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Use Amazon To Grow Your eCommerce Business With Kurt Prosser from Easton Digital (MFGMonkey Episode 19)

MFG Monkey | Kurt Prosser | eCommerce Business


This week, we had the pleasure of sitting down with Kurt Prosser, owner of Easton Digital. We talk about Kurt’s career path, from engineer to MBA to starting his own eCommerce agency in 2013. Easton Digital is a full-service eCommerce agency that delivers profitable revenue for its clients. They specialize in launching and growing small and medium online retailers. They have a proven track record, and first-hand experience starting and growing eCommerce companies. Kurt walks us through his steps for product development, adding value to the customer, and understanding your market.  

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Use Amazon To Grow Your eCommerce Business With Kurt Prosser from Easton Digital (MFGMonkey Episode 19)


Kurt, welcome.

Thank you for having me. Glad to be here.

Thank you so much for coming. We met off of a Facebook ad. As funny as that sounds, saying it out loud, but we randomly met. We had some used pallets to sell and you guys came and purchased them. I looked you up, and I said, “This guy’s got it going on.” Maybe let’s chat about what you’re doing. Kurt comes from us. Kurt Prosser is a former engineer and Ohio State MBA. He is a much smarter guy than I am. He turned into an Analytical Marketer. That sums it up, right?


Tell us about your two companies. From what I’ve read, you’re a serial entrepreneur.

A little bit there. The transition from engineer and analytical marketer is a good starting point because I started in engineering and found that there were a lot of small to mid-sized companies that needed help with marketing and data and numbers. There are a lot of fluff marketers out there, a lot of generalist marketers and some engineers and developers. There’s not a lot of people in the middle. That’s where I found my career path through the MBA program and I have been focused on marketing ever since.

The biggest area where analytical marketing applies is eCommerce. Lots of numbers, lots of data, lots of things going on in eCommerce. I found my way that way and started an agency, Easton Digital, which specializes in helping small to mid-sized Shopify store owners grow with Google Shopping. That’s the agency side. In doing that, though, I’ve always been a good fan of eating your own dog food, taking your own advice. 

We started our own eCommerce brands and first doing them in lighting and LED lighting and then have gone into outdoor security lighting and then into glassware. Right now, that’s where most of my time is spent about 50/50, I’d say. Right now, with the holidays and everything going on with COVID-related, our own eCommerce brands have grown quite a bit. We’re doing a lot of that work right now.

One of the things I noticed is civil engineering, which is crazy because that’s where I started in school, with civil engineering. I worked for a civil engineering firm for five years. I really found that interesting. You don’t see too many people in our space that started out with civil engineering. I’m like, “Cool, another one.”

I love engineers. It’s a good field, but I cut the entrepreneur bug and wanted to do something new. Through the MBA program, I was able to find this niche in marketing.

Is that how you got started in what you’re doing, through your MBA program at Ohio State?

Yeah. It was actually really funny. I was at the varsity club one night talking to this guy, and he said, “Yeah, I’m not quite sure what I’m going to do with my MBA program. I was thinking maybe start a business or do this. If you’re going to start a business, you might as well do it in the MBA program. No better sandbox to do it.” I’m like, “Let’s do it.” I started figuring out what I was going to do, started tinkering around, and found this little pathway.


Easton Digital

Tell us a little bit more about Easton Digital.

Easton Digital started in 2013. Prior to that, I did some work at another marketing agency doing eCommerce marketing work for larger companies. As I said, at that time, I noticed that there was a lot of small to mid-sized companies that needed the analytical marketing approach. I decided to go on my own and give it a shot.

As I said, it was in the program, so I had a little bit of comfort there and started taking some clients and realized that Google Analytics and Google Shopping market is a great market for some of that know the data and pivot tables in Excel, but then also knows marketing concepts. That kept doing a great job for clients, kept getting referrals from new clients and grew organically for a couple of years. 

I decided to grow it a little further and started hiring a team. Now, we have up to 9 team members and about 180 clients. Those clients are all over the country. In fact, a couple over in Europe as well. Everything we do is Google Shopping and Bing Shopping for those small to mid-sized eCommerce brands.

On top of that, you guys have your own product, right?

