Víctor M. García Barco (1985) is, in addition to the founder of the agency specialized in marketplaces Takana and creator of the newsletter specialized in marketplaces Golden Mates , the president of AVAMZES, the new Association of Sellers in Amazon Spain that has just seen the light .
Among the objectives of AVAMZES, which has on its board of directors experts in selling on marketplaces in our country, are the “promotion of research, generation and technological development in Amazon, as well as everything that contributes to strengthening the competitive capacity of sellers in Amazon Spain, and the development of Amazon as a new sales channel for Spanish companies». To learn a little more about this association and Víctor’s vision of the sector in Spain, we have spoken with him.
The origin of AVAMZES
How did the idea of creating AVAMZES come about?
Amazon, in a very short time , has changed the rules of eCommerce in the world and particularly in Spain. It is a very disruptive and, at the same time, complex platform that has generated a very important change in the way in which the consumer buys online. And this complexity, although it has generated many new opportunities for Spanish companies, has also generated many problems for companies that have wanted to sell on its platform. Check out more interesting topic on our site.
Of course, many of them have been adapted correctly, but we have detected that there is actually a lot of ignorance about the platform , its real operation, the way it is sold, Amazon’s policies and the forcefulness with which it applies them, the profit margins, the brutal competition that exists right now, etc.
That is why AVAMZES was born , as a new and great association whose objective is to help companies find the right answers, realistic and without demagoguery, so that they can carry out their activities in the best possible way, both on Amazon and on other marketplaces .
What reception has it had? How many associates do you have?
At the moment we are in the embryonic phase. It was only released a week ago. We currently have more than 40 associated companies and more than a dozen partnerships, such as that of the financial company for eCommerce Ritmo , which has made more than 50 million euros available to our associates to help them solve any type of problem they may have. have.
Right now, we are focusing all our efforts on closing the best collaborations with different players in the sector to be able to offer training, information, tools and all kinds of activities that will strengthen our associates’ businesses on Amazon and marketplaces.
Soon we will open our private Telegram channel for associates, as well as launch the program: “Around the Marketplaces” , which will consist of a round table format in which the country’s leading experts in marketplaces will come to discuss topics. current.
It is also vitally important to know the state of the sector in order to offer more personalized help. That’s why, in collaboration with our partner companies, we’ve launched the first Amazon Seller Market Study . Information of vital importance for the Association and whose data we hope to be able to share with all of you and the Marketing4eCommerce audience.
The reality of Amazon sellers in Spain
How are your associates? Is there any common trait that stands out, beyond the fact of interest in Amazon?
I think it is still too early to draw conclusions, we have just been born, although it is true that we hope to reach any vendor, large or small, with its own brand or distributor. All these experiences are what matter in the association regardless of the name.
What I can tell you is that there are many particularities about how to sell on Amazon, and AVAMZES will personalize the help for each type of seller. For example, the strategies that you have to develop if you are a vendor or a seller or if you distribute 40,000 products versus if you have 90 own-brand products, are very different.
What kind of needs do they present to you? Which are the most frequent?
One of the things that we have detected the most is that Spanish businessmen are quite… let’s say “burned” with the issue of false reviews. I say “burned” so as not to use another more rude term if people under 18 are reading 🙂
One of the most ambitious projects of AVAMZES is to create an IT department to help Amazon with the great problem of false reviews that flood Amazon and that is daily bread in Facebook groups, Telegram, etc. Our objective will be to locate, collect evidence and report these irregularities to Amazon.
Another need, and this is my personal opinion, is that you have to change your approach when selling on Amazon . Many companies simplify selling on Amazon into “getting sales.” And sales, and more sales and just focus on sales.
Amazon and its advertising systems have great potential to reach consumers very cheaply and who are in a very advanced stage of the conversion funnel. This is a very important point for the future of a brand and its long-term success on this platform. And I emphasize the long term. No one makes gold in the short term anymore because of many YouTubers who make videos saying that you can become a millionaire, the reality is far from that.
Of course, within the most pressing needs, we cannot forget that Amazon is constantly making changes and sellers get frustrated because they do not understand why their sales fall, why it is not so profitable for them to sell on the platform or why they are constantly blocking products or blocking the account. Amazon is a highly competitive, highly professional ecosystem and it’s not like before, where they opened an account for you and you were selling from day one.
There are hundreds of thousands of companies selling on Amazon Spain and most of them from China. Competing in this environment is not easy.
