Archive for the 'Uncategorized' Category


Calculating Amazon Fees – an Amazon Fee Calculator

When you sell an item on Amazon, Amazon will charge a fee. No surprise there, hopefully.

They charge a percentage commission, which means you have little financial risk when selling on Amazon. ie you only pay when you sell (other than a pretty modest monthly subscription).

The fee Amazon charge is a percentage based on the category that your product is listed in. And the fee is charged on the total sales value.

Calculating the Amazon Fee is easy enough if you sell something for £10 then if the Amazon Fee is 10%, then they will take a £1.

But how do you calculate a profitable Amazon selling price in the first place? It’s trickier than you may think.

Suppose you want to sell an item for £10 plus enough to cover the Amazon fee, say 10%. If you simply add 10% to the price, you’ll end up with a selling price of £11. But when Amazon take 10% of your selling price, £11, they’ll take £1.10, which means you have missed out.

That’s why we have a proper Amazon Fee Calculator to help you calculate an Amazon Selling Price that takes into consideration all the costs and the fact that Amazon charge based on the final selling price. You can find it here.


How to Sell On Amazon

Recent reports continue to emphasise that retail on the High Street is in decline, at least in the UK. The decline has obviously been ongoing for some time, but now the High Street is gradually adapting (at least from where I’m sitting).

Where vacant retail outlets were adopted by charity shops initially, it now seems that the shifting norm is for snack bars, cafe’s and restuarants to fill the space. How that will play out over time remains to be seen. But it certainly seems to suggest that town centres can still play a role in social interaction, even when the shopping element is reduced.

The same news reports, that point to the decline of the retail experience on the high street, always add on something along the lines of “retail moving to online”. That’s fair enough, but undoubtedly many retailers are simply not doing that, instead they are getting out of retail altogether.

For those retailers that remain, getting online means a website and selling through marketplaces. And when it comes to marketplaces, the prime point of contact means Amazon with it’s country specific sites reaching from Canada to Australia.

We’ve found, perhaps surprisingly, that many new retailers to the Amazon experience find it a little daunting. Whereas directly dealing face to face with shoppers was part of the working day, now it’s done at arms length – via emails and messaging – that is a whole new way of running a business for many.

We’ve updated a few pages on the site to help share what we think is important when it comes to selling on Amazon. For experienced sellers on Amazon most of it is probably a little obvious, but we still find retailers who are unaware of how SEO on Amazon works, why stock management is more important than ever and why responding quickly to complaints is essential (even if the complaint seems unwarranted).

You can check out our How to Sell on Amazon page and see if it adds anything to your knowledge, hopefully there is something in there that contributes to your online sales. We’d like to see you persevere online and be successful.










The 10 Amazon Listing Optimisation Rules

With Amazon being such an important sales channel for so many retailers, we thought a helpful top 10 tip list would be useful for retailers whose sales are not as good as they should be.

You can find the full detail on the Top 10 Amazon Listing Optimisation Rules by following the link.

But if you are in a hurray here is the summary:

Title: make sure it is keyword rich, and make sure it says what the item is.

Category: use your competitor listings to make sure you list in correct place.

Description: this has to be sales copy – make sure you write copy that sells.

Bullet Points: Use them to the max – they stand out and this is where the customer looks first.

Keywords: You need to research these for your copy and title. So make sure you put them into the keyword area as well.

Images: White background, lots of them and good quality! No logos or overlays.

Technical Info: This is required to product comparisons, if you don’t have it you will lose out.

Sponsored Product Ads: A little investment can help establish sales and also give you info on the search terms that are popular.

Brand Registry: If you have unique products then make sure you protect your brand and your listings.

Review: Keep reviewing your listings against sales, stay on top of things to keep your sales moving.

And I guess that’s our top 10 favourite Amazon Product Oprtimisation rules and tips in a nutshell.

More at: Amazon Listing Optimisation.



So what does a DBA do all day?

With all the talk and constant email bombardment surrounding GDPR it made us think a little about the role of the DBA – The Database Administrator.

GDPR is the latest requirement that has landed on their plate and it’s quite a full plate already. So What does a DBA do anyway?

It really depends, we came up with 12 key things on our What does a DBA do list. And you’ll find that they vary in complexity a lot.

If you were asking around, you’d probably find that the most popular answer is that they are responsible for backing up database data and being sure you can restore it. But that is only the beginning.

For instance: Database design is an important role with many DBA’s. Performance goes hand in glove with that. Get the design wrong and performance will suffer, and in some cases you may find that the easy answer is to increase the server compute power: not the best thing to do as that costs, and doesn’t solve the underlying problem.

Process and procedure is at the heart of a DBA role, especially given the increase in regulation surrounding data protection and security. Stepping outside the agreed mechanisms for sharing and backing up data can put the business at risk.

And then there is keeping up to date with latest technology developments. Not least the fast moving Cloud services from the likes of Amazon with their (superb) AWS.

So already we have 4 quite different areas, not all necessarily suited to one person. Data Backup and restoration is a fairly predictable task; data design requires a certain spatial awareness and creative flair; process requires something a little more rigid; and researching latest technology requires passion.

We’d venture to say that you won’t (can’t), find all of those interests and talents in one person.

