Welcome back to Products Worth Talking About— the show about disruptive physical products and the people who built them. In today’s episode, we talk about the business of Amazon and uncover some insane statistics on why you should be selling on Amazon if you have a product-based business.
We specifically looked at the Cyber Monday specials, deciding to use this as an opportunity to do some early Christmas shopping for children’s toys (we have four boys between us) and
enjoyed this new perspective and opportunity to learn about product sales on Amazon.
Are you ready for this?
Whether you are an entrepreneur with a product-based business, or you’re looking to become one and start your own business, selling on Amazon is a great way to do it. The concept is straightforward — but it does take time to build up traction. These stats below explain the value of being on Amazon and investing time on their platform:
On another crazy side note — Jeff Bezos’s net worth increased by $6 billion on Cyber Monday in 2018!
We had no specific methodology for today’s show other than to find the coolest toys and determine whether those were disruptive and innovative. Another consideration was to get age-appropriate toys for our boys — they are a five-month-old, an 18 month-old, a two-and-a-half-year-old, and a five-year-old.
And with that, let’s dive into the first toy.
The first product is the slow-motion race game. With a five-year-old tirelessly running around the house, this seemed like a great way to try and slow him down! He doesn’t need any encouragement from a game to run around the house.
This two-player game comes with two headbands and a trophy. The headbands contain sensors to pick up your motion and detect when you’re moving too quickly. In the Slow-Motion Race Game, players aim to race towards the trophy on the opposite side of the room — in slow motion. When the music starts from the two-speed monitoring headbands, players can start moving as slow as they can. If a player goes too fast, it makes the headband light up and buzz, and you can’t move until the buzzing stops. The best way to win is to avoid these penalty stops as much as possible, but this sounds easier than it is! The player that reaches the trophy first is the winner.
The Slow-Motion Race Game retails on Amazon for $19.99. We checked the data on this with Jungle Scout to see their monthly sales, and they’re doing about $3,000 a month. This amount sounds relatively low for this type of quality product made by Hasbro Games, which has an extensive array of toys, and their 2018 sales were $4.8 billion. We figured that this is a newer product for them, which may be why the sales numbers are low.
Our following product was a best-seller — Baby Einstein — with thousands of five-star ratings. When Sawyer was a few months old, RT got him one of these.
This device plays music, and its size is perfect for any age from three months to 36 months, making it a great distraction — especially when traveling in the car.
There are a total of ten melodies that the baby has options to switch between and enjoy, inspiring a lifelong love of music! Thankfully, it comes with volume control for the parents’ ears and is easy to wipe and keep clean too. RT’s son loves it! So much so he bought another one for his five-month-old.
The Baby Einstein retails on Amazon for $9.99. What’s crazy is Jungle Scout said that Baby Einstein does $83,000 a month in sales, which brings them just shy of $900,000 in sales per year on Amazon alone!
Next, we have the simple, good old Play-Doh, hamburger set.
This product never goes out of style. It’s great to have around the house when you have kids from the age of three and up, and it comes with a couple of different items. It has a grill, a spatula, a butter knife, plates, and the hamburger patty — everything your kid needs to start up a diner.
This toy retails on Amazon for $15.54. Jungle Scout shows us that Play-Doh products (just their first page) are making $800,000 on Amazon.
Finally, we come to Disney Pixar’s Buzz Lightyear three-in-one armor pack. It looks as cool as it sounds. There is some assembly required but nothing too complicated.
The Space Ranger armor has a JetPack on the back and adjustable straps with comfort padding. It has a realistic visor that slides up or down at the push of a button. The disc launcher can fire one or multiple discs and works without them (in case you lose the discs!). It even has a wrist communicator that also has a blaster and three projectiles. If that isn’t enough — there are authentic lights and sounds to enhance the heroic battle play excitement.
