Introduction to Efficient Era Tools (Video)

Below is a lightly edited transcript of the video.

Hi, I’m Bernie Thompson. I’m the founder of Efficient Era, and I wanted to give you a tour of the Efficient Era dashboard. There are many tools in the Efficient Era toolset, and you get all of them with your 60 day free to trial. This long trial lets you try out the tools and prove for yourself whether or they help. Today, I wanted to give you a tour of those tools. So, here we are, here’s the EE dashboard.

EE Dashboard Pic

So in the upper left, we have the feedback section, where we gather all the feedback we’re getting from customers. One of the most important things about Amazon is that you’re getting all kinds of feedback on how you’re doing. Seller feedback lets you know how you’re doing in fulfilling orders, and product reviews let you track the quality of your products, issues that customers are seeing, and how good your customer support team is doing with supporting the products. We reach out and gather all those types of feedback, and we send you email notifications when you get a new seller feedback or when you get a new product review. Most importantly, for the product reviews, we connect those up with the order numbers that match with the review, so that you’re able to actually reach out and treat those negative reviews as customer service incidents. A lot of customers are confused, and they don’t even think of contacting you: they have a bad experience, they go straight to Amazon and leave a 1-star review. Amazon does not enable you to close the loop, but we do. We let you actually know who the customer is so that you can reach out and help them, and potentially turn around that negative review.

Review Chart on Dashboard Image

So, back here on the dashboard, you can just see we’ve got a chart that shows how well you’re doing, in aggregate, across all your products. Is your review average going up, going down? How about the number of reviews that we’re getting? That’s important because there are a lot of strategies to encourage reviews. Then, we can click on the arrow in the upper right-hand corner, and now we can deep dive and look at that exact same view, but on a per-product basis.

For my 8-figure private-label selling business, we try to have individuals who are responsible for each of the products. Thanks to this view, they’re able to go in with a single-product perspective, really analyze and look at things, and be able to figure out what’s going on.

Review List

Then, you’ll notice there’s a button down here that says “Go to Review List.” This takes you to some really powerful functionality: we have indexed everything about each review, in addition to some of the related information like the order it came from, and you can search through it. We’re doing searches all the time for certain types of compatibility information. For example, we’ll search for “MacBook Pro 2017” to find all of the reviews that mention that, so that we can make sure to update our product listings with all the compatibility information that customers are reporting in product reviews.

We also use it to look for reviews that potentially violate Amazon’s policies, which we might be able to get removed. For example, a negative review that uses dollar signs or currency might be a clue that it’s a review that is specifically mentioning price, which is one of the things that Amazon may be willing to remove a review for. So, the Review List gives you great functionality to search through reviews by searching for text. Here’s another example that just came up today: we got an FBA offer suspension from Amazon suspension. They’re now beginning to give a little bit of a hint as to what the reason for the suspension is (they previously didn’t do that), so now, we’re able to search for that little snippet of text and find the exact review that caused the Amazon support agent to trigger the product suspension. Then, because we’re also able to match the review back to the order, that gives us the ability to reach out to that customer to apologize, and ask them for more details, and try to turn that situation around, and also to gather more detail to be able to respond to the Amazon suspension event. So, lots of great searching functionality there.

Ok, now back up to the dashboard. We have a complete email system that lets you send either a single email (which is what we recommend) or a sequence of emails after every order that comes in. You can define campaigns, and you can define themes; for our private-label selling business, we have a separate campaign per product, because we actually give per-product support information in every single email. Most people, of course, use these emails to encourage reviews. You can do that with post-order emails, but we also have a separate feature that lets you send an email when you receive a positive seller feedback. That’s a great feature, because if someone has just given you a 5-star seller feedback, that’s a great person to email and ask if they would be willing to put some more detail in a product review. Seller feedback is short, and tends to just disappear, whereas product reviews hang around forever and are read by lots and lots of people. So you really want to take those positive experiences and make sure that you’re encouraging those people to write them up in a product review, where they’ll do the most good for other customers.

