How to Get Into the Minds of Your Customers (E117)

  • George Lawrence
  • Founder & CEO, MerchantWords


Bold, dynamic, and innovative are just a few of the words that come to mind when describing MerchantWords founder George Lawrence. Overcoming personal obstacles to build a multi-million dollar technology company, George has used his remarkable ability to creatively solve problems to help over 100,000 entrepreneurs achieve e-commerce success.

A software developer by trade, George got his professional start at the beginning of the internet with the Peter Norton Consulting Group, where he worked on Norton Utilities. He was a founding member of the Citysearch team; and helped create the software that launched the world’s first online automobile shopping platform at CarsDirect. At TigerConnect, George developed the web and mobile platforms for their clinical communications software. Discovering a gap in the data-driven e-commerce market, George derived an innovative way to collect shopper keyword phrases, so Amazon sellers could find unique opportunities to bring new products to market – thus, MerchantWords was born. Since 2012, MerchantWords has helped entrepreneurs, brands, and agencies discover new opportunities, achieve successful product launches, and run profitable advertising campaigns online – on Amazon and beyond.




Charles (00:00):

In this episode of the Business of eCommerce. I talk with George Lawrence about how to get into the minds of your customers. This is a business of e-commerce. Episode one 17. Welcome to the business of eCommerce. The show that helps e-commerce retailers start, launch and grow their eCommerce business. I mean host Charles Palleschi and I talk today with George Lawrence. George is the founder and CEO of merchant words or the merchant words. He helps entrepreneurs, brands and agencies discover new opportunities that chiefs discussion with product launches, run profitable advertising campaigns online, Amazon and beyond. I asked George and the show today chat about some ways you can get into the minds of your customers. So, Hey George, how are you doing today?

George (00:46):

Fantastic. Thanks for having me on.

Charles (00:48):

Yeah. Awesome to have you on. Definitely love the concept kind of getting into the mind of your customers. Um, I like from a high level and then kind of talk about, I love talking about kinda how you actually do that tactically. Like, what are some ways, um, you know, as an eCommerce retailer, everyone says that everyone says you need to get in the mind of your customer is, it’s kind of something we’ve heard again and again, but I love talking about some ways on how to do that as a retailer. I like, and you know, I’ve heard before like reach out to them and talk to them, that sort of thing. But you specialize in this. What are some things you would recommend as far a retailer out there?

George (01:25):

Great question. You’ll, you know, let me tell you first. What I see people do and when I see people do is they chat with their friends. First of all, I was like, Hey, if I built this, would you buy it? I’m like, Oh brother, you know, you gotta you gotta get some real opinions. Uh, but you know, the interesting thing is it’s so easy to do this, but so few people really kind of make it a priority and that, that astounds me. So one of the things that I like to tell folks is, look, you got to remember that people don’t search using the physical aspects of the product. People don’t search for, you know, I need something that’s so many inches tall and so many inches wide, et cetera. People search for the need that they have or the problem they’re trying to solve. And so basically what I would say is before you ask anybody anything or before you endeavor to try to answer the question first, remember that you’re not looking for an answer that sounds like a dimension or a material or some physical property of a product.

George (02:19):

You’re not looking for exactly those kinds of keywords. What you’re looking for, the kinds of keywords that people use when they search that sound more like problems they’re trying to solve or uh, things like that. An example I like to do sometimes is if you’re selling a white dress, you might not realize the dozens of different reasons why people are buying a white dress. Is it for a birthday party? Is a, for a wedding? Is it for a baptism? Is there’s a dozen different reasons and your product, even though either the product itself or how you market or present your product is going to change depending on those different reasons. And so my, my first advice to everybody is, uh, congratulate patients. This is a good thing. I, it’s good that you realize it’s important, but as you endeavor to do it, you got to remember that you’re looking for the reasons why people are buying things, not just the physical aspects of the product itself.

