Our guest on the 24th of June, 2019, on the sellerboard show was Johannes Kliesch.
Johannes is a co-founder of a Germany based brand SNOCKS. These started selling on Amazon in 2016 and are making 7 figures now on Amazon in Europe, US and through their webshop. Unlike many other sellers, they are heavily investing in brand building from day one (including an own shop, instagram, facebook, etc) and this strategy seems to work great for SNOCKS. We talked about brand building, building an audience, working with influencers, facebook ads and much more.
Watch the full video here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DplYbfi-gr4
Speaker 1: Hello everybody and welcome to the sellerboard show my name is Vladi Gordon and today I am joined by Johannes Kliesch. Johannes is a friend of mine and a Germany based Amazon FBA seller and a brand owner. He’s a co founder for brand called SNOCKS, snocks.com and they’re selling socks they started in twenty sixteen and he says that they started with brand building from day one so this is a beautiful story from my point of view off all of a brand on Amazon they’re not just selling products they’re also a brand they’re very very professional in the Facebook ads and on Instagram and all that stuff so. I think you’ll like this story this is very motivating and those guys are also very open about their business, a lot of golden nuggets and hacks in this episode. Before we start. Make sure you check out our tool, sellerboard com it’s an accurate profit analytics tool for Amazon sellers and we’re on a mission to build the most accurate profit analytics tool. It starts from nineteen dollars a month and has a lot of add-ons like an autoresponder for email campaigns and the money back tool which looks for damaged and lo goods and you know find cases where Amazon didn’t reimburse you so you can basically get your money that Amazon owes you very quickly and a lot of other stuff so make sure you try our free trial and now let’s start the show.
Speaker 1: Hello everybody and welcome to the seller board show my name is VladiGordon and my today’s guest is Johannes, he is one of the founders of SNOCKS.
Speaker 0: Hi nice to meet you again and yeah we have 2 founders and I’m one of them I’m Johannes and my co founder is Felix, yeah we both found SNOCKS in two thousand sixteen.
Speaker 1: Yeah unless I need to tell you I am a happy customer of yours actually even a repeat customer.
Speaker 0: That’s nice that’s.
Speaker 0: I’m a big fan ff your brand and I’m also subscribed to you on the all possible social media so I’m very happy to have you here.
Speaker 1: Tell us about your brand about your company.
Speaker 0: Yes, yes, first of all, I really appreciated so thanks a lot for those people who don’t know me I’m not as I’m the photo, yeah we started our company in two thousand sixteen me and my cousin and we started especially with FBA like this standout. I’m a seller and we all first product were invisible socks like socks you cant see in your sneakers and why is this product because I am myself I’m a really big sneakerhead and my friends were yeah I was about really big influencer so I saw there was potential. Yes so we started with the sneakers socks and after a few months it’s going really really well and we started like more and more products and after one year we got like five hundred thousand in revenue and about ten products.
Speaker 1: And you rose right?
Speaker 0: Yeah that’s right and to be to be honest are we we are different than other Amazon sellers like we started with branding by the first state so we concentrate not only do we have to be a delight the normal stuff we all always focusing on brand building and we try to push all brand forward so I think that’s the reason why I’m in a lot of pot costs and tell a lot about SNOCKS because we’re really also really transparency and we talk about and we will try to push our brand really baked so often right now like two and a half three years we’ve got. Nine full time employees and ten part times and do like million in revenue so it’s still really well and I am really happy to be here and at the moment we’re focusing not only on Amazon. Also on our own online shop and do a lot but not all Facebook at some marketing stuff besides Amazon so we try to become not only a base a lot more than you might get you commerce direct to consumer brand.
Speaker 1: Nice super nice look a couple of questions and I’d certainly like to know a lot of detail from every at every single step is just but let’s start with with your market so you’re based in Germany right.
Speaker 0: That’s right yeah.
Speaker 1: And like you’re selling in primarily you I assume you also started your brand in Germany right?
Speaker 0: Yeah we started in Germany after one year we went to the U. K. okay it’s also a big market for us thank you know it’s like the easiest market for us. Because English, we can speak English and so that’s the easy one. And like half a year ago so in the mid of 2018 we started with EU and started with the U. S. At he moment I would say would say from our Amazon revenue it’s followed while let me think about it’s I think it’s 70% the eve 20% UK, then 10% US and yeah roundabouts some percentage in France, Italy and Spain but not that big in the pond EU contries.