Yes. That was started in 2015. I had a client that approached me and wanted me to partner up with him. We started doing this LED lighting stuff and pretty quickly realized that there was a lot of opportunity to create my own private label brand for Amazon and started doing that and created Modvera Lighting. One of my current business partners, he and I started working together, and we said, “Let’s partner up and do this together.” That’s what we did and has been growing ever since. We have a small warehouse of 4,500 square feet in Worthington and ship out light bulbs.

A lot of our work is importing products from China, sending directly to Amazon’s warehouse and then getting returns to our own warehouse or getting excess inventory back to the warehouse and then shipping that back out. We do not do a whole lot of intense shipping work there. It’s more of a staging-type warehouse because, like I said, everything goes straight from China to Amazon’s warehouse.

When you were here, did they change that model a little bit so that you have to receive it, repackage it, and then send it to them now?

Yes. That was one of the big hits with COVID. A lot of us Amazon sellers have been hit hard with that, whereas before, we would ship entire containers straight to Amazon. Everything was going straight to Amazon. With COVID, they made some new rules that require certain metrics. For new products that only went 200 units, no manufacturing. China is going to give you 200 units.

A lot of our products now, especially new products that we launch, we have to actually order some to our warehouse. We’ll send 200 units to Amazon and almost do just-in-time inventory for some of those new products until Amazon sees we have enough high sales and quality metrics to then start taking larger quantities.

The whole Amazon world is very interesting to me. We’re on the other end with one of our customers. We’re helping them with the conveyor belt systems and all that fun stuff in a definitely different stage than what you guys are doing with Amazon. I had a company years ago that I tried to sell on Amazon and it was so damn much for me that I honestly got overwhelmed and I pulled the plug on it.

Amazon definitely can be overwhelming and there are a lot of pros and cons to it, but it still is one of the number one marketplace for brands for eCommerce stores. If you can crack the code with Amazon and get a product that does well, it can perform really well and grow fast. It’s very scalable. We had basically two guys running our eCommerce brand for years, and we grew it from nothing to very large because Amazon was able to scale with us with their warehousing, shipping, and everything they do. We didn’t have to worry about it. It was nice.


Amazon can definitely be overwhelming, with both pros and cons to consider. However, it remains one of the top marketplaces for brands in the e-commerce space. Share on X


That’s what we want to talk about. I love that you sent me a slide deck to keep us on track and that you’re the first person to do that. I’m like, “That’s great,” because I have such ADD that we could end up talking about steers before this is over.

It’s a way for me to organize my thoughts.


Amazon Vs Google Shopping

No, I love it. It’s more helpful for me. The two biggest platforms that you were talking about are Amazon and then Google Shopping, is that a close second?

Google itself is the largest search platform. That’s where people are going to search for things. When you start looking at eCommerce and looking where people go to products, increasingly, people are going to Amazon. Now, for retail and for eCommerce brands, Amazon is the largest marketplace. Google is number two and then you have Bing and Microsoft.

You have those way down below. The way that we like to think about it is Google does a good job of going after maybe less product terms, like maybe someone looking for more problems or solutions or trying to find answers or trying to find reviews. Amazon has become pretty much the people looking for that particular product. There are pros and cons to each. Both are good platforms to go after.

Does Google do any fulfilling or is that 100% on the seller?

Google does not do any fulfillment. That’s one of the benefits of Google Shopping because Google Shopping in that marketplace, people go to Google, they do a search for a product and then they see your ad at the top and then they can click on that and come to your website. You own the customer. You can remarket them. You can run other ads to them. You could own their email address. You can sell them other products. You own the customer. Once they check your website, you have to do all the work, though. Amazon owns a customer. That’s their customer. You don’t get to talk to them, you don’t get to email them, you don’t get to do anything. There are some pros and cons to both.

What are the top pros and cons between the two?

I think there’s the fulfillment side and operation side. They both had pros and cons, but I think the bigger thing, and probably where your audience would be most interested, is in terms of product development and how you’re going to be thinking about developing products and working with customers. When you’re thinking about product development, Amazon is a little bit easier to develop products for because you see all the competitor sales, know what is selling well on Amazon, and know what the cost structure is. You have a lot of information on what’s working well on Amazon and what’s not working well. 

On the flip side, like I said, with Google, you don’t get any of that. You don’t get any insights into product development or what’s selling well, what’s not selling well, or what strategies one of your competitions are using to get more traffic and sales. You don’t get any insights into that. Whereas Amazon, you have a lot of benefits for product development reasons.

