would have looked like if I exclude the 100 units I gave away for $.99.
In total I sold 172 units, subtract 100 from 172 and we are left with 72 units sold. Then subtract the 8 units I sold to friends and family. That gives us 64 units sold at full price.
64 units * $8.81 = $563.84
I would have made around $560 profit this month without taking into effect the 100 unit giveaway. This is a cool thing to look at because it gives me an idea of what I can expect in the future.
Now that I am done recapping my first month on Amazon, I am now going to explain my future plans for the upcoming month.
1. Explore Amazon PPC
Now that I have a good amount of reviews, I can now start testing out Amazon PPC and see if I can turn a profit.
If I am able to optimize the PPC campaigns well enough to turn a profit then that opens the doors for a lot of things. The most important thing is that I will be able to make a good amount of sales each day which will slowly improve my Amazon keyword rankings.
The more sales I make = the better my keywords will rank in Amazon
Also, the more sales I make the more reviews I will be able to get. Amazon PPC + Salesbacker should be a combo that will increase review conversions.
I will dive into learning how to use Amazon PPC properly and I will let you all know what I learn and tell you what has and hasn’t worked for me.
2. Test Different Price Points
Recently, I have changed my price point from $19.99 to $14.99 and I have seen some interesting results so far. I have seen more sales per day and an increase in the amount of items per order. What this means is that more people are ordering multiple units of my products in one order. The lower price point seems like it makes it more enticing to order more than one unit.
I will keep testing different price points and see what happens. One thing that I like about the lower price point is that I am able to sell more units per day because my conversion rates go up. This in turn will help me move up in Amazon for my keywords.
I think that staying with a lower price point until I get reach the top of the first page and then raising the price back up to $19.99 is a good plan. That is the plan, however, I am sure it will change after some testing.
3. Get Approved in Amazon’s Brand Registry
This is something that I have wanted to do for a while now but I haven’t gotten around to it. Now that I have my product on Amazon and it is selling, now is a good time to get this done.
Some of the reasons why I want to do this is because:
- No one else can use my brand name
- If someone tries to counterfeit my product I can have them removed
- I will always have exclusive ownership of the buy box
I am not sure if these things will ever come in handy, but it does not hurt to have these things for my products on Amazon.
The application process is fairly straightforward and pretty simple so it shouldn’t be too hard to do this.
4. Start Promoting and Marketing my Brand Website
I have had a website for my brand for a long time now, however, I have to really done anything with it yet. I wish I would have started marketing it a couple of months ago but I didn’t have time to get around to it.
Now that my product is live on Amazon and selling, I figure now is a good time to start marketing my website. What I mean by “marketing” my website is that I am going to start trying to get traffic to my site and funnel these visitors to my Amazon listing.
The other main goal of promoting my website is so that I can start building an email list of people that are interested in my product/niche. That way when I release new products I can have an easy way to launch it without needing a launch service.
An email list is also important if you ever plan on selling products directly from your store. This is my plan as I don’t want to 100% rely on Amazon for my sales and diversity where my sales are coming from. You never know when Amazon could change something and your entire business could go down the drain.
That is why I think it is important to use Amazon as a “launch pad” for your products/brand and then slowly move away from them as you grow. This is my long term plan.
I am not going to dive too deep into the topic of selling on Amazon vs. selling on your site right now, but I do want to say that I will be working hard to try and increase traffic to my site.
That concludes the report from my first of selling on Amazon!
It has been an awesome month and I am very pleased with how it went. Even though I lost over $600 this month, I was able to accomplish a lot of important things that have set me up well for the future.
My main goal for the first month was to get as many reviews as possible and now that I am sitting at 55 reviews and counting, I would say that I completed this goal. Now that I have these reviews, I can now start working on other aspects of my product and trying to increase the amount of sales per day.
I have a good feeling about these next couple of months and I’m so excited to see what happens. I will make sure to keep you all in the loop of how my product does and keep giving out tips as I go along.
Before I wrap up this article, I want to hint at something that I have been working on for the last couple of weeks and something I am very excited about. I will have an article out within a week or two explaining exactly what I am talking about, but just know there hasn’t been anything like it before and you guys will love it! 🙂
Thanks for reading everyone, make sure to join our Amazon FBA Facebook group if you haven’t already!