Not sure if you should be selling on Amazon? Read the first installment of our four-part series, "What You Need to Know Before Selling on Amazon."
Now more than ever, every brand or company should want to sell its products on Amazon to gain access to its enormous customer base. Just how much impact does Amazon wield? Consider these facts from Amazon:
- The company has 300 million active customers in more than 180 countries – half of which are active Amazon Prime subscribers.
- Amazon.com has 195 million monthly unique visitors in the U.S. alone.
- Since third-party sellers joined Amazon in 1999, they’ve grown to account for 58% of Amazon’s sales
So, congratulations – based on a category analysis, you’re ready to make the leap onto Amazon. But know you’re not alone – every year, more than a million new sellers join Amazon. How you go about setting up your account can make or break your success on the platform.
To be considered a third-party seller – or 3P – you’ll need to set up an Amazon Seller Account. You’ll establish an account using Amazon Seller Central, which is the integrated platform used by brands and companies to market and sell products directly to Amazon’s customers. You will also use Seller Central to manage your inventory, update pricing, communicate with buyers, review your account health, contact selling partner support, and add new products.
One important thing to note as you get started: Every product for sale on Amazon gets an automatically generated ASIN, or Amazon Standard Identification Number. Since multiple sellers may offer the same ASIN, creating and maintaining an effective Seller Account is critical to separating yourself from the competition and winning on the site.
Setting up an effective Amazon Seller Account requires a careful blend of strategy, science and art. We’ve outlined the seven most important steps in setting up an Amazon Seller Account and threw in a few tips along the way.
1. Item setup:
- This is where you include all of the vital information about your product and company.
- Make sure you have your product details on hand, including dimensions, weight, identification codes, etc.
- SFW tip: This is also an ideal time to begin formulating your elevator pitch for the features and benefits that separate your product from the competition – these ideas will help guide your content creation.
2. Product content:
- Keywords – First and foremost, identify one foundational keyword that is specific to your product. For example, use ‘Ethiopian coffee’ versus ‘coffee’ to help the right users find you.
- SFW tip: Use targeted and focused keywords and let Amazon’s algorithms work for you. Don’t ‘keyword stuff’ your product description to try to trick the algorithms, as that will only work against you.
- Title – Before you begin, check to see if Amazon has a preset title formula for your product category. Generally, the title should include the brand name, product title, product number, and other key terms that might help a consumer understand what your product is. Include color, quantity and size, if applicable.
- Description – A long-form paragraph that should describe the product and brand.
- Bullet points – Use them to provide high-level features and benefits to consumers in a way that helps them stand out.
3. Product photos:
- The number of images you can add to your listing varies by category, but be sure to use all available inputs to make sure customers understand your product. Use current images, and make sure to update them as often as necessary to keep them fresh and interesting.
- The main image needs to be the whole product against a white background.
- SFW tip: Include lifestyle photos that help demonstrate the product in-use as well as feature callout images.
- SFW tip: Including a 360° video of your product can boost sales significantly.
4. Brand Registry:
- If you have a trademark in the principal registration on your brand, be sure to complete the Brand Registry. This will give you access to powerful tools that enable you to represent your brand more accurately, find and report violations, and share information that can help Amazon prevent violations. Tip: To complete this step, you will need to have your trademark information handy and access to the lawyer who submitted your trademark claim.
- Completing Brand Registry gives you access to powerful tools: A+ content, Brand Stores, Sponsored Brands and the Brand Dashboard. Be sure to take advantage of them.
- Use the Fulfillment by Amazon Revenue Calculator to determine what the Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA) costs will be for your products. With FBA, your products will be shipped and stored in Amazon’s fulfillment centers, and they will pick, pack, ship and provide customer service for you. FBA can be a great way to scale your business with Amazon.
- When you list your products for FBA, they are eligible for free shipping, and qualified FBA listings are Prime badged – which can provide a substantial sales lift.
- SFW tip: Consider a mix of FBA and FBM (Fulfilled by Merchant) for your product portfolio.
- SFW tip: Don’t forget SFP (Seller Fulfilled Prime), which is a Prime program that allows you to deliver directly to domestic Prime customers from your warehouse. But remember – you are committing to fulfill orders with Two-Day Delivery at no additional charge for Prime customers.
- Be sure to factor in Amazon fees and shipping when determining your pricing.
- Leave room for advertising cost and margin while still being competitive in the marketplace.
- SFW tip: Price and ranking control the Buy Box, which is where you want to be to maximize your sales opportunity.
7. Business profile:
- Completing your Business Profile allows you to show up on Amazon Business, where registered businesses can purchase business supplies. While not necessarily a big marketplace, having your products on Amazon Business can add to your sales.
- SFW tip: Give some consideration to bulk pricing strategies to drive larger orders.