How to Find a Top Amazon Consultant Who’s Worth the Investment
Standing out from the crowd can be a daunting task in the highly competitive world of Amazon sales. Sellers have to juggle product sourcing, inventory management, customer service, marketing strategies, and many other critical aspects that encompass a successful e-commerce business. Navigating this challenging landscape and achieving Amazon success becomes significantly easier with the help of a proficient Amazon seller consultant. The right Amazon seller consultant can boost your sales, maximize your return on investment (ROI), and help your products shine among the vast sea of offerings on the platform. Equally important, a great Amazon seller consultant can help you avoid painful pitfalls and costly mistakes.
However, finding a reliable, trustworthy, and cost-effective Amazon selling consultant to assist in the expansion of your ecommerce business can be a challenge. Amazon consultants have been springing up everywhere in recent years. While some have the expertise, knowledge, and portfolio to back up their claims that they can work wonders with your account, others can prove a costly lesson, leaving your account and your wallet in worse shape than when they started. It’s hard to know who to trust.
In this comprehensive guide, we’ll delve into the intricacies of identifying and hiring a competent and affordable Amazon seller consultant, ensuring that your Amazon business not only survives but thrives in today’s demanding market. When you are ready to invest, and it is an investment, whether it is a $7 per hr virtual assistant (VA) or a two thousand dollar per month agency, we want to make sure you find the right Amazon consultant for your business before signing on the dotted line.
Understanding the Role of an Amazon Seller Consultant
An Amazon seller consultant is a specialized professional who uses their expertise in Amazon’s marketplace to help businesses optimize their presence and boost sales on the platform. Leveraging their deep understanding of the e-commerce giant’s algorithm, guidelines, and customer behavior, these consultants can be the key to unlocking your Amazon business’s potential. Here’s what an Amazon selling consultant can offer:
- Market Analysis: They provide an in-depth analysis of your product’s market segment, competition, and opportunities on Amazon.
- Listing Optimization: They improve your product listings with SEO-rich content and high-quality visuals to enhance visibility and conversion rates.
- Advertising and Promotion: They help you implement effective advertising strategies like Pay-Per-Click (PPC) campaigns, deal promotions, and more, for better product visibility and sales.
- Inventory Management: They aid in strategizing your inventory levels to avoid stock-outs or overstocking, both of which can hurt your seller ranking.
- Account Health Monitoring: They keep an eye on your account’s health, ensuring you comply with Amazon’s terms of service, thereby avoiding potential suspensions.
How an Amazon Consultant Can Help You Grow
While you may have experience as a seller, navigating the Amazon marketplace is a task that requires time and specialized knowledge. Here’s how Amazon seller consultants can assist in developing and executing a sales and marketing strategy to help your business achieve its objectives:
- Marketing Strategy Development: Consultants can devise marketing strategies aimed at boosting your profits. This involves planning and overseeing your marketing initiatives to ensure a higher return on investment (ROI).
- Keyword Selection & Listing Optimization: They assist in selecting the most effective keywords for your products and optimize your listings for better visibility and higher conversion rates.
- PPC Management: They can manage your Pay-Per-Click (PPC) campaigns to increase product visibility and drive more traffic to your listings.
- Off-Amazon Marketing: Consultants can also help with marketing strategies beyond the Amazon platform to attract a broader audience.
- Right Format for the Right Customers: They can guide you in presenting your goods and services in the most appealing and effective format to your target customers.
Whether you’re looking for help with marketing and optimizing the SEO on your product pages or for a full-service Amazon consulting agency, make sure to outline exactly what type of assistance you need before you even consider your consulting options (more on that to come).
Managing Your Resources with the Help of an Amazon Seller Consultant
An Amazon consultant assists not just in growing your sales, but also in managing your resources effectively. Here’s how they can support your business:
- Investment Decision Assistance: They help in determining where to invest to generate the highest returns for your business.
- Expense Reduction: They provide insights on how to reduce costs and avoid expensive mistakes.
- Amazon’s Terms of Service Compliance: They ensure your business doesn’t violate Amazon’s terms of service, helping you avoid costly suspensions.
- Efficient Task Management: Amazon consultants should have the expertise to perform tasks swiftly and efficiently, saving you time and helping you focus on areas that need your attention. For instance, they can manage flat files for accounts with numerous ASINs, handle reviews and customer order support, and manage Amazon support tickets that can be time-consuming and need to be communicated in a specific way.
- Specialized Situation Assistance: They provide help with specialized situations like sourcing, inventory management (3PL), order processing, bookkeeping, legal concerns, account suspensions, and structuring the sales process.
