Founder of FinancialWellnessMD, BioWise Capital, and Smart Block Capital.
If there is one thing that we’ve learned in the last few months, it’s that e-commerce is here to stay. And while running your own e-commerce website is a good idea, I believe Amazon is the place to be. Of course, conquering that platform can seem like a pretty daunting task, particularly given the fact that you’re competing against possibly dozens of other retailers in the same space for similar products.
There’s good news, though. Achieving success with Amazon doesn’t have to be an insurmountable obstacle. In fact, anyone can do it, provided they have the right information and take the correct steps.
In my e-commerce experience helping physicians gain financial independence, I understand how challenging it can be to win the buy box and achieve success on Amazon. In this post, I’ll walk you through seven things you need for success on Amazon.
1. Inclusion In FBA
For anyone selling through Amazon, fulfillment is a big deal. How will you get the purchase to your customers? You have two choices: FBM (fulfillment by merchant) and FBA (fulfillment by Amazon). Both have their pros and cons, but when it comes down to it, I believe FBA is the better choice for the largest number of retailers. Why is that? In my experience, there are quite a few reasons.
• Customers often prefer it.
• It frees up your time.
• It reduces your warehousing, storage and shipping costs.
• Your products are eligible for Prime, which gives you access to top-tier customers.
• You get buy-box advantages not available to those going the FBM route.
With that being said, FBA does have some drawbacks. You’ll incur additional charges, have limited access to your inventory and run up against some tax obligations. Still, many retailers find that FBA is the way to go.
2. A Repricing Strategy
Many Amazon retailers use a repricing strategy, and the right strategy is critical. Do you go the manual repricing route? That gives you full control but costs you a lot of time. Rule-based repricing is an option (and a common choice among Amazon resellers), but algorithmic repricing might also be a good choice.
Of all your options, I’ve seen that algorithmic repricing offers the most benefits while simultaneously freeing up your time to focus on what you do best. It also leverages a broad range of metrics critical to success and can help you win the buy box.
3. The Right Products
Sure, you know that product quality matters, but it goes much deeper than that. Quality is critical, but so is niche, appeal, utility and value. Finding the right mix of those qualities takes time and dedication to doing your due diligence.
A couple of tips will help here. First, consider researching the top-selling products in specific niches. These have obvious appeal for many reasons. In a way, they’re sure bets. However, they’re also likely to be highly competitive unless you’re targeting a very underrepresented niche.
The second tip is to consider products that have little to no sales rank. Low-ranking ASINs (Amazon standard identification numbers) can be good bets and might just open up a brand new market, allowing you to become the dominant seller (at least until others find the product, too).
4. The Details
If you take a look at some of the best-selling products on Amazon, what do you see? Lots of accurate information. The product names aren’t keyword-stuffed abominations.
The bullets are clear, concise, grammatically correct and accurate. The descriptions are crafted for people, not search bots, and provide information that human beings want to know before making a purchase. If you give your customers the details, you’ll be halfway to closing the sale.
5. Customer Reviews
Another critical factor in Amazon’s success is focusing on customer reviews. Consumers today expect some form of social proof when purchasing unless the product is brand new to the market. Of course, getting reviews can be challenging.
Be dedicated to following up with purchases. Take advantage of Amazon’s system to send follow-up emails. Thank them for the purchase. Ask if they were satisfied. If not, what can you do to fix things? If so, could they leave you a review on Amazon? Then, link to where they need to go.
6. Digital Marketing Methods
What marketing methods are you using to spread the word about your Amazon products? Just the listing itself? If so, you’re shooting yourself in the foot. You can (and should!) use standard digital marketing methods to promote your store and products. What methods, though?
• Email marketing
• Social media marketing
• Social ads
• Social selling
You get the picture. If you would use a digital marketing method to spread the word about your own website, you can and should use it to bolster your presence and market share within the Amazon ecosystem.
7. In-Stock Items
My final tip is this: Don’t let your products go out of stock. A “not in stock” notice is nothing more than encouragement for your customers to go somewhere else to purchase.
Consumer loyalty is a tricky thing today, and that’s truer on Amazon than anywhere else, particularly considering that the platform itself suggests other sellers. While you don’t want to encounter long-term storage fees on your FBA items, you also cannot afford to send customers to your competitors.
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