PROFILE

Kiri Masters

Founder and CEO, Bobsled Marketing
Kiri is the founder and CEO of Bobsled Marketing, an agency that helps brands to grow and protect their brands on Amazon.

Launched in 2015, Bobsled Marketing has worked with over 100 brands to launch on Amazon, optimize their product presence, PPC (advertising) campaigns, as well as manage operational aspects around fulfillment, fees, and unauthorized sellers.

Kiri grew Bobsled as a solo consultant in 2015 to a team of 15 Amazon specialists today, who manage millions of dollars in monthly sales for Amazon Vendor and Seller accounts.

Prior to Bobsled, Kiri started a small e-commerce brand in the crafts category, I Like That Lamp. Launching this brand on Amazon provided the idea and foundation for the launch and optimization process that Bobsled would use later on with its clients.

Before her career in e-commerce however, Kiri was in the commercial banking world in New York at JP Morgan Chase. Working with small businesses on their cash management and lending needs as a commercial banker has given Kiri a sound understanding of the pain points and opportunities that small businesses face when looking to grow.

Learn more at: www.bobsledmarketing.com
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  • Posted on: 09/12/2017

    Artificial intelligence makes brand personalities come to life

    AI, specifically voice activated commerce, has huge potential for specific demographic segments. For instance my grandparents, who are either unwilling or unable (likely both) to learn how to navigate the touch screen of an iPad but could certainly interact with a voice-activated bot.Other segments besides the elderly that stand to gain significantly from these developments include the vision-impaired, non-English speakers and people who are physically unable to use keyboards and hand-held devices alone.
  • Posted on: 09/07/2017

    Is Kohl’s giving away the store to Amazon?

    Seems fairly short-sighted at face value. Kohl's will get a one-time benefit from consumers purchasing Amazon devices in these 10 stores. Once the device is in the hands of the consumer, Amazon will be encouraging future purchases through their ecosystem, not Kohl's. Kohl's is propelling their own customers into the vortex of Amazon's flywheel.
  • Posted on: 09/06/2017

    Do independent retailers need a marketing plan?

    In a world where independent retailers cannot ignore e-commerce, the question around "who am I?" rings the loudest. How will you differentiate yourself from the convenience and selection of online marketplaces like Amazon?There are many good answers, such as: artful assortment curation, events and community-building, in-store services like fashion stylists and product repairs. It's definitely possible to differentiate on factors that marketplace behemoths cannot.
  • Posted on: 09/01/2017

    Does Amazon Books need coffee?

    If it ain't broke.... Serving coffee in bookstores through 3rd party partnerships is something that transforms a retail environment into a destination, helps customers to linger and ultimately, purchase more.That doesn't necessarily mean only purchasing more products while in the store, though that's probably a KPI for the executive interviewed for this piece. Since buying at Amazon's bookstores essentially requires Prime membership, customers must further buy in to the Amazon ecosystem flywheel, including other physical retail stores.
  • Posted on: 08/30/2017

    Will Instagram become retail’s ticket to mobile shopping?

    More retail spend is migrating to marketplaces like Amazon and, at the same time, those marketplaces are becoming more crowded. Brands need to consider leveraging Instagram and other social media platforms to drive awareness at the top of the funnel, since they can't rely on marketplaces to do this for them.As the study points out, Instagram is suitable (right now, in 2017) as a platform for building brand and product awareness in certain demographics, and in certain product categories. Brands can't look to any one social media platform as a silver bullet.
  • Posted on: 08/29/2017

    Are Whole Foods’ price cuts game-changing for food retailing?

    It's just "Day One" for Amazon's acquisition of Whole Foods. There is a theme of Amazon disrupting verticals which incumbents strongly proclaim as un-disruptable. Grocery is one such category, I believe. The naysayers don't believe Amazon will be able to squeeze more margin and cross-sell opportunity out of the razor-thin margins in grocery.I don't think we've scratched the surface yet in terms of knowing how far Amazon can leverage their newfound physical store footprint. The swaths of user data it can marry between online and in-store purchases could inform vendor merchandising decisions, as well as the assortment for Amazon's own PL grocery brands (Happy Belly, Wickedly Prime, and now Whole Foods 365).
  • Posted on: 08/28/2017

    Are vendors delivering better online experiences than multi-brand sellers?

