The Amazon Sellers’ Handbook: Best Practices to Make Your Business Work
What goes into being a high-ranked seller on Amazon? E-commerce in general has such a high market reach that it might seem like setting up your PDPs is all it takes to start selling on Amazon. But it’s a competitive market. It’s not easy to stay on top and it’s not cheap either, if you count the investment that goes into advertising and the costs of production, packaging and warehousing.
If you’re a young business and you want to take off quickly, then make sure you don’t crash-land into the jungle that is competitive product rankings, and set yourself up with a solid USP before you get started.
Here are some of the things you can do to set up your business on Amazon and keep it running smoothly:
1. Start slow, look left, look right and then proceed with caution
If you’re a seller with a dream and you’re not really sure of what you actually want to sell, then take a look at some of the best-selling products on Amazon. Electronics, beauty products and books tend to fly off the shelves fastest, so that might be a good place to start. If you already know what you’re selling, then take a look at the competition.
- How are they priced?
- Where do they rank?
- What goes into their PDP pages?
- How do customers respond to their products?
Remember, the operative word is slow. Don’t get crazy and start off with a huge inventory without knowing how your audience will respond. Start small, and keep your options open. Warehousing also costs, so limit your stock to an economical quantity.
2. Take the effort to build a brand
You don’t want to sell only once, nobody does. Starting with a bang is nothing more than, well, a start. You want customers to linger, to return, to remember you and to talk about you with their friends. That means looking good, having a product that won’t fall apart before it’s delivered, and maintaining a consistent line of communication. Some of the essential factors in brand-building include:
- Style and tone of voice – keep it light, interactive, in tune with the zeitgeist and consistent.
- Imagery. Show your product off. The basic image with the white background is a must, but you can also add further images with the product in use, the product in context, the product in a helpful infographic video – think creatively.
- Consistency. There’s no point in building a beautiful brand if your ads look tacky, or your PDP is messy. Across your marketing platforms – ads/social/website/emailers – your brand needs to look as interesting, as trustworthy and as valuable to customers. Hold onto it, at every point of interaction.
3. Choose your shipping method – FBA or FBM?
FBA – fulfilled by Amazon. FBM – fulfilled by merchant. Finding it hard to choose? Ask yourself:
- Do I have a shipping method in place?
- Do I want to keep my packaging uniquely branded?
- Am I expecting a slow turnover with plenty of time for shipment?
- Do I have a special relationship with my customers that I want to keep?
If the answer to all these questions is yes, then go with merchant-fulfilled shipping. If, on the other hand:
- You don’t have an established shipping method
- You’re expecting a fast turnover
- You don’t mind handing over customer care to Amazon
- You want to cut down on warehousing and transport costs
- then FBA is your method. Customers also tend to trust FBA, so if you’re choosing FBM, make sure it’s for a really good reason.
4. Encourage your customers to write reviews and respond to feedback
You are being ranked on both sides – by Amazon and by your customers. If your page is highly ranked, then you’re also going to show up higher on searches. Once your product is shipped, Amazon automatically sends a mailer out asking for a review. If this isn’t enough, add a review button or send out your own mailers.
Customers on e-commerce websites don’t get to see, touch or test products, so they’re heavily dependent on seller information and reviews. They really need to know that someone has used the product and found it good. They need to know that the quality is what you claim it is. Verification always helps, and it’s easy to spot a fake review, which will also get you dropped, so don’t try it. If you get queries, respond immediately. This would also improve your seller rankings on Amazon’s search algorithm.
5. Invest in a good listing page
Good copy sells. Your product title, bullets and descriptions are where you get to talk to your customers. Don’t junk this space up with static information. Instead, really talk, imagine your customer is sitting in front of you, and think about what you want to tell them. This is the place where they’re meeting your brand and your product so keep it light, keep it interactive. Your bullet points should include all the most vital information – and, depending on your products, questions answered should include:
- What is it made of?
- Is it durable?
- Will it fit in my house/on my shelf/in my car, i.e., what is its size?
- What is the colour? How long will the battery last? I.e. what are the use benefits?
Descriptions are longer, so here you can take a little more time and spend a few more words telling your customer just how your product works, where they can use it, add more production details if necessary, and also, possibly, introduce your brand to them.
Your titles, images and PDP content are the most visible part of your brand, so here’s where you really want to look sharp and not miss a beat. Visit us at nittygritti.com and use our AI powered tool to get a clear picture of where your brand stands in Amazon’s complex grid of search rankings.