As the brick-and-mortar retail world changed and the online marketplace — specifically Amazon — grew over the past decade, Scott Moller, co-founder of Omaha’s Year 5, saw a huge opportunity.
“I first ventured into self-employment in the fall of 2000 out of my apartment with SCM & Associates, specializing in seminar-based nonprofit special event consulting,” Moller said. “In the summer of 2002, my wife came home with an idea to start her own handbag retail business, Material Girl, which is now celebrating 20 years. I was helping her get the business off the ground — teaching myself the fairly new online world.”
It wasn’t long after that when in 2003 he was prompted to try Pay Per Click (PPC) advertising on Google.
At a mere three cents per click (Year 5 now has clients that spend $10 or more per click), Moller tried PPC and within 30 minutes he got his first online order.
“I immediately left my consulting business, changing my direction to focus fully toward online sales,” he said. “In May 2009, Amazon emailed me to try their new program Amazon Prime as I had just started testing out selling one product, the Invisibelt. I listened and went from selling 30 a month to 30 a day.
“Again, I immediately realized this opportunity and shifted my focus to nearly 100% Amazon, and it’s been that way since.”
For the next eight years, the business operated as a typical seller on Amazon, buying wholesale and selling retail.
As Amazon grew, Moller noticed that some brands were having difficulties knowing who the sellers of their products were.
That is when Year 5 was born. Moller co-founded the company with his brother, Brock Moller.
“Once this happened, we realized that it was a matter of time before other brands did the same thing,” he said.
The Moller brothers focused on becoming a brand management agency so companies could understand Amazon, get full control of their brand, be represented properly and benefit from the full profitability of being the only seller.
The company now works with dozens of brands across 22 states.
“Year 5 has simply evolved from being in the retail industry for 20 years,” Moller said.
The company does a range of services from listing creation to advertising execution to inventory management and customer service.
“We research our client’s brand/products to discover their potential on Amazon, the level of competition that exists, and help them see their ability to make an impact,” he said. “We expect our clients to vet us as much as we vet them.”
Work is done under the brand’s own Amazon account, so Year 5 is truly a hidden arm for the companies it manages.
“Our clients own 100% of the work we do for them,” Moller said. “We save clients from hiring staff while providing invaluable continuity as we connect four staff members to every brand.”
Year 5 is also an approved member of Amazon’s Service Provider Network, which provides the connection to current Amazon sellers who are looking for full-account management services.
“Year 5 has grown because we’ve never taken on a client in order to meet overhead,” Moller said. “When the person across from you can be given respect, it will most always be reciprocated, increasing collaboration and the desire to work together. If it isn’t, they are absolutely welcome to work with someone else. The growth simply needs to be responsible.”
Out of 1.9 million active global Amazon sellers, the company was one of 100 recently invited to the first annual Amazon Accelerate seller conference in Seattle to meet with Amazon executives.
The Moller brothers also have a business, Grill Sergeant, which sells its grilling products on Amazon.