Spring is synonymous with showers, flowers, and tax time. It’s also the kickoff for trade show season, and the TaxJar team is enjoying a fantastic start. Live events are some of our favorite ways to engage with customers to learn how we can help them find success with their online businesses.
Most recently, our team traveled to Las Vegas to the Amazon-focused Prosper Show at the Westgate Resort & Casino. With more than 1,600 attendees, 25 workshops and break out sessions across three days, Prosper provided timely insight into how to build and improve your Amazon business.
Prosper at a Glance
Attendees walking the expo floor were greeted with representatives from marketing services, repricers, inventory management, fee recovery programs, risk reduction specialists, advertising assistance, and the TaxJar team to help sellers handle collecting and remitting sales tax. In total, the expo was a full-service introduction to improving and scaling your successful Amazon business.
A a whole, Prosper was certainly a standout trade show filled with valuable content and industry connections. Workshops and breakout sessions included thoughtful panel discussions around business pain points; automation tips; customer engagement funnels; supply chain; and private label advice, among other relevant topics.
The keynote address on day two from Forrester Research’s Collin Colburn informed attendees with staggering statistics around the power of Amazon’s advertising channel. With 200 million visits monthly, Amazon is quickly climbing the ranks as a search engine in addition to mega-eCommerce platform. Colburn reported 28% of consumers now research a product on Amazon before making a purchase. It’s clear to see the “Amazon effect” with shows like Prosper bringing sellers from all over the world to learn how to position their Amazon business for optimal success.
In between educational tracks, attendees lined up at the TaxJar booth for our oh-so-soft green T-shirts, as well as to ask specific tax questions, or determine if it was time to automate their sales tax processes. Conversations ranged from our loyal customers “just stopping by to say hi,” to the specific, “Should I be collecting in California?” or “How do I handle sales tax after Wayfair?” After a few hours, however, themes began to emerge and it was apparent many Amazon sellers were in similar situations as they approach sales tax compliance.
How Do I Get Started?
This was a theme we heard repeatedly. Sellers were excited about their business growth and knew they were close to meeting nexus thresholds, but were confused about next steps. Some received letters from various states and weren’t sure how or if they should comply. We chatted about how to register for a seller’s permit, and discussed what states should they register in. At its most basic, Prosper attendees wanted to know how to get started with sales tax collection, and it was our pleasure to point them in a few directions toward the path to compliance.
Who is TaxJar?
There was a different subset who knew they needed a sales tax solution and weren’t as focused on the why but rather the who. They’d spent some time circulating the booths and wanted to know how we’re different. While we had literature on hand to speak to how we compare to some of the other players in our space, the best moments were the organic, natural conversations that unfolded. More often than not, it was another Prosper attendee giving an inquirer their honest, favorable review of their own TaxJar experience.
What Trends Do You Expect?
While we’re certainly not forecasters or fortune tellers, we enjoyed trading opinions at the booth around the rapidly changing sales tax landscape. Part of our value to customers is closely monitoring evolving legislation and keeping our ear to the ground. This includes weighing in on newsworthy topics like the recent letter from California’s treasurer Fiona Ma. This one letter alone created quite the chatter on the show floor. Her thoughts on collecting back and future sales tax was of special interest for sellers wondering if the Governor would respond and grant amnesty to California sellers.
Outside of California, we talked throughout the show about economic nexus, how to manage the changing thresholds, upcoming marketplace facilitator laws, and how it all impacts Amazon sellers.
Engaging with our CPA partners
During our time in Las Vegas, we also had the opportunity to hear the opinions of our CPA friends at Cherry Bakaert and Yetter Tax. In fact, Diane Yetter’s breakout session on the final day was delivered to a packed room and provided tons of valuable information around Wayfair’s impact on sales tax going forward.
All-told the 2019 Prosper Show is one we’re already planning to attend again next year (stop by booth 212). We look forward to seeing how the sales tax landscape will change over the next year, how the many Amazon-focused technology partners will continue to evolve and provide such innovative services, and how TaxJar can continue to help Amazon sellers grow. Until then, subscribe to our blog to learn where the TaxJar team goes next and we’ll let you know what’s happening around sales tax automation for eCommerce.