George (03:08):

Uh, and then, and then to answer your question, there’s a lot of the ways that people do it, of course, as they just chat with friends. And that’s not as good as, uh, as reaching out to the wider audience. But, uh, as a consumer yourself, uh, you know, maybe, uh, your listeners, everyone we’re kind of familiar with this, when, when we buy something after the fact, companies will often reach out to us and say, you know, Hey, were you satisfied with the product? How did we do? If you’re dissatisfied, let us know. And that’s good. But my I want to encourage everyone to do is right now, remember that you need to be proactive and do this. Don’t just wait until after the sale. You want to do this so that you can get to the sale. And so the idea is reach out to people in any way you can and see what their needs are, see what they’re looking for, see what they’re shopping for. An easy way to do this is frankly, you probably do it every day anyway. Just go to Amazon and start typing in the search box, right? Don’t hit enter. Just look at the suggestions that come flowing down from Amazon and you can get all kinds of amazing ideas of what people are looking for. Sometimes it’s crazy. You look at some of those suggestions and you go, dang, are people really searching for that? And the answers. Yeah. People really search for those suggestions cause that’s how they get there.

Charles (04:15):

Okay. I like that idea. Actually. I was talking with ’em, I think it was episode. I’m looking a pair. So 62, um, Dale from fire and spark, he was talking about using kind of some targeted keywords and building pages around that. Um, so for instance, you know, white dresses for, I dunno, I dunno, I said where’s the white dress for a picnic or for whatever that you know. But for example, a water bottle for CrossFit, a water bottle for hiking, things like that. Um, and his suggestion, which kind of sounds like would actually dovetail nicely into this, he’s more of a SEO guy, but talking about, you know, building pages for water bottles, for hiking water bottles for CrossFit. That’s right. And you literally have a collection of, um, products for that particular activity. You’re talking go even a step before that of how to actually research that data and figure out, I saw a water bottle, what could water bottle, what are some uses water bottles could be used for? And then tailor, um, the whole marketing and site for that. Correct.

George (05:17):

Exactly right. And you know, there’s nothing wrong with building landing pages and test out if you can get your SEO mojo going before you actually go to market with a product that that’s great. But that’s a little bit like, uh, you know, and maybe Marriner is a 200 years ago, had to do it this way. It was a little bit like throwing your boat in the ocean and like hoping you don’t crash into the shore or the the rocks underneath the service or whatever. And you know, look, that’s how they did it 200 years ago. But we’ve got GPS today, right? So you don’t have to do it in that old fashioned way. Whip out your GPS and figure out exactly what people are looking for. And that will give you a lot more education about how to do this. Right? So I’m not saying don’t do it, but what I’m saying is start with what the customers are looking for.

George (05:59):

Then build your marketing campaign around that or additional research. If you’re a, your marketing campaign kind of leads to more customer research before you bring a product to market or before you change your marketing strategies and then you’ll understand exactly what it is. And you know, uh, people were getting around just fine 200 years ago in their ships. I’m not saying that that approach won’t work, it’s just a lot smarter, I believe, to understand exactly what your customers are looking for and how they’re looking for it, what problems are trying to solve before as kind of the first step of taking action as you’re building your marketing campaign, your SEO strategy, uh, the different listings and the various marketplaces, et cetera.

Charles (06:34):

Hmm, okay. I mean, you could even just kind of talking, it makes it sound like that whole water bottle thing. You could basically build out separate funnels, if you will. Well, right. The whole marketing, um, campaign leans down to let’s say a landing page, all this stuff. And once you kind of know hair, the different types of customers and the different ways they engage with our product, you kind of build a whole flow a funnel into that. Right? So you have the same product. So two different folks for different purposes, but whole different marketing campaigns that speak directly to that person.

George (07:07):

Yeah, exactly right. And in fact, you know, whether you call it marketing or your content strategy or whatever it, anything that you mean. Yeah, exactly right. Whatever it is you learn about your customer that’s going to be valuable for every aspect of your business. In fact, I talked to a lot of, of course I talked to e-commerce folks most every day, but uh, I talked to a lot of folks who aren’t even in e-commerce. What they want to do is they want to understand what’s important with consumers because they’re writing an article for some other purpose. They’re journalists or whatever and they just want to understand what’s in the mind of consumers even if they’re not selling them something. Of course, the best thing to do with your knowledge of what people are looking to buy is sell them something. But a lot of folks just want to understand what consumers are doing and thinking for other reasons too.

