When customers want to purchase a product online, most of them go straight to the biggest and most popular store on the internet – Amazon. Hence, the majority of eCommerce businesses list their products on Amazon to target a wider audience.
While this venture can be extremely successful and profitable, it can be challenging as well, since the competition on this platform is massive. There are over 2.5 million active sellers on Amazon, and it can be hard to create a successful store with so much competition.
However, while it will be a challenge, it’s not impossible. If you’ve ever wanted to sell a product online and asked yourself the question “How do I sell on Amazon?” you’ve come to the right place.
You can achieve success on this platform as long as you take the time to follow the steps we will list in this guide. Once you understand how to sell on Amazon but also learn what not to do on Amazon, you will have a store filled with products that will be flying off the virtual shelves.
So, let’s dive in.
See if you need Amazon’s approval to sell your products
Before you list your products to sell on Amazon, you need to know which categories they belong in. There are 35 different categories on Amazon, and you need approval from Amazon to sell some of them.
A total of 20 categories are open to all sellers:
- Amazon Device Accessories
- Tools and Home Improvement
- Office Products
- Clothing and Accessories
- Amazon Kindle
- Home and Garden
- Video Games and Video Game Consoles
- Health and Personal Care
- Toys and Games
- Camera and Photo
- Musical Instruments
- Baby Products
- Software and Computer Games
- Cell Phones
Categories which require approval from Amazon (also known as the Professional Selling Plan subscription) include the following:
- Fashion Jewelry
- Luggage and Travel Accessories
- Fine Jewelry
- Shoes, Handbags, and Sunglasses
- Automotive and Powersports
- Grocery and Gourmet Food
- Sports Collectibles
- B2B Business Products
- Personal Computers
- Fine Art
- Video, DVD, and Blu-Ray
- Collectable Coins
- Professional Services
- Industrial and Scientific
If you’re wondering how to sell products on Amazon from any of these categories, you need to fill out an application for the Professional Selling Plan. This rule is in place because Amazon limits the number of sellers in each of these categories to ensure the quality of the products being sold in them.
The first stage of creating a profitable store on Amazon is setting up an Amazon Marketplace account. If you don’t set up your page correctly, you’ll run into problems that will be almost impossible to fix.
Before you learn how to sell on Amazon, first you need to set a firm foundation. You will do that by completing the three steps listed below.
Choose your seller category
Amazon offers two seller categories – individual and professional. For an account with an individual profile, the cost to sell on Amazon is $0.99 per sale. For a professional profile, you will pay a monthly fee of $39.99.
If you want to avoid high fees for selling a large volume of products, a Professional Amazon Marketplace account is the better choice.
Enter your company information
No matter which seller category you choose, this step will be mostly the same. The only difference is when you reach the billing section of account registration.
When you set up company information, you will be asked to enter basic information.
After you enter your company address, website URL, business display name, and phone number, you can move forward with the registration process.
The next thing you will be asked to enter is your tax information, which will include either your personal social security number or your company’s tax identification number.
Establish your seller profile
Your seller profile will be the page your customers will want to check when they view your products. That is why you need to make sure that it shows your company and brand in the best possible light.
Here are some ways you can accomplish this:
- Establish your brand identity by including your company’s logo.
- Make a good first impression with a well-written “About Seller” section.
- Include return and refund policies to establish credibility and promote trust.
Set up your product pages
One of the most important steps in learning how to sell on Amazon is learning how to present those products. Your product pages need to be filled out appropriately but also appeal to potential buyers.
You can set up attractive and informative product pages in four easy steps.
Create a product listing and classify the products
To create a listing, go to your Amazon Seller Center page, click the Inventory button and then select “Add a Product”. For a brand-new item, you will need to choose “Create a New Product Listing”. On the other hand, for a product that already exists, you will easily find its listing.
After you’ve created or chosen a listing, you will need to select one or multiple categories for product classification by searching for relevant keywords.
Enter product information and upload images
When you enter the product information, describe the items you’re selling with information the Amazon Marketplace software can understand. You will need to fill out a series of fields and ignore the ones that aren’t relevant to the product.
The next step is to upload high-quality images of your products. While it’s possible to upload just one, you will improve your chances of making a sale by uploading multiple images.
Write out key product features and a product description
Both of these categories provide direct information about the product to the customers. Key product features appear at the top of your product page as a bullet list and usually contain keywords.
Your product description will appear in paragraph form. It needs to be brief, concise, and only include relevant information, since the limit is 2,000 characters.
Finally, you need to select keywords that you believe your customers will search for and use them to optimise your page. Keywords need to accurately represent your product and be between 1 and 100 characters long.
Don’t use too generic keywords or you’ll get lost in the crowd. But also avoid keywords that aren’t used often because, logically, nobody will search for them.
Optimise your marketplace account
When you sell on Amazon, you have the opportunity to potentially reach millions of people from all around the world. However, since you will have a lot of competition no matter which industry you’re in, you need to optimise your account so people can actually find it.
