June 2023

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Team Connection in a Remote World

How in the world do you connect on a remote team? Well, there’s no easy solution. I believe it’s the little things that make a big difference. In 2023, as a team, we decided to have a Monday morning check in. It’s short and simple, only 30 minutes. As a group, we individually go around and share one gratitude from the weekend and answer a random question about our lives. It has been SO fun to get to know our team in this space as we begin our week together from different time zones, climates, backgrounds, and working environments. It was a small step for our team, but I believe it’s creating a connection in ways we didn’t know it would.

-Karen Wells, True Hero’s Lead Catalogue Manager and our teams cheerleader

Looking Forward

It is no secret that Amazon has been increasingly more difficult to work with the past year. Amazon fees are going up on 3P: 1P AVN discussions were much longer and required more negotiation, replenished and staged buys are smaller, big and bulky is at capacity in FCs, margin is a key topic,inventories are too high or too low and promotions are driving down ASPs leading to more margin talks. We are working with brands in difference GLs (departments) and talking to colleagues and we are feeling it – some more than others but overall there is more squeeze.

What are we recommending?

Hold tight! We are asking brands to hold on to their margin where they can, do not give in to a short term issue that will lead to long-term problems, responsibly move through inventory with more focus on full price/fuller price retails and PPC spend. Be patient and push through. I often say, we do not sell junior dresses/fast fashion, we want to keep selling year over year!

So, for now, head down and do what we do – strategic assortment, focus on 80/20, diversified marketing, promotional strategy (not everything on sale every day!), manage inventory, update catalog/keywords and work closely with your entire team: agency, brand and amazon.

Do the work. You can see how good you really are when business is a bit harder. I keep coming back to “Good sailors are not made on calm seas” After 13+ years on Amazon we have seen some storms, we got you!

-From True Hero Founder, Wendi Held

“The first step towards getting somewhere is to decide you’re not going to stay where you are.”
– J.P Morgan

Wendi’s Corner

Welcome to the True Hero Monthly Newsletter

Brought to you by our founder – Wendi Mathis Held

1P, 3P or Hybrid
I have been working with Amazon.com since 2006! We have gone through all
the moves, grooves and changes. The questions I most often get from brands:

  1. Should I be on Amazon?
  2. Should I be on 1P?
  3. Should I be on 3P?
  4. What is hybrid? (Having a 1P and 3P presence)

The quick answer – maybe? Then I start asking questions.

What is your Go-To-Market Plan? What is your brand strategy? Where do you want to take your brand? What channels are you in now or trying to get into? How much are you doing on your own website? Amazon can be a part of the strategy but should not be the only strategy. Yes, (even for brands that are built for Amazon – have a DTC site!)

I feel strongly that any person, agency that says you HAVE to be on Amazon is just after your Amazon business and not taking into consideration, asking, listening to your overall brand objectives. For longterm growth, I encourage brands to think of the overall brand plan and determine if Amazon is a piece of that.

I had a heated debate about this with another agency owner earlier this year. I did not realize until that moment how strongly I felt about this. Not all brands should be on Amazon. Not all items should be on Amazon. A strategic
assortment is essential! Not all brands should be on 1P or on 3P and many brands would benefit from a Hybrid model. There is no one size that fits all!

Amazon makes it difficult for brands, especially premium brands in the Sport/Outdoor space to have their own store on Amazon. I want to help be a part of the change. There is a strong argument for brands to have their own seller account. However, that is another post entirely!
If you are reading this and do not know the difference between 1P, 3P and
hybrid) – check out our website: https://trueherosales.com/account-management