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Jack BijouJack Bijou is the Sales Manager at Riverbend Consulting, a consulting company that specializes in Amazon account and ASIN reinstatements. Riverbend Consulting is a partner of Buy Box Experts.

Prior to joining Riverbend Consulting, Jack was the Head of Sales at PRIMEXCHANGE and the Associate Buyer at Orva. He studied Business Administration and Management at City University of New York-Brooklyn College.

 


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Here’s a glimpse of what you’ll learn:

  • Jack Bijou explains how editorial recommendations work on Amazon
  • How to achieve one of the top 3 recommendations for your category or product
  • Jack discusses how publishers get compensated for their recommendations and how long an article stays live on Amazon
  • How much does it cost to work with Jack and his team at Riverbend Consulting?
  • Jack talks about how editorial recommendations impact your organic rankings, and vice versa
  • Does Riverbend Consulting provide sales or ranking projections for clients?
  • Requirements for sellers who want to be listed on editorial recommendations on Amazon

In this episode…

Competition on the Amazon marketplace is fierce. While advertisements help brands drive traffic to their listings and boost sales, more needs to be done to beat competitors and achieve top rankings. According to Jack Bijou of Riverbend Consulting, one of the best ways to do this is through Amazon’s editorial recommendations.

As Jack explains, the Onsite Associates Program allows publishers to write articles recommending products to buyers. These editorial recommendations are published on search results pages for a category or product, making them an effective marketing strategy for Amazon sellers looking to stand out.

On this episode of the Buy Box Experts podcast, host Eric Stopper is joined by Jack Bijou, the Sales Manager at Riverbend Consulting, to talk about how editorial recommendations work on the Amazon marketplace. Jack explains what his company looks for when choosing Amazon sellers to work with, how publishers get compensated for their recommendations, and the major benefits of achieving one of the top three recommendations for your product or category. Stay tuned.

Resources Mentioned in this episode

Sponsor for this episode…

Buy Box Experts applies decades of e-commerce experience to successfully manage their clients’ marketplace accounts. The Buy Box account managers specialize in combining an understanding of their clients’ business fundamentals and their in-depth expertise in the Amazon Marketplace.

The team works with marketplace technicians using a system of processes, proprietary software, and extensive channel experience to ensure your Amazon presence captures the opportunity in the marketplace–not only producing greater revenue and profits but also reducing or eliminating your business’ workload.

Buy Box Experts prides itself on being one of the few agencies with an SMB (small to medium-sized business) division and an Enterprise division. Buy Box does not commingle clients among divisions as each has unique needs and requirements for proper account management.

Learn more about Buy Box Experts at BuyBoxExperts.com.

Episode Transcript

Intro 0:09

Welcome to the Buy Box Experts Podcast we bring to light the unique opportunities brands face in today’s e-commerce world.

Eric Stopper 0:21

Hey, welcome to the Buy Box Experts Podcast. This is Eric Stopper. Today’s episode is brought to you by Buy Box Experts. Buy Box Experts takes ambitious brands and makes them unbeatable. And it is Q4 and Prime Day has passed and everybody’s running out of inventory. And so there are lots of reasons to talk to us and some of our partners, please reach out to us, go to buyboxexperts.com, click on the free analysis button and you’ll be connected with me or a member of my team, we are going to be delighted to talk to you. Today, I am pleased to be joined by Jack Bijou, Sales Manager at Riverbend Consulting. I’ve been working with Jack for a few months. And I can tell you that the guy is a hustler and a solid business professional. He’s looking to create wealth for him and his company and for all of those that he has partnered with. Buy Box Experts is proud to call Riverbend Consulting a partner. If you’ve been listening to our podcast for a while, you know that I had Joe Zalta, the owner and one of the co-founders of Riverbend Consulting on the podcast to talk about their core product. But today we’re going to be talking specifically about a new deal that Jack and his team have set up with editorial recommendations. So Jack, welcome to the show.

Jack Bijou 1:36

Wow, what an introduction. Thank you for being here.

Eric Stopper 1:39

So let’s just get right into it. Um, as far as editorial recommendations go, I assume that most of our sellers know what they are. But just give us the rundown of how it works and what sellers expect and what is seen on the front end of Amazon in an editorial recommendation.