Charles (07:49):

Yeah. Well I could see. Yeah. Cause it could definitely power from an eCommerce point of view, right? Power, the content strategy, the marketing campaign, the landing page, the email copy. Like once you kinda


build a funnel for this particular type of user, it can just flow all the way down, even post-sale, right? So those, Hey, how, how’d that water bottle go for you are, you know, CrossFit workout? How did, like, you could eat, you had literally, if, you know, that’s the customer that and that’s how they’re using it. Everything to be kind of push through the funnel, even post-sale, using the same kind of concept.

George (08:23):

But they write and you know, some people ask me that, Haley, am I selling the right product? And of course we can help them answer that question. But the question you should be asking really is, am I solving the right problem? Uh, you know, the thing I like to think about is a Starbucks wasn’t the first [inaudible] for a company that ever decided to manufacture coffee. Uh, again, you know, the Google wasn’t the first search engine, those kinds of things. And so when you understand the problems people face and the way they intend to solve it and how they would prefer to solve their problems, then then that’s really powerful. And like I said, and this bears repeating a of companies kind of put that on the back burner. They think that’s an ancillary task. My first job is to manufacture something, then sell something and maybe I’ll follow up with the customer and see if they’re happy. I’m like, wow, you should see what makes the customer happy at the beginning of that strategy.

Charles (09:09):

Yeah. Well then you could even use the same product, you know, different campaigns, different content strategies, different, just different check, just different funnels altogether for these different types of people. So you could, no, knowing that sort of information would allow you to, um, talk to different sorts of customers in very different ways. So that I love, but what are some ways, like, so other than going into Google and manually kind of typing each one in and kind of seeing what pops up, what are some other ways to actually be able to get these ideas and to help you kind of generate Elba? Yeah. The funnels behind that.

George (09:42):

Great question. First of all, I just want to mention that, you know, if you do that, you can certainly do this in Google, but if you do it in Google, you’re going to get all kinds of different suggestions, right? Because people go to Google for all kinds of different reasons. And uh, and I, I’ve always been tempted to kind of start my e-commerce research at Google. But the challenge there is a lot of folks look for just a homework stuff and things to download for free. This is not a lot of a purchase intent in the, in the Google data, but if you do it in Amazon or any of the other eCommerce platforms, you’ll get a rich understanding of exactly what people are looking for. And then like I said, I don’t want to sound like I’m against the idea of reaching out to your customers directly.

George (10:16):

I’m just saying that don’t wait until after the sale to do that. Find a way to get in front of people who may be your customer and start a dialogue with them. You know, we were talking about landing pages and that’s a great idea because you can see if your SEO strategy works before you bring a product to market or before you start a marketing campaign. But you don’t necessarily have to endeavor to do something grandiose. You don’t have to build a market, you don’t have to build a big bunch of landing pages and make sure your SEOs successful. You could perhaps do a little paid advertising, run an advertising campaign against products that you maybe not even ready to sell yet. Now, I’m not saying fooling anybody and I, and I certainly wouldn’t want you to pretend that you’re going to send something to someone and you don’t, but I’ve talked to a lot of retailers.

George (10:56):

I like, you know what? I’m considering selling whatever it is, a pool cues. I talked to a guy a couple of months ago and he said, Hey, I’m about ready to take an order of 144,000 pool cues because I’m going to crush the market for pool cues. And I’m like, uh, well, how is your marketing going? How do you know how many you’re going to sell basically? And he’s like, no, no, no, I’m just going to sell him. And I’m like, dude, see if you can try to sell one before you take that order for 144,000 he’s like, but if I create a listing and or if I create a landing page and somebody buys one, then what? I got to get this stuff in inventory. I’m like, no, walk down to the store, buy one off the street and mail it. The point is there’s a lot of different ways to get in the mind of a customer without first making a sale.

