Ep. #933 - Evaluating A New Product Idea
In today’s episode of Startup Hustle, we learn the process of evaluating a new product idea can be easier and more efficient. With insights from Andrew Morgans and Izabella Ritz, CEO of Ritz Momentum, we’ll surely gain an increased understanding of the entire process.
Covered In This Episode
What’s the first step towards a successful product launch? It all starts with evaluating a new product idea effectively and proper planning.
That’s what we’re taking notes from Andrew and Izabella’s insight-sharing session. These e-commerce experts let loose some of their tips about creating sellable products.
If you’re interested in this topic, tune in to this Startup Hustle episode now.
- The journey of Izabella Ritz to the entrepreneur she is today (02:32)
- The struggles of creating a business in the 80s (05:05)
- On venturing out and finding success (09:30)
- On building and selling businesses (12:50)
- Diving into e-commerce (18:39)
- Relearning the difference between credit and financing in the US (19:17)
- How selling on Amazon looks like (20:54)
- Customizing products and finding your niche (23:41)
- Where to get inspiration to start your businesses (30:29)
- The importance of doing your homework before product launch (34:01)
- How to evaluate your product (37:25)
- Launching products in a new category (39:36)
- On reviews and ratings (41:02)
You’re not starting on Amazon hoping that Amazon buyers are going to buy this product. Because you have to make sure you will explain to people beforehand what they’re looking for.– Isabella Ritz
What do you feel about reviews when evaluating whether a product might be a good idea or not? I know in the past, it was simply like, if you had more than the other seller . . . it felt like reviews were the main difference. Today? I’m not sure that’s the case.– Andrew Morgans
Sometimes, when you’re launching the products, you should also look at bloggers and influencers. Take a look at what they are promoting, what they will do, and what they like. Because sometimes you can create a brand based on some influencer’s name. And they will be happy to put their name because they don’t have to invest any money.– Isabella Ritz
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Following is an auto-generated text transcript of this episode. Apologies for any errors!
Andrew Morgans 00:00
What’s up, Startup Hustle? This is Andrew Morgans, founder of Marknology. Here is today’s host of the podcast. I’m super excited about today’s guest. I’ve been on her podcast, and now, I’m getting a chance to, like, you know, highlight her here on Startup Hustle. We’re going to be talking about, you know, evaluating a new product idea. But like always, before we get started, I gotta give a shout-out to our sponsor for today’s episode. Today’s episode of Startup Hustle is specifically powered by FullScale.io. Hiring software developers is difficult. Full Scale can help you build a software team quickly and affordably. And has the platform to help you manage that team. We know that your team is only as good as you can manage them. Visit FullScale.io to learn more. Without further ado, Izabella, welcome to the show.
Izabella Ritz 00:46
Thank you for having me today. I’m very excited.
Andrew Morgans 00:49
Yes, it’s overdue. I’m so glad we connected. You know, this industry is big. And at the same time, sometimes it’s like how I was in this industry so long without, you know, our paths crossing. And it seems like even in the last few months, they’ve crossed a few times. So I’m super excited to have you here. You know, we have a lot of things in common outside of Amazon, you know, different but the same in regards to even a one point living down the street or in the neighborhoods, similar to each other in Moscow.
Izabella Ritz 01:22
Andrew Morgans 01:22
And I just like bringing that up is probably the one person in the world that I’ll ever meet that will understand, you know that. And let’s start the show off by just getting to know you know, you a little bit better. And before we get into, you know, your company, Ritz Momentum, and everything that you guys do to help sellers and help brands really get started. Let’s talk about, you know, entrepreneurship. Let’s talk about you in the early days. You grew up in Eastern Europe, is that correct?
Izabella Ritz 01:52
You grew up at the place where you’ve been living at some point, which is Moscow. So I was born in Moscow in the 80s. It’s a very scary number right now.
Andrew Morgans 02:02
No, it’s not.
Izabella Ritz 02:02
Anyway, you need to know that I actually never liked living in Moscow for a very long time, because it was always cold. And I was trying to look for something warm. And when I turned 18 years old, almost 18 years old, I asked my mom to give me a waiver. So I can actually go somewhere or somewhere overseas by myself. And that was after I created my own company. And the first company I created was a business training center. I was at the age of 17.
