Amazon is one of the trillion-dollar companies in the world as of 2018 and was the second to enter the category. It serves millions of buyers around the world and employs 700 hundred thousand employees as of 2019.
In fact, according to the report by Fortune at the start of 2020, the giant multi-national company has around 156 million Prime subscribers. So, to put things in perspective, Amazon Inc is probably one of your best bets if you are looking to grow your wholesale or retail business, be it in any category.
Amazon helps thousands of sellers grow on the platform and have a wider reach for their products. The barriers to entry on Amazon as a seller are quite low and easily accessible.
Being the largest third-party marketplace in the world, the platform is extremely competitive and businesses selling through it need to focus on optimization a great deal.
Amazon is so popular that according to a 2018 study by NChannel, the platform grossed over 49% of all online retail spends in the US alone. By December 2018, the traffic generated on the e-commerce website was over 20.6 million.
Plus, if you look at the spends of Amazon Prime members, these shoppers spend an average of $1,400 a year, which is more than double the $600 of non-prime members.
When you talk about numbers, Amazon sells over 12 million products collectively and around 1.1 million home improvement items.
This also makes it one of the most versatile e-commerce platforms that sell a wide range of products, starting from clothing and electronics, to books, automobile accessories and home improvement items.
So, once you get yourself registered on Amazon as a seller, you are sure to get a great taste of success if you plan and execute the optimization in the best possible way.
How to start selling on Amazon?
Amazon has a very easy seller-registration process. It reduces the hassle so that you can start selling very soon. If you are also looking to get yourself registered on the marketplace as a seller, here is a concise piece of information that will tell you everything you ever wanted to know about becoming an online seller. The primary requisite is, you should have an account on Amazon to be able to create a seller account.
This video might also help you with the step-by-step guide to start selling and making money on Amazon USA.
1. Select the products you will sell on Amazon
The first and foremost thing you need to consider before enrolling for Amazon’s seller plan is the product category you want to start with. If you already have a retail business, you can continue with the products you sell offline.
However, if you are new and want to start fresh with Amazon, you have to decide on which category you want to go with – electronic, apparel, home decor, food items, etc.
Some of the important factors you have to keep in mind are:
- Sale flow of the products
- Profit margin
- Growth prospectives
- Means of shipment
2. Choosing the right seller account package
Amazon has two types of business accounts for the sellers. The two accounts incur different costs and unlock different features.
The basic plan is known as “Individual” and suits small-scale and new sellers. It charges the seller a royalty of $0.99 for each sale made through the platform.
This package allows you to list your products on the platform and also take advantage of the FBA (Fulfillment by Amazon) services.
The second plan is ”Professional” and would cost you $39.99 per month. It offers all the features that Amazon offers to its sellers, like selling products on the US, Canada and Mexico, promotions and gift wrap options and customizable shipping rates.
It is the best option if you already have a well-established retail sales business and want to expand it further on the online platform.
It is best if you could choose the “Professional” plan, along with the FBA shipping. This opens up more opportunities as your products become available for Prime deliveries too. This could increase the sales volume by a good margin.
3. Legal requisites for creating an Amazon seller account
Up next, you will have to provide all the necessary information that Amazon has for you before listing you as a seller. Don’t worry, this won’t take much time and neither involves any hassle.
You have to be handy with the EIN of your business as issued by the IRS. Alternatively, you can get going by signing up with your Social Security Number.
Following that, you will have to take a short online tax interview to fulfill the Amazon tax reporting.
You will then be directed to a seller-related information question survey that will finally set up the account. Post completing this step, you can start listing your products.
4. Choose fulfillment type – self or through Amazon
This is a very important step. The fulfillment options from Amazon pertains to the order and shipment and warehousing of the same. If you choose the self-fulfillment option, you will have to take care of the packing and shipping the products, either through Amazon delivery or other carriers. This might help you bag lesser cost on shipping the orders.
On the other hand, FBA (or Fulfillment by Amazon) is a great option for both Individual and Professional account holders.
Under this scheme, Amazon warehouses your products and manages the shipping and returns too. You will just need to send the stock of your products to Amazon’s warehouses.
It is important to note that the FBA option is available for both account holders as standard. However, you will get many benefits and growth opportunities if you choose the FBA option.
The products through FBA qualify for Prime delivery, which opens up a bigger buyer audience. Plus, the customer service that the platform handles for you is uncompromised.
5. Add your brand on Amazon Brand Registry
Adding your brand to Amazon’s Brand Registry is a post-listing step. However, you need to take the decision of adding your brand to Amazon due to various reasons. What it does is marks a recognition and ownership of your brand on the platform.
It also puts an additional layer of protection on all your products. Plus, you get access to more Enhanced Brand Content and other marketing features.
However, before you can get this done, you have to submit an application to with:
- A picture of your product packaging that shows your brand’s name or logo or both
- A picture of your product that shows your brand’s name or logo or both
- The URL to your active website that your brand operates through
Once you have applied with these, you will be notified about the approval within a few days. Alternatively, you can also watch this video to understand more about Amazon Brand Registry.
