Distribution Channels versus Amazon for Growing Your Brand with Adam Shaffer, President of Omni-Channel Distribution

Adam Shaffer, President of Omni-Channel Distribution (OCD), joins the eCom Ops Podcast to discuss the evolution of selling products from catalogues to online marketplaces, what makes Amazon the best eCommerce marketplace, and tips for making your products big on Amazon.

Key Facts:

  • Adam’s LinkedIn
  • Omni-Channel Distribution LinkedIn 
    • Adam Shaffer graduated from  Stony Brook University in 1986Omni-Channel Distribution offers a one-stop distribution solution for eCom stores 
  • Omni-Channel is a platform that facilitates the onboarding process of eCom stores. It also  provides sales support via its broadline distribution (ingram micro and tech data) and offers eCommerce marketplace activation for marketplaces such as Amazon
  • Omni-Channel aims to remove obstacles to entry and provide industry-leading customer experience for eCom stores

 

Key Takeaways:

  • [01:10-05:53] Omni-Channel Distribution (OCD) is a full-service accelerator/enabler agency for brands expanding into the eCommerce marketplace. OCD helps brands navigate complex and ever-changing marketplace rules, logistics, and marketing 
  • What sets them apart from similar agencies and platforms is that they also buy the products from their brand partners and sell them on Amazon. They’re in the game to help their brand partners grow 
  • When brands sell their products to OCD, the agency protects the brand, understands it, oversees the prices and policies, and sells the products either in their stores or creates/manages a 3P store for the brand (a third-party relationship where the brand is the retailer and sells products directly to buyers through the marketplace)
  • No matter how brands want to sell their products, they must have a strategy; for large brands, a hybrid strategy works best where some products are sold directly to Amazon, and some are sold through a 3P partner
  • [08:59-16:22] Before eCommerce, Adam was directly marketing and selling products via catalogues. When the internet took over advertising and selling products, his company became a big cataloger of Apple accessories and products – they were the largest Mac reseller in the US, called Mac-Warehouse, with stores around the globe   
  • With the boom in eCommerce, Microsoft helped Adam’s company create its first eCommerce website. However, the problem was that it would put an order in and then have to put it back in its ERP system. This cost millions of dollars and hindered growth. Within a year, they had to create a new website where customers could place their orders online
  • Talking more about his evolutionary journey into eCommerce, Adam was the President of a US company called TigerDirect. However, the company started struggling because of the growth of Amazon. So they launched their 3P store on Amazon, followed by WalMart
  • [22:29-27:44] What makes Amazon a terrific eCommerce marketplace is its core focus on providing customers with the best experience. This includes the cheapest shipping rates, confirmed delivery, and money-back guarantees
  • Discussing the importance of being Prime on Amazon, Adam says that OCD has something called a ‘Seller-Fulfilled Prime’ medallion. This allows them to keep shipping a brand’s products to Amazon from their warehouses even if they have run out of the product. This helps the brand maintain its ranking and keep its prime status despite being out of stock
  • Amazon is also evolving its marketing strategies by the second. This involves new methods of advertising, using videos for branding, and having editorials written for your brand and displayed on the Amazon website
  • The latest feature on Amazon is that it will reward a brand or give them a discount if they bring traffic from external sources (say Google) to their website

 

Adam’s no.1 eCom operation’s hack

Here are some factors to consider when selling your products on Amazon and how to make it work for your brand:

  • Have a great SEO copy
  • Understand keywords
  • Understand the market and the competition
  • Focus on what images you use
  • Focus on logistics and always have stock ready
  • Provide exceptional customer service 
  • Be great at forecasting and planning

 

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