Amazon keeps growing for many different reasons, including an ever-increasing number of sellers who want to use the platform to reach global customers. Right now, there are more than 2 million sellers on Amazon, and each year around 1 million new sellers join the site in hopes of great returns. While this is great news for the company and helps keep them relevant, it also means that sellers on Amazon will face an increasing number of business challenges. Here are some of the most common challenges businesses face when they begin selling on Amazon's ever-growing, every-changing platform.
1. It’s Hard to Get Set Up to Sell for the First Time
All potential sellers must follow the rules when they set up their account and start selling products. In recent years, Amazon has had issues with new sellers failing to follow their terms of service. As a result Amazon has implemented new rules which are much stricter. For instance, many categories now require approval before a seller can begin selling and that list continues to grow. To sum things up, if you don't follow Amazon's rules, you won't be able to sell on their platform.
Resolution: Plan ahead. Do your research to find out what category your products will be sold in, and make sure that you will be able to meet the approval criteria.
2. The Competition is Fierce
The competition is incredibly fierce on Amazon, causing a huge challenge for new sellers. Thousands of sellers may be offering the same type of product as you, which means you must work even harder to stand out in the crowd. This will require branding, digital marketing, general search engine optimization as well as Amazon specific search engine optimization, and other strategic marketing techniques. It's also important to note that marketing your products only through Amazon is no longer enough; the most successful companies who sell on Amazon are also the ones doing the most to market their products outside of the platform.
With the increased amount of competition on Amazon today, getting yourself noticed takes more than it used to; more than most smaller companies can do on their own. Hiring a professional may be the only way to give you the edge you need to ensure your products reach as many shoppers as possible.
Resolution: Make sure to market your products inside of Amazon, as well as outside of Amazon and focus on SEO. If this task is more than your company can handle, an experienced marketing team can help lead you in the right direction and help you stand out from the crowd.
3. Getting Reviews Takes Time
Reviews are crucial. They’re a leading tool that helps customers make an educated buying decision. Quite simply, a product with a lot of reviews is going to get more attention than a similar product without reviews. However, the review count isn't the only aspect to consider. You'll need to make sure that your reviews are positive. Several negative reviews are sure to turn potential customers away.
Every new seller is faced with the challenge of gaining reviews...and quickly. It's important to have top-notch customer service, to pack your product properly and professionally, and to take advantage of the programs Amazon has in place to help sellers gain reviews. Amazon values the customer experiences and knows that reviews play an important role in buying decisions so they've created the Early Reviewer Program and Vine Voice (for those sellers who are Brand Registered).
Resolution: Utilize Amazon’s review programs. This way you can actively solicit reviews in a way that follows Amazon's terms of service.
4. Selling on Amazon Can Be Complicated
Getting your account setup and your products listed for sale is one challenge, but actually selling is quite another. Amazon is not a set-it-and-forget-it type of deal; so even after your product listings have been created, there's still a lot more to do. You'll need to make sure listings have effective titles, informative bullets and compelling descriptions. Amazon is also now a pay-to-play arena, which means investing in advertising is a must. Everyone knows and loves that gorgeous Prime badge, so the Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA) program is another great way to entice customers to purchase your product over the competitions.
Resolution: Do your research and be ready for an uphill battle. If you feel like you're over your head, seek the assistance of a qualified team of professionals who can help make your Amazon business a success!