How To Sell On Amazon (Step-By-Step)

By Scott Max

Did you know that Amazon is the largest marketplace that exists today? Thanks to its customer service, fast shipping and selling all kinds of products at a very competitive price, many users go directly to Amazon when looking for any product. 

But what you may not know is that approximately half of the products that Amazon sells are not their own, but belong to third party companies or entrepreneurs. As may be the case with you.

Therefore, every day there are more people who want to take the step and sign up as a seller, in order to increase the sales of their business by taking advantage of the visibility that Amazon has.

So if you have an online shop and you want to increase sales with another channel, read this guide carefully because I'm going to tell you how to sell on Amazon step by step, and also, stay until the end because I'll tell you 5 SEO tips and tricks to get ahead of your competition. Let's see it!

Advantages of selling on Amazon

If you have never considered selling your products on Amazon before, you may not know the benefits it can bring. That's why, before telling you how to sell on Amazon, I want you to know its main advantages.

You Multiply the visibility of your products

Amazon's website is one of the most visited in the world, so if you are just starting out and still very few people know about your product, or you simply want to increase the sales of your online shop considerably, with Amazon you will be able to reach a large number of potential customers in a very short time thanks to the great visibility that this marketplace has.

You Show your products to people interested in buying them

It is clear that your products gain visibility when they are put on sale on Amazon. But best of all, the users who browse this marketplace have a high buying intention. Therefore, you target users in an advanced stage of the purchase cycle and more likely to buy from you than if they found you by other means.

There is no need for you to set up your own online shop

If you do not have knowledge of web development to create online shops, and you do not have a good budget for someone to build it for you, selling on Amazon can be a good alternative.

You will only have to create an account as I will show you a little later and start uploading your products with their respective photos and features. It is very simple and does not require you to have any technical knowledge.

Here is a complete guide to create an online shop with WordPress and WooCommerce if you want to create your own ecommerce.

Internationalisation of your brand

Thanks to the fact that Amazon is present in many countries, you will be able to make people from other parts of the world buy your products and thus multiply your sales. For example, if you create an account in Spain, you will be able to sell on the 5 European platforms (Amazon.co.uk, Amazon.de, Amazon.fr, Amazon.it and Amazon.es) and thus reach many more people.

You generate confidence with your potential customers

Amazon is the most recognized online sales platform worldwide. We all go to this platform to buy almost any kind of product because we know that it is a marketplace that works like a charm and that if we have any kind of problem, or want to request a refund, we can do it without anyone asking us why.

Disadvantages of selling on Amazon

Selling on Amazon has many advantages. However, not all that glitters is gold. Therefore, it is important that you know what disadvantages you may have before making the decision to upload your products to this marketplace.

You Receive payments through an intermediary

When a customer buys one of the products you have on sale, the payment is actually received by Amazon. Then, if everything goes well, you can withdraw the money to the bank account you have selected.

However, if customers complain about the quality of your products, complain about the delivery or give you bad reviews and ratings, the payment can be delayed for weeks and even cancelled.

You will earn less than if you sold them yourself

As we will see later, selling on Amazon is not free. They make this great marketplace available to you so that you can reach many people but in return you will have to pay a fee.

Therefore, you have to subtract from your usual profit margin from each sale what you lose by having your products on Amazon.

You'll find competition on Amazon

Selling on Amazon is a good opportunity for many brands and entrepreneurs, so there are currently thousands of sellers on this marketplace, which means that there is a lot of competition in certain sectors. This can cause some sellers to put the same product you have at a lower price, or even Amazon, which is also a seller, to prioritise its own products in searches before yours.

Fees & Costs as an Amazon Seller

Depending on the quantity and type of products you want to sell on Amazon, you will have to create a type of seller profile and apply for one fee or another

That's why, before teaching you how to sell on Amazon, it's important that you know all the fees and types of accounts that exist to sell on this marketplace so that you know which one is best for you.

Rates and commissions for selling on Amazon

Depending on the type of account you choose, you will have to pay some commissions or others. For the time being, we'll see all the accounts that exist today and then we'll see which one would apply to each account.

