Selling over 5 million Products Online — What you can learn from E-Commerce Entrepreneur/Amazon FBA Seller?
This week we invited one of Profit Whales Amazon PPC Agency clients Rupesh Sanghavi to share his priceless insights in the e-commerce/Amazon business. Rupesh Sanghavi is the Founder of a successful e-commerce company selling online in 100+ marketplaces (including amazon.com) and offering 1+ million unique SKUs.
- How to manage strong and successful team in multiple businesses?
- How to overcome challenges the businesses face on Amazon?
- How to grow successful business from scratch on Amazon?
- How Rupesh Sanghavi plans his business strategy for 2021?
02:16 About Rupesh Sanghavi and his business
4:40 How do you manage all your businesses and team? What things you’ve learned managing such a huge team?
06:40 What seems to you the challenging part of selling on Amazon?
09:48 How do you take that message to the vendor?
12:43 How did you start working on Amazon?
19:52 What are your plans for the Q4 period of time? Or are you thinking more about strategies for 2021?
Vitalii Khyzniak: We decided to bring to our podcast one of our amazing clients, who has definitely tons of insights to share in terms of e-commerce business because he is Founder of a successful e-commerce company, their business sells online in 100+ marketplaces, offer 1+ million unique SKUs and all of these sounds impressive. So welcome Rupesh, I’m glad you’ve joined us!
Rupesh Sanghavi: Thank you, Vitalii. I’m glad to be here and thanks for giving me a chance to speak and,reach out to a wider audience. And I really appreciate what Profit Whales has done for us. You guys are an amazing vendor, almost every SKU that we have given to you, you’ve done very well, my team had been very happy working with you.
One thing that we give very limited people access to our account, and you are, you have our trust to a point that we have given you an access and thank you very much for all that you do for us.
02:16 About Rupesh Sanghavi and his E-Commerce business
We call ourselves an e-commerce marketplace seller. E-commerce because we sell on the internet, we do not have any physical location, where a customer could walk in. So there is no brick and mortar retail presence. So that is like for e-commerce marketplaces, because we have 70 of our own vertical websites.
So we have 17 to 20 of those, but the majority of our sales come from a marketplace presence like Walmart, Amazon, Facebook, Google, or a hundred other marketplaces, not only in the US but around the world. So since our larger portion of sales is coming from the marketplaces – we call ourselves e-commerce marketplace sellers.
On the sourcing side, we do buy the inventory and store and ship from a third party logistic warehouse, as well as we do drop shipping, where we work with our suppliers to ship items directly to customers, we don’t have to pay for our double shipping as well as the customer is more likely to get items in better condition, especially, heavier items like furniture and all.
04:26 How do you manage all your E-Commerce businesses and team? What things you’ve learned managing such a huge team?
What I believe, I give all credits to my team members. Especially the top team members, we have been working with them on the ground, we believe in an open-door policy. I mean, I feel proud of the right that everybody in the company, like quite a few people in the company, are allowed to reach me or any of the top team members.
Everybody is equal. Everybody is given an equal opportunity, the right to make decisions as they see appropriate for business.
So I think that the democratization of the team has helped us a lot. One of the situations that we, as a humanity, we ended up because it was a completely unexpected situation out of our probation situation. Our team had to start working from home, which then hardly done almost overnight. And they were able to make a lot, we were not only able to continue with our business but grow during this time. That’s thanks to the team!
So I think that the top leaders and democratization or the open door policy is what helped us to stay together and grow together.
06:40 What seems to you the challenging part of selling on Amazon marketplace?
I think the most challenging part is an inconsistency between old commerce and new commerce.
So a lot of our business are in the face of transition. What happens is a lot of times we end up getting IP complaints or like, I mean, it’s not always easy for us to explain our business to a well-established brick and mortar or old type of business.
So I believe that taking that next stage, that we really convey that message of globalization, that message that we actually can help you sell more to the vendors has been one of the biggest challenges because not, I mean, when you think about it, the old commerce is based on the protection and based on the trade secrets and all that.
On the contrary, newer companies like Amazon and Google of the world, they’ve kept everything open, accessible. Let the best player win. So I think that has been the biggest challenge. I mean, not that we are not able to overcome, but yes, if we can streamline our messages to vendors and partners, it would definitely have boosted our growth even further.
09:48 How do you take that message to the vendor?
