It seems like nowadays there are new online shops popping up every day and that everyone has found a way to start a business. However, while it seems appealing to start your own online business, it’s helpful to know where to begin in order to set yourself up for success.
One of the first things people want to know when starting an online business aside from what products to sell is where to sell their products. Although e-commerce websites are simpler than ever to create, it can be challenging to initially get things off the ground solo. Because of this, you may be considering selling with an online retailer. While there are many selling options to consider, this beginner’s guide specifically will cover how to start a business selling products on the leading online marketplace, Amazon.
Why Sell on Amazon?
So you want to start a business yourself and Amazon seems like the place to do it, but what is it about Amazon that makes it a good place to start?
One of the biggest reasons people turn to online marketplaces like Amazon to sell products is because it offers both an ideal customer and seller experience. Additionally, it provides convenient shipping options and access to a massive consumer audience. Being the largest global online marketplace, sellers have the opportunity to reach a wider audience than they would reach if they solely used an e-commerce website. Amazon generates 2.45 billion monthly visits to its site in the U.S. alone.
Aside from Amazon’s global reach, the online retailer comes with a range of other advantages for sellers; it streamlines its warehouse operations for fast and efficient shipping, provides branding capabilities to sellers, and presents a seamless customer journey for its shoppers. All of these benefits combined make Amazon a powerhouse online marketplace and a great place to start if you’re looking to sell products.
How to Start an Amazon FBA Business
If you’re just starting out on Amazon, there are a few ways you can go about it, but one of the popular choices is to have an Amazon FBA business. FBA stands for “Fulfillment by Amazon,” meaning Amazon is the one who manages the stock of your product. This means Amazon’s team handles most of your operations and logistics for you, from storing your products in their warehouses to packing, shipping and delivering your items to your customers.
Amazon is also known for its top-notch customer service, so if there are any problems with delivered items or returns, Amazon is the one to respond and rectify the issues. The advantage of using Amazon FBA is that you don’t need employees to handle your operations, giving you a more hands-off approach and the flexibility to essentially work from anywhere.
Source Your Products
If you are going the Amazon FBA route and you know what products you’re going to sell, what you’ll need to do in order to get your business running is source those products for Amazon. That means finding a supplier to buy products from at wholesale value.
Be sure to take your time doing research here, as finding a quality manufacturing partner is going to be important for the overall quality of your product, your price point and ultimately your profits. Once you select a supplier to work with, you will negotiate terms for buying and sourcing your products based on what works best for you and your business.
Create Your Brand
It’s not enough to have the perfect product or manufacturer relationship. Your product should have a brand that speaks to your business as a whole, including an official company name and visual brand identity. Some top-line items your visual brand identity should include are your company logo, company colors, fonts, and product packaging.
Sign Up to Become an Amazon Seller
To start selling on Amazon, you’ll need to sign up for an account at Amazon’s Seller Central. Amazon provides plenty of resources to prospective sellers on how to begin your account setup as well as additional information you’ll need to set up your store and product listings.
Create Your Product Listings and Storefront
Amazon provides sellers with a variety of opportunities to market their products. The first thing you’ll want to do is set up product listings for each of your individual products. When creating product listings, you should include all information about the products you’re selling in the product descriptions. If applicable, you should include any ingredients your product may have, instructions, sizes, colors, testimonials if possible, and multiple photos of the products.
Setting up your Amazon storefront also gives you the opportunity to categorize your product listings and display information relevant to your customers whichever way you like it. You can even add custom images and content to your storefront to make it truly unique to your brand and optimize your storefront and listings for search.
Sending Your Products to Amazon
Be sure to prepare your products to ship to an Amazon fulfillment center so that Amazon can start fulfilling any orders right away. Amazon has a long list of guidelines for this in the Amazon Seller Central. There are specific requirements for products’ labels, packaging and the method the inventory stock is shipped to the fulfillment center that need to be reviewed carefully before sending to Amazon. You want to make sure your products meet those guidelines to ensure safe delivery to the fulfillment center.
Grow Your Business
Simply opening an Amazon Seller account does not always guarantee that you’ll start receiving orders right away. In order to stand out on the Amazon marketplace, you should be taking advantage of the range of marketing opportunities that Amazon now provides for brands, as well as creating a marketing plan for additional channels like an eCommerce website or social media in order to create brand awareness.
As we mentioned earlier, brands have the opportunity to create custom-branded storefronts that elevate your brand’s presence as well as educate consumers about your products. Custom storefronts can have landing pages, custom widgets, a custom navigation bar and more. Amazon sellers can also place a budget for sponsored ads and content in order to promote product listings and drive new customers to your pages. All of these help to optimize your storefront’s user experience on Amazon.
Additionally, Amazon now has new features like Amazon Live and the Amazon Influencer Program which give sellers the opportunity to grow their business through a network of trusted influencers and brand ambassadors. As influencers become increasingly important in the online space for driving brand awareness, brands are realizing that leveraging these kinds of features will help drive traffic, increase engagement, and create more sustainable growth.
Anyone can become an Amazon seller, but having a well-thought-out Amazon retail strategy is crucial for long-term success on the online marketplace. At Fortress Brand, we represent highly acclaimed beauty, health and wellness brands on the Amazon marketplace and help our clients navigate through the clutter of Amazon.
As a full-service and tech-enabled retail agency that is uniquely invested in your success from day one, we purchase your inventory upfront — at no cost to you — and take it all from there to ensure successful sales growth. We provide a collaborative partnership that covers everything from reseller control and marketing to logistics and performance metrics.
If a partnership feels like something you’re interested in exploring, feel free to send us an email at [email protected] to get started.