There are two sure ways to optimise your marketplace account.
Keywords are an essential part of the Amazon shopping experience. They are the words people type into the search bar when they’re looking for a specific product. To get Amazon to show your products at the top of the shopper’s results list, you need to include the right keywords.
To find out which keywords will work best with your products, you need to conduct keyword research. The best way to do this is by looking at your competitor’s product pages and searching for keywords in their descriptions and headlines. You can also search for frequently used phrases and terms.
Another great way to find popular keywords is by experimenting with Amazon’s auto-fill feature. Simply type in the type of product you’re planning to sell and the platform will give you all of the most-searched keywords and phrases.
Once keyword research is complete, it’s time to think about where to put those keywords. The best placement is the product title and description. If you want to attract as much attention as possible, you should include as many specific details as you can without being too overbearing.
Search engine optimisation and implementing SEO strategies has been the way to get your content noticed on the internet for years.
For the best on-page SEO, you need to know where to place your keywords. The optimal place for keywords is the product title, as that is what Amazon’s SEO algorithm and shoppers notice. One of the best advice for how to sell on Amazon is to have your keywords where customers can see them.
Your product title needs to have as many relevant details as possible and should be between 115 and 144 characters long.
This is a great way to get your products noticed. After all, 57% of marketing executives say on-page content development is the best SEO tactic.
The next on the list of important SEO elements are your bullet points. Bullets provide your customers with a closer look at what you’re offering and a brief overview of your product. They need to focus on the features and benefits of what you’re selling. Also, they are another perfect place for keywords.
Keep in mind that you can write only up to 5 bullet points. None of them should be more than 100 characters long so everything can be direct and to the point.
The third and final place that’s optimal for keywords is your product description. This is another great place to engage with your audience and address the product’s key features, attributes, and benefits.
Since product descriptions are much longer than bullet points, they give you the opportunity to tell the story about what you’re selling while including keywords in a natural way.
Set your Amazon sales prices
A big part of learning how to sell on Amazon is understanding how to set the right sales prices. Most people search for the best deals when they shop on Amazon, so you will probably lose a lot of potential customers if your prices are too high.
To avoid this and learn how to sell stuff on Amazon with a good pricing strategy, take a look at these tips.
- Calculate costs and fees. There are a lot of personal costs and fees you will need to cover as a seller on Amazon. Calculate how much money it will take to create, sell, and distribute your products so you can set a price that can actually bring you a profit. Don’t forget to calculate Amazon fees as well.
- Take competitors’ prices into considerations. As we already mentioned, people won’t buy your products if a competitor is selling the same products for a much cheaper price. While you can sell them for a slightly higher price, it’s best to stay at 20% over the highest price.
- Run sales. When you’re just starting to sell things on Amazon, your priority needs to be to get your products enough attention. You can attract a sizable number of customers by running a sale or promotion for a new product. When you gain more popularity, you can increase prices.
Reviews are a big part of finding success on Amazon, as people are hesitant to trust a product that has no feedback, whether it’s good or bad. A total of 72% of customers won’t take action until they read reviews, so your goal needs to be to get as many reviews as possible.
To put it simply, the more reviews you have, the more trustworthy and credible your products will seem, and you will have more sales. Even though it may seem hard to make sales at the beginning while you still don’t have many reviews, it’s not impossible.
Once you start making sales, contact your customers and ask them to leave product reviews. Amazon allows its sellers to send follow up emails to do this and you can even automate the process.
Just keep in mind that you need to follow a strict set of guidelines when you send out these emails. You can’t send any type of marketing messages, link to other websites, or request incentive reviews. These are the reviews customers give to brands in exchange for a perk such as free or discounted products, and they have been banned on Amazon since 2016.
Analyse and monitor
Your Amazon Seller Central account gives you access to a sales dashboard. When you open it, you can see various metrics such as:
- Snapshot of your orders for the day
- How many units you sold
- Number of sales for that day
You will also have access to business reports. They show metrics such as sales and orders for every month, brand performance, sales for each individual item, the inventory you have in stock, and so on.
With the “Compare sales graph”, you can measure how sales from one day compare to another. That way, you can track your performance and discover patterns and seasonal trends.
You will also have access to a sales reporting tool that can provide you with a graphical representation of your sales data by pulling all of your account’s metrics.
Pros and cons of Amazon FBA
Amazon FBA stands for Amazon Fulfilled-by-Amazon. This is the best option for those who want to learn how to sell on Amazon without too much hassle.
It’s an eCommerce business model where third-party sellers send their products to an Amazon warehouse. From there, those products get sorted and inventoried by workers. When someone orders your product, it’s shipped to the customer by Amazon.
However, this isn’t as easy as just shipping products to Amazon and letting them do all the work. To become an Amazon FBA seller, you need to sell products that are popular and sought after, and also follow Amazon’s rules.
But before you rush to send in your application, you need to know all of the pros and cons of this business model.
