Considering Selling on Amazon? Here are the Basics You Need to Know
Amazon is a huge retail company – but a large part of the enormous revenue figures they post every quarter are not made up of Amazon direct sales. Over two million sellers in the US – and counting – are selling products via the Amazon Marketplace. Many of them are people – and companies – who once turned to eBay for extra e-commerce income and are finding that making the move to Amazon is a profitable venture.
If you have been considering adding Amazon as a sales channel for your eCommerce business, but are not sure how to even begin, this basic checklist should help you.
Amazon’s Fee Structures and Your Costs
Before you leap into Amazon selling you do need to understand the costs involved to determine how much sense financially doing so will make. A basic Amazon Seller account costs $39.99 per month and allows you to sell an unlimited number of items. But you’ll have to add selling charges and other fees to that figure. Depending on what you sell, this can add up to 15 percent or more.
Set Up a New Amazon Account
Decided to go ahead and try Amazon sales? No doubt you already have a personal Amazon account for buying items yourself and you can create sales listings through that. However, experts recommend you set up a new, separate business account as this will help you manage your finances, and it looks a lot more professional.
The requirements to open a new business account are not excessive. Amazon requires company details and a credit card number, and that’s about it.
Amazon offers over twenty categories for sellers to choose from when placing their products. Choosing the right one is crucial. Take the time to research similar listings to yours that feature at the top of search results. These are the successful sellers, for the most part, and checking where and how they list their products can help you determine not only where to list yours but can help you determine an optimal pricing strategy as well.
As is the case for product listings on your own website, or on eBay, the best content will attract customers and great content may sway the decision in your favor if a customer is in the process of choosing between your listing and a similar one from another seller.
- Keep all of the following in mind when setting up your initial product listings:
- Make sure you are using keywords in product titles and descriptions – the ones you think users will search for.
- Ensure you are supplying accurate and detailed information. Amazon shoppers are often more detail-oriented than others and the more information you can offer them the better.
- Ensure you are using great photography – not just stock photography – as a picture paints a thousand words, even on Amazon. Some sellers do not take advantage of this fact and miss out on potential sales as a result.
Amazon offers you two options; ship items yourself or make use of their Fulfillment by Amazon option. Fulfillment by Amazon will cost you money, but it’s a comprehensive service that is often the ideal solution, as this video from Amazon themselves explains:
For a larger company, with extensive customer service and delivery processes already in place, shipping the items yourself may be the cheaper option, but you may still want to consider the ‘Amazon Prime’ effect. As of the last measured period, September 2017, it is estimated that there are 90 million Amazon Prime subscribers in the United States, up from 63 million in June during the previous year. Many of these people begin a search for any product by checking off the ‘Prime only’ box, and the only way you can appear in those listings is if you use FBA.
Reviews are Everything
Perhaps more so than for any other eCommerce platform reviews are essential on Amazon. In days past sellers have used tactics like offering items for free in return for a review to help build up their review profile quickly. This was, at one time, allowed by Amazon, provided the review stated the reviewer had been compensated. That is no longer the case. Sellers now need to be a little more creative. Try sending a follow-up email to customers after a purchase asking for feedback. That is well within Amazon’s guidelines and can be very effective.Koehler Home Decor is a wholesaler of home decor accessories and unique gifts. Source quality wholesale merchandise at KoehlerHomeDecor.com and find tips for promoting your business on our blog.