Amazon has emerged as a global e-commerce singularity, with millions of active customer accounts. For both individuals and businesses, initiating an online store through Amazon presents an unparalleled opportunity to tap into a massive customer base. However, the sheer size and complexity of the Amazon marketplace can be intimidating for beginners. Nevertheless, armed with the right approach, marketing and understanding, selling on Amazon can prove to be an immensely rewarding venture. In this article, we will address common objections that might deter individuals and businesses from utilizing Amazon as a sales platform. Following this, we will delve into a step-by-step process, covering various essential aspects such as product research, account setup, marketing strategies, customer service, and more. By the end of this guide, you'll be well-equipped to embark on your Amazon selling journey with confidence and success.
Competition: One common objection revolves around the high level of competition on Amazon. However, Amazon's unparalleled customer base makes it a prime destination for potential customers, outweighing the challenges posed by competition.
Costs: Another concern is the associated costs of having a seller account on Amazon. Despite this, the investment can be viewed as valuable for building brand awareness and driving increased traffic to your own website.
Complexity: The sheer complexity of managing an Amazon store can be overwhelming, especially for those already running an eCommerce business. The good news is that third-party software partners and advertising services can automate various tasks, making the process more manageable for sellers.
Why Sell on Amazon
Consumer Behavior: Amazon has become a primary destination for product searches with its vast customer base. Prime members, in particular, consider Amazon for their purchases, making it a crucial platform for sellers to tap into.
Competitive Advantage: Being on Amazon is more than just a choice; it's a strategic move to maintain a competitive edge. Not being on the platform may result in losing customers to competitors who have already established a presence on Amazon.
How to Sell on Amazon
1. Conduct Thorough Market Research: To embark on a successful Amazon selling journey, begin with comprehensive market research. Utilize tools like Jungle Scout, Helium 10, and AMZScout to analyze market trends, keyword search volume, competition, and estimated sales data. Identify products with high demand and relatively low competition to maximize your chances of success.
2. Choose the Right Amazon Seller Account: The choice between an Individual and Professional account depends on your selling volume. If you plan to sell a limited number of items each month (40 products or less), opt for an Individual account. However, a Professional account is more suitable for high-volume sellers, offering access to valuable tools and features that can aid in your selling journey.
3. Understand Amazon’s Rules and Policies: Familiarize yourself with Amazon's rules and policies, encompassing product listing guidelines, pricing regulations, customer service requirements, and shipping policies. Stay updated on policy changes to ensure compliance and avoid penalties that could impact your seller account.
4. Optimize Product Listings for Visibility: Creating an optimized product listing is essential for attracting potential customers and converting them into buyers. Use high-quality images that showcase your product from various angles and provide clear product details. Craft persuasive and keyword-rich product titles and descriptions, incorporating relevant search terms, to improve your listing’s discoverability. Utilize backend search terms to include additional keywords that might not fit in the visible listing.
5. Set Competitive Pricing Strategies: Pricing is a crucial factor in the Amazon marketplace, where customers are often price-sensitive. As a beginner, strike a balance between competitive pricing and maintaining a profitable margin. Research competitor pricing, consider your production and shipping costs, and analyze your product’s perceived value to determine an appropriate pricing strategy.
6. Manage Inventory Efficiently: Efficient inventory management is critical to meeting customer demands and maintaining high seller performance metrics. Stockouts can lead to missed sales opportunities, while overstocking ties up capital and increases storage fees. Utilize inventory management tools such as RestockPro or SellerMobile to monitor and replenish inventory levels proactively.
7. Leverage Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA): Consider using Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA), a service that allows sellers to store their products in Amazon’s fulfillment centres. Amazon takes care of order processing, packaging, and shipping on behalf of the seller. FBA not only streamlines your operations but also grants you access to Amazon Prime customers, increasing the visibility of your products and potentially boosting sales.
8. Implement Effective Marketing Strategies: To stand out in the competitive Amazon marketplace, implement effective marketing strategies. Start with optimizing your product listings for relevant keywords to improve organic search visibility. Consider running Sponsored Product Ads aka Amazon PPC through Amazon to promote your products in prominent positions within search results. While running these ads will require allocating a budget and consistently monitoring campaign results, doing so can lead to a decline in your visibility. Amazon offers a boot camp for running sponsored product ads that educates sellers on how to best use them, including analyzing ad metrics and making strategic adjustments accordingly. If the digital marketing space feels overwhelming, hiring an agency can be a great way to ease into it.
9. Utilize Social Media and Influencer Marketing: Expand your reach beyond Amazon by leveraging social media platforms and influencer marketing. Create engaging content related to your products and share it across various social media channels. Collaborate with influencers in your niche to endorse your products and drive traffic to your Amazon listings. Social media can also be a valuable platform for engaging with customers, addressing inquiries, and building brand loyalty.
10. Provide Excellent Customer Service: Customer satisfaction is paramount on Amazon, as positive reviews and feedback contribute significantly to your success. Prioritize excellent customer service by responding promptly to inquiries, resolving issues with professionalism, and going the extra mile to ensure a positive shopping experience. Address negative feedback constructively and take steps to improve any shortcomings.
Selling Amazon Restricted Products
Whatever you do, don’t risk your Amazon store by attempting to list or sell restricted items without having permission to do so. If it sounds crazy that you can get permission to sell “restricted” products, read on to see how that works. Amazon imposes restrictions on certain products to ensure safety, compliance, and customer satisfaction. Restricted products include items with legal restrictions (e.g., prescription drugs), those requiring professional certifications (e.g., some beauty products), or those that pose potential risks (e.g., hazardous materials). If you intend to sell restricted products, you must apply for approval from Amazon. Head to Seller Central, navigate to the “Add a Product” section, and check if your product requires approval. Follow the application process, submit any required documentation, and await approval. Some restricted products necessitate specific certifications or documentation to prove authenticity and compliance. Ensure that you possess the necessary permits, licenses, or certifications before listing such products on Amazon. Regularly review and update your product listings and documentation to ensure ongoing compliance with Amazon’s policies. Failure to maintain compliance may result in the removal of your listings or an account suspension.
Venturing into the world of Amazon sales may seem daunting at first, but with the right approach and understanding, it can be a highly rewarding endeavour. By addressing common objections, utilizing effective strategies, and staying informed about Amazon's rules and policies, beginners can navigate the complexities of the platform and establish a successful online store. Whether it's conducting thorough market research, optimizing product listings, or leveraging social media for marketing, each step plays a crucial role in building a sustainable and profitable business on Amazon. So, take the plunge, implement these strategies, and embrace the vast opportunities that selling on Amazon offers in the dynamic landscape of e-commerce.