How To Sell On Amazon For Beginners
Thinking to expand your business on Amazon? Then don’t even doubt your choice. Amazon is one of the most popular online retailers. In fact, it accounted for 41% of the US e-commerce market. Besides, Amazon has more than 300 million active customers all over the world! So by selling on Amazon you can reach new audiences in different countries.
Sellers are also quite active on Amazon. From handicraft businesses to the largest companies, you can find all sorts of businesses on it. There are 1.5 million active sellers on Amazon today, and more of them are joining the platform every day. But don’t worry, you’re not late. The competition is high, but the number of buyers is also growing, so you have a high chance to succeed.
To help you start selling on Amazon, we’ve created a comprehensive step-by-step guide. Here, you’ll learn everything you need to kickstart your business on Amazon.
Step-by-Step Guide to Selling on Amazon
We’re going to discuss all the steps in detail, from setting your account to selling your very first product. But before that, you need to decide what products you’re going to sell.
Choose the Products You’re Going to Sell
As we mentioned above, there are all kinds of products on Amazon, which means there is quite intense competition there. Your products need to be competitive if you want to survive.
So, the first thing you need to do is to do market research. Search on Amazon the products you want to sell to find out which ones sell the best. Pay close attention to customers’ reviews, they will tell you what people like and what they don’t like.
If you are willing to make changes in your products or are reselling some ready items, then after the research you will have an idea of how to make your products better and more valuable to customers. If you have a set of products and can’t make any changes, then after the research you’ll know which of your products are more competitive in the market.
Besides, you can explore the product descriptions, look at how your competitors are writing winning descriptions so that you can write better descriptions later.
Check Your Product Category
Before registering, there is one more step to do. You need to check out whether your products fit in the restricted category. Don’t worry, if they do, you still can sell them.
Amazon has categories that are open to all sellers. If your products are under these categories, you don’t need to get approval from Amazon to sell them. However, there are categories, that require approval from Amazon.
To maintain the quality of their products, Amazon set limits on the number of sellers of the restricted categories. If your products are under these categories and you think that they are of high quality and want to sell them, then you need to request approval from Amazon. Follow this link to check the restricted categories.
If you fall in any of these categories, you’ll need to get approval before listing your products. Amazon may require some additional information from you. Make sure you are aware of all the laws and policies before you start selling. Check out this page for additional information about restricted products and what is required from each product category.
How to Register
It’s time to create your seller account. Go to Amazon Seller Central and register your account. Here’s what you’ll need to complete your registration process:
- Bank account number
- Bank routing number
- Chargeable credit card
- Government-issued national ID
- Tax information
- Phone number
Next, you’ll need to choose the right selling plan. Amazon offers two selling plans – Individual and Professional. The Individual plan is more suitable for smaller businesses, that sell less than 40 items per month. As an Individual seller, you’ll only have to pay $0.99 for each item sold. Professional sellers pay $39.99 per month, no matter how many items they sell. If you’re going to sell more than 40 items a month, it’s better to choose the Professional plan. Also, the Professional plan offers more advanced selling tools and programs.
Though don’t be afraid to choose the wrong plan, you can always change it whenever needed. If you’re a beginner, you’re not going to sell many products and are still deciding what to sell, you can start with the Individual plan. Whenever your sales start increasing, you can change to the Professional plan.
Before proceeding with your account setup process, let’s find out how much it will cost you to sell on Amazon.
- First, there are the subscription fees, which you pay for your selling plan. $0.99 per sale for the Individual plan and $39.99 per month for the Professional plan.
- Then, there are selling fees, charged per item sold. They include referral fees which are different for each category and are counted as a percentage of the selling price. And there are variable closing fees, which apply only to media categories.
- Besides selling fees, there are also shipping fees. If you decide to fulfill the shipping process yourself, then you’ll need to pay shipping fees. Shipping rates depend on the product category and the shipping service.
- When you choose Amazon to ship your products, then you’ll need to pay FBA fees (Fulfillment by Amazon). These fees are charged for order fulfillment, storage, and optional services. (We’ll talk about shipping later.)
Create Your First Product Listing
Now, as you already have an account, the next step is the creation of product listings. Go to Amazon Seller Central to create listings. The Seller Central is the platform where you manage your account. Adding products, changing your selling plans, managing your brand info, product inventories, payments, you manage everything related to your business with your Seller Central account. Amazon also has an app for Seller Central (both for Android and iOS) so you can manage your account on your smartphone.
Let’s return to creating product listings. If you’ve chosen the Individual plan, you can add one product at a time. If you’ve chosen the Professional plan, then you can add product listings in large batches, using inventory management by third-party systems.
