What is it that propels some online sellers to success so much faster than others?
If you ask Ron Myers, a California-based Amazon seller who’s making six-figure sales each month, he’ll tell you this:
“You need a repricer on an eCommerce marketplace. That’s a no-brainer. I wouldn’t go to market without a repricer because that’s like playing darts blindfolded.”
Of course, that’s not all he’ll tell you.
Believe it or not, Myers has only been selling online for a little over one year. In that short amount of time, his journey has been as much about strategic planning, lofty goal-setting, and building the best infrastructure he could for his business’ needs.
As he tells it:
“Even in the world of eCommerce, it’s about traffic and conversions. If you can’t convert, it doesn’t matter how many eyeballs you’ve got. So I look at traffic and conversion and then look at my pricing strategies to try and keep my conversion ratio as high as I can.”
Myers also has an admirable ambition to scale his company, Digital Properties West, into the stratosphere: “The goal today is to get two, three, four million items up on multiple marketplaces and watch it roll, and try and use technology to automate it as much as possible. That’s the vision,” he says. “That’s what we spend every waking minute working on.”
Curious to find out more? Keep reading to discover how Myers’ began generating six-figure monthly online sales so fast.
Shifting to a career in eCommerce—after decades in Corporate America
After “riding the corporate roller coaster for 30 years,” Myers wanted a change.
Sure, he was successful. But Myers was ready to put his drive and determination behind a business he could call his own. Most of all, he wanted something that offered both flexibility to spend more time with his family and infinite potential for growth.
That’s what drew him to eCommerce.
Myers previously worked in the enterprise supply chain software industry, so he understood the limitless potential of eCommerce. He also knew it could provide more work-life balance, even though he didn’t plan on slowing down anytime soon.
“I’m not the kind of guy who likes to sleep in,” says Myers. “I have a couple of kids, I have breakfast with them everyday. The eCom business allows me to go to my daughter’s varsity high school soccer game and to not be stuck in the airport on my son’s birthday. And both of those things have happened. So I’m grateful that [eCommerce has] given me the opportunity to get to this point.”
With a solid knowledge base and a hunger to consume as much information as possible before jumping in, Myers took his curiosity to Facebook groups specifically for online sellers.
He spent time analyzing conversations between group members and asking questions to find out the best marketplaces to sell on. He also invested hours in learning about the best tools and systems for fueling fast eCommerce business growth.
Then, he took a course on online selling where he met more people in the industry and heard incredible success stories. Myers recalled learning about a seller with 2.5 million SKUs making several million >dollars in sales—every month.
As Myers explains:
“Once I start hearing stories like that, I’m like, ‘I’ve got to figure that out.’”
Starting up, setting big goals, and quickly chipping away at them
Myers’ main takeaway from his research was that Amazon was a great place to start selling.
Even more important was hearing experts constantly affirm that automation is key to success on any eCommerce marketplace.
He also got “fired up” about entrepreneurship and goal-setting from listening to Gary Vaynerchuk, a marketing expert known for using social media to super-scale his family’s wine business before starting his own award-winning media company.
Myers rode this wave of inspiration and began listing a variety of products across several categories on Amazon. To make things more manageable, he implemented automation tools immediately, including Informed.co for continuous optimized price changes, to streamline the process of performing important, but otherwise time-consuming, tedious work.
Soon enough, the sales started to come. Then, they started to accelerate.
Now, after selling for just over one year, Myers is consistently making six-figures in monthly sales.
“I know guys that say they work five hours a week and that sort of thing. I haven’t found nirvana yet as far as that goes. I’m still building the team and building technology, solving problems and trying to implement new things. But that is the goal.”
Myers also has another bold vision:
“In the future, [my business] is going to be location independent. The kids [will be] off to college, and I’ll be off doing work somewhere like in Barcelona or South America.”
On top of using automation to eventually remove himself from day-to-day operations (and work remotely from exotic locales), Myers is also using the technology to chip away at one more lofty goal:
“We have a 100x goal here in terms of number of SKUs and want to be on four or five different marketplaces.”
Currently near the 5-figure SKU level, Myers has a long way to go, but is actively working toward it.
Myers’ business model and product mix
After listening to Gary Vaynerchuk’s advice, Myers decided to focus on boosting Digital Properties West’s sales by growing its marketplace exposure. That’s why he sets minimal boundaries when it comes to sourcing his vast mix of products.
According to Myers:
“People ask me all the time, ‘what do you sell on Amazon?’ And my answer is two words: ‘everything sells.’ “So, if it’s out there in the marketplace, it will sell. Obviously, you have to have a compelling product and compelling price that shows well, and people will find it and it will sell. So we sell in almost every category.”
So what limits does he impose?
“There’s a few categories we haven’t broken into. We don’t sell auto parts right now, we’re not touching sports collectibles. Amazon’s also making it tougher with supplements so you have to update listings with a list of ingredients. Our mantra has always been ‘protect our business,’ so we don’t go anywhere that might put us at risk. That means no restricted categories like adult toys, live ammo, or anything like that.”
Of course, Myers’ business isn’t just about sales; it’s also about making profits on those sales.
