You might think that most customers start their online shopping with Google. But according to a recent poll, Amazon is the most common place to start for online shoppers.
Over 44% of shoppers start on Amazon, that’s 11% more than Google! Furthermore, 40% of Americans buy products on Amazon at the very least once a month. Amazon has become the core hub for online shopping.
In the E-Commerce industry, selling on Amazon is your best option for increasing your reach. Ultimately, maximizing your revenue. We have generated this guide of things to know before selling on amazon to assist you in setting up shop on Amazon. This will teach you:
- How to list your products
- Set up your shipping options
- Promote your products
- Manage your reviews
- Analyze your performance
1. Your Product
First, you need to find out if your product needs approval from Amazon.
There are 20 categories open to every seller. So if you’re wanting to sell products within these categories, you won’t need approval from Amazon.
However, there is a catch, there are 15 additional categories that require approval from Amazon. If you want to sell your products under any of these categories, you will need to apply for a PSP or Professional Selling Plan subscription.
Amazon does limit the number of sellers in each category. Their reasoning is simple, they want to uphold the quality of their products. If you feel that your products are up to standard and want to pursue selling them under those categories, you will need to get the approval from Amazon. You can do this by filling out their application. Amazon will inform you if they have approved you or additional information from you is needed in up to 3 business days.
Below are two lists of Amazon’s product categories. Those that are open to all sellers and those that require approval.
Open To All Sellers:
- Amazon Device Accessories
- Amazon Kindle
- Baby Products
- Camera & Photo
- Cell Phones
- Clothing & Accessories
- Health & Personal Care
- Home & Garden
- Musical Instruments
- Office Products
- Software & Computer Games
- Tools & Home Improvement
- Toys & Games
- Video Games & Video Game Consoles
Require Approval From Amazon:
- Automotive & Powersports
- B2B Business Products
- Collectible Coins
- Fashion Jewelry
- Fine Jewelry
- Fine Art
- Grocery & Gourmet Food
- Industrial & Scientific
- Luggage & Travel Accessories
- Personal Computers
- Professional Services
- Shoes, Handbags, & Sunglasses
- Sports Collectibles
- DVD, Video, & Blu-Ray
2. Picking A Plan
Be sure to pick a selling plan that fits your business model.
Amazon offers two types of selling plans:
- The Individual Plan
- The Professional Plan
If you decide to go with the Individual Plan, you will pay Amazon 99 cents for every product that you sell. In addition to, referral and variable closing fees.
The Individual Plan, according to Amazon, is best for sellers who might sell less than 40 products per month.
If you have decided to go with the Professional Plan, you must pay Amazon a subscription fee of $39.99 in addition to referral and variable closing fees. The best part is you can sell an unlimited number of products. The Professional Plan, according to Amazon, is best for sellers who will sell more than 40 products per month.
3. Your Account
Register your business for a seller account on Amazon and list out your products. To register your business for a seller account visit Amazon Seller Central and click the “Start Selling” button. You’ll also be able to manage your selling account through Amazon Seller Central.
Once you’ve created your account, you can now start to list your products.
If you have the Individual Plan, you are able to list 1 product to the Amazon Marketplace at a time. However, If you have the Professional Plan, you can add groups of products to the Amazon Marketplace.
In addition, if you’re selling products that are listed on Amazon already. All you have to do is just tell them the quantity of the product you want to sell, the condition of the product, and the shipping options.
But, if you’re selling products that haven’t been listed on Amazon yet, the process is a bit more complex. You have to inform them of each product’s Universal Product Code or UPC and Stock Keeping Unit or SKU is. Then you must list each product’s features on Amazon, such as:
If your unaware of what a UPC is, it’s the 12-digit numeric code with a barcode. The American branch of GS1 assigns a permanent UPC to a product for its entire shelf life. Even if multiple retailers sell that product, it will still have the same UPC for every store.
A SKU is very similar to a UPC, but it’s also different from it, by using a unique string of letters and numbers. This helps retailers identify each product in their inventory as well as each product’s specific traits such as:
- Color and size
Retailers can create their own internal SKU’s to quickly and accurately pinpoint each piece of inventory in their:
- Retail stores
- E-commerce stores
- Product fulfillment centers
4. Your Shipping Options
Even though you sell your products on Amazon, you will always have an option to ship products on your own. Amazon does offer a truly unique shipping service for all their sellers and that’s incredibly hard to pass up. When you use Fulfillment by Amazon, all that you have to do is send your inventory to any of the multiple Amazon fulfillment centers and they will:
- Store your products
- Package them
- Ship them to your customers
When you sign up for this shipping service, Amazon will also make your products eligible for:
- Amazon Prime free two-day shipping
- Free shipping
- Customer service
Shipping costs are included in your seller plan. All you will have to pay for is storage space and a fee for each order that Amazon fulfills.
5. Sell & Promote Your Products
Once you’ve set up your shipping options, you’re ready to start selling. To attract as many customers as possible, you will need to:
- Craft product listings that have clear and concise titles
- Benefits-rich descriptions
- Vivid pictures
If you want to improve your products visibility, consider sponsored product ads right on the platform. These ads are PPC or Pay-Per-Click and will be placed beside people’s search results. Amazon also provides an automatic ad targeting tool. This utilizes its search algorithm to suggest a list of lucrative keywords. You can also bid and promote your products through the targeting tool.
Once people buy your product(s) on Amazon, they must deposit the payment into your bank account and also send you a notification when they pay you.
6. Encourage Reviews
Reviews are essential for pushing sales on Amazon. The more reviews that you have, the more credible and trustworthy you become to customers that will perceive your products to be.
Amazon does allow sellers to send out follow up emails to customers after they order 1 or more of their products. Asking the customer for product reviews. They also let you automate the process. Although, Amazon does require you to follow a very strict set of guidelines, which do not allow you to include:
- Marketing messages
- Link to other websites
- Incentivize positive reviews in these emails.
In 2016, Amazon did ban incentivized reviews.
These were customer reviews given to brands in exchange for free or discounted products. Just as long as, the reviewers revealed they had received an incentive in exchange for the feedback. This type of incentive was artificially inflating brands average ratings. So, in turn, Amazon decided it was time to level the playing field, with this in mind, don’t even try to incentivize a positive review. If you want a positive review, simply send your customers an email that politely asks for a candid product review.
7. Analyze Your Performance
On your companies Amazon Seller Central account, you will have access to a sales dashboard. Which will display:
- A snapshot of your orders for that day
- The quantity of units that sold
- The amount of sales that you’ve generated for the day
- Other metrics
You will also have access to business reports that display metrics such as:
- Sales by item
- Sales and orders by month
- Brand performance
- Inventory in stock
- And more
Make An Appointment
Mainstreet Design has an expert E-Commerce Design team. We can assist your business in building your Amazon store and managing it for you. Are you ready to take your business to the next level?
Fill out the form below to schedule a FREE 1-hour consultation.