Many people are a part of Amazon FBA because there are a lot of benefits to gain from it. Some of them include the following:
- Scalability. There is no limit as to how many items you can sell, so you can use that scalability to grow your business and make a large profit. Leverage the large size of the market to your benefit.
- Convenience. Amazon FBA takes care of all the hard work such as storing, packaging, and shipping. This leaves you more time to focus on building your business. They even take care of customer support.
- Not too difficult to enter. All you need to have to launch an Amazon FBA business is the entrance fee of a few hundred dollars, a valid ID or passport, and a bank account.
- High levels of exposure. This comes from Amazon’s market dominance and because people usually go straight to Amazon when they want to purchase an item online. With FBA, you get your products shown to millions of people every day.
Before you rush to join Amazon FBA, you need to know all of the disadvantages so you can make an informed decision.
- Dependency. No matter how much money you make, you can’t forget one crucial thing – you don’t own your store, Amazon does. You’re just a guest on their platform and if they decide to kick you off the platform, there’s nothing you can do about it.
- Poor seller support. Since Amazon is so huge, you can’t expect it to keep up with everything that’s going on. If you face any kind of technical problems, you probably won’t get too much customer support help.
- Unfair competition. If you break one of Amazon’s rules, you will get banned and kicked out. However, there are some sellers that still play dirty and try to sabotage their competition. Leaving fake negative reviews and selling a competing product with a much lower price are just some common tactics.
- Cash flow intensive. Every FBA seller gets their check from Amazon every two weeks, but only after all the fees get cut from it. Fees for storage and fulfilment will be taken away from your earnings.
Mistakes to avoid when selling on Amazon
It’s not enough to know how to sell on Amazon, but you also need to know how not to sell on Amazon. A lot of sellers make mistakes, and while some are nothing but bumps on the road, other mistakes can ruin your business altogether and even get you banned from the platform.
When it comes to the more serious mistakes, here are some that you need to be really careful about.
- Breaking Amazon’s rules. Violating Amazon’s terms of service will get your account permanently suspended. You will lose all access to any inventory you have in Amazon’s warehouse. That is why you need to learn how to sell on Amazon in a rule-abiding way.
- Over-ordering stock. It’s important to have some extra stock, especially if the demand for your product is high. But over-stocking will cost you a lot of money. Don’t forget that Amazon FBA sellers pay for storage, and over-stocking will cause you to lose money for every day that product isn’t sold.
- Ignoring the competition. If you decide to sell a product without researching the competition first, you will probably find yourself in a market that’s too competitive. If, for instance, the first 10 sellers in the search results for your type of product have more than 100 positive reviews, you can’t hope for success without pursuing some advanced strategies.
- Not making improvements on existing products. There’s no point in making a copy of something that already exists on the platform, as nobody is going to buy it. Instead, offer products that are improved versions and solve customer’s issues and pain points more effectively.
As long as you avoid all of these mistakes, you will have a chance to create a successful business on Amazon.
Australian success stories
If you’ve ever asked yourself how to sell on Amazon Australia, this is the part you need to read. Selling on Amazon Australia is not only possible, it can also be very profitable. Here are some Australian success stories about selling on Amazon.
Val Brusylovsky is the founder and CEO of Boutique Retailer, which specialises in retailing boutique brands and boutique products that are hard to find. His parents used to run a physical store in Australia for 15 years, but when foot traffic decreased, Val decided to start selling their products online.
Amazon allowed them to expand to new categories outside of fashion and now they work with over 300 suppliers. They still operate their own warehouse, but they ship the top 5-10% of their most successful products to Amazon’s warehouses. His advice for finding success is to find your competitive advantage.
Canningvale, Australia is a private family-owned business that specialises in textiles, towels, sheets, and furniture. It was founded by the managing director Jordan Prainito’s grandfather, who became a weaver after immigrating to Australia from Italy.
When Jordan heard Amazon was coming to Australia, he reached out to them and asked for Canningvale to be part of the launch in Australia. The company soon saw a massive increase in internet sales and joined Amazon FBA, where they found even more success.
Emma Greelings was looking to reclaim her pre-pregnancy eating habits but couldn’t find a good portioning-focused meal-storage solution that fit her budget. That inspired her to launch her own meal prep storage solution and that is how Goal Prep was born.
In December 2018, Emma joined Amazon and became a success story when she decided to sell on Amazon from Australia. Emma says FBA was a big part of her decision to start Goal Prep because of their picking, packing, and shipping policies.
Create your Amazon account today
Now that you have the necessary information about how to sell on Amazon, you’re ready to take your business to the next level. All you have to do is take everything you learned from this article, rinse and repeat, and just watch your profit piling up.
The truth is that there is a lot more to selling on Amazon than some people believe. It’s not just deciding what to sell on Amazon, uploading pictures of products, and waiting for them to sell. A lot of hard work needs to be invested, but that hard work will pay off in time.
As long as you sell high-quality products, follow Amazon’s rules, and keep in mind everything you’ve just learned, you won’t have any issues. All that’s left to do now is go to the Amazon website, create your seller profile, and start earning money.