Andrew Morgans 02:40
Let’s pause right there for a second. I want to give some context, okay, because people don’t even understand what you just said. But number one, you know, I lived in Moscow. I was born in 86. I lived in Moscow in the early 90s. So you can do the math there, right? But also the time before that I spent in Africa in Cameroon. And so I was a little African boy like I spoke English, I didn’t show you the ones that are me little that’s the meaning, that’s me older. I’ll show you the ones that made me little, you know, I was a little African boy. And then, all of a sudden, I find myself in Moscow. It’s cold. I like, you know, coats and boots and shoes. And yeah. And the babushkas were like you’re never just warm enough, you know? And I’m like, Well, I’m not used to having to wear all of this, and I want to go play, and I can’t play because it’s dangerous outside at the time.
Izabella Ritz 03:41
And you’ve been in the 90s. That was the scariest time when it was. I don’t know if some people who are listening understand what Perestroika means. This word cannot translate the words for anything else. But it was the time when the Soviet Union was broken, and Russia and the Fidel Federation became new countries. So that was the actual moment, and we had so many MIFARE people going on, we had so much crime you could not be safe outside. And I remember how we had people threatening my family that we’re gonna kill you so more of you will not give us some money. So that was bad. That was super bad.
Andrew Morgans 04:25
So yeah, I want to talk about this time, right? Because even if you were 17 Or like, you know, creating a business and 17 You’re born in the 80s, that puts us in that timeframe, you know, a little bit after and creating like, you know, what kind of family did you come from? Did you come from wealth, or did you come from like, you know, just a working family or like, you know, like creating a business in that era at that time to me at that age? It seems like a heavy lift.
Izabella Ritz 04:52
Yes. And it was a heavy lift. My family was actually super poor. I could tell it was like it was bad. So I didn’t have anything on my fridge like in my fridge, so nothing was inside. You cannot eat anything. Mom was like literally going into the woods. Just take some like mushrooms or leaves or whatever. And she was making something from like, the form like plants that she was able to reap outside. So it’s just bad like real people were helping us.
Andrew Morgans 05:28
Thank you for sharing that. Yeah, yeah.
Izabella Ritz 05:30
So I didn’t like it. I was like, No, it’s not how it’s supposed to be in there. Remember how I was calling my sister? And I was asking, like, what do you have today for dinner, and she’s like, we have grilled chicken. I was like, oh, grilled chicken, I want the grilled chicken, I cannot eat it. Like we don’t have it at home. And I was dreaming of how I would actually change something because I wanted to have pencils. My friends like these colored pencils. I wanted to have the pencil cases. I wanted to have the very simple stuff that everybody had. And I didn’t. And by the age of 12, I realized that I was actually pretty good with French. I was fluent. But then I forgot completely because I didn’t speak French at all. And I didn’t have any practice in 2000. And I just really now cannot even open my mouth about French slang in the French language. So what happened at the age of 12? I decided, okay, I can probably teach people how to speak French and, like, help them to adjust their grades. And then I decided, okay, how will I find the parents who will give me and who will trust me because I’m just 12? So I spoke to the elementary teacher that was teaching me years ago. She said, Yeah, of course, you can announce it in my class. And I announced it. I was not scared about anything. And some parents called me, and they said, Yeah, we want to, we want you to teach our kids and help them to raise their grades. And we’ll be very thankful. From what I remember, I was charging $6 per hour. So back to the 90s. That was a lot. And I probably. Yeah, okay. The $6 was 25 from us. Yeah. $1 was six. Hold on. $1 was for Yeah. $1 was for rebels. It was $6, about $6. Yeah. And I was like, Okay, sounds good. And I was teaching this kid. So you can imagine each kid had three classes a week. And I’m like, really? Yeah, like, and I was so happy. And I really don’t remember how much money it was per month. But it was a lot. It was like it was more than 100 bucks a month. For me, it was a lot. I was able to make money, I was able to buy stuff, I was able to buy some products, like for home, and we were able to eat something. So I realized that it was working. And when I was in high school, I decided that I was moving to a different school. And I wanted to transition to a different school, and I was going to college and school at the same time. It’s kind of dual enrollment in the United States, but a little bit different. And I started working at three jobs. So I did three jobs. I was educated in two places. And I was just making money, and I was super happy about it. I’m like, damn opportunities, look at the opportunities. Look how much money I can get.
Andrew Morgans 08:50
Talk to me about just like a quick question for my own curiosity. Like, how was it with your mother, like when you started making $100 a month and she, you know, she’s going to the woods to get food and like had things changed by then? Or was it like you just started, like, kind of helping at the house, like with food? And was it that kind of environment, you know, ours, even me as an American like, in Russia, there was hardly any you can’t find toys, you couldn’t find anything really like unless you bought like wooden stuff at the market adult toys and made them kids toys? But like, even in the US, like I’ve always worked three jobs. There’s this feeling of being able to, like, take care of the people you love. Like, if you learn that at a young age that it’s like, oh my god, okay. It just changes the dynamic. I think it becomes like a team much earlier than like if they’re just supporting you the whole time. You know? Yeah, I was just wondering how that was at that time. College?