George (11:39):

And so any of these ideas, and we can spit ball all day long for these great ideas, any of these ideas are great ways to get inside the mind of the customer because then you’ll understand exactly what they’re were problem they’re looking to solve, what itch need to scratch. And once you understand that, then you can actually provide the product in the best possible way. And, and like I said, I, I can’t think of an easier way than somebody just going to Amazon, start typing in some stuff and looking at this, just suggestions and those right there, that’s how people search. So, uh, you’re going to learn an awful lot from doing that.

Charles (12:11):

Okay. Yeah, it’s funny, a lot of people they have that, um, the thing that they had that they need to have the products have everything kind of completely flushed out, ready to go before they make that first sale. And I like the idea. Yeah, you could go down there and just buy some, you could go by, I mean I think it’s okay to do, I don’t even know if this is like against some terms of service, but you can buy them from your competitor and then just sell like, you know, that’s okay too. Or even just tell people, you know, a lot of people, um, you had drop shipping and usually people that uh, Mmm usually people that are try and do like FBA or something are very against that or private label. But you could start off drop shipping just to just to test the market. And I tell folks that all the time, like you don’t need to buy 100,000 have something to test the market. You can drop ship 10 of them, see if it works, see if it makes sense. See, just test the sell through. Um, and the numbers, like the profitability might not be the same, but at least you can try it and see how it works and fails, get the feedback from the customers and then like you said, talk to them and see how they use it. And have that actually power your marketing campaign.

George (13:15):

Yup, exactly right. I was traveling and I’m traveling recently and I saw a little teeny roadside cafe. So I thought, wow, this might be fun. Let’s jump in. And I looked at their menu, I ordered a few items, and then I noticed that the servers would go down a hallway around the corner come. And it turns out once I did a little digging that the actual food was being prepared in a restaurant down the way and bring it over to me. But the thing is it carried a whole different menu, whole different brand. Even though the restaurant down the street had its own menu. So I S I got drop shipped in real life at a restaurant.

Charles (13:50):

Yeah. That’s real life dropshipping right there.

George (13:52):

Yeah. But, but the great thing was that little like roadside cafe could change their menu, could change the name, they could change the strip, they could do all kinds of, and in fact, I saw the restaurant and I saw the little cafe and for whatever reason, you know, the, the little cafe resonated more with me. And so that’s what I chose. So this is kind of what exactly you were saying is you don’t need to open up a whole nother kitchen. Right? You could, and this is a silly example, I know, but you could just fulfill the order however you fulfill the order, but what you’re, what you’re trying to do is see if your solution for solving the customer’s problem for sort of scratching their itch we’re looking at or looking to meet the demand of what they’re looking for. You can test that without building a whole kitchen without taking a bunch of pool cues and inventory.

Charles (14:33):

Yeah, I love the, I love that. I dare and I, I was actually just on a podcast, so they talking about that exact concept. It’s one of those things that [inaudible] I just, and I see people using that as like a reason to like not do it. Like they get there and like well I have to do this before I do that. And they see the steps is very like linear. You have to like get the 100,000 in inventory and like, no, no, no. You can just like, you’ll eventually have to do that step, but you don’t, they’re not in that like direct order. You can, um, you can skip ahead. Not because like that’s the end all be all, but that’s because that’s the learning phase. And the more you get to that, the more you kind of do that loop, you’re going to learn more and the faster you can do that loop, you’re going to learn more. Um, so yeah,

George (15:15):

and you know, we’ve been talking to the last couple of minutes about someone bringing a new product to market. You know, we were talking about pool cues and his way and whatnot, and then drop shipping and things, but the exact same strategies that we’re talking about and the kind of the, the change in attitudes that we, I think with the people that I have applies perfectly well. If you’ve got a set of products that you’re already selling and you’ve got them in inventory maybe and you don’t intend on changing or amplifying those in any way. But the, the, the opportunity for you that you’re probably not fully executing on is are you have, do you have the right marketing in place? So nevermind a new product. Your existing products can be marketed in different ways, different keywords on your advertising campaigns. It’s different ways to position your landing pages, whatever that means for you.

