E-commerce, without any doubt, has captured the majority space of our online world. It has garnered a wide viewer base comparable to major social media platforms. Now apart from buying things online, it consists of a parallel world of selling stuff online too. This is what we are going to explore today. What is required to be a seller on world’s largest ecommerce platform, Amazon? What does it take to become a great seller and how to know the tricks of the trade? Amazon has a program known as FBA. FBA stands for Fulfillment by Amazon. Amazon processes millions of orders a year. It is ranked among the top e-commerce companies of the world in terms of trust and customer satisfaction ratings. Amazon has developed one of the most advanced order processing and fulfillment operations in the world to successfully maintain this standard of trust and satisfaction. They have extended this expertise to merchant’s product purchased on Amazon.com, their own websites or other online or offline marketing channels. Now, to enrol for Amazon FBA, you need to have an Amazon seller account. Keep in mind that you need to get Amazon FBA approval through a small process which might take up to 10-15 days. After that it’s all unicorns and rainbows for you and your business. Figuring out the kind of product you offer on Amazon is also a difficult choice. You need to properly analyse the top selling categories and products in order to get maximum profits. Now you have all your account related information with you, all you need to is gather some essential facts and pre plan your strategy before going ahead by laughing your product online. Let us see some of these essential factors,
- Have a launch plan to get initial sales – it is crucial to have a launch plan. You want to have a plan to propel your listing to the top of the list of search results on Amazon. Ideally, you want to be in the top 5. Sales velocity is a major factor in getting yourself at the top. Sales velocity is defined as number of sales the item is making every week. Amazon gets a fees out of every single sale, so, it encourages the product which gets more sales and promotes it to the top position. Keep a tab on the sales of existing companies selling in your product category to help set a target for your sales.
- Take incredible photos of your product – conversions is the second most important factor for you as a seller. A good conversion rate is integral to help your product push the ratings. It has been found that the number one conversion factor is having great photos. So here are three tips to achieve that,
- Take professional photos of your product – you need repurpose photos that your supplier has taken. Take a sample product and hire a professional photographer to click your product.
- Have photos that show your product from different angles
- Upload big, high quality photos
Amazon has found that high quality photos that make it possible for the users to zoom in to see certain details about them really help drive sales.
- Hustle your friends and family to buy your product – having reviews is very important. However it is technically not advisable to tell them to give a 5 star ratings. But they can be pursued to purchase the product and give honest reviews about it. Here’s a tip to promote your ranking, don’t directly send your product page link to your contacts, instead tell them the keyword that your product is associated with and then let them find your listing and click on it to purchase it. This will boost your ratings, sales and hopefully reviews.
- Have a plan to get reviews from customers – average conversion rate for anonymous buyers is less than 1%, leave alone the number of reviews. To bump up this conversion rate, you could follow up your customers with email messages. Here’s an email hierarchy that could help you get feedback or reviews from your customer,
- 1st email – Send it the day the item is shipped to the customer. This helps build anticipation and moreover a relationship between you and your customer.
- 2nd email – Send it out 2 days after the product has been delivered. In this email you could ask if they are enjoying the product and request them to leave an honest review. Also, you should provide contact details in case they have any issues. This ensures an open communication and you can turn any unhappy customer into a happy customer that doesn’t leave you a negative review.
- 3rd email – send it a week after the product has been delivered. Once again ask them if they are enjoying your product and remind them to leave an honest review, this time with a personal touch.
- Form a limited liability company (LLC) – it helps you against being sued. Selling as a sole proprietor has its risks. For instance, a customer has incurred some serious damage by using your product or while using your product, he would be suing you and you’ll be liable to pay for the damages. But if you had been selling as an LLC, your personal assets are protected. It won’t affect you personally. So it is advisable to go and set up an LLC.
- Have a back up cash plan – Amazon is going to hold your money for two weeks, you don’t immediately get paid out by them. This means that are going to need a plan in place about how you are going to pay for expenses in the meantime. Have a back up cash plan in case you need to refill the inventory and pay for other expenses.
- Know your sales tax obligations – a large enough physical presence attracts sales tax in any particular state. For instance, you have products supplied to the Amazon inventory in a state, then you have a considerable physical presence in that state thus, making you eligible for sales tax.
Thus selling on Amazon might have some downsides to it but eventually the financial freedom and being your own boss overpowers it all to give you contentment and let you rejoice.