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Amazon’s Most Successful Sellers All Have One Thing in Common; An Obsessive Focus on Pleasing Their Customers

By Adam Torkildson. Originally published at ValueWalk.

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With over 300 million active users, a market that accounts for 43% of all online retail sales in the US, and a net sales volume that topped an astounding $108 billion in the first quarter of 2021, it should be no surprise that Amazon is without question the go-to place for businesses and entrepreneurs to sell their products.

But just because people with something to sell see dollar signs flying around like a red-hot slot machine, that doesn’t mean it’s easy to cash in on America’s biggest marketplace. With so much potential, that only translates to hyper-intense competition and a fast and ever-changing selling landscape that requires non-stop attention.

So how exactly do sellers go about trying to grab their slice of this enormous pie?

Do a Google search and you will quickly discover that there are no shortages of how-to manuals and intricate selling and marketing tips for making big money on Amazon. Before studying the minutiae of how others pulled off e-commerce riches, though, it helps to start with a little advice from the man himself, Amazon founder, and the world’s richest man, Jeff Bezos.

“The most important single thing is to focus obsessively on the customer,” Bezos once said. “Our goal is to be earth’s most customer-centric company.”

Amazon’s sales numbers clearly show that this laser-like customer-first philosophy works. And it’s also working for some of the most popular brands on the number one e-commerce platform.

Customers Care About Service and Values

Savvy customers nowadays like to do business with companies that not only offer a great product with great customer service, but also that care for their communities. For the last ten years, Austin, Texas-based Fringe Sport has run a successful business on Amazon selling exercise equipment helping people build gyms at home. When the pandemic hit, the company saw sales increase by 400% as many people were stuck at home but still wanted to keep in shape. To keep up with the demand, the company hired locals who had been put out of work as a result of the crisis.

“Fringe Sport is here to help people change their lives through strength,” said founder and CEO Peter Keller. “We take care of our employees to take care of our customers. Austin was hard hit by the cancellation of the South by Southwest festival and we hired a bunch of waiters, bartenders, and busboys to staff our warehouse and keep humming along. It’s been crazy, but we firmly believe (and the science supports) that stronger people live longer, happier, healthier lives.”

Customers Want Personalization

The Swiss Knife Shop is a small family-owned retailer in Amherst, New Hampshire, and is one of the nation’s largest independent sellers of Victorinox Swiss Army Knives, as well as other knives and tools. The company specializes in personalized services such as customizing its products to customer specs and personalized engravings of their over 3000 items.

When they first put their products on Amazon several years back, the Swiss Knife Shop had no advertising and found it hard to stand out from other sellers. They then reached out to an ad company that specialized in data-driven advertising. The ad company went through each product in Swiss Knife Shop’s vast catalog and developed keywords for every single one. The task was laborious, time-consuming, and expensive. It was also very effective.

“When we started working with an agency for our Amazon advertising, our growth on Amazon doubled within the first several months,” said marketing manager, Heather Elmer.

Pay Attention to Customer Feedback, and Have Fun

Paying laser-like attention to the needs of its customers is what famed personal lubricant brand #LubeLife employed to reach an astounding 120,000 individual reviews on Amazon. The company has over three times as many reviews on Amazon as its nearest competitor in what can only be described as a very crowded market.

“As a brand, we truly encourage and value consumer feedback,” said Tara Merkle, Senior Director of Marketing of #LubeLife. “We thoroughly read each review we receive and have made changes to our formulation and packaging as a result. We offer free samples so consumers can try before they buy as well as a 100% satisfaction guarantee because we prioritize the happiness of our consumers and their limitless adventure.”

Savvy consumers these days have expressed a strong interest in all-natural products and here #LubeLife delivers. Its most popular products contain no parabens, glycerin, oil, wax, or silicone.

“All of our products are made with natural ingredients, are safe to use, and are easy to clean which makes this a brand for everyone,” Merkle said.

The company also has a knack for engaging its customers about adventurous topics in ways that come through as fun, socially conscious, and hip.

As these examples show, being absolutely obsessive about the needs of customers, above all else, is the number one secret to success on Amazon.

It also proves that it pays to listen to the world’s richest man.

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