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LS07 - Amazon first, or Kickstarter?

Launch and Scale

Release Date: 06/16/2019

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Transcript

Hey guys, welcome to Launch and Scale. This is episode seven. In this episode, we are taking a look at what is the best route to market for your product. A while there are several types we could talk about, two that I come across most in the eCommerce space is do you launch your product on Amazon first or do you launch on Kickstarter first? This is the question that was inspired by Stein Devolder. He asked, really, what are the benefits of first launching your brand on Kickstarter and then going to Amazon instead of just launching your brand on Amazon? And so that is an awesome question. I wanted to dedicate an episode to that. And keep in mind if you guys do ... If you have a question that you want to be answered on the show, you can do so by going to khierstyn.com/ask, how you spell that is K-H-I-E-R-S-T-Y-N dot com slash ask, and you'll be able to ask a question through a voicemail or email it in and then we'll be able to cover it on a future episode.

So which one should you start with? Should you do Amazon or should you do Kickstarter? And I think that really depends on where you're at in your journey. If this is your first product, then the question is going to be, do I start on Amazon or do I start on Kickstarter? But what if you are already selling on Amazon? What does that look like? So I get, I think my audience is an even split between those that sell on Amazon and they're looking at building a brand off of Amazon for reasons I'll get into in a second. But then I have first-time product creators that want to get their product online and they're like, do I do Kickstarter? Do I do Amazon? And so we'll get into that, as well.

In terms of benefits of Amazon, Amazon is a global marketplace, so it gives you the same benefits as Kickstarter does in that it gets your product in front of people that otherwise may not have known or caught an opportunity to learn about your brand.

So I think that way, as a marketplace, it is extremely powerful and you should, if you're selling a product online, you should absolutely be on Amazon. But having your product exclusively on Amazon has its drawbacks. Where Amazon could be a really great place to get started online, if you white label a product, whereas you go to Alibaba, you find an existing product and then you put your label on it and create a brand and sell that exclusively on Amazon. That is a great way to get into selling online. However, it has its drawbacks because as you start to scale on Amazon, you don't have complete control over your listing. Essentially, Amazon owns all your customer data. So you don't have a direct way to contact your customers. And you are very susceptible to price wars on Amazon. Where when if you first go into a category where it's very profitable and there isn't a lot of competition on your product, very soon, competitors are going to come in and start undercutting your prices, which means it's a very quick race to the bottom for you.

With Amazon being a go-to marketplace, it is a great place to get started, but it's extremely competitive and it is very volatile. So you can get your listing shut down at any point. You don't own customer data. And it's really not, it's not safe, essentially, to have your brand only on Amazon, in my opinion. And while there are ways around it, I believe the best way to build a foundation and a legacy for yourself and your family online is to have complete control over where your product is listed. So that's why I, regardless of whether you're on Kickstarter or Amazon, you 100% need to have a spot where your product lives online, be it your own website.

So regardless, again, Kickstarter, Amazon, you need to be building yourself a spot offline. So the reason I get a lot of Amazon guys coming to me is that they understand the risk they take by only selling on Amazon and they want to be able to expand, to be able to scale and build a brand. Because building a brand, if you go back to episode one about the difference between having a brand and a me, too product, that's really where you are going to be able to build something that the people love. Build something that really serves a person and you're going to be able to build that seven, eight-figure company a lot more easily than you will by only listing on Amazon.

So if you are an Amazon seller, you need to be looking at building a brand and building an awareness of your product and what you do, off of Amazon. And whether Kickstarter's good platform for you or not, that's a conversation that you can email into me, to get my opinion on your product to see. But generally, if your product sells to consumers and there is a need for it, and there's something unique about it, it is definitely worth looking into Kickstarter to get your product momentum for the brand. So we'll get into Kickstarter in a second, but you can email me at support at K-H-I-E-R-S-T-Y-N dot com, and I'm happy to vet your product and just give you my opinion on whether I think as a Kickstarter product or not.

So that's the first thing, is if you are an Amazon seller listening to this, you should 100% be looking to build a brand off of Amazon so that you are using Amazon as a sales channel, not your main hub. So that's the first half. But the second half is should you go to Kickstarter first. So again, if you're a current Amazon seller, you by default cannot go to Kickstarter first because you're on Amazon, but you should still consider Kickstarter.

But what if you are a first-time product creator or you have been selling products offline in retail and you want to start building a presence for yourself online? I did this with Sago Mini Pillow Play Sets. It was a children's company residing in Toronto, Canada, that sold into multiple retail stores across Canada. And they were launching this cool throw pillow that converts into a children's play set because they really wanted to start getting serious about selling online.

So this was a really great gateway product for them. And so they went to Kickstarter. So if this is you, if you are that first product or you're selling offline and you want to get momentum for your brand online, I believe that Kickstarter 100% needs to be the go-to route that you take. Because when you go to Kickstarter, and you have the right product, you have the right messaging, and you're successful, Kickstarter is able to get your product in front of hundreds of new people. You're able to walk away with that customer data and a relationship with these people. And those hundreds of backers, if not thousands of backers that you have taken off of Kickstarter, you then have a really strong foundation to then continue and transition that over to having a strong launch on Amazon and other sales channels online. But by going to Kickstarter first for that product, you're able to establish brand credibility and social proof for your product that makes your Amazon launch really, really great.


So instead of starting with that, so I do believe that, yeah, just, you need to have a brand online if you're serious about playing the eCommerce game. And if you want, if you fall into the category of having a brand versus a me-too product. And again, if you are just doing your research at this point, check out episode one, it'll help give you some clarity as to what kind of product and company really wants. And if it is a brand that you are looking to create, then I 100% think that Kickstarter is the right platform for you. But again, if you don't know, just email me support@khierstyn.com.

This wraps up this episode. More awesome questions and topics to come. I guess if you guys are looking for free resources, case study, or even just to set up a call to talk about your product launch goals, please head over to khierstyn.com/schedule. Again, my name is impossible to spell, so it's K-H-I-E-R-S-T-Y-N dot com slash schedule. Apart from that, we will see you in the next episode.