Amazon enables businesses to sell products on their marketplace, Amazon.com. Selling on Amazon as one of their merchants, you can benefit from their platform’s world-class fulfillment resources, trusted and established brand, global infrastructure, as well as user-friendly tools for selling without having to make a big initial investment.
Why should you sell on Amazon?
Amazon controls over 37.9% market share of all online retail in the U.S., and with more than 60% of online shoppers starting their search on Amazon, it’s crystal clear that you need to list your products on their platform if you want to reach those shoppers. The rise of voice shopping through technologies like Amazon’s Alexa also means that people can conveniently add items to their carts just by talking through a device—and that trend has no signs of slowing down.
How to sell on Amazon
Being present on Amazon is a great way to reach new customers, increase sales, and scale your business. But starting on Amazon can be overwhelming especially when you have zero experience in e-commerce and aren’t so tech-savvy. This is why we’ve written this guide to help you get started and succeed in selling on Amazon.
Step 1: Choose how you want to sell on Amazon
Before setting up shop, you need to plan your order fulfillment or simply put, the logistics of your business. There are three options for you to choose from:
- FBA (Fulfillment by Amazon) is a fulfillment service provided by Amazon. You send products to Amazon’s warehouse, where they’re kept in inventory until a customer orders from you. Amazon packs and ships that order then provide support should your customer have any concerns about their order.
- MCF (Multi-channel Fulfillment) is a feature of FBA for merchants selling on other channels besides Amazon’s platform. It allows them to reach more customers through their website and social media, and still have the order fulfillment fully managed by Amazon.
- FBM (Fulfillment by Merchant) or “FBM to our page“ is an option where you store products in your own location, then pack and ship orders by yourself.
Step 2: Know your niche and winning product
Find a niche with strong demand. Head to Amazon’s website, select a department (e.g. beauty and personal care, home and kitchen, pet supplies, sports and outdoors, toys and games) and select a sub-category. If you see there are sponsored products, it’s a sign there is demand for products within that niche. It means other merchants have studied that niche, identified earning potential, and therefore invested in advertising.
Once you’ve identified your niche, the next step is to research a product with low competition and a high profit margin. First, come up with several product ideas and for each idea, create an extensive list of keywords. Type in these keywords one by one on Amazon’s website and open product pages of the top results. Look at their reviews and the strength of their brand. Do they have a lot of positive reviews? Do they offer a wide range of products? Do they have a social media presence and a strong follower base? Answering these questions should help narrow down your search.
If you’re inexperienced at e-commerce, doing this step manually can be discouraging because it’s quite exhausting and time-consuming. Luckily, there are tools that automate this process for you, such as JungleScout, Helium 10, Viral Launch, AMZ Scout, and ZonGuru. They’re worth a look if you want to speed up the research process and set up your store fast.
Step 3: Source your products
Now that you know the products you’re going to sell on Amazon, the next step is to identify their source. Where will they come from? Are you making them yourself or will they be sourced from a manufacturer? Basically, there are two types of sourcing:
- Wholesale – is the practice of purchasing products in large quantities at a low price, from a distributor that sources them from elsewhere.
- Private label – is when a retailer has products manufactured by one company but labeled with its brand name. In other words, you’re not just buying goods in bulk and selling them individually; you are getting them made specifically for your store. Private labels can apply to any product: food, cosmetics, clothing, toys, and electronics are common examples.
When sourcing products, do your research about the manufacturer, countercheck your budget, and analyze thoroughly the quality of the items you’ll be receiving.
Step 4: Learn about Amazon’s selling guidelines
Amazon’s Selling Guidelines help you sell seamlessly on Amazon. They’re designed to help you understand their policies and how to avoid common problems that can cause unnecessary listing removals, account suspensions, and other unpleasant surprises.
The selling guidelines are straightforward and easy to understand. They’re organized into categories such as Prohibited Content, Listing Quality, and Taxes, and classified as either Do or Don’ts.
Step 5: Sign up for an Amazon account
Sign up for an account on the Amazon Seller Central site to get started. This process involves providing Amazon with your identification, contact information, and tax information. You’ll also need to provide bank account information so that Amazon can deposit payments into your account.
Once you’re signed up, you’ll need to decide what type of seller you want to be. The options include:
- Individual seller – The Individual selling plan is best for those who sell fewer than 40 items per month. You pay $0.99 per item sold on Amazon, plus other selling fees based on the product category and optional seller features like listing upgrades or promotional markdowns.
