What Brands Need to Know About Global and Cross-Border E-commerce with Hendrik Laubscher
July 2, 2020
Here’s a glimpse of what you’ll learn:
- Hendrik Laubscher discusses the important distinction between global e-commerce and cross-border e-commerce
- If there is a demand for your products in another country’s market, should you create a physical presence in that country?
- The first step brands should take when looking to expand to global markets
- How to find digital agencies to help you sell your products in other countries
- Hendrik explains what it takes for a country to build its own online marketplace
- Is it worth it to invest in marketplaces in new markets?
- The importance of trademark protection and controlling your sales channels across borders
- Where to learn more about Hendrik Laubscher
In this episode…
The growth of e-commerce marketplaces all over the world has created new and exciting opportunities for brands to grow and expand their businesses. This has led to what is referred to as global e-commerce and cross-border e-commerce. But what is the difference between these two terms, and how can you use them to start reaching new markets?
e-commerce expert Hendrik Laubscher is committed to helping brands, agencies, and investors make the most out of this new global market, without landing in some of the pitfalls that come with cross-border sales. He founded his boutique research company and e-commerce blog to keep his clients in the know about the latest news and trends in global and cross-border e-commerce.
In this episode of the Buy Box Experts podcast, Hendrik Laubscher, founder of Blue Cape Ventures, joins host James Thomson to give his advice for brands looking to sell in other countries. Hendrik discusses the difference between global and cross-border e-commerce, the steps brands should take before entering a foreign market, and whether or not you should build a physical presence in a different country. Stay tuned.
Resources Mentioned in this episode
- Buy Box Experts
- Prosper Show
- Controlling Your Brand in the Age of Amazon: The Brand Executive’s Playbook For Winning Online by James Thomson
- Blue Cape Ventures
- Electric Thoughts in a Digital Era blog
- Hendrik Laubscher on LinkedIn
- Hendrik Laubscher’s Newsletter
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 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
Welcome to the Buy Box Experts podcast we bring to light the unique opportunities brands face in today’s e-commerce world.
James Thomson 0:18
Hi, I’m James Thomson, one of the hosts of the Buy Box Experts podcast. I’m a partner with Buy Box Experts and the former business head of the selling on Amazon team at Amazon, as well as the first account manager for the Fulfillment by Amazon program. I am the co author of the book Controlling Your Brand in the Age of Amazon, and co-founder of The Prosper Show, one of the largest continuing education conferences for Amazon sellers here in North America. Today’s episode is brought to you by Buy Box Experts. Buy Box Experts takes ambitious brands and makes them unbeatable. When you hire Buy Box Experts you receive the strategy optimization and marketing performance to succeed on Amazon. Go to buyboxexperts.com to learn more.
Today we are joined by Hendrik Laubscher, CEO and founder of Blue Cape Ventures, a consulting and educational organization specializing in global and cross-border e-commerce. Hendrik is a trusted adviser to technology investors and operating companies all over the world. Based in Cape Town, South Africa, Hendrik runs a very successful blog titled, Electric Thoughts in a Digital Era. This is my very favorite source of insights on what’s happening around the world and e-commerce. So welcome Hendrik. And thank you for joining us today on our Buy Box Experts podcast.
Hendrik Laubscher 1:34
James, thanks for having me and going looking forward to our conversation.
James Thomson 1:39
So let me start with a clarification of terminology. We hear the word global e-commerce and the word cross-border e-commerce both being used in reference to companies selling outside their own markets. Is there an important distinction between those two particular terms global e-commerce and cross-border e-commerce
Hendrik Laubscher 2:00
I think that’s a very interesting question because I think the belief that it’s used interchangeably and it leads to a huge amount of confusion by executives and either by and also by people in the industry. They are not the same thing. And cross-border e-commerce is essentially when a business transact with consumers outside the borders of the country. And by the company’s country of operation, I’m referring to each headquarters. Secondly, cross-border, global e-commerce is basically commerce that enables businesses to go global and reach consumers in Markets through, whether that be through software or into by marketplaces. And these are a variety of tools that people that brands can use. But I think also what’s important to note is that cross-border e-commerce has grown between two and three and a half x on normal local e-commerce. Whereas global e-commerce, it’s essentially an aggregate of the percentages that e-commerce has grown in all the various parts of the world. So I think from a brand point of view, you know, cross-border is the, the important thing Do not forget about but it’s also you need to be very clear what it is and what it’s not.