George (15:58):

Uh, you know, different content as long as you understand that consumer demands and consumer trends. And uh, and what I mean by that is people still want to buy your product. The demand for your product is not going away, but it’s shifting to different ways people search for it. And so like you were saying with a water bottle, people at one time may have been all about searching for water bottles for this purpose. Well now they still want water bottle, but maybe now more demand is searching water bottles for a different purpose. So you see change, right?

Charles (16:27):

Camping verse, cycling verse CrossFit or whatever it is like each and it’s a very different crowd and you could probably [inaudible] yeah.

George (16:34):

Yup. So you don’t necessarily need to bring, I start manufacturing different water bottles but you always have to be aware of how this shifting consumers search terms and shifting consumer interest allowed. Like I say, the itch that people are looking to scratch. People’s itches are always changing. I that seems like a bad analogy now that I just said it, but it’s true, right? People are always wanting something a little bit different. So your products are not going to change at all. Uh, start marketing it differently as consumer trends change.

Charles (17:02):

So I like the truck you said about going into Amazon and kind of start typing water bottles for and just see what shows up in the search box. How far does it actually like, is it only like top five? But can you go down, is there like a way to dive down to like the top 100 or 1000 different reasons for your water bottle?

George (17:19):

You would be surprised how far that suggestion goes. And here’s the crazy thing. And in fact, this is the reason I founded merchant words. If you don’t mind, let me just tell you a little bit about my origin story. Um, I was, uh, five years ago I was at e-commerce seller myself, you know, just a guy looking to make a little extra money on the side. And I realized that, you know, unless I understood this, unless I understood what people are looking for and how they’re looking for it, I really couldn’t be an effective seller. And a, you know, being a software guy, I wrote a little software that kinda like looked at those suggestions. You, it starts with a and goes to Z, et cetera. And to my surprise, uh, some of those go very, very deep as Amazon is suggesting different suggestions. And I learned a lot from doing that and that’s kind of what became the foundation of a data research company that now has seen the light of day as a merchant were. Uh, but, uh, to answer your question, uh, it goes surprisingly deep. And so if you type in water bottles for, you’ll see all kinds of interesting stuff. You know, we haven’t tried it ahead of time and you know, we didn’t like pre,

Charles (18:16):

no, I have no idea what you’re actually, I not take that in.

George (18:23):

You know, I would encourage your listeners to go try it right now or whatever their product is. But the difficulty of doing that is it won’t necessarily expose to you the way people search using water bottles at the end of the phrase. Right. And so if someone were to say hiking water bottle or camping water bottle or a, you know, mountain biking water bottle, you wouldn’t necessarily see those suggestions if you were typing in water bottle for now. I’m not saying don’t do it. All I’m saying is you can start off with doing water bottles for and then see all those answers, but then you need to flip it around and experiment with others, uh, you know, uh, hiking, water bottles, et cetera. So you’ve got a little do a little cute human intuition.

Charles (19:00):

I actually did just type it in, by the way. So there’s kids, women, girls, men, boys, teens, kids for school, toddlers, teen girls and dogs or dogs. I love it. Yeah. I would not have thought of that one. The last one. So, but you also, you also have to flip it around, right?

George (19:17):

That’s right. So you’re not done. You need to flip it around. And so you’ll, you’ll need to kind of come up from the, off the top of your head, all of the words that people you think might put in front of there for water bottles. And you know, we could speculate a few camping, water bottles, a mountain bike and water bottles, et cetera. But you probably won’t think of them all. And, uh, and, uh, like I said, look, I’m not here on your show to, to kinda Hawk merchant words and say, buy, buy, buy my product. Not at all. But that’s the problem. Merchant words endeavored to solve when one launched the company ages ago, and that was, I wanted to understand where the word water bottle was suggested. And Amazon, meaning people are searching for it, uh, with all of the variations. And so since, uh, you know, our, our, uh, our way that we visit Amazon starts with a and B and C and we get the whole history and the whole hierarchy of all of these suggestions. You’ll be able to see where water bottle appears even when there’s other words in front of it using a tool like merchant words.