  • Referral fee: this is the percentage Amazon charges you for each sale and is calculated on the total sale price of the product including shipping costs. Depending on the category your product belongs to, the percentage can vary from 5% to 45% approximately.
  • Closed sale fee: this is a closed commission of 0.99 euros on each product which is deducted from your profits. It does not matter what type of product or what cost it has.
  • Fee per sale of article: this is the cost that Amazon charges you for each sale that you make through the marketplace. The most common ones are between 0.81 and 1.01 euros and only apply to books, music, DVDs, software and video games.
  • Fixed monthly subscription fee: this is the fee that Amazon charges on a monthly basis for having products for sale in its marketplace to professional sellers. It has a fixed cost of 39 ? per month.

If you want to know more details, here is a link to Amazon's fee table with more information.

Seller account types

Before registering as a seller, you should know that there are 2 types of accounts: individual and professional. Each one has its own characteristics and conditions, so let's see each one in detail.

Individual Seller Account

This account is aimed at people who are going to sell less than 40 products a month and who only want to pay Amazon when they make a sale. This way, if you want to start selling at Amazon little by little to prove that it works, this is the best option.

Example of commissions for each sale:

Pablo has a kitchen appliance shop and he puts his 400 euro ovens on sale to test the platform. In this case, Amazon would charge the following commissions:

Referral fee: 15% = 60

Fee for closing the sale: 0.99

Fee per sale of item: not applicable to this type of product

Result: 400 Euros - 60.99 Euros = 339.01 Euros

Professional vendor account

This type of account is best if you sell online on a regular basis (over 40 products per month) and want to get some of the advantages that these types of profiles have.

If you choose this account, unlike individual profiles, you will be able to sell in all Amazon categories, create new products that are not currently listed on Amazon, access more detailed reports on your orders, upload your inventory automatically and, most importantly, you will have the ability to make your products available for purchase with one click.

Example of commissions for each sale:

Sergio has a smartphone shop and sells his mobiles for 200 euros. In this case, Amazon would charge the following commissions:

Referral fee: 7% = 14 euros.

Fee for closing the sale: not applicable to PRO sellers

Fee per sale of item: not applicable to this type of product

Result: 200 euros - 14 euros = 186 euros

If you want to know more details, here is a link to the Amazon website with all the information about the 2 types of accounts.

How to start selling on Amazon?

Now that you know the rates, it is time to get down to business and start selling on Amazon. The process to do this is very simple.

Decide what you are going to sell on Amazon

Whether you already have a shop, or you want to set up a small business and start selling on Amazon to earn extra money, it is important that before you register you do a little search and really see the products that might be interesting.

Are the products you want to sell on Amazon in sufficient demand?

The easiest way to see if a product sells well on Amazon is to go to the category of that type of product and see the list of best sellers. If the product you want to sell is in the top positions, this will be a good indicator. However, in this way we will not know the exact demand for that product and it will take us quite a while to do our research.

To solve this inconvenience, we can use tools such as Jungle Scout, which has an extension for Google Chrome that allows you to know how many sales each product has.

For example, imagine that you have an online shop of household appliances and you want to sell your hoover robots. However, you have so many different models that you do not want to start selling them all from the beginning. You only want to sell the ones that are most in demand.

Just search for "robot hoover" and activate the extension to see all the information as you can see below:

Look at a column called "Sales". There you will see the sales generated by each product in that result list, so we can get an idea of the model that sells the most.

In addition, we can also see the estimated income generated by each product in the "Revenue" column.

Are the products you want to sell on Amazon dominated by a few sellers?

Now that you know if a product is in high or low demand, it is time to see if the sector is dominated by a few sellers or not.

If it is the case that there are one or several salespeople who bring together almost all the sales, I recommend trying to sell another product on Amazon, as it will mean that these salespeople are very loyal to their customers, have very good opinions and it will be difficult to get ahead of them in the results lists.