James Thomson 3:50
So if I’m a U.S. based company, and I sell only in the U.S. today, and I decided that I’m going to sell into Europe, what would have to happen for me to be Experiencing cross-border e-commerce versus global e-commerce as it relates to me expanding into Europe.
Hendrik Laubscher 4:07
So with cross-border, you are accessing consumers in new markets that you don’t sell into so as a Amazon brand, you are going to leverage Amazon’s platform and open in markets like Germany, the UK, France, Spain and like and for global the Global e-commerce, you know, that’s we you open a brand website and in that country because you feel that the cross-border has given your brand enough visibility into the local market.
James Thomson 4:55
So if I think of a brand that’s being you know, having successful sales today On Amazon in the U.S., but they’re finding that a lot of those orders are actually being shipped overseas to other companies or to other customers, that that’s an opportunity for them to say, Where is the demand coming from overseas? Should we potentially be thinking about using what we’ve learned about the demand in another country is an opportunity to actually create a physical presence in that country?
Hendrik Laubscher 5:23
Yes, and no. So I think it’s very important that brands understand that if you are targeting emerging markets we’ve been using and leveraging marketplaces is almost the perfect way to scale very fast. However, if we go back to your example and you are seeing your Amazon sales going to an aggregator or these various forms of non product diversion, but companies collecting orders for consumers that are not in the market, which you are shopping towards. I think it’s for me, I advise brands in that case that then you want to seriously consider using the marketplace. Yes. And going into that specific marketplaces country. So using your example. Let’s say you were seeing that your products were being bought by consumers in the UK and in Germany. I would say, it’s for me, it’s not even a thought. It’s just basically Okay, what do we need to access those markets on Amazon and then it’s stuff like bank accounts, business from formulation and all those things are important. But I think, you know, I think what brands really need to understand is that the opportunity to grow outside your own home market is massive. It’s increasingly helpful to use that as a way to future proof yourself in the sense that you can take learnings from these new markets and adapt to local brands I’ve seen. I’ve seen the reverse as well, consumer way for example, similar languages are spoken, they use English, you know, learnings from the U.S. will basically sometimes be used in other developed markets in Europe. The point is, if you’re a marketplace seller and you’re seeing that your products are being shipped outside the market in which you are most focused on, that is a glue that you need to think about. Don’t think you need to act on it. I need to go to the marketplace and then basically open a business in that specific country. prisoners. So
James Thomson 7:59
okay. So let’s take that concept. And I want to represent myself as a typical kind of brand that Buy Box Experts would work with. There’s a massive world of e-commerce opportunity for brands outside of the United States, for example, how do brands start to make sense of what all this opportunity out there looks like? What part of it is relevant for their products? what it’s going to take to get into some of these markets? You know, I think based on the conversations I’ve had with you over the years, that there are billion dollar marketplaces all over the world that most us brand executives have never even heard of. And they’re probably in countries that, you know, some of these people don’t even know where those countries are. And yet, there’s demand for these Western brands. But how do you actually start to take that first step? Even if you are selling through a marketplace? That marketplace is only going to ship internationally to certain countries? How do I find out that there’s demand in Russia or Africa or the Middle East for my products? How do I think about that in a way where You know, typically, I’m going to have to assign somebody on my team to go and do research. And then, you know, we’ll draw this out over years and years. And eventually maybe somebody gets on a plane or talks to a distributor overseas. It’s, it’s a crazy situation. But the standard way in which companies look to expand, typically is a slow calculated one, which is that is that approach going to work for e-commerce when, quite frankly, you don’t know what’s out there? So how do you make sense of what you don’t know is out there.
