Philip Jepsen: Third-party Selling on Amazon and Managing Your Statistics with ManageByStats

October 5, 2019

Have you ever wondered if there was an easier way to manage your business?

ManageByStats (MBS) is a software developed to make the lives of Amazon sellers easier.

The founder of MBS, Philip Jepsen, started building an FBA toolkit for his own Amazon business years ago because he got tired of doing everything manually. He knew there had to be a better way, so he built a set of tools to help him manage his Amazon business.

ManageByStats was developed around the concept of placing multiple high-quality resources together for managing your Amazon business in one platform.

This program is web-based, requires no installations, is mobile-friendly, and works globally. MBS is your all-in-one resource for Amazon management and expansion.

Learn more about how ManageByStats can quickly improve your Amazon business by listening to this episode of The Thoughtful Entrepreneur above and don’t forget to subscribe on  Apple Podcasts – Stitcher – Spotify –Google Play –Castbox – TuneIn – RSS.

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Welcome to the thoughtful entrepreneur show, I'm Josh Elledge, founder and CEO of up my, where we turn entrepreneurs into media celebrities, grow their authority, and help them build partnerships with top influencers. So we believe that every person has a unique message that can positively impact the world, even you stick around to the end of this show, where I'll share info on how you could be our next guest, three times a week, five to 15 minutes each learn from successful business owners and professionals, it's time to get inspired. Let's go. Alright, so with this, we've got Philip Jepsen, Philip, you are the founder and CEO of manage by stats, which is a pretty cool program. We'll talk about that in just a minute. But one thing that you're really known for is selling on Amazon platform, and you've done very, very well. And as such, you, you have now gone on to help a lot of other Amazon sellers. And that's, you know, kind of the platform. We'll talk about that in just a moment. But I'd really love to learn how you got into selling on Amazon, I know you've been doing it for quite a while. But I know a lot of people in our audience, they may have a store that they're selling on their website, and maybe they have some concerns about selling on Amazon. And I'm wondering if you could kind of share maybe your story and then and then let's definitely talk about the pros and cons of being on the Amazon platform.

Sure. Absolutely. Thanks for having me. And yeah, so in in 2013, I was doing something completely different and, and then kind of got fed up working for other people and decided I needed to build my own company again. So I was looking for something and a good friend of mine said she was selling on Amazon, she had just done a training course called the amazing seller machine and I kind of went, Okay, it kind of sounds hokey, but you know, hey, if she's making good money with this, I should try it. And, and I dove in, and I worked like a maniac for probably six months or seven months. And at the end of that I was doing $100,000 a month in sales on Amazon. And, you know, yeah, my life changed. So it was a it was a huge improvement for us. You know, pretty soon I was asking my wife to quit her job. And she was kind of like, a easy boy here get some money into the bank account, and we'll talk about it. Bad. Yeah, it went fast. And then with success comes his own problems. It was kind of like, Okay, how do I figure out how much profit this actually translates into? I partnered with my daughter and and a good friend on two brains, one each other, I needed to figure out how do we split the profit from this, how much is the profit. And this ended up being just, you know, six, eight hours, every two weeks when Amazon did a payout in Excel, you know, downloading reports and stuff like that and tearing out half frankly. And you know, after doing that for a few months, I, you know, I had enough. And I know enough programming to be dangerous. So I just kind of, you know, put together something that would just download the data from Amazon, and configure it the way we needed it. So we could figure out what our prophets were. And, and I showed that to, you know, a few people that I was in touch with every week, you know, kind of a mastermind on selling on Amazon. Yeah, and they all can't went holy, you know, we need this as well. And so I gave it to them. And, you know, it was hard for them to install it and stuff like that, because it was really just, you know, custom homemade programming. So I went to a good friend of mine, saying, Hey, I think this is a demand for this kind of thing, a good management system for an Amazon business. And he helped me put it together. And you know, we've been expanding and building on it ever since. So it was a very kind of humble beginning. And then, you know, just kind of sharing it, and then it just kept getting lots of interest. So now it's, you know, now it's his, his own company, his own, you know, doing his own thing and being very profitable.

So, so how did you get to 100? So I think, you know, I don't want to bury this lead here, but how did you get to $100,000 in sales on a monthly basis, because that sounds like a lot of volume.

It was a lot of volume. And it was

I basically just kind of followed the footprint and the amazing selling machine. But I worked like a maniac to it was like 6080 hours a week for you know, initially there. But the one thing that I did was essentially turn on Amazon sponsored part of that. So Amazon's advertising engine, and, and just tweaking it a lot, and making sure that it was profitable, making sure that I actually got stuff. And going out and doing other things I'm I had, I did a whole bunch of press releases, I turned on Google AdWords, I did some Facebook advertising. And I just kind of drove a lot of traffic into Amazon from external sources, as well as their engine. And, and I figured out almost by mistake early on, that the conversion rate on your listing is hugely important. It turns out that, you know, if you converting at 30%, when meaning 30% of people that land on your listing, and sheet and end up buying Amazon goes, this is really, really a good listing. And they will decrease the amount of money that you spend on your ads, because they know they're going to make a profit just on commissions from sales. Whereas if you have a 5% conversion rates, then they're going to charge a lot more for the ads, because they go, Hey, we're not going to make most of commissions because it doesn't convert well. So they charge you for the ads instead. And so a one thing that I did to really increase the conversion rate was set up a landing page, where I pre sold, you know, the product outside of Amazon, just basically sold them on the idea. And then I had a big orange button at the bottom that said, buy this on Amazon. And so I would send Facebook and Google traffic over to that landing page. And then anybody that didn't want to buy just didn't click on it. So they never ended up on Amazon. And all the guys that did want to buy, they will click through and they would convert at a high rate, and I ended up with a 35% conversion rate. And that made a huge difference on the advertising cost.

