The Opportunities Selling on Amazon Europe | Jerome de Guigné | E-Comas
This Prime Talk Podcast Sponsored by GETIDA – Jerome de Guigné - Founder & CEO of E-Comas talks about the Opportunities Selling on Amazon Europe, also more information about his life's journey. #JeromedeGuigné #ecomas
About Jerome de Guigné of E-Comas - eCommerce Made Simple was founded by Jérôme de Guigné in 2013, with the simple idea of helping brands sell products online. We quickly realized companies were struggling with establishing profitable and sustainable eCommerce strategies. That’s when ‘Amazon Made Simple’ was born, which later became ‘eCommerce Made Simple’ –e-Comas.
Find the Full Episode Below
Yoni Mazor 0:06
Everybody, welcome to another episode of farm talk today I have a special guest today I'm having Jerome thinking, yeah. Jerome is the founder and CEO of E-commerce, which is a global e-commerce marketplace agency based out of Luxembourg, Europe. So Jerome, welcome to the show.
Jerome de Guigné E-Comas 0:21
Thank you very much, Yoni, very happy to be there.
Yoni Mazor 0:24
A pleasure, a pleasure. Well, I was waiting for this for a little while, I have to admit, I'm curious about the story because today's episode is going to focus all on you right? The story of Jerome Kagan Yeah, you can share with us everything who are you? Where are you from? Where were you born, where you know, what you grew up, and how did you begin your professional career and station to station until you get to where you are today with the world of E-commerce. So without further ado,
Jerome de Guigné E-Comas 0:48
Let’s jump right into it. Let's do that. So this is probably not a very good exercise for my ego. But lets you know, let's dive into it. You know, like a lot of CEOs, we like to talk so. And so I was born in France and the middle of France where nobody is there. So ¬¬¬there are more cows around where my parents live than people? What's the name of the town? It's so it's actually moola, the name of the town and it's not too far from another town called Vichy, which got some historical links.
Yoni Mazor 1:24
So there was a Vichy Regime, right. Vishnu was a gentleman Oh, am I wrong? On my concern
Jerome de Guigné E-Comas 1:29
I was. So the big time was the sort of it was during the Second World War, the government from France when the Germans movement moved from Paris to Vichy and Towns was in half, the top part was German and second lower part was French. Until at some point, the Germans went and invaded everything. So that's where that's sort of where I was born. My mom is British. My dad is French. So I had I spent quite a bit of time during holidays and stuff in the UK where half my family wasn't it still like cousins and stuff. So a lot of new kids in one scenario. Yeah, no, they were based in Gloucestershire. So you have a Bristol bath, a very nice area. So it's still England. My grandma was Scottish and my grandfather was Welsh. So it's a mix. Yeah, I, we do a family of six. And yeah, we country life, having a dog having lots of space and
Yoni Mazor 2:37
Their parents work on industries where they are involved with or their industry or their farmland or
Jerome de Guigné E-Comas 2:45
Not, oh, so my mum, my mum was, so was a diesel service. But she sort of she, she was in the UK, she got a diploma in the UK. But at that time, when she came into France, there was no recognition. So she couldn't be physic, or he had to restart everything, which she's the CO therapist. Yeah, she's a therapist. Yeah. And then she, she, she became a, like, she took care of kids, which was quite a bit of work for you, and then she became after when she had more time with an English teacher. So she was in a chamber of commerce, so helping, like French intrapreneurs to learn a bit better English. That was and my dad was, he was running companies or different types of companies doing some like he was in he had a dry stall at some point then he opened and sort of outsourcing agency for doctors to be he was taking appointments for doctors and stuff like that. Before.
Yoni Mazor 3:53
Sounds like his very starter who takes initiative and is an entrepreneur in a way. Yeah,
Jerome de Guigné E-Comas 3:58
Yeah. Yeah. In a sense. So my dad bless him as much disorganized person, but he was Yeah, going after them. In creating stuff in any he was always a people's person. He still is very much a people person. So you would create, get people around him to work on something. So yeah, he was very inspirational in that part of yeah, getting people around him,
Yoni Mazor 4:22
God so growing up, they were involved with anything entrepreneurial, or just focus more on learning, getting good grades.
Jerome de Guigné E-Comas 4:31
Yeah, I didn't join so my dad didn't want to have his kids or I don't think he wanted to have anyone to leave what you know how you should do things better, or here is not that type. I was we didn't get to get involved really on that. It's also old, the old French tradition is that you don't mix business with family. So you don't talk business with and it's a bit of a French thing. Sometimes not. Not everywhere, but in some
Yoni Mazor 5:02
VC that was the was the mindset.
Jerome de Guigné E-Comas 5:04
Now, it's a kind of a level where some, some it's a bit disgusting to business and money, in a sense there was. So it was this kind of culture. I didn't hear my granddad was doing a lot of business. And he never talked about business in. So it was like an interesting family culture thing. So anyway, I went to a business school in Colombia. So near the
Yoni Mazor 5:26
The Alps, really all our business was in the University of College. Yeah, yeah. So, so what year did you start university? Which year?
Jerome de Guigné E-Comas 5:35
So 1998, I think, because I finished 2001.
Yoni Mazor 5:42
Yeah. As an attendee, you move to Switzerland?
