How To Become An Amazon Seller In 2019
According to Marketplace Pulse, every 2-minutes a new seller joins one of Amazon’s marketplaces. That’s 3,473 new Amazon sellers every single day across Amazon’s 14 marketplaces. These sellers range from people simply looking for a way to make additional streams of income, to entrepreneurs looking to make a full-time living.
If you are reading this, my guess is, you too are interested in becoming an Amazon seller at some level. But what does it take to become an Amazon Seller? More importantly, how can YOU become a successful Amazon Seller in 2019 and beyond?
Amazon FBA is not a get-rich-quick scheme despite what online marketers would have you believe. It’s a REAL business opportunity and should be treated as such. Becoming a successful Amazon seller takes a lot of hard work, dedication, and most importantly – the RIGHT INFORMATION. Nonetheless, Amazon FBA businesses are one of the most lucrative opportunities in the world today!
I know, because I went from $0 to $6 million in only 6 months of selling on Amazon FBA!
Whether you are a complete beginner or have some level of experience, I wrote this guide to show you exactly what it takes to become a successful Amazon seller.
What is Amazon FBA & Why should you sell there?
The Power and Reach of Amazon
Amazon is the world’s largest online retailer and by far the most popular online store in the U.S. As an Amazon seller, not only can you sell in the U.S. market but you can leverage Amazon’s global infrastructure to take advantage of 14 different marketplaces. Amazon’s global ecosystem of marketplaces, fulfillment centers, and logistical advantages are simply unmatched.
You probably know that Amazon is a company synonymous with a huge selection of products and free 2-day shipping. But to truly underscore its value to potential Amazon sellers, it is helpful to view Amazon as the platform, not just a company. At its core, Amazon is simply a platform that brings sellers and buyers together within a marketplace. In fact, more than half of Amazon’s total unit sales came from third-party sellers in 2017.
Through the Amazon FBA or Fulfilment by Amazon service, 3rd-party sellers can leverage Amazon’s global infrastructure, brand equity, and exceptional customer service; to build a ‘one-man business’, that comes equipped with the capacity and scale of a corporation. I can attest to this first hand from experience, I did $6 million in sales on Amazon FBA shipping from my two-bedroom house.
The FBA business model makes it easier than ever to start and build a profitable business. Amazon essentially handles everything from customers, logistics, and back-end support. As a seller, your job is to simply find profitable product opportunities and ship them into Amazon’s fulfillment centers. From there, Amazon will warehouse your product, fulfill orders, and provide customer service.
In the eyes of the Amazon customers, there is no difference between purchasing from a 3rd-party seller like you and me, or Amazon itself. Regardless who the seller is, customers get the same delivery options, customer service, returns policy, and ultimately experience. Amazon prides itself on being a customer-centric company and it shows in their quality of service. As Amazon sellers, we get the benefit of Amazon’s brand and reach without the overhead.
Amazon’s Customer Base
Amazon also has the world’s largest ‘ready to buy’ customer base. Just in the U.S. alone, over 195 million people visit the site every month. More importantly, nearly 100 million of those people make a purchase every single month. Even more exciting for sellers, Amazon currently has over 100 million global Prime members, with 95+ million of them being right here in the U.S.
On average Prime members spend around $1,300 per year compared to non-Prime members who spend just $700. Amazon’s army of customers is only growing in number. Around 55% of all searches now start on the Amazon search bar. But unlike Google, people don’t go to Amazon’s search bar to ask questions – they go there to BUY!
Becoming a successful Amazon seller is going to depend on your ability to ‘reverse engineer’ the demand from these customers and provide them with a solution to their problem. You do this through doing product research, which we’ll cover a little later. All successful Amazon sellers know that correctly doing product research is where the bulk of your success comes from on Amazon.
This means in order to become a successful Amazon seller, you must learn to listen to and identify what customers – and by extension, the market, is searching for. Not what YOU might think customers are looking for, but what the DATA actually confirms. Your job as a seller is to capture this demand from customers, through proper product and keyword research, then supply them with a quality product.
Do You Have An Amazon mindset?
As an Amazon seller, having the right mindset and attitude is going to be critical to your success. It is important for you to approach this Amazon FBA business opportunity knowing what you’re getting yourself into. Although there are millions to be made and many lives that’ll change as a result of that, it won’t be easy – and will not happen overnight!