So we have quite a few real cases or examples, that we have actually had done that even more. I mean, there was a brand that was selling directly to Amazon. There were no other third party vendors involved, but we did ask the brand that, okay, for the experiment, let us stand alongside you for a month.
And you will really make the whole pie of the market bigger and will not take a share away from you. Of course, the brand was reluctant, but given that there was only a one-month trial period and okay, I let you send along with me for a month and see, I don’t need, I should not be losing any sales, but if you can get any additional sales – more power to you. Turns out, that we were able to increase overall sales by 20%.
So the brand did not lose any sales. But we actually increased the size of the market for that product. How did we do it? We did it through search engine optimization and through advertising, our in-house advertising and stuff like that.
So we, feel that we had an expert online seller and give them what we can do, but I’m not good at sourcing, creating marketing every day, but when it comes to bringing customers to your product and making them purchase the product is very good at. Brands do give us a chance, we work with them, and we see that we created mutually win situation.
12:37 What was your experience, when you have started working with Amazon?
Working with Amazon has not always been smooth and easy. For about a year, maybe a year and a half, we have been receiving fantastic support from Amazon. A lot of time became of automation on the Amazon site or some sort of claims that were not valid and all, but lately, we have been getting better at communicating with Amazon.
Thanks to our account manager, who have helped us understand Amazon better, helped us, with the growth plan better than before. So, I think that is one of the reasons that we have been growing and have quite stabilized on Amazon and other marketplaces, we share very warm and special relations with them because marketplaces outside the United States, we bring them million-plus good selling items in one shop, and we already have an established relationship with shipping companies.
And we can deliver almost any item from that million-plus item within anywhere from 3 to 10 business days, anywhere in the world. So like Jeff Bezos’ famous phrase was – more selection, more customers. And that is what we bring to the international marketplace to other US marketplaces like Walmart, Facebook, Google in the United States, we share great relations with them.
And we are fortunate to be part of many of the pilot programs that are not accessible to every seller. So we provide a team member dedicated response mechanism for them to sharpen that message and to make sure that systems are working well. And in turn, we get early access to those programs. And this is another message that we take to the brand that even though you might be selling on your own one of the best advantages of working with us is you get access to all these marketplaces, better than every seller.
16:09 Could you please share your personal business tips and tricks, that you are following?
I mean, I’d like to give big nuggets. One is that open communication with the team. I get a very large number of emails and even my top team gets a very large number of it, but we make sure that we do respond to every email within 24 hours. How does it help? Everybody’s almost assured that when they send an email or any of the messages, they will always be taken care of. So I think that open communication is one.
Second is almost every team member, we never question them. We actually encourage, if they fail, we are actually happy because when you fail, when you try something new, and we encourage that kind of positive failure inside our work, there have been instances when our ACoS has gone to the roof, but we have learned, there have been instances when we signed up with other teams, other providers and that didn’t go, well, now we have been with Profit Whales for a long time, and I was listing more in this entire building of partnership, as you can see that you post by team, but
I will still get updated about what was going on. So thanks to partners like you and to others that have been able to establish relations. So I think that’s the second principle.
And third is we truly believe that everybody in the company officially the top team, like everybody will have some success to share. And so that I believe gives them motivated, apart from the love for the work that team, like, whatever, the connections that we share. So it is not only one person company, it’s our collective efforts of being successful. And that is what we preach and practice.
19:52 What are your plans for the Q4 period of time? Are you thinking more about strategies for 2021?
Let’s start right here. We’ll talk through it well. So I’m under multiple marketplaces, one that, I mean, we feel like because of Corona, a lot of buying shifted to online. So we have been experiencing a Q4 like volume almost since March and April. So it has been very helpful. And so we are ready for Q4. This is to help your business, our team knows, which is not important, which inventory is important.
So for the short term, they can get most of the things that like bulking up inventory, putting advertising strategy in place, planning vacation so that it does not, for like time for them, high selling days and all that. So my team has done a great job preparing for quarter four, overall, as a company, we started acquiring other brands and other companies, and that had been a huge step forward for us in a long term.
So far we have acquired three brands, and we are in active discussion with a couple more. So that has been our long term plan to make as many items available to as many customers around the world, in the shortest period of time at the cheapest possible cost. So we have been working on it. And fortunately, so far we feel like we are on the right track.