With Amazon, part of your development strategy is to search for products you like and then you’re back into it or look at it as an analytical where you don’t care if it’s a pink seahorse. If they’re selling them, there’s enough margin in there. You’re selling it.

I would say years ago, Amazon was a Wild West. You could simply look at the numbers and find, “This is selling well.” If it was a garlic press or some random widget, then you can sell it and do pretty well. Now, I would say Amazon has become more competitive, and there are a lot more larger companies looking at Amazon to see what they can do from a product development standpoint. What can they do to take market share or take share from smaller companies?”

Now, you do have to think a little bit more about what’s your long-term plan in terms of how can you market this off Amazon or how you could diversify to other channels. Now, we try to think about more, “What do we like to do? What is a good market for us?” There are a lot of great opportunities at Amazon, but because of our own product development, we don’t pursue those because they are not a good fit for us.


Product Development Process: Search

When you’re looking at product development, how does that process work for you guys?


Step 1: Understand The Customer And Market

For us, really, what we tend to do is we have an internal five-step framework that we use for product development, particularly for Amazon, because Amazon is the easiest to do from a product development standpoint, so we’ll typically start with that. Step one is understand. Step two is search. Step three is value. Step four is validate. Step five is optimize. Understand, search, create value, validate, and then optimize. It sounds a little complex, but it’s pretty easy. It starts with fully understanding the customer, the market, what they like, what they don’t like, talking to customers, and really getting into their mindset. 

There are a lot of people that would say, “Start with Amazon,” but don’t maybe understand the market or seeing the customer well. That’s where they make a mistake. As a part of understanding the market, it’s important to think about how large that market is. There are going to be some very specific customers you can go after that. Maybe it will be a little bit lower volume, but maybe they’re going to be more profitable. There are also very big markets that aren’t going to be as profitable, but the point is to take the time to understand the market, the customer, and the players. We did a pretty thorough research and figured out, “What is this market about?” 

In terms of a lot of the manufacturers, some of you may already know that market. You may know that, but at the same time, you may know the product. You may know the product well, so you have to go to Amazon and say, “What’s the customer that is on Amazon or on Google?” Try to understand those customers. That’s going to be step one.

I think what was so interesting to me about what you do is we have a client right now. They’re a large manufacturer and we represent them as a manufacturer’s rep and we also do some marketing for them and things like that. However, one of the things that we kicked around is that we have all this capability, and it’s a tremendous amount of capability. It’s right here in Ohio. It’s in Springfield, right down the street. 

They’re like, “If we could produce a product that we could sell on Amazon, then that would be another leg of revenue for us that we don’t necessarily have a customer that we have to please one. If we had our own product, what does that look like?” I’m like, “It’s a really good idea.” They’re like, “What could we sell?” I’m like, “I have no idea. I don’t even know how to go about that.” When you came in here, I was like, “I think this guy might be able to have lead us down that path. That’s really good subject for an episode.”

That’s a great point, though, because there are so many people that manufacturers and companies that think, “I have this capability. I have this product. How can I develop the product for this marketplace for Amazon or Google Shopping?” I think starting with that understanding of who the customer is on Amazon may be different than what you’re used to in terms of selling B2B or selling through distributors or selling through other wholesalers or whoever. It’s a different customer on Amazon and on Google. Understanding that customer. 


Step 2: Search

One of the good things, though, and to help you with that understanding, is you have that data. You can then really start to search for opportunities and say, “What products are in demand on Amazon? What’s selling well on Amazon? What are maybe some of my competitors selling on Amazon?” You can see all that, and there are free tools available to see those numbers. 


One of the good things is having data. This allows you to really start searching for opportunities. Share on X


In Google, it’s Google Keyword Planner and SpyFu. On Amazon, it’s Helium 10. Helium 10 is a free tool that will show you exactly how much sales that product is getting per month and what the top sellers are for this category. It shows you all that data in real-time and can help you find those opportunities you may not have thought of before.

There are probably a couple of different avenues to take to get to where you want and not just selling products. If somebody doesn’t know the product they want to sell, would Easton Digital help them find that?