Hendrik Laubscher 9:33
What you’ve just explained is arguably the crux of the matter that I’m trying to help brands with, are think if you own a huge brand, even as a middle sized brand, then, you know, consumers are always going to be using the web to, you know, go to your website, and basically Visit your products and see what it is. You know, I think that to me is like Clue Number one that you have potential demand and a new market. I also think that, you know, what you’ve explained is the traditional model that you’ve explained in a sense that it’s a slow, painful process. Sorry, no, no, that’s not the best word.
James Thomson 10:25
But it paints a false truth.
Hendrik Laubscher 10:27
It’s a process where the opportunity for lost capital and lost opportunity is very large. If you’re a brand, you know, for me, they are various companies that actually do this as a core function. And then I would then, you know, I would then use these businesses to help the brand get into a new market. So to answer your question, what I normally suggest is basically use your core tenants as the brand So, if you’re in an American brand, you know, your first local business or local market to think about is an English speaking market. Okay. Okay, the most logical one that normally comes up is the UK. So that said, that’s like the first one to think about. We can also potentially, you know, that could be your second market in the sense we, you know, you could be going to Canada as the first in the sense that it’s the same geographical area, you know, the foreign currency, volatilities almost nothing. It’s essentially using your current infrastructure in a way that you can kind of control the growth because, as you wrote in your book, the opportunity for things to go wrong on marketplaces, it’s vast, and cross-border. If you don’t do it properly, it can become a very big, large mess. problem that basically leads to unhappy consumers unhappy management and in most cases, negativity. So, for me, you know, before you even think about sending somebody over and dealing with, you know, suppliers and all of those things, you know, the startup such as momentum, which I know of in which helps massive brands, and leverage the local stock, and basically leverage these local marketplaces to gain mass mass appeal very quickly. So for me, that is that is, that is the first thing. The second step is if you’re going into a developed market, which these many and then you use a solution that you know, leverage as your brand website and you use a tool for example, like flows Or you shop? Well, the point is that you’ve got to think about the consumer way as your consumer. I know this is a very large question to answer. But I think I always say, think small initially, don’t think in years because if you think in years, basically, you’ve already failed. But also, you know that the big mistake I see brands make, and it blows my mind is everybody reads about the fact that China has this massive opportunity. It’s a trillion dollar market data data. What people don’t understand is that China is arguably one of the most or the most highly sensitive e-commerce market in the world. So you go there only if you have essentially completely sold all bank bonds. You don’t go there. For example, if you’re a brand for example, I always use the monetary terms if you are not doing 100 million dollars in IRR or annual run rate, revenue run, they don’t even think about john, it’s too expensive. It’s not, it’s not worth the effort, you then think about local. So we go back to your example of the U.S. brands. You know, Canada, for me is an obvious one second one that’s recently become more valuable due to the closeness of it and the fact that you can have warehouses in Mexico. You know, what many people don’t understand is that Mexico potentially is the fastest growing e-commerce market in Latin America, it’s even growing faster than Brazil and Argentina. So the point is, these markets, all as consumers that are looking to buy quality products. And the fact of the matter is, if it’s an international brand, in most cases that that actual additional value that’s given to the consumer because yielding can eat up can tell the family by the way, guys I bought something but this is an American made product. It’s way better quality than what I’m able to get locally. Those are the kinds of questions that you have to think about in saying that also. The other thing that I always stretch might have is there’s no one size fits all solution. They ease strategies for every business that you need to do. It’s a case by case story. Sorry, there’s no cookie cutter. If there were people would be all living on private islands and it would be a gloriously comfortable life. It’s not so used to be very tactical and strategic, to ensure that you optimize your next move when you go outside your own country.
