Webgility founder and CEO Parag Mamnani speaks with Emily Wilcox of Elevate Growth Group about launching and growing Amazon businesses.

Parag Mamnani: All right. Hi, everyone. My name is Parag Mamnani and I’m with Webgility. This video is being recorded as part of a series called Beat It. We’re talking to experts in retail and e-commerce on the impact that the coronavirus is having on their business and the industry. We’ll get a first-hand look at the actions they’re taking and get real advice to help you beat this crisis. Today I’m really delighted that we’re talking to Emily Wilcox. She’s both a successful Amazon entrepreneur who founded her own e-commerce business that grew to a seven-figure business. She’s also passionate about e-commerce and has started the Elevate growth group where she helps other brands launch and grow their Amazon business. Welcome, Emily, and let me know if I missed anything, welcome to today’s interview.

Emily Wilcox: Thanks, Parag, I’m so excited to chat with you today.

Parag: Awesome, it’s great to have you. I’m just going to jump right in. Can you share a little bit about your business and how the coronavirus has impacted it?

Emily: Yes. It’s interesting because we have our own product business on Amazon and then we have the opportunity and the joy, myself and my team at Elevate, to work with a lot of different brands in different categories to manage the Amazon sales channel for them. We have access to a swath of data and we can see where things have been impacted both positively and negatively. Personally, for our baby clothing brand, we had really strong sales initially and then Amazon did– They called an essentials push, where they prioritized products that they deemed essential and for those of us that even just as consumers rely on Amazon have noticed that our wonderful two-day prime shipping, suddenly a lot of items were showing at late April delivery, which was about a month out, so this happened late March.

When that happened, both for my own products and clients’ products, we saw conversion rates tank on advertising and we saw sales soften. Thankfully, Amazon, within about a weekend was able to expand what they were considering essential items and so it minimized the impact. We have some ether themed clothing for children and we go through all of our inventory and we’re seeing most of our client, even in like non-intuitive product categories, actually with quite strong sales through this.

Parag: That’s fascinating. I think we’re seeing a very similar trend here at Webgility across our customers. It’s a tale of two different segments. It feels like a lot of strong growth in categories where the work-from-home folks are really benefiting and categories such as non-essentials and things where would be impacted by somebody actually being in a physical store, we’re starting to see a pretty dramatic decline in those. Speaking about your business in terms of Amazon, you mentioned that you lost that prime real estate. I’m going to assume here that you use an FBA. Can you talk a little bit about fulfillment and is Amazon also the only channel you sell or do you also have other locations, online locations I should say, that you sell on?

Emily: For us or Amazon is it’s not really our primary focus right now, so it is beautiful and it’s a good steady revenue stream. The reason we keep it is because it’s primarily managed by our team at Elevate and we believe in being the chefs that need to eat their own lunch. When we’re talking to other business owners, I find it’s very helpful to feel like we also have our own business and everything that we do has to be good enough for us as well. We use it as a testing ground some time for new products that we want to try where we’re willing to just risk our own money to see if it works. Amazon really is 95% of revenue in that business. We do some through our website and that kind of thing, but we’re not super diversified.

We do primarily FBA, we used to do some Fulfilled By Merchants. Ultimately, it wasn’t worth the time and hassle for us because baby clothing and toddler clothing, it’s pretty small and light, the storage fees are not sustainable with Amazon and just having the location of all of the listings and someone just work in maintenance that’s required with FBM, Fulfilled By Merchant, wasn’t worth the effort.

We did have clients where we pretty quickly moved things to Fulfilled By Merchant during that time period where it was like delivery dates were pushed out, but honestly, because we’re only talking about 7 or 10 days and then Amazon was able to catch back up, for a lot of clients, it really ended up just being talk and then ultimately, by the time we were ready to execute and they were saying like, “Yes, okay, here are our shipping timelines, here’s what we can commit to, FBA just made more sense again.

Parag: It sounds like, is there a concentration in terms of the particular categories where you’re seeing this because I don’t think Amazon’s yet unblocked non-essential categories. Are things back to normal in terms of two day or has that lag already changed from your observation?

Emily: On the consumer side of things, what I’ve seen is that it’s very product-specific. Amazon’s trying to make it like it’s category-specific, but for example, like I went to buy some light bulbs and I noticed there was one brand that I could get the two-day shipping and all these brands still a few weeks out. While it’s being purported as this essentials versus non-essentials, what we believe is that really it’s Amazon’s algorithm that is prioritizing higher demand and products that had more sales revenue coming into this. We have a client that does gifts. It’s delicious tea, but it’s very giftable. There’s nothing essential about it per se, but because they sell a lot on Amazon, they have a high sales velocity, they were never shut down, they were considered essential and have continued to have strong sales.