Here’s what you’ll need to create product listings:
- Global Trade Item Number (GTIN) such as UPC, ISBN, or EAN (necessary only in some cases)
- SKU (stock keeping unit)
- Product title
- Product description and bullet points
- Product images
- Search terms and relevant keywords
Product listing is not your product details page with descriptions, FAQs, reviews, etc. It just contains the basic image and information about your product and appears in search results or display ads.
What refers to GTIN, you’ll need it if you’re selling a product that’s not listed on Amazon. Amazon uses product IDs to identify what items you’re selling. So if you’re selling something that’s already on Amazon, you don’t need to provide a product ID. If not, you need to buy a UPC code. Each product has the same UPC code (barcode), no matter how many retailers sell it.
The SKU is similar to UPC, only it’s created by the retailers themselves. And unlike UPC, it contains not only digits but also letters. Retailers use SKU to track every single piece of inventory in their stores, catalogs, etc.
Fill in all the required fields and your first product listing is ready. If you have products that vary by color, size or scent, you can list them as variations and not as different products. Also, make sure to add a high-quality image. It should be 500 x 500 pixels (or 1,000 x 1,000) with plain white background. The product must fill at least 80% of the image area.
Product Detail Page
The product detail page is the product page that customers see while shopping for something. If you’ve shopped on Amazon before, you will easily recognize that page.
If you’re selling a unique product that no other manufacturer sells, then your product will have its own product detail page. If you’re selling a product that’s already on Amazon, then all the same products will have one product detail page. You can propose changes on an existing product detail page along with other sellers and manufacturers.
Keep in mind that people make a purchasing decision based on the product detail page. So it should be concise and clear, containing information about all the features of the product. Try to find out what kind of information would be more valuable for people and improve this page accordingly.
Let’s look at an example to find out how you can create a great product page from scratch or improve the existing one.
The title should be no more than 200 characters long and each word should have the first letter capitalized. Try to include not only the product name here but also the keywords and selling points that will get customers to click on your product. Here’s more information about title requirements.
Images should be 500 x 500 or 1,000 x 1,000 pixels to increase listing quality. You can add 1 featured product image and up to 8 supporting images. Feel free to use all 8 spots. The more you show your product the easier it is for buyers to make a purchasing decision.
Include different sizes, colors, scents of the same product as variations. Customers expect to see different sizes of the same shoes under one product detail page. So, if your products are slightly different and can share the same title, then create a single page for all of them.
Bullet points highlight the key features of the product. Include your product’s benefits and distinctive characteristics. Also, use the keywords here to help your organic traffic.
The description is a detailed overview of your product. Try to write a compelling and accurate description. Include the search keywords for better organic traffic.
Choose Your Shipping Details
You have two options for delivering the product to customers. You can do it yourself, with your own storage and delivery services, or you can opt for FBA – Fulfillment by Amazon service. In this case, Amazon takes care of storing, packaging and labeling your product.
If you don’t have many products, you can choose to ship them yourself so as not to pay for additional storage and other fees. When choosing this option, you’ll have to pay shipping fees, which vary depending on your product category and the shipping service selected by the customer.
When you have many products and the process of storing them, tracking, packaging can be exhausting, you can choose the FBA option. Amazon will store and ship your product. Also, they take care of customer service and returns. By choosing this option you’ll also become eligible for Amazon Prime and Free Super Saver Shipping. FBA fees include fulfillment fees (charged per unit sold) and storage fees (based on the volume of your inventory, charged monthly).
Sell and Promote
Now you have everything ready to sell your products. If you want to increase the visibility of your product, you can run sponsored ads on Amazon or create an Amazon marketing strategy. Besides, try to find other ways of promoting your products. Let your customers know that your products are available on Amazon by using other channels.
Measure Your Success
Your first sale is a big achievement indeed, but it’s only the beginning, and if you want to grow more you need to measure your results. Scaling will help you understand how well your products are performing and what changes you can make to improve their performance.
Amazon has many metrics and tools that can help you measure your success. Go to your seller account, and on Sales Dashboard you’ll see information about how many products you’ve sold, the amount of sales you’ve got in a day, how many orders you’ve received, etc. Also, you’ll have access to Business Reports, where you can find more metrics (sales by item, by month, etc).
And another important thing you need to take care of is customer reviews. Encourage people to leave reviews, it will enhance your brand authority. Users pay a lot of attention to reviews, and if your product has some positive reviews, you’ll have more chances to better sell your products.
Amazon lets sellers send emails after the purchase, encouraging customers to write reviews. But you need to be careful. You can’t send them marketing messages, links to other websites, or ask for positive reviews. Amazon banned incentivized reviews, so don’t even try to trick them.
To Sum Up
Well, we’ve tried to cover all the points in detail, so that you can start selling on Amazon right away. Amazon is one of the best choices for starting your eCommerce business or boosting it. So, create your account and start selling your products to people all over the world.
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