James Thomson 15:48
So I make apparel or I make beauty products or I make sports products. Depending on these different types of categories. There are going to be different parts of the world. That are more or less interested in these types of items. So let’s say I do my research and I find that there are consumers and other countries that are, in fact, having my products imported into their countries by way of placing orders here in the U.S.. I decide, okay, I want to go sell into, I don’t know, Eastern Europe. That’s great. Now the question becomes, I found some marketplaces in Eastern Europe where I might be able to sell how on earth does a brand find digital agencies that can help them operate those businesses? There are Amazon agencies like ours, there are Alibaba agencies. But there aren’t a lot of agencies that cover the marketplaces that we don’t know as well. Or at least I’m not aware of there being a whole infrastructure of agencies that can help help brands with these different markets. Can you shed some light on what I want to sell into Eastern Europe? I want to sell into Africa. I want to sell into the Middle East. How do I go about finding the kinds of agencies or operator systems that will help me get those markets up and running for my brand?
Hendrik Laubscher 17:10
times? That may be arguably the toughest question that you can ask anybody in the cross-border slash global common space, in the sense that, you know, you are essentially trying to grow and a business in a market that you have, you’re going blind into it. In most cases, yes. They don’t understand consumer perception. You don’t understand consumers, you know pricing methodology, you don’t understand payments and all that stuff. As I mentioned, I think you use the local marketplace as your first point of entry in terms of information. In most cases I’ve seen especially in emerging markets like Western Europe, Africa, In the Middle East, a lot of times these large marketplaces have local teams. And these local teams have a variety of agencies that they know of that are supporting other other global brands. So that to me, you know, brands should be hesitant to speak to the marketplaces, and, you know, doing research on, you know, finding an agency. And secondly, if they get stuck, and I say this because I do this often. Now, they can get in touch with me, and I’ll help them because I’ve, over the years built a network of people that I know directly. And it’s people that I trust. And these people, or in most cases, either working for the marketplace or they’re an agency that supports the marketplace.
James Thomson 19:02
Let me shift gears a little bit here. Hendrik one of the things that I’ve seen over the last few years is this interest for large investors in different countries to start spinning up marketplaces. It’s apparent that marketplaces are a concept that seems to work in a lot of parts of the world. So as new organizations say, we need a marketplace in our country. We can go and copy what others are doing elsewhere, we can leverage what they’ve done. How do you think about number one, what it takes before your country is ready for its own online marketplace? And number two, if you were advising the investors of what it would take to build a successful marketplace, what are the first few things that you would suggest that they spend their money on?
Hendrik Laubscher 19:52
That is a question that I deal with. When I advise a variety of financial Investors each one he analyzes. I am always very hesitant. When I hear the words, we want to spin up a market place in a foreign country. The very simple truth is that in most cases you are going to be competing against local entrepreneurs who work there. They’ve worked their entire life in that specific market and they are going to be incredibly hard to compete with. This is to me the base case example of that is what happened in the Middle East. Amazon came into the market light and realized that they will never they will never ever be going to beat soup and glass, they opened the checkbook and they bought it. No question. I think I always say let’s do diligence on your business. You know, what are you thinking of when you are thinking about a marketplace? You know, Let’s let’s first look at all the emerging marketplace startups in this region that are in the moment, looking for investment in most cases at all. And, you know, would they be interested in speaking with an investor group that can provide them with capital? In most cases, entrepreneurs will always listen to investors that are able to provide things capital. Secondly, when you go into a new market, like Africa or Eastern Europe like America, you have to understand that you’re dealing with subsidies and the political situation can change literally by the day. So you have to understand that the significant risk attached to it but on the same hand, understand that the the prize at the end of the day if you execute this is pretty large. Yes. Yep. I would also say That, if I was to answer your question right at the moment in terms of that I would be saying to