So what does a DBA do? For your business it’s likely that they don’t do everything we list in our top 12 things, and instead other members of the team pick up on the areas that they enjoy and have talent for.

It’s common for people to think of a DBA being some form of data based Swiss Army knife, but in reality they simply can’t be. So when you are choosing a DBA look for the skills that will solve you biggest problems: if its process then concentrate there; if it’s performance then look for significant design flair.

So what does a DBA do? That is sort of up to you in the end.


Amazon Listing Titles – the one thing you need to do to get found on Amazon

It’s probably quite unusual but we wear a couple of different Amazon related hats.

As software developers we use Amazon’s AWS platform a lot for the genuinely flexible server hosting and the rather extraordinary AWS services such as Lambda. But we also provide Amazon Listing Services to online retailers.

The Amazon Product Listing Optimisation consultancy services started as a by product of Seller Dynamics.  Seller Dynamics is our marketplace management service that ensures retailers can sell with ease across Amazon and other global marketplaces such as eBay and Cdiscount. It reprices and manages stock levels automatically – all very clever (and all hosted on AWS).

However, by working with a large number of retailers we found that there was a great deal of confusion among retailers on how to create a listing on Amazon that would result in sales. It wasn’t something that we set out to do, but in the end we decided we needed to offer Amazon Consultancy services to retailers who were unable to crack the Amazon listing code. There wasn’t any point us keeping it a secret.

We’ve found that the same issues come up time and time again with problematic Amazon listings. And by far the most common error is in the title of the listing. All too often we find that the title fails to adequately describe the product, and that means that the potential customer is unable to find it when they search on Amazon.

At the risk of stating the obvious the listing title needs to say what the product is. If you are selling a new type of Dog Food without an established brand name, then we’d recommend saying Dog Food in the title. Being too close to the product, especially one you manufacturer, or have designed yourself, can be a bad thing.

Often we find that products have been given titles to ensure that they have a certain uniqueness, that is a fair enough ambition but if you are manufacturing Tea Towels but opt to call them Drying Facilitators then you won’t sell any, because no-one will find them.

We’d recommend that you look at your competitors, or the top sellers in your category to see how they describe any similar products that they are selling. If they are the number 1 or 2 top seller in your category, then part of the reason they are there will be because of the effectiveness of the Title. So “be inspired” by what they have done with the title, and see if you can improve upon it.

A good title will clearly say what the item is, the colour, the size: all the key things that you check out when you lift any item up in a bricks and mortar store.

Part numbers seem to cause confusion. If the part number is important then include it – but ONLY if it’s important. Selling a Sony Bluetooth Speaker would typically require the Sony reference number in the title, as that ensures the customer can compare like with like. But a part number in the title is hardly likely to be a requirement if it is something you manufacturer, or is an item that is relatively straightforward in specification.

Don’t add the part number to the title unless it’s essential to finding the product, all you are doing is filling up the valuable title space with information that isn’t useful, and which might actually confuse.

When creating a title concentrate on the item’s key features. Get a colleague to review them, it’s too easy to miss something after a long day describing products.

Quickly, here is the stuff you should be considering to include or not:

What is it; colour; size; manufacturer (if a brand); part number (if vital); who is it for (men, women, children).

Don’t rush the title – it’s the one thing that if you get wrong, you won’t sell anything.




Win a £100 Amazon Voucher

The sales boom has started – no sooner is Halloween past than we all start buying wrapping paper for Christmas presents.

Over at multi channel ecommerce software company, Seller Dynamics, they’ve marked the start of the buying season with the chance to win a £100 Amazon voucher.

All that is required of anybody entering is to tell them whether they Love or Hate Brussel Sprouts.

At a time when our wallets and purses are under the most strain – a £100 gift is not to be sniffed at. You can enter here: make sure you enter before 5pm GMT on 1st December 2014.

Best of luck.

14 brings Captain America to John O’Groats

At the end of the long Easter Weekend I was completely relaxed and chilled and then as if to remind me it was a school night again the BBC stuck on an hour long documentary on Amazon (the online department store not the river). You can catch up here if you are quick: .

Being part of the ecommerce world how could I possibly head to bed – even though I hit record on Sky+ – and even though I could have watched it on catch-up later in the week – and even though I could have watched it on the iPlayer later – and even though… you get the idea.

So what did I learn – well I learned that Jeff Bezos has an annoying laugh apparently and that as a way to demonstrate frugality he started the business by making the desks out of (hopefully) disused doors.

Everything else was pretty much expected – though Captain America walking into a bar in John O’Groats was a surpise, if perhaps not as uncommon as you would think given the non-reaction of the barman.

In an hour Sandy Toksvig’s voiceover didn’t have enough time to go into everything in as much detail as I’d have liked – especially the bit involving third party sellers. That could fill an hour all by itself. The two third party gentlemen explained they could buy stuff at the local supermarket and then sell it for more on Amazon – that seemed a little of an oversimplication but it must have caught the interest of a few retail entrepeneurs out there. Completely missing was the aspect of Amazon being a dynamic price environment thanks to amazon repricing software and that seemed a pity – it’s an area that OU business students would find fascinating I’m sure.

Catch up on the iPlayer when you can – I recorded it for some reason.