Izabella Ritz 09:46
Yeah, it’s a great question because my mom we’re not doing a very good collection till now. Because at some point, when I started being successful, my mom became jealous, and she started to try to compete. Actually, at some point put me down, not allowing me to do something because my success was interrupting her importance. And I didn’t realize it at this age. I realized that when I was already 2526, and I would, I didn’t understand what was going on wrong, why it was so hard for mom to understand me. But for mom, it was very, I don’t know, it was very satisfying to see how she can show me how she’s suffering. But she was suffering because she was lazy. She didn’t want to go and take a job. And my dad, he actually was like, he just, he didn’t make any money. He was going to work, but he didn’t make anything. And then they also separated. So it was kind of, you know, nothing is on a table. So, mom, she didn’t want to because she didn’t like that I was making money. She liked that. I was bringing money home, and she was making me feel guilty. Like, look, when I was working. When I was 16 years old, I was bringing money home. You are spending money for yourself. You’re buying stuff for yourself. And I was like, Mom, but I decided to go to work. Because we don’t have anything at home. And because I also want to be like my friends. And mom was super mad about it. And I like okay, so I will share it with my mom. So the moment I got kinda everything I wanted at the moment, I started sharing my salary with my earnings, not salary, my earnings with my mom. And I was given away like 70-75%, and I was keeping 25 or something.
Andrew Morgans 11:45
I was kind of thinking that was probably happening.
Izabella Ritz 11:48
Yeah, yeah, that’s exactly what happens. So that was a great question.
Andrew Morgans 11:52
Okay, so we’re gonna pause for just a little bit. So then like you go to, you’ve started a learning center, right? That was like 1718, or you’re still in Moscow and are still in Russia. Yeah. Okay. And then you use that business to shop.
Izabella Ritz 12:10
Business. I sold this business because my revenue was pretty nice. I was able to go to the restaurants you cannot imagine my feeling when I went to the sushi restaurant. And I was calling my friend and asking her, Listen, you told me that sushi is great. I’m here. First time I just ordered something. I have no idea how to eat it. Can you guide me because I don’t want to feel embarrassed, to look embarrassed here in this place. And that was like, Okay, do you see the sticks do like see and she was really guiding me how I was supposed to eat this sushi and what sushi I suppose the order. So that was like, that was my beginning of feeling life differently from what I got used to. But my revenue was not enough to like, for example, buy a car and I wanted a car. I was dreaming about the car and the car was super funny, because I don’t know if you’re familiar with the Dell cards course. They’ve been awesome. 80s 90s Maybe a little bit in that in the early 2000s. And they’ve been very popular in Russia like Becca Stan and like Union countries. So that was a very small car. A little bit looks like Nissan Nissan sedan Feigen joke. So it’s like a bag? Yeah, similar, but much cheaper. And I wanted this blue-collar car. And I was like, damn, I really want this car. I really want this car. But I didn’t have enough money to buy it. So I’m like, Okay, what should I do? What should I do to make money faster, and then realize that then I can actually sell my business. And this is how I’m getting my car. And I sold my business in 18 and a half months. And I got my first million rubles that was $35,000 and I got a car yeah, I started traveling, I was so happy. And at some point and realize when Okay, so my money is actually melting, they have to start something else. Then I launched another company. And then it was another journey and I sold it again. So that was kind of I was on a roll to create companies and sell them because that was what became at some point the hobby.
Andrew Morgans 14:34
So this is what age you sold the first and second one?