    This might be true for situations in which vendors have already invested in their direct-to-consumer shopping experience (and especially digitally-native brands like Warby Parker, Brooklinen etc), and for products with a high ticket price.But consumables brands, for example, will probably never be able to lure customers directly to their site. Electronics and eye glasses? Yes. Cat food and socks? Probably not.Given the contradictions in the findings, this seems to be another study which should have looked at actual consumer behavior rather than stated preferences.
  • Posted on: 08/25/2017

    Are off-pricers discounting their online opportunity?

    To further add to this week's discussion on the role of chatbots in online commerce: this is a perfect situation where machine learning and AI can help with discovery, curation and up-sells.We already have virtual versions of the bargain bin or clearance aisle: the "on sale" assortment in an e-commerce store. But what about curated suggestions from bots who can scan your cart and consider past shopping behavior to make intelligent suggestions?In overstock situations, online retailers could create merchandising rules to serve up offers for these items to customers. Bots can also help drive online traffic to stores in cases in which an item is out-of-stock online but available in a store near them.There are many ways that discount retailers could get creative with their online experience. And it would likely be cheaper and reach more customers than opening another storefront.
  • Posted on: 08/24/2017

    Will chatbots lead consumers to more purchases?

    As others have noted, chatbots should not be viewed as a replacement for human customer service. However, chatbots can effectively occupy a current blank space in the customer service framework: sitting between user-directed help content (FAQs, knowledge bases, videos) and human customer service.How many times have you had to wait on hold, deal with a slow-responding customer service agent and agents who can't answer seemingly simple product questions about product features or how much stock is available in your local store? In many cases, the bots will be far more efficient and helpful than human agents!We'll look back in a few years and wonder how we did without them.
  • Posted on: 08/23/2017

    Will the Walmart/Google voice deal give Amazon’s Alexa a run for its money?

    In a nutshell: Despite playing a game of tit-for-tat with Amazon across the board, Walmart will not be building their own Echo counterpart.
  • Posted on: 08/18/2017

    Will the ‘SmartStockUp’ program drive replenishment sales for Boxed?

    Repeat purchasing: The Holy Grail for brands and retailers and one of the few ways to reliably increase customer lifetime value in a world of saturated online retail. All the retailers seem to be taking leaves from each others' playbooks: Amazon's Subscribe & Save program being one.There are a couple of smart concepts here: adding new product samples to regular orders and extreme liberty-taking with the B2B audience -- which seems to be paying off. Give people what they need, before they know they need it. Smart move.
  • Posted on: 08/15/2017

    How should vendors respond to Walmart’s reluctance to raise prices?

    As with any relationship, vendors will have a hard time walking away from Walmart if their business relies heavily on those purchase orders. Best practice from a financial management standpoint calls for no greater than 20% of receivables due from any one customer.If vendors are following this logic, they can stand up to Walmart by knowing they could take a hit.
  • Posted on: 08/14/2017

    Why is Adidas partnering with a knockoff brand?

    As other BrainTrusters have suggested, this was a very smart way for Adidas to avoid actively defending a trademark infringement which is a costly exercise. But I do wonder how applicable this strategy will be for other brands who inspire less innocuous knock-offs.
  • Posted on: 08/10/2017

    Should Walmart buy Birchbox?

    Your question about the business model is a good one. Granted that you're clearly not the target market, but if you take the financial issues of the company at face value, something's amiss with the economics.
  • Posted on: 08/10/2017

    Do Amazon Marketplace sellers need outside help?

    As a provider of such third-party services for brands selling on Amazon, I can vouch for sustained interest in our services as brands find less and less direct support from Amazon themselves. As other commenters pointed out, while Amazon wants to deal directly with the brand or manufacturer, they are increasingly automating services for sellers and creating barriers for having a dialogue with Amazon directly.This is where third party providers can step in and help with a broad and deep understanding of the platform. If Amazon continues to cut costs and services to marketplace sellers, Amazon needs third party providers as much as the brands do.

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