- Professional seller – If you expect to sell more than 40 items per month, the Professional selling plan is your best option. You pay a $39.99 monthly subscription fee plus other fees based on the product category and optional seller features like listing upgrades or promotional markdowns.
Steps for creating an Amazon Seller account
- Go to https://sellercentral.amazon.com and click on the “Sign Up” link in the upper right section of your screen. You will be taken to a page where you can sign in with your existing account or create a new one.
- Input the information needed in the following few pages related to your business, such as the Seller Agreement, Seller Information, and Billing Information.
- The last step is identity verification. You will be asked to provide identity documents such as a driver’s license, passport, or any official IDs recognized in your country. Other additional documents are needed, such as bank statements.
- Once submitted, the Amazon team will review your registration and attached documents for at least two-three business days.
Wait for the email from the Amazon Team. If they ask for more information or document like a utility bill, make sure it matches the address information you provided in your registration.
Step 6: Add your products
Once your Amazon Seller account is approved, it’s time to build your store and inventory. Here’s a step-by-step process for adding products to your Amazon store:
- On the left column of Seller Central home page, click on “Inventory,” then select “Add a Product”.
- On the product details page, you have three options. You can:
- Add a new product already sold on Amazon
- Add a new product not sold on Amazon
- Upload multiple products in one bulk upload
- Enter the product details, including the brand, title, and description.
- Select your product category and enter all necessary information, including the size and color of the item, quantity, and price per unit. You can also offer a promotional price for your product and set a start and end date. You must ensure all data are accurate because this will be posted in your Amazon listing.
- Upload high-quality photos of your product. The images you will use for your product listing should be clear and have enough light sources so customers can see what they’re buying from you. Use a white background for all photos because it makes it easier for buyers to focus on the product itself instead of its environment and surroundings, which can distract customers. Videos are also welcome.
- Fill out the product description. Make the content eye-catching and provide accurate information about your product. Optimize your product titles and don’t forget to fill out the Keyword section and input relevant keywords to your product.
And that’s for the product listing. Congratulations on having your product on your Amazon store! And now, let’s talk about selling strategies.
How to drive customers to your Amazon store?
Simply listing your brand on Amazon isn’t enough to generate sales. It would be best to have a plan to drive customers to your page. Here are some strategies you can use to gain visibility in Amazon’s massive marketplace:
Concentrate on keywords
A strong keyword strategy is one of the most important ways to gain traction on Amazon. Keywords should be incorporated into your product title and description and in your backend keywords section, which is where you can list up to five sets of keywords for each product. Amazon’s search engine is one of the most powerful tools for driving customers to your Amazon store. Use Amazon SEO best practices to boost your sales.
Optimize your product listings
Make sure your product listings are detailed and informative. Customers don’t want to read an essay about your products, but they want as much information as possible before making a purchasing decision. Your listings should include everything a customer needs to know about the quality of your products, including materials used, size and weight specifications, care instructions, and any other relevant details.
Get reviews from satisfied customers
Customers are becoming more careful about where they spend their hard-earned money, and reading reviews is one of the best ways to make sure that you aren’t about to waste your hard-earned cash. In 2021, nearly 70% of shoppers read customer reviews before making a purchase, and less than 10% don’t read them at all.
Customer reviews are essential for driving sales on Amazon. Having a robust set of positive reviews on your products will boost your store and the reputation of your products to potential buyers.
Mind your visuals
Start with various visuals, including images, infographics, and videos. The photos and videos you’re including in your listing should be high-resolution or at least not pixelated. It’s best practice to also add an actual use case photo of your product to show the size comparison and how it looks when bought.
Utilize social media channels
If your brand doesn’t have a social media channel, you’re missing out on a big market! Social media can help brands connect with customers, increase sales and create communities. A complete social media presence provides the tools to share product information, images, and videos, as well as coupons and deals.
Create a Facebook page, and Instagram account for your business so you can interact with customers, post pictures of your products, and announce new offerings. Redirect the posts to your Amazon listings so they won’t have that extra step to search for your products. Consider also creating accounts on YouTube, Pinterest, and Tiktok to spread the word about your brand even further.