Jerome de Guigné E-Comas 5:46
Yeah, to go there. And then it was still France, but it's very close to Switzerland. I did. So you have in France, you know, you have you go to Lisa, you have your backlog here, which is your A levels in UK and B. And then you get I have two years to prepare for an exam to get into the business school. And then Business School is a master's degree, and then ready to go for work.
Yoni Mazor 6:11
God is already 2001 He finished with the masters, are you? Did he say a bit long? Yeah, I finished
Jerome de Guigné E-Comas 6:15
With the masters. So I spent six months in Germany to work in Daimler Benz Mercedes Benz. So that's where I learned German. During this period, then in 2001, in France, he still had the military service, and a specific thing, where you could do your military service inside the French company, abroad in another country. So it was an option, an option where the companies will not pay taxes on your salary. So it was a good thing. Because rather than spend a year doing nothing, because the army didn't have any money. So you can spend two years in the company abroad. So I went to the chemical branch of total stuffing. Yeah, it was at that time, it was still to Delfina else then it changed to Toto. And
Yoni Mazor 7:11
This is the oil industry or gasoline or an industry
Jerome de Guigné E-Comas 7:16
And chemicals. So polypropylene, polyethylene, all the plastics, a lot of them, they had 1000s of products. It was a small team. So my boss was French. He was he had a long, long career. So he was 16 years old. And I was the sort of right hand or helping you out on everything you wanted. And the rest were the Turkish team 1015 people, and was amazing, because
Yoni Mazor 7:44
Yeah, what year did you start there? 2001 2001. So
Jerome de Guigné E-Comas 7:48
I got married. 2001. Very young. So 2223 and then I went straight away to Istanbul. And we live the two first years, my two first years of Korea was in Istanbul and Allah
Yoni Mazor 8:01
This is, this is, this is amazing. This is so you can do instead of going to France and doing military service, they're able to do it in Turkey in Istanbul for Tolkien working there. And they have some sort of an arrangement with the government to pay you less. Yeah.
Jerome de Guigné E-Comas 8:16
No taxes. Yeah. Oh, that's
Yoni Mazor 8:18
Syringes. I never heard of that. That's a pretty smart, pretty
Jerome de Guigné E-Comas 8:22
They don't get everything right. But that is a good idea. Now that there is no military service anymore, but the system is, is still gone in school, the volunteer program, the IE, and they still work so the young French kids can go girls and boys can go in a company abroad and it still works. And that's was super because I spent two years in Istanbul. My first daughter was born in Istanbul. So that's quite an adventure. And yeah, I loved it. I learned you pick up any Turkish you were able to pick it up. Yeah, I was taking courses every week and my boss was taking so we're doing it together you know to secure layer and yes, so it was uh,
Yoni Mazor 9:04
Let me get this straight. Sorry. Cut you on this. So you know British English because your mother's British French was born there. He said you already picked up German and Turkish. It seems like it's gonna the list is gonna continue. So
Jerome de Guigné E-Comas 9:15
Unfortunately, that's boring. I was pretty good in Turkey was Turkish now I've like you don't practice it as much as it is front. But I have in our team. I have two Turkish people who just come from Istanbul and it's lovely to listen to them at something. Turkish so, yeah, two years there. I learned a lot of things. And you know, having a bit of a mentor was 60 years old. He had lived in many, many countries in the Petro Industry. And he had loads of anecdotes, loads of stories and you're I enjoyed it immensely. And then I came back in 203. And I looked for a job and I found a job very close to Luxembourg. Which is where I'm at. And it was for Chinese companies selling photo accessories. And I was in charge of a big part of Europe. So I got to travel a lot, like a lot in northern Northern Europe specifically. So Norway, Sweden, Finland, Denmark, Germany, obviously, Poland, all that. So I, that was I spent 10 years. And at some point I got, I was head of Europe for the company was another company in Europe, and it banged down. So for anyone who's into photography, and photo shooting, they become the number two, basically, accessories.
Jerome de Guigné E-Comas 11:01
So when we started, we were no brand, no-name brand. And sort of, we build it up and they went on, building up and my boss was the owner, the lady owner, the company, and he. And I also learned incredible things with her. I mean, she, like a lady from China building a very big multinational company, that's quite impressive. It's also tough. So after 10 years of Chinese management as Okay, that's good timing, to move on. And that's the funny bit of my story is, I was looking for a job, I did an MBA in Paris, and it was an MBA going on a lot of different countries, same very multi-language, multi-cultural, I did this MBA, and I was looking for Java. And as you know, I speak fluently couple of languages have this, that I will find a job like that. I didn't find a job. So this is 13 already. 2013. Exactly. But before we jump into that, I want
Yoni Mazor 11:44
to I want to summarize the 10 years we did in Europe, so you're involved with the big business development, so you're able to create the market. And each of these countries is mentioned Denmark, I mentioned, probably France and, and Germany, and Italy, all these markets, you come in and you just build it up for the brand. And then within 10 years, it's already a multinational, established round as number two in the marketplace, that's pretty heavy, serious experience because of its culture and its regulations and distributions, which makes it very complex and challenging and seem like it was successful. So it's a pretty, pretty good experience.
