Lesley Hensell has a fascinating job and her company, Riverbend Consulting, performs a much-needed service: restoring the storefronts — and livelihoods — of Amazon merchants who have been unjustly shut down.
Lesley admits that her company really shouldn’t exist. If Amazon just did a better job of investigating the causes of these shutdowns, rather than relying on bots to do the work, there would be little need for her services. Perhaps someday Amazon might get its act together and do a better job. But right now, Riverbend Consulting is a booming company with more than 150 employees on staff, a good number of whom are former Amazon employees.
Lesley and I cover a lot of ground in our interview that should be of great interest to anyone with a storefront on Amazon, including:
– The many the challenges of working with Amazon, including unreasonable testing requests that make no sense.
– The importance of diversification for businesses on Amazon (i.e. maintaining presences on their own sites or via Shopify).
– “Brand gating” and how to avoid it.
– Do’s and Don’ts when using AI to create Amazon product descriptions and imagery.
– The importance of keeping accurate invoices and testing documents, given that Amazon may request them in the event of a suspension or issue.
– The key forensic role that Returns Reports play in helping sellers identify and address issues with their products, reducing risk and improving customer satisfaction.
– The importance of optimizing Amazon product listings for SEO, as they can rank higher in Google and Bing than a seller’s own website.
As an Amazon seller myself, I got a lot out of this interview and intend to read Lesley’s new book: The Amazon Incubator: Grow Your Business or Hatch a New One, available for sale on Amazon and other book selling sites.