Maximizing Customer Reviews: Harness the influence of customer feedback. Actively encourage customers to share reviews and promptly address any concerns raised. This engagement not only enhances your product ratings but also demonstrates your commitment to customer satisfaction, contributing to a stronger brand reputation.
Asa part of my interview series about “Five non-intuitive things you need to know to run a very successful Amazon business, I had the pleasure of interviewing Phillip D’Orazio.
Phillip D’Orazio is a distinguished figure in the E-commerce and Digital Marketing sectors, with over 22 years of experience. His professional journey includes significant roles in both public and large private equity-owned companies. In 2016, Phillip founded the Amazon-focused agency Palmetto Digital Marketing Group (PDMG) in Charleston, South Carolina, successfully overseeing over $500 million in sales on Amazon. In 2023, he launched Joopco, a software company aimed at providing user-friendly and insightful Amazon analytics. Phillip’s expertise and entrepreneurial spirit have significantly shaped the digital marketing landscape.
Thank you so much for doing this with us! Can you share with us the “backstory” about what brought you to this specific career path?
journey into e-commerce began over 20 years ago when I recognized the immense potential of online selling. At that time, I was fascinated by the evolving landscape of digital commerce and saw the opportunity to be part of a flourishing industry that was reshaping how people shopped and businesses operated. This realization led me to found PDMG, a specialized Amazon marketplace management agency that would go on to achieve remarkable success through close engagement with Amazon clients.
PDMG was instrumental in laying the foundation for my journey as an entrepreneur in the e-commerce space. It allowed me to gain deep insights into the challenges faced by Amazon sellers, understand the intricacies of the platform, and develop innovative solutions to address these challenges.
It was during my time at PDMG that I began to formulate the vision for Joopco, a revolutionary analytics and productivity tool tailored specifically for Amazon sellers. I envisioned Joopco as a definitive solution to those very challenges I faced alongside Amazon sellers. The journey from PDMG to Joopco represents the culmination of years of experience and a commitment to helping Amazon sellers succeed in a rapidly evolving digital marketplace.
Can you explain to our readers why you are an authority about selling on Amazon.com?
As the CEO and founder of PDMG and Joopco, two businesses closely associated with Amazon, my journey in e-commerce, especially on Amazon, has equipped me with extensive expertise. Throughout my career, I’ve had the opportunity to work intimately with a variety of Amazon clients, which has allowed me to navigate the platform’s complexities and understand its unique challenges and success strategies. What distinguishes me as an expert in this field is not merely theoretical knowledge, but my practical, on-the-ground experience. I have faced the same hurdles and uncertainties as many Amazon sellers, giving me a profound and practical understanding of both the Amazon platform and the broader e-commerce landscape.
Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you started this career?
One of the most fascinating stories that comes to mind is the journey of creating Joopco, a groundbreaking analytics platform designed to empower Amazon sellers. It all started with the realization that many Amazon sellers were drowning in data but starving for actionable insights. They were inundated with complex reports and metrics, yet struggled to make informed decisions based on this information. It was clear that there was a significant gap in the market, and I saw an opportunity to bridge it. The development of Joopco was not without its challenges, but the vision was clear: to simplify data analytics for Amazon sellers. We embarked on a journey to transform intricate reports into user-friendly dashboards, making data accessible and understandable to sellers of all backgrounds.
Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?
When I first started PDMG, my marketplace focused agency, from the second bedroom of my apartment, I listed my business on Google My Business, inadvertently including my home address. This led to an unexpected visit from a potential client who, intrigued by my online presence, arrived to evaluate my professional setup, only to find my modest living space doubling as an office. Initially mortified by this unprepared exposure, this encounter became a pivotal moment, highlighting the need for a dedicated professional space for both appearance and mental well-being. This incident taught me the value of unforeseen challenges as catalysts for growth, leading me to relocate my operations to a formal office. This move signified a significant turning point for PDMG, reinforcing the lesson that every crisis, no matter how small or humorous, presents an opportunity to learn, adapt, and evolve.