Speaker 1: Nice tell me like you said you mentioned you are an influencer in the sneaker space yeah right so what does this mean.
Speaker 0: Not the real big influencer but before Snocks I made my money besides my studies with flipping the sneakers so I bought sneakers online and then resell them for a higher price. So I made some money and this money was yet starting money for Socks so I know the sneaker game really well and I saw that there is a big potential and there are a lot of people like paying a lot of money for sneakers but when it comes to the socks there’s only like H&M and PRIMARK and there was like one big company it’s called stands and there was one pair for 15 euros and I didn’t want to pay 15 euros for 1 pair of socks. Then there’s PRIMARK ike five bucks that’s too cheap so I saw that we put ourselves in the middle of them.
Speaker 1: Nice so tell me how do you flip shoes maybe just real quick.
Speaker 1: These days it’s getting harder and harder but like 3 years ago easy maybe you know that that’s good sneaker off Kanye west it was like if you’re into I. T. you can get the shoe very easy and you buy it for like two hundred Bucks and you can resell them after a week for five hundred although I try to get as many pairs as I can. Find one it just buy them after launch, there are couple of tricks but today it’s getting harder and harder to compete anymore but some days ago it was easy and you can make a bit of money not that much but it was nice as that yeah.
Speaker 1: Very cool so how did you like qcome up with the idea it wasn’t because of your sneaker or experienced did you like what was it like products first he wanted to sell socks. Or what did you wanna pick something to sell and I was and how did you come up with this Snocks?
Speaker 1: so a boy’s first Amazon FBA. I went to my cousin, and wants to sell something on Amazon. And then like the typical question what can I sell a what can we sell and then into a combination that I am really big in that sneaker game I wished to do socks like potential and to be honest and to be honest socks are really small you have a good price it’s like fifteen to thirty year olds I’m depends on how much you put in one pack so it was yeah we don’t think too much but at the end of the day to day I think it was a really good decision to be honest.
Speaker 1: Very cool like tell me like so you started with one pair of invisible socks?
Speaker 0: Yeah.
Speaker 1: What are you selling today what does your portfolio look like.
Speaker 0: That’s a good question because the typical way off Amazon FBA sellers to one product and then after scaling with more parents like you do a lot of different products and try to push it until the end so that was all way when we started it two thousand sixteen we started with one product and after one year I think we like twenty products and our highlight.
Speaker 0: Here goes all in the middle of two thousand eighteen we got more than thirty products so any variation of different stocks we also they might sneak a clean L. like sneaker also swaps different kind off and places and all that kind of stuff because we thought that we scanning with more products than last year and we went abroad to celebrate and that’s a real story and with me and Felix was in China and every time we went to a like a vacation we look deeply into our life and finances and we saw that like five of all products to like ninety-five percent of our margin.
Speaker 0: What so what the **** are we have thirty product and the top five products to ninety five percent of all our profit so why don’t we do only five products concentrate on them put all our knowledge into them tried to push him even further. Got the ball to other products sold to date so we decided back in October 2018 so let’s cut off all the bad products. There was like products with good percentage margin but absolutely if you don’t get any profit out of them. For example our laces they cost like. five ninety nine so we got like 50% margin but three and we sell them not a lot so that net profit was not that high so we called all this useless. Useless products of today we have like eight or nine products and we really concentrate on these few products and try to scale them horizontally so we do other colors more so we have two other colors more spices and tried product deeply into what their customer wants so at the moment we’ve got a part. like about thirty different variations and try to dominate in this knees to mock the moderate. Our absolute revenue like crew roles in the last half a year in the face really insane so that’s the most. Yeah it’s the most. Well that the best team I can give to everyone by concentrating on less product and try to dominate the market with this less products and do whatever you can and do not go and horizontally in every product and only try to scan it with different products and bought more products that’s the wrong way most of the cases.
Speaker 1: Tell me like before we get the parental branding if you have your own shop right and what’s that what’s like what did you say what’s the percentage of sales between shop and Amazon.