investors, don’t invest in marketplaces in new markets. It’s not worth the pain at the moment because in most cases, you’re competing against the really big and subtle marketplaces like Alibaba like Amazon, Libra, these a variety of these businesses, I would say that you should be investing into brands, and businesses that help brands get into new markets, the biggest thing that people don’t understand and as somebody that’s, I spend about 80% of my time on marketplaces, in researching this, is that these marketplaces are all essentially only looking after the best interests, there is no real afterthought for the brand or the business that they bought. So I’m always keen and looking for startups that provide Brands with control, you know, why do we need to help local brands scale faster in the local region, ie, in, for example, we go back to example, you know, in Canada or Mexico or so. So that’s that opportunity. Secondly, I also want us to understand that in the current situation that we find ourselves in, COVID-19 has essentially reshaped a variety of industries and markets. I always say that one of the things that people forget is that retail is essentially one of the largest employers in a market. If retail is closed, and it’s happening all around the world, not just the U.S.. Yes. I always ask investors to basically look at solutions we can take to local staff and give them the blow because it seems silly. You are wanting as an investor to also make a positive impact on the GDP growth of the market while the U.S. understands that you need to make a peenics return. But I think what I’ve learned over the years in markets, such as Southeast Asia, in Japan and in China and in India and in the Middle East is that people and customers remember who the brands are that help when the times are tough. And these brands essentially have a competitive moat that is almost impenetrable from any of these large businesses because the U.S. consumers understand that this company, whatever the company’s name is, provided me with employment, it provided me the opportunity to feed my family and the like. I know that’s a very simplistic view of it, but I think in a moment, investors need to think really carefully about what they do. do they want to essentially get in a race to the bottom with an Amazon? Do they want to battle against companies that have like Mercado Libre, like 15 years of experience in our market? Essentially, you are going to be competing against a house and the house is always going to win. It’s just the way it is. Yeah. So I always say Intel investors, let’s look at local startups. And also look at the bigger picture. What can you do to empower a local region is that through investment in warehousing is that investing into solutions that can provide for example, cross-border taxation services, which is still very much a huge thing, these various parts of it, I just think that if you are going to go against a very large marketplace that’s really well funded and you know, it’s it’s, it’s we are getting to a place where the Phoenix opportunities are very limited. You have very clever as an investor to look for
James Thomson 26:04
Hendrik, let’s come back to let’s come back to the question of brands choosing to distribute more globally. There are a number of pitfalls that these brands can run into. And I’ve got, I’ve got a handful of these issues to talk to you about. You know, one of the big concerns that we hear a lot here in the United States is, why am I going to go into that country? If I’m only going to create basically inventory that can be re imported back into this country? We may have price differences across-borders, I need to make my product affordable in those other countries. But that only created incentive for the product to show up back that back in my main market, how do you think about price discrepancies across borders and the incentives that that creates for re importing products back into higher priced markets?
Hendrik Laubscher 26:55
So James, the sad reality is what you’ve just explained happens on a daily basis. And in some markets you know you have in China it’s called the duck the die goo ecosystem way. You have people that literally fly into South Korea Australia, they go by cheaper goods, they basically risk everything through border control in the United solid via you know social platforms such as WeChat.
So this is a reality let me just be clear. When you are thinking about cross-border and going international, I always say your first starting point is you need to trademark and patent what you have before a single item is found on a marketplace in a specific new market. You need to be able to tell me as an advisor consultant that you have patents and you have trademark protection. If you Don’t this I know it’s it’s costly, but if you don’t, in most cases, you’ve already lost the war and you are not going to be able to ever win a legal case, because somebody else has the legal right to sell your goods because you weren’t thinking forward enough by backlinking and trademarking us, so that’s the first thing that you do.