To know this data, again we can go to the Jungle Scout extension and see if the sales numbers are distributed among several sellers or not.

As you can see, when looking for "kitchen knives" we see that sales are very spread out, so there is no clear dominator and in principle the competition will not be very high.

Do your competitors' products have many reviews? Are they good?

The number of reviews that a product has is a factor that Amazon takes into account when positioning a product in the search results. Therefore, if your competitor has many reviews on the products you want to sell, it may give you an idea that it will be difficult to beat them.

However, if there are few products that have many reviews, and they are spread out among several different vendors, it will be an indicator that there is not much competition.

You can go into the products and look at their scores and reviews one by one, or use the Jungle Scout extension again

But you should not only look at the quantity of reviews, but also at the quality of these reviews. If you see that the products that are at the top have mediocre or even bad ratings, it is a good indicator to launch yourself to sell yours.

In fact, if you are in that case, I recommend that you read the ratings that have 2 and 3 stars and see if your product can correct those deficiencies that are criticized in similar products of your competitors. This way, you will be able to put a better product on sale on Amazon that will get positive reviews and better scores.

What profit margin would you get?

Finally, before you start creating the account and putting your products on sale at Amazon, it is very important that you calculate the profit you can make from the sale of each product.

It doesn't matter that you already have your prices set because you already sell them at that amount in your own shop. Maybe that price at Amazon is not competitive and nobody will buy from you. Therefore, one of the first things you have to look at is the prices of your competitors and whether you can really set a similar price.

If you cannot price your products similarly, I recommend not selling them on Amazon, because all things being equal, users will choose the cheapest ones.

Create an account and register at Seller Central

Once you know what products to sell on Amazon, the next thing you need to do is register with the Amazon sales centre by providing the country, type of company, a credit card, a phone number, your personal details and your bank details.

You will also have to choose between the 2 types of accounts. Remember that there are 2: the individual seller and the professional seller.

create an account to sell on amazon

Most sellers opt for professional accounts, but you can always start with the individual account to try it out and then move on to the pro.

Create your first product listing

To add your first product, go to the "Inventory" section and click on "Add a product".

Now Amazon will ask you to look for your product among those already sold. You can search by barcode or EAN code, or by the name of the product directly.

Unless you are selling an item you have made yourself, you probably don't need to create a new product.

IMPORTANT: If for some reason you do not have an EAN code because you have imported your products from a non-European supplier, such as from China, you will have to create one in order to sell on Amazon. There are several companies to achieve this, such as Aecoc.

Once you have searched for your product, you will surely find several options that are already sold by other competitors on Amazon. Simply select it and it will take you to a page where you can fill in the missing information. The good thing about doing this is that the product will already appear in the appropriate category and subcategories, as this work has already been done by someone before you.

If no product like yours appears, you have to create a new listing. In other words, you will have to search for the category and subcategories that have the most to do with your product in order to put it on sale there.

You can then start filling in the product information fields such as the title, brand, weight, colour, etc.

At the end of the guide I will give you a series of tips and tricks to complete this information so that your product is positioned in the first results of the Amazon search engine.

Upload good photos of your products

In addition to the features, as you can see in the screenshot above, in this step you will have to upload the photos of your product and create the variants, in case you have them. It is very important that you do this well, as the graphics section is the first thing the user will notice.

Note the difference between these two products:

As you can see, the first one puts a quality and good size photo and the second one has uploaded a smaller image without taking full advantage of the image margins.

Tips for your product images:

  • Upload quality photos so that when you zoom in you can see the details of the product.
  • Crop the photo taking out as much space as possible to the margins, so that the product occupies the whole image.
  • Photograph your product from various angles.
  • Cut out the object and place it on a white background.

I recommend that you spend as much time as possible at this stage, as it will make your products more eye-catching and minimise returns. Why? Because if, for example, the colours of your product's photo do not correspond to reality, the customer will probably not be satisfied and will make a return and give you a negative review.

Price your products competitively

Once you have completed all the fields, you will need to set a price for each of your products. This is something you have to think about very carefully, as it will directly affect the amount of sales you make and the return on investment.