Hmm. Well, I can tell you that you know, just looking at so you know, I'm on Amazon right now. And so I'm looking at I just searched wild naturals. And one thing that I've noticed about all of your products is that you have a very, very good complete listing with lots of great photos. I mean, it is, you know, it's, it doesn't leave any questions for the consumers. And then your reviews are pretty fantastic. So you're, you know, with 1540 reviews, you're at a 4.3, which is pretty as outstanding.

Yeah, yeah, I mean, one, it's a good part of me, I mean, you want to have a good product, because if you don't have a good product, you end up spending a lot of marketing dollars to convince people to buy, if you have a good product, then you know, you get good reviews much more easily and you have to spend last. But yeah, building out a very complete listing, taking a lot of care with the photography of the you know, the photo and stuff like that is hugely important. And you really want to take up all the space that Amazon gives you to put in details and, you know, keywords and stuff like that,

you know, even you're like just trying to fight you know, because everyone's going to get a negative review from time to time. And so one thing I like about what you are doing is that you you actually respond to every negative review. And as we do, you know, as a consumer, so you know, what savings Angel I study and I lead consumer behavior. And you know, I say, look, negative reviews are not a bad thing. negative reviews are, you know, how could this possibly possibly go wrong? And in and, you know, it can help inform you whether this is going to be a good fit for you or not. But one thing you want to look for is does the seller the business engage with that? Does the customer does the customer, the business, want to make it right for everybody? And clearly, you've done a really good job at that. So I think if nothing else, I think a lot of people, you know, if you're looking at selling on Amazon, they could look just look up wild naturals, and they could see how you guys are doing it. And that's a good. It's a good study and best practices, I'd say,

Well, thank you very much. Yeah, I mean, we, you know, I I have people that really take care on this. And, you know, we, we absolutely want to make this work for everybody. You can't You can't 100% please everybody, so that, you know that, but at least you can respond to it. And you can try to make it right. And And so yeah, we respond to both the good and the bad, you know? And, you know, the bad gets priority on the response, because you really want to try to fix that.

Yeah, yeah, that's terrific. So, so obviously selling on Amazon, why doesn't Amazon inherently, why don't they, within their platform, offer the tools that that you created with managed by stats?

I think, I think originally Amazon built the platform, not for third party sellers. And you know, about 10, what, 1012 years ago, you know, they started getting a lot of third party sellers, they invited them, but the platform really wasn't built for it. So they had to go in there and just put together what, what they thought made sense, but they are not third party sellers, they you know, they are a huge company. And, you know, what they need to see is not the same as what we need to see as, as third party sellers has, you know, small businesses. And I've told two people that, you know, helped put this whole thing together. And for Amazon, really, they're going to do a software package, you know, they will only look at it if it's at least $50 million worth of revenue attached to this software package. And you know, otherwise, it's just too small for them to deal with. So they will fix things like that they did the fix on the inventory system, they had a really bad inventory prediction planning system. And obviously, that resulted in people just running out of inventory. And they you know, this became a huge problem for them. So they fixed the inventory, management and planning tool in the US. And now they have a really good one. But there's a whole bunch of things that that you and I need that they just it's never really on their radar.

Hmm. So, Amazon is a platform. So like, let's say somebody that somebody just has like a woo commerce store on their website, and they're like, man, I am not selling anything. Is is moving to Amazon going to solve their problems?

Well, it's going to solve some problems, it's going to solve the traffic problem. Mainly, Amazon has an ungodly amount of traffic. I mean, it's just kind of mind boggling, and hard to understand. I, I started to selling early on I started selling a sleep mask, just one of those Google airlines sleep masks, you know. And, you know, I thought, Hey, I see guys selling, you know, 5060 of those a day. And I thought this is awesome, you know, when I was starting, and I you know, this was part of the hundred thousand dollars a month, because that ramped up just incredibly fast. I ended up selling 350 a day of those. And you know, and you kind of go, how is that possible? How is it 350 people a day that wants to buy something like that, it just can't really think with the numbers. So, Amazon has an amazing amount of traffic, and is growing all the time. So it's hard to drive that traffic to your website, Amazon spends, you know, millions and billions of dollars on driving traffic to Amazon. And if you have, you know, a partner up there with the right keywords, you're going to see some of that traffic.

Now, wonderful, wonderful. Well, cool. So what's nice, so I'm on managed by stats calm right now. And so just in case, anyone's curious, you know, we've kind of talked about the product, the pricing ranges anywhere from 59 to 309. Monthly for the service for the platform. You know, and I think in terms of ROI, you know, that's that's kind of what the software is designed to do is to generate more revenue. So includes, you know, product finder, keyword tracking, ad manager, inventory manager, helps you with the financials and helps you manage feedback and reviews. So I think a lot of pretty good what looks like a lot of pretty essential tools I think you'd want if you really want to get serious about selling more on Amazon, so. So Philip, I want to thank you. You're just down the road over in Tampa, from East Tampa Clearwater area, beautiful beaches, by the way. Oh, yeah, absolutely. Oh, yeah. tripadvisor is probably made your beaches pretty popular this summer.

cawood. a beach is just amazing. And yeah, we get a lot of traffic. But yeah, it's an amazing place to live.

That's awesome. Awesome. All right. Well, Philip Jepsen, you're the founder and CEO of ManageByStats and wild naturals, in fact, and so it looks like a couple of other product lines as well. So hey, thank you so much for your time. Thank you for sharing your Amazon secrets and wish you success.

Thank you so much. Same to you. And thanks for having me.

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