Are you working on any exciting projects now? How do you think that will help people?
Currently, I am deeply engaged in enhancing Joopco’s features and capabilities to further empower Amazon sellers with better analytics. At Joopco, we are deeply committed to empowering Amazon sellers by constantly enhancing our platform’s features and capabilities, providing them with comprehensive tools and insights for informed decision-making and business growth. Our mission revolves around continuous innovation, as evidenced by our recent launches, including a new reimbursement feature last month to simplify financial operations, and a white label feature this month for increased customization. Recognizing the dynamic nature of e-commerce, we strive to keep Joopco at the forefront, continually developing new features to meet the evolving needs of Amazon sellers. Our aim is to equip sellers with the necessary tools to optimize operations, make data-driven decisions, and discover new opportunities, thereby boosting their profitability, efficiency, and overall success.
Ok. Let’s jump to the core of our discussion. You are a seasoned Amazon expert. Can you share with our readers five, non intuitive, insider tips, in order to be as successful as possible on Amazon?
- Strategic Bundling of Products: Beyond just optimizing titles and SEO, consider bundling complementary products. Bundling can differentiate your offerings in a crowded marketplace.
- Leverage Amazon PPC: Smart use of Amazon Pay-Per-Click (PPC) campaigns can be a game-changer. By identifying high-performing keywords and adjusted bids, can result in a significant boost in ad visibility and sales.
- Seasonal Inventory Forecasting: Inventory management goes beyond just avoiding overstock. We helped a client anticipate and prepare for seasonal demand spikes by analyzing historical sales data. This proactive approach prevented stock outs during peak season.
- Maximizing Customer Reviews: Harness the influence of customer feedback. Actively encourage customers to share reviews and promptly address any concerns raised. This engagement not only enhances your product ratings but also demonstrates your commitment to customer satisfaction, contributing to a stronger brand reputation.
- Data-Driven Decisions: Leverage powerful tools like Joopco to make informed decisions based on data. For example, we helped a seller identify their most successful products using our analytics platform. They then concentrated their marketing efforts on these products, greatly improving their business performance.
Amazon sellers have a reputation for being great guerilla marketers. Do you use any clever and innovative marketing strategies that you think large legacy companies should consider adopting?
Absolutely, Amazon sellers are known for their agility and creativity in marketing. One strategy we employ is data-driven marketing. By analyzing customer data and market trends, we can optimize our marketing spend effectively. This data-centric approach allows us to adapt quickly to ever-changing market conditions, a practice that larger companies can learn from.
Because of the position that you are in, you are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. :-)
As someone with significant influence in the Amazon marketplace space, I would lead a movement to reform the Amazon platform to better serve sellers and brands. My goal is to establish a community of Amazon experts and leaders who can collectively identify and advocate for necessary improvements. This initiative aims to ensure that Amazon’s development is more in tune with the real needs of its users, leading to a more efficient and beneficial experience for both sellers and the wider Amazon customer community.
Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?
Winston Churchill once said, “Success is not final, failure is not fatal: It is the courage to continue that counts.” This timeless quote has illuminated my path throughout my career. It reminds me that success is not an endpoint but a continuous journey. Failures and setbacks are part of that journey and should not deter us. It’s the resilience to keep moving forward, learning from mistakes, and adapting that truly matters. In my personal journey, I’ve encountered numerous challenges and setbacks, yet I’ve always found the inner courage to persevere.
Some of the biggest names in Business, VC funding, Sports, and Entertainment read this column. Is there a person in the world, or in the US with whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might just see this if we tag them :-)
If given the opportunity, I would be honored to have a meal with Andy Jassy, CEO of Amazon. As an expert in E-commerce and digital marketing with a focus on Amazon, I believe a conversation with Mr. Jassy would be incredibly insightful. It would be a chance to gain a deeper understanding of Amazon’s future direction and to share valuable feedback from the seller community, potentially influencing the platform’s strategies for mutual benefit.
Thank you so much for these great insights. This was very enlightening!