Email Automation Open Rate Image

Back to the dashboard, a great feature within this email area is that we let you know how many of your emails are opening with these blue bars. So we’re actually tracking the open rate on those emails. As you can see, about 20-30% of our emails are opened. We also know that about another 20-30% are not ever delivered to the customer because of Amazon’s email opt-outs that they started this year, and there’s about another third in the middle who receives the email but just don’t open them. This is great feedback for the title of your email, which is a big factor in whether people open them or not. And, of course, for your repeat customers, you end up training them with how valuable your emails are and whether they’re going to open them or not. So you always want to be improving the relevancy and the value, what the customer gets out of the information that you put in those emails. So, that’s our email tool! A great tool for every seller to use even if not 100% of those mails are getting delivered to customers because of the opt-out. 70-80% is better than zero.

Inventory Health Dashboard Chart Image

Now, here in the lower left, we have our Inventory Health tool, which provides additional functionality on top of Amazon’s inventory health report. That report is great to give you a snapshot of what’s happening (if you’re an FBA seller) with your outgoing inventory, and with how much stock you’ve got left. But, when you capture that daily, and then start building out a historical record of your sales and inventory, you really start getting some powerful data to be able to do a lot of different things. That’s what our Inventory Health tool does: builds that historical record. The main thing I use it for is making decisions on reorders. If I just look at a snapshot in time for a product, it’s very deceptive. I may under-order, I may over-order, and especially on Amazon where sales are so erratic, it’s very easy to make mistakes that could potentially put your business at risk. This really is a business-critical area: making the right decisions on purchase orders. So every time I do a purchase order, I go to the Efficient Era Inventory Health charts, and I look at the historical context so that I know: is this a product trending up? Is it a product trending down? The numbers I’m looking at right now, are they an aberration, or are they more on the norm? Did we have some recent events like Prime Day or an out-of-stock event that’s throwing the numbers off? I can see all of that in the Efficient Era Inventory Health charts.

Ad Analysis Chart screenshot

And then, in the lower center, stepping back again to our dashboard, we have an amazing set of data: all of our sales details, by ASIN, including conversion rates and page views; all combined with all of our Sponsored Products data. So if you’re a Sponsored Products user, this is hugely valuable, because we’re putting ad data and organic data side-by-side so that you can see some key metrics. For example, one of our main goals with our advertising is not just to trigger more sales, but instead to use ads as a way of spinning up the Amazon flywheel, so that we can get more organic sales. There’s a difference between those things: some things contribute to that and some things don’t. And so here, by putting those two types of data side by side, we can see whether we’re succeeding, and we can see whether things that we’re doing differently are affecting anything. We might choose to, at the start of the month, double our bids: maybe that turns our actual Sponsored-Products-generated sales into a loss, but then, we can see what it does to our organic sales. Maybe, collectively, investing in those ads, investing in our brand, and investing in the individual products by losing money on Sponsored Products may actually result in a greater overall profit. You would never be able to see that from the Sponsored Products data alone. You have to combine in your organic sales data, and that’s what we do here. So, lots of valuable charts, and we’ve got some great blog posts that explain how to look at all those numbers in relationship to each other.

Vat Invoice Chart Screenshot

And lastly, going back to the dashboard, on the lower right hand corner, we see the VAT invoice section. We sell globally, in every Amazon market we can: one of the amazing things about Amazon is that it lets small sellers sell globally. But, you run into tax and regulatory troubles, and one of those troubles is that your European customers are going to be asking for VAT invoices. It’s a big hassle to do those one-by-one for orders on Amazon, where each individual order might be small. So, we’ve totally automated the process, and we provide it to everybody who is selling in Europe!

So there you go! That was a walkthrough of the Efficient Era dashboard. There’s a lot here that I wasn’t even able to dive into, so that’s one of the reasons why we give you a long, 60-day free trial for the Efficient Era tools. It lets you have a chance to really use them and figure out whether this tool is worth it for you, both in terms of cost and in terms of time. We’ve tried to make the tools affordable, and we’ve tried to give you enough time to really understand how it’s going to help your business as it’s helped us grow an 8-figure Amazon selling business. So, thanks for watching, and if you have any questions at all, please feel free to ask below. Thanks!

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