How to sell on Amazon

How to sell on Amazon
29th July 2014
written by James Purves

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Selling on Amazon is a lot easier that most people would think and it is open virtually any business or individual. Commanding 60% of all online transaction there is probably no better place to vie for your products recognition and consumer exposure. There are a lot of businesses who list their products on Amazon who do not capitalise of the opportunities that Amazon offers and therefore miss out on many sales. We have been helping businesses optimise their listings to elevate their products exposure and gain them sizable increases in sales. With this in mind we thought it would be useful to create a post which discusses the process of selling on the Amazon juggernaut.

Why Sell on Amazon?

 The main reason for selling on Amazon is the ability to put your products in front an audience seeking to buy. This means, that unlike running your own online store, you don’t have to seek out customers and pay to promote your site via SEO or Adwords. The virtual foot fall that Amazon provides is immense and  the first step to generating far more sales that from your physical shop location or ecommerce site. The second step that Amazon provides is that they take care of the customer experience and everything is managed via the customers Amazon login. This means you don’t need to employ customer support staff or have a manned call line. The other main benefit that Amazon provides (should you wish to use it) is Fulfilment by Amazon (FBA) . They will house your stock and despatch it as and when orders are placed. With Amazon leading the way with future deliveries including running their own delivery network and the possibility of drone dispatches having your stock reach customers is something you can be sure Amazon will take good care of. This means you can devote your time to marketing your products and developing them ahead of your competition.

Options for selling

You have the choice to sell your own branded products to Amazon directly or to sell on Amazon  or as a brand or as a retailer by selling another manufacturers product. Both options provide good opportunities when approached correctly. Selling to Amazon is an invite only program. The program allows you to sell direct to Amazon who take ownership of the stock and they then take care of the sale of these items. In many ways this is golden grail of Amazon sales and if you are a brand it is something to strive for. However as it is invite only you should consider the other options below before you invite arrives!

Selller Central Basic Account

The basic accounts is ideal if you are starting out and want to test the water. You can list products in 20 different categories and you simple pay a commission for each product you sell.

Seller Central Pro Account

The Pro Account gives you access to the full Amazon vendor central and you will need to be approved when you sign up, including providing Identification details and company registration information if you are registering as a business. Once you are signed up the Amazon Vendor Central account lets you list your own products , sell products already listed and manage this through bulk uploads. You can also view detailed sales report and use automation tools to speed your business along. The pricing on this account is a monthly charge of £25.

Fulfilment by Amazon (FBA)

Both accounts offer you the option to let Amazon provide your fulfillment. This means you only need to worry about sending your stock to Amazon and they will take care of the rest. Key points of this service is that your products will gain more exposure as then eligible for Amazon Prime and Free Super Saver delivery. Not having to worry about your fulfillment means you can benefit from Amazon’s network and sell across Europe.

How to make the most of your product listing.

Once you have setup your account you can go through the process of uploading your products onto your Amazon Vendor Central account. There are  a number of ways to achieve this and it will depend if the product is already featured on Amazon or an entirely new listing.  If you have a new product not yet listed on Amazon, this will involve compiling all the information Amazon request for your products. There is a lot of information required so it is worth considering the requirements before you sign up. Here are some of the fields you will need to provide aside from the usual product, name, description, photos and price.

  • SKU
  • Barcodes
  • Dimensions
  • Weight
  • Category
  • Feature bullet points
  • Item condition

This will create your inventory and you are then ready to customise your page to help optimise the product page and drive sales. If you are selling products already listed on Amazon then the process is fast and efficient. You can download the Amazon Listing Loader excel file and add the product listing information. You can then hit a button on the excel to import listing details from Amazon which will match your entries to Amazon’s data. Once this has run you will be prompted to check any unmatched products or ones with duplicate results. Simply correct these fields until validation is completed and upload your file to Amazon.

Your product images

The photos you use to promote your product are critical to successful sale of your product. The first sight a user will see of your product is the thumbnail in a search results or a category view page. This should clearly show the product and be sharp, full colour and ideally on a white background. When a user clicks through to your product page you have the option to include further images to help promote your product. An effective approach to these pages is to show the product from different angles, to include a lifestyle shot such as the product in use or in the situation it would typically be seen. Adding a lifestyle shot really shows the product as a real item and in the context of purchasers daily life.

Product videos

 You also have the ability to upload a video for each product. Again videos are popular with users, and  if provided, are often viewed. Your video needs to be short and to the point. It should capture the usage of the product, the benefits and the overall lifestyle appeal that having a product like yours will bring. Having videos less than 30 seconds is best and if you need more time, divide the videos into sections e.g. technical guide, lifestyle presentation highlighting the benefits

Advice and consultancy

 If you are new to listing on Amazon but can see the clear opportunities  it can bring you can contact us for an initial consultation. We are able to advise on the most appropriate way to sell for your business and offer merchandising, listing and consultancy packages to suit your needs. If you are brand looking to sell on Amazon then we can help you to get listed and take the steps to give you best chance to being invited by Amazon so you can sell to them directly.