Yeah. We don’t do that in terms of marketing. Most of the people that come to us already have a product. They’ve already said, “This is a product I’m selling.” I say that we don’t do that because we do get people come to say like, “I’d like to start an eCommerce business. Can you help me find products?” We’re not that type of company, but I would say it’s a part of our marketing. When a company comes to us and says like, “I want you to market my product on Google or on Amazon,” what we then do is we’re able to see that data and then figure out, “What product do you need to develop off of that?”

For example, we’re working with a company right now that sells room dividers and we’re working on is looking at the data available on Google and Amazon, saying, “What do we need to do differently to the product to increase our performance on Amazon and Google?” What do we need to do to get a better click-through? What do we need to get a better conversion rate? There are all those metrics that are pretty technical, but making product decisions based on the data is a great feedback loop to help you understand the market and find new opportunities. 


Making product decisions based on the data is a great feedback loop to help you understand the market and find new opportunities. Share on X


Before this, we talked about our project with Red Robin. We now have the IP to sell those dividers and want to, but that’s not quite our marketing expertise. One of the things that we’ve done is split off MFG Monkey into its own marketing company specific for manufacturers, but that’s a whole different ball game than selling a product on Amazon or Google. Those are very interesting things for us.


Step 3: Value

Even like that product, though, you could say, “Is there anything that’s like that selling on Amazon?” You go to Amazon and see, “Is there anybody buying that product, or is it currently on Amazon? What is the demand for that on Amazon?” You see where the opportunities are. You can then go to step three, which is the value. You can say, “Step three, how do I create more value than what’s currently on Amazon or with the current product top sellers on Amazon?” Looking at the customer reviews and saying, “What do they complain about? What don’t they like? What issues do they have?” then developing your product around that. Ultimately, it comes back to giving the customer a reason to buy from you. 


Ultimately, it comes back to giving the customer a reason to buy from you. Share on X


One of the things we did with our outdoor lighting is we saw, “There’s a whole bunch of people searching for solar path lights.” There’s a ton of people searching for that. There’s a ton of demand, ton of sales. I buy solar lighting, and it’s a very easy market to understand, but we saw in the reviews of a lot of the top sellers that “It wasn’t bright enough.” 

What did we do? We came out with the absolute brightest solar light on the market. It was 500 lumens, like the solar stake lights that you get from Lowe’s or Home Depot. Those are super cheap. Those are 1 or 2 lumens. We’re like, “Let’s blow this thing out with 500 lumens.” Now, it wasn’t a great product. We had a little bit of technical issues here and there in terms of it’s a little plasticky and it wasn’t as good as it wasn’t as cheap, but we had to make it plastic because it was so expensive. 

There are always trade-offs, but we have a new product coming out that is a lot higher quality. It’s more at the 200-lumen range, but still 1 or 2 lumens versus 200, it’s still pretty bright. That’s where you have to look at those products critically and say, “Where can I offer value for that customer on Amazon in comparison to those products that are selling well?” 

Sometimes, less so in Google and more so on Amazon, if you’re offering a significant value, you don’t even have to market it. It literally can take off of itself and it starts showing high and sales go through the roof because you’re offering so much more value than everyone else. Google is going to be a little bit different because you have to do a little bit more marketing, a little bit more effort. I’ve seen websites that have horrible product descriptions, but because the company offered so much more value, they were able to overcome that and sell really well on Google Shopping.

Is Amazon’s algorithm based off of reviews and sales? I would think that a company getting five-star reviews on every single cell would rate higher than somebody that has big, deep pockets and they have two stars.

That is one of the little bit of knocks against Amazon. Sometimes, Amazon’s algorithm and how they rank things can be a little bit gray. They can rank things because maybe people are giving products away. This was more a couple of years ago. If you gave a bunch of products away, Amazon would shoot your ranking up. There’s a little bit of a gray area. You have to be careful about that.

Ultimately, what Amazon cares about is sales. They make money when people sell products. The more you sell, the higher your sales velocity on Amazon, and the higher your rank. There are a lot of things like reviews and things like that that are important, but ultimately, it’s about sales. The more you sell, the higher your rank.