Success on Amazon is by no means a linear path, it comes with many twist and turns. Statistically speaking, 70% of sellers on Amazon never even purchase one product to sell. And of those who do, 90% stop selling after just one-year. This means only a few of you reading this will ever become active or even list a single product.
As you can see, becoming a successful Amazon seller is no walk in the park. But for every failure, there is also a success story. Last year, more than 140,000 third party sellers did over $100,00 each in sales. For every 1 of the over 500 million products being sold on Amazon, someone just like YOU is making money selling these products. So why not you?
As an Amazon seller, it is helpful to clearly identify WHY you started selling on Amazon in the first place. It doesn’t matter if you become an Amazon seller to supplement your income or quit a job to live life on your terms. What matters is that it’s meaningful to you. Having a meaningful goal of why you started will get you through the inevitable ups and downs that come with the process.
I personally failed on my first 7 Amazon products, but my 8th product went on to do $6 million in sales in just 6-month. I am a walking testament to why you never give up! With the right mindset and information, you too can leverage Amazon FBA to achieve your financial goals and become a successful Amazon Seller.
Become An Amazon Seller Step-by-Step
If your goal is to learn how to become an Amazon seller, you’ve come to the right place! I’m going to show you step-by-step how YOU can become a successful seller on Amazon FBA today.
STEP 1: Getting Started With Seller Central
The first step in the process of becoming an Amazon seller, if you don’t already have one, is to create an Amazon seller account. Before I show you how to properly register and set up your account, you should have the following information prepared for registration:
- Your contact information – This includes your legal business name, address, phone number etc.
- Email address – I recommend you created a designated email account for your business. You will frequently receive important emails from Amazon.
- Credit Card – You need a credit card with a valid billing address. If your card is not valid Amazon will cancel your registration. If you don’t have a credit card, a debit card will also work.
- Phone number – You will need to have your phone close by during registration for verification purposes.
- Banking information -You will need to provide Amazon your bank’s routing and account number to set up direct deposit.
- Tax identity information – Amazon is by law required to collect and report your tax information. You will need to have either a business Federal Tax ID number or your social security number to register.
Once you are ready to begin the registration process, Click here to register either as an individual seller or a professional account.
- Individual seller accounts are typically best for sellers just beginning and who plan on selling fewer than 40 items a month. With this plan, you pay $0.99 per sale as a fee to Amazon, plus other selling fees but pay no monthly subscription fee.
- Professional accounts are best for sellers who plan on selling more than 40 items per month. Under this account plan, you would pay a monthly subscription fee of $39.99 and other selling fees.
As mentioned above, the two selling plans differ in a few ways. If you are undecided on which plan fits you best, you can always start out as an individual seller and upgrade to a professional account or vice versa at any time. What Amazon refers to as “other selling fees” are largely determined by the size and weight of your products. It’s important to keep this in mind when doing product research – the bigger and heavier a product, the more expensive in fees for the seller.
After you chose the selling plan, proceed through the process and create your Amazon account. The process is relatively straightforward and you will be required to:
- Provide your legal name and agree to seller terms
- Fill in your business information
- Set up your billing and deposit methods
- Provide Amazon your tax information
- Fill out the tax information interview
- Set up two-step verification for security
Once you verify your account, you are now ready to start selling and become an Amazon seller. For an in-depth step-by-step guide on how to register and get started on Seller Central check out How To Open an Amazon Seller Account and How to Sell On Amazon.
STEP 2: Finding What to Sell With Product Research
Picking what to sell on Amazon is the absolute most important part of your Amazon FBA career. Although there are no specific set of criteria that will guarantee your success with every product if you use the right tools and strategies you can make money and compete in any market on Amazon.
Amazon FBA Business Models
Different markets on Amazon will require a different level of skill and capital in order to succeed. So finding profitable products and successfully selling them is going to depend on you being able to find the right market and product for your level of resources and skill. This also applies to the different Amazon Business models. Anyone can sell in a market on Amazon but not everyone can profitably compete.
- Retail Arbitrage – Arbitrage is a business model where sellers purchase products from retail or online stores at a discounted price, then resell it on Amazon FBA at full price. Although this business model is hard to scale, it’s often the easiest way to start selling on Amazon.
