Steven Selikoff. Exclusive Interview
Steven Selikoff is a serial entrepreneur who has been selling to retailers since 2001 and developing products in China since 2005. His products have sold on Amazon, in catalogs, and in retailers all over the world. His products have been on every major morning show, featured in newspapers and magazines ranging from USA Today to Forbes to Vogue, and were even in the gift bags at the Oscars.
Steven was formerly Global Business Manager at Microsoft, and has taught and lectured on Negotiation, Validation, Sales, and Process Improvement across the globe. Most recently he spoke at Prosper where he tore the band-aid of the shipping situation to expose the raw truth below. He is the author of The COMPLETE BOOK of Product Design, Development, Manufacturing & Sales. He is the go-to consultant for entrepreneurs from Amazon Sellers to Shark Tank winners.
Most recently Steven founded the Product Development Academy which teaches entrepreneurs how to develop innovative products from concept to retail.
He is extremely optimistic about this holiday season drawing from both historical data and industry surveys.
Christmas 2021 will be the real thaw from the Covid experience. Every major retail forecasting group, including Deloitte, Nielsen, and Bain see spending topping $800B. This is echoed by the CEOS of Walmart, Home Depot, and of course, Amazon. That is good for e-tailers and Amazon Sellers. But the real question is where will this increase in spending go?
Historically when the US comes out of a depressive time (by the mass emotion definition, not just financial) customers spend on feel-good purchases. They want to smile. Anyone needs only to look at the movies that followed the Depression, WWII, and the turbulent 60’s to see the abundance of comedies and the birth of the musical. Customer purchasing followed the same mold and we can expect that again. So Feel-Good products will be hot. If your listing can show how a customer feels good from your product it will boost sales over your competitors.
Another interesting situation is that consumers expect to spend more than 40% of their budget on Gift Cards. This means that Sellers should expect the Q4 bump to expand, albeit smaller, into Q1, following the Feel-Good trend. As more corporations allow their workforce to work remotely, the home office category will benefit from the gift cards as well.
Lastly, expect the omnichannel model to increase. Last January saw a massive return to in-store shopping but at the same time, big box stores and even specialty retailers grew their online options immensely. Walmart’s online platform is being talked about by everybody. Although they are harder for Sellers to enter, Home Depot, Albertsons, and other big-box online platforms have grown as well.
As a result, Steven Selikoff predicts 1) Sales will increase, 2) Gift Cards will extend the sales bump, and 3) Going in 2022 Sellers should look at expanding into as many online retailer platforms as they can.