As soon as you register as an Amazon seller, the clock starts ticking. Amazon keeps you informed of your monthly performance from day one. And what you’re willing to do to succeed is important: with this checklist, you’ll be ready to successfully go through all the selling stages of Amazon.
We’ve looked at everything from the most basic preparations to the next steps needed to succeed.
First things first:
1. Get your paperwork in order
It’s a lot easier to start selling with all your paperwork in order. Some of them will be needed to open an account, this could protect your business in the future. You will need the following:
Your company name
This is the name of your business. If you’re doing business under a different name, it can be more difficult. Nevertheless, you’ll need to do it no matter what.
You must have a valid email address. I would consider creating a new account specifically for your Amazon seller’s account – maybe adding a new account to your email account or, if you don’t have one, opening a new Gmail account and continuing to use an alternate browser to check it regularly.
You will need a valid credit card that you are able to use to run your business and all its purchases.
2. Figure out your logistics in advance
Once you connect and start selling on Amazon, sorting out logistical problems becomes much more difficult. It’s easier to set things up so that they never become a problem in the first place. You need to know:
How (and if) you plan to use FBA
FBA works quite differently if you combine products. Combined sales allow Amazon to sell your and other sellers’ items, provided that they are the same.
The only problem is that you may find yourself with your products that are under your control and thoroughly tested, mixed with someone else’s that is not worried about testing, or deliberately selling fake items. Then, when your order is shipped, the goods are of poor quality and your reputation can be affected.
How Amazon’s product gating applies to what you want to sell
Amazon uses restrictions to decide who can sell things in certain categories. If the categories you want to sell are closed, you need to apply for reviewing as soon as possible.
3. Prepare a business plan
Determine your business plan in advance. You don’t have to do it in perfect order to begin with. Your plan may change, even during your first month as an Amazon seller. However, when you plan your first month, you should ask yourself a few questions, like:
Are you going to sell the same products or change them?
If you are going to sell a variety of products, it is not that important. However, if you sell the same product all the time, it is wise to use the replenishment alert provided by the sales center.
How will you identify obsolete inventory?
Despite what you sell, an inventory life cycle is an important part of your supply chain management. If the products are on the shelf for three months, this tells you what you need to order.
More importantly, if you’re using an FBA, it’s important to identify outdated stock so you don’t get caught up in the 180-day Amazon warehouse sweeps and pay a much higher storage fees.
Don’t wait for 179 days and then wonder how much your inventory currently costs.
How will you source your products?
Inventory is one of the main challenges on Amazon. Sellers who want the Buy Box already know that you will not get it if your goods are not in stock. You also need to avoid periods when you don’t have stock and you don’t sell, therefore not making any money.
Only you know the most appropriate sources of inventory for your business, but make sure you have other backup options, if possible, so that you do not fall into the trap.
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Who is already selling the same products as you on Amazon?
It is quite common for new sellers to jump into the market with products that are already so popular and that have flooded the market. Therefore, there is no real chance of selling them successfully. So it’s important to make sure you sell a product that will give you a good chance to do business.
The biggest competitor on Amazon is Amazon itself – check your catalogue with Amazon and if the company sells your products, rethink your approach.
When you check what’s already on Amazon, whether or not it’s on Amazon retail, make sure you look at the prices. You won’t make much progress if you’re much more expensive than your competitors. In order to help you stay competitive with your product prices, as well as to get a share of the Buy Box and maximize profits while avoiding price wars, we recommend that you have an Amazon Repricer.
4. Prepare your financials
Even if you’ve chosen the most economical business models, you will still have to spend some money to make money on Amazon. If you want to do this in the most efficient way, you should look deeper than just the basic question of whether or not you’re making a profit.
5. Get your marketing ready
Amazon is a lively place. It is one of the largest search engines in the world. And for those who want to buy something, it’s more than Google.
This is great, but it means that you have a lot of competition.
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Therefore, you have to do marketing to stand out and make sure you are found by the right people.
Fortunately, Amazon is easier to learn the basics of “best practice” than Google, because Google is a universal machine for answering questions, and Amazon is a list of things to sell.
Here’s how to get your Amazon marketing in order:
Make great product descriptions a priority
Product descriptions are what Amazon uses to match buyers with your products. Weak product descriptions result in less sales for you. Many Amazon sellers have weak product descriptions, which means that excellent ones can help you get ahead. Marketing on Amazon, in addition to paid advertising, comes down to describing killer products. Creating a product description is time consuming, however, it really pays off..
Do your keyword research
The first marketing asset you need is a list of high performance keywords to increase traffic to your products. You want relevance first, and then volume when you do this stage: the huge amount of traffic from people who will never buy is pointless.
There are many tools, which can be found on AMZDataStudio, which will collect all the backend keywords used by your competitors for the same products. There is no need to reinvent the wheel.
6. See what sells – and how
There’s no data like yours because there’s no business like yours. Best practices can only get you so far; real discoveries have been made through trial and error. Start getting information as soon as possible about how your business works. This information you can use to make improvements.
Initially prioritize the sales of a few products so that you can see how they work.
An error in business is trying to sell everything that meets the needs of everyone. Imagine that you have a restaurant for every taste. It’s a question of “too many products,” that Will Mitchell talks about. Instead, use a small amount of products and see how they work. Watch what is being sold and what is not, and adapt your strategy accordingly.
Get feedback on sales
Feedback from customers on sales and service is important for Amazon, when evaluating new sellers. These figures are strongly analysed. There are many third-party Amazon sales feedback tools that allow you to keep track of the actual performance of your products by requesting feedback from each new customer.
To sum it up
To become a successful Amazon seller, you need to be well prepared. The first 30 days are crucial. If you develop a bad reputation, it is difficult to move away from it. Earn a good one and you can build on it.
That’s why it’s important to have everything in place, from inventory to finance and marketing, before you even start selling. The more work you do behind the scenes before you start selling, the fewer mistakes you will make as a beginner. You will spend less money on inventory, have fewer things that are not sold, and you will have a clear understanding what your business means to your customers and why they buy from you.