That's why I recommend that before setting a random price, you consider the following points:

  • Calculate the costs and benefits: put aside the costs you have in manufacturing or getting the product, and the management expenses. Then, set a minimum price at which you would have to sell the product to obtain a profit margin.
  • Analyse your competition: Look at what price your competition sells your products, or very similar items. Keep in mind that if a user sees your product cheaper in another seller, this may make them choose him over you.
  • Look at the prices of other shops: something you have to think about is that you do not only compete with other sellers within Amazon. You also compete with external vendors who have their own online shop.

Based on all this, you will know what price you should set and whether it is profitable for you to sell the product through Amazon.

Send the products yourself or have Amazon take care of it

After a person has made a purchase of one of your products, Amazon will notify you by email and with a notification in your Seller Central panel.

When you go to the order details, you will have all the buyer's details so that you can send the product within the agreed period. However, if you do not want to take care of managing the delivery and possible returns of products, you can contract the Amazon Logistics service, also called FBA (Fulfillment by Amazon).

But what is Amazon Logistics?

It is a service that allows you to forget about everything related to the shipping and storage of your product and which can bring you many advantages.

In this video you can see how it works:

INSERT VIDEO

When you contract it, you have to send your products to Amazon's warehouses beforehand, so that when someone places an order in any of the 5 European marketplaces, Amazon will take care of managing it without you having to do anything and send it quickly to the recipient.

Advantages of Amazon Logistics:

  • Management of shipments and returns: Amazon will be in charge of making all the shipments and returns to the buyers automatically.
  • Customer service: Amazon will answer customer service queries in the local language of the marketplace.
  • Get the Prime badge: By having this badge, your products will attract more attention from potential customers since they will have the product at home in a very short time due to the fast shipping.
  • Display the "Managed by Amazon" badge: Users trust Amazon because they always meet the customer in time and quality, so they prefer to buy products managed by Amazon. If you have this badge, you will increase your sales.
  • Get the "Buy Box": The Buy Box allows the user to add your product directly to the basket, without having to see other purchase options of your competitors. By contracting Amazon Logistics, you will have more chances of getting it.

In case you decide to use FBA for your sales logistics, after uploading your products to the inventory, you will have to select them and click on "Send or Reset Inventory".

After that, you have to put the units of each product and create their labels. These labels will be saved as a pdf so that you can print them out and stick them on the packages before sending them to Amazon.

You will then have to fill in the shipping details, select the courier company that you want to pick up the package, calculate the costs and print the shipping label that you will have to stick on the packaging you will use. When Amazon receives your products, they will automatically be available on the platform.

Receive your sweetly earned profits

Unlike what happens in your online shop, where you have your own payment gateway linked directly to your bank, if you sell on Amazon, customers will use the gateways and payment methods of the American giant. Because of this, payments are received and managed by Amazon in their entirety.

This has its advantages and disadvantages, like everything else.

The good thing is that you don't have to set up a POS and all you have to worry about is setting up your bank account. The bad thing is that you will not receive the income from each sale instantly, but Amazon will pay you when 15 days have passed.

However, something you must bear in mind is that customers have the right to return your products if they are not convinced once they have been received. Therefore, Amazon can retain the amount of the sale for as long as necessary until the complaint is resolved, since for them the customer comes first.

5 Tips and Tricks to increase your sales with Amazon

As I said at the beginning of the entry, selling on Amazon has some drawbacks, such as high competition. There are already many companies and individuals selling their products, so you will compete with many other sellers unless you have a very innovative product.

But don't worry because I'm going to tell you 3 good practices and 2 tricks that you can apply from now on to improve the visibility of your products

Rank your products on Amazon by relevant and popular keywords

If your product can be named in several ways and have different endings, it is essential that you do a good keyword search, so that you optimise the title and content of your product file by focusing on that keyword.