Jerome de Guigné E-Comas 12:22
Yeah, it was a team exercise. So obviously, the factory in China, so it was very different. We're not guys may, having products produced by someone else in China, it was our factories, producing and they really big a big jump in quality. And that was the base of everything. And then the team as a common exercise, we built the brand. And we it was a lot of people got put into place. And it was a collective success that was really
Yoni Mazor 12:50
about the strategies, each country had its distributors with their rights, or you had like one for Europe that kind of had to penetrate each country on their own independently, or the structure as far as you remember.
Jerome de Guigné E-Comas 13:00
Yeah. So it works less well, usually to have a Pan European, like, if you're American, and you go in the guy say yeah, you know, I can handle all of the countries normally.
Yoni Mazor 13:11
So yeah, all the states in America Yeah, all the regions.
Jerome de Guigné E-Comas 13:15
Like sometimes you need to have one guy in each country more or less. So we had either a distributor or set of dealers or like reps for example. So but you had to have your local team at some point, we decided to open our subsidiaries. So I opened I think three subsidiaries sorry, in Germany and the UK and Spain.
Yoni Mazor 13:40
So these subsidiaries to control and either your distribution in the country,
Jerome de Guigné E-Comas 13:45
We recruited the GMs locally and they were handling their market. What was interesting and what led me into this job now is that the photo business at that time was living a double revolution. The first one is that the product was going from analog to digital so you know your old camera was your film and everything was dying. And it was getting to digital completely digital cameras and even you had it was getting into phones right like you had your small cameras they more or less died because nobody's taking any more pictures. They are using their phones, right. So this this this first revolution. The second revolution was the distribution that was getting more and more online.
Jerome de Guigné E-Comas 14:28
And the photo business went very quickly online and consumer electronics was very successful, especially on the Amazons, and everywhere was one of the first categories where prices were cut because they were making loads of margin before. That's where a lot of big companies like Kodak and others went bankrupt because they were making huge money and then all of a sudden, no films where you make a 500% margin mess. So a lot of the market trends and they went through this The Revolution of going to the product, but also the distribution into digital and E-commerce. And that sort of base my was my experience of that change, and some categories or some products, having still lived that, like, if you look into DIY, for example, it's especially in Europe, still a lot of places are very traditional yet and not very online. Right.
Yoni Mazor 15:24
Do yourself products to kind of category Yeah.
Jerome de Guigné E-Comas 15:28
Yeah. Yeah. So those subcategories are still very much traditional. But my experience there was there wow, okay. We and we had to the Amazon that was handling all the I was coordinating all the Amazon accounts for the company in Europe. And I
Yoni Mazor 15:43
Know you're already on algebra. So you're already selling on Amazon back in 2000. In the early 2000s,
Jerome de Guigné E-Comas 15:48
Yeah. 2000 yet from 2008 910. So we were on Amazon. And my job was to create relationships, I got to know a lot of people inside Amazon Europe, in the different countries going having lunch and you know, creating that rapport with them. So I knew loads about Amazon, or anybody talking with friends. And we were vendors. But so because they in that day and age brands, specifically in Europe, were mostly vendors. So I knew a lot of things. But I didn't see that it had an enormous value for a lot of people. And probably Amazon was less of a buzzword than it's become Yeah, back then
Yoni Mazor 16:29
It was just up and coming. And it's another background of things. But my question to you is to give us a little idea, but you said, you know, cameras, accessories, so give us an idea of a few products that you were really good sellers for you.
Jerome de Guigné E-Comas 16:42
So typically would be tripods. So the tripods, you know, for your camera, bags, tripods bags, we had cases, but that was not. And by no clothes that were there for product groups. So tripods, for me was always amazing, we would sell 1000s of tripods. And you say, what do people do with? What? Did you buy one? What? Why would you buy another one I get for me, it was always a mystery. But it was selling so I think people would lose them. I don't know what still sells? Yeah, and it's very high value-added. Because typically, it's like, it's gone down now with time, but it's like if you have a carbon fiber, it's easily 200 or 300 bucks for tripod, it's like an if you sell a few 1000s That's already a normal set on over. So yeah, that was a bad photo, guys. I don't know what people do with photo bags is yes.
Yoni Mazor 17:40
They want to protect their investment. They're their devices. But okay, so let's jump into 2013. You tell you're going to Google, you know, try to look for a job, all this experience, somebody is going to grab you and then that's it. But okay, so what happened?
Jerome de Guigné E-Comas 17:54
Oh, and in Europe, and specifically in France, you have a very good unemployment package where the government will give you some money and, and you know, and for nearly two years, you can get, I think 80% of your previous salary in like in, you know, money. And, you know, I was probably
Yoni Mazor 18:15
For how long? How long did they pay you 80% of your salary? Two years?
Jerome de Guigné E-Comas 18:18
I think it's it goes down, but I think it's in total is two years. I don't think
Yoni Mazor 18:24
I think in the United States if I'm not mistaken, it's about six months. So you guys get four times more or longer unemployment?
Jerome de Guigné E-Comas 18:30
I think so. I'm not I'm not the best one for that. But I think yeah, in that area. But you know, I was young and stupid. I'm not young anymore. But is that I thought no, I don't want that money. I like I'm young and I've got energy, I shouldn't get money. That's not it's not right. I was probably
Yoni Mazor 18:51
Like, an American or something is very capitalistic. Like, you know, the government should be doing nothing for me. I do.
