Customer : Start Fitness and TCA
Challenge : Regulations, Listings, and Competition
Solution : Using Algopix to Stay Ahead of Competition
TCA and Start Fitness
About TCA and Start Fitness
TCA is a London based company that helps companies improve their e-commerce presence. One of their biggest clients, Start Fitness, is an online fitness seller based in London. Start Fitness sells on Amazon UK, EU, AU, US and on its own retail website. The company’s selling model is based on retail arbitrage: They buy clearance fitness stock and then resell those products online.
Peter Anwyll, the operations analyst at TCA, began his journey selling online because he realized the potential of the eCommerce market. He saw the online market as a huge opportunity, especially with the help of Fulfillment By Amazon, or FBA, which handles many seller issues.
The Challenge: Regulations, Listings and Competition
When selling clearance products, brand regulation can be an issue. Brands will often set rules about selling their products at certain price points.
“For instance, selling in Australia, brands are really picky about it because they won't let you directly compete with them,” Anwyll explained. “Say in the UK a pair of trainers cost £50 and that might translate to 80 Australian dollars, but brands will end up selling that product for 120 Australian dollars just because there is so little competition there.”
Additionally, managing listing quality is another challenge for Start Fitness and TCA. “Amazon’s regulation on listing quality is really difficult, especially when it comes from other sellers,” said Anwyll. “So, if we sell a blue t-shirt, and someone else sells a blue t-shirt and calls it ‘royal blue,’ there might be duplicate listings. Amazon is a little funny about that and dealing with other sellers is a bit hard.”
Finally, Start Fitness needed to contend with one of the most serious challenges in the eCommerce world: Competition.
“You really can't sit back on anything,” Anwyll explained. “The rest of the market is really quick to pick up on your top sellers.”
Start Fitness carries a few great products that they purchased at low prices; however, Peter said, “it’s not long until someone else tries to chase those down.”
The Solution: Using Algopix to Stay Ahead of Competition
To be a successful seller on Amazon, Anwyll’s only advice is: research.
“Research has to be the first thing. You can't just blindly enter a market, buy a lot of stock and not research. I think Amazon and eCommerce are becoming more saturated as people are realizing it's a quite straightforward thing to do and there are very few barriers to entry.”
Anwyll explained that it’s important to thoroughly research the market and understand the level of competition.
“On Amazon especially,” he said, “ if you're not really competitive on price or winning the Buy Box, you're just going to have dead stock and really struggle with sales.”
This is where Algopix has been a huge advantage for Start Fitness and TCA. Peter found Algopix through a Google search and has been loving the quick but thorough data Algopix is able to provide. After using the solution nearly every day, Start Fitness has been able to move quickly and cut down on research time.
“We use Algopix for ad hoc analysis,” he said, “when we are looking at new lines and whether or not we can compete with other sellers and whether or not lines we have will earn profits by pricing at the Buy Box prices.”
When selling clearance products, decisions have to be made quickly. As new stock becomes available nearly every other day, Start Fitness does most research weekly, as Anwyll explained, “to see how we are doing, and what's performing well.”
Thankfully, Algopix also offers accurate product names and accurate listings in its analysis. This helps companies with easy product naming and avoiding duplicate listings.