Selling On Amazon 101
Now that you’ve decided to sell on Amazon, our comprehensive guide will help you understand what you’ll need to do and consider in order to get started on Amazon. We will also discuss how to prepare your listing for repeated success.
Understanding the Fee Structure
How to deliver your products to customers
How to write Amazon listing copy that drives sales
Understanding promotional options
How to set up Amazon ads
Understanding Amazon reporting
How to accrue repeat customers
Understanding the Fee Structure*
*Note: these fees are accurate as of 3/6/2019 but are subject to change by Amazon.
Types of Accounts
Individual (Less than 40 sales/month)
$0.99/item, per sale
There are certain restrictions for Individual accounts, such as how many listings a seller can have. Gift wrapping is also not available for Individual accounts. Learn more about the Individual and Pro account types here.
Have I budgeted for all relevant fees when determining my bottom line?
How To Deliver Products To Your Customers
What Are The FBA Fees?
It is important to note that if the same product sits in an Amazon warehouse for six months or more, you will start accruing penalty fees.
How will I ship my products? Can I afford to warehouse them or should I do it myself?
How To Write Amazon Listing Copy That Drives Sales
For a more detailed, step-by-step guide on how to write the ultimate product listing, check out our second ebook, Everything You Need to Know About Writing an Amazon Product Listing.
Analyze Your Competitors
Before you can write copy for your product listing, you should analyze your competitors’ listings and copy.
First, analyze what your competitors are doing both on and off Amazon. On Amazon, see what products are listed when you search for products similar to yours. Take note of how they describe their products and what words or phrases they use. Don’t forget to look at their reviews and examine how customers talk about their products. Think critically about ways to make your product descriptions stand out when compared to your competition’s based on their online content and customer reviews. Do you have a bonus feature that your competitors do not? Be sure to highlight that as soon as possible in your listing.
Create Your Keyword List
At this point, you should be ready to begin creating a list of keywords. Start by listing out all potential keywords. Use the knowledge you’ve uncovered through audience and competitor analysis to think of keywords your ideal customers are likely to use, and also consider additional brainstorming tools like a thesaurus to complete your initial keyword list.
Conduct Keyword Research
Once you have a list of possible keywords, you can begin to organize and curate your list and prioritize your keywords using a number of keyword tools. Most have free versions available, but if you want an in-depth look at keywords, you should consider investing in one of the paid keyword research platforms such as SEMrush, SEOChat Keyword Suggest Tool, Helium or Jungle Scout.
Write Your Listing
Armed with a solid list of keywords, you can begin to write your product description and product features. Before you begin, familiarize yourself with Amazon’s product page style guide. If you need further help making sure your product listings fit their guidelines, visit the Help Center for Amazon Sellers.
Amazon operates on keywords rather than keyphrases, and you only have to use a keyword once. Keyword-stuffing and repetitive keywords will not strengthen your listing; while repetitive keywords will not hurt your listing, you should avoid taking up valuable space with them when possible. Remember, keywords used in your title, product listing and search terms are all weighted equally, so focus on selling your product with the keywords rather than stuffing keywords into your customer-facing copy.
You should plan to re-evaluate your listing regularly as your business begins to grow and you notice other trends from your listing activity, as well as successful keywords used in advertising, customer reviews and competitor’s strategies. This does not mean that you should change your listing constantly, this simply means you should be agile and stay on top of keyword trends when necessary.
Have I optimized my listing for sales using the five-step process laid out above?
Understanding Promotional Options
A Lightning Deal is a single item paired with a limited quantity of extra savings coupons, available for the time period stated or until all coupons are used. You must meet certain criteria in order to become eligible for a Lightning Deal, but once you are eligible, you can experience a variety of benefits from Lightning Deals, including eliminating overstock, showcasing your other products by proxy, improving your search rank, appearing on the Amazon deals page and showing up as a “deal” in search results. Similar to a flash of lightning, Lightning Deals are quick, and generally run for four to six hours once approved.
Early Reviewer Program
The Early Reviewer Program is a community of Amazon customers who purchase and leave reviews for new products on Amazon that have few or no reviews. While the customers do not receive the product for free or at a discount, they may receive a small reward (e.g. a $1 – $3 Amazon gift card) for participating and leaving a review on your Amazon listing. There are no limitations on the type of reviews customers can leave (they want them to be as honest as possible), and the goal is to help new products gain reviews to create a more informative shopping experience for Amazon customers.