- Private Label – Private labeling is a business model and process of putting your own brand or label onto a product and selling it. There are thousands of items on Amazon that are just rebranded of readily available white-label products using this exact method.
- Wholesale – wholesale requires you buy brand name products from manufacturers at wholesale price and sell them on Amazon. Unlike private labeling, with wholesale, you’re buying products from established brands such as Adidas or Nike not Chinese suppliers on Alibaba.
FBA business models such as retail arbitrage, are easier and require relatively less initial capital to start. Private labeling, while it requires more work and capital, is extremely more profitable. Our focus in this guide is on private labeling. In my opinion, selling physical products on Amazon is the most lucrative opportunity in the world right now! Where else can you get a 340X ROI on your money in just 6 months?
What Makes For a Successful Private Label Product?
By 2022, amazon’s private label business is expected to reach $25 billion in annual revenue. You are only one successful product launch away from claiming your share of this future. Private labeling is the most popular and lucrative way to leverage Amazon FBA in my experience.
Nonetheless, there is no specific formula or step by step guide on finding the perfect product to sell on Amazon. In fact, as sellers, we don’t directly determine what products sell on Amazon, Amazon’s over 300 million customers do. If you want to succeed as an Amazon seller, your role is then to analyze this demand and follow it up by supplying the customers with a solution, in the form of a quality product.
Although there are no specific criteria that will guarantee your success while doing product research, it’s very important to keep in mind the following factors as a sort of best practices.
Differentiation – This is one of the most important criteria for determining if you will fail or succeed when sourcing private label products on Amazon. Why should a customer buy your product over the competition? How are you adding more VALUE to their lives?
Being able to differentiate and adding value to the customer, relative to your competitors is essential to success in any market on Amazon.
Here are some ways you can add value and differentiate your products:
- Make a better assortment of goods
- Provide different colors and features
- Provide a more effective solution
- Better marketing to the customer
Premium Quality – When private labeling any product, I strongly suggest you have a premium product and brand. A big part of success on Amazon is built on having the BEST PRODUCT.
Here is why:
- Perceived Value – People often associate higher quality with higher priced items. This means if you bring to market a premium product, you are able to charge a lot higher. Keep in mind, there is always a market for the rich.
- Higher margins – Having quality premium products also leads to higher margins and ROI. Because you are able to charge a higher price point, you can retain a higher % of profits.
- Good Reviews – Getting 4 and 5-star reviews on Amazon is very difficult. Having the best product will subsequently lead to more quality reviews than your competition. This, in turn, leads to more sales and profit for you.
- Customers – As I’ve previously mentioned, Amazon is the most customer-centric company in the world. Everything they do is with the goal of keeping their customers happy. Bringing quality products to market will make your customers happy and Amazon in return will reward for it.
How Do You Find Products To Sell on Amazon FBA?
The next step in becoming an Amazon seller is finding products to sell or commonly known as the product research phase. All of the successful top Amazon sellers know, that product research is one of the most important factors in determining if you will become a successful Amazon seller. Simply put, correctly dong product research will make or break your career as an Amazon seller.
There are two overarching steps in product research; idea gathering and market validation.
Idea gathering – is the first step in the product research process. This is where you gather potential ideas using different methods.
For example, you can use the BSR (best seller rank) to get ideas of what products are selling well relative to others. The BSR ranks all products in each category by sales rank, the best selling product being number 1. You can also often gather ideas for products just from your daily life. What products are you using? Seeing?
The easiest and most recommended way to gather product ideas is to use tools with Amazon’s data. There are tools like Viral Launch and Helium 10 which gives you data on Amazon sales for each product. You can search their database for potential products based on the set of criteria that fit your circumstances.
Market validation is the next step in the process. Once you find potential product ideas, you then dissect the market through analysis. It’s very important to validate the market demand for a given product before launching it. This is specifically the reason for my earlier product failures on Amazon. I was blindingly launching products before validating if there is actually demand for this product in the marketplace.
Although everyone can compete in a market, you can’t compete in every market. For example, to be successful in a large market will require a lot of capital. If you are just beginning on Amazon, a good strategy would be to start in a small low-competition market then scale your way up. Ultimately it’s up to you to find a market and product you can succeed in given your level of skills and resources.
Common Barriers to Entry on Amazon FBA
Another important factor to consider when deciding which market and product to sell on Amazon FBA is barriers to entry.
