A Quick Guide To Understanding Amazon

In today’s world of technology, it is exceedingly common for every eCommerce business to gain a slice of its revenues from an Amazon.com sales network. Many clients approach Eastline’s Amazon Consultancy Service asking to sell their products on Amazon. Understanding how Amazon operates and the numerous features it delivers to help businesses reach clients online is imperative for buyers new to eCommerce. If you are one of those currently considering selling on Amazon, read the following to gain a rudimentary comprehension of their very impressive, wide-ranging eCommerce platform.

Indisputably, Amazon is a massive, thriving marketplace. Navigating and getting started with your eCommerce business can be more than daunting. The key is learning how to optimize your sales by grasping the right channels, and few businesses can overlook the influence and pervasiveness of Amazon! Impressive, wouldn’t you say? Amazon alone was responsible for 60% of all online transactions in 2017. Beyond doubt, it produces a fabulous opportunity for an array of merchants. For those starting off, Amazon can be very complex in a competitive market. Knowing how to navigate all the options offered by Amazon is crucial at the onset for any new seller.

Where To Begin

With a vast global market online, it has been said that Amazon sold over 300 items in a flash of one second! There are merchants who make millions of dollars while others are intent on making some extra cash. Regardless, Amazon has to arrange and organize them to maximize its own revenues accordingly. New sellers will face obstacles as they navigate a wide spectrum of options to select how they sell, which can lead to sloppy errors. Amazon has recently modified its options, which will change the variables in many ways. Taking the time to thoroughly understand these features before you begin selling is ultimately the best path to take for greater results.

Seller Central

Seller Central is a market open to everyone, and one doesn’t have to own the brand name of the product that they are selling. It is valid for merchants who only sell a few items on a weekly basis, yet it also includes those selling huge quantities per month. In essence, Amazon becomes a sort of advertising channel although you are still selling your items straight to the buyer. Merchants are responsible for setting their own prices and benefit from higher margins on each item sold rather than being a wholesaler. The advantage is that merchants get paid rapidly (within 2 weeks of the sale).

Seller Central remains to be a relatively competitive market. Retailing third-party items (brands out of your control) implies obstacles and will demand cautious attentiveness to merchandise pricing and margins to guarantee profitable gains. Established sellers will surely be in the mix and may have established the niche market that you are aiming for and earned the Buy Box already.

The Buy Box is the preliminary point where clients choose the merchant for their purchase. When a client is shopping on Amazon, the system will examine each item by searching for products that match the client’s criteria. It automatically displays all items in the order that best correlates to the search criteria and prioritizes merchants based on who is most capable of finalizing a sale. Both the Buy Box and the formula for the search are complex and exclusive to Amazon; yet the merchant’s number of sales, rating and return rate all influence the results. Moreover, Seller Central members are not only competing with one another, but alongside Amazon if the product is qualified for the Buy Box. In brief, Amazon’s algorithm for the Buy Box alters, and is constructed around the individual sellers; top sellers getting top positioning. It requires patience, hard work, and money spent on marketing to achieve this sought-after position.

Fulfillment by Amazon

There are two options when it comes to a completion of a purchase on Seller Central. Merchants can select direct fulfillment, where Amazon completes the sale and authorizes the fulfillment data to the seller. The other option is Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA), allowing Amazon to handle the items and overall shipping costs. There are more than 50 Amazon warehouses in the US alone, and one warehouse can cover a space as large as 23 acres of land. FBA is arguably the finest and most advantageous method for merchants to leverage their power. In addition, Amazon is responsible for taking care of any customer service matters or returns, which clearly saves time for any busy third-party merchant.

FBA is essential to reaching the top 90 million Amazon Prime Members. To win the Buy Box status, the seller must assure a two-day period for shipment, which is realistically only probable through FBA. You should be aware that Amazon charges you for storing and shipping the product. If your products remain in their warehouse too long without being purchased, you may be charged a fee. All fees are determined by the physical size of the products and the rate of your sales.

Vendor Central

Vendor Central is a program that is by invitation-only in order to establish Amazon as their wholesale partner. These invitations are distributed to large brands that sell enormous quantities of product and, in most cases, from their own factories. Profit margins are lower and the final payments take more time than Seller Central. However, sellers are given the opportunity to increase their bulk sales.