Charles (20:07):

Okay. I see. Yeah. I just saying that I started typing in camping water bottles and there are some definitely stainless stale for the collapsible, some different things like that. So I get what you’re saying. Yeah. Sometimes it’s you can’t start with water bottles. You have to start with the use case and put water like the put the product after they use case in that.

George (20:26):

Exactly right now, now here’s, here’s the challenge. It sounds like we’re smart enough to figure out all the things that we should type in to discover all the ways people search for water bottles a year. A smart guy. I’m a smart guy. We should be smart enough to think of it. We’re not. So we’re smart enough to know that we’re not smart enough to know all the ways people search. It’s, it’s completely surprising. So the only real to exhaust the entire cloud or what people are searching for is to attack this problem in a, you know, with a little bit of software help and, and like I said, that’s what my company endeavors to solve. And if you were to do some research and to other tools like merchant words, you would discover that there are hundreds, perhaps hundreds of thousands of ways that people search for water bottle.

George (21:05):

And many of them would surprise you even if you’re a water bottle marketer or merchant, you would probably some be surprised in the many ways people search your water bottle. And that’s at the crux of what I’m trying to say is don’t just think that you know, the 10 or 20 keywords or the hundred keywords that people use when they’re searching for your products. You need to understand the thousands and thousands of variations that people use when they’re search for your product. Only then can you really get inside the mind of the shopper. So please go to Amazon and type, typed your heart’s content and do all of your own research. That’s great. I never stopped doing that because that’s awesome. But what I’m saying is that comes to a point where you’re gonna need a little software to help you understand the full depth of exactly what your customers are looking for.

Charles (21:44):

Mm, I see. Yeah. I liked the idea too of, because if you’re a marketer, right, if you’re in the industry, you can probably think of the top, you know, whatever reason for your water bottles being used. But I like the idea of trying to, let’s say you could think of the top 20 top 50 but getting the bottom, you know, the next 1000 those are the ones that you could probably run a marketing campaign against that you don’t have much competition. Like you know, a lot of bottles for a left-handed, whatever like that. Yeah, that one, you probably get that keyword pretty cheap.

George (22:14):

I wish I had one of those bells on your desktop. Ding, ding, ding, ding. That’s exactly right. And so, you know, but, but it helps in whatever you’re endeavoring to do for your marketing, whether it’s landing pages or whether it’s optimizing your keywords in your listing directly on a marketplace, whether it’s your own, you know, Shopify or or whatever it is. But also, uh, PBC campaigns. You know, you, you can corner the market if you will kind of take advantage of these long tail keywords that are in the minds of customers and people are searching for them all the time because now it frees you from having to bid and fight the battle with the, and it really, it’s a bloodbath if you think about it when you fight the battle with the shorter keywords, the more popular keywords, well, a guy who types in water bottles for left-handed dogs or whatever it is. You said, someone who types in a very specific phrase like that. If you target a specific phrase, wow, you can undercut the competition on your PPC expenses and really get in front of those long tail, but you got to do an aggregate. Of course, you’re never gonna, you’re never gonna grow your business on just that one lefthanded customer. But if you do this in aggregate on all of your long tail, you really see your business grow.

Charles (23:18):

Yeah. Willing to bet that a keyword cost about 10 cents. There’s not researches, but yeah, I think actually it was less episode actually. I think John, um, I had on it was talking about going basically for that whole long tail. And like you said, no one keyword will ever do it, but when you start going very long, you know that the 1000 keywords you can start to aggregate a lot of searches and they just really cheap because no one’s, no one’s targeting those, you know, less handed mountain that your water bottle, that sort of thing. So.

