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:
  • Posted on: 01/04/2019

    E-commerce forces CPG brands to think differently

    There are a few problems these brands are solving with their move to lighter, smaller packaging:
    1. Reducing risk of Amazon "CRaP": Amazon drops products from their website which cost too much to ship ("can't realize a profit");
    2. Improving margins: lighter, smaller products have lower shipping expenses. Tide's box can actually ship in its own container, reducing cost even further for online retailers. The packaging may also cost the company less to produce.;
    3. Responding to consumer demand for less waste: Tide's new packaging has 60 percent less plastic and uses 30 percent less water in its soap.
    As more household shopping moves online, particularly on replenishable items, it's great to see CPG companies are now responding to the unique demands of the channel.
  • Posted on: 08/01/2018

    Kroger Ship to take on Amazon’s Prime Pantry

    Given the success of their Vitacost division which they've held for four years now, I think Kroger can make this work. Replenishable center-aisle items are the best candidates for an in-home delivery, and that's exactly what Kroger is leading with. They also revealed an ace up their sleeves: launching 4,500 of their private label "Our Brands" products, which are not available anywhere else online. Customers who are loyal to those products will be pleased to be able to stock up between store visits.
  • Posted on: 07/06/2018

    Urban Outfitters buys into installment payment plan

    I believe that Afterpay does run the applicant through an approval process online before allowing them to sign up.
  • Posted on: 07/06/2018

    Urban Outfitters buys into installment payment plan

    Not new, just new to Millennials!
  • Posted on: 07/06/2018

    Urban Outfitters buys into installment payment plan

    As an Australian myself, I know that Afterpay has become wildly successful in Australia, especially among Millennials, and I'm sure it will gain traction in the U.S. as well. I'm not so bullish on the idea that consumers will prefer Afterpay over free shipping, though. Today, free shipping is almost a pre-requisite for online retailers. E-commerce adoption down under still lags the U.S. quite significantly, and I'm not sure we'll see that U.S. consumers will be willing to give up their "right" to free shipping -- even in exchange for flexible financing.
  • Posted on: 07/05/2018

    Amazon to start new Christmas tradition with its own toy catalog

    As other experts have pointed out, I'm curious to see how the prices will be advertised in the catalog given Amazon's marketplace model. This is yet another channel that incumbent retailers thought Amazon couldn't or wouldn't enter. Amazon didn't do brick-and-mortar retail -- until they started opening bookstores. Amazon wouldn't spend big bucks on media campaigns -- until they took out a Super Bowl ad. Now they are dipping into the direct mail channel and giving catalog retailers a run for their money. Any retailer that resists the idea that Amazon will disrupt their channel or category should take heed (again).
  • Posted on: 07/05/2018

    Amazon to start new Christmas tradition with its own toy catalog

    Great point about dynamic pricing. I wonder if they will take a cue from the dynamic pricing in Amazon bookstores and include something like a QR code.
  • Posted on: 07/03/2018

    Amazon announces Prime Day-and-a-half

    Prime Day 2018 will be the biggest yet, as Amazon has significantly increased their media advertising budget over 2017 and will be leveraging every possible channel to drum up attention. Amazon now has a larger presence in international markets, giving them significant revenue potential outside the U.S. Other retailers need to take advantage of the increased shopper attention over these days, even if it looks like they are conceding to Amazon. Black Friday was once a brick-and-mortar play -- now online retailers embrace the event as much as the alternative of Cyber Monday. If you can't beat them, join them.
  • Posted on: 06/01/2018

    Are podcasts the next big ad opportunity for brands?

    Another podcaster here! It's my most beloved content medium and I agree that dedicated fans never skip an episode. But as others have said, this is a medium that brands and retailers need to curate very closely in order to find their tribe. A scattergun media strategy would not work here. As for podcast series that brands produce themselves, they can work quite well, provided the brand doesn't feel compelled to make it an hour-long advertorial for their product or service. My podcast, for example (Ecommerce Brain Trust for those playing at home) is a marketing channel for my agency, Bobsled Marketing. We very rarely mention the agency at all. And other brands, Slack for example, produce very engaging shows that don't "push" the brand -- simply serving their audience of knowledge workers and building goodwill amongst this group. Three cheers for podcasts. I'm truly glad that they are attracting advertising dollars from brands.
  • Posted on: 05/31/2018

    Retailers ready to battle card companies over one-click payments

    Large retailers finally have an opportunity to make online checkout easier for their customers, allowing them to better compete with Amazon's patented one-click checkout system. This solution is being brought to them on a silver platter by the processors. And yet, they are resisting.
  • Posted on: 05/16/2018

    Amazon plans to become the fresh food safety leader

    Fascinating, given that Amazon avoided registering some of their fulfillment centers with the FDA for more than 10 years. According to a recent Marketwatch article, "Amazon has told FDA investigators over the years that it believes it doesn’t need to register, the reports show — prompting, in essence, a nearly decade-long stalemate." I guess now that Amazon has so much at stake with grocery, they have decided to not simply comply, but go all-in in typical Amazon fashion.
  • Posted on: 04/30/2018

    Is $119 too much to pay for an Amazon Prime membership?

    It would be a stretch to assume that the price increase will make the Prime program profitable for Amazon. There are massive costs associated with offering free 1 or 2 day shipping nationwide, which few consumers appreciate. But with a higher price point, Amazon will be able to offset the increasing operating costs of the service as they build up their fulfillment infrastructure in the US and abroad.
  • Posted on: 04/24/2018

    Will Prime members give Amazon the key to their cars?

    This new program is part of Amazon’s mission to target new customer segments and roll out features to attract and retain Prime members. Following the launch of the in-home Key secure delivery product, Amazon is looking for more ways to make online shopping convenient for customers. With package theft rates rising, and some employers banning online shopping deliveries to their offices, Amazon needs new ways to get products into the hands of consumers.
  • Posted on: 03/12/2018

    Amazon shifts to a subscription model for Prime Pantry

    Great move on Amazon's part. It takes mental energy to optimize the box contents to ensure one is getting good value from the shipping fee. Though let's be real, Amazon was certainly taking a hit on a meager $5.99 shipping fee for a four cubic foot, 45 pound box. With a subscription service, consumers will be more likely to place orders more frequently so they can make the most out of the subscription. Amazon already has a successful subscription model across many services now, not all of which you'd immediately liken to online shopping. Counting my own individual Amazon subscriptions:
    • Amazon Prime, $99/year;
    • Amazon Music, which makes my Alexa/Echo experience so much better: $7.99/month;
    • Audible, $14.95/month;
    • Amazon Professional Seller Plan, $39.95.
    I'm already spending over $70/month to access various services that I now feel I can't live without. Adding another $5/month to avoid a trip to a big box store or similar makes sense to me as a consumer, and is in keeping with their other subscription services.
  • Posted on: 02/21/2018

    Is influencer marketing just getting started?

    There's no doubt in my mind that influencer marketing will become a bigger components of the marketing mix. It has already proven itself effective at cutting through the noise of advertising to reach the elusive Millennial consumer, or frankly any consumer group that has there wherewithal to install an ad blocker! The challenge for retail brands will be tracking the results from influencer campaigns. One expects a "halo effect" across all sales channels when engaging high-level influencers or even micro-influencers. Still, proving a return on investment is difficult, especially since many brands and retailers have become accustomed to the deep analytics that digital advertising has provided in the past. This is especially the case for brands selling on Amazon, where there is no way to directly track or attribute sales to specific influencer campaigns.

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