To achieve profitability on every transaction, Myers uses Informed.co to create custom repricing formulas that keep his prices within healthy set ranges.
“It’s fantastic, we’ll find items that we’re gonna make, 5, 6, 7, 8 percent on, and that’s about half our sales per day. The other half, we’re making 15 to 30 percent on. And so it’s keeping that mix of margin and profitability that makes Informed.co the best value in the marketplace.”
Myers fulfills some orders via MFN, but also strives to minimize his staff’s hands-on time with product: “The more that I can outsource to fulfillment centers, the better off we’ll be.”
How automated repricing fits into Myers’ operation
As a seller focused on growth, Myers doesn’t have time for manual processes that cause bottlenecks in his operation. That’s why he relies on FBA for much of his fulfillment and employs automation wherever he can.
As he told us:
“We’re constantly trying to build the team, grow, and see how we can scale this thing. That’s the vision. It’s easier said than done, but I’m a big proponent of using technology to make it happen.”
From his early eCommerce research, Myers learned before his first sale that automation would play a key role in growing his business. He was fortunate to find a post about Informed.co in a Facebook group for Amazon sellers. Several experienced sellers whom he trusted recommended Informed.co for automated repricing, so he decided to give it a try.
Unlike many sellers who shift to automated repricing after getting frustrated with manual repricing, Myers had never attempted manual price changes through Amazon. In fact, he didn’t even consider it.
As he put it:
“In the past, there were people that did do things like [repricing] manually. But that’s not a scalable model and not something I subscribed to.”
Myers considers himself relatively tech-savvy, but he’s quick to point out that Informed.co’s interface is “clean, intuitive, and very easy to use.”
“Informed.co’s uploads can’t get any easier. If you can use a spreadsheet, you can use Informed.co, that’s number one. The beauty of uploading to Informed.co is that because it’s a SKU-driven system connected to Amazon, if your items are on Amazon, then you can use Informed.co. If you can sell on Amazon, then you can use Informed.co. It just couldn’t get easier.”
How Myers uses Informed.co to gain insight and drive sales
Using Informed.co’s custom strategy settings, Myers created specific repricing strategies to keep his prices attractive and margins profitable. This has helped him win more Buy Box share over competitors and has led to constant sales growth.
A look at Ron Myers' sales volume between March 10th and April 10th, 2017 from his Informed.co dashboard
With Informed.co controlling his price changes, Myers has time to tinker with his custom-built strategies and analyze the effects of small tweaks.
“I’ve done some toying around with the pricing formulas,” says Myers, “and when I do that, I can instantly see what happens—the domino effect—in terms of the number of items Informed.co reprices. You see the machine’s working constantly, and that’s all you can really ask for in a repricer. Just 1% difference makes all the difference in the world.”
Myers also routinely checks reports within Informed.co to monitor his listings and ensure sales are coming in as expected.
“I look at my percent of Buy Box ownership, I look at my inactive listings just to make sure nothing is wrong with my inventory, because you guys will tell me right away if I don’t find that on Amazon, and I look at my number of items at minimum price."
A screenshot of Myers' Buy Box ownership and daily price changes from April 2017
He continues: “We want to keep as low a number of items at minimum price and keep sales coming, and Informed.co does that when we play with our repricing numbers. Anytime we make small price changes we’ll see four or five rounds of Informed.co churning the data from Amazon.”
With Informed.co, Myers sees between 25 and 30 percent of his nearly 10,000 listings in the Buy Box on average. And, between March 10th and April 10th, Informed.co helped him average more than 73 sales per day.
A glimpse at Myers' Informed.co dashboard showing his percent of Buy Box ownership
As Myers scales his business toward seven-figure SKU territory, he expects those numbers will only continue to grow.
Myers’ advice to new and prospective Informed.co users
When it comes to online selling advice, Myers will first remind you that manual work isn’t scalable or sustainable. Then he’ll tell you to do your research.
Myers’ due diligence of researching Facebook groups for eCommerce sellers led him to the automation tools that have helped him scale to six-figure monthly sales so fast.
Beyond those gold nuggets of wisdom, Myers advises new Informed.co users to follow his blueprint for repricing success:
“The first thing is, learn the app. Use support as needed. And get in there and make sure you do your regular updates of your inventory every single day. Keep an eye on it and see what works for you in terms of where you place your pricing strategy to generate the most sales at the most profits.
“After a year, everybody should—but I know I do—you get a feel for this stuff.”
Myers also advises other sellers to appreciate the improved work-life balance that eCommerce and automation tools like Informed.co afford them. Still, as someone influenced by the hyper-driven Gary Vaynerchuk, Myers is personally committed to putting in long hours—at least for the next few years.
“I’m driven until this thing works. I do have a vision of scaling and of automation, and of a leadership team that is really just clones of myself. I’m not there yet. But I’ll get there. Hopefully I can leave a legacy for my family before too long.”
Until then, Myers is more than happy to rely on Informed.co to help get him there as fast as possible.
“All the good stuff that Informed.co does in terms of constantly enhancing the product and keeping us in the game, it’s a fantastic value-proposition for us to use. So I’m all-in on Informed.co. I wouldn’t go anywhere else.”