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Thought Leaders in E-Commerce: Ethan McAfee, CEO of Amify (Part 1)

Posted on Monday, Jun 3rd 2019

E-commerce strategy for small merchants is becoming quite complicated with Amazon becoming a giant player in the space. This interview cuts through a lot of that complexity.

Sramana Mitra: Let’s start by introducing our audience to yourself as well as to Amify.

Ethan McAfee: I’m the Co-Founder and CEO of Amify. We help brands maximize their opportunity on the Amazon platform.

Sramana Mitra: Double-click down a little bit more and talk about what specifically you mean by that.

Ethan McAfee: Amazon now has 50% share of online commerce and is growing quickly. We believe that brands need to have an Amazon strategy to grasp the full potential.

To be successful on Amazon, you need a whole bunch of things. The first is to make the sales go up. We work with a brand to develop very high-quality looking product pages. We work with brands to drive traffic to their listings using Amazon-sponsored ads. That’s the cool and exciting stuff.

We also help brands do all the ugly back office things such as dealing with sales tax management, inventory management, and all the things that you need to be successful on the Amazon platform.

We believe that a lot of brands, instead of doing a lot of stuff in house, should outsource to experts much like you would outsource your PR strategy. We offer solutions for brands to outsource their Amazon strategy to people who have been there and done that at half the cost of them doing it themselves.

Sramana Mitra: Let’s talk about one brand that is particularly successful on Amazon. Let’s dissect why.

Ethan McAfee: One of the brands that we work with a lot is Fender Guitars. Fender Guitars is one of the largest makers of guitars in the United States. One of the issues with guitars is, it’s somewhat of a niche hobby. There aren’t very many guitar stores in the United States.

Some of those things can be every expensive. Your local store wouldn’t want to carry a lot of thousand-dollar Fender guitars because there aren’t going to be very many people that want to buy. That brand can be particularly successful online. It can be successful on Amazon since those products are difficult to find at your local retailers.

A higher percentage of those customers would buy those products online than at a brick-and-mortar store. You’re aggregating the demand for these hard-to-find products on one place. A platform like Amazon can offer a huge selection of those very rare guitars. We offer a huge amount of special edition guitars much more than you could find in a local retailer.

Sramana Mitra: I have a very basic question. Why Amazon? Why not a branded website on Shopify or Bigcommerce? Since it’s such a specialty retailer, what is the benefit of Amazon?

Ethan McAfee: The main benefit is that customers are already on Amazon and they want to buy on Amazon because it’s easy, simple, and they trust it. The customers expect and trust Amazon to get them the product in a quick, efficient manner and have great customer service.

Instead of selling the product on their own on Shopify, which costs a huge amount of money to drive traffic, warehouses, customer service, you get easy access to millions of shoppers by using Amazon. The shoppers, at the end of the day, like it. They already probably have Amazon Prime accounts.

This segment is part 1 in the series : Thought Leaders in E-Commerce: Ethan McAfee, CEO of Amify
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