Being an entrepreneur is a dream for a lot of people. It is a very challenging field to get into, given the amount of competition in the business world. But there are many ways that you can start selling your products and making money on your own through e-retailers like Amazon. Amazon has changed the e-retail game entirely with its policies for new sellers. It is a great place for people will small-scale businesses to be, and boosts their sales and presence in the market, depending on how many units you sell and what your search rating is. If you are looking to start a business online through a host website like Amazon, or even if you want to increase your business’ online presence, this article is most definitely for you.
In this article, we will be outlining things that you need to prepare for and look out for when starting up with your Amazon Seller Account. This includes the basic steps you need to be taking to set up a business and then tips on how to make it flourish.
Best FBA Guide:
Knowing these basic steps is very important while setting up any kind of business, be it online or in store. Selling online is a much different arena than selling in store or in a pop-up shop. The analytics that you have to perform is different and also the advertisement approach is different, and quite specific. You need to learn which product has a need in the market, what quality and price are expected of it and also what will attract a customer and build trust.
The trust factor is a little low while selling online as compared to in store for genuine reasons. It is up to the seller to make sure that the customer does not feel like he or she is getting scammed and they get what they are paying for, along with good customer service, to ensure that they keep coming back and bring other people.
How to Sell on Amazon | Amazon FBA Guide
1. Select Your Product
When you are just starting out, selecting the product you want to sell can be daunting, as there is a market out there for everything, but making a profit out of a business is also imperative. You need to pick something or multiple things which have the following characteristics:
- Pick something you love and are passionate about. Only when you love the product that you are selling or manufacturing, will you be able to put in long term work and effort into it. You will be able to visualize how you can make other people love this product just as much as you do, and market it that way.
- Pick something which has a market: Pick something which appeals to a sizable amount of public. Something that a lot of people would find useful in their lives and would be willing to pay for.
- Pick something with a lower number of competitors. Invest in something that not a lot of people are selling, so that your product won’t get drowned in the crowd.
- Create or pick something innovative, which will get people intrigued. In a market like the one we have in 2019, there is no shortage of run-of-the-mill products. What gets attention, especially online, is something that is innovative, looks good and works. Make sure your product fulfills all of these.
2. Conduct Market Research:
Amazon has a number of Keyword tools to help you figure out how much you should be stocking up. According to a lot of FBA guide books, when starting out, you should follow these steps:
- Go to Amazon and check out the given listings for the product you are selling. Products get sold because of their reviews and price. So find around 10 listings with 100 or less reviews, as these will be your competitors in the initial stages.
- Go on to finding the Amazon Best Seller rank for each of these products and see how much each product sells. Using this, you can try and estimate their sales from free online tools available.
- Once you do that, see if the sales projected by these apps satisfy you, and if they do, go ahead with that product. If they do not, try looking at other products.
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3. Figure Out a Reliable Source:
Pick a source for your product that you can trust. If you are getting something manufactured, make sure you are dealing with a manufacturer or laboratory which is legal and meets your standards. Make sure that you can rely on this source for a long term relationship and that you can work for mutual benefit. Choose someone who is professional, reputed and knowledgeable, with a mindset you are comfortable with. Also make sure you take advantage of their bulk discounts and other offers that they should be making for you, if you order multiple products or a large amount. Make sure you have a short-term and long-term agreement with them on paper, to avoid issues in the future.
4. Creating An Amazon Listing:
Creating a listing in Amazon is very user friendly. You need to make an account with them as a seller. There are 2 packages available:
- Professional account: Monthly charges for this account are 40 US Dollars. This is the more economical way of going about this if you are going to sell more than 40 units each month.
- Individual Account: There are no monthly fees apply for this account, but Amazon takes 1 US Dollar for each sale that you make. Realistically, you should go with the Professional package.
After account creation, you have to follow the prompts and fill all the details that they ask of you. You should have you Store name, product name and Bank account details and ID proof with you ahead of time. This will complete your account set up.
Each product has to be listed now. This is important as this will be displayed when customers put the keyword in the search bar. You listing should look authentic and attractive, with details of the product given very clearly and as professionally as possible, to make sure that the customer trusts you and your product. Find your product category and fill all the details in. You also have to pick a brand name.
