If you have not noticed by now, the online retail market is dominated by Amazon.com. The e-commerce giant had nearly $178 billion (USD) net sales in 2017, according to Statista, a jump of close to $42 billion from 2016 net sales. These couple of sentences should have already convinced you to get on the train before it sets off without you. If your business isn't part of the Amazon.com marketplace, you would want consider reading a long to find out how we can give you some insights. Hopefully we can help you start your new journey or help you grow.
As you start off, you can sell your products on Amazon within just a few easy steps. Most people that have a 9-5 and are leveraging Amazon to start their own business can be a bit fearful of the whole process. Being fearful is all part of this process. If you have an income and have less time than most people, using Amazon's FBA (Fulfillment by Amazon) plan will help you out the most. If you list yourself as a professional, you'll pay Amazon $39.99 a month, in addition to other selling fees. If you sell as an individual, you'll pay Amazon $0.99 per sale, plus other selling charges. By doing things yourself you are responsible for customer service, shipping etc. which can be very time consuming.
With Amazon's Fulfillment by Amazon, or FBA, business program, you'll pay Amazon different fees and mostly for convenience. The FBA program takes on logistical tasks for your business, such as storing your products in fulfillment centers, packaging, shipping your orders, and customer service. How much the FBA program will cost you depends on your product's size and weight, along with the type of FBA services you use, you can expect to pay 6 to 20 percent of your sale, with 15 percent being the typical amount the retailer takes. Make sure you pick the right product(s) to sell and or know how to advertise the right way by taking advantage of social media.
There are other benefits to consider with the FBA program, too. Amazon Prime members can pay for products without being charged extra in shipping fees. Eventually you can qualify to have your account badged as a FBA seller without even using Amazon's warehouses! That is a whole other topic, but just know this tip. Having that badge will make your products more attractive than competitors who aren't in the FBA program.
Be Patient & Build Your Business
If you are first starting out, do not launch all your product ideas on Amazon. Do your research and focus on a few. It's much easier to focus on a few products at a time, learn the ropes and optimize gradually at first. Managing to many listings when you first start off will be overwhelming and will leave a bad imprint on your Amazon account. Some of your listings will not be fully optimized and bad reviews will make a big impact, so start slow and be patient.
When I first started selling on Amazon, my product was doing horrendous. I was always thinking of giving up and thought it was not worth it. Eventually, after a few trial and errors, changing keywords, listing optimizations, etc. then I finally started hitting my targets. The more you sell, the more opportunities you have to make mistakes and learn from them. So, first successfully sell a few items, and then branch out. Set targets and work your way towards them.
Amazon spams you with tons of new things to do for your business. At first, stick to the basics and don't try to do everything at once. They push very hard for you to fulfill with them, if you have the right product(s) and want to pay the charge for FBA then do it. Our recommendation is to start off with out the FBA tag and familiarize yourself with the market place for a couple of weeks. Follow your intuition and only turn to FBA when you're ready.
Building Reviews From The Beginning
Once you get started on Amazon, aim to offer excellent service, even if you encounter a difficult customer. A perfect example is seeing how Publix treats their customers, their motto is, "The customer is always right." If you get a customer that sends you a negative message or review, make sure to address them as positive as possible. Sympathize and make sure their issue is resolved, this alone will build your reputation as a Amazon Seller and can lead to major gains in the long run.
The worst thing that you can start off with is having a couple of reviews under your belt. This will dramatically decrease sales and you can be sitting on inventory for a long time. When you start off make sure to send out emails to all of your customers thanking them for their purchase and giving them offers to incentive another purchase in the future. We have many email templates that we send out that not only engages the customers but also encourages to view our Amazon store and or website. Having your own website will be a great advantage for you as well due to customers buying directly from you instead of buying from Amazon which will help with your margins.
What Are Your Competitors Doing?
If you choose a product that falls into a highly competitive niche, then there are a few things that you should be considering. These are the things you should think about before entering a competitive market:
Does my product or service solve a specific problem for a specific set of people?
What are the startup costs associated with this business? (inventory cost & shipping cost)
How long will my goals take to be achieved?
How competitive is the market?
How can I differentiate my product(s) in this pre-existing market?
How is the competition getting sales?
These questions will allow you to contemplate on your decisions and help you tackle tasks that need to be completed. The most important thing is to never get ahead of yourself and situate one task at a time.
When you check the competition, do a quick search on Amazon and see who are the top dogs in that niche, see what they do and what works for them. If your competition has around 100 reviews and you know generate a good amount of sales, you have struck gold. Some listings may even have a couple hundred more which would be a close second place, but could be a bit more competitive. Certain listings having 1000+ reviews, chances are that niche has a plethora of listings trying to fight for that nice chunk of sales. We recommend you go to battle with those listings a bit later in your e-commerce profession.
The rule of thumb is that the number of reviews on a listing typically shows how much competition you are really dealing with. Remember that if you do end up settling on the product, it takes a good amount of patience, hard work, and a vast amount of research that needs to be done in order to match or surpass what your competitors have been doing. As in everything else in life... well most things, are not get rich quick schemes. Time, effort and trial and error needs to be accumulated in order to succeed on Amazon or any e-commerce market place.
The best product to settle on would be one that has a high demand and low competition.