In all of the above cases, a good Amazon consultant aims to create a positive ROI, meaning the value gained outweighs the cost of their services.
Essential Skills to Look for in an Amazon Consultant
Choosing the right consultant can make all the difference to your Amazon business. Here are some critical skills you should look for when considering hiring an Amazon consultant:
- Amazon Marketplace Expertise: The consultant should be well-versed with Amazon’s guidelines, policies, and the ins and outs of the Amazon marketplace.
- Data Analysis Skills: The ability to interpret and analyze sales data, customer behavior, and market trends is crucial for crafting effective sales strategies.
- SEO Knowledge: Since visibility on Amazon depends heavily on search engine optimization (SEO), your consultant should be proficient in optimizing product listings and have a solid grasp of the Amazon algorithm.
- PPC Management: If you plan to advertise on Amazon, your consultant should have expertise in managing PPC campaigns to ensure you get the best ROI.
- Customer Service: The consultant should be skilled in managing customer relations, as customer satisfaction plays a significant role in a seller’s performance on Amazon.
- Tech-savviness: Amazon consultants should be comfortable using various software and tools for data analysis, project management, and communication.
In addition to these skills, it’s vital to assess the consultant’s problem-solving abilities, communication skills, and willingness to adapt to changes, as these will significantly affect their performance and the results they deliver.
Types of Amazon Consultants
You may come across various types of Amazon business consultants, and each one can help you with a particular aspect of your Amazon sales, from launching new products and managing your PPC campaigns to optimizing your content for SEO enrichment.
An Amazon consultant can provide a range of services:
Full-Service Amazon Account Management Consultant
A full-service consultant or agency will provide a turnkey solution to all of your Amazon account needs, overseeing the success of your account.
Amazon SEO Consultant
SEO specialists help clients build organic rankings and generate sales through Amazon’s search engine. It includes optimizing and enriching your product content with keywords based on Amazon’s current algorithm.
Amazon Marketing Consultant
An Amazon marketing consultant specializing in marketing services will analyze your products and brand, collaborate with you to comprehend your objectives and develop a thorough marketing plan (both on Amazon and off Amazon) to assist you in achieving them. This often includes PPC advertising.
Amazon PPC Consultant
It is important to distinguish this role from a marketing consultant. An Amazon PPC consultant can help manage the single most important part of your marketing strategy – Amazon’s pay-per-click (PPC) advertising platform. Conservative measurements estimate 35 – 45% of orders on Amazon can be attributed to PPC advertising. Oftentimes, someone who manages PPC describes themselves as a marketing consultant but then does not tackle any of the other major components of on-Amazon and off-Amazon marketing strategies. At a minimum, it is very important to know what you are paying for.
Amazon Specialty Consultants
Specialized consultants at Amazon possess valuable expertise in specific areas of e-commerce, such as:
- EcomBalance for bookkeeping and accounting
- HelloTax for EU VAT compliance
- AmazonSellersLawyer for Amazon-related legal issues like trademark and copyright infringement
- Amazon Account Rescue for Amazon account or ASIN suspensions
Amazon Virtual Assistant (VA)
Amazon VAs remotely perform your daily tasks to free up your time. The services provided by virtual assistants are quite vast and vary with the skills of each assistant. Hiring a VA is a cost-effective solution to outsource time-consuming or recurring tasks so you can focus on the bigger picture. For a great overview of VA outsourcing and more on how to find and manage a great VA, check out OutsourceSchool.com.
What Does a Great Amazon FBA Consultant Cost?
Being successful on Amazon means building a unique strategy. This can be time-consuming, both in terms of your internal capacities and your outbound efforts. Your quest to find the most suitable consultant varies depending on the scope and stage of your business. A $2K per month business has different needs than a $50K per month business. Similarly, there is no set fee for an Amazon Seller Consultant; the fee is determined by the consultant’s experience and specialty, as well as his or her location.
Here is a very general fee structure for Amazon Seller Consultants:
- International VA (India, Pakistan, Philippines*): $5 to $20 per hour
- VA in the United States: $15 – $30 per hour
- International Consultant (India, Pakistan, Philippines): $15 to $30 per hour
- Consultant in the United States: $25 to $100+ per hour or monthly fee, plus a percentage of revenue or profit
* India, Pakistan, and the Philippines are well known for their high levels of education and low wages in comparison to the United States. That is why we are referencing them here. There are great consultants and VAs from all over the world, but they will often be more expensive.
However, price does not always correlate with quality. We have experienced poor quality with very high-end consultants and we have gotten very lucky on occasion (more the former than the latter) – Choose wisely!
What Makes a Great Amazon Consultant?