The process unfolds in the following manner:

• Seller exchanges flat rate for items with an Amazon account manager
• The account manager then places the order
• Seller ships products to Amazon warehouses
• Amazon is then responsible for fulfillment, shipping, returns, and customer service

Hence, Amazon now owns the seller’s products at this stage, which implies that they will benefit from ideal positioning for their Buy Box. Understandably, Amazon prioritizes their products in any customer search. On the other end, customers likewise prefer to buy from a reliable source like Amazon over a third-party seller. Lastly, Vendor Central customers obtain access to marketing services that help them market their products.

Vendor Express

Vendor Express is essentially Vendor Central, but on a smaller scale. No invitation is needed, however, you must hold the IP (Brand) for the items you trade.

This program has been discontinued as of May 2018 and will be completely shut down as of January 2019.

Next Steps

Contact us for a free assessment of your business and opportunities to grow your business on Amazon.

Un ménage à trois qui porte ses fruits

On est bien d’accord que le ménage à trois (ou plus) suscite généralement interrogations et indignations, du moins au Liban. Néanmoins, au sein de ce débat sans fin, il existe des dynamiques ‘poly’ qui s’avèrent être des success stories. C’est le cas notamment de la collaboration fructueuse entre Eastline Digital, vit-e et MV Santé Vision.

MV Santé Vision est leader dans la correction des troubles de la vision en Suisse Romande, avec à son actif plus de 20,000 yeux opérés ces 10 dernières années, une équipe de chirurgiens ophtalmologues expérimentés, et un matériel à la pointe de la technologie et en exclusivité dans la région.

Basée à Beyrouth depuis 2006, Eastline Digital est la première agence indépendante fondée au Liban dédiée au marketing digital, et une des pionnières dans les régions du Moyen-Orient et de l’Afrique du Nord. L’agence est lauréate de plus de 42 prix locaux et internationaux, et compte dans son portfolio plus de 550 clients dans 32 pays.



vit-e branding & digital crée et redynamise les marques grâce aux pouvoirs de la pensée conceptuelle et de la communication visuelle créative, de solutions sur mesure, d’une expérience client hors pair, de la perspective adaptée aux besoins de chaque projet et de la contextualisation. Fondée à Beyrouth en 2000, vit-e compte déjà à son actif plus de 500 clients à travers 27 pays, dont des multinationales, des institutions et des entreprises.

Pour MV Santé Vision, Eastline Digital s’occupa de mettre en place une stratégie de communication digitale holistique laquelle se révéla être un ajout capital aux dispositifs de communication de cette entreprise. Eastline assura – et continue de le faire – à MV Santé Vision une visibilité digitale optimale, en offrant des services innovants de création de contenu, de promotion, de sensibilisation, d’information, d’interaction contextualisée, d’engagement et de conversion.



Quant à vit-e, celle-ci s’occupa de la stratégie et de l’identité de marque de MV Santé Vision, de la conception de supports marketing imprimés, de l’UX Design – Expérience Utilisateur – et l’UI Design – Interface Utilisateur – du site-web, ainsi que du design de stands d’exposition polyvalents.



Grâce à un dialogue en mode continu entre ces trois entités, à la diversité des talents et à une expertise pointue, les plateformes et espaces créés pour MV Santé Vision offrent une expérience se démarquant de la masse, puisque celle-ci est le fruit de l’interculturalité et de la recherche de l’unité dans la diversité des solutions au-delà de visions limitées du possible. La relation MV Santé Vision/Eastline Digital/vit-e comporte un engagement consistant à déterminer au quotidien des objectifs mutuels, à se partager les responsabilités, les ressources et les récompenses, à oeuvrer ensemble à concrétiser une perspective commune, et à intégrer trois enjeux que les marketers et communicants se doivent de relever: la vision stratégique, le savoir-être digital et la production d’un contenu toujours plus créatif en misant sur trois valeurs essentielles – la proximité, la spontanéité et l’authenticité.

