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NEWS

The Age of Amazon

said it’s not always simple. “I don’t want to oversell you,” he said. “There are people who do nothing all day long other than run Amazon businesses for people." He's one of them. Before swiveling to focus on helping brands and retailers find their stride on Amazon and in other e-commerce pursuits, Ohsman was a Pacific Northwest sales rep for Jansport, The North Face, and Columbia. He's worked on Amazon sales for the last 11 years. He offered a few broad tips brands can use to thrive in this new retail environment:

The Cairn Company CEO offers tips for retailing with the e-commerce giant. BY RYAN WICHELNS

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1. Make it smooth. Most customers do their online shopping from their phones, which means ecommerce needs to be suited for the small screen. “Think about the consumer," Ohsman said. “Then work back.” 2. Make it fast. Of all the households in the United States, 64 percent take advantage of Amazon Prime for faster and cheaper shipping. But only products fulfilled by Amazon are eligible, which means those shipped by individual retailers are less likely to get clicks.

added,” said Gear Coop’s Terry Lee. Eight years later, his shop is one of the largest outdoor specialty retailers on Amazon. Lee says it's a necessity to sell on Amazon, particularly because it gives retailers the opportunity to enforce MAP (minimum advertised pricing) requirements. “The survival of outdoor specialty is really dependent on making Amazon an even playing field for everyone,” he said. But as vital as embracing Amazon may be, Ohsman

3. Sell the right stuff. You don’t need to put everything your shop sells on Amazon. The products that do well are the ones that aren’t already filling the site, which Ohsman said is oversaturated. List products that Amazon customers can’t already find.

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DAPT OR DIE. That was the message from Amazon expert Scott Ohsman Wednesday at The Camp. Though many retailers have come to fear Amazon for its scale and prices, Ohsman, CEO of The Cairn Company, which manages e-commerce for brands, suggested brands re-evaluate their relationship with the mega e-tailer. His prognosis was clear: Get on board and use it to add to your business, or you’re going to have a hard time competing. If you're not selling on Amazon, you're missing out on a major potential revenue stream. More than four out of every $10 spent online go through Amazon and, according to Ohsman, 55 percent of online customers begin their search for a product in the e-tailer’s search box. Conversely, only 28 percent start on search engines and a paltry 16 percent browse for what they need at another specific retailer's website. “Before I started selling gear, I was an Amazon Prime customer and recognized the value that

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