Virtually every Amazon selling consultant is going to assure you that your Amazon business will undergo a remarkable transformation in no time, but based on the collective experience of Amazon sellers I have come across, I would argue that the odds are stacked against you. Therefore, you must have solid selection criteria when choosing an Amazon consultant.
When engaging an Amazon consultant, regardless of their level of seniority, your primary objective is to bring someone onto your team who delivers value that surpasses the cost. They should be able to demonstrate this return within 60 to 90 days.
Key considerations for choosing an Amazon consultant:
- Expert Knowledge: Your chosen consultant should possess the expertise necessary to execute the required services proficiently.
- Strong Track Record: Look for a consultant with a proven track record, evidenced by an impressive portfolio, reliable references, high ratings, and a record of years of experience.
- Clear Communication: Effective and regular communication is vital, ideally daily or at least weekly check-ins should be in place.
- Comprehensive Reporting: This aspect is crucial. You and your consultant should agree on key metrics, how they’re measured, and how success is defined.
- Good Decision-Making: The consultant should possess strong analytical skills, a strategic approach, and the ability to make swift decisions and take corrective action if problems arise.
- Reliable Work Ethic: It’s important that your consultant has a proactive work ethic, taking responsibility for their tasks and showing initiative rather than needing constant reminders.
Why You Should Hire an Amazon Consultant
Running a successful business on Amazon requires more than just offering quality products. The platform’s ever-changing algorithms, complex terms of service, and immense competition make it a complex environment to navigate, especially if you’re trying to do it alone. Here’s why an Amazon Seller Consultant can be an invaluable addition to your team:
- Expertise: With their extensive knowledge of Amazon’s marketplace, they can develop and implement effective strategies that align with Amazon’s guidelines and customer preferences.
- Time-Saving: They manage time-consuming tasks such as handling Amazon support tickets, managing flat files, or optimizing product listings, freeing you up to focus on other critical areas of your business.
- Cost-Effectiveness: By identifying where to invest, how to reduce costs, and avoiding expensive mistakes, consultants can help improve your profitability.
- Sales Growth: Through improved listing visibility, better customer engagement, and effective advertising, they can significantly boost your sales volume.
Identifying the Right Time to Hire an Amazon Consultant
When managing an Amazon business, you’ll encounter situations that signal the need for expert advice. Here are a few scenarios where hiring an Amazon consultant could be beneficial:
- When Starting Out: If you’re just starting to sell on Amazon, a consultant can provide invaluable guidance to help you avoid common pitfalls and set you on the path to success.
- Expanding Your Business: If you plan to introduce more products or expand into new markets, an experienced consultant can guide you through these complexities.
- Dealing with Flat or Poor Performance: If your Amazon business isn’t performing as well as you’d hoped, a consultant can help identify the issues and suggest solutions to improve your sales and profitability.
- Managing Increased Workload: If your business has grown to the point where you’re overwhelmed with tasks, a consultant can take over specific roles, allowing you to focus on strategic decisions.
Do I Really Need an Amazon Consultant?
First and foremost, the need to hire depends on whether or not you have all the skills, experience, and time available within your business already. Every business is different based on size and experience. Before you start reaching out to potential Amazon consultants, it’s essential to take some time and prepare yourself. Knowing what you need, and the services you’re looking for, and having a budget in mind will help you make a more informed decision. Here are some steps to take:
- Understand Your Needs: Define what your business needs are. This could be improving your product listings, increasing sales, expanding to new markets, managing Amazon PPC campaigns, etc.
- Set a Budget: Decide how much you’re willing to spend on consulting services. This will help you avoid overspending and guide you in choosing the consultant who offers the best value for your budget.
- Outline Your Expectations: What do you want to achieve by hiring a consultant? Clearly outlining your goals and expectations will make it easier to measure the consultant’s performance later on.
- Identify the areas of your business that need attention
- Identify the problems you are experiencing in each segment of your business
- Rank them in order of importance based on what requires immediate attention
Now compare you and your existing team tackling those items solo vs. doing so with the addition of a consultant or a VA.
How Do I Find a Great Amazon Seller Consultant?
Finding a proficient Amazon seller consultant is an important decision that requires thorough research and patience. Once you’ve established your needs, you can start your search in several places.
- Upwork – As one of the largest global freelancing platforms, Upwork offers a wide range of Amazon consultants and virtual assistants with diverse expertise. Its robust rating and review system enables you to assess the quality of potential hires, while the platform’s secure payment system and comprehensive project management tools ensure a seamless work process.
