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Why You Should Validate Product Ideas on Amazon With Izabella Ritz

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Izabella Ritz is the CEO of Ritz Momentum, a company that helps sellers start, grow, and scale Amazon businesses. Since the age of 17, Izabella has created and sold multiple businesses where she developed e-commerce and digital marketing expertise. She started Ritz Momentum in 2019 which has grown to provide everything a new or experienced seller needs to scale their business.

Here’s a glimpse of what you’ll learn: 

  • How Izabella Ritz became an entrepreneur
  • Izabella talks about moving to the US and her first Amazon business
  • How Izabella helps clients validate their product ideas
  • The role software tools play in product validation
  • What to look for when conducting market research
  • How to get in touch with Izabella

In this episode…

Did you know that the most common mistake people make when selling on Amazon is launching a product based on high demand and low competition? This is because new entrepreneurs often pay little attention to competitors and ask the wrong questions.

Many sellers on Amazon fail because they ignore a very important step when starting their businesses: getting validation for their idea or product. If you launch a business without understanding what your customers want, you are bound to fail. To prevent this, it’s important to identify the problems that customers are facing and find out if your product can solve them. So are customers willing and ready to buy from you?

In this episode of the Innovations and Breakthroughs Podcast, Rich Goldstein hosts Izabella Ritz, the CEO of Ritz Momentum, to talk about the importance of validating product ideas on Amazon. Izabella also discusses the role software tools play in product validation, what to look for when conducting market research, and her entrepreneurial background.

Resources mentioned in this episode:

Sponsor for this episode…

This episode is brought to you by Goldstein Patent Law, a firm that helps protect inventors’ ideas and products. They have advised and obtained patents for thousands of companies over the past 25 years. So if you’re a company that has a software, product, or design you want protected, you can go to https://goldsteinpatentlaw.com/. They have amazing free resources for learning more about the patent process. 

You can email their team at welcome@goldsteinpc.com to explore if it’s a match to work together. Rich Goldstein has also written a book for the American Bar Association that explains in plain English how patents work, which is called ‘The ABA Consumer Guide to Obtaining a Patent.’

Intro (00:09):
Welcome to innovations and breakthroughs with your host, Rich Goldstein, talking about the evolutionary, the revolutionary, the inspiration and the perspiration and those aha moments that change everything. And now here’s your host, Rich Goldstein.

Rich (00:33):
Rich Goldstein here in innovations and breakthroughs podcast, where I feature top leaders in the path they took to create change past guests include Kevin King, Brandon Young, and Steve Simonson. This episode is brought to you by my company, Goldstein patent law, where we help you to protect your ideas and products. So if you have an idea, a product, a software or design you want protected go to Goldsteinpatentlaw.com, whether are amazing free resources for learning about the patent process. And you could also check out the book I wrote for the American bar association that explains in plain English, how patents work it’s called the ABA consumer guide to obtaining a patent. And if you wanna find out if it’s a match for us to help you with a project, you could email my team at welcome@goldsteinpc.com. <laugh> I have with me here today, Izabella Ritz, um, Izabella built, uh, and grew several companies in Russia and sold them before. Um, she came to this country and, um, currently she helps Amazon sellers to validate their ideas, to figure out if the thing that they’re looking to sell is the right thing to sell. And, uh, I’m really, really pleased to have with me here today. Um, my good friend, Izabella Ritz. Welcome Izabella.

Izabella (01:45):
Thank you for having me here. And, uh, I don’t want to seem to be disrespectful. So I’m here with my eyes, but it’s so bright. So I’m so sorry. I have support.

Rich (01:54):
You can wear to sunglasses.

Izabella (01:55):
Yeah. Wearing my sun guys. Yeah,

Rich (01:57):
We are. We’re we’re in Tampa, Florida at an event and we just decided to do this impromptu interview, the impromptu episode. So by all means, um, sunglasses. Yeah. Are, are perfectly fine. So let’s just talk a little bit about your background, like kind of how you got started with entrepreneurship.

Izabella (02:14):
Um, I was born in Russia. I, no, that’s not true. I was born in Soviet union, which is, it was salted different countries. So I didn’t know that opportunities exist. I didn’t know, like what, uh, what is traveling out? See, uh, overseas, like how you can, uh, eat different food because we been, uh, feeding ourselves based on the stem. So we had the line of people who’ve been going to the store and you had to wait like two, three hours to get the same food as everybody else, till something happened in 1992 and country changed and it became Russian Federation. And at this point in the country, it was a mess. And for two years of my life, we had everything in my family just two years, and then we become poor again. So my family didn’t have anything. And me as a child who I think I was born as a leader, I just didn’t know about it.