Jerome de Guigné E-Comas 18:59
Know, some people got you to know, unfair circumstances or do you know, I saw, you know, I should be good. I shouldn't be resting, I should be going and you know, fighting it. So my own company, and I started that company. And I saw Okay, I'll go completely outside of my industry because I never liked the people who go you know, what, from one competitor to another, I said, Now I live 10 years in one color a company, I don't want to go into another one. Like, I don't want to be that kind of guy. So I decided I would go different. So I started to work with outsourcing companies, one in outsourcing in India for industrial design. So to do like CAD design in India, another one was for
Yoni Mazor 19:44
30-minute computer automated design. Yeah.
Jerome de Guigné E-Comas 19:48
Exactly. And the other one was outsourcing in Madagascar for data entry. Because Madagascar you've got a lot of people which on Yeah, fortunately, unfortunately, I don't know I have a very low income. And then you can get for a fun fact is that, for example, the French government is decided to digitalize all the birth records in France. So they pay companies to come and take pictures. And then they don't know or they know, but they don't care. The payloads of people in Madagascar do all the typing because they look at the pictures and they do data entry of all the birth certificates and everything. So all the French people who can now go to the town hall, find all this information, thanks to people in Madagascar who've done that for them. So
Yoni Mazor 20:42
That’s just a trivia fact.
Jerome de Guigné E-Comas 20:45
Yeah. So I did that for two years. And outsourcing is a tough business. And one thing I realized I didn't like doing is selling. Cost savings. And, like, I found out that when you're selling cost-saving, sorry, I have the son is playing with me. You're when you're selling cost savings, and people always have this thing of, okay, you're always trying to save then your costs and everything. So I didn't like selling less. And I saw no, I want to sell the value-added. I want to sell them more. So after two years, I thought, Hmm, not a good idea. Like I'm not enjoying myself. So I said, Okay, I'll go back to some of the people I knew from my industry, and specifically your binder color brand in Germany called Asian bath.
Jerome de Guigné E-Comas 21:39
And they told me, Okay, listen, we're looking for someone to take care of all our distribution worldwide for vinyl. I said, Fine, cool. I'll do that. And very quickly, I find out that most of the distributors were dying in the photo world and yeah, the world. And then the easiest way was to go on Amazon and I knew loads of Amazon. So you know, it's simple. I'll just go and do that. And then I found out that actually, the more I was talking about Amazon, the more people were interested when I was saying, okay, you know, I can build the I can help you build your business. You know, I know about it, you know, I was taking, yeah, talk to some 15. I started with this big brand. And I spent more and more talking about Amazon. And then when you talk to someone you say, Okay, are you selling on Amazon? That guy says yes. Do you have a problem? Oh, yes, then okay, you're in, so to speak. So as a sales pitch, it was a no-brainer. Because when I was saying, okay, and you sell a product, yeah. Do you need to help me meet to help yourself? No. So it was different, you know, sales discussion for me to sell myself is like, Amazon was no brainer. And a lot of people were fighting with Amazon. And I saw always it was the wrong type of fight. And sometimes not fighting the right type of fight. So it's like, you know how Amazon is.
Jerome de Guigné E-Comas 23:07
And most of the time, they don't care. Like, don't fight on things. They don't care. Just know, avoid it or something. So it's started, like, guys, I know. You're doing something wrong. Listen, okay, let me tell you, and then peers, Oh, yeah. Can you come and help me? Yeah, it was a pleasure. And I sort of build that around this. And so 2015 to 2018. My team, we were a very small team. And because I wanted it to be a small team, you know, quiet. I build a lot of networks and do not have relationships with a lot of the other people with other networks. I, I also build my knowledge in terms of consulting, strategic consulting, I worked with a lot of other consultants and I learned a lot during that period. And we might
Yoni Mazor 23:47
Involve the binocular company, the German one, did you keep it as a client the whole time? Have you involved them? Or that was a pretty quick touch and go kind of
Jerome de Guigné E-Comas 23:54
No, no, yeah, we, we stay we work together for two and a half years. And, and after something that said, Okay, it's grown so much, it will take someone totally, yeah. You know, the typical
Yoni Mazor 24:06
Success? Yeah, that's a success, you will make something big, like, you know, we should probably invest enough in resources to try to go independent, but I just voted for it. That's a good thing.
Jerome de Guigné E-Comas 24:16
And, yeah, and, and they would, they offered me this, okay. Do you want to join the company? I said, Yeah, you know, I have this thing happening, you know, the company myself, so I, I, it was a good one. And they said, okay, cool. So,
Yoni Mazor 24:31
Two and a half years, your relationship was your consultant. Yeah.
Jerome de Guigné E-Comas 24:35
Yeah, I was a consultant who had a couple of other brands as we started to onboard and I had Richard in India with me or three people in Madagascar were two in Europe. So this whole team 567 like that, it was fine. And at some point, I started in 2018, year, some 89 Dean People’s that asked more. And I started to have bigger clients like Michigan in from so you know, big, larger big groups which I can give all the names but you know very big groups where they because sue my relationship and network, they say, Okay, we need someone who knows about Amazon on a strategic level. And then I started to talk with more and more companies and have more and more demand. Then I met Alibaba, which made the interview with and was he was also from the industry in the business development role.