Izabella Ritz 14:38
First at 18 Second, I believe I was 20 Yeah, I was 20 years old. It was May when it started. I remember I got married right after. Right Yeah, mate got married right after I sold the company. This is how we got a lot of money for a good wedding and for All right, and afford travels for the honeymoon and like a little bit leftovers. Yeah, that was my
Andrew Morgans 15:06
so. Okay, so I want to fast forward because we’ve got like 45 minutes, and I need to get to like, where what you’re doing today, okay, but this is great stuff. Okay, so what people don’t understand is that like, someone can come to the US and maybe they don’t speak English, or you know, maybe they’ve immigrated to the US, they moved over, and you’re having to start again at school, or, let’s say, like, immigration, or you have to go through these different things, and have no understanding that in other countries, this person could have been a doctor, this person could have sold five companies, this person could have, you know, this, there’s just not the same. And so you know, it’s like starting over the experience, you just get whenever you’re in that kind of environment, I think is just like, I mean, it’s like speed compared to sometimes how the maturity process like happens over here, I’m not saying it’s all apples, apples and everything like that I’m generalizing. But like, at 20 years old, you’ve already sold to companies, you’ve bought your own car, you’ve you know, you’re paying for a wedding honeymoon, supporting the family. And we have Americans that do that here too, but it’s not, you know, exactly the same. In regards to just like the need, because whenever you’re driven like your want starts the color pencils, you know, versus someone else wanting the easy shoes is not the same, you know, I just it’s a little bit, it’s a little bit different. So, and I think it’s also this experience that lets you, you know, we’re talking about evaluating a product, right, and, you know, picking your idea and sticking with it or picking the right idea, and how do you pick the right business, you’re going to start next, or I think a lot of that comes down to experience and how many things you’ve seen, and you’ve seen, like good attempts and bad attempts, and you start, you know, you just start and we’re gonna get to that, but I’m leading you up. I’m setting you up for that one. Okay, so company two, how many total companies have you? So if, you know, I’ll come in?
Izabella Ritz 17:03
Let’s say both, those are maybe a little bit more. But those ones? Yeah, I think about Dawson.
Andrew Morgans 17:10
That’s impressive. That’s amazing.
Izabella Ritz 17:16
Yeah, we exited three of our businesses here last year.
Andrew Morgans 17:20
So that makes 15 Total or 12.
Izabella Ritz 17:23
And Russia for three years. Yeah. Something like that. Any other company in Russia? But I think yeah, 12? Absolutely. Mind companies. Yeah.
Andrew Morgans 17:33
Okay, so, look, just because I want to talk about what you’re doing today, like in the Russian community with the podcast, like, you know, just, I think it’s really cool. And I want to save a little time for that. Let’s fast forward to when you like, you know, you’ve gotten married, you’ve sold a couple of businesses there. Obviously, there’s more story there. But you end up like again at Ground Zero and discovering eCommerce, yeah. Yeah, like help help catch me up there.
Izabella Ritz 17:59
So eCommerce became my pretty good friend at the moment when the Internet came to Russia. So I started using ADS momentarily. So when people were like, very confused, and they kept using the ads, and like magazines and newspapers, and everywhere else, and like billboards, I was already using ads to search an agent engine. And that was my first touch base and rush, we had a couple platforms where you can work where you were able to sell some stuff. And I was doing that too. So back to 2007 I believe I started learning what the internet is and how commerce works. I just didn’t know the word eCommerce for all this. It was something on the internet just I’m doing business and entering. That’s it. So when I came to the United States in 2015, you mentioned that people don’t know a language or like a foreign language. That’s correct. Like more my language was heightened by this, this and that. And I was hilarious with some stuff. So I really didn’t understand what credit means because for me crediting in his financing, and when I was calling to the companies like electric companies and I was asking to make an adjustment of my bills because I overpaid something and they said okay, ma’am, we’re so sorry, we’re giving you a credit. And I was yelling at these people trying to tell them that I didn’t need the credit. And they didn’t explain anything that credit is fine and like so at the end of the conversation I was so disappointed that I couldn’t explain to them that I knew the credit. And then my friends explained that the credit is not the actual financing, they just like credit in your account. So and like I had I went through all this change in mentality adjustments, learning language, understanding that everything is different. And I had a very slick few months to read. La is what I want to do and what I have to do. So I lost my 100k. And I had 5000. And I decided that I’m going to invest in Amazon. And the first product they decided to sell on Amazon was silicone wine glass.
Andrew Morgans 20:14
Izabella Ritz 20:14
Guys, don’t do it. Again, it’s not the right time to do it. So it was very nice in 2015, 2016, and even 2017. And I got the return of $14,000. And I was kind of pretty happy, because my goal, okay, so now I can pay my bills. And Amazon is actually working. That was my first emotion. Look, Amazon is working. I’m making like three 400 a day pure income. And it’s working. I’m so happy it’s working. And I started launching another product and another product. In total, I launched I don’t know a lot, it’s more than 100. It’s about maybe 200 different ASINs. I was learning a lot, not every single product was successful, maybe every other one was failing. Like, of course with experience, success rate was rising and failure was kind of smaller and smaller and smaller. But we still have some experience right now when we’re failing with the products that are just different failures right now. It’s more like going through the validation of the product or the analytics. And of course, we can always miscalculate something. However, given how much data we have, right now, we didn’t have this data. And I was not educated in 2015. I remember I was using Hello profit. And I didn’t know where I was supposed to see them actually. I was just looking at the profit margin that said, we’re using at rates at the moment, and we’re using five different platforms. And we’re using different software that were validating the product that we’re looking not just like high demand low competition, we’re looking at what specific keyword has potential conversion rate, where we can narrow the niche where we can find a low purchase rate, is this purchase rate actually real or are people and people are buying this product of Amazon, we found your standard product for our customer, that the purchase rate, I think something like 0.3 or 0.4. And the competition does not exist, because of just three or four sellers on Amazon, and maybe five for 10 off Amazon. And I still don’t understand how it’s happening because the niche is so obvious. And that was even when I was looking at the niche, I didn’t expect that I could find something like that. And I was like probably the software is lying. Maybe something’s wrong. But the ability through like, five of them. When I went to Amazon product opportunity explorer, I’m like, Damn, it’s actually real. So like we searched through the neck after that, we started doing the research with consumers with the avatar. And we found out that the market is missing. People are looking for those products. People are asking on the forums on Facebook groups like guys, where can they find this? And people are ending up buying this product customizable on Etsy? Because they can find something that will satisfy them.
