My brother, Andreas made the transition from Amazon FBA to Shopify. The question is, “Why?”
As many of you know, Andreas has created a very successful Kindle publishing and physical products business on Amazon. He now dedicates his time to coaching people how to build successful online businesses and brands.
There has never been a better time to sell on Amazon. Amazon is the largest online retailer in the world. In 2017, they generated $177.9 billion in revenue and a net income growth of 27.8%. Their platform continues to grow every day.
In our interview, Andreas shares some awesome tips that will help you build a profitable Amazon business and eventually transition from Amazon FBA to Shopify. If you have a desire to start an online business or want to scale up, this is an interview that you don’t want to miss!
Watch the video below:
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Have you been questioning making the transition from Amazon FBA to Shopify?
If so, this interview will put that question to rest! Here is a sneak peek of my conversation with Andreas, where he shares why he decided to go from Amazon FBA to Shopify, and how he did it.
You have had huge success publishing on Amazon for a few years now. Now, you have transitioned into selling physical products. Why did you decide to make that shift?
It felt like it was the next best step. For me, it just made sense. I had the cash flow from the Amazon publishing business and I had started to create a number of brands on the publishing side of things. It was an easy transition to make.
Because I had a solid email list from my Kindle publishing business, transitioning into a physical products business was easier. I was already very familiar with Amazon’s platform, so I just had to learn more about the marketing and social media side of things.
However, I found the physical products business to be more intense because you are putting more eggs in one basket. Selling books is a cheap investment. If you fail at it, it won’t be the end of the world. However, with Amazon, there is a lot more involved.
I couldn't do it myself, which is why a course was so important.
I started with my wife’s products first because I was busy with the publishing business. She wanted to push some of her products from her brand. We had some great success off of our first product and the momentum kept going from there.
I went through the course, Amazing Selling Machine, which walks you through how to sell a physical product on Amazon. It's similar to K Money Mastery, which walks you through the process of how you can publish a book on Amazon in a 24 hour time period.
As a beginner, those courses help you understand the technical side of a physical products business. I think the real skill of an entrepreneur comes from your ability to break away and create your own value.
If you want to be an industry leader, you need to do things differently. You need to learn from someone or something unique that will allow you to stand out from everyone else. With a physical products business, there can be 50 of the same product, so everyone is competing with one another based on price, not value.
Hence, there isn't anything unique.
When I created a physical products business I knew that if I wanted to compete with other products, I had to be creative and add additional value.
That is where my publishing came into play. I was able to pull from some of those products and bundle them together as a great marketing advantage.
You have two primary niches and brands. Do you mind sharing what those are?
My wife’s Amazon publishing business was in the niche of essential oils. She grew a big brand. She built an email list of 8-10,000 people within her first 4-5 months. It just made sense to get into the essential oil niche.
We focused on that for about one year. She had 10-12 products and was doing about $50,000 per month. At that point, I started to build my brand, in the pet niche. I also built a huge following in my publishing business. It was fun and I enjoyed it.
I decided to transition into the physical products business. I was making about $70,000 per month. However, I started to become a target because I was a leader in some of those areas.
In my experience, it's better to fly under the radar, than it is to be at the top. If you have the best physical product on Amazon, everybody wants to copy you. Same goes for Kindle publishing.
People started copying me, which I was okay with because I had a lot of reviews. My sales were strong and I was utilizing Amazon ads. However, the problem was that I had only trademarked my brand, but not my products.
Some of the competitors started copywriting their listings and filing a DMCA against me, and then my listings got blocked. I had to go back and forth and fight with them.
This happened 2-3 times within 6 months.
I had depended on Amazon for publishing and physical products, so the next step for me was to see what I could do away from that platform.
I looked into Shopify. Your girlfriend, Tatiana, had some source contacts for private fulfillment centers. I tried that out and decided to move my brand to Shopify. I stopped selling on Amazon altogether. All of a sudden, that income source was gone.
People I coached in the Maverick community kept asking me, “Why would you give up that cash flow?” My answer was that I was ready for the next level of everything. I wanted to build a brand. It wasn't hurting me because I had cash flow from other businesses. I knew that if I didn't make a move now, I was never going to do it.
At the private fulfillment center, all of a sudden I had social media experts for different platforms, I had an SEO optimization expert, trademark specialists, and copywriters. They redesigned my entire Shopify site.
They changed my whole brand and took my business to the next level. It's been a grind. You go from having a huge audience within Amazon to going out and trying to sell to your traffic, repeatedly, while continuing to grow your traffic.
That being said, it's been great because I’ve been able to combine my publishing and physical business into one brand, all on one site. It's all there for people. I have so many products, that I was able to create my own affiliate program.
People are now selling my physical products. That is the best way to do it, versus promoting other people’s products. The customers are always coming back to you. When I stepped away from Amazon, so many amazing opportunities started popping up.
I wouldn't recommend a newbie to go to a Shopify platform directly because there is a huge learning curve.
You will learn the most by selling on Amazon first. It will allow you to build your confidence and cash flow. Learn as much as you can.
Maybe publishing isn't going to be your long-term dream or goal. I continue to publish because it’s easy, but I have many other interests in my life that I have pursued because I created the opportunities. When you adopt an opportunity mindset, opportunities come.
How important do you think it is that you pick a niche that you have some sort of interest in?
When I started my publishing business I diversified myself. Today, I have over 1200 books online. I've gone across 200 categories. I used to believe in diversity.
When I started my coaching program, I said that diversity was the way to go because you won't be stuck in one niche. Today I have a different perspective. After all of the experience that I've gained and the people that I've worked with, I think you have a higher potential for success if you focus on something that you enjoy.
Successful entrepreneurs create unique value. A lot of people don't know how to do this. They think it’s rocket science. However, the value is created by your ability to add something that nobody else can, and then to market it so that it’s recognized.