- Fiverr – Fiverr is known for its affordability and a diverse pool of talent, with freelancers offering services or “gigs” at varying price points. Its uniqueness lies in the ability to find niche specialists for specific Amazon-related tasks, making it a go-to for project-based or one-off tasks that require specialized skills.
- FreeUp – Unlike most freelancing platforms, FreeUp pre-vets its freelancers, ensuring that only the top 1% of applicants, who have proven Amazon expertise, are available for hire. This saves time in the selection process and guarantees a minimum level of competency and professionalism, providing peace of mind for businesses.
- JungleScout Marketplace – Exclusively tailored for Amazon sellers, JungleScout Marketplace is a unique platform that hosts freelancers who specialize solely in Amazon services. This level of specialization ensures that you’re hiring someone who truly understands the complexities and unique challenges of selling on Amazon.
- Amazon groups and forums where consultants often share their knowledge and connect with potential clients. Visit the FOS Resource Directory and check out the Communities section for a list of Facebook Groups, Forums, and Masterminds.
- ForOnlineSellers.com – We offer a free service whereby we connect sellers with affordable, expert Amazon consultants and other e-commerce marketplace specialists. For example, we have personally worked with Amazon seller consulting agency, Online Seller Consulting. OSC provides a range of Amazon seller services from Amazon FBA reimbursements to full-service Amazon seller account management. The OSC team is best known for its ability to analyze PPC spend and eliminate PPC waste. But as a premium firm, their prices, while reasonable for the level of service and expertise they provide, are not designed for most Amazon sellers who are just starting out unless they are on a high growth trajectory. That said, for many advanced sellers, OSC is an excellent Amazon FBA consultant and provides great value. At ForOnlineSellers, we would first ensure that you are a good candidate for their assistance and then provide a personal introduction. Sometimes, we are even able to provide a discount through our introduction. Please do not hesitate to reach out to us, and we will do our best to assist you.
- Google might lead you to consultants operating independently through their own websites
- Word of mouth remains one of the strongest sources as there is nothing better than a referral from your fellow sellers.
Remember to carefully vet each consultant, review their experience, and examine their customer testimonials to ensure you find a high-quality consultant who can truly add value to your Amazon business.
How Do I Evaluate an Amazon Consultant?
Once you’ve prepared, the next step is to evaluate potential consultants. You want to be sure that the person or company you hire has the skills, experience, and knowledge needed to help your business succeed. How do you separate the great from the… not so great? Great Amazon seller consultants will understand your brand, its goals, and USPs. They will propose a product sales strategy tailor-made for your business. It is important that you compare multiple options to better assess who offers you the best price-to-value ratio.
We cannot stress this enough for any Amazon consultant or VA hire, your goal is to bring someone onto your team who can generate a positive ROI by bringing more value than they cost.
Here are some tips for evaluating Amazon consultants:
Check Their Experience: The more experience a consultant has, the better they will understand the Amazon marketplace and its challenges. Make sure to ask about their past projects and results.
Assess Their Expertise: Ask them about their strategies for improving sales, managing PPC campaigns, optimizing listings, etc. Their answers will give you a glimpse of their knowledge and expertise.
Are They Amazon Sellers Themselves: Do they currently have or have they ever had their own Amazon seller account?
Consider Their Specialization: If your business has specific needs, such as expanding to international markets or launching a new product line, a consultant who specializes in these areas might be more beneficial.
Reporting They Use: If they don’t have detailed reports and utilize them on a consistent basis for measuring your account’s progress, then they are not as focused on the bottom line as they should be.
Request References: Any reliable consultant should be able to provide references from past clients. Make sure to follow up with these references to get a better understanding of what it’s like to work with the consultant.
Go Through Their Contract Carefully: Make sure you understand the terms of the contract and what services you’re getting for your money. Be careful you are not tying yourself up with a long-term agreement, and if anything is unclear, ask for clarification.
Remember, the best consultant for your business is someone who understands your goals, has proven expertise, and can offer you a customized approach to meet your unique needs.
Top 10 Interview Questions to Ask an Amazon Consultant
The interview process is critical when selecting an Amazon consultant. These conversations will provide insights into the consultant’s approach, expertise, and value they can bring to your business. Here are the top 10 questions to ask when interviewing a potential Amazon consultant:
- What can you do that we can’t? – This question will reveal the unique value the consultant can bring to your business, which your in-house team might not be able to provide. By asking this question, you will be able to gauge the success rate, unique value proposition, and scope of the consultant.
- How many years of experience do you have? – Experience can be a good indicator of the consultant’s ability to navigate the Amazon marketplace and the potential results they can deliver. In general, more experienced Amazon consultants will be able to take advantage of all that they have seen and encountered to develop a custom Amazon marketing strategy, offer better guidance, and generate a higher return on investment (ROI) for your store.