Andrew Morgans 23:27
Izabella Ritz 23:28
Yeah, I’m like, well, that’s a great, great opportunity. Let’s do it. So yeah, we’re developing this product right now. Because we went through the process of data demand Competition and Consumer demand based on the actual product, and we’ve narrowed this product, only four or five variations. I love it.
Andrew Morgans 23:49
Are you excited?
Izabella Ritz 23:51
Yes, I am. And actually today we found another product for another customer. And I was also like, No way, it is no way this niche is so empty. So when people are thinking, Oh, no way you’re gone. And Amazon’s no opportunities there. No who goes wrong? There are plenty of them. You just have to find them.
Andrew Morgans 24:13
And you know, I think I’d like to add my two cents to that. Whenever you think about 2015, you could almost make more mistakes back then and still be successful and still hit the runway. You didn’t have to be as good at storytelling. You didn’t have to be as precise with keywords. Because there was less competition. PPC was cheaper. Not everyone was doing it, you know. So you could find these gaps and have a year runway or two years runway. The big known brands weren’t on Amazon as much in my opinion. It was, you know, it’s all a private label. And now we’re in 2022. And, you know, aggregators come into the space. You know, more sellers than ever the pandemic pushes brands into Amazon, Everyone’s panicking, and you’re right, it’s harder to find, like let’s say even compare it to real estate. It is hard to find a good deal whether you’re gonna, you know, buy a house and be able to flip it or, you know, find a great deal. But just because I don’t find a deal doesn’t mean they’re still not tons of opportunities. And I’m someone that’s like, you know, 11 years in space. I’ve launched lots of products and categories that didn’t exist yet. There was no Hello profit, Helium 10, Jungle Scout, you know, information on? Yes, these products have been here and people are buying them and like, you know, create another product like it. It was in the early days before all of the consumers were even there yet searching like, so how would you have the keyword search volume? If that category hasn’t, like, brought those products and all the way down to launching products that, you know, like, there’s, there’s an example I’ve given before, but it’s like men’s suspenders. And it was, this is like years ago, so I don’t mind talking about it. But there was keyword search. And there were competitors that were like the 1999 price point or whatever. And people you know, people would look and oh my god Amazon’s for the cheap products. There’s no one else selling it like this. They didn’t see it as an opportunity. Instead, they said, well, no one else is doing it. Why would I do it? And I’ve always just been the type to be like, Well, that’s an opportunity. No one else is doing it, you know. And so we ended up being successful. There were $120 men’s suspenders like very formal suspenders. And I was like, You know what, there’s a lot of demand for suspenders. I’m someone that lives in the Midwest, where shopping and retail, we don’t have all the latest designer stuff. We have like malls, like basic malls with like, hot topics, and Macy’s and things like this. And so if you care about fashion, you have to get online, a lot of times to go find stuff that’s in, you know, New York or LA or wherever, unless you travel. And I’m like, why wouldn’t that, you know, that data across the hall of the US there’s, there’s so many people that are not close to a metropolitan area or have that kind of thing. But plenty of people will go to more events. And I’m used, this is not something I could find in a Jungle Scout, right? This is something that was like you’re evaluating an idea, your gut says that it’s a great product, they’re doing well on a website. Amazon’s not showing that it’s there yet. Is that an opportunity? You know, and we ended up like we did, I think 250,000 That year in sales, like without even knowing everything I know now it was like a huge success, I was probably charging pennies to do that kind of work back then. I’m just adding that because it’s like for me, these tools are great to like, validate that people are there looking and you can be as precise as you want with the tools, but also sometimes being the first one to a niche or product category or something.
