What we learnt from AmafestUK 2020
Date: October 15, 2020
Category: Industry news
Author: Jenni Day
On 8 October 2020, GS1 UK joined a panel at the annual Amazon sellers conference, AmafestUK, a virtual event designed to support sellers grow their online businesses.
Whether you are an existing high-volume seller, or you’re only just starting out, AmafestUK is a fantastic one-day conference for all Amazon Seller Central and Vendor Central users looking to learn, network and grow their businesses.
As with many events this year, AmafestUK 2020 looked a little different to previous conferences. Rather than catching up over a cup of coffee before entering a live theatre in the heart of Manchester, sellers were able to log on and enjoy a range of rich panel discussion and practical keynote presentations from the comfort of their own home. this included sessions on:
- “Brexit – the importance of being prepared” by Jérôme de Guigné
- “How to drive incremental sales on Amazon – we found the missing link!” by Nils Zundorf, managing director of Factor-A
- “Five Amazon PPC hacks – maximise sales on Amazon with the right PPC strategy” by Florian Nottorf, CEO of Adference
- “The why and how of a brand succeeding on Amazon” by Duncan Barraclough
This new format provided greater flexibility to attendees, who were able to dip in and out of the Amazon-focused content, curated by Online Seller UK, but still interact with other sellers through virtual networking sessions both during the lunch break and post networking drinks.
Exploring how to get the right set-up and grow your sales
GS1 UK are a huge supporter of AmafestUK, and took part in a panel session centred around new private-label sellers. Our engagement manager, Pradip Khagram, who has more than ten years’ worth of experience working at amazon.co.uk, was joined by Andy Hopper, CEO of Global eCommerce Experts, and Lewis Wade, a successful online seller who has been importing from China since 2003.
During the session Pradip addressed some our most asked questions, such as:
What is the importance of a GS1 GTIN v. a grey GTIN?
Only a GS1 GTIN (otherwise known as an EAN or UPC) is licenced to you or your company. GTINs purchased through a non-GS1 organisation are licenced to another company and may have been issued to other sellers, as well as you.
We’ve seen cases where sellers have bought grey GTINs when starting out and have later found that they belong to another company that they would not want to be associated with.
An example of this was one of our members, who sold cold brew coffee, had originally purchased grey GTINs from a reseller. When they came to GS1 to update their GTINs, they found that their original numbers were licenced to a gun company in the United States.
To ensure that companies are authorised to list the products they are selling, Amazon received a daily file from GS1 to check all new listings against the GTINs provided. If you don’t have a GS1 GTIN you won’t be on that list, and Amazon may assume you are not authorised to sell your products.
The other benefits to being a GS1 member include:
- A dedicated company prefix that enables you to create unique identifiers one of which is the product barcode to help you grow your business more efficiently and trade seamlessly with trading partners
- Free online support and training, to help you better understand how to use GTINs correctly and when you require different types of identifiers, i.e. for shipping containers
- Support from dedicated marketplace experts, all of whom have previously worked for a marketplace
- You can manage all your numbers, product data and create barcodes via our online tool, My Numberbank
- Access to our community-partner network, on hand to support your continued growth
How do GS1 GTINs help combat duplicate and counterfeit products?
Unique, authorised barcode numbers help Amazon maintain their catalogue of one product, one barcode. If you use a GTIN from a third party to list your product, this may already have been used by someone else. In these cases, the listing will be rejected.
You may also get a listing error on Amazon if the brand is different to the company name on the file that we share with Amazon. As long as your brand name is protected, or on the brand registry, you are able to get Amazon to remove any duplicate listings on your products from unauthorised sellers. This also prevents sellers from listing counterfeit products.
Alongside exploring the importance of GS1 GTINs for selling on Amazon, Andy shared insights on what new sellers should do to grow their business out of their bedrooms into small warehousing or Fulfilment by Amazon (FBA). He went onto discuss how international expansion can be the key to unlocking your business growth, no matter the current size of your company.
Lewis shared some of his own experience about sourcing and selling products from China. He explained the importance of researching a product and looking into competitors who are selling the same or similar items. He advised that, as a new seller, you should distinguish your products by uniquely branding them and having colour variation – another reason to ensure you have GS1 GTINs to protect your brand.
Lewis also added that, it was important to have a local agent in China to ensure that the product you are purchasing is of the same quality as any samples your may have seen.
If you want to find out more about AmafestUK, or sign up for the next conference (expected early 2021), visit their website by clicking the button below.