Izabella (03:10):
I always wanted stuff. And when I went to the first grade, I’m like, kids have pencils, colorful pencils. They have pencil cases. They have, uh, cute backpacks and that like girls are wearing dresses and I don’t have anything. And I was always kind of jealous. I wanted to have stuff. So by the age of 12, I was fluent and French, I’m not fluent anymore. I cannot speak French at all. But I decided that it’s such a great opportunity, so I can help, um, elementary school kids to raise their grades and to be better at French. And I went to my elementary teacher and asked her, can I announce it? May I ask the permission if I can actually teach people, teach, teach the kids. And she says, yeah, of course do it. Nobody did it before you and the parents reach out to me. And they said, okay, yeah, we want you to teach our kids. We want you to help them to increase their grades. Like perfect. So, and this is how I start making about 50 to $54 a week, uh, having three students three hours each per week. So that was my first entrepreneurship.

Rich (04:18):
Wow. So, and that was quite a bit of money for, um, for a teenager.

Izabella (04:22):
Yeah. Teenager back to Russia back to this time. Yeah. Mm-hmm <affirmative>, that was

Rich (04:27):
A lot. Got it. Um, yeah. And, and so then what did you do next? What was the next entrepreneurial thing?

Izabella (04:32):
The involved the next was also kinda teaching and I was, uh, teaching people, uh, speed reading. And because I was transitioning from the high school to the university and I had, I was overwhelmed with a lot of information. I had to learn how to like speed, how to read pretty fast. So I went to the courses, I learned how to do that. I think I was almost profit to have the speed reading skills. And then I decided, you know what, I’m going to teach people how to do the speed reading. And then I was teaching for like three, four years, um, in the parallel of, um, the businesses of the jobs I was taking when I was working, um, on my school and, uh, my university. And then at 17 years old, I decided to open my company and I opened the company at the 17. I didn’t have LLC guys in Russian, in Russia. It’s same as here. Like you cannot open any company, uh, but you could have a business. You could, you could run something. So I opened the business in 17, it was the business training center. And then I sold this business training center one and a half years after I was almost 19 years old. And that was my first million Russian rebels, $35,000.

Rich (05:51):
<laugh>. Wow. Um, and, um, so I see a trend here. I mean, it’s about training and teaching and that was like, kind of like the first few rounds of entrepreneurship for you. Yeah. Was like finding an opportunity to teach people something that they would pay for. Um, and, uh, and, and so then what came after that?

Izabella (06:10):
And after that, um, first of all, I realized that money exists. Mm-hmm, <affirmative> like, you can actually have a chunk of money. You can earn money. And it’s not that hard, how I was raised. Like you have to suffer and to pipe, you have to like sweat a lot. And then at the end of the day, you’ll be poor. I realized that like wealth exists and it’s not that hard. I created another company. It was web studio. Uh, internet just came to Russia. We didn’t know anything about the web design about the websites. It just started. And I was learning what it is. So we’ve been doing design web designs for people. I’m when I remember what we did, it’s a shame right now, but you know, <laugh> yeah. To

Rich (06:52):
Any, but when we look back at all about websites from back then, it’s kind of, it’s kind of funny, right?

Izabella (06:57):
Yeah. It is funny. So, but we did it. And then I sold this company too, super successful. Uh, then I created infographic studio because it’s also started, then I created entire design studio on this studio was with me, like for 14 years. However, I sold this type of business three times I was every single in Russia. We didn’t have NDAs or like non-IT agreements or something like that. You’ve been selling. You can start it again, but it was never my intention to start this business again, because every single time I was so tired from this business, I’m like, no, I don’t wanna do interior design again. I don’t wanna build this buildings because like, you have so many inspections, you have so many, um, stuff, you have to figure it out. You have to match a lot of requirements. Uh, like it’s a lot. And every single time I was coming back and I was coming back because it’s a good chunk of money. And because it’s a lot of opportunities in demand was there. And it’s kind interesting because I started traveling overseas to like, look at the designs, do the trade shows to see what’s existed beside Russia. So it was interesting experience for 14 years. And in between when I was selling those companies, I was creating something else. So it was always like, I was in a rollercoaster of this business selling, creating, and,

Rich (08:14):
Yeah, that’s fascinating. So let’s fast forward then to coming to this country and then like the first entrepreneurial, um, experiences you had here.

