Cracking the Social Shopping Code with Neil Twa: Amazon, TikTok & Building to Sell

Neil Twa

E-commerce is constantly evolving, and one of the biggest trends shaping the industry is social shopping also known as social commerce. It’s the fusion of social media and online shopping. In this enlightening conversation, Nicolas, co-founder of eStreamly, sits down with Neil Twa, Founder of Voltage Digital Marketing. They discuss the future of social commerce on Amazon and beyond.

The Amazon Influencer Program & Live Shopping

Amazon recognized the power of influencer marketing early on with their Amazon Associates program. They later rebranded it as the Amazon Influencer Program. This allowed influencers to earn commissions by promoting products on the platform. More recently, Amazon launched Amazon Live, a live video shopping experience hosted by influencers and brands.

However, according to Neil, Amazon was a bit slow to fully embrace the potential of liveshopping and user-generated content (UGC). Platforms like TikTok Shop were quicker to capitalize on the social commerce trend. Neil believes Amazon is now playing catch-up, acquiring media and advertising companies to boost their content distribution capabilities.

Leveraging User-Generated Content

One of the key advantages of social shopping is the ability to leverage UGC from influencers and customers. Neil explains that any UGC videos uploaded to Amazon become assets that brands can use for advertising and promotion across multiple channels.

He emphasizes the importance of working with skilled video creators who understand how to make content go viral. While production quality is less important than delivering an authentic, engaging message that resonates with your target audience.

The Role of AI in Content Creation

As the demand for video content skyrockets, AI is emerging as a game-changer for efficient content creation at scale. Tools like ChatGPT and video rendering AI can help businesses rapidly produce videos tailored to specific audiences and product lines.

However, Neil cautions that broad, untargeted video marketing is becoming less effective. Businesses must get smarter about using data to deliver the right video content to their ideal customer avatars.

Evaluating Amazon Businesses for Acquisition

In the latter part of the conversation, Neil shares his framework for evaluating Amazon businesses as potential acquisition targets for Voltage’s investment portfolio. Key criteria include:

  • Million to $1.5M in Seller Discretionary Earnings (SDE)
  • Revenues of $3M+ to indicate established systems and processes
  • A clear growth plan and diversification across multiple sales channels
  • Clean, salable inventory included in the purchase price

Neil’s goal is to acquire promising Amazon brands, optimize their operations, and scale them to the $10M – $20M range for an eventual exit to larger investors or strategic buyers.

As the lines between e-commerce, content, and social media continue to blur, businesses must adapt to survive. Social commerce represents a powerful opportunity.

“Succeeding in this space requires strategic thinking, relentless video content creation, and a data-driven approach to reaching your ideal customers across multiple touchpoints”

Neil Twa
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