Higher sales volume on Amazon directly translates to increased sales velocity and improved product ranking. Share on X


On Google Shopping, that’s going to be different. That’s more about how much you bid per click. That’s pure advertising. That’s going to be if your product is selling well and you have a good conversion rates, very profitable, then the theory is you can afford to spend more to advertise it. Google likes to rank things based on how much you spend because that’s how they make their money. Ultimately, it comes back to if it’s a great product, great value, and it’s going to sell well, it can work pretty well in both marketplaces.

When you first started getting into this, not having a “manufacturing background,” how did that work? If you have this product that you want to have manufactured, we have so many people that come to us and they have a great idea and we’ll figure out how to get it manufactured. Where they lack, we have a product in our conference room right now that is a great product. We made a couple of them, figured out how to scale them, and made hundreds of thousands of them, but they have zero sales. It doesn’t matter if we can manufacture or not. They have zero idea how to get it to market and how to sell it. They were in the reverse. How did you go about getting products manufactured?

Fortunately, with the LED marketing, where I started with the LED market, there’s a lot of Chinese manufacturers that were subsidized by the Chinese government. They were actually reaching out to us and saying, “We see that you’re selling on this website. We would like to make this product for you, or we have this private label product. We have some of that,” so we’re pretty fortunate they reached out to us. Now, with some of our new products, there is a relationship with the manufacturer. 

My business partner, he’s Chinese and he has a great relationship with some of our manufacturers and is working with them and saying, “Here’s what the customer feedback is,” which is great because we get that feedback firsthand from Amazon reviews, from customers calling. If there’s a product issue, they call in. We’re pretty open with our phone numbers and all that stuff. We get that feedback loop and then we’re able to send them back to the manufacturer and say, “This is what needs to be done.” 

I’d say that is a heart that, even with some of our Easton Digital clients, is something they struggle with, like, “Who do I have? How do I go about?” There’s not a lot of information or resources to go about figuring out how to make stuff, especially our clients. Our clients, a lot of the entrepreneur, the business owner that created that, have that idea and don’t necessarily know where to go.


There’s not a lot of information or resources for figuring out how to make stuff. Many entrepreneurs have an idea but don’t necessarily know where to go. Share on X


We probably import less than 5% or 10% of everything that we have manufactured for people. It’s been a big shift because of the last administration and now who knows what’s going to happen. It’ll be interesting to see if the China gates open up again or how that works. It’s always interesting to shift with the market, what we don’t have control over, and how things come to light. I think that the United States has done such a great job building that infrastructure to support the influx of manufacturing, which is a lot of fun for us because when you and I were kids, it was going to school. Certainly, getting your Bachelor’s degree and getting your MBA are even better. 

Now, kids are coming out of school with an MBA, but they don’t have a job, and they have no idea what to do and have all this debt. There’s been more emphasis on manufacturing and skilled labor, and we are starting to build that infrastructure back up where it was destroyed when we were kids. We went from a manufacturing country to a service-based country, and now we’re trying to become more of a manufacturing-based country. It’ll be very interesting in the next decade or two to see how much stuff comes back. Even though you may want to sell US-made product, you can’t because we don’t have the technology here or a factory willing to take and figure it out.

I think that’s good. I think using the marketplace like Amazon and Google and selling direct is an opportunity for a lot of US manufacturers that, by doing that, now have the margin to maybe make it here in the United States or maybe do some of the things that they may be otherwise couldn’t if there’s 2 or 3 distributors or layers in between that would also raise the prices. 

That’s how I got started in LED because we love selling Philips, Sylvania and GE light bulbs. GE sold to a company that we bought from and then they marked it up and then we marked it up. Now, some of the manufacturers in the United States can sell direct and have those higher margins and make products that they otherwise wouldn’t have made. That’s a good opportunity for a lot of manufacturers to maybe bring some of that manufacturing back to the United States.

We’re in such a manufacturing hub and there are more manufacturers in Ohio than almost any other state. There are more manufacturers in Shelby County, Ohio, one county, than every other county in Ohio. That I-75 corridor is a manufacturing paradise if you want to have something made. It’s very focused, and there’s so much aerospace and things that are developed because of the right path that it would blow your mind to see the types of things that are being manufactured almost right next door.

I’m from a small town up in Northern Ohio, and it’s amazing how many are manufactured there, how many jobs it creates, and how you’d go buy it without even knowing. It’s amazing.

One of the things that people also like is this widget that we have. They know who their target market is, right? It’s probably digging into even knowing the target market, but maybe understanding the sub-target market of exactly who you’re selling to.