6. List your products on your seller page
Once everything is done, you will need to start listing all your products on Amazon’s catalog individually. This is essential as the products under your brand have never been sold on the platform before.
Once you have added them to the catalog, you won’t have to take such efforts in the future.
You will get the adding option on the sellers’ dashboard within the website. You will need to take care of the optimization of the way you list your products.
One very important tip is, try and keep the product title to under 200 characters as Amazon may suppress the ones that are longer than that.
7. Optimize the product page with description and images
While adding images for the products that you list, you will need to follow a guideline. These components will also help you create a better first impression on your prospective buyers.
- The main product image, which also happens to be the thumbnail, should have a white background
- The resolution should be quite high, at least 1000×500, to make it zoomable and clear on the page
- Use real images, instead of fake computer-made or downloaded images
- Try and add lifestyle shots, that is when the products are in use
- Try and take pictures from all the angles of the product for better detailing
After adding the images, you have to write descriptions of each of your products. This is a very important part and should not be overlooked. The descriptions should be able to send a clear message of what your product deals with.
It should also include an aspect where you tell the customers what problems the product can take care of. And in the end, don’t forget to include a call to action.
8. Research keywords to organically promote your products
While you are working on the descriptions and title, you have to be prepared with all your keywords that will help boost your products. These keywords are the search terms that buyers use on search engines when they need to buy a particular product.
So, if you manage to include those keywords, your product might be showing high on the results page, which would surely help you gain more buyers.
You can use various tools for your keyword research or use search engines also.
9. Take & confirm orders and ship products either via FBA or self
And then came the last step. If you have taken care of the necessary steps and optimized your product well, it won’t take you long before you get your first order.
However, if you don’t optimize well, or implement some kind of promotion, your product might be buried low on the results page.
If you have sold your products on some other platform, or through your own website, you might have a list of customers already. Use the contact information to promote your presence on Amazon, which could generate your first few sales.
How to optimize your Amazon seller portfolio
Simply put, using any platform is easy, but succeeding in it is a challenge. While Amazon makes it very easy for you to register and list your products to start selling, becoming a pro-seller, or winning against the heavy competition is quite a challenge.
Having said that, this entire process becomes easier if you can follow the right techniques to optimize your brand and implement the most effective tactics.
Here are some tips and tactics that you can use to ensure that the optimization of your products is done right.
1. Create catchy product titles
The title of your products is one of the first things that people see. So, it is very important to make it catchy and eye-grabbing. Try to keep it short, but should provide a brief description of what your product is. This should help you answer the customers’ queries in the first instance.
It is important for you to add keywords, in at least fragmented form, in the title for best optimization. And lastly, as you have already read, try and keep the titles to under 200 characters to ensure Amazon does not get a chance to hide your products lower down on the search results.
2. Upload real images that meet the guidelines
While uploading product images, try and upload the actual product image that you shoot in a studio. The main image, that would be used as the thumbnail as well, should have a white background for better professionalism and attractiveness.
Also, your images should be large to ensure zooming without pixelating. And yes, try to add as many real-life images (of your products in use). This gives a fair idea to the customers of what your product actually looks like and also its dimensions.
3. Write compelling descriptions
Writing compelling descriptions could be a boon for your product sales. A well-optimized description could be very relatable to the buyers, convincing them to try your products. Try and add as many details as possible, its physical appearance, make, dimensions, handling instructions (if any), etc.
Try and add a reason as to why the customer should buy your product. This could be done by mentioning why your product could solve the customers’ problems.
Also, don’t forget to add the required keywords to ensure maximum organic optimization. Once you have taken care of all of these, it should not be long before your product reaches out to a huge number of buyers.
4. Ask customers for reviews and feedback
Once you have already made a few sales, it is a great idea to approach your buyers and ask them to provide feedback by writing a review on the product page. If you are confident about what you sell and the customers really like it, there will review and rate your product high.
After you have generated quite a few positive reviews, your products will automatically start to get higher on the search pages, thanks to Amazon’s intelligent algorithm.
Alternatively, if you have old customers from other platforms, invite them to rate your products on Amazon. This should help you generate a few more positive ratings.
5. Add promotions from time to time
Promotions are very important for any retail business. However, it becomes even more important for you to promote your products if you are new as it could give you great initial exposure. Your promotions should not necessarily be through paid campaigns.
The initial step to a good promotion spree should be intimating your old customers about your presence on the new platform. Following that, you can use your social media handles to reach out to more number of people.
And lastly, you can add discount offers and other benefits to outshine your competitors and generate more sales.
If you are here, reading this long and descriptive peace, it is safe to assume that you already know how widespread Amazon is an online marketplace. It is undoubtedly the biggest e-commerce company in the world, both by the users base and profit-making.
And while being a company with one of the highest worths in the world, it also helps thousands of small businesses scale up and taste growth better than it would be possible on any other platform. You could be the next retail businessman to get your revenue soaring higher then the skyline.
Once you take care of all the necessary steps to get your retail business listed on Amazon, you can start making more money and taking your brand to the next level of recognition.
But yes, it would be great to remember, the most successful combination of seller services on Amazon is to go for the Professional option along with FBA. This could give you a better scope to grow on the platform.