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5 Key Things You Need to Do to Drive Success on Amazon (especially if you’re new to the platform)

Updated: Aug 29, 2023

There’s little question that Amazon is an enormous sales channel. In 2022, it generated a net retail sales value of $514 billion globally and is projected to surpass $1 trillion by 2026. To put that into perspective, total Ecommerce sales excluding travel totaled more than $1 trillion in 2022, meaning that Amazon has already captured approximately half of all online sales.

If you’re still wondering whether you should be selling on Amazon, consider that more than 60% of all product searches start on Amazon, making it the top product search destination. Clearly, Amazon is a platform that you can’t ignore.

But if your company is new to the platform, it can be a little daunting. It can be hard to know which products to sell, how to get them to appear in product searches, and how to take advantage of the platform’s many marketing opportunities, among other things.

In our experience, there are five key things every new seller needs to do in order to succeed on Amazon. Let's take a look at them and see how you might apply these to your Amazon presence. (Side note: even if you’re already on the platform, chances are these tips will be helpful, too).

Have a Differentiated Product

With so many products available on Amazon, it’s important that your products can stand on their own. Products themselves (and how they’re presented—more on that below) are what differentiate companies in the marketplace. Consumers tend to recognize products as a brand, the same way as if someone was looking at their local big box retailer for a specific brand of coffee, clothing line, kitchen gadget, etc. Amazon is just a shift in the sales channel.

If you’re a manufacturer or a brand already, great. Your products are already likely differentiated. If you’re a retailer, distributor, or reseller, however, it becomes more complicated. Oftentimes these types of companies have a private label product that they sell on Amazon, just as any other brand would. If that’s not the case, though, they may consider asking their suppliers for exclusive rights to sell on the platform. This can be particularly helpful for products that are 1) differentiated and 2) aren’t already being sold on the platform.

Get Great Product Content

We can’t stress this one enough. Great product content drives sales. Period. It doesn’t matter how amazing your product is, it won’t sell on Amazon if it doesn’t have great content.

What makes great content? In our experience, this includes:

  • Descriptive, keyword-rich titles

  • Detailed product descriptions

  • Bullet pointed benefits

  • High-quality images

  • Product videos

Images are crucial here. Not only do you need images of the product on a white background shot at various angles to show each side of the product, but you also need infographics with features pointed out, as well as instructional images and videos of people using the product.

Having great product content is the second most important thing you can do to be successful on Amazon. The first most important thing is…

Have a Sales Strategy

Too often, we see merchants take a “set it and forget it” approach to Amazon. That simply isn’t going to cut it, not with the level of competition that’s on the platform. And if you don’t make the decision yourself, others may decide for you.

What does that mean? Take a minute to search for your product and product category on Amazon; what you find might scare you. You’ll likely find sellers selling your product (or something similar) that you didn’t even know existed. And they may be presenting your product in a way that doesn’t align with your brand. Having a sales strategy fixes this.

There are essentially three different ways to sell on Amazon. They are:

  1. Vendor Central (1P): This is where you sell directly to Amazon just as you would with any wholesale account. To do this, though, you have to be invited by Amazon to sell products this way.

  2. Seller Central (3P): This is third-party selling, where you sell your products to buyers on the platform, but manage every aspect of your listings, including (but not limited to) your brand page, product pricing, and more. This is the preferred method for many sellers, as the profit margins tend to be higher. Fulfillment can still be handled by Amazon using their Fulfilled by Amazon program, or you can fulfill them from your warehouse (more on that below).

  3. Use resellers to sell products: You can authorize specific resellers or distributors to exclusively sell your products on Amazon. Ideally, you will want to partner with sellers who are already proficient at selling on the platform.

Your Amazon sales strategy should incorporate all of the tools that the platform provides. This is an essential part of having a presence on Amazon, and not taking advantage of these tools will likely result in your sales being either flat or totally nonexistent.

These tools include:

  • Trademark registration: If you have a trademarked brand, you can register it with Amazon to ensure they recognize your brand name. This will enable you to prevent unwanted sellers from selling your product.

  • Product review tools: Product reviews are an important part of gaining visibility on the platform. It’s therefore wise to use all tools available to generate product reviews. For example, consider Amazon’s Early Reviewer program, which encourages customers to review products through Amazon’s system.

  • B2B selling tools: This is a set of tools designed specifically for B2B sellers that allow you to offer bulk and tiered pricing, diversity and/or regulatory qualifications, and other features that are unique to B2B buyers.

  • Amazon ads: These include sponsored product listings and banner ads. They can really help boost product visibility and are all managed on a cost-per-click (CPC) basis so you only pay when someone clicks on an ad.

  • Amazon promo capabilities: Amazon offers a wide array of tools to help you promote your products, including coupons, product bundling, and other types of promotions. Try to get in on events like Prime Day and other promotional events to help boost your products’ visibility. Please note, however, that some promotions require you to sell at a certain volume before you’re eligible to participate. But that should be no problem if you’re following these other recommendations.

  • Enhanced brand content: Bring your brand to life using enhanced brand content, including setting up a branded storefront that lists all your products, and includes lifestyle imagery, about us content, video resources, and other branded content.

Get the Right Resources in Place

If all these ideas sound like a lot of work to you, it’s because managing your Amazon presence is a lot of work. As mentioned above, it’s not a set-it-and-forget-it platform. You have to proactively manage it on an ongoing basis. That means optimizing content to grow sales, researching keywords, optimizing ads, providing customer support, gathering customer reviews, and more. And the more your sales grow, the more you’ll need to devote resources to managing the platform. For example, we have clients who spend over $100,000 per month in advertising—just on Amazon. They bid on 1,000s of keywords, and it takes a significant amount of human resources to ensure those ads are profitable.

Another area that requires resources is making sure you have the right type of fulfillment. As discussed above, you can either fulfill orders yourself or you can take advantage of Amazon’s Fulfilled By Amazon program. This program is a vast third-party logistics network where Amazon warehouses, picks and packs your products, and ships them. This is particularly an important aspect of selling on Amazon; if you undercut this aspect, you will likely receive negative reviews and your sales will suffer as a result.

We know all this sounds like a lot of work and a real challenge, but the payoff can be huge. There are companies that, in a relatively short amount of time, can make Amazon a multi-million dollar revenue channel.

So if you’re struggling to figure out your Amazon strategy and/or execution, we can help do all these things for you. Contact us to get a FREE Amazon assessment and get started selling on the world’s largest marketplace!

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