Speaker 0: Yeah it’s a typical questions when you ask the in January it was about like one or two percent online shop and ninety eight percent as in two days it’s the balk thirty percent online shop and seventy percent Amazon and I think at the end of the year it’s fifty fifty and next year I think that on my job is taking over Amazon.
Speaker 1: Wow and how do you do this like are these new customers are repeat customers that are buying through the shop?
Speaker 0: To be honest. New customers really so strategy is not to get the Amazon customers to online shop I think that’s the wrong way so there was a customer wants to buy on and. There’s a median with them we try to get a new light people and customers and we do it your influence us it’s about one of the really the biggest traffic comes by social media. We do a. Really really. Big. Branding on social media we do a really big Facebook ads Instagram apps. That’s the major key.
Speaker 1: Right okay.
Speaker 0: We have free exam face bats we do it we have one employee here full time he’s doing only face will grab the whole day and it’s going crazy.
Speaker 1: While tell me like first of all I see your Instagram posts and the question I’m asking myself with my guys how many shoes do have for listeners?
Speaker 1: I know they’re posting a picture of some shoes almost every day I believe in every day sometimes multiple times a day and I was thinking like it’s your shoes maybe a few laces but it’s just not possible with like different shoes every single day how is the how are you doing this.
Speaker 0: Yeah I’d say user generated content so we have a lot of influence as we ascend them sucks for free all our products and they took the pictures with their shoes and then we reposted in on Aurora and social media.
Speaker 1: Okay.
Speaker 0: That’s the best way you don’t have to do so much concern yourself we all let him Flynn said do it yeah it’s the best way.
Speaker 1: Like what’s the motivation of the influencer like to the guests do you pay them or do you give a free socks?
Speaker 0: Soft damn it’s just free products so it depends how big they are some inferences.
Speaker 0: With just like thirty off fifty thousand it’s just a free product and we say if you want something just tell us we can give it as much as you want to and but there’s also like influencers with millions of followers all five hundred thousand we have to pay them. So most of them it’s for free.
Speaker 1: How many followers do you have on Instagram?
Speaker 0: Myself it’s fifteen thousand and our brand it’s about fifty thousand right.
Speaker 1: It’s not really important it’s just a number so I got friends they only have like ten thousand followers what the brand it’s going crazy so and the followers are not in the collaboration with our sales in the online shop it’s not okay and when we’re going like crazy in online shop our influence increases that’s not the point.
Speaker 1: Okay but still can you tell me I created and I have an Instagram and a half I think at one hundred twenty followers this.
Speaker 1: In the I was thinking about that creating an Instagram account for similar work maybe it would only do this but I’m just not sure no one how do you do it like how do you get so many, subscribers.
Speaker 0: Yeah it’s at the beginning, to be honest, we’ve got a plot so which liking other like inour niche with sneakers and board were striking all the time when two or three years ago it’s done really well but at the moment it’s not working anymore so I do not support this kind of stuff.
Speaker 1: The best for you is not concentrating on Instagram for B. two B. it it’s small LinkedIn I only got like 3,000 followers every single post on linkedin not gotten more reach and impressions than Instagram.
Speaker 1: Okay so. Instagram it’s going down especially for B. two B. it better there is a lot it’s so hard. On Instagram real estate B. two B. actor but a leak and that’s the way you want to do it.
Speaker 0: Yeah.
Speaker 1: I still believe in it.
Speaker 1: Thanks I’ll definitely try that I would like for all listeners have maybe someone from Amazon brands or products yeah and I was like what would you recommend them to daily how to build an audience on Instagram, is it ads?
Speaker 0: Ruffles. Just ruffles.
Speaker 1: Like what we do you mean?
Speaker 0: You give a sneaker for free. For example, we give a sneaker for free and the ruffle goes for 1 one week and you have to come in to friends of you and your into the raffle so. On one ruffled we’ve got all one post over ruffled we’ve got more than twenty thousand comments, it went viral.
Speaker 1: Anyhow like what do you just posted clear run and on this?
Speaker 0: Both.
We always run ads on it and we also do it with some other big influencers in our industry needs so we go to a sneaker block and saying let’s ruffle a sneaker for 1000 euros so it’s we get attention by the users and then we post it on both Instagram accounts and say you have to follow the other account our account and it’ coming to friends of you and then you’re into the raffle and then it’s going for one week we put edit ads on it and every raffle we do like five to ten thousand followers.