If we talk about Google, it is very easy to find tools that allow us to find good keywords. However, on Amazon it is not so easy, as there are not so many tools and those that are available do not have monthly search volumes. This is because Amazon does not provide this data at the moment.

However, there are tools that allow us to know the popularity of each keyword, according to other parameters. For example Egrow.io.

This tool scans the 10 best products in Amazon's search results for the keyword entered, and then, for each of them, it analyses that seller's ranking, the number of ratings and monthly sales. It also cross-checks that data with Google search volume to find out how popular it is on this other search engine and gives you a popularity score.

Another simpler method is to use the suggestions of Amazon's own search engine.

For example, if you have an iPhone housing shop and want to know what type of housing you are looking for most, the suggestions are a good free resource provided by Amazon itself.

These suggestions are relevant long tail keywords that are highly sought after by users browsing Amazon, so we can get a lot of ideas.

And if we want a larger listing that we can export and put together with more keywords, we can use the Amazon tab that Keyword Tool has.

Simply choose the country, language and enter the main keyword and the tool will display the Amazon keywords in the same order they were extracted from the autocomplete function. In general, Amazon will place more relevant keywords on top of the less popular ones.

Once you have the list of interesting keywords, you will know which products to start selling, how to call them and which keywords to include in the Amazon product sheets.

Create an Search Optimised Amazon Listing

Now that you have chosen good keywords, it remains for you to do the On Page SEO of the product sheet so that you get the first positions in the results for the chosen keyword. But not only that, but it will also be important that you try to position for other related keywords and long tails.

Title

The title is the most important field when positioning your product and, moreover, it is the text that appears in the result listings after a search on Amazon.

It is therefore very important that you include the main keyword and the related ones in this section, as early as possible to give it priority for Amazon. However, not only will you have to include keywords, it is also essential to insert other elements that we will see later on.

Attributes

The attributes or enumerations are the characteristics that differentiate and make your product stand out.

Bearing in mind that this is probably the second thing users will read after the title, a balance must be found between introducing related keywords and sales arguments.

Description

The next section to be optimised is that of the description. It is a section where we must describe our product using the main keyword and its derivatives. However, we must avoid putting a single block of text and using lists, highlighting some words, making short sentences, etc.

Amazon Meta Keywords

Yes, you read it right. We all know that meta keywords have not influenced Google's organic ranking for years. However, this does not apply on Amazon, which for now does take them into account for positioning, as long as they are not abused by putting exactly the same keyword several times.

In this sense, I recommend that you include long tail keywords, synonyms and characteristics of your product.

Other factors

In addition to the above factors, there are many more variables that influence the positioning of your products on Amazon:

  • Average score: good scores on your products directly influence better positioning.
  • Number of comments: it is important to try to get a lot of comments on your products, as Amazon takes them into account when positioning your products.
  • Quality of feedback: If users rate other people's feedback positively, Amazon will look at it positively.
  • Number of sales: if your product starts selling well, it means that users like it and Amazon will take note of this by positioning it higher.

Create good titles and optimise them for Amazon's internal SEO

Like Google, Amazon also attaches a lot of importance to the title we give our product, so we will have to optimise it by following their best practice guidelines.

According to Amazon, a good title should contain::

  • The brand name and product line.
  • The differentiating feature.
  • The material it is made of, if it comes from.
  • The type of product.
  • The colour.
  • Its size.
  • The number of units that come in the package.

However, the title is not infinite in length. In fact, the maximum number of characters changes depending on the device where it is consulted and where your product appears.

Depending on where it appears, the length is as follows:

  • Titles in computer search results: Approximately 230 and 250 characters.
  • Titles in mobile search results: Between 65 and 80 characters
  • Titles of related articles: Between 65 and 80 characters

Therefore, we must include all or almost all the elements that Amazon indicates to us, but in an order that benefits us.

If it is a generic product that people search for without including or importing the brand, it is best to first place the most relevant and sought-after key word and then the brand of the product and the rest of the attributes that differentiate it and make it stand out. At the end we will put the size and units, if it is important or several units are included in the same package.

