Learn from Fast Growing 7-8 Figure Online Retailers and eCommerce Experts

EPISODE 280 57 mins

Launching, Growing and Scaling a DTC Brand on Amazon in 2021

About the guests

Stefan Jordev

Kunle Campbell

Stefan Jordev is the Director of Marketplace Strategy & Insights at Bobsled. He is also the co-author of the upcoming book “Instacart for CMOs”. He has over a decade of experience in digital marketing, and specialises in roles involving Paid Social & Paid Search advertising management.

On today’s episode, Kunle is joined by Stefan Jordev, Director of Marketplace Strategy at Bobsled – a digital marketing agency that has successfully launched 100+ brands on Amazon and managed millions of dollars in monthly sales. The founder of Bobsled was a guest on the show way back in season 2.


DTC brands pride themselves on being able to control all aspects of customer experience. Be it UI on their website, packaging or fulfillment and returns. Building a rapport and direct connect with the customer is a key driver. While selling on Amazon and other marketplaces, you lose control of the experience and connect with the customer. This is why many DTC and eCom brands steer clear of marketplaces.


But with growing competition and an extremely volatile market, being omnipresent is growing in importance. Being everywhere your customers are is a soon-to-be norm. That being said, DTC brands have a lot of apprehension about how to make the transition to marketplaces and replicate their success on the platform.


In today’s episode, Kunle and Stefan examine the case for DTC brands to start selling on Amazon. You get to hear about how to prepare for transition, leverage Amazon’s programs and ads to succeed on the platform.


Here is a summary of some of the most important points made,

    • You cannot compete with the quality and quantity of Amazon’s data
    • It is easier for new brands to launch on Amazon, then scale off platform
    • Instacart has brought a new dimension to the omnichannel game
    • Amazon’s Early Reviewer program helps new brands make a start on the platform
    • Brands must have a multi-fulfillment strategy
    • Lack of specific buyer data is compensated by analytics reports
    • Being aware of and adopting Amazon’s new features could be the difference between success and failure

Covered Topics:

On today’s interview Kunle and Stefan discuss,

  • Transitioning to Amazon
  • Approach for New Businesses
  • Instacart
  • Amazon Vines and Early Reviewer Program
  • Data Shared by Amazon
  • Amazon Ad Strategy


  • 13:25 – A bit about Stefan and Bobsled
    • Work with businesses on Amazon, Walmart and Instacart
    • 4.5 years in the company
    • Specializes in strategy
  • 15:25 – What DTC brands should also sell on marketplaces
    • High quality and quantity data
  • 17:30 – How should new brands approach marketplaces
    • It is easier to launch on Amazon
    • In order to scale you must supplement it with your own website and marketing
  • 18:45 – What is Instacart?
    • Available in US and Canada
    • You can have shoppers go into stores and buy grocery for you
    • A new phase of omnichannel
    • Already expanding beyond grocery
    • Delivery time is only a few hours
    • Can reach 85% of households in US
  • 24:00 – Taking an established DTC brand to Amazon:
    • Most data is already available (UPCs, SKUs)
    • Retail readiness checklist on Amazon
    • Explore early reviewer program
  • 26:45 – Amazon’s marketing programs:
    • Amazon offers gift cards for reviews
    • Amazon Vines and Early Reviewer Program
  • 27:40 – Fulfillment Strategy:
    • Hits margin, but FBA means you are part of the Prime program
    • Established brands also need to have their own fulfillment in place
    • “Much like an omnichannel strategy, you need a multi-fulfillment strategy as well”
  • 30:00 – Amazon Brand Registry:
    • Access to additional campaign types
    • Ability to take action against unauthorised sellers
    • IP Accelerator lets you cut down trademark wait time from 1 year to a few weeks
  • 33:45 – Getting Reviews on Amazon:
    • Amazon has made it easier for buyers to leave reviews
    • Sellers can also ask for reviews
    • Sellers can get creative to nudge buyers
    • You need at least 15 reviews and 3.5 average rating
  • 37:00 – Customer data on Amazon:
    • Buyer info like email is controlled by Amazon
    • But you still get enough data to create lookalike audiences
    • Lack of specific data is compensated by additional reports
    • “What you miss out on from specific data points, you can make up from Analytics data points”
    • You get 1st name, last name, zip code, age, demographics
  • 39:00 – Advertising in the Amazon ecosystem
    • Once Retail readiness is achieved, you should jump into ads
    • They have a CPC ad model with no limit on daily spend
    • Sponsored products, sponsored brands and favourable placements
    • 70% of the advertising spend should go towards sponsored products
    • Retargeting is also available both on and off amazon
  • 42:45 – Standing out of the crowd on Amazon:
    • Critical to stay up-to-date on new features
    • Being quick to adopt new features help small brands
    • Amazon live videos
  • 45:00 – Amazon Attribution program
    • Attribution from FB ads would soon be possible
  • 46:55 – Managing margins and costs on Amazon
    • Utilize the inbuilt calculator
    • Your residual margin would dictate your Ad spend
  • 50:00 – How are brands using Amazon to go international:
    • US brands typically expand to Canada first, followed by EU5
    • Depending on the country, you would need to translate your listings, keywords
    • Each new market comes with complexity and also opportunity
  • 52:10 – Implications of Brexit
  • 52:35 – Tips for DTC brands:
    • Staying up-to-date with new features will help you get ahead
    • PIM solutions can help you optimise for multiple marketplaces


  • Brands must have a multi-fulfillment strategy
  • Amazon shares enough data to be able to create lookalike audiences
  • Being aware of and adopting Amazon’s new features could be the difference between success and failure

Links & Resources

Tweetable Quotes:

“Much like an omnichannel strategy, you need a multi-fulfillment strategy as well.”

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About the host:

Kunle Campbell

An ecommerce advisor to ambitious, agile online retailers and funded ecommerce startups seeking exponentially sales growth through scalable customer acquisition, retention, conversion optimisation, product/market fit optimisation and customer referrals.

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