Speaker 1: Basically you need to give away sneakers right that’s the?
Speaker 0: Yeah.
Speaker 1: It not only sneakers you can do it like whith whatever you want but I actually like you need to ask the public.
Speaker 0: How do you pick the winner?
Speaker 0: Okay like live on Instagram and. You have to show that it’s not fake so you have to I ruffled something real.
Speaker 0: And then we go live on Instagram and there’s a tool you put in the link off to off your policy then it’s randomly you pick some coming.
Speaker 1: That’s beautiful so many cool hacks up today so and it really really helps.
Speaker 1: To pick your brain okay let’s go till to Facebook.
Speaker 1: So I guess the question I have for my experience with Facebook.
Speaker 0: Yeah.
Speaker 1: Even actually in our own nation B. two B. is that though Facebook is very expensive so if you’re saying like if you want to dress somebody find a new customer on Facebook critics on an ad and then buys buys your socks you’ll make lost right or I’ll do that.
Speaker 0: Yet to be honest we’re professional on the for sale sold Facebook ads faucets really really nice I think the problem is that Facebook ads are really tough though.
Speaker 1: At the moment.
Speaker 0: It’s not like to use is the goal I think you can run Facebook ads for free so you can do whatever you want and you are profitable at the end of the day.
Speaker 1: To day.
Speaker 0: It’s getting more competitive so it’s getting harder for you.
Speaker 1: And.
Speaker 0: When we began Facebook ads like Javier gold and first time we were slight really **** up.
Speaker 0: We believe in us and say.
Speaker 0: Not give up let’s try something more and then after a while we getting better.
Speaker 0: We get better and better and better and at the moment we are as good as we never be before so my biggest tip is. Go into Facebook ads and try to become a really extraordinary result what we did. We hire someone who gets. Facebook ads before and he’s doing it all day every day and that’s why we can do it on the profitable way.
Speaker 1: How does this work like? You basically you use so when at the somebody right then they are not in the shopping mall when faced yeah either maybe just browsing then they see your socks good to click on it so like the conversion should be like really low rates.
Speaker 0: Yes you are so the click right it’s the ball to see one to two percent so every like one hundred all fifty users clicks and then in our shop it’s a cold weather right about five percent. Four click on Facebook. To be honest. I don’t really know because. We have. Better employees doing it. But. Maybe five to twenty seven it depends on the creative.
Speaker 1: For example Instagram story adds also on the price you have to do that right?
Speaker 0: It’s so cheap. And to see all right so high because every body is a storage it’s watching stories at the moment. The log of Instagram story. We try a lot so it’s a balk testing testing testing all the time with different pictures with different customers and people fun fact at this moment our best employees best costume and best come watching customers at the moment are women in the age of fifty to sixty. I don’t really know but you can see it in the Facebook ads we saw okay best performing and converting niche is there although older older woman go deeply into it and doing like creative thought the sky bell customer and then it’s going crazy.
Speaker 0: Very cool. So tell me what are your plans like. How you gonna grow?
Speaker 1: I think. In the short way we’re try to getting expert in every single. Performant apps so at the moment we have duly light and wasn’t really good and Facebook and it’s kind of there are so many other ways like for example Google shopping Google Ads and also SEO on Google what else
Speaker 0: Google might also influencer we are not bad big as other brands and yeah there are so many ways and for us it’s really good. Because we got the product, socks. It’s for everyone so we do not have to go in different markets like the German stocks market and also the basic market so we also selling boxer shorts and underwear boxer it’s so big we can make like billions of euros in Germany so we have tried to focus on Johnny also do some other markets but I think. In the next like few years. We want to go crazy in Germany and after that a little bit in other markets but I think the right way it’s going really deep into the German market right. To become estimates as big as we can so we have scaling effect we follow grants as we can see at the moment with three I’m.
Speaker 1: Yeah like you like customer they went back and we have to full margin and then we can take this much you need to like the PC and all this kind of.
Speaker 0: Yeah.