The Rise Of The Social Influencers Or The Digital Form Of Word-Of-Mouth

featured-imageSocial media and free publishing platforms have made it easy for anyone to voice their opinion about any subject and build an audience of followers by becoming a blogger. This growing trend gave birth to what we now call “influencers”, the go-to opinion leaders that every brand is seeking to collaborate with.

In the following article, we discuss the advantages that influencers have over brands, and how to choose the right influencer for your campaign.


Influencers promote authenticity

People turn to blogs before making a purchase decision, because they can trust bloggers more than they trust the brand itself. After all, unlike a brand, a blogger is an unbiased human being who will give his honest opinion without coming across as too promotional.

Influencers share more content

Social influencers are effective at starting, sharing and spreading online conversations that brands need be part of in order to understand their consumers. Partnering with a social influencer allows a brand to broaden its reach and access larger online communities.

Influencers reach more targeted audiences

Anyone with knowledge in a particular area can develop a blog and become the trusted reference for people who are interested in the same topics. This has led to an availability of different influencers covering most of the industries such as fashion, technology, health and food, who in turn were able to recruit relevant audiences. Resorting to an influencer’s outreach means higher chances of reaching the right audience.

 It’s great for SEO

In a nutshell, Google likes it when people mention your brand on social media; so expanding your content to be published on the sites of influencers – which in turn will be shared by the audience of said influencers – will translate into a higher search engine ranking.

Although partnering with social influencers sounds like the perfect deal, it is a wasted investment if you are not working with the right ones. So take the necessary time to understand your target audience, the social networks you’re looking to reach them on and the structure behind what makes an influencer campaign successful.

5 Social Media Trends To Keep In Mind For 2017

featured-imageDigital marketing in general, and social media in particular, has been evolving rapidly and becoming crucial to any brand looking to stand out and be noticed amid the crowd.

“Social media is not just a spoke on the wheel of marketing. It’s becoming the way entire bicycles are built.” – Ryan Lilly, author.

Social media’s evolution has been growing exponentially and it’s important to keep up with the trends, which is why we have put together a list of things to look out for when working on your 2017 digital strategy.

Live video

The rise of Snapchat, Periscope and Facebook Live has changed the way we share our stories and offered a real way to engage with an audience in real-time. While this trend is still in its early stages, market research studies have found that more and more viewers are moving from TV to social, which will push broadcast stations to consider developing a solid digital livestreaming strategy for the years to come. Brands will have to bring out their A game to stand out in this area and attain high exposure; and the competition has already started to get hot and heavy. Take a look at Paco Rabanne’s interactive Facebook Live game for example: https://www.facebook.com/Million/

Video Content

If you haven’t included video in your digital strategy yet, now is the time to do so. Video content has proven to be a successful component in any digital marketing strategy due to its interactive nature. Not only does video allow you to increase brand awareness and customer loyalty, it also leads to positive ROI compared to regular social media posts and blog posts.

Expiring Content

Snapchat has paved the way and raised the bar for the expiring content trend, which led most of its competitors to “borrow” this feature. Consumers are attracted to the idea of having exclusive access to disappearing content, and a limited timeframe in which they consume this content. It will be interesting to see how creative brands can get in adopting this tactic in 2017!

User Generated Content

One of the most important things for a brand to do is to keep its content as human and personalized as possible to build trust with fans. And what better way to do that than to let your community do your work for you? Your fans will get their 15 minutes of fame, and you will collect content for your digital strategy at zero cost, all the while increasing engagement on your social networks. Sounds like the perfect win-win situation, doesn’t it?

Mobile First

This may not come as a surprise to many, especially when mobile traffic is greatly exceeding desktop traffic, with more than 90% of consumers owning a smartphone. It’s important to take mobile into consideration when working on your content, and optimize it for mobile, especially when it comes to having a responsive website that Google considers “mobile friendly”.

iOS9: Apple’s move towards stability

iOS9: Apple’s move towards stabilityThe iPhone 6 has been out for a while now and we’re already approaching the release of the Apple Watch, so the tech giant has a lot going on. As if it wasn’t enough, recent reports have unveiled the company’s next mobile software update: iOS 9.