Izabella Ritz 27:45
Andrew Morgans 27:46
Well, number five, like on Amazon, AWS had saying four or five competitors to us is like, oh my god, it’s like, there’s no competitors, like, you know, four or five, it’s not me. And so seeing those things as maybe it’s not validating that someone’s crushing it there. But it’s also saying, this is a very, like viable product in retail in different scenarios. And this has been a great opportunity to bring here. I think it’s just a thinking difference that people taking courses get shown how to do all of the data work where they get it, but they’re not always thinking like a creative person. And I think that’s something really valuable. I took a minute for that one, I have another question for you, I want to lead the discussion. But before we do, once again, finding an expert software developer doesn’t have to be difficult, especially when you visit FullScale.io. We can build a software team quickly and affordably use the Full Scale platform to define your technical needs. And then see available developers, testers, and leaders that are ready to join your team visit FullScale.io to learn more. Very thankful for our sponsors. Without them, we wouldn’t be able to promote the show and be able to keep it free. So thank you, FullScale.io. Izabella, okay, I want to talk about you know, evaluating a product idea. And we talked about you finding a couple in this niche, and you’re super excited. But let’s get real specific with somebody that might be doing it themselves, you know, or like, you know, in a perfect world, they would hire you to help them of course, we know that but let’s say that they’re like, you know, they’re listening to podcasts, and they’re someone that’s like, I want to build a business.
Izabella Ritz 29:19
I want to go with Yeah, yeah.
Andrew Morgans 29:21
Where did they start? Like, for me, it’s traveling, and I get inspiration when I’m around other people and different things, and I get ideas, and I’m like, okay, that’s I really saw this I don’t usually see this is a really cool thing. I’m gonna look into this like it’s definitely travel that inspires me and gets me creative. For other people with something different. Where do you think someone should start? That’s just like, I want to do this. What’s ground zero?
Izabella Ritz 29:49
So, right now, as you mentioned, and I mentioned, we have a lot of different tools. And if I look at the YouTube videos, the free ones are a little far. All coaches are recommended to start with the best sellers. So I do not really recommend this, I actually recommend not to do that. However, you can start with the bestsellers only if it will be something let me see what the seller is also selling on Amazon. And then let me see what this product is like another product that the seller is selling, what other products are being bought with this product, until you will start just digging deeper, deeper and deeper. And you’re already so far away from the best sellers. But you’re somewhere we can catch something that you probably will like. So you have to find this point, when you will start already in the products with for example, Helium 10. And Data Dive Data Dive if you guys don’t know it’s a new tool. Super great. recommend it to everyone. Brendon Yan created it I believe, a year ago, they launched it in September, October 2021. And they’re growing pretty fast. Because yes, it’s advanced. Yes, you have to understand the numbers. However, stayin on the Amazon page when you’re ready to click on the product. So you’re inside of the listing, you have a button, dive, I believe it calls, dive into the niche or niche dive at the niche dive. And you can see so many different keywords related to this product, some of those keywords will guide you somewhere where you would never expect. And you just again start and dig deeper and dig deeper. And then you found another product that you probably like and you see the good numbers that someone with 13 Reviews is selling for $15,000. And then you’re starting validating this product, you’re checking the keyword for that you are assuming that will be probably the best keywords for this product. Or you’re doing like you’re running Cerebro from Helium 10. And you’re checking, okay, these are keywords that are actually working for this specific product. And then you’re going on Amazon searching for this specific keyword. And then you can start checking the niche if this product with 13 Reviews and 15,000 doors is just an accident, or that nature is actually behaving this well. So then you’ll at least be able to start there before you will start all this validation process. But don’t try to come up with something like hmm, what should I buy? What should I sell on Amazon? Or you can just look around? What do you use, you are one of the avatars who are buying a lot of stuff, you’re using a lot of stuff on a daily basis. Sometimes we don’t even notice how much stuff we’re using every single day. Of course, if you will start looking at the toothbrush or toothpaste, like don’t start there. Because those niches already filled with the competitors were the big players like years and years ago. So you shouldn’t go to those niches, but something like that is maybe in your room, something that may be in your car, not like can we talk about this just for a second as it has like two cents.