Consider using Amazon PPC ads
Some of the most profitable sellers on Amazon use pay-per-click (PPC) ads to promote their products. PPC is an auction-style advertising program where you set a fixed budget for your ad campaigns. You only pay when someone clicks on your ad and visits your listings. Amazon has two PPC options: Sponsored Products and Sponsored Brands (formerly Headline Search Ads).
Sponsored Products are “single keyword” ads that match a customer’s search term with your product listing keywords or product category page. These ads appear in high visibility spots like the top or bottom of search results pages.
Sponsored Brands (formerly Headline Search Ads) allows you to create multi-product ad campaigns using your brand name and logo.
How to boost your store’s reputation with customer reviews?
A product’s reputation can make or break it. With hundreds of thousands of items on Amazon, you need to stand out to convert browsers into buyers. Reviews are an important way to do that. A product with 3 out of 5 stars won’t sell as well as one with 4.5 or 5 stars. A product with no reviews won’t sell at all–even if it’s the best item available. It can be an uphill battle to stand out.
To start boosting your Amazon reputation, you’ll need to proactively acquire product reviews from customers who’ve already bought from you. You can begin by sending out a follow-up email to them. Here are some steps to help you how to make your follow-up email:
- Create a follow-up email template – The email content should be personable and friendly. Don’t sound too demanding for reviews, or you might even risk getting a negative one.
- Follow up with every customer – Email addresses of the customers are included in the data provided by Amazon when they purchase from your store. But before sending them an email, make sure you have to consent to do so at first or add an option to unsubscribe from your email blasts.
- Provide incentives for leaving a review – Offer incentives for buyers who will take their time to review your products, such as a discount voucher, cashback promo, gift with purchase, etc.
- Make it easy for them to leave a review – Add links to your email that will go directly to your listing so it’ll be easier for your customers to leave a review.
What tools can help you sell on Amazon?
The tools and services you need to sell on Amazon depending on your specific needs. For example, tools can help you manage your inventory, list your items and make more sales. Below are some tools that can help you sell on Amazon:
The Amazon Seller App helps you manage your Amazon store on the go. It also gives you insights on your products and trends such as finding out how much you can earn before listing an item.
The Amazon FBA Calculator is any FBA mechants’ friend! It gives you analysis and calculation of the fees for selling your items using the Fulfilment by Amazon program
This insight tool lets you study and analyzie price trends of over 1.9 million products on Amazon.
If you manage multiple Amazon selling accounts, you can organize and work on them in one dashboard. Multiorders does that and more.
Merchant Words is a tool that helps you research what customers are searching for on Amazon and find trending products
Sellics is a robust platform and will help you optimize your product listings and research keywords used by your target customers
Gather feedback easily with Feedback Express. It uses automated feedback management to increase customer engagement
Jungle Scout is an all-in-one inventory management and seller center for Amazon sellers to help them manage the operations of their store.
Learning Guides on selling on Amazon
Aside from this detailed guide, you can browse through our selection of Amazon courses to help you out in your Amazon selling journey.
- Amazon FBA for Beginners – This is the perfect companion course for this article
- Source And Sell On Amazon FBA By Leveraging On Established Listings – This course will teach you how to search and narrow down your options for your winning products, navigate the FBA set-up, and add products to existing listings
- Launch your first Private Label product using Amazon FBA – This course is for sellers who will create or brand their items and sell them to Amazon
- Home Business: Amazon FBA: How To Turn $10 Into $15,737 – This course dives deeper into how the FBA system works and how you can earn more from it
- Start Making Good Money From Amazon – This course will teach you how to drive more sales and earn more from Amazon
You can view them all and other related courses in our Ecommerce Courses catalog.
Other tips on selling on Amazon
We know it’s a lot of information to dive into, but before we end this guide, here are some additional tips for earning more sales on Amazon:
- Provide impeccable customer service to your customers. Respond promptly to any questions or inquiries.
- Closely monitor your feedback. If you receive a negative comment, reach out to the customer immediately.
- Keep your inventory well-stocked.
- Customize your storefront.
- Make sure your product pages are optimized for Search Engine Optimization or SEO
- Try asking influencers to promote your products on their social media accounts.
- Be active in the Amazon community.
Congratulations! You’ve completed all the steps to launch an Amazon store. It’s a big market and with many competitors present, but having a concrete plan and strategies in place for your brand will help you tremendously.