- Capital – Do you have enough money and or resources to compete in a given market?
- Size & Logistics – Some products are too big to ship affordably through Amazon FBA. Amazon fees are based on the weight and dimensions of the packaged item. Here is a list of product size tiers as defined by Amazon.
- Seasonality – Not all seasons are equal on Amazon with the 4th quarter being the busiest season of the year. Do you have the experience and ability to correctly forecast inventory and demand for a given season?
Keyword Research is fundamental to figuring out what to sale on Amazon FBA. On Amazon, your goal and mindset should be to capture the demand on the platform, not try and generate it. Therefore, finding the right keywords, with the highest search volume, is critical to your success.
Keyword search volume is one of the biggest mistakes I see sellers make on Amazon. You can have the best product in the market but if nobody is searching for it, you will not make sales. The importance of finding the keywords with the highest search volume cannot be understated. Tools like Helium 10 and Viral Launch are enormously helpful in choosing the right keywords. They provide you with exact data directly from Amazon, taking the guesswork out of keyword research.
In summary, picking what to sell on Amazon FBA is a crucial first step in the process of becoming an Amazon seller. Next, you need to take into account the different factors that make for a successful Amazon product. In order to find profitable products, you must listen to what research is telling you about a given market and think logically.
To be successful as an Amazon seller, you have to learn to capture the demand already on the platform through doing product and market analysis. You do this by first gathering potential product ideas, then you must validate these ideas through market analysis. Tools such as Viral Launch and Helium 10 can immensely help you in this process. Before you start selling, check out What To Sell On Amazon FBA
STEP 3: How to Source Products For Amazon FBA
The next step in becoming a successful Amazon seller is learning how to source your products. Once you’ve found the product you are going to sale, you have to get it manufactured and delivered to the Amazon warehouse. The majority of sellers automatically think of China when it comes to sourcing products for Amazon, but Alibaba is not your only option. I’ll also show you how to source products from right here in the U.S.
Although our focus in this guide is primarily on private labeling, here are some other sourcing options for the different business models.
Retail Arbitrage – As mentioned before retail arbitrage is buying discounted products from retail stores and reselling on Amazon FBA for a profit. To source products under this business model, you can search places like Walmart, Target, or liquidation and surplus stores. It doesn’t matter much where you source from, your end goal is to buy products as low as possible and sell high.
Wholesale – Under this business model, you buy brand name products directly from the manufacturer in bulk – at a discount, and resell them on Amazon FBA. Sourcing wholesale is the most scalable FBA inventory sourcing method. However, it’s important to always go through the proper approval and or certification process to resell a given product. If you fail to get authorization, Amazon can flag you for copyright infringement and suspend your account.
Sourcing Private Label Products
The idea behind sourcing private label products is pretty simple. Find a product you would like to sell, add your own labels and specifications, and source it directly from the manufacturer to sell them under your brand on Amazon FBA. This, however, is easier said than done!
Finding the right private label manufacturer, getting the best price, and sourcing high-quality products can be logistically challenging in practice, but the payoff is well worth the work!
If you are just a beginner and are a little reluctant about sourcing from China, sourcing domestically from the U.S. is also another viable option. However, keep in mind that 95% of the time, you’ll probably be sourcing from Alibaba, especially for beginners.
Sourcing Products from the USA
I personally have experience sourcing many products from right here in the U.S.Let’s take a look at some of the benefits and downside of sourcing products domestically.
Benefits of Sourcing Domestically
- Faster Lead Times – When you’re going to source products from American instead of China, you’re understandably going to get faster lead times. This means you can grow your money exponentially a lot faster – even take a lower ROI on your product because of the inventory turnover rate.
- Less Liability Risk – Another benefit of sourcing from the U.S. is the risk that comes with selling products on Amazon FBA. At the end of the day, Amazon will hold you responsible for the products you sell. This means if your manufacturer in China lied to you about certifications, as it has happened to me before, there is not much you can do about it. If a manufacturer in the U.S. does it, well, there’s a lawsuit.
- Faster and Easier Communication – Manufacturers in the U.S. are speaking English and are in the same time-zone as you. This means not only is communication faster but you can get samples faster and cheaper. You can also always visit the manufacturer to make sure they’re up to par.
