Given the current economic uncertainty, millions of people across the world (particularly in the US) have been forced into unemployment. However, there are many ways of making money throughout this pandemic and one such way is via Amazon selling. Todd Snively co-founded Expert University a few years ago with Amazon millionaire, friend and colleague, Chris Keef. The purpose of Expert University is simply – educate people on how they can become efficient, Professional Amazon sellers. The program has been highly successful, largely because of Todd’s knowledge of the industry and decades of business experience.
Todd was able to answer a few of our questions about Amazon commerce and the courses available at Expert University.
In your opinion, how will the coronavirus pandemic change how Amazon serves its customers? Have these changes already started happening?
Amazon was growing and making plans based on what could be called, normal, anticipated growth. Then out of the blue, because of the pandemic, online purchasing rocketed into the stratosphere increasing 49% in April according to Adobe analytics. Amazon, in my opinion, reacted properly by restricting the types of products they would give shipping priority. Those restrictions are pretty much gone now, but they are still trying to get back to a two day delivery commitment. This has been harder than anticipated because of the demand all the other marketplaces are placing on services like UPS, FedEx and of course, the USPS, who, by the way, in my opinion, have done an amazing job delivering packages.
Amazon hired over 175,000 “temporary” workers to deal with the initial surge and has recently announced those people now have permanent positions, mostly because 90% of consumers have indicated a reluctance to head back to local shops based on a report I read from consulting firm Retail Systems Research. Amazon was already powerful, this pandemic has simply cleared the way to dominance for easily the next decade. People have developed new buying habits and that’s good news for Amazon and amazing news for third party sellers.
Why should people consider using Expert University to improve their entrepreneurial skills, and not just simply videos they can find on YouTube?
Can you learn everything you need to know to become a successful Amazon seller, or entrepreneur from YouTube? No, no you can’t. YouTube is a great place to be entertained and to learn some things, but there’s a reason we don’t have a huge YouTube channel, and there’s a reason everyone that spends hundreds of hours watching YouTube videos don’t have successful businesses. YouTube doesn’t have enough structure, nor are the content creators the people you really need to be learning from. Most content creators on YouTube, if they are any good, are using YouTube to get you into their ecosystem to sell you something. We’d rather concentrate on delivering an educational experience that is first class and grow our membership through word of mouth and referrals.
This kind of learning requires structure, mentors who have actually accomplished what you want to accomplish, and a support community to get you past any stumbling blocks, imagined or otherwise.
What would you say is your most prized achievement in your career thus far?
There are many, but I’d have to say building a business that my Daughter can take over and have for hopefully the rest of her life to provide financial security for her and my Granddaughter. I don’t think it gets any better then that.
In your understanding, what are some of the most difficult aspects of online selling?
Having something to sell that will generate a profit, and then having the traffic of eyeballs to see those products in order to purchase them. That has always been the bane of online selling. We’ve solved the profitable product issue, Amazon solved the traffic issue.
How many people have you helped via Expert University and what type of people ask for help from the platform (a specific type of customer)?
We’ve worked with over 6,000 people over the last five years from every walk of life, every age, and just about every location around the world. The diversity of our membership is staggering. You can see an 18 year old asking a question in our community that gets answered by a multi-millionaire in his 50’s. While our success stores range from former waiters, college students, housewives, attorneys, actors, musicians and others, we do seem to attract a lot of numbers folks and Information Technology (IT) people – they seem to “get it” right away and just need the proper plan to implement an execute. We are right there with them every step of the way.
Todd, thank you for your time!