Winning the Buy Box is the Holy Grail for Amazon sellers looking to get more sales, but it can come at the expense of profits. A new company has crafted tools to help sellers manage their Amazon listings and optimize sales.
Robert Gilbreath cofounded the company, called EcomShft, which currently offers a dashboard and pricing tool for sellers on Amazon, whether the marketplace is a part of a multi-channel strategy or their exclusive channel. He and his co-founders believe they can fill a gap in tools available for small and medium sized sellers.
Some readers may know Gilbreath from his over 5 years as CMO and Vice President of Partnerships at ShipStation, but in addition to a long career in ecommerce including stints at Cratejoy and Calendars.com, Gilbreath was also a seller himself.
In fact, not many people can say they began selling online in 1996 – and he hasn’t stopped selling since.
“I don’t think I’ve gone more than a week or two since ’96 without having something listed on eBay, Amazon, Craig’s List and, more recently, Facebook Marketplace,” he said, an experience he credits for giving him a user-centric vision, and part of the “why?” behind the launch of EcomShft.
EcomShft is currently making available two tools to sellers interested in early access during the Beta-Live period, describing them as follows:
Health Profile Dashboard – Brings previously disjointed data into one simple to review and easy to understand dashboard. Quickly see a snap-shot of your product listing metrics. Count of listings winning and not winning the “Buy Box” are available at a glance. See your overall inventory level and your open order count as well. Your seller rating as well as your competing listing volume is also shown on your EcomShft Health Profile Dashboard.
Price Shfter – Start saying Hi to the “Buy Box.” You get a quick/simple view of total active listings and counts of those winning and not winning the “Buy Box.” Then you’ll quickly see the current status of your listings to make decisions on the use of repricing in order to greatly increase the chances of your listings winning the “Buy Box”. Once you are ready to start automating your pricing, you can easily adjust upper and lower price limits as well as mark products as falling under a MAP (minimum advertised price) policy if need be. Repricing automation – adjusting your price up and down within your set limits – will then start at a rate as fast as allowed. And, as you add new product listings on Amazon, EcomShft will automatically bring in those new listings so you can set-up repricing automation for any or all of them as you wish!
“As we see it, there is a gap in tools available for SMB retailers / online sellers,” Gilbreath told EcommerceBytes. “We are starting with a handful of tools built specifically for folks who are strictly using Amazon as their sales channel or as part of a multi-channel mix. Other marketplaces and ecommerce integrations are in the works as we believe that this gap in tools is not only in regards to Amazon sellers.”
The current tools are built upon the latest available infrastructure of Amazon Marketplace Web Service (Amazon MWS) / Amazon’s API, “so that you know you are getting access to the newest features imaginable and the most direct software connection available,” Gilbreath said.
The future roadmap is made up of other back-office ecommerce operation tools. EcomShft’s vision, in a nutshell: build smart and easy to use tools for modern sellers that give them the power they need to compete and succeed today and beyond.
EcomShft co-founders have raised a bit of pre-seed funding and are working to wrap it up in September.
While there’s no charge now while it’s in beta, what should merchants expect in terms of fees when the tools launch? That’s still to be determined, but Gilbreath expects the price point for EcomShft’s initial set of tools will likely come it at under $50/month. “We’ll obviously have a free trial period as well – that’s a given,” he said.
And what kind of seller is a good fit? The best fit right now are those using Amazon, whether exclusively or as part of a multi-channel strategy, while the types of items they sell doesn’t really come into play. However, “If they happen to have more competitors, then there is a bit more “excitement” since we help them be smarter against competitors.”
Sellers do need to be a primary user of a Professional Amazon Seller account.
Ecomshft currently has beta users with anywhere from 5 to 4,000 items listed on Amazon. “Small or large, these sellers are enjoying what we’re providing them,” Gilbreath said.