The downside of Sourcing Domestically
- Price – The downfall to sourcing in the U.S. is typically the price. Sourcing products domestically is a lot more expensive than sourcing from China via Alibaba. However, there certain products where because of the dimensions or weight, it does make sense to source from the U.S.
- Customization – S. manufacturers don’t specialize and customize products as much as factories in China. If you ask a factory owner in China to do any type of customization, they would typically reply with “okay, we can do that.” The cost of specialization and labor is a lot higher in the U.S. relative to China.
- MOQs – The MOQ or minimum order quantity are typically a lot higher in the U.S. Because factories in the U.S. tend to be a lot older and more established, they often aren’t willing to take on smaller order quantities. This can make it difficult for beginners to affordably source products from the U.S.
How to Find Suppliers in the USA
One method for finding suppliers in the U.S. is to use search directories. However, this method is not always the most effective because not all suppliers are listed and use these directories.
Here is a list of directories you can use to find suppliers in the United States:
Sourcing Products from Alibaba
Alibaba is an online marketplace that is similar to how Amazon works. While Amazon brings customers and products together on their platform, Alibaba connects supplier and manufacturers to businesses. For Amazon sellers, especially beginners, the majority of your products will come from Alibaba and by extension China because it is the easiest option.
The major reason sourcing products from Alibaba is so attractive to Amazon sellers, is because of the price point of products. Manufacturing cost is low in China and this means you can increase your profit margins and grow your business faster by sourcing from there. However, sourcing from Alibaba also comes with advantages and disadvantages of its own.
- QuaThe quantity suppliers – On Alibaba, you can find hundreds of suppliers to choose from for your products.
- Cost – Factories in China because of the low manufacturing cost, are the cheapest option for sourcing products. Keep in mind that the cheapest is not always the best option for products. You need to prioritize the quality of a product over the cost if you want to be successful as an Amazon seller.
- MOQs – Unlike companies in the U.S. you can negotiate and order smaller quantities of products. This is advantages for the beginner who want to order and test small quantities before heavily investing in a product.
- Communication – One major disadvantage of sourcing from Alibaba is the cultural and language barrier. This barrier between you and the suppliers can lead to slower and difficult communication. Especially when doing a private label, it’s very important to able to communicate every detail to the manufacturer.
- Shipping time – The shipping time from China to Amazon can be long and expensive. Ordering products by sea freight can take around 4 weeks but are the cheapest option. Air freight can get your products to you in about 5 days but is more expensive than sea freight.
- Quality – Because labor and manufacturing cost are lower in places like China, consumers often associate products from there with being of lower quality.
Before you move on to finding suppliers on Alibaba, it is very important you understand the difference between manufacturers, distributors and trading companies. Your sourcing experience is going to differ based on whether you’re buying from the manufacturer, or the trading companies and distributors- who are essentially just middlemen.
- Manufacturers: Manufacturers are the ones actually making the products in their factories. They have the material, equipment, and staff to make your products exactly to your specifications. Working directly with the manufacturer is the best way to source products in most cases. This way you cut out all the middlemen and retain a higher profit margin.
- Trading Companies: Trading companies don’t manufacture any of the products themselves, they source them from factories and resell them. They are just middlemen similar to drop-shippers. Most suppliers on Alibaba are actually trading companies, not direct manufacturers.
Although working with manufacturers directly is the best way to ensure you cut out the middle me, it does have one disadvantage relative to trading companies. Manufacturers in China don’t often employ the resources to hire English speaking salespeople.
This barrier can potentially create confusion and problems between you and the manufacturer. Trading companies, on the other hand, are in the business of reselling products they source from factories. This means they are more likely to employ English speaking representatives.
How to Find Suppliers on Alibaba
- Create an Account on Alibaba – The first step to finding a supplier for your product is to open an Alibaba Account
- Research – The next step in the process requires you to do your due diligence on multiple fronts. It’s up to you to diligently research the suppliers and their capacity, the price point of the products, and most importantly the quality of the products. Alibaba is notorious for scams and it’s your responsibility to take every precaution before ordering anything.
- Contact Suppliers – Once your done researching, it’s time to contact potential suppliers. You should have a list of around 5 suppliers to get price quotes from. Keep in mind there is usually always variance in the price quotes among factories. The reason for the price difference can range from suppliers not thinking you know what you should be paying or maybe the product is produced at a lower quality than the other suppliers. It’s up to you to filter suppliers and make sure they meet your requirements.