Jack Bijou 1:57

Yeah, cool. So editorial recommendations, a little background on what the program actually is, and then we’ll go into where you could find it on Amazon. So I would say a few years ago, Amazon, one of their affiliates, one of their many affiliates that they work with, is a bunch of publishers, okay. And they gave these publishers about like 200 publishers in the group, and they gave them the access, and, I guess the control to run with this program. And what it is, is Amazon allows them to choose listings and, and, and brands and write up articles about their product and funnel it through Amazon’s system and Amazon’s website, which always gets shown on the first page. So Amazon gives these publishers incentives. You know, they’re part of the Onsite Associates Program, which is labeled, where you will see the editorial recommendations. And these publishers, their incentive is to put good products, credible listings and brands, good reviews, healthy ratings, and drive sales that way. Let me know. Yes. So where would you find it? actually pretty simple. Yeah, like you said, most of yourselves probably saw this. I know, before I joined Riverbend Consulting and started the editorial with Joe. I’ve seen it a bunch of times. And I always wondered, how do I get in the spot, you know, who’s running this? And, and where’s the control. So if you just go on Amazon, and you type in pretty much any given keyword, you know, at this point, the space is pretty much filled with these articles such as type in a keyword. And from the first to the fourth row from the top of Amazon’s first page, you’ll find the section reading editorial recommendations. It’ll have an article on the left side, little paragraph, and then it’ll showcase three listings.

Eric Stopper 3:45

And there’s 10 recommendations typically right or is there?

Jack Bijou 3:50

So yeah, it really, it depends. It depends on the category, the product, and that’s all up to the publishers. But the only the only listings that are actually shown on the first page without having to click another button are three. So there’s the left, middle and the right. And then sometimes there’s an arrow where you can click and it shows you more.

Eric Stopper 4:10

So I sell earplugs personally as a seller as I sell a bunch of stuff, man, it’s this is the way and I so I just did a search for earplugs on Amazon. And this company called EZ vid wiki. From the on site associates program, there’s an editorial recommendation three or three rows down and the three people who are in the editorial recommendation suck. I know them. I know this market pretty well and they are not good. One of them even has like three points. Let’s see, oh 4.2 stars out of five and I know there are better sellers out there like just below that there’s a brand called max that has 14,732 ratings and there 4.4 stars. So this begs a couple of different questions. Number one, if I sign up to do an editorial recommendation with Riverbend Consulting, I’m one of the brands that’s going to be recommended. Am I going to be number one in that list? Or is that totally up to the publisher to determine the order of the brands that show up in the list?

Jack Bijou 5:25

Great question. So the way it works, I’ll give you a little bit of info of our relationship with them, and, and what we could control and what we can’t control. So first of all, a few things. One is the article that you’re seeing now. And I guess the products you’re referencing, that aren’t really the best products in that respective category. The publishers consistently put up and choose brands and listings at random, right, without our involvement, they’re still running listings and filling up the space. Because as I said before, they have major incentives, you know, Amazon, letting or letting them run with the program. And they’re getting commissions on sales that get generated from the spot. So they’re constantly putting up random listings. And usually, for the most part, they try and get good listings. So you will usually see the top listings in an editorial that are done by them. Obviously, there’s some exceptions, some people just get through the program. But where we come in is we now give sellers control into the program, whereas they never had that control before. It’s sort of a black hole, like you try and reach out to a publisher where you try and find the publisher like, Okay, can you review my article? Can you review my listing, right? So we’re giving sellers that control, and you just basically choose a listing, and we would slot you in, we would have the publishers look at your listing certain criteria points, and eventually slot you into an article and write up a piece about yourself.

Eric Stopper 6:51

Do I end up in the top three? If I go through that way?

Jack Bijou 6:54

Yes. So another interesting thing of what we do with our clients is, we don’t consider an article successful unless it gets on to one of the three main spots, okay. And we do that to protect our clients where, you know, we’re offering them a service, and the service is not complete, unless they get one of the three spots. So if we would get you into an article, and you found yourself on the fifth spot, and you had to click two arrows to get to your listing, we would do another one, and make sure you get on the first three.

Eric Stopper 7:26

Interesting. Okay, so these, so these guys, I imagine, either and sorry, if you’re listening to this earpiece, or etymotic, or ear, buddy, analysing your on your tail guys. One of these guys was probably because this posted, I guess, February 12 of 2020. How long have you guys been in charge of this program? When did it start with Riverbend Consulting? Anything before August 2020. Something else?

Jack Bijou 7:49

Yeah, well wouldn’t be included. Wouldn’t be one of our clients. But again, they’re even if it isn’t, even if it is after August, like I said, the publishers, they’re not stopping, you know, they’re constantly putting in p right.

Eric Stopper 8:04

So the publisher makes a commission on sales that come to those listings.

Jack Bijou 8:09

Yeah, so if you and anyone who’s watching this, if you actually come across an editorial, if you click that button where it says on site associates program, Amazon takes you to another page, and you get to read about the program. And the first line would read publishers as part of these affiliate programs earned, earn affiliate commissions sales generated from this spot on memorize it. But

Eric Stopper 8:31

yeah, that was pretty good. Not bad. Dude, who pays that commission does that come from the product sale.