This toy retails on Amazon for $84.99. It’s quite a jump from the other ones, but if you want to splurge for your child and they are a Buzz Lightyear fan, it doesn’t get any better than becoming a heroic Space Ranger. Relying on Jungle Scout, we saw that this product does $42,000 a month in sales, which we thought was impressive.
These are all reasonably big brands, but even without the smaller brands in the mix, these larger ones provide valuable insights. They gave us a chance to analyze their pages for optimization — a big part of selling on Amazon. Crucial components for optimization include:
Interestingly, these big brands don’t have optimized pages. It feels a bit haphazard. If they wanted improved sales, they’d spend some time optimizing their pages.
The one outlier is Baby Einstein. They seem a little bit more optimized with their page on Amazon. This optimization shows with:
After examining all the toys, we were able to pick our favorites.
RT thought that the Buzz Lightyear suit is incredible. Especially since Sawyer loves Toy Story, he may end up wearing this non-stop, and who knows what RT’s signed himself up for after Christmas!
Tyler enjoyed the slow-motion game, and it could be his favorite. It depends. Maybe it will turn out to be a disaster? Who knows, it’s a toss-up whether it will be a winner or loser. It’s one of those toys that may end up in a toy chest after a couple of months because nobody cares about it anymore.
Every episode, we let you know what insights we learn to take away and implement in our own companies. We have experience selling on Amazon in a variety of ways. We have FBA products (Fulfilled By Amazon), we have experience with a private label, and we have experience with selling our own products.
Amazon is a powerful tool, but it can become overwhelming without a small team behind you. Optimizing your page takes time and effort — never mind evaluating competitive markets and competitors on Amazon.
However, as we saw from the stats, most people go to Amazon to search for products and buy them. As a small business, it’s vital that you use Amazon to your advantage!
My supplement company, REBL Jane, sells on Shopify as our primary channel, and we’re going into retail pretty soon too. Amazon is becoming a necessary evil based on everything we just learned. We need to be where so many people buy products as their preferred channel.
As you can see from the successful toy manufacturers, even they have pages on Amazon. Based on our learnings, we’ll be launching on Amazon in about 30 days, hopefully by the time this episode airs.
We’ve put tons of effort into optimization using Jungle Scout for keywords; we have taken a good look at our competitors. We’re entering into the most competitive landscape on Amazon: the supplement industry. It’s going to be a little challenging, but we’ve got to do it. We’re excited to make this another channel for us.
I think I look at Amazon as a missed opportunity for Vortic Watches, but our products are all one-of-a-kind bespoke pieces. I’ve been trying to figure out how to use Amazon for a long time.
This episode has taught me that these are all huge companies that sell all kinds of other stuff, primarily through retail, but they toss them on Amazon and can make anything between $3,000 up to $800,000 a month. There might be something in my business that I could replicate like this to place on Amazon, and maybe it could give me some additional revenue.
There are many experts out there focused on Amazon; we don’t pretend to be one of those — however, we’ve sold enough to recognize the endless opportunity. Here are some reasons to begin on Amazon:
Amazon is a great way to start before eventually launching out into Shopify or a different distribution, but Amazon FBA is slick. They fulfill everything for you. It’s super easy!
What did you think about the products we selected? Did you ever take advantage of Cyber Monday, and if so, do you find any great toys for your kids? As always, if you have any nifty products for us to check out, let us know by emailing us, send a direct message on Instagram, and we might feature it on the show.
We hope you enjoyed reading this post. If you learned something today, we would love to hear from you. Take a screenshot of the episode and share your most significant takeaways with us on Instagram, @productsworthtalkingabout. And if you love the show, make sure to subscribe on YouTube so that you can get new content delivered to you directly! Let us know what products and brands you want us to review!
Lastly, if you’re an aspiring entrepreneur who wants to build a product-based business, check out our business plan that literally writes itself! Within no time, you’ll be ready to pitch to investors and start the company of your dreams.
Thanks for reading! Until next time—
RT and Tyler