The Untapped Potential of Amazon Australia: Erika’s Success Story
Today, we’re catching up with the amazing Erika – an early adopter of Amazon Australia. She shares her inspirational journey with us about how she started on Amazon Australia and where she’s going…
Despite starting eCommerce in her 50s, she’s loving it and says ‘I could do Amazon all day, every day’. So if you’re wondering whether to give it a go – hopefully, Erika’s story might show you it’s never too late to join the Amazon party.
Let’s start with a bit about who you are and how you got into eCommerce.
I was in the New Zealand police force for 12 years, and after that, I owned and ran hotels. Then during the Global Financial Crisis, New Zealand was hit quite hard… There weren’t really the job opportunities that I needed so we moved to Australia and I worked for the government. I loved the job but quickly got back into the salary grind.
While I was there, I lost my mom and my dad within 6 months of each other. I was really sad to have moved away from my parents while they were elderly – and I was also close to my partner’s parents. It made me realize that I wanted to do something which I could do from my laptop, so I wasn’t tied to a physical location.
Then my kids were growing up and reaching their teens, and there weren’t many years left before l they were off to university. What would I do then? Sit in my current job until I retired?
It was all looking quite bleak. The financial crisis had hit us quite hard so an early retirement or spending time with my kids wasn’t in sight… I was always looking for something else. And one Saturday afternoon, I was scrolling through YouTube and I found the SFM.
I quickly signed up, started the modules, and wanted to get stuck in. But I soon realized that affiliate marketing wasn’t for me. I saw the eCommerce part with ImportXperts, and thought the traditional idea of buying & selling was more up-my-street.
I was aware that Amazon Australia had recently launched so I jumped into ImportXperts and got involved in the first Mastermind group. I had fun there!
So tell us about how your first products went…
I ordered 500 units of my first product and shipped them into the Australian warehouse.
It was early days for Australia so sales were still relatively slow, but I sold out of my stock within 5 months. Not too bad considering I spent $0 on advertising and it was my first product!
And what do you think about Amazon Australia now?
I’m really excited about the potential. I can see the growth in the market every month, just by seeing my sales.
It’s definitely a slow burner in comparison to Amazon US, and you can’t expect to make the same sales as someone in the US – but as a new seller, it’s much easier to get ranked.
You don’t have to spend money on advertising or Google ads, nor do you have to give away 100 free units. You can make sales purely through organic search and good keywords. (Of course, this will probably change as the market gets more popular – but that won’t be a bad thing either!)
In order to succeed on Amazon Australia, you have to sell more than one product. The level of demand isn’t as high as the other markets – but it’s definitely on the up.
How long do you think it will take until Amazon Australia really takes off?
They say it takes 5 years for Amazon to dominate a market. We’ve already been here for 2 years, so in the next 3 years, we should be overtaking eBay. With the increased customers and sellers too, it’s just a matter of time.
Have you sold on Amazon US too?
Yes, I started selling on Amazon US last year with just a small test order. Now, I’ve got a new batch of stock in production which will be going straight to the US.
I’m really excited to launch here with a new product and I’ve ordered more units. I’m planning to go in hard and boost my ranking from day one.
If you were to do Amazon Australia or Amazon US… which one would you do?
I really love them both.
Amazon Australia is easier to get ranked, for less – but there are more customers shopping on Amazon America.
I always recommend to my Australian friends who ask for advice about which market to start in, to go for Australia – and then hit the USA market once they’ve learned the ropes.
There are definitely pros to both though.
Have you experienced any struggles along the way?
Oh yeh, of course! When I first started out, there were only a handful of sellers on Amazon Australia and it was really hard to ship stock into the warehouse.
My first shipment arrived from China to the Australian port but it wouldn’t be delivered to the FBA warehouse. Apparently there needed to be a pre-booked delivery which was very difficult to do! I stumbled across an air courier who agreed to pick it up from the port and deliver it at an additional expense.
Funnily enough, the guy who helped me, in the end, was so good that I used him a few times, and I recommended him to other people too. Now he’s set up a system so his courier can now deliver to Amazon. So I feel like I’ve made life a lot easier for heaps of other Amazon sellers too!
Do you enjoy selling on Amazon?
Oh yeh! I love researching my products, dealing with suppliers, helping other people sell on Amazon… Plus, the excitement of seeing your product on Page 1, winning the Best Seller Rank… All that stuff is amazing to see after you put in the time and effort.
I could do Amazon all-day, every day – that’s how much I enjoy it!
Tell us a bit about how you help other people sell on Amazon.
A few people have approached me who want to start selling their products on Amazon. So I’ve offered the skills and knowledge which I’ve learned along the way and have acted as a consultant for them.
We use a VPN so we log in from the ‘same’ location, and then I help them with everything. I open their account, create their labels, create their listing, run their Pay-Per-Click ad campaigns, introduce them to a photographer, make sure their photos are right, etc… And every month, I get 25% of their turnover after the Amazon fees.
There’s a lot of opportunity for this in any market, not just Australia. A lot of companies would like to be on Amazon but have no idea! After the ImportXperts training, we know more about Amazon than most people so it’s quite a nice additional revenue stream.
So what’s next for you?
To increase my turnover, launch more products, and really focus in on my niche. Also, to get Amazon America going.
I’m also going to start outsourcing a few jobs, like checking my ranking every day, running reports, and checking my ad campaigns. So I can really stay on top of everything while being able to focus on the bigger picture.
Do you have any words of advice for new sellers?
Decide what you want and go get it. But don’t be unrealistic with your goal; you won’t become a millionaire overnight.
Be prepared to reinvest your profits back into the business. You’ll need to buy more stock, and run more PPC campaigns in order to continue to rank and outperform your competition.
And finally, have a 5-year plan… It takes time to learn the process. make sure you are consistent with the amount of time you dedicate to eCommerce. If you have a full-time job, spend time in the evenings and weekends, or wake up early. Be strict and don’t make any sacrifices. The time will pay off.