Izabella (08:23):
Yeah. I think I was, you know, like, you know, it’s no courage without fear. Mm-hmm <affirmative> I came here, I had a hundred K and I lost them immediately. I was stupid. It was my mistake. I trust people that I shouldn’t trust. I didn’t read, I didn’t sign the contract. I just like trusted people. I gave them a hundred K and I lost it. So, and I had 5k and I had three children and I had to figure it out. So, and I figured out that Amazon is here. People are doing Amazon. Amazon is a great business. Let’s try Amazon. Uh, I thought I’m doing private label. I did wholesale. I found the product, Silicon buy glasses. I wanted them on Amazon. I was lucky because it was the Q4. I was lucky because I had some experience with e-commerce back to Russia. I knew how internet works. And I knew something about, see how like indexing is working. And when I launched the product, uh, it’s kicked off and I got a return of pure profit, 14 K in a month. And I was like, oh, it’s working. So this is how I started my journey with Amazon.

Rich (09:29):
Awesome. And then eventually you, you sold those brands.

Izabella (09:34):
Uh, we, that was not the brand, but yes, we sold this account. That was, uh, and the brand was under this account in 2021. Yeah.

Rich (09:42):
Got it. And so, and now you help people with validating ideas, like people that have a hunch, like this is something that they want to sell. Uh, but it could be, they could be right. And it could be very successful. Yep. And they could be wrong and it could, and they could just have a whole pile of inventory just sitting there paying fees on. Correct. So, um, so how do you help people to validate their ideas?

Izabella (10:06):
So a little bit of background, why we can do it, right? Because we learn from our mistakes. Uh, when we calculating how much we lost on Amazon, we lost about 2 million. And the average, I think for like every successful seller, it’s the average amount they’re losing when they’re launching some products. So the main mistake people are doing when they’re selling Amazon, they’re launching the product based on the high demand, low competition. And then they are not asking the audience, the final consumer will they actually buy the product. So when we’re creating the product and we’re finding the idea, we are validating with the numbers and the numbers are based on the software. Of course. And we’re checking what is going on on Amazon, off Amazon. We’re looking at the numbers such as like purchase rate. I’m not going to dig deeper right now. Mm-hmm <affirmative>.

Izabella (10:59):
And then, uh, when we’re finding the holes, why or the gaps, why we have a demand, why we don’t have the purchase rate, why the competitors are not satisfying the market, then we’re starting researching what consumer is missing, what they’re looking for. Then we’re creating the list, uh, of the necessities of the <laugh> necessary stuff. Mm-hmm, <affirmative>, uh, and we’re building the product. We’re building, we’re developing the product and we’re working tight with the supplier because we have to make sure everything will develop. People will be able to produce, and they will be, uh, in the market range when, so they will be able to have some profit from this product when they’re going to sell it on the market. Uh, and then we’re validating this idea with the consumer after we develop it, we’re asking audience, do you guys want to buy it? Do you think it’s a good product? Do you think it’s a good fit? We’re tasting this idea against the competitors. And if our product is winning and we have at least 80 20, um, on our side. So like, yes, our product is good enough. Then we can say to our customers or to ourselves, like, yes, you can go with this product because X, Y, Z. So this product, uh, with this product, you’re reducing the risk, um, during your launching process, make sense.

Rich (12:20):
Yeah, absolutely. And kinda what role do, uh, software tools play in, uh, in this process of validating?

Izabella (12:27):
Great question. So, uh, we all are going, we all are doing business because we’ll have money. We want money. So we have to do the numbers first, because for example, we’re using five different softwares is smart scout. Hilu 10 data dive that is sitting on top of the Hilu 10. We’re using Amazon product opportunity, Explorer and seller tools that is on top of, um, Chrome extension, helping us to read the data from Amazon product opportunity as well. And what numbers we’re looking for. As I mentioned, uh, purchase rate, because when you’re looking for the keyword, for example, mom mug, and my mom mug might be the very broad keyword. And the purchase rate might be, I don’t know, zero point 57%. And if this keyword is given such a low purchase rate means when people are searching the product, based on the specific keyword, they’re missing something based on the software, we’re narrowing this keywords to something like maybe mug ceramic mug format or mug for the boss, mom or something else. And

Rich (13:36):
So like the longer tail,

Izabella (13:37):
Sometimes longer tail, like I was showing that BDSs the great example, passport holder. And then we found the keyword don’t launch this product, please, uh, passport holder with the vaccine card mm-hmm <affirmative>. And the purchase rate was like stupid, low, because this product was not exist on the market. It’s been like two or three sellers back to July mm-hmm <affirmative> so, and like means this niche is there. The demand is huge. Yeah. So generally speaking, and then we’re looking to the data, dive and data dive showed us so many opportunities, like all the competitors being in the greens, which means all these spots are available for the new seller who can rank, uh, based on these keywords on the page one. Hmm.

