This week in Nextoria’s Expert Corner, we talk to Vincenzo Toscano, CEO of Ecomcy, who shared his thoughts about recent trends in the ecommerce industry, and tips on how to grow your Amazon brand while making it more resilient to external disruptions. Ecomcy is an Amazon Service Provider Agency that has helped more than 1,000 brands sell on Amazon globally. You might already be familiar with Vincenzo’s podcast The Ecommerce Lab – and if you are not, go check it out!
Please share a few words about you, what you do, how you started and why you decided to launch Ecomcy
After graduating as an Aerospace engineer, I started my journey into the corporate world by working for Rolls-Royce; I was part of the team responsible for the EEC control system of the A380 . While working as an engineer, there was a big concern inside me that was bothering me from the very beginning: I was not the owner of my time and decisions; I was missing the freedom I wanted in life.
Because of this, I started researching sources of income that could be done from anywhere anytime, and guess what? Amazon FBA came up! After that, I fell in love with the business model!
After studying the subject for months, I started launching multiple products on Amazon which I was scaling with my engineering salary. After a while, I managed to take a leap of faith and fully rely on it which lead me to quit my engineering job
With all the knowledge I gathered from running my own Amazon business, I decided to open an e-commerce agency where I am currently helping other Amazon Brand Owners at different levels of their journey to guide them through all the key steps of the business model to help them scale their brand to the next level
What trends have you observed in the e-commerce industry in the last 2 years?
The e-commerce industry has witnessed a remarkable transformation in the past two years, especially following the exceptional growth spurt experienced in 2020-2021. The COVID-19 pandemic played a significant role in accelerating the growth of the e-commerce sector as more people turned to online shopping for their basic needs and daily essentials.
One of the most significant changes has been the rapid adoption of digital payment methods. Consumers have become more comfortable with making purchases online, and digital payment options have become more widely available, contributing to the growth of the e-commerce industry.
Furthermore, there has been a shift towards greater convenience and faster delivery times. With more people relying on e-commerce for their daily needs, businesses have had to adapt by providing faster delivery times and greater flexibility in shipping options.
Another notable trend has been the rise of social commerce, where social media platforms are used as shopping channels. Businesses have recognized the potential of social media platforms as sales channels, and as such, social commerce has become increasingly popular.
Finally, there has been a significant increase in the adoption of technologies such as AI, machine learning, and blockchain in the e-commerce industry. These technologies are being used to improve the customer experience, streamline operations, and enhance security, thereby driving growth in the e-commerce sector.
The tough macro environment that followed this fast growth has affected many sellers. How can one minimize the impact of such external factors and continue to improve performance?
To minimize the impact of macro trends such as disrupted supply chain, increased energy costs, lower margins, and customer demand, and improve e-commerce performance, businesses can consider the following strategies:
- Diversify the supply chain: Businesses can work with multiple suppliers and explore alternative sources to minimize the impact of supply chain disruptions. Adopting a more flexible and resilient supply chain can help mitigate the risk of disruption.
- Invest in renewable energy: E-commerce businesses can explore renewable energy options to reduce the impact of increased energy costs. This can include investing in solar or wind power, or exploring energy-efficient technologies to reduce energy consumption.
- Optimize pricing strategies: To maintain profitability in the face of lower margins, e-commerce brands can optimize pricing strategies. This can involve analyzing pricing data, implementing dynamic pricing strategies, and exploring subscription-based models to increase customer retention.
- Focus on customer retention: As customer demand fluctuates, businesses can focus on retaining existing customers to maintain revenue streams. This can involve improving the customer experience, implementing loyalty programs, and providing personalized recommendations based on customer behavior.
- Leverage technology: To improve performance, businesses can leverage technology to streamline operations and enhance the customer experience. This can involve implementing AI and machine learning to automate processes, using chatbots to improve customer service, and exploring blockchain technology to improve supply chain transparency and security.
- Stay agile: In times of uncertainty, e-commerce brands must remain agile and adaptable. This can involve monitoring macro trends closely, staying abreast of industry developments, and being prepared to pivot strategies as needed.
At the brand level, what are the other things a brand owner can do to keep running a profitable business?
On a micro level, there are several things that e-commerce brand owners can do to keep their business profitable:
- Focus on customer needs: It’s essential to understand your customers’ needs and wants to ensure that your products and services meet their expectations. Conducting market research, analyzing customer feedback, and monitoring trends can help you stay relevant and responsive to customer needs.
- Optimize operations: Streamlining operations and reducing costs is crucial to maintaining profitability. This can involve optimizing your supply chain, automating processes, and identifying areas where you can reduce expenses.
- Embrace digital marketing: Digital marketing is an essential tool for e-commerce businesses to attract and retain customers. It’s important to develop a strong digital marketing strategy that includes search engine optimization (SEO), social media marketing, and email marketing to reach potential customers and retain existing ones.
- Offer exceptional customer service: Providing excellent customer service is critical for retaining customers and building brand loyalty. This can involve implementing a robust customer service program that includes live chat, email support, and social media engagement.
- Differentiate your brand: Differentiating your brand from competitors is key to staying ahead of the competition. This can involve developing a unique brand identity, offering unique products or services, and providing a differentiated customer experience.
- Manage cash flow: Managing cash flow is crucial to maintaining profitability. This can involve tracking expenses, managing inventory levels, and identifying areas where you can reduce costs.
You work with many different brands – how can you help them reach their objectives?
As an Amazon management agency, we can help Amazon brands scale their business in several ways:
- Optimizing product listings: Optimizing product listings is crucial to ensure that products are visible to potential customers on Amazon. This can involve conducting keyword research, optimizing titles and descriptions, and improving product images and videos.
- Developing and executing marketing strategies: Developing and executing marketing strategies is essential to attract and retain customers on Amazon. This can involve implementing targeted advertising campaigns, optimizing search engine results, and creating engaging content for social media platforms.
- Improving customer engagement: Improving customer engagement is crucial to building brand loyalty and generating positive reviews on Amazon. This can involve implementing customer service programs that include live chat, email support, and social media engagement.
- Managing inventory levels: Managing inventory levels is crucial to ensure that products are in stock and available for customers to purchase on Amazon. This can involve implementing inventory management software, forecasting demand, and identifying areas where you can reduce inventory carrying costs.
- Providing data analytics and insights: Providing data analytics and insights is essential to help Amazon brands make informed business decisions. This can involve tracking sales data, analyzing customer behavior, and identifying trends that can inform product development and marketing strategies.
What are the top 3 priorities you believe sellers should focus on in order to grow their business in 2023?
If I had to name the top three priorities for growing a business in 2023, my advice would be:
- Prioritize digital transformation: The pandemic has accelerated the shift towards digital channels, and businesses that fail to keep up risk being left behind. It’s essential to invest in digital technologies that can enhance the customer experience, streamline operations, and drive growth.
- Focus on sustainability: Consumers are increasingly conscious of the impact of their purchasing decisions on the environment, and businesses that prioritize sustainability are more likely to attract and retain customers. Prioritizing sustainability can involve investing in eco-friendly products and packaging, reducing carbon emissions, and implementing circular economy principles.
- Build resilience: The past two years have demonstrated the importance of building resilience in the face of unexpected disruptions. Businesses must be prepared to pivot quickly in response to changing market conditions and prioritize risk management strategies that can help them weather challenging times.
Where can people find you?
You can find us by going to our website where you can book a free consultation with your team to explore your situation and help you scale your business on Amazon.