SamCart Takeover: Chef J. Kenji López-Alt

January 16, 2022
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Chef J. Kenji’s Book Business Tastes Bland

J. Kenji López-Alt, AKA “Chef Kenji”, is the culinary creator on YouTube who cooks with a GoPro camera strapped to his head. He’s got over a million subscribers and over 330 million views. He’s also a:

  • - New York Times Bestseller
  • - James Beard Award Winner
  • - New York Times food columnist
  • - Chief Culinary Advisor for Serious Eats
  • - Executive chef and partner at Wursthall in San Mateo, CA

We love Chef Kenji, so in this SamCart Takeover we took over his book business and created a beautiful sales page for him, because Amazon is getting all the good cuts of meat while Kenji’s left with a plate of gristle.

We’re not saying Kenji shouldn’t sell on Amazon, but Amazon shouldn’t be his main channel for selling; SamCart should. He'd knock it out the park with a good go-to-market strategy. Download: HubSpot x SamCart - The Ultimate Product Marketing Go-to-Market Kit [Free Templates] Your go-to-market strategy shouldn't be a slave to your selling platform, especially if it promotes other creators. On Amazon, your customers are really Amazon’s customers, and Amazon encourages them to buy from other creators when on the site. Even if you make a sale on Amazon you get no customer information, so you can't follow up or create a relationship. You can’t create bundles, or add Order Bumps or One-Click UpSells to increase your Average Order Value (AOV). Chef Kenji could easily add more opportunities to spend with SamCart just like this.

Put yourself in Chef Kenji’s shoes. You’re the guy in the picture below.

You’re like the nicest guy, and make some of the most awesome, wholesome, authentic, approachable cooking videos on YouTube. You sell books on Amazon, like this one.

Before a customer even pre-orders or puts your book in their shopping cart they see sponsored ads.

Just like that other creators are being promoted on your page, and money is jumping in, then jumping right back out of your pocket. So close. In case the image of sponsored ads above is too small for you to see, the fifth book from the left with the yellow cover is by Sam Zien, a gentleman who is also quite skilled in the culinary arts. That's Sam AKA “Sam the Cooking Guy” on YouTube.

We love Sam the Cooking Guy, too. He's a creator named Sam! How could we not? However, the fact that his (and others’) books appear just below Chef Kenji’s book is a huge downer, especially considering that Kenji has multiple books available for sale on Amazon. Sam’s got three million subscribers and nearly 500 million views on YouTube. Does he really need Amazon’s help selling books? We’re not saying Kenji needs help selling books, but if our GoPro chef brought his flavor over to SamCart he wouldn’t have to worry about there being too many cooks in the kitchen, because he would be the gatekeeper to his online business. And just to show that this is an Amazon thing, the same happens to Sam the Cooking Guy when you add his book to a shopping cart. A bunch of competing products are suggested.

It happens to everyone, including fellow creator and best-selling author, Pat Flynn. Now that we think about it, maybe Sam the Cooking Guy needs to get with Sam the Carting Guy, too.

Don’t Take Amazon to the Moon

Remember, Amazon is in the business of making Amazon bigger, not you. That’s why Jeff Bezos got to go to space, and eat upside-down Skittles.

We can’t be mad at Jeff for going to space. We’d probably go, too, but we'd want all creators to come along, and eat space Skittles with us. After all, we did pay for it.

Download: The Ultimate Product Marketing Go-to-Market Kit [Free Templates]

Get Cooking

Join 23,000 other creators who have used SamCart to sell more than $2 billion of their own products, goods and services. Check out our plans, and grab a free demo today. Also, download the the ultimate product marketing go-to-market kit from HubSpot and SamCart!

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