Hey, thanks for tuning in to another Partner Interview at EcomBalance. At EcomBalance, we’re all about creating win-win partnerships where we are able to grow with other companies in the eCommerce space.
In this exclusive interview, we interview Colleen Quattlebaum from eComEngine. eComEngine creates powerful software to help Amazon sellers save time and increase profits.
Colleen Quattlebaum is the Director of Marketing at eComEngine, which has been accelerating growth on Amazon since 2007. She is a proud mom of 3, a Virginia Tech Hokie, and a weekend tennis warrior.
eComEngine creates powerful software to help Amazon sellers save time and increase profits. As the top-rated app on the Amazon Seller Central Partner Network, FeedbackFive is trusted by sellers all over the world to request and manage Amazon feedback and reviews. RestockPro simplifies FBA inventory management to help sellers stay in stock without overstocking.
We hope that you enjoy the interview and that it brings value to you as an eCommerce business owner.
Connor: Hey Colleen, thanks for taking the time to chat with us today. As a company, one of our goals is to highlight our partners so that our clients can benefit where it makes most sense. To get started, can you give us a high-level introduction to eComEngine and a little bit about how the company got started?
Colleen: eComEngine started out as a custom software provider, building various solutions for eCommerce sellers. We quickly realized there was a need in the market for feedback automation software for Amazon sellers. We developed a SaaS tool which later became FeedbackFive in 2009. Thirteen years later, it is still going strong with tens of thousands of users across 17 Amazon marketplaces and 100 countries. We are proud that FeedbackFive is the #1 rated feedback and review tool in the Amazon Seller Central Partner Network.
Connor: Thanks for sharing that! Can you dive a bit more into the services that you offer to help businesses save time, automate repetitive tasks, and increase profitability? Our audience is always looking for reputable companies that they can lean on for specific parts of their eCommerce businesses.
Colleen: Sure! FeedbackFive is designed to help businesses save time by automating Amazon feedback and review requests through Buyer-Seller Messaging or the Amazon Request a Review button. The software has several features that allow sellers to customize these requests, set timing rules, and get alerts for new feedback and reviews. It also includes powerful review and ratings analytics.
We also have an FBA inventory management tool, RestockPro, that simplifies FBA tasks to help sellers stay in stock without overstocking and increase profitability with features such as our kit optimizer.
Connor: Jumping off of that…when you’re thinking about your ideal customer, who is that? Where are they selling online? Where are they located in the world? How much sales do they typically have in a year? If there’s any other qualities, please include them as well. We’re all about making introductions where it benefits both parties.
Colleen: Several of the top 20 Amazon sellers use our tools, so we definitely have some of the biggest sellers in the industry. However, we also work with new sellers, as FeedbackFive has a free plan that supports people who are just getting started. Overall, I’d say that experienced Amazon sellers who are selling internationally with a mix of FBA and MFN fulfillment would be our ideal customer because they are more likely to use all of our product features, but we gladly support sellers of all sizes.
Connor: For our audience to truly understand what makes you stand out from other companies in the ecommerce software space, can you share a story of how eComEngine truly helped one of its customers?
Colleen: Great question! We regularly chat with users of FeedbackFive and RestockPro (many use both!) to maintain our close relationships with our sellers and check in on their progress. We recently learned how one rapidly growing reseller, Mile High Online, has used RestockPro to save 20+ hours a week in logistical work. The team, which had been doing inventory calculations by hand, heavily relies on RestockPro’s restock suggestions and uses the tool to send its FBA shipments to Amazon.
Since starting with RestockPro, Mile High Online was happy to report that the business has become much more productive and can better keep up with the intense pace of its inventory. Our customer support team really enjoyed onboarding Mile High Online and had some great conversations with this exciting eCommerce brand. We were thrilled to hear of their success!
Connor: As you and your company think about the next year ahead, what does it look like? Are there any specific initiatives that you’re working on as a team to better your product or service for your customers?
Colleen: We’ve attended several events this year, including Prosper and Amazon PowWow. Talking with our customers and hearing what they love about our tools and what features they would like to see is what drives our roadmap. As Amazon rolls out new features and updates, we ensure our tools support those enhancements as well. For instance, RestockPro now supports printing labels for the new Ready to Ship status for Amazon shipments. eComEngine also migrated our tools to the new Amazon Selling Partner API this year, which offers enhanced security and other benefits.
Connor: How about this…everyone loves a company’s growth story. We all naturally go through ups and downs as a company. What was one of the biggest challenges that the company faced in its growing stages?
Colleen: Amazon policies related to requesting reviews became stricter before the introduction of the Request a Review message. At that time, we were seeing more sellers experiencing Buyer-Seller Messaging restrictions, which led to concerns about whether or not to send review requests in the first place. We worked hard to provide a variety of resources to educate sellers on how to request reviews while staying compliant with Amazon policies. We were excited to introduce the Request a Review functionality which takes the guesswork out of compliance and is very easy to use!
Today we find that about 77% of sellers are using the Request a Review messaging system, while many others send messages through Buyer-Seller Messaging. Both get great results, but it is very important to understand Amazon’s guidelines for communicating with buyers if you are using Buyer-Seller Messaging. We provide one-on-one onboarding as well as free product review consultations to help Amazon sellers learn about relevant policies and create a successful review request strategy.
Connor: Thanks! Let’s talk some eCommerce! Where do you see the industry heading in the next 1-2 years? Any big changes that you’re predicting for the industry? How can eCommerce companies prepare for it?
Colleen: Amazon and other eCommerce platforms are continuing to expand into other countries and locations, and sellers will too. Diversifying your business helps protect against volatility in the market and supply chain issues. Building more sophisticated global logistics and increasing presence in international marketplaces will give sellers a stronger presence in the eCommerce space.
Connor: Changing gears a little bit…When it comes to bookkeeping and accounting, what do you think the biggest pain points for eCommerce business owners are? Feel free to speak from personal experience as well.
Colleen: I think it is challenging for sellers to maintain profitability when expanding their business. Many sellers are not familiar with all of the fees and taxes associated with markets that they are new to selling in, so having experts to help is critical for maintaining their cash flow and profitability. It is important to have a strong relationship with your CPA to ensure you have the support you need as you expand your business.
Connor: Okay, here’s an open mic opportunity. If there’s one thing that you’d want the EcomBalance community to hear from you, what would it be?
Colleen: eCommerce reputation management is often overlooked, but it is vitally important for the health of your business. From maintaining account health metrics for each platform you are selling on to getting new reviews for your products, building and maintaining your seller reputation will help your business continue to thrive. Upwards of 55% of shoppers start product searches on Amazon, so reviews are especially important on that platform since many people use Amazon to research products before buying them. Getting reviews increases organic search rankings for your products and supports your marketing efforts by reducing ad costs and improving the likelihood that a shopper will purchase your product.
Connor: As we close this out, I just have one more question. Where is the best place to find and follow you and the company online? Also, if you have one, is there any special offer that you’ll be offering to the community today?
Colleen: For Amazon seller tips and news, sign up for our newsletter. To learn more about our company and our software, visit eComEngine. If you are interested in discussing how to get more Amazon reviews, schedule a free product review consultation. We are happy to help in every way that we can!