Jerome de Guigné E-Comas 25:34
And then all of a sudden, it all kicked off. And it's like, it was just like, I had prepared the foundations for, you know, five, six years, and then all of a sudden, it all clicked into place. And I found, like people and now like, then the first, first in 2019, we finished the 12 people, in 2020, we finished probably short of 30 people, and this year will finish probably a bit more than 45 people. So it's like all of a sudden, it just exploded in terms of numbers. But it's, I believe it's because, for a long time, I was not hungry or impatient. I was always impatient. But I was building without really knowing a lot of foundations. Once it was ready, I was ready to go on the investment team. Well, it happened.
Yoni Mazor 26:24
Nice. But tell me once you were sat within a consulting 2015 The dynamic was mostly focused on vendors, essential third party selling which is Amazon Seller Central or both? What was the experience like all these years for your clients?
Jerome de Guigné E-Comas 26:40
So I would say I started very much from a vendor experience myself and then gradually blamed Seller Central as we went. And now today is probably like the rest of the market. 7770. Seller 30 years. 2030 years.
Yoni Mazor 26:58
Yeah, so the whole paradigm shifted is start with more focus or centralized on the vendor Central, the early beginning. And really no, a few years later. Now it's 70% plus, on Seller Central, which is third-party selling, how do you find that if we know from your understanding what happened? And then the past five, six years? Why did this shift happen? Yeah, so.
Jerome de Guigné E-Comas 27:17
So for me, I'm not focused on the solution, I'm more focused on the brands, so we want to be very close to our customers. So a lot of the things we still do today is like, some brands in Europe still are very much vendor, and they say, Yeah, we're hearing a lot about the seller, by the fact of controlling our prices, blah, blah, blah. And that's, that's where a lot of brands are saying, Yeah, you know, if you have an old vendor account, now you probably have your Dave, Amazon push so much. The fact of, you know, increasing terms and stuff that you're not making any money and, and Amazon's not listening and stuff. So you say, you know, now I should move to the seller.
Jerome de Guigné E-Comas 27:58
It's also I think the Amazon dynamic saying, Okay, we want to keep vendor only because we want you for a few strategic brands, so you have the control of the supply. But for the rest, we wouldn't care less like, you know, let's do it on the seller because I don't own the stock is probably much easier on the big scale. And in the States, it's very much so it's very difficult to become a vendor in the states in Europe is still we can get a vendor again, quite easily, not easily, but quite easy. But you can see, you can feel that the number of vendor managers is reducing and when you don't have a vendor manager vendor can be very difficult. So for me, its Amazon strategy is impacted. If they had more vendor managers taking more care of the brands, you would have more vendors, but they're not because I think for them, it's costing them a lot of money. And the only benefit is to get access to sourcing. So some people were saying, you know, the vendor is dead, and they will put into one. I doubt that because I think Amazon will set one for some specific brands, they want to have control and access. And because they want to unlock some markets, some categories, and for that, the vendor program is the best for them because they do whatever they
Yoni Mazor 29:13
Want. So got it. Let's focus on the seller's central side in the past five, six years. You know, this is the biggest trend, it seems like also the Amazon 60% of Amazon Marketplace. Sales are third-party sellers. You know, when Amazon first started 20 plus years ago, you know, it was 100% Amazon, and then they open it up for third-party sellers. So a little by little is taking over. How would you explain that? What are the benefits of Seller Central for the brand for the sellers?
Jerome de Guigné E-Comas 29:43
We so usually it goes down to two main benefits. The first one is price control. And specifically, Europe is very complicated with as regards to price control because it's illegal to have a MAP policy in Europe so you can't
Yoni Mazor 30:00
Jerome de Guigné E-Comas 30:01
It's, yeah, it's completely illegal. So you can't, like in the States, you can't enforce map to a vendor account, like, Amazon will not want to listen to my policies. So but I but that's maybe the only one in the market. So maybe a few other big ones. But in Europe is just if, if you have proof, if someone can go to court and have proof of a phone call and email where you talked about user prices, you will be fine. Like Rozonda.
Yoni Mazor 30:30
Just to clarify, manufacturing, or poor pricing, is where the manufacturers want to be able to control and regulate the prices of the products in the marketplaces. So pretty common here in the United States were brands, like Apple and others able to kind of create a benchmark price point for their products were all in all the retailers have to sell to be committed to these prices. And if they break the map, or they don't follow the guidelines or the pricing, they can lose their account and the ability to sell Apple devices, right? So that's kind of the dynamic in the United States and over there in Europe, no such thing. It's like we sell it to you, and then each retailer will have to, you know, control and regulate their price to do their reasoning.
Jerome de Guigné E-Comas 31:11
Yeah, if a retailer can prove that you've stopped supplying because there they have got the wrong price, you will be fine. And you will be forced to sell
Jerome de Guigné E-Comas 31:21
Your heavy fine. So that makes a different dynamic. And therefore,
Jerome de Guigné E-Comas 31:27
For brands who are saying, okay, the price point is a very difficult situation, then the seller account makes less mess in the market. Because when you're a vendor, Amazon doesn't destroy it won't go down. Sorry, price setup, they said their price follower. So they will endorse a price drops because the vendor account on Amazon itself will go down to the cheapest price. So as a brand, the question is, okay, do I want to have me, aka Amazon endorsed price drops?
