Anyone interested in using e-commerce whatsoever in their small business will have to learn how to sell on Amazon . Amazon’s user base is massive and their intuitive system helps you reach customers across the globe. Getting started with Amazon can be daunting, so in this article we’re breaking down the steps for how to apply and get the most out of your Amazon partnership.
To maximize your sales efforts, you should also sell on your own website. The best service to host an ecommerce store is with Shopify. With Shopify, you can get your store setup within minutes, and they automate most of the process for you. Try them out for free for 14 days to see if they’re the right option for you.
How to Sell on Amazon in 7 Steps
Putting your small business’s products on Amazon is straightforward and cost-effective, the pros outweigh the fees for most small businesses. We’ve split the process of how to sell on Amazon into 7 steps.
1. Prepare Your Product
You’ll want to have your product ready to go before you start applying to Amazon. Experts recommend relatively small and inexpensive items. Not only are smaller items easier to ship, but customers are most likely to use Amazon for smaller and more inexpensive purchases than they are large investments. $15-$50 is a good ballpark price.
You should also have the manufacturing side of your business in order. Ideally, you want to be selling a product that costs 25%-35% of the price you’re selling it for in order to make a profit. Digital products like eBooks are popular to sell on Amazon in part because they don’t have the same shipping and manufacturing fees for the sellers.
You can also use Amazon to sell professional services, like cleaning or consulting.
2. Pick a Selling Plan
Amazon offers two different selling plans, Individual and Professional.
The Individual plan is designed for sellers who expect to sell less than 40 items a month. This plan costs $0.99 per sale, plus any other selling fees.
If you are expecting to sell more than 40 items a month, the Professional selling plan, which costs $39.99 per month plus selling fees, will probably be a better option. The professional plan offers more features, including increased shipping customization and the ability to offer special promotions. You can read more about the differences between the payment plans here.
Additional fees vary depending on the product. Amazon divides the types of products available into different categories. Only some categories are available to Individual sellers. You can find the different product categories here.
Now that your product is prepared and you’ve decided on a selling plan, you can register on Amazon Seller Central. This is the account you will use as an Amazon seller. It has a very straightforward and easy to use interface that asks for basic personal information.
Now that you’re signed up as an Amazon seller it’s time to list your products. A Professional plan with allow you to do this in bulk. You can products that are already on Amazon and provide your own shipping options or you can add products that are not yet on Amazon.
You will want to take a lot of care with the copy on your listings page, because providing customers with a lot of relevant information makes them more comfortable with taking a chance on your product. Try to be clear and relevant and provide high-quality images.
Once you finish your products listing it will be available on Amazon for customers to peruse and purchase at their leisure.Having a few options available is nice, and gives customers a greater degree of ownership over their purchase. Not too many, you don’t want to overwhelm anyone. 3-5 is a great amount of colors or designs.
If you’re not sure what products to add to your repertoire, check out our article on what to sell on Amazon.
You should be ready to ship as soon as customers purchase your product. You can ship the product yourself, or you can use Fulfillment by Amazon, or FBA. FBA users house inventory at Amazon’s fulfillment centers and Amazon’s employees help package and ship those products to over 75 countries and regions when they’re sold, as well as providing customer service to buyers.
FBA’s charges you for inventory space along with fees for packing and managing your products, usually a few dollars per package depending on the size and weight of what you’re selling. Amazon’s FBA fees vary throughout the year, with shipping moderately less expensive during the October-December holiday season, but inventory space costing more. You can check out FBA’s prices and get an estimate for how much it would cost to store your product.
Fulfillment by Amazon can be a wonderful resource for small business, helping them manage and ship their products, but you should definitely cross reference their prices with what it would cost to package, ship, and manage your products yourself to make sure you’re making the most economical choice if you use them.
Congratulations, you’re an Amazon seller. Amazon will send you notifications and deposit your profits into your bank account at regular intervals, depending on your sales volume. It can take up to a few weeks for you to be paid on these sales. If you’re looking to get the money faster you can try to qualify for Amazon financing through Payability.
Building a Brand
Having one appealing product with a well-written listing on Amazon is good, but more than one is better. If you can provide a range of complimentary products you’ll be more likely to provide customers with just the item they’re looking for, and they’ll be more inspired to come back to your small business in the future. Do this and you’re well on your way to building a brand.
The Smart Hack
Learning how to sell on Amazon is easy and cost-effective for both small businesses looking to add or expand your ecommerce business. Even if you’re building your own online store, we recommend teaming up with Amazon to reach out to their user base and bring more customers to your brand. If Amazon sounds like a good fit, you can apply to become a seller today.
We recommend supplementing your sales on Amazon with your own ecommerce store. The best platform to do this is Shopify, who makes it easy for you to have your store up and running within a day. You can try the whole service for free for the first 14 days to see if it’s right for you.