I think when you enjoy something and you can talk it to death, you become immersed in it. With this mindset, how can you fail? Not only are you immersing yourself in it, you are also committing to lifelong learning. When this happens, failure doesn't really bother you because you have more patience for it and you are excited about what you are doing.
I tell everybody that they should choose two products, pursue those, and see what comes from it.
When you start engaging with people, how do you expect to create value if you don't know what the topic is about or what the product is? If you are doing something that you love, and are willing to learn, it’s going to be so much easier to create value and be successful.
A lot of people want to build an online business, but they don't have a lot of time to do it. What do you say to people that are in that circumstance?
You need to wrap your mind around sacrifice. I understand that everyone has a job and that they can't just jump into the online business world and make that their entire focus.
However, I've worked with enough people and when I do my follow-up to make sure they are getting their tasks done, they aren't doing it, and usually, their reasons are because of work. I knew that if I ever wanted to leave the family business and become a successful entrepreneur, I would have to make sacrifices.
I cut back on time spent with friends, on hobbies that I enjoyed, and on travel.
However, I knew that these sacrifices were only for the short-term. I needed to hyper focus and prioritize my time. I sacrificed my 20’s and part of my 30’s so that I could enjoy the rest of my life. Not everybody is willing to do that, and not a lot of people can do it right away. They need to gradually move into this space.
I think that everybody can create a business on the side. It's about sacrifice and priorities.
A lot of people don't understand that, when they start a business, it becomes a priority. If you treat it as a hobby, you are going to get hobby results.
However, if you treat it as a priority, you are going to get better results. Surround yourself with people that are doing the same thing as you. This will help a lot. There's a good chance that you will find someone in that circle that defines what it means to sacrifice.
We worked for our family business for many years, which neither of us enjoyed doing. Can you talk a little bit about the moment that you decided that you wanted to change your life?
I had reached the lowest point in my life. To backtrack a bit, I had gone to Europe to clear my thoughts and pursue a soccer career. I quickly realized that it wasn't for me. I came back and I said to myself, “If I’m going to fail, I'm going to do it on my terms. If I'm going to lose everything and look back on my life and say that I failed, it's because I did it.”
I put my foot down and said that I was going to go back to school. I wanted to go into business because it made the most sense.
Stefan and I grew up in an environment where it was okay to fail, but we were being controlled. We never stood a chance to become independent under that system. We were failing, but we were not failing for ourselves.
Rather, we were failing for the business that we were creating for our father.
I continued working in the family business, but I didn't want to commute. I needed to save time somewhere. I told our dad that if I took a room upstairs, I would save money on renting a place close to school or work. I moved into a room at the warehouse where I worked.
It sucked being around work all the time. I couldn't escape it. If Dad was having a bad day, he could follow me upstairs! I had nowhere to go.
That was a big sacrifice.
However, I saved a lot of time so that I could focus on studying. I went to 2-3 classes/week, and I started getting some side jobs.
I was working Saturday and Sunday, going to school 3 nights per week, working for the family, and then I met my girlfriend, who is now my wife. This was the last thing that I wanted because I had way too much to manage. The poor girl toughed it out. She saw the least of me.
I really started to challenge myself in time management.
I found ways that I could be productive during every minute of the day. Things started to get easier because I got results. Savings started to add up, my grades were getting better, and my relationship grew.
All of a sudden, I had processes in place that were building up my confidence. Was I efficient? When I look back, there was a lot of areas that I wasn't, because I was just going with it.
When I removed myself from the family business, I had the right people around me that inspired, motivated and demanded the most out of me.
That was a huge part of my success. It's the sum of all of the little things, paired with the right attitude, that leads to the big things. There is going to be blood, sweat, and tears. If you can't accept that then you are going to have a really hard time reaching your goals.
What do you see as the potential that Amazon FBA provides?
Amazon continues to grow at a rapid rate and expand into new markets and countries. I think that the opportunity is going to continue to exist, as long as they continue to grow. Amazon’s market is so big that I don't see any real issues in the short-term.
However, I think that Amazon will get to a point when they will plateau. The curve is going to lessen and the competition is going to get heavier. Today, you are expected to build a higher quality product, which means you have to make more of an investment and create your own audience. You've got to try and find ways to profit more because Amazon takes a big cut.
When I started in 2015, you could just put out a product. Whereas today, if you don't have a good product or strong customer service, you aren't going to have success on Amazon.
With Amazon, you can interact with consumers right away because they have an entire feedback department. If you aren't responding and taking care of the customers, Amazon will de-list you. The expectations are higher, so people have to work harder than they once did. It’s a bigger business now.
Do you have any final advice for someone that has a desire to start an online business?
The most important thing is to adopt a certain kind of mindset. In business, the right mindset is so important in order to achieve success, especially when it comes to building confidence, and gaining experience and knowledge.
A lot of people go into it not prepared to work on the psychology of business. Instead, they just learn a process and work like a robot.
It doesn't matter how much success you have as an entrepreneur. If you don't have the right mindset, it's going to catch up with you. It will burn you out and you won't be able to cope with challenges.
A lot of businesses have failed because of this. Continue to educate yourself and surround yourself with people that are setting a good example of how you should work, behave and push yourself. This is the best way to sustain success, over time.
This is how and why Andreas made the transition from Amazon FBA to Shopify.
If you warn to learn more about Andreas and his services, check out his website! He offers a lot of amazing coaching programs, that range from investing, real estate, Kindle publishing, physical products, and branding.
His work focuses on adding massive value. He has helped a lot of people create financial freedom and take their life to the next level. How would your life change if you were able to create a successful online business?
Do you want to learn how to build a profitable business selling on Amazon? CLICK HERE for instant access to my free video training!