Jerome de Guigné E-Comas 32:01
That's, that's the main question. And therefore, the point is, okay, then I if I want to, like launch a new product, if I have a strategy, I have a vendor account is working well, I don't have price issues. Cool. Okay, I launch a new product. I know, some people might want to try to get the product and you know, then you go on the seller account, and you protect your pricing for X amount of months. For example, the second reason so the first reason is really fast. Protection is yeah, the second issue or the second reason is access to data is getting better on the vendor side when you get access to much more data when you Asana so on exactly who's been to your page, who's seen it, the conversion rates, exactly.
Jerome de Guigné E-Comas 32:47
Even the premium. So Amazon retail analytics, which is the sort of the dash and now its dashboard offer renders is not as good as for sellers. So if you want to get more data, especially at the beginning, when you're launching a product, you're better off on the seller.
Yoni Mazor 33:06
Got it. Okay, very well. Very good. Thank you so much for clarifying that. Now, when asked about, you know, expansion into Europe, let's say, you know, a lot of our listeners and sellers that we hope they mostly sell in the US and, you know, what's the situation? And then you know, going into Amazon Europe, is it something you recommend? What's the opportunity there, maybe we can discuss it a little bit.
Yoni Mazor 33:24
And, of course, how you can help if needed,
Jerome de Guigné E-Comas 33:28
Of course, so the first thing is that you need to understand Europe is probably a bigger market than the US altogether. Now. It's a more complex market. However, the plus is that once you're in, you're in, it will be very difficult to get you out. I often say that in the US, you can be successful. If a competitor comes, we can kill you in like in a couple of weeks is done because he gets a better price on some categories as he can go very quickly, but very quickly, they lose it. In Europe, you need to build your success in every country. So if you can find someone who can beat you in every country, it will take him a lot of time, same as you to build your presence in every country in every country. Plus, you will need to understand the European way of working right, you know, your new yourself is like Europe is different. So it's like every country is going with its specificities and you need to make sure that you're speaking the European way like you you don't make mistakes. Like if you make grammar mistakes on the German listings, you're out like nobody likes.
Yoni Mazor 34:33
Like No way. Nobody's gonna buy.
Jerome de Guigné E-Comas 34:36
Yeah, and, and for example, it's just an example is in German. The key words if you have sometimes because of the grammar, you have to add an s on end or something at the end of the keyword. But then people say no, you know I want to use my keyword which is the main keyword. But if in this you put in a sentence and the grammar is not good, the customer doesn't like it. So it's typically
Jerome de Guigné E-Comas 35:00
Those kinds of things you need to be careful of, and if you crack them, you will be in a very good position. This and that's for me, it's like it's a bigger market than the US altogether.
Jerome de Guigné E-Comas 35:10
And on top of that is like, if you take the time to be successful you will be it will be very difficult to get you out. Now, how we can help is we know the little the different steps, which are making it difficult, and like, it won't go, it won't be super, super fast. Because then you have, you have to reduce the VAT, you have to do this, you have to do that. It's like Europe has made it a bit difficult to do business because we like rules, we like laws, we like order, we like to know, you know, everything is in place, and specifically some eastern part of Europe, like Germans, for example, Swiss and like they want everything perfect, then you can start to do business. So it's not you can't go and like, oh, okay, I'll send my container, let's start, it doesn't work that way. If you send that container, it will get blocked.
Jerome de Guigné E-Comas 36:03
So you need to get prepared. And like we there are other very good agencies we have a positioning of because we're in Luxembourg, we pan European we have a lot of different people speaking the different languages. And we've now we are able now to help on the VAT on the logistics on a lot of parts. Because we understand that, okay, brands need to have the support on everything. So if you don't know about the different stuff, or the different parts, which need to be put in place, we can help. Now, of course, it takes a bit of time investment, but the return on investment can be really good and sustainable. Because you're there will be
Yoni Mazor 36:42
a reasonable amount of time to be able to, if somebody does in the United States to have a really good brand they're selling in millions of dollars worth of that, you know, dollars will abandon us will be a reasonable timeframe for them to penetrate the EU. And what would they start with altogether all at the same time, or maybe just one marketplace? And then another?
Jerome de Guigné E-Comas 37:03
Yeah, typically, we would recommend starting from one country and one location. And typically, like the two big ones are the UK and Germany. So Germany is the biggest market in Europe for Amazon. UK second. So from a language perspective, maybe for you, it's easier to go to the UK first.
Jerome de Guigné E-Comas 37:28
That's probably a good idea the UK is easier general than the rest of Europe, you can get VAT in two weeks, you can get set up. So it's quite quick. Germany already you can see you can your VAT number takes three to four months to get that's already Okay, a lot of paperwork and things to
Yoni Mazor 37:45
Clarify, it's a value-added tax here. And then I said we kind of call it sales tax. So you got to set up in these countries, you know, relationship with the government, so you have your VAT number. So once you generate the cells, you know the nominee sales and you're gonna have to pay all the sales tax and VAT fees to the governments are saying in Germany, taking at least three to four months just to set that up. This is before you can send any inventory to the marketplace, or just open the Amazon account. So that's something to take into consideration.