In September 2013, Apple launched iOS 7, the major design overhaul of the operating system that marked its transition into flat design. It opened new doors such as the Touch ID and CarPlay, and was dubbed the “biggest change to iOS since the introduction of the iPhone”. Then came iOS 8 with many health-focused features, Apple Pay, Continuity, and more. At the same time, Apple launched the iPhone 6 with a total redesign and a lot of new hardware.

With so many new features released across a variety of devices in less than two years, the company hasn’t really had the time to stabilize its ecosystem.

So for the next version of its mobile platform, the tech giant has just announced that it will be focusing on optimizing software and hardware. They are likely to fix many performance issues and, according to 9to5mac, “continue to make efforts to keep the size of the OS and updates manageable, especially for the many millions of iOS device owners with 16GB devices”.

It has also come to light that the iPhone 5c, original iPad mini, and fifth-generation iPod touch will all be discontinued by the end of 2015, leaving only devices equipped with 64-bit A7, A8, and A9 processors. With less outdated hardware, it should be easier to unify the experience across the whole iOS range.

Although there is some speculation about battery life improvements, the main focus will be to create a perfectly stable environment and optimize the existing features to make them faster, smoother, and more user-friendly. There are no dates yet but we’ll be hearing more about it at Apple’s WWDC 2015 (Worldwide Developers Conference).

How Eastline Marketing Accelerated the Largest Startup Conference in the Region

Last year, Banque Du Liban unveiled Circular 331, a new initiative that allows banks to use a $400,000,000 fund to act as investors for startups in Lebanon. In order to educate these young companies on how to make it big and learn more about the circular, Banque du Liban (BDL) organized the largest startup conference in the region: BDL Accelerate. But how to raise awareness, attract 2,000 quality attendees (entrepreneurs, investors, and more) and over 80 partners on such short notice?

This was our cue. We came up with a simple but extremely efficient strategy that involved four platforms: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and a blog. We were able to generate interest and excitement by providing high-value content across the board. We posted daily on all platforms and built up to the event by using in-depth profiles of our speakers, Q&As, and informative pots about the partners. We promoted Tweets and launched 5 Google and Facebook advertising campaigns, spanning 32 countries, generating 14 Million impressions and 144,000 clicks. We were using #Accelerate2014 as the dedicated hashtag for the campaign on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.


During the campaign, we posted on a daily basis. We talked about software and social media, showcased our blog posts, advertised the event… But we didn’t stop there! During the two days of the event, we posted 622 pictures, gathering over 9,320 likes and reaching 1,002,255 users. In the end, the page exceeded 21,000 likes from over 30 countries, had close to 400 shares, and 342 comments.


Twitter was a challenge because creating a community takes quite some time. However, by tweeting 6-10 times a day until the event and then providing an extensive live coverage of the event, we gathered over 9,300 followers. We tweeted 656 times and gathered a total of 1.7 Million impressions, 835 favorites, and 905 retweets. With 1215 mentions, #Accelerate2014, our dedicated hashtag, was at the top of the “Trending” list for Lebanon during the two days of the event.


Without any kind of media and very little time, Instagram was a real challenge for us. We warmed up before the event by posting about our speakers, redirecting users to the blog for more info. When came live coverage time, the engagement went through the roof. We ended up posting 33 videos and 143 images in total, gathering 166 followers.


With over 70,000 visits, the average time on site reached an impressive 2.52 seconds and the registration count exceeded 1,800. The blog itself accounted for 1,000 visits on 48 posts and tackled topics such as the speakers, Q&As, the partners, live coverage, and more. It helped us bring value and insight to our audience before the event, which generated a lot of interest.

It was a pleasure and a great opportunity for Eastline Marketing to work on this project. We are proud to participate in the development of the regional startup ecosystem. The results have exceeded the client’s wildest expectations and we are looking forward to next year’s edition!

BCL Accelerate Infographic

BDL Accelerate Infographic

Are tech CEOs the new rock stars?

Are tech CEOs the new rock stars?During the past decade, CEOs of tech companies have become just as popular as music and movie stars. How come? How does it show? What are the consequences?

