E-commerce has seen unprecedented growth in 2020. While the lockdown affected supply chains and retail stores across the world, e-commerce escaped unscathed. More than just unscathed, e-commerce boomed.
The massive spike in shoppers buying online also brings with it an opportunity. Entrepreneurs are gearing up to take advantage of the e-commerce boom, but are they ready to take the plunge? Selling on Amazon is not as easy as it sounds. Just listing a product isn’t going to bring in any revenue. Forget making a profit, you’ll probably lose money if you are not prepared to put in the effort (inventory and Amazon fees are no joke).
If you’re looking to launch your new e-commerce enterprise in 2021, you need to make sure you know the basics. There will always be a risk with any business, but with risk comes reward. The fundamentals of selling on Amazon are all about mitigating the risk and improving the reward. Let’s take a look at the important things you need to know before selling on Amazon.
Kick off with Data-Driven Product Research
This should be number one on every Amazon seller’s bucket list. The right product can make you millions. The wrong one will just rot in storage until you liquidate it.
Million-dollar products are not easy to come by. However, a reliable product that will ensure long-term profitability is not difficult to find – provided you know what you are looking for. Generally, new sellers need to carve out their niche. Competing against established products and brands is possible if you have deep pockets, but I wouldn’t recommend it. If you are new to the game, you need to identify gaps in the market.
Wherever you get your product idea, you need to vet it with some cold data. Intuition rarely works in online retail. In general, you need to find a product with high demand and low competition. You also need to track the products for a few weeks to make sure all the numbers are consistent. The last thing you want to do is stock up on Christmas decorations in January.
Source from the Perfect Supplier
Discovering a killer product is one thing, getting it manufactured is another. Whether you are creating something from scratch or hopping onto a popular bandwagon, finding the right supplier is pivotal.
There are some things to keep in Mind when Picking your Supplier:
- Cheaper is not always better. Make sure your supplier regularly meets your quality standards.
- Keep an eye on the lead time. You need to know exactly how long it takes before you receive your order. Getting stocked out on Amazon can have a crippling effect on the business.
- Make sure your supplier is reliable. I know this is obvious. However, when dealing with overseas suppliers, it is much more difficult to ascertain authenticity. Make sure you double-check the business and get samples before making a large order
You could also take the easy way out with SellerApp’s product sourcing tool – developed in partnership with Alibaba.com. It is simple to use and will help you discover the suppliers in a matter of seconds.
Find the Right Keywords
Keywords are the foundation of any Amazon SEO strategy. You need to make sure your product is indexed for all the relevant keywords you can think of. However, the problem is that we can only think of so many keywords before running out of ideas.
Fortunately, there are plenty of keyword research tools out there that will help you find high-converting search terms. You’ll usually get comprehensive search volume data which is vital when you are making keyword decisions.
Once you find the keywords, you need to use them in your listing and add the rest to your backend search keywords. As a follow-up, make sure you check whether the keywords are indexed for the product. Only when a product is indexed for a keyword does it show up in the search results.
Before we dive into listing optimization, I also want to highlight a key purpose of proper keyword research – Amazon sponsored ads. Most Amazon PPC campaigns are targeted using keywords. In a situation where you are paying for the visibility and clicks, you must use keywords that drive conversions. In a nutshell, make sure you spend the time to find the right ones.
Optimize all your Product listings
This is where we talk about getting to page 1 of organic search results. Stuffing keywords do not help. So, what is an optimized product listing?
You need to look at two factors:
Both these factors are interdependent. The better your listing’s discoverability, the better its chances of making a sale. In turn, your visibility depends on your sales history, including conversion rate.
Imagine if a regular retail store. Its decor and marketing are what get people in through the doors. Once they are inside, you need a killer sales pitch to complete a sale. Once customers start coming in, your store becomes more and more popular. What does that do? Improve sales! Your product listing is the store – storefront and sales pitch all built into one simple webpage.
You need to effectively use the space provided by the product title, bullet points, and product description to maximize SEO and sales. Start by using the keywords you found. Use them, don’t stuff them. Include them whenever possible, and if there are keywords left over, add them to your backend keywords.
Keywords are important, but the content is what drives sales. It should be easy to read and it should speak to your ideal customer. Be concise, be informative, and do not mislead consumers.
Use visual Media
Remember when I said the product listing acted as the storefront? Well, every storefront needs something to make it stand out from the crowd. It needs to get noticed. Your product images do just that.
I suggest hiring professionals to take photographs of your product (if you have the budget). If not, make sure you at least have high-quality images. Use at least six of them.
You should also know about A+ content. If you are reading this, you are probably a new seller. So it is highly unlikely that you will have access to A+ Amazon content. However, it is always good to know what bigger sellers and brands do to stand apart.
What is A+ content?
Take a look at the image above. You’ve probably seen something similar in multiple product listings. Product descriptions with rich visual media can seriously help with branding. However, the feature is now only open to brands (registered with Amazon Brand Registry), vendors, and select sellers.
Pro tip: If you are a brand owner, you can also add product videos in place of product images.
Be ready for price wars
Amazon is a competitive marketplace. You are unlikely to get a lot of sales right after a product launch. This is when you have to be competitive with your pricing. Lower prices are a great way to drive sales.
However, it is important to think about your larger business and brand goals when creating your pricing strategy. Lowering prices is not the only way to get the ball rolling, but you need to make sure it is competitive.
Get used to Amazon Advertising
Amazon sponsored ads are here to stay. It is a great way to boost sales and visibility and almost always worth the money.
However, you are still paying to play, so you need to be on top of your game. I do not recommend launching sponsored ads before you have a good idea about how it works. Learning about Amazon PPC will take some time, but if you want to create a successful Amazon business it is necessary.
Alternatively, you can sign up for third-party services to run your campaigns for you. For instance, SellerApp’s experts directly manage your accounts and campaigns if you sign up for the PPC management service.
Social Proof is Vital
It is difficult to get reviews on Amazon, especially early on in a product cycle.
Since reviews are so vital to fueling your growth, I suggest signing up for Amazon’s vine program or the early reviewer program. The early reviewer program will set you back $60. In the vine program, you have to send your product to the reviewers. Essentially, you’re giving away a product for a review. That is a great deal if you are selling a cheap product
All of these tips are only the fundamentals. It is a starting point. If you are hungry for success there are plenty of resources out there that will give you a head start. There are also plenty of tools like SellerApp that will make the whole process easier. Happy selling!