Parag: Fascinating. I guess even in these tough times it sounds like Amazon’s algorithms and rule books tend to change quite rapidly and what we see outside might vary by product. Really a shout out to you and a lot of folks that really are helping Amazon merchants navigate this marketplace because it feels a little bit like the wild wild west and it’s really hard for retailers to figure out what their real strategy ought to be. You mentioned that things are looking up in certain categories, you’re starting to rebound. Do you feel at this point in terms of the recommendations that you’re giving to customers, is it business as usual or are there things that you’re advising for them to be doing differently now given it’s been a few weeks and some categories or some products you see are doing well again?

Emily: The answer is definitely nuanced. It’s going to depend on your business and your products and where they’re sitting. I would say just for anybody that’s listening, if you have products that are still showing a late April delivery, you probably want to turn off or really scale back what you’re doing with some Product Ads because your click-through rates and your conversion rates are going to suffer tremendously and you have 3PL capabilities, meaning you’ve got a good logistics partner or you have those capabilities yourself. You could do Fulfilled By Merchant as an opportunity in the meantime.

I’m not an expert on any channels other than Amazon, but I do know that Facebook and Instagram ads are really cheap right now. It could just be an opportunity to say, “Let me let Amazon catch-up for a minute and just direct more traffic to my own website.” If Amazon is looking normal in the sense that you’re seeing delivery dates for your products that are just a few days out, then in many respects, it is business as usual. Certainly, there have been tremendous spikes in certain kinds of keywords, and so if there are opportunities to utilize on that, take it.

Some of it, not even coronavirus related and this is what we do for our clients is we watch trends. We have one client that does pet supplies. And they’ve actually been pretty hard hit because they sell a lot through Petco and a lot of these retailers and that kind of thing, but we’re seeing a ton of keyword volume spike for Tiger King because of Netflix show. They have like a lion meme dog costume. It’s like just trying to match up these opportunities.

Then obviously, where people can be dynamic and fill a need, it’s risky right now, but it’s hard to get masks up on Amazon, but if you get them, they will sell like wildfire to clothing manufacturers where you’re just cutting and sewing masks. I really think this is an opportunity not to just say like, “Okay, let me just hunker down and wait this out.” I really feel, and what I’m seeing with my clients is it’s an opportunity to step into this and say, “How can I serve my customers in a new way? How can I be creative? How can I pivot?”

If you’re in the unfortunate position where your business has really been exposed and you’ve realized, “90% of my revenue was coming through this one channel like retail, and now that’s not an option,” look, there’s not a quick fix for that, but we’ve really been building a plan to get them on Amazon because in the long term, that’ll help future-proof and strengthen their business moving forward.

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Parag: No, you bring up a great point. I don’t mean to pry on your customer base necessarily, but it sounds like there might be a much smaller footprint of folks that have a physical brick and mortar presence in your base because if Amazon is bulk of their business and that’s where they’re focused, they’re already dominant on e-commerce. There’s a little bit more nimbleness I think that comes with online selling and also the strategies and distribution channels, especially as you mentioned with like Amazon ads or social networks like Facebook and Instagram where you can quickly dial up or dial down on different parts of your spending and try to boost traffic or capitalize on these interesting opportunities.

I think the really tough part, and this is definitely one area where we’re zooming in to really help those retailers who have physical brick and mortar locations where maybe the bulk of their business is not online yet. I wonder if we could maybe spend a few minutes talking a little bit of detail about those guys and really how we can help those retailers. As you think about, so maybe I’ll divide the line of questions, maybe a discussion around two tracks.

One is, for maybe someone that’s brand new to e-commerce, they just have a physical brick and mortar store, they, I guess, didn’t take that leap to e-commerce early, are there things, some recommendations you would have for those brick and mortar companies? Is now the right time to jump in and get started on Amazon? Do you think it’s a better time to start your own store on Shopify or WooCommerce? What would you recommend to somebody that’s been really hit hard by the Coronavirus and having to shut down their retail locations?