1- The Steve Jobs way

In 1983, Steve Jobs held his first keynote presentation, unveiling the commercial for the Apple II. Fast forward to 2001, the man introduces his fellow music lovers to a device that will forever change the face of this industry: the iPod. It wasn’t enough for the product to be outstanding; it also had to be presented in a way that would resonate in the minds of every person on the face of the Earth. It was such a hit that from that point on, every product announcement became an event. People came by the hundreds (and later on, thousands) to watch Steve Jobs himself talk about what new groundbreaking technology Apple was going to release. In the span of ten years, from the iPod launching event in 2001 to his death in 2011, Jobs became a legend, a public figure and the most beloved CEO in history. Today, his legacy extends far beyond Apple as CEOs from around the world have started walking the same path.

2- The trend

After Steve Jobs had passed away, CEOs from all corners of Silicon Valley started imitating him: every time they wanted to launch a new product, they organized a presentation, made an event out of it and showed up personally to talk about their innovations. Steve Ballmer, ex-CEO of Microsoft and Bill Gates’ successor, is well known for his more-than-enthusiastic arrivals on stage, which reduced his credibility and earned him the nickname “Microsoft’s Mr Monkey Boy.” Other than his public antics, not much is remembered of his 14-year-long reign over Gates’ company. When Ballmer stepped down in February 2014, Satya Nadella took his place. This unknown man suddenly became the talk of the town, every magazine, website and news outlet was talking about him, and the tech community spent weeks analyzing his background and the impact it will have on the company. Since then, every new Microsoft product report features a paragraph or two about Nadella’s past and how it influenced the creation of said product.

It is no news that CEOs, their behavior and their background often affect their company’s value on the stock market, but their recent rise to stardom has greatly magnified their impact. To sum this up, just picture this: every time Tim Cook, Jobs’ successor, goes on stage, Apple’s stock drops. This phenomenon is directly linked to the attention that people now give to the personality of the speaker, not just the quality of the product announced. Buying or investing in technology has never been more emotional since consumers and investors now have personal biases towards brands because of their CEOs

3- Newcomers

One of the early adopters of this trend was Mark Zuckerberg. After founding Facebook in 2004 (initially called TheFacebook), the young man made the headlines across the world, and for many reasons. He was 19 when TheFacebook.com went online, making him the youngest pioneer of social media. When the company went international, the flagrant success of his platform and the change it was creating generated a lot of curiosity and envy. Closing his first billion at age 23, he became the world’s youngest self-made billionaire which boosted the hype he was already getting. Today, Mark is the face of his network, all the strategic decisions and new technologies are credited to him, and whenever Facebook announces changes his name comes first on the bill. He is a public figure, idol and model. His rise to fame inspired millions of software and applications developers to try to become the next big CEO in tech.

4- The consequences

Since then, every new successful application or software has seen its creator take the spotlight. This fame is a double-edged sword though; as creators get younger by the year, their experience in management and publicity is usually close to zero. A good example would be Evan Spiegel, CEO and creator of Snapchat. When he launched his application in July 2011, it skyrocketed. Today, the 24-year-old is worth 1 Billion dollars. However, you will hear more about his offensive college emails and spoiled childhood than his accomplishments as CEO.

Other older Silicon Valley tycoons are following Jobs’ footsteps, like Jeff Bezos, who saw fit to announce new products and features of Amazon himself after years behind the scenes. The problem here is that most of these novelties are not well received by the public. Result: every time he takes the stage, the internet spends a great amount of time criticizing his decisions and blaming him, focusing on the negative aspect of his product.

One of the rare exceptions today is Google, which took the good side of the trend – the events, the conferences and the hype- only leaving out the problematic part, CEOs going public too often.

Tech CEOs are the new rock stars indeed, bathing in fame and money, their presentations are like concerts, their decisions are received like new albums and their personal life is on display. They are public figures, an inspiration for many and a target of criticism for others. People stopped wanting to be entertainers, they want to be tech CEOs now.

Content Marketing

Content MarketingAs online marketing grows, new ways of advertising emerge. Lately, this “content marketing” has been the talk of the town. But what is it exactly? Why is it making so much noise? How can you leverage it for your business?

1- What is content marketing?