Step 4: Validate

The fourth step is that after you understand the market, find those opportunities, and create value, it’s really about validating. What we always try to do with Amazon and Google is dip our toes in the water before we try to go all in our products. We try to get some initial traffic or sales from advertising. We want to confirm that people want to buy from us and that they agree essentially with our assumptions or that we validate our assumptions that, yes, we’re creating value. Yes, there’s market demand here.

We always try to do that with these marketplaces because with Amazon, you hate to send thousands of units to Amazon, and then maybe it doesn’t sell well, or you try to build up your whole inventory, and it doesn’t sell well. It’s always recommended to dip your toes in the water a little bit with these products on these marketplaces to see how it performs. You can always say, “Yes, now it’s working. Now, I can order more, do more, and scale things up a little bit.”

What’s the movie with Will Smith, Pursuit of Happyness?


I don’t even remember what he bought, but they didn’t sell. Do you remember the one scene where he and his wife get their picture taken in their apartment with all those things? I forget what they even were. It’s like some scanner or something. None of them sold. 

Yeah, he’s trying to sell it to doctors or something.

I always think about that with people buying tens of thousands of units. 

Also in the movie War Dogs where he bought the bed sheets and tried to sell them to the nursing homes. It seems like, “They don’t need nice sheets.” Marketplaces can be tricky. They can be a little bit finicky and you may look at the numbers, look at data, and say, “This is selling well.” Maybe you don’t necessarily know how they’re getting that traffic. It’s good to test it out a little bit before to make sure you’re validating your assumptions before you start to scale up. We ordered a product, and I think it was sold in November or December. It did well. We’re like, “Okay, great. Now, let’s go to order. It’s Chinese New Year. We didn’t forecast or plan for that.” 


It's good to test it out a little before scaling up to make sure you're validating your assumptions. Marketplaces can be tricky and finicky, so it's safer to start small. Share on X


Sometimes, it can set you back a little bit because it’d be nice to have those sales, but it’s a lot safer to do that. We try to take a strategy where if we launch 10 products, we try to validate 10 products. We know some are not going to work. Some are going to be home run and some are going to be okay. We want to try to use that validation phase to dip our toes and get some good data, good numbers on sales and then we can scale up after that.

For your clients, are you also fulfilling?


You’re marketing and then they’re handling their own fulfillment?

Yeah. The reason why is we found this real sweet spot with the small to mid-sized market with Google Shopping, Bing Shopping, and Amazon ads. It’s one of those things where it’s technical. It’s labor-intensive. It requires someone who can keep an eye on the numbers and knows data and Excel and spreadsheets. We try to focus on that. We even have other agencies that will hire us to do that for them because it’s a unique skill. We’re a team of nine people. For the eCommerce side, we have four people, including myself, in those numbers. We have four people running the eCommerce side. We’re pretty small, so we try not to do too much or go too wide.

We already talked about searching for opportunities, but do you want to get into that a little bit deeper? You talked about Helium 10 a little bit. What is Helium 10? I’ve never even heard of a Helium 10.

If you go through step 1, step 2, step 3, and 4, but that step 2 is a searching for opportunities. Step two, you really want to try to find where the demand is on Google or Amazon, where the sales are, and what people are searching for. Helium 10 is a free tool that actually reads the Amazon data and pulls all that Amazon data into their system. You can run queries and filters and say, “I want to find top-selling products in this field,” and it’ll show you that. You can say, “Here’s 2 or 3 of my competitors. How much are they selling per month? How many units are they selling per month?” I can see they’re selling 1,000 units per month. 

If I take some of that market share, that’s probably about what I’m going to sell. It gives you that real clear data to say, “How much opportunity is there?” As you go into creating value around that, you have to say, “If I’m able to create a better price or if I’m able to solve all the problems that are mentioned in the reviews, how much of that market are we going to take away?” You need to validate that and make sure that customers agree with you. We’ve launched products where I thought, “For sure, customers are going to love this product way better than these other products are selling. This is a much better product.” Sure enough, they didn’t work at all.