George (23:48):

Exactly. Right. And you know, I’ve talked about left-handed Mount, glamorous. This isn’t a, I would imagine that, uh, your listeners, uh, kind of fall into a variety of categories right there. Maybe someone from a fortune 500 companies out there listen to us. Maybe a small businesses had been in business for a while. Maybe folks who haven’t even brought a product to market yet. Thinking about getting into this and no matter where you are on this, the size and scale and scope of the eCommerce world, I would encourage you to kind of change your mindset about understanding your audience. Uh, no matter how big you are, because a fortune 500 company can benefit from this strategy. Just like a small person just starting out, can I, you know, small business just starting out competitive. It’s a strategy. Just like someone who is still experimenting with the possibility of launching a product and just doing research. Can benefits from this strategy. Understand your customers from the, from the the most frequently searched term to the least frequently search term because only then can you really see inside the mind of your customers and, and you know, like we said at the beginning, that’s kind of the whole point of the message we’re talking about today is you’ve got to see inside the mind of your customers.

Charles (24:50):

Yeah, I like that. Yeah. I would, I would tell people never underestimate the power of a, of a marketing campaign that are a landing page or anything that, any sort of content that’s seems ridiculously targeted, like to everyone just said make a targeted, but you almost want to make the more ridiculous, like if you can literally target like, you know that left handed mountain climber from Ohio, like if you find that you know, those like 12 people, you win, like th like those 12 people, those Latina mountain climbs and Ohio, they need a water bottle today. Like if you actually are building a whole marketing campaign for them, like you’re pretty much going to get all 12 of them and just kind of building those at scale. And you obviously need some software tools like you said, to be able to generate the keyword ideas and then probably some software to generate the landing pages bid on this massive, um, bulk of keywords at that point, right?

Charles (25:43):

Cause you’re not going to go into your Amazon keyword tool and bid on 20,000 keywords. So you probably will need some tech to kind of help. Um, and that’s actually what John was saying, the last episode, toe, just even the bidding on these keywords, you need tech each one of these levels. Cause now you’re basically saying, you know, if you try to bid on water bottles, we’re kind of, we’re beating this example here. But I like it. That keyword is probably, I don’t know how much a click but ridiculous and nobody makes money. Like even the largest, you just can’t make money at that. So you basically now, because everyone, because it’s so, um, there’s just so much competition. You, you need to, if you still want to make money, you still, you need to go to the long tail and you new duty software, like you were saying, um, to generate the content ideas, generate the content, bid on the content. All this stuff needs to be kind of done at some sort of scale. So I do, I do agree with you though. Yeah. Yep,

George (26:36):

exactly right. And you know, that’s the whole reason why my company merchant words exists. You know, we offer products and services and other people do too. We offer products and services that help you understand exactly what those opportunities are. And so you can learn from them. And you know, the, the, the, the aspect of this that we keep talking about is as if it’s undiscovered, right? And there’s so much undiscovered opportunity, like nobody’s marketing for left-handed mountain climbers, right? So maybe there’s an opportunity here because nobody has thought of it. There’s another wrinkle here that just kind of worth talking about, I think is some of your competitors probably have discovered some of these little tricks, right? And so one opportunity for you is of course, discover the opportunities that no one has found yet, but the other opportunities kind of learn from your competition.

George (27:20):

Stand on their shoulders a little bit, right? And so what, uh, you know, merchant words helps you do both. You, we can get you right inside the mind of a consumer. Nevermind what your competitor’s doing. Forget them. We can get you right inside the mind of a customer. And that’s super important. The other wrinkle here is we can help you understand how your competitors have gotten inside the mind of a customer. And by looking at what they’re doing, you can kind of beat them at their own game or you can discover opportunities where you’re being left behind. That’s another interesting wrinkle of getting inside the mind of the customers, I think is worth repeating is if you’re either a smaller or a new company and you think you’ve got smarter companies around, you learn from them. And in fact, and even if you don’t learn from your peers or learn from the people who maybe have a bigger marketing budget than you do or whatever the reason is. So you can learn from customers directly, but you can also learn from your competitors about what they’ve learned about their customers.

Charles (28:11):

I like that. Yeah. If you have a, um, on the SEO side, I know, I think HRF still does this. I know spy Fu has done that for a while. There’s some software, this is all SEO on, you’re able to look and see what your competitors ads are. They are lit, like to basically get some sort of competitive analysis and kind of the back into, maybe I should be doing that thing too. Yup.

