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You’re owning a small to medium-sized enterprise and want to take it to the next level? You always wondered how to successfully sell through the Amazon marketplace? Do you want to keep your own online store? We tell you how to set this up the right way with seven very useful strategies.
You probably heard of the expression not to put all your eggs into one basket. And you know what? This rings absolutely true – especially if you want your business to go into e-commerce. The magic word is multichannel and we can explain to you exactly how it will benefit your business and how to combine selling through your own online shop and Amazon both at the same time. Because you probably want to get on this ship rather sooner than later to stay ahead of your competition. If you’re looking for an easy way to sell your products on Amazon and wonder how it works and what the best Amazon seller tools are, strap in and find out.
Why should you consider multichannel?
First of all we want to give a little overview on what multichannel is and what it can do for you. Selling multichannel is simply the act of using more than one place for distribution. But why the hassle of an extra set up? Because of the increased sales of course.
There are plenty of reasons why going multichannel is a good idea. Many customers need several touch points online with a product to decide whether they buy it or not. If you participate on a couple of platforms – be it through paid advertisement on social media or appearing on price comparison sites – you’ll be visible for your customer. And the more your customer sees you the more trust you gain from them.
The pros of Amazon marketplace
Today’s customers start their purchases with research, and the majority of them will start on Amazon. In fact, 9 out of 10 people start looking on Amazon for a product even if they want to buy it from another retailer or offline in a store. As you can see, not being on Amazon might give your competition the edge they needed to succeed. And nobody wants that! For the Amazon marketplace it’s definitely true to be there or be square. And as the cherry on top you can combine your efforts. Simply let Amazon do the main marketing work by promoting Prime Day for example.
“More and more small and medium-sized businesses are choosing to join the Amazon Marketplace and sell right alongside Amazon to reach customers around the world,” explained Peter Faricy, Vice President for Amazon Marketplace in a recent statement. “Entrepreneurs and small business owners are succeeding on Amazon – they sell more than half the products that Amazon customers buy (58 percent in 2018 to be exact), and more than 140,000 small and medium-sized businesses surpassed 100,000 US-dollar in sales on Amazon annually.” A solid 37.7 percent of all online sales are expected to be by Amazon in 2019. A big draw for brand owners, entrepreneurs and small and medium-sized businesses is the ability to use Amazon’s Prime two-day shipping for its products.
Your new game plan
To help you succeed in selling on the Amazon marketplace and start earning money, we’ve gathered seven of the best tips for you:
1. More is more
You don’t need to be an Amazon-only seller. Many sellers make Amazon their main marketplace but still retain their own website and other online stores. Other sellers focus most of their energy on their e-commerce site yet rely upon Amazon to boost additional sales. Some businesses choose to list only certain products with Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA). Be multichannel.
2. Taking advantage of FBA
You don’t have to use FBA for all your products. You can mix and match with Amazon FBM. While FBA has the distribution of products from the Amazon Warehouse completely handled by Amazon, FBM (Fulfillment By Merchant) only uses the marketplace platform. The logistics are handled by the company itself. This gives FBA decisive advantages, such as the simple handling of customer support by Amazon and the listing on the top positions of a search.
Sure, Amazon FBA boosts your product’s buyability and discoverability and makes you eligible for Amazon Prime or Amazon Super Saver. The biggest advantage of FBA is probably the included customer service. Customers contact the Amazon Customer Service directly if they have a question or problem with their shipment. This allows you to focus on your core business. But sometimes you may wish to retain order fulfillment control and save on costs by listing some products with Amazon FBM.
3. Outsource your logistics to a freight forwarder
With Amazon FBA, you still need to take care of the transportation of your goods from your home or factory to the Amazon warehouse. Here is where a good freight forwarder comes in.
DTS logistics experts are skilled at stick-handling Amazon sellers’ documentation and customs clearance. At DTS, we ensure that your shipment is packed, palletized and labeled to strict Amazon standards. Let us do the logistics work! Focus on your core business and outsource the logistics to a freight forwarder that understands your e-commerce needs and frees you up.
Staying organized keeps you in the game. As an Amazon seller, you are dealing with a lot of moving parts. You will want to receive updates on your shipments’ progress to the warehouse. At DTS you get a personal Operations Manager who will proactively handle any issues for you.
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4. Put yourself in the shoes of your customers
Copywriting and quality product photos matter. Whatever content you create (product titles, bullet points, product descriptions or keywords), the writing should reflect how potential buyers are approaching the product. Think like the buyer. Keywords should reflect how the buyer would describe what they are looking for. Use as many relevant terms as possible. For foreign Amazon marketplaces, use writers who speak their native language. With Amazon, you can use a tool called “Translate your Products” to get wordings that are translated and verified by native speakers. Multiple, high-resolution images including a lifestyle image significantly enhance the product listing.
5. Manage your spendings wisely
Watch prices. The fees on Amazon FBA can be costly. Competition is fierce, your profit margin may be lower than what you expected as an independent seller. Beware of surprising tax obligations, fraudulent sellers who seek to imitate and undercut your product, and long-term storage costs. Nevertheless, the range you get with Amazon is many times greater than on most other platforms. There are clear advantages and disadvantages when you sell on Amazon.
Get creative with marketing. Offer an “add-on” product to your listing. Make every effort to get on “Top Ten” lists for your product category. Think outside of the box.
Tools like Google AdWords and paid search promotions on Amazon will help your products stand out. Twenty-five percent of Amazon sellers use Google AdWords, as well as social media campaigns, such as Facebook promotions to enhance the visibility of their products. As well, Amazon explains the benefits of using its in-house advertising solutions on its Amazon Services page.
They are sponsored products for the promotion of individual listings and headline search ads. “Advertising on Amazon is an easy way for you to promote your listings. Ads appear right where customers will see them, such as the first page of search results or product detail pages. You place bids on relevant keywords, and if your bid wins and your ad matches the search, your ad gets displayed to shoppers. These targeted ads can bring your products to a new audience and help you maximize your sales.”
Take the lead on the question and answer section of your product listing. You don’t need to wait for customers to ask questions first.
6. Spread the word
Build up customer reviews by asking for feedback which many online sellers neglect to do. The power of reviews is a well-established feature of today’s shopping experience – customers want to know with whom they are dealing with and with just a few clicks. One need not be afraid of negative reviews – they can be an opportunity to explain, problem-solve and transform bad will into good. Besides, all good reviews can sometimes make a product seem suspect.
Experiment with markets. Latin America was named top region for ecommerce growth by eCommerce Foundation, noted the region’s increased population and higher rate of internet penetration as leading the charge in growth.
7. Take inventory and identify your cash cows
Experiment with options in inventory. Selling on Amazon FBA is a custom process. Competing with the same product offered by Amazon Retail is next to impossible as Amazon will invariably get the Buy Box. Without an exclusive sourcing relationship, Amazon sellers will be unlikely to receive a sufficient pricing advantage to survive, making basic retail arbitrage a less attractive option. Resellers will be forced to lower their prices too much to compete. Selling oversized or Hazmat products are rarely worth it. Many sellers who do not have their own product find it worthwhile to rely upon inexpensive overseas sourcing such as Alibaba and develop private label brands.
Are you ready? Get started today!
Online seller help is not far away. Begin by scaling your e-commerce journey and take the first step of learning about becoming a seller at Amazon. You can also read up on more content on our blog.