In general, do you think sellers are happy with their relationship with Amazon?
In general I would say that, once they know what they have in hand, yes. But it is a hard process and you have to fight too much. The various Amazon seller support services are, at the very least, highly improvable. Out there, on our streets, in our companies, there are literally thousands of workers, whether they be marketing managers, warehouse staff, off-roaders, interns, etc., who are stuck with the Amazon platform every day to try to build their businesses in the best possible way.
One should not be constantly fighting with a platform to be able to sell and be successful and here the Association plays a vital role, having as one of its priority objectives to shorten the learning curve of any person and company.
How do you think Amazon could improve in this relationship with sellers?
Uufff, how do you ask me this question? You’re asking me to give such cold advice to Amazon. I accept the challenge. Let’s go to the mess.
First of all, it is important to mention that both AVAMZES and any seller, we must assimilate that there are some things that Amazon will never change or that will be very difficult to change . For example, collaborating with a large client of my Takana agency , we have learned that there are many issues related to the Amazon Brand Registry department that cannot be resolved here in Spain, but rather are only resolved at Amazon headquarters in the United States.
That should make us understand why something as simple as: “hey, my trademark is registered in the Patent and Trademark Office. Here you have the proof” ; It can take up to several months to be resolved.
In our opinion, Amazon could improve the following aspects:
- More professional staff to serve vendors in the most problematic areas.
- Amazon has extremely restricted contact between sellers and buyers , they should be less restrictive at this point.
- I am also very concerned about your speech . Amazon could improve the speech it has towards sellers. If you stop to listen to him closely, a lot of his advice is given in a way that seems to help you, but is really more focused on directing you towards his own interests. They must have very, very good people to prepare this speech.
For example, when Amazon tries to help you advertise on Amazon by putting at your disposal qualified personnel who send you emails to make recommendations or with whom you can meet by video call for advice. Well, on many occasions, these recommendations focus on you doing more campaigns, on investing more here and there, but they do not focus on knowing the needs of that company in order to adapt its strategy to your needs.
Advertising on Amazon is a double-edged sword , well used it can be a very good weapon, but used improperly, it can be a bottomless pit of loss for any business small or large.
As a side note, I have to add that where we feel this is happening most heavily is in the Amazon Advertising area, but this is much better managed in the Amazon DSP area, in our opinion.
And well, I’m not going to elaborate much more because now that you think about it, you can get many recommendations xD No offense, always proactively. Points like the Amazon 360 service leaves many sellers unhappy , the Amazon Learn Console certifications are almost easier to obtain by doing the courses and exams in English with the help of a translator (who needs it) than doing them in Spanish because there is a lot of information and questions that have no coherence.
To its credit, because this is not black and white, I have to say that Amazon is a very large platform and terribly difficult to develop and manage.
Many times, sitting in the office of my agency, I think about the different services that we offer and compare them with those that are given by Google. I see that there are agencies in Google to provide eCommerce creation services, SEO positioning and link building, Google Shopping advertising, etc., but here, on the Amazon platform, even more fields are brought together that must be coordinated for everything to work correctly:
- Capturing Reviews
- Design – One of the most vital points for selling on Amazon
It is a very complex ecosystem and managing it perfectly is not easy.
Have I earned the enmity of the agencies that provide services in Google? xD I hope not! I have great friends working on them, it is not a criticism and it should not be misunderstood out there, I simply want to show that selling on Amazon is not “selling on Amazon” , it is managing multiple areas that must be coordinated in detail between all of them.
Among your services are training and advice. What kind of training programs do you carry out? How is advice carried out?
So is. To be able to speak the Amazon language, it is essential to know its alphabet. For us it is the first commandment in the Association: knowledge, you have to understand to speak with criteria.
And for this we have specific training programs available to associates, which are under development, on specific topics that help in each area or complete training that starts from the most basic and ends up teaching you how to manage an account in a safe and lasting way in the weather.
These programs are offered by the Association itself and also through collaborators. And more details will soon be published on the web, on our Linkedin, in the Telegram group and in our newsletter.
Selling on marketplaces and amazon dependency
I suppose that you will not only have a relationship with exclusive Amazon sellers: What differentiates this marketplace from other relevant ones such as Aliexpress, El Corte Inglés, Ebay… in its relationship with sellers?
