The PickFu Podcast with John Aspinall and Kevin King: Amazon trends and live ASIN breakdown

We’re excited to debut the PickFu Podcast, a weekly livestream where John Aspinall (PickFu Brand Evangelist) dives into the importance of consumer insights and testing in the e-commerce industry and beyond.

In the very first episode, we were joined by the one and only Kevin King: a veteran e-commerce expert focused on empowering Amazon sellers. Kevin created and manages the Billion Dollar Sellers Summit and newsletter, hosts the AM/PM Podcast, and frequently speaks at major industry events.

With over 25 years of direct marketing experience, Kevin first started selling on Amazon back in 2001. He continues to operate three successful brands on the platform, generating millions in annual revenue through the FBA model.

He and John dove into current Amazon, shared listing optimization tips, and tested a real ASIN against its competitor with a live PickFu poll. 

Watch the full episode for more insights from Kevin King, or just grab the key takeaways below.

And make sure to follow our YouTube and LinkedIn pages to catch future episodes – we go live every Thursday with a new guest!

Throughout the episode, Kevin provided an insider’s perspective on current Amazon trends, challenges, and strategies for seller success. We outlined some of the highlights below.

The biggest struggle for new sellers: cash flow

Kevin emphasized cash flow as the #1 issue new sellers face, often underestimating the capital truly required:

  • Amazon has raised fees to where around 60% of each sale goes to them, leaving just 40% for product costs and profits
  • Many sellers deplete funds on their first inventory order before getting paid out from Amazon sales
  • A good rule of thumb is having $50K-$100K in capital to build a solid full-time Amazon business

Extensive competitor research is critical

Before launching any new product, Kevin stressed the importance of thorough competitive research:

  • Identify the top 10-20 bestselling competitor products
  • Analyze each listing in-depth – photos, bullets, descriptions, reviews
  • Pinpoint opportunities to differentiate and improve upon competitors
  • Validate you have a truly unique, enhanced offering

“You have to know what you’re getting into and have a very clear positioning and advantage,” said Kevin.

Amazon’s AI-driven search future

One of the biggest potential disruptions Kevin sees coming is Amazon revamping its search algorithm to be driven by artificial intelligence (AI) and image recognition:

  • Currently, listings try to rank for keywords using tools like Helium 10 
  • In the future, actual content and context will matter more than keywords
  • Amazon will analyze media like photos and videos to determine relevance
  • Listings may get penalized for imagery that doesn’t reflect the product

“Amazon has so much data on all of us, they know our profiles. AI will show you what aligns with your interests, not what’s keyword-optimized,” Kevin explained.

Live ASIN breakdown and PickFu test examples

John and Kevin then walked through real Amazon product listing examples where the sellers used PickFu polls to optimize various elements of their ASINs, such as:

  • Main product image selection 
  • Product titles and positioning
  • Image versus video as the main media
  • Pricing comparisons

For one portable motion security light, PickFu poll insights helped the seller:

  • Highlight the key benefit of “instant setup, no installation” in the title
  • Use lifestyle images showing the light easily carried and placed anywhere  
  • Identify the perfect pricing in the market’s “sweet spot”

“Put yourself in the shoes of the buyer and relentlessly test to validate you have something compelling,” said Kevin during the episode.

We also asked for real ASINs from brave livestream attendees to test during the episode – and got one for an electronic chess board. John and Kevin ran a live PickFu poll comparing the Amazon main images for the chess board against its top competitor.

Screenshot of a PickFu poll comparing two electronic chess board Amazon product images

The competitor’s listing won with 34 votes out of 50. The audience (50 Amazon Prime members in the U.S.) added written comments about why they preferred the competition:

  • “I prefer Option B as my first choice. I like the chess board angled to the left as it gives a better, more complete view. Its sleek and modern looking and has a bit of mystery to it as well. Option A is perfectly fine but doesn’t have the same eye-catching pull that Option B possesses.”
  • “I feel that it makes much more sense to have the controls on the side rather than facing one of the player’s sides.”
  • “I think that while both of these look good, I like the image in choice B more. I think that the packaging looks much better here, much higher quality, and thus I think the product itself is higher quality.”
  • “Option B looks like it would provide a more immersive gameplay experience due to the way the board itself appears to light up to offer prompts or even suggestions to the player, while A seems to rely on its smaller screen for these prompts. I also think that B is more ergonomic and natural in its layout, especially if one were to use the board to play against another person in the traditional manner. Finally, I like the transparent look of the white pieces with B.”

The power of polling against competitors resonated with Kevin: “If this was my product research, seeing these results, I’d absolutely go with the competitor’s approach.”

Key takeaways

Throughout the podcast, Kevin emphasized several overarching tips for Amazon sellers:

  • Don’t assume success from just uploading your listing – constant testing is required  
  • Leverage PickFu polls not just for launched products, but iterative feedback throughout the development cycle  
  • Analyze the demographics behind poll responses to better understand your ideal customer base
  • Look beyond just vote tallies – written comments often reveal nuanced positioning opportunities
  • As AI proliferates, shift your mentality from keyword optimization to user-centric, contextual selling

You can watch the full episode here for more insights from Kevin King, and follow our YouTube and LinkedIn pages to catch future episodes – we go live every Thursday with a new guest!

Adrienne Van Niman

Adrienne Van Niman is the content marketing manager at PickFu. She has 7+ years of experience as a writer, editor, and marketer, specializing in content strategy and creation for growing B2B tech companies. Outside of work, she's living the digital nomad life and traveling in an RV with her husband and dog.