The past six weeks have been such an incredible learning experience and filled with excitement. I’ve got new lessons learned to share with you. The last update I posted that I had one record day where I hit 11 sales in one day. Today I’ve had 11 sales and it’s actually been a really slow day (which is how I intended it…I’ll explain further ahead). The new record is 27 sales in a day! I’ve sold $6231.20 so far, but don’t get too excited for me…it’s gross sales and I am definitely not making my money back yet. It is exciting nonetheless! Here’s a graph from when I started through today:
Can you believe the size of that mountain?! That’s without any giveaway campaign!
As I mentioned, today is a slow day on purpose. I increased the price by $0.95 yesterday! At the current rate, I am worried that I’ll run out of stock and lose my position I’ve fought to earn, so I can afford to slow the sales down a tad. Plus I can clearly still sell at that price (albeit less) and I’m actually making some profit, so if I could sustain enough sales at that price to hold or improve my seller rank then I may just keep it there for the foreseeable future.
So onto lessons learned:
- Product Quality is EVERYTHING for Longevity
I guess this is obvious, but I would’ve emphasized it even more if I’d realized how much of a benefit it would be to have a solid product. Your listing will get you conversions and your customer service may help you, but if the product isn’t good then your poor ratings will sink you in an instant. Thankfully, I believe in my product and it seems like people are happy. I had one 4-star review from a customer who still said it was a “great” product (why not 5?!), but otherwise all 5-stars. I think it helps that my price is so low, because people will be more inclined to give 5 stars for a product that exceeds their expectation for the price (just a theory). Thanks to all the 5-star reviews, when customers sort products by “average customer review” I’m at the very top of the 2nd page and are cheaper than all the other highly rated products, which is how I believe most customers find me (come on, front page!). Also, this point just goes to show you how important it is to initially ask some nice friends to give you a few 5-star reviews to get you started on the right foot.
2. Seller Ratings Matter, Even with FBA
I totally overlooked this point and I very nearly paid for it. I figured that since Amazon fulfills my orders, seller ratings weren’t important. Wrong! A customer was unhappy because his cushion got lost in the mail (he got refunded) and then he wanted to re-order but he couldn’t do so at the price he paid before (I gave coupons via Facebook to a handful of people to test out Facebook advertising). Then he left me a 1-star rating. I quickly contacted him and told him I would send him a free cushion for his trouble, and I did, with 2-day shipping. Unfortunately, the damage had already been done. My listing sunk into the abyss and I had poor sales that day (you can see the trough in between the two most recent peaks). Thankfully, a friend of mine and a couple colleagues of my husband helped me out with some 5-star seller reviews, and I became visible once again! As for the guy who left the one-star, despite messaging him I never heard from him again, even to thank me for the free cushion. I still have a one-star seller rating on my record. 🙁 I am grateful, however, that this happened now and not after I’d done a giveaway of thousands of dollars of product, because it would’ve completely killed my momentum and been devastating.
3. Prioritize Customer Experience Above Everything Else
Despite my poor experience with a customer that I described above, I still stand by this. I had another one of my Facebook code recipients contact me and tell me that his order hadn’t arrived, and I apologized and explained to him that as he lives in Florida, Hurricane Irma was to blame. He then asked me if he could get another coupon code for his wife to buy her grandmother a cushion. I started to say that the promotion was a one-time thing and had ended but then I caught myself and deleted everything I was typing…I generated a new coupon code just for him and ate the cost. Guess what? He left me a glowing 5-star review. Was that worth the $7 I took off the price? You bet it was.
So there you have it…just a few weeks but so many new lessons. I can’t wait to see what the next few weeks bring, as Christmas shopping will soon be upon us!