Jerome de Guigné E-Comas 38:13
And typically, if you put your products into the system without the VAT number, because the German government is putting a lot of pressure on Amazon, Amazon will block your account. Yep.
Yoni Mazor 38:24
Not activity until it's set up properly.
Jerome de Guigné E-Comas 38:27
Exactly. So that's typically a but you have ways around it like Italy, for example, is you can get be set up in a couple of weeks, like two to three weeks. So if you're really in a rush, you can go through Italy, and then like service German customers through the Italian warehouse. But it's like, it's a question for you to say okay, where, like, where do you want to start? And how do you want to start? It's like you need to measure and that's where we help to say okay, look at the pros and cons, and what's the best solution for you?
Yoni Mazor 39:02
Yeah, we're just a reasonable timeframe for sellers to understand about penetrating Europe is at least six to 12 months is kind of needed to set things up properly so you can gain traction and starts themselves and see the potential
Jerome de Guigné E-Comas 39:15
Yeah, typically is 123 months, you would start to get ready on all the paperwork probably work on your content on the different logistics solutions, and so on. And then months three to six you can be starting to sell and then from six to 12 That's where you can see well get which are getting started and see okay, do I am I getting traction in the market or not? Is that making sense? Or do I need to tweak things and maybe start to extend in the other countries?
Yoni Mazor 39:45
As got it and these marketplaces are growing over the years ago? Because you've been there for what, five, six years plus? These marketplaces are growing every year. Some markets are kind of hit already saturation.
Jerome de Guigné E-Comas 39:55
Jerome de Guigné E-Comas 39:57
They are growing. The thing is that in Germany too
Jerome de Guigné E-Comas 40:00
because it's so big and overwhelming that sometimes the cost of keywords or you know, the cost of getting customers is getting higher because a lot of people are playing them. After all, everyone they're in France, for example, it's on some categories, Amazon France is less good because there is a local competitor who's very good. So depending on the category, you can do more or less than other countries yet he knew a country like Spain or Italy, you have to understand that Italy even before so before COVID, like eCommerce was, didn't understand the EAC it's not in the cultures like now you can you know, you go and you see your friends.
Jerome de Guigné E-Comas 40:43
Jerome de Guigné E-Comas 40:45
That's the culture now, because of COVID. Its things have changed a bit because they had to go through E-commerce. So it's growing. But what's interesting is that nobody, there is no competitor to Amazon, the only none in Italy or Spain, because eCommerce is they don't, you know, nobody was saying it's big. I'm gonna say no, no, I'm going there, because there's potential because one day will come there. In Spain, you only have AliExpress. So Alibaba, which is settled in, in Europe, which, which also started there. So you can see that some big groups are saying, I think Spain will come one day. And now you have the potential thing that Amazon is fueling tomorrow's growth, because they start in the Netherlands, in Poland, and Sweden. So all those three countries today are very small, but it's like 345 years, they will be driving the growth in Europe, for example,
Yoni Mazor 41:38
You recommend Yeah because Amazon is planted the seeds, plant your seeds with Amazon, they'll make sure you know, to do everything that they can to grow it and make it a viable marketplace and extension to the European marketplace. And that's official growth. Like you said the growth of tomorrow.
Jerome de Guigné E-Comas 41:51
Yeah, because in the States, Amazon is so big, it's already this big. I don't think they can grow except in new categories or new because they have they're already in Europe. What's interesting is that you have so many untapped markets in Eastern Europe like in Europe, like Sweden,
Jerome de Guigné E-Comas 42:09
Norway, Finland, very high-income countries like that that can be interesting.
Yoni Mazor 42:15
Nice. I like that. I think that's its very, very, yeah, five minutes five or 10 years into the future are you cover the things your holds a lot of potentials, especially with these high earning countries in which it hasn't been adopted as much. And it shouldn't be because it is ultimately a superior shopping experience, you get the best prices, the best products are the most efficient way, you have to go to the stores, use your car use gas, by Sunday, put it back in your trunk is that the experience is just not as efficient, especially for something new all the time, you know, totally paper.
Yoni Mazor 42:49
And, you know, CPG consumer products, well. Okay, so I want to kind of capture the story to see a food that we got everything correctly so far. One reason in France is if she area
Yoni Mazor 43:00
2019 98 already started school, learn business, you got your masters, graduated 2001 2001 until 2003. Your military service so to speak was with the total, you know, the company the and focused on the chemical industry with a total of two large French corporations, you know, which is in the oil and energy industry and chemistry, so but you spent it in and now it's the moon right in Turkey from 2001 until 2003. And then 2003 able to kind of secure a job with, you know, an accessories company in the photo industry, which is also a bit was based in China had manufacturing capabilities. And then from 2003 until 2013, with these 10 years established,
Yoni Mazor 43:42
you know, relationships and distribution and penetration and growth throughout the European marketplace until this brand became they became a brand, you know, from just a factory that was trying to kind of build it footings in the ground, it became a brand and the second bestselling brand I know in this nation is categories. And then in 2013, you find yourself kind of in limbo, you're not being able to find a position or job for yourself. So you said you know what, I'm gonna spread my wings and do things myself. And then you were able to kind of two years do that. But then 2015 You finally got a job, you know, consulting with, you know, a binocular company, a German company, and then, you know, between 2000 to 2018 19 You were able to onboard more and more of, you know, these type of companies where you consulting and then 2018 19 I guess that's the moment we already established eCommerce as we know today as a brand as a name.