Andrew Morgans 33:21
So I launched a brand maybe close to five years ago. And I’m still with them. Bruce, out of Canada, br u u sh are electric toothbrushes. And they have amazing branding, they have a great firm. They’re like getting capital raises, series raises and all kinds of things. They’re like, you know, they’re crushing it now. But at the time, there was a small Canadian brand. And for me, I was excited because I was taking them from Canada to amazon.com. So an international thing, I get really excited about international brands, for some reason I just like working worldwide, you know, and in Canada, we did okay, because they kind of had top of funnel brand awareness in.com It was like pulling teeth to launch a toothbrush. Even though the quality is amazing. It’s like opening the box from an Apple phone. Like it’s really good quality. And you know, if I give it to everyone I love, it doesn’t matter. Because the competition had been there so long. They have the biggest players in the space. They have like Philips Sonicare and they have, you know, everything that you’re saying, but the thing that mattered there was they made a partnership with Kevin Hart. Last year, I think so we went from not being able to compete in the Amazon marketplace to having enough budget you have to have a ton of budget right? So this isn’t for the new seller, but I want to validate what you’re saying. We took this product that we couldn’t compete with if you have enough budget to pay one of the biggest entertainers in the industry to put his name on your product. We’re having crazy success, you know. So that’s the type of firepower you have to have. If that’s the game you’re playing, you can win in that way. But if you don’t have that firepower, you need to essentially stay away from the big dogs, so to speak. And yeah, okay.
Izabella Ritz 35:20
Just say scale. And I absolutely agree. They’re just my assumption that people, most of the people who are listening, are not owning millions and millions of dollars that they are ready to invest like that. So yes, if you’re sometimes when you’re launching the products, you should also look at the bloggers and influencers, take a look what they are promoting what they will do they like, because sometimes you can create the brand, based on some influencers one of the influencers name, and they will be happy to put their name because they don’t have to invest any money. But this product will make them popular. And they will make this product popular. So people love their ego. So if you come up to someone you can say, okay, so you’re, for example, in a healthy industry, or you’re like fitness trainers, so do you want to be on my, I don’t know, whatever supplement is, or whatever machine is, or whatever they this resistance band or whatever it just, I’m playing in my head different products? And they probably do. And they’ll say, Yeah, of course I want to, like they probably sometimes will not even ask you for the rev share just because it’s more awareness.
Andrew Morgans 36:38
And because it’s showing that they’re getting stuff. It’s like, I’m really fun and very successful and like so, you know, for people evaluating a product, I think it’s a great idea to think about, like, Is this something I could get maybe someone in this space to promote and give you an advantage. And to your point, like when you’re searching the keyword, one thing I found evaluating a product was if you don’t have social media, if you don’t have some of these abilities to market in a different way than Amazon because Amazon is a direct response. Like we were talking about keywords. And that’s how you’re saying find a product. And so you find a good keyword and you find another keyword you dig and you dig and you dig and then you find a gap and an opportunity and opening. A lot of the times that I failed on Amazon without an influencer without these things because like my product would fail would be because I found an amazing product. But it was like an invention. It was like I needed to create demand generation, which means no one’s searching for it yet because they don’t know about it. But eventually they will. Right. So it’s a longer game. And then it’s okay, if that’s the case, I have a product like this. I’m thinking of a product I found when I really loved it, but there’s not the keyword backing behind it. That’s okay. But you need to know that you’re going to need Amazon Marketing to make it work.
Izabella Ritz 37:58
Yeah, you have to be robbed. Yeah. Yeah, it’s different.
Andrew Morgans 38:04
It’s a different game.
Izabella Ritz 38:05
It’s a different game. It’s super expensive. And at this point, you’re not starting on Amazon hoping that Amazon buyers are going to buy this product, because you have to make sure you will explain to people beforehand what they’re looking for.
Andrew Morgans 38:21
DDC, in my opinion, yeah.
Izabella Ritz 38:24
Yeah, correct. Correct. Correct. Yeah. And like when we’re launching something heavy. We’re asking influencers where yet we’re asking our customers for the male least, to do the pre launch. Because during this pre launch, and when people can pre order on Amazon, then the moment a poor product is live, your people have a lot of sales. And then of course, their product ranked and it’s like you have this whole rank and awareness and everything else. But yes, you’re absolutely right. It’s absolutely a different game.
Andrew Morgans 38:56
Those are just many of the times I lost without knowing what it was like because I would launch some products in a category that didn’t exist. And they would do well. It was like the first in the category. And other times I’m launching it and I’m like, we just can’t find enough keywords that are converting. And that issue was you can make it work, you need that pre launch strategy, you need the email address, you need the social media, it can work it needs, it needs more. So I think that to me also cuts like the product selection into half, maybe half or like invention demand generation. And then the other half are better for Amazon which are keyword driven searches. You know, a product that’s being looked for but not there. To me that’s like a key way to start kind of just first off. Don’t pick something that’s super hard to explain. If you’re not good. If you’re not amazing at marketing yet. Right? Like it might be a super cool invention that you love. But if it’s hard to explain that to someone, you know, stick away from that too. Just want to get your thoughts on that and like as you’re like, because that excludes all the words that don’t have kids works for them. You know, those won’t ever show up. They won’t ever show up if they’re not being searched for. What do you feel about reviews when evaluating whether a product might be a good idea or not? I know in the past, it was like simply like, if you had more than the other seller, it was like, it felt like reviews was the main difference. Today? I’m not sure that’s the case. What do you say?
