Throughout my journey of designing, manufacturing and marketing the product, there were up and downs and many things I need to learn. Let’s start with development process. I first had to create a prototype or at least how the product looked like. Hmmmmm. How should I make a clock stand for the Echo Dot? Of course, a clock stand needs a place to hold the Echo Dot itself. But there are much more than that… What functions do I need it for the clock? How big of the display? What colors of the stand? How to avoid Echo Dot losing sound due to the stand? Many decisions need to make during the process. Again, Amazon is my best friend to get ideas and help make decisions.
Next, “Jackpot” Develop: Found a Chinese manufacturer that will be able to prototype and make the product at reasonable costs. There started the review process and negotiation (thanks for my dad’s help). Then, placed an order for the first shipment of 3,000 and started shipping them to the U.S. Many details need to work out: selecting logistic company, dealing with import duty and sales tax, etc.
Finally, launched the product and sell it at Amazon. In order to increase our chances of winning that “buy box” spot, I focused on optimizing our listings in these three areas:
Pricing: Make sure we’re pricing our product competitively. List with the lowest available “all in” prices—that is, the total amount the customer will pay, including shipping costs.
Fulfillment: Go for the Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA) shipping method since the nitty-gritty of processing and shipping orders myself feels so overwhelming to me. Through FBA, I can use Amazon’s world-class fulfillment centers, customer support, and other operational tools to scale my business faster than I ever could on my own.
Customer Service: Keep an eye on our customer feedback, and use the Account Health page in the Performance section of seller central to monitor our customer metrics.
Demand was high; other people saw the same problems that I saw in my bedroom. Hundreds of thousands of people were interested in this product and placed the orders. While we are happy with initial positive market reaction, we weren’t making our shipments quickly enough to meet the demand. Lesson learnt.