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5. UPC Barcode:
While creating a listing, you will be asked to enter your product ID, which can be a UPC barcode which you can buy. Once this is over, your product will be given an FN SKU barcode which you need to print and stick on to every single product that you sell through amazon. Without this, you cannot sell anything through them. You need to go to the inventory section and click ‘Print Label Items’. This will give you the details which need to be present and displayed on your product. You can also choose to make Amazon do this step, but you will be charged for it.
Keywords are the words or phrases that the customers use when they are looking for something in particular online. You need to pick the keyword that is most commonly used for your product, and then also list the variations that people might use with it. The aim is to include the maximum number of keywords so that your listing always comes up when people are looking for your product. You can use online tools or other ways like asking people and looking through your competitors’ keywords to compile a list for your own product.
7. Product Photography
Product pictures are imperative in making a sale. Al the customer is going off on is the pictures that you provide. It is advisable to have the pictures of the product taken in a professional style, as people tend to opt for products with the most professional looking pictures and details available. Make sure your pictures are taken in the best quality that you can afford and do not forget to include multiple angles. For example: If it is a beauty product, include swatches and how it looks on different people if you can. This gives the customer the feeling that you are a professional and transparent brand and are providing all the information, which is the goal. You want to be able to become a professional brand in the future, for which, you need to put in the effort to look and be professional.
8. Product Description
Make a compelling description with language which again is professional and detailed. You want to include your keywords in this part as well, but not do it too much, as it can decrease the listing rank of your product. Write a paragraph about the product and then list its merits in bullet points. Write what you would make you want to buy it. Try not to copy anything from the internet and be original.
9. Packaging Design
The packaging of your product is sometimes what sets you aside from other sellers in the same category. You need to figure out what will attract a customer and what you can offer which the others cannot. Having customized packaging is the way to go for most cases, even if it is expensive. It attracts more and more sales, eventually leading to a significant profit.
Once you have listed the items, you need to decide how to ship your products. You can do this by either asking your supplier to deliver the products after packaging to Amazon, or you can get your own delivery system and manage the shipping process yourself. Getting the suppliers to do the shipping work for you is the more economical option in most cases, but it takes your control out of the equation. You are barely in control but you are responsible. The other option puts you in control, where the products come to you and you control how the shipping process will be with the freight carrier. Choose whatever suits you the best and then enter the details into your Amazon account.
You will have to enter the address from where the products will get shipped to the Amazon warehouses. You will also have to enter the shipping charges.
11. Quality Control
Quality control is a huge part of manufacturing and distributorship. You want to make sure that your customers are getting the best products and customer service. Only then they will come back for more and leave great reviews which will in turn increase sales, whether through listings or word of mouth. Make sure you are present throughout the process and the supplier and shipping company is reliable. Make sure you check your products from time to time and provide the best quality for your clients.
Product promotion is one of the most important arts of business. It should be done extensively while remaining tasteful and not putting the customers off. It is one of the tougher things to manage and plan in business. There are various ways that you can advertise your product:
1. Pay-per-click and Promotions on Amazon
How this works is that you pay Amazon to automatically put your listing in the sponsored or advertisement part of the page while a customer is looking for a product using a keyword. You pay for these keywords by bidding for them. Each week, check how well your keywords have been performing, which can be done using your Amazon analytics. Then try optimizing the keywords you are paying for, which means that you bid for the keywords which work more and less for those that work less.
2. Social Media
Running a social media account or two for your products is also a very important part of marketing now. You can display your products and divert new people to your product using social media effectively. You can get your products sponsored ads on these social media sites as well, to increase visibility online. Growing social media followers is another article in itself, but in its essence, you should be posting regularly about your product, its reviews, people wearing it or using it and just other fun things that would attract people to your page.
People love a good deal. While starting out, a good option would be to have discounts, giveaways or offers like buy one get one on your products. Although it will cause some monetary burden in the beginning, you need to invest in marketing for things to pay out in the long run. Having schemes on your products and making it clear how you can enter or avail the scheme is a good way to increase engagement and attracting traffic.
A final word!
In conclusion, keep researching and finding out new ways to promote your product and make the quality better. Keep analyzing what works and what brings sales and push harder in that direction. Being professional and providing a great experience to customers should be your main goal, no matter what you are selling. Some other things to keep in mind would be to have a very systematic account of your income and expenditure, so you know exactly what is happening at all times. This is your brand and its reputation depends on you, and the base line is to make a good profit through honest means. Make decisions which will lead you to only positive directions. Good luck!