Expert’s Corner is our interview series with makers and doers in the core industries we serve: e-commerce, mobile gaming, marketing, and publishing.
In this Corner: Izabella Ritz, founder and CEO of the e-commerce agency Ritz Momentum. Ritz grew up poor in Russia, raised by a single mom, and started working when she was 12. After finding success selling on Amazon, Ritz opened her agency to help other sellers with product research, design, and Amazon listing optimization.
Read on for the lessons Ritz learned along the way and her advice if you want to become a 7-figure seller. This interview has been edited for clarity.
How much did your childhood shape you — or were you born to be an entrepreneur?
We lived in the apartment building for people who worked in good positions. My grandma was able to buy for us 48 square meters because she was one of the directors in the famous “Children’s World” store in Moscow. I was able to see the full fridge in my grandma’s apartment and the empty one where I lived. My friends had great toys, beautiful pencil cases from China, while I was wearing the same sports costume for 3 or 4 years. I wanted to have stuff. I still do. That’s why I don’t want to repeat my childhood, neither for myself nor for my own children. That’s why our fridge is always full and during celebrations, we always have leftovers.
Tell us how you started selling on Amazon in 2015. Why did you choose silicone wine glasses as your first product?
I was in a position where I needed to start a business ASAP. Honestly, I chose the glasses after some cursory research on Amazon, and I did not have much time to learn. I usually act fast and intuitively, based on my previous experience. I don’t recommend that others do the same, especially now because there are a lot of requirements and details you need to know to succeed on Amazon. I was lucky in choosing silicone glasses; with the A9 algorithm at that time, I was lucky, too.
At what point in a seller’s journey does it make sense to work with an agency like yours?
Sellers should play only the intelligent game. They need an overall strategy, a plan, and tactics. It’s not hard when you know not just the main but also the hidden rules.
The most challenging part is growing and multiplying. Because we offer a variety of tailored services, there are multiple entry points of when a seller should work with an agency like ours: 1) when they are beginners with not much time to learn but they want a quick place to start; 2) when they are established sellers and have hit a sales wall and don’t know what to do; 3) when they need one-off services done fast, like listing creation or label design, in order to maintain their sales momentum; and 4) when sellers are looking to hyper-grow their sales in preparation for an exit.
Is being a 7-figure seller a realistic goal? How much of one’s own money does it take to get there?
The short answer is: yes. One million today is, generally speaking, nothing. It’s a $30,000 profit a month, which is not much if at home you have four mouths to feed. To get to seven figures within a year, you have to invest five figures and use the right approach. Choose a product with high demand and low competition. Work on the right packaging for your product. And make sure to use PickFu to test your product and guarantee yourself the sales.
Describe the perfect Amazon product listing.
Let’s start with the listing components. For SEO, the keywords inside the text should be relevant, without spam (don’t repeat more than once). It should be meaningful text that will answer potential questions about the product and make the decision to purchase it more robust — two birds, one stone.
The words have to speak to your customer for you and the presentation of the product should be enticing. The wording should be creative, describing the product quality and benefits in detail. Make sure the information is not obvious. Substitute phrases like “best quality” or “dishwasher safe” with “Made for your hands, not for the dishwasher”.
As for product photos, don’t try to entertain people with lifestyle pictures. They don’t sell much. Your listing designer should make your product listing friendly with the text. It’s a delicate balance.