George (28:30):

Yup. Exactly right. We, we just did a, we just finished a bunch of research where we’re able to discover on Amazon exactly what the right products you should advertise your product with. You know, an Amazon, you can advertise your product alongside competing products. And most people, most people target those poorly. They, uh, they want their product to appear next to, you know, the big sellers and some of the other things. And there’s a long tail opportunity there also that if you are strategic about where your product is advertised alongside which other products in a way that yours is always the better option, that’s a huge opportunity from you to a, well not so much learn from your competitors but kind of crush your competitors. So yeah, in a, in a way, learning from your competitors is a way to both understand what has worked for them. But also kinda, I hate to say this cause it’s not about trying to wish ill on other companies, but you can absolutely, uh, make your company look a lot better by making sure that you’re advertising against companies that aren’t as good as you. And that’s another, a a good competitive strategy.

Charles (29:32):

Yeah. And you also, it happens in [inaudible] sold on Amazon long time ago and there was a couple of listings that I kind of always said, Oh no one else knows how good these listings are because they’re like, you know, out of like we had a lot of listings, but out of that there was a very small subset there. I’m like, I kind of want these to be like a secret because they’re really easy to sell and the seller was great and yeah, it was one of those things that if the competitor has those, you kind of want to know about it because every once in a while someone would jump on one and be like, Oh no, now we’re like, now we’re splitting it 50 50. Um, so yeah, it’s, it’s one of those things you just, it’s not that you’re trying to like crush them, but it also, you don’t want someone sitting there just eating your lunch when you should be having half of it as well. So,

George (30:17):

yeah, exactly right. And you know, it’s funny in the life cycle of my company, when we first started off years ago, we amassed this mountain of data and then we’ve started doing what we thought was obvious and that is, you know, keyword research, et cetera. But then as it turns out over the years, we, uh, you know, acquire a little more data from Amazon and other eCommerce platforms, then we realized the more data you acquire, the more you can synthesize from it. And exactly right. Uh, we’ve been hot and heavy building a like a, like I think I mentioned this already, I opportunity discovery tool where we can do exactly that at scale. And so you can say, look, I want to go find the niches that a few sellers have discovered because I’m ready to jump in and compete with those guys. So, uh, you know, click, click, click is do a little bit of data searching and then let the computers grind away.

George (30:59):

And after you go through terabytes of data and then trillions or records, you’re like, Whoa, who knew that there was an opportunity to sell lefthanded water bottles or whatever it is. Because because you like, like I said, and this is important, I really want people to remember this no matter how well the size of your company is, there’s an opportunity from you to learn from your customers. And that’s the whole point of what we’re talking about. So I just want to reemphasize it, but also there’s, don’t forget there’s an opportunity to learn from what your competitors have learned from their customers. So don’t forget that too.

Charles (31:26):

I like that. All right. I think that’s super helpful actually to come. This is a good place to end that, that uh, okay. I think those are some good tips. I want everyone to, it’s one of those things, I think you hear this stuff and then you have to actually go back and realize I need to go implement this and like, you know, so definitely people be thinking away or people want to contact you if they have any kind of questions. Um,

George (31:49):

sharing more. Yeah. What can they do that I would love to hear from people? Uh, so go to and at the bottom right hand corner is a chat. You can chat with his live or get in touch with us, uh, through an email. If you want to email me directly, I’d love to hear from you and answer your questions. And my personal email I’d be thrilled to hear from you, get any, uh, any questions or ideas you might have about anything. I’d love to interact with you. But my, my summary for everyone here, whether you’re a fortune 500 or just starting out is this, don’t forget that the more you get inside the mind of your customer, whatever that means, using merchant words to do a little research or just doing your own research or talking to people directly or learning from your competitors, whatever that means, the more you get inside the mind of your customer, the better e-commerce experience you’ll provide for them. And the more sales you’ll get, just naturally. You won’t have to like your way into them wanting your product. If you offer exactly what it is they’re looking for, so be the itch people want to scratch and uh, you, you, you, you will find success. Awesome. Thank you very much. That’s super helpful. It’s my pleasure. Thanks for having me on.

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