Amazon is one of the biggest and greatest marketplaces available on the internet. Amazon offers sellers the ability to expose and sell their products to millions of shoppers while enjoying Jeff Bezos’s company’s popularity and security reputation.
Before you can start selling your products and launch your business on Amazon, you will need to decide on a business model. There are three different ways to sell products on Amazon: :
- Private label: reselling products under your brand.
- Wholesale: reselling for brands under their brand.
- Retail/online arbitrage (RA/OA): buying directly from a store at a low price (discounts) and reselling it at a higher price.
Then, you’ll need to decide on what you’re going to sell. You can let yourself get inspired by your own ideas of course. But you have to train your mind for the sake of differentiating a good and a bad product. Not every idea will be a success, therefore make sure you do research on the demand and competition of your product ideas.
You might also consider going random. You can ask your friends and family on what they have recently purchased and the frequency of these purchases. Their answers will give you a broader spectrum of ideas that you can then research.
Another option to find what you can sell on Amazon is automated mass research. Softwares such as Jungle Scout can help you with this type of research. This web app allows you to search for products with specific criteria, helping you to quickly create a shortlist of products. The web-app provides product database including reviews, estimated sales (demand), price and more. It also provides the niche hunter which calculates any niche’s opportunity score easing your decision making process. Lastly, the product tracker is here to analyse your competitors’ activity and numbers over time. This should help you to launch your business on Amazon.
After having completed these steps, you will be able to go into details regarding different aspects of e-commerce such as sourcing, shipping and internationalisation.
Sourcing is the act of searching, identifying and evaluating different suppliers. Multiple solutions are available to you when you launch your business on Amazon:
- Be your own producer
Manufacture products by yourself. This solution would show your expertise regarding the products you sell on Amazon but you need to have time on your hands.
- Get a local producer
If you know a local manufacturer specialised in your line of products, you can create a partnership. Proximity allows you to create a special relationship and to negotiate prices and facilitate payments directly with the manufacturer.
- Get a producer located in Asia/offshore
Asian manufacturers are known for their low prices allowing you to generate high-margin on your products. However, you need to be careful with your products’ quality, thus choosing a manufacturer which has been active in your niche for a long time (more than 5 years) is recommended.
Once you have your manufacturing costs you can use Amazon’s FBA calculator to estimate Amazon fees.
You’ll still need to contact shipping companies in order to have you products sent from your manufacturer to your warehouse. Don’t forget to include that cost in your calculations!
Dispatching to customers
Once you have identified your sourcing partner, you’ll need to figure out the logistics model you will be working with. Here are the three solutions that are available:
- Fulfilled by Merchant (FBM): you handle the shipping directly to customers
- Fulfilled by Amazon (FBA): you let Amazon handle the warehousing and shipping. This also allows you to rank higher in search results and be eligible for the Prime program.
- Dropshipping: your products are sent by the manufacturer/supplier directly to your customers.
Creating money making product listings
In order to create an effective and high-ranking page for your product, you need to put yourself in the shoes of your potential customers. What would your client search for in Amazon’s search bar in order to find your product?
In order to be found by your potential customers, there are several guidelines you should follow. If you are selling under a well-known brand, make sure to put this first in the title.
Make sure to have detailed bullet points, this allows you to build a strong and long description composed of positive terms where you describe benefits rather than features. Keep in mind that your description should be a minimum of 300 words to make sure you provide all the information necessary to your potential customers as well as having the keywords you need for Amazon SEO. Backend keywords permit you to add even more keywords which you may not want to or may not have the space to put in your title and bullet points.
Finally, depicting your products with multiple pictures helps give a natural feel to your buyers. This works as a kind of demo and proves your product’s reliability. If you sell a knife, you will need to show it in situation like cutting fruit. This and fruits’ colors bring life to the picture which is not seen like a basic picture anymore, but like a demonstration. These are what we call “lifestyle pictures”.
Getting your first sales on Amazon
Once you’ve created your listing, you should wait a day or two to see how Amazon organically ranks your products within categories and for specific keyword (use trendle.io keyword ranking tool to automate this for you).
Pro Tip: if you’re doing FBA, the more stock is held in Amazon’s fulfilment centres , the higher you will rank in the search results as Amazon will be able to distribute your stock to many distribution points close to your customers to enable Next Day (or even same day) Prime delivery which significantly increases conversion rates.
In all likelihood, your product will organically rank on page 10+. To change this you’ll need a launch plan.
A launch plan can be as simple as doing these 3 things:
- Create discount coupons of 25-75% and distribute these to shoppers on the Amazon Coupons platform as well as 3rd party platforms
- Set-up Sponsored Products adverts within Amazon’s platform as well as creating adverts on social media such as Facebook and Instagram (optional). In addition, you can search for social media influencers who would promote your product (this can be extremely powerful when done well)
- Run A/B Split Testing on your product listing to see which price point and pictures create the most traffic and conversion
Finally, as your first sales come in, make sure you encourage your customers to leave a product review as this will dramatically increase future traffic and sales. Ultimately, the more good reviews you get, the higher you will rank on the marketplace’s search engine. In order to make your customers review your products, you have different solutions:
- don’t offer discounts in exchange for reviews: this method is against Amazon’s terms of services. If you break them, the website will sanction you and ban you from selling completely
- do send emails to your customers after they purchase: without spamming them, practice a bit of storytelling and ask them if they would like to review your product (but do not suggest that it should be a positive review as this would be against Amazon’s Terms of Service)
Expanding and finding the right market
One of Amazon’s main added value is the possibility to target multiple markets. Nevertheless, there are different variables you need to take into account. First of all, you have to budget in order to anticipate your globalisation projects’ expenses. This budget has to take your chosen shipping solution in account and your stock capacities. For example, FBA allows you to stock your goods in many countries worldwide. The only condition is that you need to make sure you have the budget for additional stock purchase and that you can afford the administrative processes that come with entering a new market. You will have to know local laws, import duties, regulations and taxes. This can be both time consuming and costly, so make sure you inform yourself first.
As you launch your products and launch your business on Amazon, you may consider the need to invest a few dollars a month on tools and services to help you automate and grow your business. Tools such as Trendle Analytics will save you hours of work in tracking product reviews, seller feedback, analysing sponsored products performance data, tracking product ranking per keyword and per category, perform continuous A/B Testing and automate after-purchase emails to your customers.