If you want a clear definition, the content marketing institute defines it as a marketing technique of creating and distributing valuable, relevant and consistent content to attract and acquire a clearly defined audience – with the objective of driving profitable customer action. In laymen’s terms, content marketing means generating interest in your brand or product by developing content related to it in order to create a relation, build trust, awareness, and positive sentiment. Of course the desired result is customer action but by avoiding classic marketing approaches, you circumvent your audience’s efforts to ignore advertising. You’re not promoting yourself anymore, you’re bringing useful and meaningful content with real added value to those willing to listen.

2- History of content marketing

If you think content marketing is a new notion, think again. The first documented instance of this technique dates back to 1895, when August Oetker started printing recipes on the back of his baking powder packs. Today, his recipe books are among the most successful worldwide, having sold over 19 million printed copies. His brand, Dr.Oetker, is among the largest food processor in the world.

Another example, maybe the most eloquent of all, is Michelin. The tire manufacturer started its publication in 1900, releasing 35,000 copies full of advice to change or maintain tires, maps, travel tipsas well as hotels and restaurants reviews. It enticed people to go around the country and discover new places, thus using their Michelin tires to their full potential. Today, the guide has 14 editions covering 23 countries and is sold in nearly 90 countries. It is a global reference and a business on its own.

Those were the pioneers of content marketing and they used it to give their brand an edge. Over the years, an increasing number of companies took that path, often successfully, and the trend grew along with the new technologies. Today, the most common channels include blog posts, e-books, emails newsletters, PowerPoint presentations, Podcasts, videos, social media posts, live presentations, webinars, and a lot more. This practice is not really optional anymore, and for a good reason.

3- Why do businesses need it

As we previously mentioned, content marketing has grown constantly from its beginning up until now. However, the early 60s saw the rise of what we now call above the line advertising (TV, radio, print). In the past 50 years, developed countries have been exposed to so such a huge amount of publicity that the population became insensitive to it. Now there are ways to skip TV ads, radio is close to its demise, the number of printed material readers is dropping dramatically, even online banners and pop-ups are being ignored or blocked. This makes content marketing a real necessity for brands. On the eve of the age of information, people want to learn and discover. By helping them in this endeavor, companies get their audience’s trust and interest. But if everyone starts doing the same, how will content marketing stay efficient and attractive?

4- The future of content marketing

With the growing need for it, content marketing will become an industry on its own. Just like social media a few years ago, we are going to see the emergence of content marketing agencies, director of content will be the new job title of next year and bigger budgets will be allocated for this practice. A lot of brands will probably try to automate their content, but it will fail simply because it goes against the very concept of content marketing; however, the need to calculate return on investment will spawn new software-as-a-service companies and new strategies such as location-based content marketing. Finally, and most importantly, as consumers gradually shift from computers to smartphones for navigation, any brand without a strategy for fast-consumption content directed at mobile users will be left behind.

So go ahead, create content, make it interesting and mobile-friendly and don’t forget to follow a strategy!

Eastline and Endeavor, A Mentoring Success

Eastline - EndeavorThree years after being selected as high impact entrepreneurs by Endeavor, Eastline Marketing remains proud of the achievements it continues to reach with the NGO organization.

Celebrating the ongoing successes of Endeavor in Lebanon during a gala dinner on June 4th, Eastline Marketing was part of the selected 13 local business owners and senior management to address the realizations they fulfilled with the help of Endeavor.

Needless to say, the 460 attendees were impressed by the mentoring and impact Endeavor has made to help these companies reach their potential and grow the local economy through these chosen promising businesses.

As Eastline Marketing, we cannot summarize how Endeavor has helped us shape and outgrow our potential in the past 3 years. However our CEO & Eastline Marketing Co-founder Marc Dfouni says “We have built a trusted, long-term relationship with our Endeavor mentors who have greatly helped us to expand our network, solidify our business structure, build our vision, and evolve. They’ve been there and done that and now it’s our turn as young entrepreneurs to be guided by their constructive wisdom.”

Based in New York with offices in 20 countries all over the world, Endeavor is a global organization whose mission is to transform economies around the world by using entrepreneurship as a catalyst of that change, so they identify the best entrepreneurs in these companies and work with them to help them succeed.

Their core aim is to transform the economy by helping the most promising and ambitious high-impact entrepreneurs by giving them access to any managerial resource they need.