Izabella Ritz 40:22
First of all, Amazon changed reviews to ratings. So it’s not about reviews only. It’s also about the rating. And when you do like a lot of people when they’re buying right now, they can just give you stars instead of giving the yield the full review. And this is the case right now. It’s actually much easier for the consumer to read your product without writing a review. So, in this case, it’s easier to answer your question. Is it important? Yes, it is very. So given that only like, based on this real statistics, only about five 6% of people are leaving your review. So imagine you have to make at least 100 sales to get five reviews. Amazon is pretty well right now at the Wine program. Like we launched maybe 35 customers in May. Summarizing all the reviews we got from the products, maybe seven. Not every single product guy got reviews from viral progress. And I believe, yeah, those seven products, they’ve just got one review, which didn’t get anything else. And I remember, when I think Amazon launched this wine program like two or three years ago, two and a half, probably this first 30 reviews you’ve been getting like within a week, within two weeks, and how it’s working because influencers are they became lazy because they have so many options to get these products and they also tried to write these reviews, they don’t need so many products for you proof products from Amazon. That is because they cannot resell, generally speaking, some of them are reselling them like you can give so many gifts to your friends. So you can. That’s why in my opinion that’s why this one program was not working that much anymore. So yes, you have to look at the number of reviews of your competitors. So if you see that next to yourself, your potential self, that one you’ll be on Amazon, some competitors have 15 2050 reviews, and they’re doing well. Perfect. Look at the niche more carefully and attentively, and you will probably be able to get in. But if the seller with the lowest amount of reviews, as low as 600, and everybody else like at 8000 30,000 Don’t go there, you will not be able to compete because your conversion rate will never get to 600 reviews to like before you’re spent, I don’t know a lot of money on PPC and external traffic and everything else.
Andrew Morgans 43:04
Great advice. We have, like, we have like two minutes to wrap up. I’ve pushed this past time we took time chatting. We’re just going to have to have a part two because I’m, I’m personally someone that’s sourcing and developing my own products. Now it’s not where I got my start. It’s something kind of newer to me. I know how to launch other people’s products that are already created and do an amazing job of launching them. But you know, really defining exactly what is going to be successful or not or, you know, those things are still new to me. So extremely interesting. And we’ll have to connect offline as well. But I’d love to have you back on the show for kind of part two of like, of taking it from kind of the research to then okay, maybe the testing phase or the market research or like the customer avatar and that stage of evaluating a product and what to look for so until we get people coming back, but as a way to sign off just like Where can people reach you? Where can people tune into your podcast? Is it only in Russian? Or do you do Russian English?
Izabella Ritz 44:08
I don’t do podcasts in Russia. I do a podcast in English, and we’re doing Russian subtitles on the video version. Okay, so yeah, people who speak in Russian can read, and people who speak in English can listen and watch, so they don’t have to read. So yes, we do both. And you can find me on LinkedIn, Izabella with the Z and Double L, or just our website. Our ITC arm-like hand reads an arm that is calm, and we are happy to help anybody we’re doing. Usually, we have a free first evaluation. If you need to test your idea, you have us. If you want us to take a look at your product, just fill out the form, and we’ll be happy to take a look and like on the surface and let you know if we can help or we cannot help, so we’re not charging anything if we cannot help. So we’re here for people.
Andrew Morgans 45:04
I love it, Izabella. Your story is amazing. Your journey has been amazing. And are you going to be at the search Summit?
Izabella Ritz 45:12
Yes, I’m in there. And I’m there at the panel. So actually, after this podcast, I’m going to talk to them because we have to discuss some arrangements at 5pm. Eastern time. Yeah.
Andrew Morgans 45:24
Awesome. Well, I think this episode is actually going to be going live. The week of the search Summit, so we’re right around the corner. I’m super excited to connect with anyone in the area. We’d love to see you guys there. September 6 to the eighth. Thank you again for tuning in to Startup Hustle. You guys are amazing. And a shout out again to our sponsor, FullScale.io helping you build software teams quickly and affordably. We’ll see you next time, guys.
Izabella Ritz 45:51
Yeah, see you. Thank you. Talk to you soon.