Speaker 1: Filaments I stuffed a soul my wishing all wishing you know which team is to become the biggest basic products company in the world so it’s not only about stock. So it’s more about business that. Customer don’t want to care about their basics they want to they don’t want to care about their shocks about theirs. Underwear boxer shorts. They want to have a brand they can trust in, let us know, like Snocks. SO if you have like your socks are destroyed or not as good anymore you can go to snacks and get it ready fast easier on the way so you are like selling basic stuff only basic stuff and I think that’s the way we can go right to a billion Cup billion dollar company.
Speaker 0: Nice that’s a that’s a great reason that so it’s so nice so I’m I’m a big fan of yours they said already a repeat customer and next time I need the basic style we’re going to buy.
Speaker 0: I’m going to buy from you again for sure so I mean everybody if you have a you know access to the German market during shooting in Germany or even in the U. S. just go to Amazon and look for Snocks. The best socks, best boxer shorts and that’s what I’m telling you as myself Vladi Gordon, it’s not a promotion let me ask you this you one more question or actually two more. So what is Snocks coffee?
Speaker 1: That’s a good question like it’s it’s a hobby of mine. Like I am a big fan of coffee so I was thinking about. Like, my reason in this case is I want that my children can go into my coffee in order a cacao. So, it’s a fun project but in the future the last few months Felix and me are more into it because we see a big opportunity in going offline in our own pop up store over time kind of. Yeah we want to open a coffee next year here in our home city of Mannheim and see. how we can transport our vision. Offline like we do it all all of our stuff online.
Speaker 1: We did some parties or some like offline events and we saw that this kind of few brands and they’re offline touch points to the customer. Its a big branding step forward so here. It’s not coffee if it’s moe like combination pf coffee and my hobby and coffee and my vision about my children whogo into my own coffee and I go off line here in our home town and be possible for the customer I think you’re going to get her it’s like a big step forward for old brand and we can yeah make something different so no other brand all FBA select out the offline store with your coffee and where you can play PlayStation or stuff like that. Nine if etcetera it’s not the main home is not that far from from where I live from Stuttgart so I’m certainly I’m gonna give you a visit but it’s a.
Speaker 1: Yeah.
Speaker 0: Yeah the only like them a last question our name like about you guys is. How open you are because in this market you know everybody’s super secretive because.
Speaker 1: Yeah.
Speaker 0: I like a lot of sellers and when I was a seller I had the same problem I was like okay if I tell everybody what I’m selling that will copy.
Speaker 1: Yeah.
Speaker 0: But you were like. Okay all the secrets publicly you know how you’re thinking about this.
Speaker 1: Yeah that’s a good question and we are we thinking about ourselves a lot about it but. I’m more men that I want to give something back to the community so I want to share all my content. And to be honest there are some like content stuff I don’t know myself so I’m not sharing insite well damn awesome stuff.
Speaker 0: Okay.
Speaker 1: The other stuff I am sharing a lot and at the end of the day I think. Amazon FBA sellers are a lot more like a competitor if and they’re all. I am not the one to share I think that’s the wrong mindset like a real like a competitor are offline and like the really big brands like I did this for us and now I can put my date they don’t see my stuff I want to support other FBA sellers because I also want tips of others and so yeah it’s more giving giving giving and I think at any moment in my life I get something back.
Speaker 0: Well that’s a beautiful mind set and what I find especially motivating is that you’re saying my competitors are adidas and Nike and not just a job other Amazon sellers so. Very nice I respect thanks so much for your time it was really a pleasure to have you.
Speaker 1: It was my pleasure, I appreciate it.
Speaker 0: And I wish you all of the best. I hope that we can see you again sometime soon or podcast maybe in a year or so to see in a place where you are.
Speaker 1: And we have then our Snock coffee the offline store and then.
Speaker 0: Maybe we could make the next session in there in your coffee.
Speaker 1: That’s a good call.
Speaker 0: Thanks so much.
Speaker 0: So everybody have a nice day and see you in a week.
Speaker 1: Bye-bye see you.
Speaker 0: What do you guys think did you like it? If so could please press the like button and let us know what you think so comment this video down below if you have any questions to your Johannes or myself then feel free to come in the video a press the subscribe button and don’t forget to try out sellerboard if you haven’t done this before. It’s at nineteen dollars a month, profit analytics tool which is the most accurate profitability tool in the world for Amazon sellers, at least this is our mission. Thanks so much see you next week. Bye bye.