Rich (14:23):
Yeah. Well, that’s fascinating. I mean, I won’t launch the product. I can promise that they won’t <laugh>.

Izabella (14:27):
Yeah. Well to go to the products, one it’s like shark Pete. Um, right. So you

Rich (14:33):
Shouldn’t do it, but yeah. So you, so it sounds like you use all the tools, like you basically

Izabella (14:38):
The main ones.

Rich (14:39):
Yeah. Yeah. And, and like, you use a bunch of different sources to help figure out. Yeah. Kind of like, not just, yes, no, but kind of more strategically, like what is the direction that we follow?

Izabella (14:50):
Yeah. Correct.

Rich (14:52):
Okay. Um, so is there anything else you think that people ought to know about like validating their products?

Izabella (14:58):
Yes. So when you’re validating the product, don’t be excited when you got the perfect score, for example, from peak four people, fish or any other software, because sometimes you are asking your question wrong. Sometimes you are, uh, using your product against their own competitor, because we love our ego and we want to be the winners. And sometimes we’re closing our eyes to make sure, like we are winning. We will not look at the strongest competitors and people are using weak competitors, or they’re using competitors based on the different, uh, re not, not in a really, uh, really relevant keyword. So make sure the product you 10 tasting against is relevant. They have similar features. If you are winning, you have to win because you have the relevant competitor. And after you will do the tests, run the poll. Also, you can do it with a peak, full asking people what they actual think about the product you develop, because after you develop the product, you will have a feedback from the audience where they will tell you, okay, we hate this product because X, Y, Z, we like this product because X, Y, Z. And if your rating will be below, uh, 4.2, you have to probably revise it and make sure that you tested it against the right, um, audience, because sometimes people are doing just general audience, and they’re not testing based on like prime, um, buyers, or, uh, for example, pet owners or new home buyers or something. So you have to build your avatar of, uh, your consumer avatar to make sure you’re, uh, testing against the right one.

Rich (16:39):
Yeah, absolutely. And just to reiterate that tool let’s PFU yeah. Which is a, a tool that lets, um, people, um, test their assumptions with an audience. So like, if you, if you want to test, for example, like two different possible colors for a product, um, then you could use a tool like PFU to set up a, set up a test and then, um, have an audience of people give you feedback about what their preference is. And like, it helps you to test those assumptions.

Izabella (17:09):
Yeah. You can test colors, you can test shapes, you can taste ideas, you can taste test you test copy.

Rich (17:15):
Yeah. Sales copy and yeah.

Izabella (17:17):
Headlines. Yeah. They also created the new feature when you can do the mockup, uh, of your competitor and yours with the same amount or different amount of reviews, different stars. So, and like different pictures, you can test so much there. Yeah. Like as long as you have money to invest in all this tests, you can find like you can dig deeper, deeper, and deeper into all this marketing just don’t play too much because, uh, you can overplay yourself.

Rich (17:42):
Yeah. That’s good. They’re they’re great guys and a great company too. Yeah. Um, well, awesome. If people wanna learn more and by the way, so we’re, we’re melting out here. Yeah.

Izabella (17:51):
We’re melting

Rich (17:52):
The Tampa heat. Yeah. It’s humid. So we’re melting quite a bit, but I’m glad we really were able to condense quite a bit yeah. Into this interview. And, um, uh, first of all, if people wanna learn more about you or get in touch with you, how do they go about doing so? So

Izabella (18:04):
You can find me personally on LinkedIn, Izabella Ritz with the Z and double L R I T Z like Ritz cracker, or re, Carlton, whatever you want, uh, spelling the same, or you can go on my website, re arm, uh, R I T Z a RM like arm, your hand, uh, yeah. Dot com and, uh, fill out the form. My managers will reach out to you within 24 hours. Sometimes it’s much faster and we’ll be happy to help.

Rich (18:30):
Awesome. Well, um, again, I really appreciate you taking the time and, and kind of, and being out here in the heat with me, um, for this, um, you know, for this interview and, um, you know, again, thanks for being here.

Izabella (18:43):
Yeah. Well, it’s my honor and pleasure to be here. Thank you so much.

Outro (18:49):
Thanks for listening to innovations and breakthroughs with your host, Rich Goldstein. Be sure to click, subscribe, check us out on the web at innovationsandbreakthroughs.com and we’ll see you next time.

 

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