Jerome de Guigné E-Comas 44:39
Yeah, well, my first company name was funny, it was the great wall because it was my, you know like I came from a long time I spent time with China and I saw Okay, the Great Wall is linked to my history before and it's also a building which presumably you can see from the moon. It's not
Jerome de Guigné E-Comas 45:00
Truth. That's the story. And it's lasted 1000 years, I won't say okay, I want to build things for companies, which can be seen from far away and last 2000 years, the singular in E-commerce a great rule doesn't speak.
Yoni Mazor 45:13
Yoni Mazor 45:15
Was 2010 it doesn't it?
Jerome de Guigné E-Comas 45:17
I think it's 2019 because we saw the ad the Great Wall, and Amazon made it simple. And I received one day an email from a very nice lawyer from Amazon saying, Okay, thank you for loving our brand is very nice, but you've
Yoni Mazor 45:31
Got to attend to establish eCommerce as we know today. And then from 2018. Till today, it grew tremendously, you know, with brands, and most of these brands already focus on amazon seller central, but you're also doing the vendor central side. And so helping these brands established in Europe, and of course, anybody based in the US wants to penetrate Europe, you hold them as well, and that we get everything correctly. So far.
Jerome de Guigné E-Comas 45:52
Great, completely correct.
Yoni Mazor 45:54
Very good. Very good. Okay. So thank you so much for sharing, I learned a lot and appreciate it. Now I want to finish up the episode with two points. The first point will be if somebody wants to reach out to you and connect, where they can find you. And the last thing will be is what is your message of hope and inspiration for entrepreneurs listening out there.
Jerome de Guigné E-Comas 46:11
So the way to connect with us is on LinkedIn, we're very active on LinkedIn, we publish a lot of content. So you look for E-commerce or e commerce.com. We are revamping our website, which I hope will be live next week was a lot of our new services. So we're very excited.
Jerome de Guigné E-Comas 46:28
And hoping that
Jerome de Guigné E-Comas 46:32
So the message of hope and inspiration is
Jerome de Guigné E-Comas 46:38
like, the first thing is that you mentioned like Vichy and the history is like one thing is like my grandparents fought on each side by one of my grandparents was English ratio, one was French, and they fought against Germans and stuff and now I'm working with German people. It's like, for me, we can't forget that it's a very very like it's a history which is coming it's very like close to us because
Yoni Mazor 47:08
Still pretty recent.
Jerome de Guigné E-Comas 47:11
So it's like it's incredible today that thanks to business because Europe was built, rebuilt, thanks to business okay, let's go let's stop you know that crap because we're killing we were also decreasing the value altogether. So it's like for me the message of hope like generally is one is okay, look at what we can do. And since the business sense like business is not you don't have like too many emotions about Yeah, it's like okay, and we can Germans French English II we can work together. So that's for me, it's, it hit me because you were talking about this year. You mentioned vision. I think that's for me one great thing because in our world today, there's so much fighting and so on. It's like okay when you do business you fight but it's differently. It's like that's for me is incredible. The second thing I would like to say which is a bit less emotional is about that. What I loved about Amazon specifically
Jerome de Guigné E-Comas 48:08
earlier on is that it was given so much possibility like what was frustrating for me working as a brand in the like in the photographic industry is that you had a couple of buyers in Europe, let's say in France, you had Oh in Germany, you have Media Market in France, you have a snack or different people you had a couple of buyers let's say 10 buyers who would decide on your success or your failure if you were friends with the guy he would buy your product and put it into these 400 stores and you know you would be successful without that because your product was selected more or less than it would run today it completely changes like the barrier to entry or the power of the bias disappeared in a sense like on the vendor side you can still okay say it's always true but it's more or less like today. Whichever product you have, you can get it to the market without doubt like whatever you want to do you can present it to the market now if you're successful is based on having a good product is working bloody hard. And it's
Jerome de Guigné E-Comas 49:11
about also knowing how knowing some of the tricks and like the tricks is you know getting the trick of saving money you will get from the T dad trick of okay how to expand in Europe you'll get from us it's like okay, you need to learn the things and to find people around you which will help you to build a singleness for me it's incredible. We have so many opportunities, thanks to e-commerce and specifically Amazon that for me, it's a message of hope because tomorrow we could say oh, you know what, Yoni let's start a brand of pet foods. You know what? Nothing is stopping us. But we just have to find a supply and let's go.
Jerome de Guigné E-Comas 49:50
Before it wasn't that easy.
Yoni Mazor 49:52
I love it. I love it. Yeah. So just to summarize on that, so this is a real-time opportunity, like never before, and so go seize it work hard before
Yoni Mazor 50:00
Prepare to work hard focus on making you know to be you know loving people and not fighting with people. And if you have to fight with anybody, at least make it on the marketplace so it's financial, right, and not physical, so there's no real destruction. And this is kind of the message of hope and inspiration for anybody listening out there. Beautiful stuff. John, thank you so much. Best of luck to you and the E-commerce team. People are doing a good job. Thank everybody for listening. I hope you enjoyed it, stay safe and healthy. Till next time