The reality is that in our quest to help associates, one of the first things we recommend is to avoid Amazon dependency. If most of your billing comes from Amazon, you should stop for a moment and develop a strategic growth plan in parallel with Amazon.
Regarding your question, I agree with you. Amazon is the first option because it is the best option, it is the most professional, the one with the best technology and it is where it is sold the most. And although there are certain points for improvement, you also have many more resources and can better develop that relationship with sellers.
The rest is behind, yes. Honestly, marketplaces would do very well to rely on Spanish agencies that are specialized in selling on marketplaces because that is their day-to-day: managing, helping and educating sellers who sell on multiple marketplaces and who don’t have time to get to know them all online. detail.
The number of times I have told our accounts that they have to train the clients of our agency! Every week you have to work on understanding how Amazon works because without that understanding, it is very easy for them to fail.
Most are left, there are others who are not. And if it is difficult to manage this in an agency, I cannot imagine for a marketplace with thousands of sellers and proportionally less staff.
In my opinion, each marketplace trying to manage and help each seller on its own is a mistake.
In addition, I remind you once again that the interests of a marketplace and the interests of a seller are completely different and, in general, the platforms have an internalized discourse that is closely linked to their objectives, which are very different from those of the sellers.
Reducing this friction is key to reducing problems and, in addition, they could surely serve the seller more effectively.
What percentage of your associates also work with one of these other marketplaces?
Practically all of them, only two are only on Amazon. And just about everyone needs help with their multi-market, multi-country strategy. Which is quite a complex thing. Don’t you ask me where they bill more? Come on, I’ll tell you. The overwhelming majority on Amazon.
Financing for sellers through Ritmo
You have just closed an agreement with Ritmo to provide financing to sellers. What does this agreement consist of and what impact can it have on the companies that take advantage of it?
We are very grateful to Ritmo, and especially to Jorge Jüttner, for the commitment made to create a pool of 50 million euros to invest , during the first half of 2022, in companies that are selling on Amazon, in any other marketplace or digital through its website.
The collaboration also allows all those who simply request information to obtain financing to be rewarded, as Ritmo will give them the AVAMZES membership fee , valued at €59.99 per month, until June 30, 2022.
We have managed to open the range in terms of requirements, and we hope that almost all interested parties meet the minimum requirements that are so low that the association with Ritmo has managed to negotiate, and which are:
- Minimum of €10,000 monthly turnover.
- More than 6 months of commercial traction.
- Stable or growing sales.
What objective do you set for yourself at the association level for this year?
Our goals are very ambitious since the needs of our associates and of this sector are real and have a very strong impact on their businesses.
- Doubling collaborations with leading companies in the sector and in other areas that may not be day-to-day at Amazon but are vital for the development of our associates’ businesses. We are talking about collaborations of the nature of tools and software, subsidies and economic aid, logistics, etc.
- Our partner goal is to collaborate with 100-150 partner companies to help them grow.
- Gain a better understanding of how Amazon works across departments to reduce friction between sellers and Amazon.
What Amazon-related headline would you like to read on Marketing4eCommerce in the coming months?
“Amazon and AVAMZES reach an agreement to…”
I put ellipses to give you room to put something very clickbait, which I know you love, hahaha.
- What is the first social network you open in the morning? Binance, my crypto investment app. After WhatsApp.
- iOS or Android? Android for work. iOs for leisure.
- App or website? Web, I’m on the computer all day.
- In which eCommerce and how long ago did you make your last online purchase? Shein!
- And it was? Clothing.
- Last book read? The War of Rare Metals, by Guillaume Pitron
- Recommend us a fiction series: Peaky Blinders
- What website have you seen lately that has surprised you for good? Traceable.io It is a company that Juan Roig has launched from his Lanzadera program that combines Blockchain technology with food logistics and traceability. The small Spanish version of VeChain.
- What is your favorite thing to do that has nothing to do with digital? Being with Angelica and Iris, my partner and my 11-month-old baby. Invest in crypto. Read, I’m a SuperFrikiSeriéphile, watch NFL and play sports.
- Let’s spin a magic chain: Which acquaintance of yours do you think we should interview? Why? Our collaborating companies are going to call me and tell me why I didn’t name them xD Well, I’m going to tell you a businessman, Javier Vázquez, the CEO of Complementos Para Aves y Piumer , a humble, grateful businessman, too hard-working and who has raised an enterprise of several million euros in a few years starting the business by going around the country from fair to fair selling one by one bird cages.