Getting Started with Amazon Marketplace
Almost every major retailer today has a strong eCommerce presence and strategy. Smaller brick-and-mortar stores have been quite a bit slower to join the party but there’s no time like the present to get started. Add the help of an experienced eCommerce consultant and the party could get started even quicker.
With eCommerce revenues still growing rapidly, that makes for many opportunities to leap ahead of the competition. Turning a physical store into an eCommerce success is also easier than many realize.
In fact, it is possible to leverage the support of some true titans as you learn how to start an eCommerce store. You can use your existing brick-and-mortar store as the foundation for an Amazon-based eCommerce venture that will complement it perfectly.
eCommerce and Brick-and-Mortar Retail: Two Shopping Options That Are Here to Stay
Much has been made of the trials and travails in-person retailers have endured as a result of exploding eCommerce sales numbers. In reality, brick-and-mortar retail is still growing, even if at a significantly slower pace than eCommerce.
In fact, traditional, walk-in retail stores still account for most of the industry's revenues. Any fair comparison of traditional retail vs eCommerce will reveal that both have their advantages. While they prefer eCommerce shopping overall, even members of the Millennial and Generation Z demographics still appreciate these brick-and-mortar retail qualities:
There is sometimes no substitute for being able to obtain a product immediately. Even though services like Amazon Prime now are closing the gap, heading to a local retailer is often the fastest way to complete a purchase.
Being able to pick up a product or simply see it in person can be invaluable. Trying clothes on or seeing a home upgrade up close will always be more telling than viewing items online.
Chat systems and emails are no substitute for truly personal service. Being able to ask questions of a live human being can be extremely rewarding.
Bringing unwanted products back to a local store tends to be simpler than even the most streamlined of eCommerce return systems.
Patronizing a carefully curated boutique or an independent bookstore can be enjoyable even when no purchase follows.
Of course, there are also plenty of reasons why shoppers are spending steadily increasing shares of their budgets at eCommerce storefronts. There is evidence that backs an increase of spending when sellers have Amazon storefronts, copy and photography that are handled by professional eCommerce consultants. The reason is because eCommerce consultants have experience in getting your listing in front of the right customers with Amazon SEO and ensure the content delivered to shoppers is likely to convert into a sale. Shopping online means enjoying benefits like:
Most eCommerce stores rarely close, and then only for brief bits of maintenance.
Price Comparison and Savings
It is possible to compare prices among a number of eCommerce stores and products far more quickly than with brick-and-mortar retail. Reduced overhead tends to keep eCommerce pricing lower in general, too.
Anyone with a spare moment and a smartphone can indulge in some eCommerce shopping.
Many eCommerce stores carry far wider ranges of products than their brick-and-mortar counterparts.
In the age of COVID-19, being able to shop without leaving home can seem invaluable. Even before the global pandemic, plenty of people simply felt more comfortable avoiding crowds and salespeople at local stores.
Amazon Marketplace: A Great Way to Add a New Revenue Stream for Your Store
Most successful brick-and-mortar store owners already do everything they can to maximize the strengths of that type of retail. As recently as 2018, only a bit more than a quarter of all small stores were engaged in eCommerce at all, however.
The most common reason for holding back is a belief that getting started and keeping things running will be too difficult and costly. In reality, there are some simple, highly cost-effective ways to turn any walk-in store into an eCommerce storefront.
With hundreds of millions of unique monthly visitors in the United States alone, Amazon welcomes independent retailers to its Marketplace. Choosing to use Amazon Marketplace to get started with eCommerce means benefiting from its:
Brand and Reputation
No retail brand today has anything like the recognition or cachet of Amazon. Shoppers flock to Amazon and trust it to ensure positive experiences, whether they buy from the retail giant itself or its Marketplace partners.
Low Investment and Overhead
Building an eCommerce site from the ground up can be expensive. Running an independent eCommerce operation can be costly and complicated. It costs almost nothing to get started on Amazon Marketplace and very little to scale up thereafter.
Potential for Growth
Amazon Marketplace hosts retailers ranging from kitchen-based startups to multinational brands. Amazon's own scale ensures that there will always be room to grow on its Marketplace.
How to Get Started on Amazon
While Amazon makes things easy for would-be Marketplace sellers, a bit of preparation will always be in order. In particular, store owners looking to make the leap from brick-and-mortar retail to Marketplace-based eCommerce generally do well to think about investing in:
If you will be listing and selling products that are not otherwise available on Amazon, you will want to have multiple high-quality photographs of them all. The same goes for product information and sales copy.
Experts at setting up, managing, and marketing Amazon Marketplace stores are happy to help newcomers. Investing in a bit of informed support and advice early on will make a strong eCommerce start even more likely.
Once you have thought about such issues and similar ones, you will be ready to turn your physical store into an Amazon eCommerce opportunity. That only requires making a few more decisions concerning matters like:
Amazon Marketplace sellers use a web-based dashboard known as "Seller Central" or “Vendor Central” to manage their storefronts. You can set up a Seller Central account on your own at any time. If Amazon wishes to recruit you as a wholesale-style supplier, you will receive an invitation to join its Vendor Central program instead.
Many Marketplace sellers use the Fulfilled by Amazon (FBA) service to have the retailer store and ship their items. FBA shipping also qualifies you for the trusted and sought after Prime shipping label. You can just as well make your own shipping arrangements. The latter can be more cost-effective and is generally more flexible but requires more work.
Choosing Inventory to List
You do not need to list and sell on Amazon every item you stock in your physical store. You can just as well start slowly and ramp up over time, if that suits your needs better.
All these important steps can be tackled at your leisure or you can hire an eCommerce Consultant to help you navigate Amazon's vast marketplace and get your online store up and running. Any retailer who has what it takes to compete in the brick-and-mortar space can become an eCommerce success on Amazon Marketplace, as well.
We know that Amazon has a lot of unique terms so we create this resource for you to have everything in one place.
If you find yourself puzzled by some of Amazon’s terminology, download our complimentary guide: Amazon Explained A-to-Z.
Sometimes it’s best to talk with an eCommerce consultant to see if their services can help you launch your business online utilizing Amazon as your selling platform. Our team offers a free, 30-minute consult to help you figure out what is best for your business needs. Schedule your call today!