James Thomson 28:25
But hang on a second, hang on a sec. How does that practically work? I’m a new brand. I’m getting started in one country, my sales are starting to do well here in the U.S.. Now I’m thinking well, maybe I’m going to expand to other countries. Yeah, it’s entirely possible that somebody came and bought a suitcase on my product and took it home with them to whatever country they’re in. But I can’t be out there, trademarking, patents and 15. Like that. That’s just a catastrophic impact on my bottom line. How do you think about this practically because, quite frankly, I can’t spend all of my new marketing dollars Instead on legal fees to get all the stuff locked down, at what point does a company become big enough that it starts to make sense to be doing this?
Hendrik Laubscher 29:10
So sometimes that’s that’s you, you’ve just explained why. One of the questions or one of the solutions or one of the opportunities, but also the mess of the mess of negativity or cross-border, yep. And that’s why I say that. If you’re a brand, you’ve got to go through the process strategically. And if you are going into 50 markets at once, I can tell you from experience 14 of them will fail and one of them will potentially be a winner. So we come back to being strategic and being tactical. And for me I always say that you want to use a platform where you control what can be available in a market. So for example, as I mentioned earlier on, I use them as an example again, because I know that because I’ve done some work with him, but namita when they deal with local marketplace, they speak and ensure that that marketplace gives the product or the brand based opportunity to be visually seen and found on the platform, very something that you cannot buy. You cannot take that anywhere else. It’s a low risk solution to ensure that this marketplace is aware of your product. But also, you have already been ensured that if something goes bad, you have a degree of buying from the platform to help you clean up. So that’s the one I think, you know, as you always tell me, and I am a firm believer in it, and Is that right? have to understand that your product can be on any, any marketplace without your consent. It’s about you ensuring that you control your distribution. It’s about you controlling your wholesalers. It’s about you controlling your sales channels. I know it sounds really contradictory. But if you control your sales channels and no rules selling what and way, the things that you’ve explained in terms of the dirt diversion, the opportunity for counterfeits its legs. Also in most cases, these brands are significantly more profitable because they have sickness, all emotion, they’ve done the job. So this whole process, I want to be very clear to the audience as well. The cross-border is capital intensive. It’s resource intensive, but the outcome of this is huge. So you have to be super, i.e. have a gross blend of let’s do one new market a year for three years. And at the end of year three, we then sit down and we evaluate why we all are with the three. That is that is what I see with brands that are doing sales between $25 million up to 150 million dollars. Yep. Okay. It’s all about understanding what you can do, how you can do it works and finding the most logical de risking solution. The biggest thing that I’ve shaped my deck is that I see various brands, opening up websites in new markets and going, you know, like jumping up and down about themselves about the fact that they now have a website in a new country. Yeah, that’s great. The bigger question is can a consumer find your product in most cases, they will Because they don’t exist, yeah. Because they can’t find you. And that is why I always say point number one is, is that you use the marketplace as a point of testing. It’s a point of discovery. But the end goal is always to seem to learn and be able to in a year or 18 months or two or three years time to then do that market properly and then open a team on the ground and all of that stuff that is the biggest mistake that I see. You know, I know I understand that this is resource intensive. But if you are going to put in you know, anything between 1,000,015 million dollars into this, you have to be I reiterate my words tactical strategic, but you also have to understand what you are going to get out your fundamentals needs To be sound, you cannot have general leakage. You cannot have counterfeits. For example, if you have your products made in China by a manufacturer, you must have it very clearly defined in the agreement that you have at that warehouse that under no circumstances can they sell anything with a likeness of your product to anybody. They cannot do that. You can get that done by local legal teams in these markets because in markets like China, the government’s have stepped in and said look, we need to do better but police this to ensure that we can attract brands from the entire world to sell to our people. So it’s taking small steps. I always use the analogy. First we crawl. Then we walk. Then we run and then you’re in the Olympic Games. You’ve got to follow that methodology to get to the endpoint. This is not a silver bullet. That’s the other thing. I also need to tell management and listeners, this is not a solution to bad situations, this is not a solution to a business that doesn’t have sound fundamentals, I see that as well. Then I tell these businesses you need to go figure out and solve your basics, you know, your, basically your your advertising, cost of sales, your you’re, all the fundamental stuff that we all take for granted. That needs to be singing like an orchestra, for example, playing at, you know, at the Seattle football stadium. I know I’ve got the name wrong. So you want to have that solved before you go international. You’ve got to understand this is a strategic move. If you do properly, and if you do it properly, there is a box of gold or church, whatever.