Your ASIN (Amazon Standard Identification Number) must meet the following criteria in order to be eligible:
- Your ASIN (Amazon Standard Identification Number) must meet the following criteria in order to be eligible:
- Must be a US-based brand-registered Amazon seller
- Product listing must have fewer than five reviews
- Product must be priced above $15.00
- If you are new to Amazon and your product meets this criteria, this should be one of the first programs you consider.
Prime Day is a yearly sale that Amazon holds for all Prime members during the second week of July. During this time, Prime members can take advantage of exclusive deals that are only seen once a year. Similar to Black Friday or Cyber Monday, Prime Day is one-day only (though in 2018 it was extended to 30 hours).
Deal of the Day
Deal of the Day
Once you log into your account, simply visit the promotions tab to take advantage of any one of these options:
- Social Media Promo Code
- Free Shipping
- Percentage Off
- Buy One Get One
Do I have a promotion strategy in place, including timing, budget and inventory?
How to Set Up Amazon Ads
Getting Started With Amazon Ads
Regardless of if you have experience managing paid media campaigns on Google, Bing or Facebook, Amazon’s paid media platform has its own process entirely. If you’re just getting started with Amazon ads, we’ll discuss a few things to consider below.
First, there are three main ad types on Amazon: sponsored product ads, headline search ads, and product display ads.
Amazon also has two different campaign types, Sponsored Brands and Sponsored Products. Sponsored Products are what Amazon calls ads for individual product listings on Amazon. These are cost-per-click ads, meaning you only pay when someone clicks on your ad, and they are displayed on search results pages and product detail pages. Sponsored Brands work the same way but they showcase your brand and product portfolio (three at a time).
Sponsored Product campaigns have two targeting options:
Sponsored Product Automatic Campaign
Sponsored Product Manual Campaign
Sponsored Product Manual Campaigns have two targeting options:
Why Keyword Research Is Important
When Should You Start PPC Campaigns?
Building a Keyword Strategy
When it comes to bidding on keywords, some believe you should do so, even if you rank organically, because it secures a higher position in the Amazon search results, which can help you make the sale. Others believe you should stop bidding for keywords that you already rank for, because your product should be able to generate sales on its own if it’s indeed superior. This increases your profitability and liberates your budget to test other keywords.
Regardless of what ad campaigns you decide to run or what strategy you decide to implement, you should always have an automatic campaign running because they give you placements you can’t bid for and allow you to discover new keyword opportunities and ideas for product targeting. You should also exclude your manual bids from your automatic campaigns because you want to avoid bidding against yourself.
Keyword Match Types
Broad Match Types
Example Keyword: “Hat Rack”
- Eligible search terms are: “hat racks”, “discount hat racks”, “door rack for hats”
- Ineligible search terms are: “cap rack”, “trucker hat organizer”, “ball cap rack”
Example Keyword: “Hat Rack”
- Eligible search terms are: “door hat rack”, “hat rack for girls”, “hat rack for closet”
- Ineligible search terms are: “cool caps racks”, “rack for hats”
Example Keyword: “Hat Rack”
- Eligible search terms are: “hat rack”, “hat racks”
- Ineligible search terms are: “cool hat racks”, “baseball hat rack”
When using different match types per group, remember to exclude each match type from the other like this:
Broad Match Group
Exclude both phrase and exact match from this group
Phrase Match Group
Exclude all exact match keywords.
Exact Match Group
Let it be.
How To Start Bidding
Once you’ve established a baseline, you can bid up and down depending on performance.
How To Optimize Your Ads
When do I want to start running ads, before or after I’ve gathered reviews? What ad types do I want to run to promote my listing?
Understanding Amazon Reporting
Although Amazon tends to keep some sale information close to the vest, there are a few reports that you can analyze on a regular basis to keep track of your inventory and sales trends. In addition to inventory and fulfillment reports, you can also take advantage of the reporting options discussed below.
What information will I want to look for in my reports on a regular basis?
Getting Repeat Customers
Although Amazon makes it easy for customers to repurchase items by showing them their “Previously Ordered” orders, gaining repeat customers on Amazon can be quite difficult, as Amazon sees their customers as their customers and not yours.
Their algorithm is built to promote and sell the highest-converting products at that moment, which may not always be your product. Additionally, collecting customers’ contact information for incubation and re-engagement is nearly impossible. Here are a few ways to work around that:
Automated Feedback Services
Build Your Own Website
Focus on Social Media Growth
Host Contests and Giveaways
Do I have a plan in place for gaining repeat customers and lead generation?
Ready To Get Started?
While there is a lot to consider before you start selling on Amazon, if you have a solid grasp on the information covered in this ebook and can confidently answer each question, you’re on your way to success!