- What services do you offer? – Be sure to clarify if they offer full-service consulting, or if they specialize in certain areas like Amazon SEO, PPC ads, reviews management, or FBA. VAs should be well-rounded, but it is still important to understand that they operate best with a set of established SOPs.
- What do you specialize in? – This question builds on the previous one since you’ll not only be looking into what they can do but rather what they are best at. Some Amazon Seller Central consultants have areas of expertise in particular markets, product categories, and Seller Central features. Based on your requirements, you should assess their expert-level services. Understanding a consultant’s area of expertise will help you determine if they align with your business’s specific needs. For instance, if you wish to expand to Amazon Mexico, you should work with a Seller Central consultant who is well-versed in Mexican business practices, legal requirements, and consumer demands.
- What is your knowledge of Amazon SEO? – Out of all of the above services, Amazon SEO, or Amazon search engine optimization, is one of the most crucial. Amazon SEO is the foundation for making a product listing more visible, which serves as the backbone for building a company on Amazon. In fact, your product listings are practically invisible online without Amazon SEO. Therefore, you want a consultant who is up-to-date with the latest SEO practices and knowledge of the latest updates to the Amazon algorithm.
- How do you win the buy box? – For all Amazon sellers, the Amazon Buy Box is the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. If you win the Buy Box on Amazon, you become the default seller for that product, providing you with a distinct edge over all your competitors. If an Amazon consultant is unaware of the Buy Box, you shouldn’t even waste your time with them. Make sure to ask them about their specific winning strategies for the Amazon Buy Box and for instances when they have won the box for other customers. Even if you are a private label brand, and you will not be competing for the buy box of your particular product, you will be competing for it with all of your competitors. So, it is important that your Amazon consultant have this experience.
- What tools do you use? – Find out if they utilize industry-recognized tools like Helium 10, ZonGuru, or Jungle Scout, which can provide insightful data and detailed analytics, help devise effective sales strategies, and monitor performance.
For your ease and knowledge, we have done extensive research on the best Amazon seller software and tools available on the market. Check out our Amazon Seller Resource Directory for exclusive discounts and freebies.
- What results can we expect? – Setting expectations helps both parties understand their goals. The consultant should be able to provide a clear picture of what outcomes you can expect based on their strategies.
- What KPIs will you use to measure a project’s success, and how will you report them? – Their answer should provide insight into their methods for tracking progress and their alignment with your business goals. Their reporting structure should also be clear and comprehensive, allowing you to monitor the impacts on your sales effectively. By asking about their key performance indicators, or KPIs, you’ll better understand their metrics of success and how they may differ from yours. It’s critical that you comprehend whether or not their KPIs align with your long-term business objectives.
- What is your pricing structure? – The consultant’s answer should make it clear whether their pricing policy is upfront and transparent. It’s crucial to balance the potential benefits against the costs before signing a contract as well as the estimated return on investment and time to break even.
BONUS – 10 More Great Interview Questions to Ask an Amazon Consultant
Here are 10 additional questions to ask before hiring a consultant that go beyond the basics to dig a little deeper into the Amazon consultant’s experience and expertise.
- How do you stay updated with Amazon’s ever-changing policies and algorithms?
- Can you provide a case study or an example where your intervention led to a significant improvement in a client’s Amazon business?
- What strategies do you use to deal with a product listing that is not performing well?
- How have you handled a situation where a client’s Amazon account was at risk of being suspended, or was actually suspended?
- How would you approach launching a new product on Amazon in a highly competitive market?
- What is your experience with Amazon’s international marketplaces? Can you guide the expansion process if we plan to sell in other countries?
- Can you explain a situation where a client disagreed with your approach, and how did you handle it?
- If a competitor is aggressively trying to push us out of the market, what strategies would you employ to maintain or increase our market share?
- How do you measure and report the success of a particular strategy or campaign on Amazon?
- Amazon’s A9 algorithm is different from Google’s SEO algorithm. How does your SEO strategy cater to this difference?
Now You Are Ready to Find, Interview, and Hire a Top Amazon Seller Consultant
The decision to hire an Amazon consultant or VA can significantly impact your Amazon selling business. With these tools and information at your disposal, you’re now better equipped to find and evaluate potential consultants to ensure you get the best fit for your growing business. Remember, the ultimate goal is to increase revenue and more importantly, profits, over time. You are not in business to keep your consultant in business. A successful Amazon seller consulting partnership does not end with a good hire. You must remain vigilant in managing the relationship to ensure you are getting the most out of it. After all, the ultimate responsibility lies with you, as it is your account and your money.
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