- Order Samples – Next, you need to order a sample of your product before moving any further. Always order samples before investing in a product! Ordering samples from your potential suppliers will help you narrow down the best option amongst them. Never just take suppliers words, product photos on Alibaba are irrelevant when deciding the ultimate quality of your products. You’ll likely have to pay for samples but it is a necessity, not just an option.
- Place Your Order – Once you’ve examined the samples and negotiate the price with your supplier, it is time to place your order. How you make your payments will depend on the terms agreed on by you and your supplier. Generally speaking, you would pay 30% of the total cost up front and the final 70% after production and inspection of the products.
- Shipping & Logistics – The final step is to get your products shipped from your supplier, to your house or to the Amazon FBA warehouse. This process can be intimidating because of the rules and regulations that come with importing products into the U.S. Freight forwarding companies like Flexport can help ease this process by taking care of all the taxes and paperwork involved in the process.
Factors to Consider When Selecting a Supplier on Alibaba
- Price: Which supplier is giving you the best price without compromising the products quality?
- MOQs: Which supplier allowed you to negotiate the MOQ that is perfect for your budget and comfort level.
- Payment Terms: Is there a supplier whose payment terms work best for your situation? Will they accept your payments installments or will they allow you to pay half up front and the other half after you receive the finished product?
- Communication: Which supplier responds to your emails the fastest? Notifies you of clarification questions? Skypes with you? You want to choose a supplier who is available when you need them and is interested in keeping your business.
STEP 4: Launching Your Product on Amazon FBA
If you are to become a successful Amazon seller, the importance of learning how to properly list and optimize your product listings cannot be understated. Once you source a product from your manufacturer and ship into Amazon, it is time to create your product listing. This is where customers will see your product, learn about it, and hopefully buy.
The product listing on Amazon is made up of the following components:
- Title: The title of your listing is what Amazon shoppers will see as they browse. The titles should include your brand name and as much relevant information as possible. This could be details like dimensions or quantity counts. The title of your products is also the most important place to include keywords as well.
- Bullet Points: The bullets on your listing is where you highlight the important aspects and benefits of your product. Make sure your bullet points are rich in keywords and very informative for buyers. Your end-goal should be to create bullet points that persuade customers to purchase your product over the competition. This is also where you should incorporate any important keywords you couldn’t fit in the title.
- Photography: For each listing on Amazon you can have up to 9 product photos. The first image referred to as the ‘main’ or ‘hero’ image is the most important one. This is the first image shoppers see when browsing among different sellers on Amazon. This means that your images should be high-quality and professional. Also, make sure to include a lifestyle image showing the product in use because shopping on Amazon is a visual process.
- Product Descriptions: This is where you can write a longer description of your product and expand on your bullet points. While bullet points and the title should focus on keyword placement and specificity, the product description section should be utilized to write in length about your product. You should write your descriptions effectively and accurately without grammar issues and misspellings.
- Backend Keywords: The backend keywords don’t appear on your live listing but are just as important as other components. This is where you input any related keywords you were not able to fit in the main parts of your listings.
Creating an effective product listing can make the difference between failure and success as an Amazon seller. As a seller on Amazon, your product listing is essentially your storefront. It’s your job to entice and attract buyers through your listing title and ‘hero’ image.
Once they click on your product, buyers then get a full impression of your products by reading your descriptions, reviews, and looking at your images. Your listing should balance optimization for Amazon’s ranking algorithm and still be enticing and captivating to buyers who are searching for your given product.
Keywords are another crucial factor in determining if you will succeed as an Amazon seller. You can have the best product and create an amazing listing, but if you don’t use the right keywords, the ones that customers are actually using in their search, then your products won’t sell because no one will find them. Amazon’s search engine uses keywords to identify relevant products for their customers.
If you do keyword research properly and identify the top keywords, that your potential customers are using, you can then take those keywords and included them in your product listing. This way your product listing is ranked higher on Amazon for the keywords that matter to you. Your goal is to have Amazon’s search engine tie your product to the highest searched keywords for that given product.
Keyword Search Volume
Keyword search volume is one of the biggest mistakes I see Amazon sellers make. You can have the best product in the market but if you don’t use the relevant keywords, with the highest search volume, you will not rank and consequently make sales. Tools like Helium 10 and Viral Launch are enormously helpful in choosing the critical right keywords. These tools provide you with the exact search volume directly from Amazon, taking all the guesswork out of keyword research.
