How to Sell on Amazon
If you’re a small business that is not already selling on Amazon, chances are you’ve thought about it. And for good reason. Since its conception 25 years ago, Amazon has established itself as an e-commerce powerhouse. And while much of the platform’s revenue comes from products Amazon sells itself, more than half of sales from the Amazon marketplace now come from third-party sellers. In fact, more than 300,000 third-party sellers started selling on Amazon in 2017 alone.
Why Amazon? | Advantages of Selling on Amazon
If you operate a new business or simply have yet to make your way onto the platform, you may be wondering what has drawn so many sellers to Amazon. Here are just a few of some of the benefits that Amazon offers sellers:
- Access to a massive pool of potential online customers
- A wide range of distribution and management tools to help sellers more easily scale their business
- Opportunities to sell not only goods but also services through the Amazon Home Services program
For those who have yet to take advantage of all the platform has to offer and are curious about how to sell on Amazon, we’ve laid out a simple plan to help you launch your new Amazon seller account. We’ll cover tips, best practices and how our Amazon startup program can help you hit the ground running.
Tip #1: Set Your Goals & Budget
To truly make the most out of Amazon, you have to be optimistic about your goals and realistic about what you need to do to accomplish them. Weighing these two factors against one another will help you determine a budget spend that is reflective of what you hope to achieve, and also what you can realistically afford. Regardless of where your budget nets out, it’s important to have a goal in mind before you begin your marketing efforts.
As you’re thinking about what you hope to accomplish, consider both your short- and long-term Amazon goals and always remember that the best goals are SMART goals.
- Specific – clear and detailed enough for you to focus your efforts
- Measurable – tangible enough for you to be able to track your progress
- Attainable – realistic enough for you to actually achieve
- Relevant – in line with your other short- and long-term goals
- Timely – created with a target date or deadline in mind
Each goal you set should meet all of the above criteria. Doing so will help keep you motivated and give you the tools you need to accomplish your goals in a timely manner and measure your success along the way.
Knowing your goals, and what it will cost to achieve them, should always be the first step in your Amazon journey. During your first consultation, we’ll ask about both and use this information to put together a customized, cost-effective plan to help maximize your Amazon success. Everything we do moving forward will be done with consideration to both your goals and your budget.
Tip #2: Create Your Product Listings
If there is one thing you cannot sell on Amazon without, it’s a product. And once you have it, the only way to get your product in front of customers is through a product listing. A standard Amazon listing is pretty simple. It’s made up of five key sections:
Title – the name of your product and the first thing people read when your product pops up in the search results
Product Images – photos of your product and the only way consumers can see and experience your product before they buy
Bullet Points – quick blurbs of information highlighting the five key features of your product
Description – a more in-depth, long-form overview of your product and your brand
Backend Search Terms – the relevant search terms Amazon will use to populate your listing in the correct search results – not including those within your title, bullet points and description, which are already indexed by Amazon
While the structure of an Amazon product listing is fairly straightforward, the process of creating a compelling, high-ranking listing is far more complicated. Character counts, high-quality images, keyword research and category guidelines are just a few of the best practices and restrictions to consider when putting together a proper Amazon listing.
Our expert team of Amazon consultants and copywriters is intimately familiar with the nuances of Amazon product listings. We have the knowledge and experience to create high-quality listings that appeal to both the consumer and Amazon’s A9 algorithm.
Tip #3: Do Your Keyword Research
As we mentioned above, backend keywords are an important part of any Amazon listing. You can have well-written content that perfectly captures the essence of your product, but without the right keywords, most customers will never even find your listing.
Think of Amazon as you would any search engine. Consumers search for a word or phrase and the engine employs its algorithm to populate the most relevant results. In the same way, Amazon’s A9 algorithm analyzes listings to put products in front of consumers that are most relevant to their search results. And a big way Amazon determines the relevancy of a listing is through keywords.
That being said, keyword research is a must for novice sellers who are just getting their products and new Amazon seller accounts up and running. Our team at Awesome Dynamic understands the importance of keyword research and using the right keywords to get the right product in front of the right consumer at the right time. It’s why we perform extensive keyword research before creating new product listings and make sure top keywords make it into every listing. Learn more about keyword research and the Amazon SEO services we offer to new sellers.