However, there will be times when the word most searched for by users is the name of the brand and model, so that is what we will put at the beginning of our titles.

Here I leave you a screenshot so you can see the difference between a good and a bad title:

Increase the CTR of your results by sharing your product URL

Have you stopped to look at the URLs of Amazon products? The same product, depending on how it is reached, can have several URLs. For example, when you click on a product from the search listing, some parameters are added that are not in the original product URL.

If, for example, I search for "iphone x sleeves" and click on the last result of the first page, the URL that is generated is different from the original URL if I were to go straight to the product page.

As you can see, I have marked in bold the parameters that Amazon's system adds automatically and that determines who gets to the second URL, are people who have searched and clicked on that result from Amazon.

And as happens in Google, one of the parameters that Amazon takes into account when positioning an article higher up is a good CTR. Therefore, if we send traffic to that URL, sharing it on social networks, for example, Amazon will believe that people are clicking on us from the list of results, which will result in an increase in the CTR and an improvement in its positioning.

In case you want to learn more about CTR, here is an article with 10 actions to optimize CTR and improve SEO positioning

Get ratings and reviews even if your products don't have much visibility yet

As consumers, we always have an opinion about the products we buy. However, we rarely leave it written down as a review, especially if it is a good one.

The importance of reviews:

  • It has been proven that a product with an opinion increases the confidence of the buyer. So much so, that even some buyers do not buy products that have no reviews because of the lack of trust this entails,
  • Amazon's algorithm always recommends those products that accumulate a few reviews to the top of the categories and search results.

And to get them, I bring you a couple of tricks that few people know.

Offer discounts in exchange for reviews.

One way for sellers to combat the lack of reviews and opinions on their products is to send the products for free or at a substantial discount to people who are willing to give an honest review of the product once they have tried it.

The operation is simple. The seller publishes the "ad" in facebook groups focused on getting reviews. Then the reviewer pays for the product, tests it and then scores it and reviews it. Finally, the brand returns the full amount or the equivalent of the discount agreed externally to the Amazon system.

This practice is not approved by Amazon, as it violates their policies, so I do not recommend it unless you do it very carefully and cautiously.

Request reviews from your buyers through Amazon

Did you know that through your Amazon Seller Central account you can ask for reviews from people who have already bought from you?

Within your Amazon Seller Central account, in the Orders section, you have a sub-section of order management where you can see all the orders that you have received.

There you can see the date, time, name and other data related to each purchase order. If you click on the buyer's name, a text box will open where you can send a message to the buyer asking them to review your product.

However, it is very important that in the subject field you select the option "Request for review" and that in the message you send, you agree with Amazon's policies. In other words, it should be a brief and formal text, in which we thank the user for their purchase and in which we ask them kindly and respectfully to make an honest assessment of our product.

Mini Hack:

And if you haven't had any sales, make a very aggressive offer by lowering a good amount of the products you want to get reviews about. This way you will be able to sell your product to more people who you can then ask to review it with the method I just mentioned.

In conclusion, Is it worth selling on Amazon?

As you have seen, Amazon is a very accessible marketplace for all kinds of sellers, from entrepreneurs who want to launch a product and small businesses who want to try out new channels, to larger companies that sell hundreds of products every day.

However, selling your own products on Amazon has its advantages and disadvantages, so before launching yourself into it, I recommend that you calculate well the costs of putting your products on sale on Amazon (in money and time), and the benefit you could have by putting your products on sale at a competitive price.

Another consideration I want you to bear in mind is that I do not recommend selling on Amazon if you depend exclusively on this marketplace and have a very small profit margin. Why? Because just as you have been able to sell your products on Amazon, so can someone else by lowering prices and forcing you to do so too.

Even Amazon itself, if it detects that a product is selling a lot, can include it in its offer by negotiating better prices with your supplier or another similar one, and put your product on sale at a lower price.

In any case, if you decide to sell your own products at Amazon and you want to tell us how you have done, your experience in this marketplace or give some advice to people who are thinking of taking the leap, tell us in the comments!

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