How to Set Up Your Amazon Listing
Once you are ready to create your listing for a product, log into your Seller Central Dashboard or homepage. From there navigate to the inventory tab and select “Add a Product.”
On the product creation page, you can either select an existing product or create your own. Select “Create a new listing.”
Choose your product categories and subcategories appropriate for your product.
Next, you will have to fill out your product listing information. This is where you fill out your variations, price, images, descriptions, and keywords.
Under ‘Vital Info’, you will need to fill out:
- Title – You should include the brand name in your title followed by the product title including your highest volume keywords.
- Manufacturer – This is your Amazon FBA business brand name if you are selling a private label product. If not listing private label products you would provide the name of the product’s manufacturer.
- Product ID – This is where you put the UPC number. This is a unique barcode number that is used as that identifier for your products. You can purchase them from SnapUPC.
- Brand – This is where you fill in your Amazon brand name.
Under ‘offer’, you will need to fill out:
- Your price – Pick a price you would like to sell the product for.
- Condition – Chose the condition of the product.
- Fulfilment Channel – Amazon gives you two fulfillment channel options. “I want to ship this item myself to the customer if it sells” and “I want Amazon to ship and provide customer service for my items if they sell.” The first option is for individual sellers looking to ship every order themselves and the second option is for FBA sellers.
As previously mentioned images are an important part of your Amazon listing. Make sure your hero or main image meets Amazon’s product image requirements.
Make sure you fully use this opportunity to make your product description as appealing to the customer as possible. This where you should explain the products information accurately and in a way that will entice the shopper to buy your product. Use the buyers own motivations and highlight the benefit they will get from buying your product over the competition.
Once your products arrive at the Amazon FBA warehouse and you finish the product listing, your FBA business is live – officially making you an Amazon seller. Customers will be able to buy and receive your items while you sit back and work on growing your business.
STEP 5: How to Scale and Grow Your FBA Business
The final stage in becoming a successful Amazon seller is to learn how you can scale and grow your FBA business. Once you have successfully launched your product and started making sales, it is time to level up! Amazon is still a growing platform and you have the opportunity to grow and scale along with it. Let’s take a look at some tips and tricks to help you grow your FBA business.
The first and best way to grow your sales and FBA business is through marketing on Amazon. Amazon marketing is often referred to as Amazon Sponsored Ads or PPC (Pay Per Click.) As a beginner, you have zero reviews and zero sales. This means your products are not ranking on the Amazon search algorithm and customers don’t have a reason to trust your product.
Using PPC ads is a good way to get sales and views in a short span of time. There are only two ways to appear at the top of the rankings when a customer searches for your product. The first is the organic search result and the second being paid search results.
Organic search result – is when you get selected by Amazon’s algorithm as the most relevant result for the searched keyword. Amazon takes into account factors such as price, availability, and sales history to help determine where your products will appear relative to your competition.
Paid search results – are essentially paying to play. Amazon ads are a way for sellers to buy their ranking at the top of Amazon’s search result. You would pay each time a customer clicks on your ad in an auction format. The seller with the highest bid will appear in the first position in the search results, followed by the 2nd highest bidder and so on.
The image below shows the listings for the search term “horse mask” on Amazon.
Amazon’s Key Marketing Metrics
Advertising Cost of Sales – (ACoS) is the percentage of attributed sales that you spend on advertising. This metric is calculated by dividing the total ad spend by the attributed total sales. For example, if you spend $8 on ads and it results in attributed sales of $40, your ACoS would be 20%.
Impressions – is the number of times your ads were displayed to customers.
Clicks – are the number of times your ads were clicked by customers.
Click Through Rate – (CTR) is a percentage of customers who click your ads after seeing it. The CTR is calculated by dividing the number of total clicks by the number of impressions. The higher your CTR, generally the more effective your ad is.
Cost Per Click – (CPC) is simply the average cost you are paying for a single click. Your goal should be to push your CPC rate as low as possible so you can maximize the ROI of your ads.
Creating ad campaigns on Amazon are relatively straightforward and not to complicated. The Amazon sponsored ads program has a simplistic platform that makes it easy for even beginners to understand. Your goal with these PPC campaigns is to find profitable keywords that convert to sales. After you get some data, you should remover non-converting keywords and increase the bids for keywords that are converting well for you.