Emily: Yes, it’s a great question and I’ll just say my heart goes out to those business owners because I’ve talked to them and they’re very savvy people through no fault of their own in a super tough situation. I think you can find something to focus our attention on and the little bit of control to have a project to sink into, it does help. I do believe that Amazon makes a lot of sense, and certainly, when I talk to business owners, I’m going to evaluate whether I think it’s the right fit for them, like for their products or whatever. If anybody wants to reach to me, I’m super honest and fair in that sense because I just think I only want business to succeed, and just in general, it’s like setting someone up for failure, right? Well, look, if there’s no demand at all on Amazon for the type of product you sell, I will tell you, “Amazon’s not a good fit for you.”

I’ve talked to a couple of restaurant owners in LA who– They’ve developed some spices that go on chicken and fish and they’d been selling them in their restaurants for a couple of years and they’ve been kicking around the idea of putting them on Amazon. It had just been on the back burner and now it’s, “Oh, okay, let’s do it,” because unfortunately, they have a little bit more time on their hands and it gives you something to focus on where you feel– Again, it’s important to fix the cashflow issue right now, but it does help future proof your business.

When you talk about Amazon versus starting your own website or that kind of thing– This is marketing lingo, but I’m going to keep it really simple. In marketing lingo, we talk about a funnel, so everybody can imagine a funnel. When you start your own website, the problem is, is that nobody comes to it. Literally, no one will just stumble upon your website. Then you have to drive traffic and the traffic starts top of funnel. It starts cold, meaning they don’t know who you are. Then you’ve got to warm-up and start getting down the funnel and you get to the bottom of the funnel, which is where they’re warm enough and they like you enough and they know enough about you that they’re ready to purchase.

That process is expensive and it takes time and it usually takes expertise outside what just one entrepreneur can do. There’s Google SEO agencies, there’s lots of agencies that that’s all they do. The thing about Amazon that’s so challenging is that Amazon has 300 million customers on the channel and they’re all bottom of funnel. It doesn’t matter that they don’t know your brand, they’re bottom-funnel because we go on Amazon to buy. All of us do that use Amazon.

We’re not just there to window shop and see what’s out there and so the conversion rate on Amazon is over 70%. Meaning, if I go on Amazon and I pick something in, 70% of the time, I’m going to buy something and because I trust Amazon, I may buy something I’ve never seen before. If you think about a Yeti, it’s almost a household name now.

I might buy Arctic breeze or something that I’ve never heard of because it’s the first thing that comes up. It’s got good reviews. The picture looks like what I want and so it’s like, “Okay, let’s do it.” That’s what Amazon offers brick and mortars and smaller businesses that’s really impossible to recreate with their own website. I’m certainly a promoter of the omnichannel so I don’t look at it as do you do your own website, or do you do Amazon, but from a time and money and just a prioritization of resources, it’s just a sequence. “Am I investing in Amazon now or am I inventing my website now?”

Parag: Yes. I think you bring up a fascinating point which really hits the mark here that Amazon’s always been about pricing, convenience, and putting the buyer first. They’re bringing that traffic. There’s such a high degree of trust that they’ve built with the buyers that once you get your products listed with that A to z guarantee, most buyers trust that they’re going to get the right product, they can return it easily. If you play along with all the rules that are in place with Amazon, it’s certainly probably one of the best times to start and get listed.

My only concern, I think with Amazon at this point to your comment as well is that, with the restrictions they have on FDA, hopefully, brick and mortar retailers can maybe convert their locations into a mini-warehouse and use that to start packing and shipping out products. Multichannel or omnichannel is absolutely key and this is the time to your comment that we need to accelerate that innovation and really use whatever time’s available if it’s not being taken away by the kids at home, that we use this time to really accelerate that move towards omnichannel business and not get tied down so heavily onto just one channel.

We see that, in fact, very commonly across our customer base that all of those customers that have been diversified across multiple channels are reaping tremendous benefits. In fact, even during the FBA non-essentials timing, all of those businesses really quickly switched on their own fulfillment or started to do more promotion for their direct websites so that they could make up for that loss of revenue and loss of traffic.

Since you’re such a big fan of Amazon, and that’s your specialty, I’d love to hear, especially when it comes to retailers and I understand it’s going to vary by category, but could you share maybe a few tips if you can on what are some really key things that a brick and mortar retailer that’s just getting started on Amazon? What should they prepare? What should they have ready? Maybe talk about timeframe. Do you think that they can get up and running in days, weeks? I understand again category by category, but what are some general things that you could share that would be helpful?

