Did you know that there are over 54 million Amazon Prime members and that in 2015 approximately 44 percent of online shoppers chose Amazon as their first stop before checking any other website? Amazon is pretty much the king of eCommerce. If you have an online store, odds are you selling on Amazon could help you grow. Here is a checklist to help you get started:
1. Amazon Seller Central vs. Vendor Central
If you choose to sell items on Amazon, there are two ways to do this: as a “vendor” or as a “seller.” As a vendor, you must get an invite from Amazon before your products become “ships from and sold by Amazon.” Basically, you send your items to the giant Amazon warehouse. Once those items are ordered, Amazon ships them to the customer. You’re a merchant who is partnering with Amazon, who acts as your distributor to the marketplace.
The benefit to this relationship is that customers are more likely to trust the Amazon name than bet on the reputation of a store they’ve never heard of. The downside? Amazon advertises that they will beat any minimum advertised price, so you may lose money in a price war if another website offers your product for less (causing Amazon to lower your price point).
The other option is to market items as a seller. This isn’t an “invite only” opportunity, and practically anyone can create a seller’s account. As a seller, you have more control over pricing, product codes and content while you work directly with the customer. However, you don’t have the benefit of selling under Amazon’s name; you’re using your own store’s reputation. But Amazon’s Seller Support service exceeds the help that’s available for vendors who need help in the back-end.
2. Choose to Be an FBA Amazon Seller
Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA) is one reason Amazon continually beats the competition in the online marketplace. You can ship your products to Amazon where they’ll store them for you, and then they’ll send them out when a customer makes a purchase. Unlike eBay, you don’t have to find your own shipping materials, run back and forth to the post office and store bulky product.
3. Create an LLC
As your Amazon business grows, you should definitely consider filing as a Limited Liability Company (LLC). The main benefit is that if something goes wrong with one of your products or if you accumulate business debts that you can’t pay off, your personal assets are safe.
For example, let’s say you’re selling a batch of fidget spinners. Recently these popular toys have been recalled because small metal parts can fall off. Children have swallowed these pieces, which has led to some serious injuries. If one of these customers sues you, it would be devastating to lose your business…but your home, personal bank account funds and more could be on the line as well.
You can easily file for an LLC to protect your assets by contacting Incfile. We take care of the legal aspect of starting your company, so you can focus on the other important tasks needed for running a successful business.
4. Open a Business Bank Account
There are several important reasons why you should consider opening a separate business bank account:
- It makes managing your finances easier (especially when it’s time to file your tax returns)
- If you own an LLC and legal problems do arise, having these accounts already separated can make protecting your assets simpler
- When you pay someone with a check or send an invoice, your business looks more professional and legitimate if you have your business name on your account.
5. Stand Out From the Crowd
Just because you’re selling on Amazon doesn’t mean you can forget about important web tools like keywords, marketing and price points.
- Keywords – If you’ve spent any time on the Internet, you’ve heard of the term Search Engine Optimization (SEO). The same concept for using keywords applies on Amazon too. Of course, you need to include brand, details, color, size and more in your product description, but you also need to know what specific words customers are typing in to look for your type of products. Check out resources like Keyword Tool Dominator to see if your content will get results.
- Buy Box – Over and over again Amazon experts point to the importance of the Buy Box. The Buy Box is the white box on the right side of the Amazon product page where customers can add items to their cart for purchase. Why is this feature so valuable? Because about 82 percent of Amazon’s sales go through the Buy Box feature…and that number is even higher for mobile purchases. Research whether using seller options like Buy Box are right for you.
- Price Points – Everyone wants a deal…yes, everyone! Analyze your competition on Amazon and think about what deals and price points will make your products the most appealing. “Daily deals and significant discounts could land you at #1 for your product category,” explains eCommerce Platforms. “This also opens up the possibility of appearing on the Amazon home page under the ‘Hot Deals’ and ‘New & Noteworthy’ categories, which will generate enormous amounts of traffic.”
Selling items on Amazon doesn’t have to be scary or intimidating. When you know how to manage the business side of things and how to cater to your Amazon customers, your opportunities for success are limitless!