You have to options when choosing Amazon PPC Campaigns; automatic campaigns and manual campaigns.
Automatic campaigns allow the seller to select their budget and let Amazon work for you to automatically find keywords. Amazon will look for keywords that best match your product’s category, related products, and keywords in your listing descriptions. Using automatic campaigns can be useful for beginners because of the easy setup. However, letting Amazon automatically choose your keywords means you have less control relative to manual campaigns.
Manual campaigns allow the seller to handpick keywords to bid themselves. This strategy allows you to upload a list of keywords that you find from your own research. Manual campaigns also allow you to define your keywords by different match types. This means you can control how broad or narrow the Amazon shoppers actual search term can be in order to trigger your sponsored ad.
The key to successful marketing on Amazon is to measure your results, then fine-tuning and improving your campaigns for more profitability. If you just run ads without measuring and making logical decisions, you’ll end up spending more on your ad budget than necessary. This means less profit margin for you and a slower growth rate.
Optimize Your Listing
Another option for growth is to optimize your Amazon product listings. Investing more time in optimizing your listings can have a big impact on your sales. After all, the goal on Amazon is to rank as high as possible. The higher your ranking the more sales and consequently more profit in your pockets. Before expanding into new products and markets, you should work on improving your Amazon SEO so you can maximize your product’s potential.
Check out Amazon’s list of recommendations for an optimized listing.
Title – is one of the most important pieces of your listing.
- Capitalize the first letter in every word
- Include all relevant product details
- Incorporate as many top keywords as possible
Bullet Points – are the product features and should highlight the most important features of the product.
- Use keywords in each bullet point
- Put important features at the top of the list
- Clearly, define everything thing that comes in the package
- Focus on the features and benefit of the product
Description – This is where you expand on your product features, benefits, and key characteristics.
- Is your description fully utilized?
- Does it address the customer’s major pain points?
- Is it optimized for keywords?
Photos – have the ability to make or break your product on Amazon. The importance of using professional high-quality images cannot be understated.
- Your hero image must be on a white background
- Have the product only, no additional objects
- Photo quality should be at least 1000x1000 pixels.
- Show the product in use with a lifestyle photo
Whether you are an Amazon seller just beginning or have some experience under your belt, optimizing your product listing will no doubt lead to a boost in your sales and ranking.
Expand to More Amazon Markets
Once you get the hang of things and are ranking well on Amazon, another option to grow and scale your FBA business is to expand into more Amazon Marketplaces. While the U.S. is the leader in Amazon net sales, there many other profitable markets around the globe.
As you can see in the chart above, markets like Germany, UK, and Japan are great options for expanding into. Amazon because of their huge infrastructure and reach make it a lot easier than you might think to expand to new markets. With just a U.S. and UK seller central account you can easily sell in other countries with just a few clicks.
For example, with an Amazon UK seller account, you can cross-list your items on Amazon Germany. When a customer orders your product in Germany, it will be shipped from the UK FBA warehouse. This means you can use your existing SKUs to sell in a new marketplace. Amazon even provides you translation services so your listings will be correctly created for the given country and language.
As the Amazon market in the U.S. gets more saturated, the top Amazon sellers are looking to expand into new countries and there is no reason why you can’t either. However, although expansion into new markets can offer a vast new opportunity for sellers, keep in mind this opportunity also comes with risk. It is up to you to carefully do your research and make a business decision.
Here is a brief recap to becoming an Amazon seller:
- Create your seller center account and set up your profile
- Find products to sell through product research
- Source your products and get them to Amazon FBA warehouses
- Create your product listings and launch your products
- Optimize, grow, and scale your FBA business
If you’ve read through the entire post and made it this far, you deserve a pat on the back – or better yet a successful Amazon FBA business! Although this post was a little on the longer side, my intentions were to provide you as much value as possible by showing you how you can become a successful Amazon seller. I know first hand, how powerful this Amazon FBA business opportunity can be. At just 25 years of age, I was able to do $6 million in sales. As you can imagine this completely changed the trajectory of my life!
Whether you are interested in starting an FBA business as a side hustle or chasing your financial dreams, with the right INFORMATION and by taking ACTION! you too can leverage this opportunity and become a successful Amazon seller today.
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