Emily: Yes. I would take the process seriously. Even the very first step, which is registering for a seller central account, we see a lot of sellers go wrong right there. It’s like this is not signing up for Netflix, where as long as you put in a credit card, they’re going to charge you. On Amazon, if you put in one name as your business name and then you upload your tax information and it’s a different LLC name for your EIN number and the address on the credit card is different, your account’s immediately going to go under review and you may not be able to sell, sometimes even ever. It can be difficult to get past some of those roadblocks and whatever.

Take Amazon seriously. Really think about as almost as if you were building another physical brick and mortar store from the ground up. You need a good foundation. Just philosophically, I wouldn’t be looking at Amazon as this super quick stopgap. I think for a small minority of people it might be that, but for most, if you haven’t been on Amazon, it’s not going to solve a 30 or 60-day cash crunch for you, it’s just not. What it’s going to do is strengthen your business in six months, in a year, in two years. Way after Coronavirus the time that something else crazy happens, which none of us anticipates, you’re going to have a stronger, more diversified business. I would just be looking at that as an opportunity to really future proof your business.

What I mean by that is following the consumer trends. We know that there’s a huge consumer move to online shopping. Over the years, Amazon controls almost five out of every $10 spent online. You had mentioned something a little earlier about what if people feel like, “No, I never jumped on the bandwagon.” That’s somethingI hear a lot too like, “Aren’t I too late to the game? Amazon’s so saturated.” My response to that is I really look at Amazon as a rocket ship that’s going to the moon and the question is just, do you want to get to the moon or not? Because if you wait a year, Amazon’s not going to get less crowded, you’re just going to continue to get further and further behind. I believe that Amazon isn’t slowing down.

When you think about them controlling 50% of e-commerce, it might feel like they’re ripe for disruption or something. I actually filed a patent back in 2012, so eight years ago, for package delivery. They’re 10 steps ahead of all of us. Eight years ago, they were thinking about, “How do we get to a place where we have access to all of the products and all the logistics that we can just deliver things on people’s doorsteps without them even needing to order it?” I think that the best thing that entrepreneurs can be doing right now is– and I know it’s hard, but take a deep breath and get out of scramble mode.

Just say, “Okay, we will get through this period of time even though it may feel like an eternity and we’re waiting on the Czech government to help and the SBA and all that stuff.” It’s an opportunity to say, “How do I strengthen my business for the future?” That’s really where I think the opportunity is versus this quick like, what’s it going to take to get on Amazon now? If you’re going into it with that mindset, you’re not going to be successful.

Parag: No, I think that’s a great point that Amazon and even as getting started, getting some basic fields wrong or listing the wrong products, getting the wrong pricing, you could easily get blocked and then you’re in this vicious cycle of just getting out of it. You do need to take it very seriously and really think about how you’re playing around. They don’t have a sandbox. You can’t just go crazy with prices and see what will happen. You really need to think through your strategy.

There are certainly some folks out there who would argue that Amazon does have a very rigorous approval process, a very strict set of policies, and on a whim, they can change a lot of their policies and approaches. Personally, I recommend to a lot of our customers that, again, don’t put all your eggs in one basket, right?

Emily: Yes.

Parag: While Amazon may continue to be the dominant revenue source, diversification is key. Unfortunately, that might mean more complexity for the business because you’re not used to maybe managing a number of different channels and all the different ways that each channel operates. Certainly having some kind of balance and having a multichannel approach I think is really critical.

You talked about timeframe and you felt it’s going to take maybe 60 to 90 days. I think that’s what I caught from your comment there that it’s not a quick shot. It’ll probably take you a few months to get up and running. You want to think long term. For those that might be hurting right now, are there any other suggestions you might have to think about cashflow? Of course, everybody’s thinking about the SBA loan programs and other funding sources, but in terms of just getting online up and running, any ideas on what might be quick wins to stop the bleeding, if you will?

Emily: Yes, I think this is where that creativity comes into play. I’m in some local entrepreneurial masterminds. My best friend runs an in-home daycare that’s shut down right now. It’s one of the things that I encouraged her and she’s done really successfully is, she put together these learning lab kits. For 65 days a week, they’ll deliver it on your doorstep. There’s age-appropriate activities for your child, three or four activities for every day.

Here’s another example. Somebody in one of my local masterminds owns a retail clothing business. It’s shut down right now, so we talked about taking up a stitch fix approach. They have all the inventory and they have a customer database. Just do beta testing, reach out to 10 of your best customers and say, “If we deliver 30 pieces that are mix and match, we can even Zoom session to talk about what you need, we’ll deliver these pieces to your doorstep. You decide what you want to keep, you return the other stuff.”