Garage lights is one that comes to mind. We had those garage lights that you screw into a regular base and you got those wings that go up. I thought for sure I found a company that had a better design where it was all enclosed. It was nice. It looked good. It was like, “Aren’t these funky wings going to get dust on them or spiderwebs?” I’m like, “No, it’s nice and clean and white and nice size. I can hit it with the blower and get up the cobwebs off.” No sales. People like those wings. They like the wings to be able to move in a certain way. We sell those now, but we’re late to the game on those. I thought for sure. That’s the point of trying to validate. I thought for sure people like the cleaner look and they didn’t.

I would agree with you there.

It didn’t sell.

I know exactly what you’re talking about because I think I almost bought them, but I don’t have a screw in my garage.

I have the screw-in bases in my garage now, or the wings. Now, I had the wings because, of course, I had to test them out and remind myself that I was wrong sometimes.

Of course. You get into some formulas.

This is maybe the little engineering side of me. The point is as you start to validate things and as you start to see, “Yes, I’m getting some sales on this product,” when you’re thinking about step five and optimizing your product, optimizing your data, your advertising, everything, it’s a really simple formula. Its return on ad spend equals the average order value times conversion rate divided by cost per click. Now, none or nobody needs to know that. 


Step 5: Optimize

The point is that what you’re trying to do is optimize certain numbers in your advertising of your product to make it work better for you. We’ll optimize our title to get more traffic or more impressions. We’ll optimize our product title and ad to get a better click rate, which in turn makes it cheaper to get a click. We’ll also try to optimize our price, landing page, or something else to get a better conversion rate. Ultimately, you’re trying to make improvements to your product, your product page, your details, and your ad to get better numbers in that formula. The point is it’s not as complicated as what people make it out to sound. I get a lot of questions from manufacturers. 


As you start to validate things, optimize your product title, landing page, and advertising. It's about pulling certain levers or making changes to improve your product's performance on marketplaces. Share on X


In fact, a lady is having an issue with some of her advertising not getting the return. She’s thinking like, “Should I do this? Should I change my ads this way? Should I segment this way?” She’s really struggling. I said, “I’m sorry. It’s easy. It’s about your average order value. You have to increase the amount that people buy.” She sells these bracelets for events and things. I’m like, “If we can get your average order value to $100 and your conversion rate is what it is, the cost, then the math works out. You’ll be profitable at that point.” I’m like, “We can’t sell. We can’t promote those small bracelets. You have to promote the big pack, the big quantity.” That’s it. That’s the simple thing. 

The point is it is a lot simpler than what a lot of people make it. It’s about pulling certain levers or making certain changes to make the math work because a marketplace like Amazon is all about math. How many people are visiting your site? How many people are converting and what it costs to get them there? It’s really that simple.


A marketplace like Amazon is all about math. How many people are visiting your site? How many people are converting and what does it cost to get them there? It’s really that simple. Share on X


I can’t wait to talk to you more about this with things that I have going through my head and then a couple of other customers that I think you can absolutely help out.

There’s a lot of opportunity, I think, for manufacturers to think about, “What could I do with my capabilities, my machines, what I have in, and could I put a product on Amazon?” Maybe it’s not a lot of sales. My uncle owned a sheet metal company up in Fremont, Ohio and he made battery cases for Crown Battery. I’m thinking nowadays, “If he used his robotic welders to create some gun cases or if they’ll stack on gun cases or create some shelving, he could have done that very easily.” 

Those things sell crazy well on Amazon. Take little things like that or lots of little things you can look at and say, “What could I do here?” If I do the step-by-step process where I find the opportunities, validate and create value, and then start to optimize, you can have a good side product and a side business that generates some good cashflow because the margins can be high since you’re the manufacturer.

You don’t get it any closer to the watering hole than that if you’re running the press. Tell everyone how they can get ahold of you. I’m sure you’re on every social media platform out there.

The best way to get ahold of me is email me at or you can go to our website, That’s the best way to get ahold of me. As I said, if you have any questions about Amazon or things like that, by all means, let me know. We’re happy to help people or point people in the right direction. People need a little bit of information here or there, and we’re happy to point in the right direction. If you have a product and you’re looking to advertise on Google or Amazon, we’d be happy to have a conversation with you and see if it’s a good fit.

Thank you so much for coming on.

Yeah, thanks for having me.

Thanks, everyone, for joining us for this episode. If you have any questions or suggestions for future episodes, please email them to us at


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