Jack Bijou 8:39

So Amazon pays these publishers the commission, and they show them sales reports of all units that sold from that article, and it works on a last click attribution, okay. So they can click in then click out and find that listing organically. That’s not attributed to the article. And something interesting, by the way, which transitions into something that we have, going back to the controller sellers have that we provide in this program, we created a dashboard. Okay, I might be jumping the gun here, but we created a dashboard with the publishers who have those sales data. And now we give that out to each client, they get their own login and email, they get their own password, they only see their products. So brand articles live aces that are in and then they see transactions and they get to see sales that are being generated from the program.

Eric Stopper 9:32

So it’s pretty easy to track. How long does it run for.

Jack Bijou 9:36

So each article, from the time it’s submitted with us, Riverbend Consulting takes about four to six weeks to go live on Amazon. Once it goes live an average week, what we’ve been seeing is about two to four months that it stays on Amazon’s page, sometimes closer to six months, but it’s on variables that we can’t really control or the publishers so the average has been about two to four months.

Eric Stopper 10:00

If, you know, let’s say that I bring you an ear plug company, and they do an editorial recommendation, and then three months later another ear plug company wants to come in and also do an ear, you know, an editorial recommendation? Will those be different recommendation articles? Would you even take them? Is it like a zero sum game? If you’ve already done one for earplugs, you won’t do another one for earplugs in the future?

Jack Bijou 10:29

Great question. So the way it works will answer your last question, pretty simply, we don’t there’s no, um, I guess, exclusives to categories. And the simple reason is because the articles that we create are designated to individual keywords. Okay, so part of what our clients are able to suggest for each Ace and they want in the article is three keywords that they want the article to index for. Okay, so even if you have a guy’s selling, let’s say, earphones, okay, there’s so many keywords in that category that the other client might have taken different keywords, so he would have a totally different article. Now, let’s say it happened to be that they chose the same keywords. So what happens then write, again, pretty simple, they would have two different articles between each other and they would just share the space on Amazon. So if that keyword has 80,000 searches a month,

Eric Stopper 11:23

each write 40.

Jack Bijou 11:24

So yeah, it wouldn’t be you know, cut down the middle because again, he is dealing with Amazon and who the hell knows what goes on and Amazon, but you know, they would get part of the real estate and the other Ace, and we get the other part.

Eric Stopper 11:35

Okay. Yeah, no, I think I think that makes sense. So, just to get this out of the way, for everybody who’s wondering how much does it cost with Riverbend Consulting?

Jack Bijou 11:43

Magic question, I can’t believe it this long to ask how much it costs to build

Eric Stopper 11:47

the value first, and then you come in with the kill.

Jack Bijou 11:51

So our fees are as follows. We have two types of fees broken down one, there’s a sign up fee. Okay, so it’s a one time setup fee for each ASIN. Okay, just so you know, ASIN is peronism. Okay, so you bring the whole listing with you. So that charges $2,000, okay, for one ASIN, which only gets charged, once the article goes live, okay, so during that four to six week timeframe, you’re not getting charged, okay, it’s once the article goes live, and it’s a success. At that point, you would get charged the signup fee. Now, once it’s live, you have a monthly fee. Okay, it’s broken down into the greater of $500, or 10% of sales attributed from the article. And that’s where the dashboard comes in. And we track it together.

Eric Stopper 12:36

I think I think that makes a lot of sense. So I’m in the business of selling agency services to people. And I think I do a pretty good job of it. But I’d be interested to hear like, Do you ever get, like backlash on the upfront investment? on something that’s technically unproven, right? That’s what they would say to me, in this case, like, oh, like, I don’t know, if it’s actually gonna work. And I’m one of 10 people. What do you say to those that might be a little bit afraid of the upfront investment? Yeah.

Jack Bijou 13:04

So you know, we definitely get those, you know, Amazon sellers that are sort of concerned with an upfront fee. And it’s something that, you know, is not normal to them, I would say, you know, being an Amazon for about seven years, I’ve dealt with PPC and all things sales. So PPC, I guess, is something you could compare it to, it’s more in everyone’s day to day, you know, you set a budget, you could turn off the budget, you could see what you’re converting on, you could lower spend on this and re spend on that. So you feel a lot more control. So when it comes to an upfront fee, you know, sometimes there’s pushback and what I would tell you and I would tell all my clients and everyone listening, take something that you know, right PPC, okay, so if you take an asen and you just look at your what’s your daily budget that you’re allocating for this? asen? Right, let’s just take an average of $50. Okay, your manual campaign is about a $50 budget a day. Okay. Take a look at the cost for this editorial. Okay, so the $2,000 upfront fee, and just let’s say for the next three months, you’re live, you’re paying 500 a month, okay? It’s a total of 30 $500 investment. For one asen to stay on Amazon’s first page for three months. Now amortize that fee, over 90 days, you’ll get to 33.3 $3 a day. Okay. So if I told you to go ahead, create a manual campaign for the three highest search keywords in your category. You’re on Amazon’s first page for three months and just put the budget at $33 a day. Yeah, you got a budget and you know, 60 seconds.

Eric Stopper 14:35

Okay.

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