I actually think almost like microlocal and in working with what you’ve got is what you have to do if you’re in an immediate cash crunch that you’re trying to fix because any time– You’re not going to build a brand that’s going to sell it to them in 30 or 60 days. The likelihood of that happening successfully is very low. You need to tap into the audience you already have or find somebody else’s that you can do a co-promote with or something like that.

There’s another mastermind, he runs pub calls and they’re all– It’s like, you can’t do any pub calls if the whole business is shut down so we were like, “Well, could you partner with some of the local breweries that are still allowing for pick up of beer and have a personalized drinking game and you’re Zooming?” You’re still creating this little drinking atmosphere but in a virtual way. I just think you’ve got to get super resourceful and say, “Who do I know? What do I already have?” Just put every idea on paper. It doesn’t matter how busy it sounds like, “What can we make work?”

Parag: Yes. I think there is no silver bullet, but if there’s one thing that I think entrepreneurs like yourself, myself, do really well that need to always employ is our creativity, right?

Emily: Yes.

Parag: Finding ways to make lemonade, if you will. This video, in fact, is a part of our Beat It series and that’s one of our ideas was, “Okay, in this downturn, what can we really do? What can we do to help retailers? What can we do to help e-commerce companies? Because right now they’re probably running with a gazillion ideas and trying to figure out, okay, do I start selling on Amazon? Now? Do I start my own e-commerce business? Who do I talk to? Where do I go?” So, our attempt here is to really and guide those retailers and also just share real stories. Your experience as well is very incredibly helpful.

I want to touch really quickly on one other aspect of selling, which I think gets often missed and we talked a little bit about FBA, but for those that maybe don’t know enough about FBA, especially brick and mortar companies that are in that journey to moving online, could you talk a little bit about fulfillment? What are some strategies? What’s best practices? Would you recommend that all these brick and mortar retailers consider setting up maybe in-house fulfillment for a short term? Should they go directly target FBA? How should they think about e-commerce and fulfillment as it relates to starting their Amazon channel business?

Emily: Historically with Amazon, the way that you get a really strong conversion rate on the template is you’ve got to have the prime badge. The way that you get that is being Fulfilled By Amazon. What that means, what Parag is referring to in case you’re new to this, is it means that you ship a certain of your inventory to Amazon warehouses. You still own that inventory, but then when it sells Amazon picks it, packs it and ships it to the customer. At that point in time you get credited for that sale, and then Amazon pays you bi-weekly. Historically that’s always been the way to go. In the future, it’s still going to be the way to go.

In this weird space that we’re in, there is some opportunity for Fulfilled By Merchant. Now you don’t get the product badge in that case, but basically what happens is somebody buys your product on Amazon, and then you get notified of that and then you have to ship and provide an Amazon tracking number. You still get paid bi-weekly but Amazon still holds on to the funds.

Without getting too much into the weeds, there are nuances where sometimes having both together can make a lot of sense. Generally speaking, Fulfilled By Amazon is the way to go. Now, you can start really small. You get to choose what and how much you ship into Amazon warehouses. You may choose of your overstock items, you could literally send in one unit. Now, I wouldn’t recommend that but you can send in 25 or 50 pieces.

This is actually a mistake that I see a lot of clients make, they’ve come to us and they’re like, “Our Amazon sales aren’t good,” and they are an inch deep and a mile wide. They’re like, “We’ve got a hundred skews on Amazon,” and it’s like, “Right, but you’re not doing anything to promote any of them. All the listings, they look bad. They don’t have reviews so having a hundred things, you’ve multiplied the problem by a hundred.” I would rather you have one or two products on the channel, make the listings look really good.

What I mean by that, have good quality imagery, have every image slot filled, have video content, have enhanced brand content, or A-plus content on the listings. If you don’t know what I mean by that then google it and you’ll see some examples. Then focus on driving the traffic, getting reviews and interactions there. If you want your toes in that way today, is go really deep, just pick one or two skews that you’re committed to trying.

Parag: Yes, I know. Thank you, that’s very helpful. I think one of the things that I’ll add in regards to fulfillment and just expanding toward e-commerce and Amazon is that on one hand, you need to look at it very much so like another location, like another physical location. What are you doing about the look? What are you doing about the shelves? What are you doing about each product? Where would you stock it? How well do you maintain it? Then on the other side, because it’s all online and you’re within the confines of Amazon, you need to build a new muscle.