James Thomson 36:09
Let me change gears a little bit here. I, you, you work with brands all day long you work with companies that invest in brands all day long. Talk to me about a turning point for you professionally where, you know, you realize that working with brands, you’re good at working with the brands and the investors in those brands. Was there a point where you said yep, this makes sense for me to be doing this kind of work? Because I’m good at this kind of work.
Hendrik Laubscher 36:39
So James, I think a friend of mine years ago when I worked with him in a previous life. His words were to develop an exit plan without telling the whole world that it wasn’t except my audience. What needs to be said here is that I have been traveling To the U.S. for years. And it’s one of the reasons why I know James, and he was introduced to me by a mutual friend. And we got to speak with one another. The point is, when I was in America, like in the early Middle 2000s, I worked in America and I realized that this is a market where you need to understand what’s going on, because it’s looking to the future. So I started going to the market and going to cities like New York, going to Seattle. Las Vegas is a variety of cities that I’ve traveled to and the point is I try to meet people on the ground, because that’s how you build a network. Another person who I met last year essentially told me that I built the social network without calling at Facebook. And that’s that, to me was like one of the moments of like, that’s like the epiphany that you described. And that’s when I realized that without thinking about it, Obviously initially created something that I like doing. And that’s the one thing I think the other point of validation for me was my newsletter in the sense that my newsletter has consistently grown like gangbusters and I’m talking, you know, 100 200 300% growth month on month? I don’t I don’t look year on year because it’s just ridiculous. The point is, there’s almost no one looking at the space like I do, there is almost no one that’s trying to follow the tea leaves or the cookies or whatever you want to call the breadcrumbs that all these marketplaces have. Because if you manage a brand, if you work for a marketplace, everybody wants to know what’s going on. Everybody wants to know what the big platforms are doing. But everybody also wants to know who are the brands and the new platforms that potentially disrupt. You know, the newsletter is a way in which I basically spend 25 hours a week, basically curating news that I think is valuable, because I’ve either an agreement with my audience, and that is that I respect the inbox once a week with a jam packed edition. I know I’ve been told by various readers that it’s a bit long. But the point is, is that you read it over multiple days with a cup of coffee, or, you know, in some silence, the idea is to provide people with an asset that they can go back to because I’m a firm believer in that we learn from the past, to basically be successful in the future. And a lot of times people don’t understand, James is that a lot of the times these innovations that companies got, right, millions of lines of digital pixels worth of bureau releases, somebody else has already done, yes, these these learnings that can be taken from you know, these investors that make the same mistake every time and that’s Also is that I’m unbiased. I have no agreements with any marketplace. I’ve been treated by the very large company in Seattle with the law with legal terms because of what I’ve written and my retort is always diverse and is looking at fact checks. And if you want to meet two giant numbers, they now want to see the numbers. Because essentially, we’re all trying to determine what is the truth, what is what is basically what is happening, what is the truth and what is a bunch of Rp.
James Thomson 40:31
Hendrik, I want to thank you for joining us today for those of you interested in learning more about Hendrik’s blog, which I strongly urge all of our listeners to sign up for. Please visit www.haimrich.com. To finish today’s podcast I want to share some final thoughts. For brands to be successful in Amazon, a critical lever will be launching and managing Amazon advertising campaigns. We at Buy Box Experts are really big fans of the team at Kenshoo whose sophisticated software helps brands to manage ad campaigns and gather further data intelligence across Amazon, Google and Facebook platforms. To learn more, go to kenshoo.com. And with that, I thank you all for joining and look forward to talking with you next time.
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