Are you looking for a way to broaden your sales and generate more revenue for your business? If so, you need to take advantage of Amazon, the most popular e-commerce outlet in the world.
Let’s face it, a large majority of consumers are using the internet when looking for products and this includes refrigerated or frozen foods. It’s just more convenient.
As a result, online retailers are developing logistics programs to deliver their products quickly and efficiently to customers. So how do you sell on Amazon, and what are some of the biggest benefits of doing so?
Why Sell on Amazon?
While it is essential to set up your own ecommerce site on platforms such as Shopify or WooCommerce, Amazon already comes complete with a loyal customer base of millions of consumers ready and willing to search for and buy your products. Therefore, Amazon should be developed right alongside your website as a key sales channel. Some compelling data to sell on Amazon is as follows:
- The online marketplace shows no signs of slowing with sales close to $2.7 trillion in 2020.
- Amazon has more than 300 million customers online.
Selling on Amazon
1. Competitive Intel
This is really the first step in determining what products to sell on Amazon. Food brands are starting to embrace Amazon as a viable sales channel, so chances are there are already the same or similar products selling in your category with some established listings.
You can compare prices and offerings amongst sellers to help you establish your own. You’ll also want to take some time to read the reviews to see what people liked and didn’t like about the item. The idea being that you want to be able to come in and offer a superior item at a competitive price point, so understand what makes people happy ahead of time.
There are also online tools available such as jungle scout that can provide sales and revenue estimates which are vital in determining the overall sales potential. This is the most valuable data you can have to help you find winning products to sell on Amazon.
2. Brand Registry
The brand registry program provides a full suite of tools to help sellers build and protect their brand on Amazon. If you have a pending or registered trademark, you are eligible for the program and from our perspective, this will be necessary to succeed on Amazon.
When you are establishing your professional selling account, you can apply for brand registry concurrently. If you haven’t done so yet, do it immediately. If you have yet to apply for a trademark, stop reading this and go get that started. There are a plethora of online services that can assist you to apply.
Once you are approved, you will be able to upload video to your listing as well as add what is referred to as A+ content. A+ content gives sellers the opportunity to tell their brand story with images in the product description section as opposed to just text. Additionally, brand registered brands can create a storefront which is a great way to showcase multiple products and further enhance your brand.
From an advertising perspective, you will also unlock the ability to run ad types that you would be unable to do otherwise, video ads for example. Lastly, you will have access to a brand analytics dashboard which provides key insights into the demographics of your buyers.
3. Fulfilled by Merchant
For shelf stable food items, FBA or Fulfilled by Amazon, would be the way to go. You ship your products to Amazon, and they fulfill the orders and handle the customer service. Since they do not have cold storage options available, you will need to go the FBM or Fulfilled by Merchant route.
In this case, you have the responsibility of fulfilling customer orders and handling the customer service aspect as well. That said, it is very doable, especially when working with a perishable foods 3PL or Third-Party Logistics provider that can pick, pack and ship directly to your customer.
All reputable 3PL’s have solutions that enable them to integrate directly with Amazon to receive orders as well as upload tracking information once an item ships. If you are starting small, you may be able to handle this on your own, but enlisting the help of a 3PL will surely be needed in order to scale.
4. Listing Optimization
A good listing uses a combination of compelling images, infographics, and video along with engaging copy optimized for the reader as well as the Amazon search engine.
You can start with identifying the best keywords for your niche using a tool such as merchant words. You’ll want to select phrases that are relevant but have good monthly search volume as well. One you have chosen your core keywords, you’ll need to integrate them naturally into your title, bullets, and description.
Product titles have a limit of 200 characters, but you should try to keep the title between 60 and 80 characters. That way, it is easy for customers to figure out what the product is, and you don’t have to worry about Amazon shortening your product title.
Bullets are your chance to highlight the core product features and benefits, so make sure these are well crafted. Using a professional copywriter with experience creating copy for Amazon is recommended.
You should upload high resolution product images that show the customer exactly what the product looks like. The main image, also called the hero image, needs to be on an all white background with the image taking up 80% of the frame.
We recommend a minimum of 2000px X 2000px or higher as far as the image resolution is concerned. Additionally, you should also use 2-3 lifestyle images along with 2-3 infographics that are visually representations of some of the key highlights included in your bullet points.
Lastly, adding a 30-60 second video showcasing your product is another way to make your listing really stand out. All these factors are important if you want a high converting page.
5. Understand the Fees Amazon Charges
Besides the monthly subscription, Amazon will charge you certain fees for using its services. For example, you will pay a commission on products and services you sell. The commissions vary depending on the type of products and services you provide.
In the grocery and gourmet category for example, Amazon takes 15% of the sale for items priced over $15. Besides category referral fees, you will need to have funds available to run Amazon ads. While this is not a requirement, without running paid advertising, you will not be able to realize your full sales potential.
There are a lot of different factors to consider to be successful. Your cost of goods sold, shipping expenses, Amazon fees and advertising fees must all be factored into the equation when deciding to sell on Amazon.
5. Learn the Dashboard
If you’re going to be managing the account yourself, you’ll need to familiarize yourself with the Seller Central Dashboard. Amazon is a very robust platform which can be very daunting at first glance.
There is a learning curve involved, so be prepared to spend some time getting familiar with all the tabs and links. You can also download the Amazon seller app, so you can easily track sales, respond to customer inquiries and much more.
Since you will be shipping yourself, you’ll need to configure your shipping template which defines both the shipping and handling time. This is done under Manage Inventory where you can set your prices as well.
There is a lot to explore under the Advertising tab which includes access to the Amazon advertising platform. You can also create coupons and manage promotions under that tab as well.
You’ll also want to get familiar with the Reports tab, particularly Business Reports so you can track both performance and sales. Running your Amazon business requires a combination of time and skill, so it may be beneficial to hire an ecommerce agency that can manage the day-to-day operations of your Amazon business so you can focus on other core activities.
Evaluate Your Strategy Regularly
Once you are up and running, make sure you evaluate your strategy monthly. Keep an eye on the competition, track your sales numbers, and capitalize on what is working well while improving your weaknesses. If you follow all these tips, this may help your business succeed on Amazon.