You need to start thinking very differently about what e-commerce buyers are looking for, how do you get more reviews, how do you get more interactivity? There was definitely some new skills that retailers need to put to work, which of course they can bring in-house or they can get help from you, Emily and other folks in the community, but you do need to have a very different approach as you’re thinking about e-commerce and moving from a brick and mortar to an e-commerce business.

I want to wrap up here with just a few broader industry questions, especially for those folks that are going through some really uncertain times. Based on your observations Emily and certainly nobody’s got a crystal ball here, but do you see the impact of Coronavirus to be short-lived for the next couple of months here, or do you see it changing really the broader e-commerce landscape for the forever future, I guess?

Emily: Man. Who knows, really? Like you said, none of us have a crystal ball. I think in e-commerce, we’re in a fortunate positioning. Is it going to be great for a long time, or is it going to have to be good? Then it’s like, we don’t really have to spend as much time forecasting. If you’re in a position where like my sales went down to nothing and how long is this going to last, you don’t have the luxury of, you’ve got to run all these different scenarios. Ultimately yes, consumer trends are going to continue to be strong even on Amazon, and even people who didn’t traditional buy online now are getting the experience of that too and the convenience of having certain things delivered to their door.

Theoretically, there’ll be some halo effect there. Particularly in groceries, it has been growing on Amazon over those couple of years, but it still is seen as a lagging category because people just like to go to the grocery store. It could be that we’ll get used to this idea of like, “Oh, someone actually picked up my produce and it showed up on my doorstep and what do you know, it was just fine.” We’ll have to see, but I really think the takeaway here is, and you mentioned it earlier, it’s diversification, it’s being omnichannel, it’s just looking at your business in different ways and saying like, even if your business is all online, where else can it go wrong?

I think sometimes we think the grass is greener elsewhere, and I tell you, the people that rely on Facebook ads for all of their business, they’re scared to death every night that Facebook is going to shut down their ads account for no reason because that happens all the time. The people who are only on Amazon are scared to death that somehow their Amazon’s going to shut down their business. It’s like we all have those things. No channel is perfect, and so what you do is find ways to really counterbalance that so that you’re stronger in the future. First of all, a question becomes a bit more moot which is like, it can last a few days, it could last 90 days but either way we’re stronger at the end of it.

Parag: Yes, I know. That’s absolutely right. Personally, I feel like what the Coronavirus has done is accelerated the inevitable in terms of e-commerce. We were seeing e-commerce trending a couple of points up every year compared to retail and we’re about 15%, 16% and I think that’s going to accelerate as a percentage of retail dramatically over the next few quarters. It’s up to all the retailers out there to really lean into this moment, and not be caught backfooted, and really capitalize.

I think, as you hit on the head the idea that creativity has to be key, diversification is really, really important, but it’s also important to think that this is the long haul. You’re not going to get a quick win within a few weeks. You certainly can find some creative ways to attack it but you got to think about a new normal for your business and moving on omnichannel. I want to thank you, Emily, for all of your time and before we close out, if you could, just quickly, how can our viewers reach you and any parting thoughts for any retailers who are looking for some of your help out there?

Emily: Our website is elevategrowthgroup.com. You can reach me directly, emily@elevatorgrowthgroup.com. If you do go to our website, there is a button there to schedule a free brand audit. So, if you just want to get a little time on my calendar, and just tell me what your products are, and we can talk about whether they’re a good fit for Amazon. Or maybe you’re on Amazon, but your sale is just not off the ground, I’m happy to just have a no strings attached conversation and explore what’s really going on there and see if it’s a fit. Parting thoughts, one of my mottos is that everything’s happening for me, it’s not happening to me and so, I really encourage all entrepreneurs regardless of how hard hit or not you’ve been in a situation to just really feel, “Okay, how is this happening for me? Where is my opportunity to grow? Where is my opportunity to–” We don’t want to contract, we want to expand and we want to try and stand in our power and find creative ways to serve.

When we don’t make it about us and we start thinking about, “What about my clients, what do my customers need right now? What are their pinpoints? What would be super helpful for them?” That’s when we really start getting these amazing ideas coming out of nowhere and I’m super excited to see how it just changes the landscape of everything for the better.

Parag: That’s awesome. That’s awesome. Very well said, Emily. I really appreciate it and it really captures the sentiment of our campaign which is Beat It, really figuring out ways how we can beat this crisis. Emily, thank you so much for your time and we really appreciate all the advice you’ve given to really help retailers beat this crisis.

Emily: Thanks for having me.

Parag: Thank you.

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