Tip #4: Invest In Amazon Advertising
While a well-crafted listing with highly-relevant keywords provides a solid foundation for any new Amazon seller, it will only get you so far if you don’t have ad dollars behind your product. When Amazon first began, sellers could rely solely on organic search traffic and see quite a bit of success. But as the platform has become inundated with more and more sellers, Amazon has become a pay to play arena.
Amazon pay-per-click (PPC) advertising is the ad tool we most often recommend for new sellers. It’s a relatively simple ad buy which allows sellers to increase their presence in certain search results by bidding on relevant keywords. By putting just a few ad dollars behind your listing, you can see a significant bump in clicks and sales.
But how much should you invest? Our specialists suggest a $400-$500 PPC budget per product variation per month. Of course, this depends on how expensive bids are on your target keywords, what kind of margin you’re working with and what kind of ad approach you want to take. Before you get started, we’ll talk to you about your expectations and set a goal for your ACoS (advertising cost of sale) so we can be sure that we are best matching your expectations.
Tip #5: Consider Enhancing Your Product Listings
Once you have put strategic ad dollars behind well-crafted, keyword-rich listings, you have put yourself in a great position to be successful on Amazon. From here, it’s all about finding ways to further enhance what you have working for you already.
Standard Amazon listings can provide shoppers with lots of great content, but they can also be rather dull and tedious to sift through. That’s why we recommend that our clients take advantage of tools that allow them to further elevate their content and set themselves apart from competitors, whether that’s through Enhanced Brand Content or an Amazon Storefront.
The tools mentioned above all provide sellers with different ways to create more engaging content, enjoy greater customization and provide more detailed product information. It is important to note, though, that these tools are only available to sellers within Amazon’s Brand Registry – which requires a registered trademark. Our consulting team is happy to discuss each option in depth, as well as how to enroll in the Brand Registry, to help find the content enhancement that best suits your Amazon startup program.
Tip #6: Prioritize Customer Service
Customer service has a much different meaning in the online world than it does in brick and mortar stores. The ability to easily contact sellers, address product or shipping issues, review items and provide feedback about their experience are all factors both customers and Amazon use to measure a seller’s level of customer service.
Amazon has based its entire business around customer service and it expects its sellers to hold themselves to the same high standards. In fact, Amazon’s algorithm is designed to highlight sellers who provide exceptional customer service and de-emphasize those who fall short.
We understand that most sellers, especially those who are new to Amazon and still getting accustomed to the platform, may not have the time or resources to constantly communicate with consumers and handle their own customer service. That’s why our Amazon account management services team is available to help handle reviews and feedback, returns, customer questions and any other customer service needs that arise.
Tip #7: Make use of the Early Reviewer Program
Reviews are a major factor Amazon takes into account when assessing customer service. The more positive reviews the better. But what does that mean for businesses that are new to selling on Amazon and have not had time to build up positive reviews?
For these sellers, we recommend Amazon’s Early Reviewer Program. Here’s how it works:
- For $60/item, Amazon will ask consumers to leave reviews.
- Reviewers are chosen at random, although Amazon only selects those who have no history of abuse or dishonest reviews.
- Consumers are given a reward (e.g. $1-3 Amazon gift card) for leaving an authentic review that meets community guidelines.
- Amazon will continue to solicit reviews for up to one year or until 5 reviews are received through the program.
This low-cost program is a great way to increase reviews for your products that have few or zero reviews. Especially since Amazon is able to incentivize customers for reviews in ways that sellers are unable to. Our consulting team is happy to determine if your products are eligible for the Early Reviewer Program and, if so, set up the program on your behalf.
Tip #8: Work with Influencers
Influencers are becoming increasingly valuable marketing tools across Amazon and beyond. The clout and trust they have among their followers give them a selling power that no PPC ad could ever buy.
Last year, Amazon launched its own influencer program, which rewards influencers when shoppers click through from a blog, social post, etc. to a seller’s Amazon page. Learn more about Amazon influencers and how they can help kickstart your Amazon business.
Making the First Move | How to Sell on Amazon
Follow the tips we’ve laid out in this blog and you’ll be well on your way to Amazon success. If you’re ready to take that first step and create your Amazon seller account, give us a call and set up your free consultation. We’re passionate about helping grow your business and teaching you how to sell on Amazon. We have an amazing Amazon startup program designed just for you!