Ovid, the great Roman poet, once said that “a horse never runs so fast as when he has other horses to catch up and outpace.” The same notion rings true in the world of business, especially in e-commerce, where thousands of sellers are in constant, nonstop competition for views, clicks, and sales. In the digital marketplace, no other company compares to Amazon—the king of the e-commerce jungle. Using an Amazon seller app is a great way to get started if you’re looking to sell your products on Amazon, but with so many other sellers, how can you stand out in this veritable ocean of a marketplace?
Amazon is, without a doubt, the largest online marketplace to sell almost any product imaginable. However, this marketplace’s size and versatility also lead to some of the fiercest competition between third-party vendors. With so many options for the consumer, it can be a challenge, as a seller, to rise above the competition and truly stand out. Here, we share a few insider tips on selling on Amazon like a pro, starting with the first step—getting started.
HOW TO GET STARTED SELLING ON AMAZON
Joining the Amazon marketplace as a seller is quick and easy—perhaps that’s why so many have already done it. According to Marketplace Pulse, there are currently over 8.7 million sellers on Amazon and this number is only growing. As e-commerce sales continue to rise (accounting for 16 percent of total retail sales in the United States in 2019), more and more sellers will see the value of tapping into the digital marketplace. And the easiest way to do so? By joining Amazon as a seller, you’re instantly invited to set up shop in the biggest online mall. But how do you get started? Joining Amazon as a seller requires just a few quick steps.
· Sign up for an Amazon seller account
· List your products
· Keep an eye on your inventory
· Fulfill orders (manually or with Amazon FBA, where they handle this all for you)
· Make profit
The product title is your first chance to grab a shopper’s attention. Alongside an image, this is their first experience with your product; therefore, optimizing your product title is crucial. A stronger product title will also rank you higher in the Amazon marketplace, making your products more visible. When writing product titles, be sure to include keywords (although not too many) and essential information, like size, color, quantity, or whatever seems relevant for your product. But don’t go on for too long—product titles should remain below 200 characters.
TURN YOUR PRODUCT INTO A STORY
Your product title just gave the shopper the bare essentials—now, use your product description to fill in the gaps. Intriguing product descriptions not only informs your potential customer about the products, but also can hook them into a sale. Think of the product description as your sales pitch—how do you make your product exciting, useful, memorable? Don’t forget to use your classic sales techniques here as well, including a call to action and a brief reminder that this product is selling fast.
Just like Google’s search engine results, Amazon uses keywords to rank their product listings. While the algorithm incorporates a variety of factors, keywords play a significant role. When writing your product title and description, remember to use as many effective keywords as possible. Use the space strategically by focusing on keywords and avoiding repetitions or language that doesn’t factor into your product ranking.
On top of your product’s quality, pricing will always be the most critical factor for a potential customer. This rule holds especially true in the e-commerce world and its whirlwind of competitors trying to undersell you. That’s partially why Amazon has introduced various options in its responsive pricing strategies. As a seller, you can choose to use manual, algorithmic, or rule-based pricing. Each has its own pros and cons, so it’s essential to determine which model will work best for your specific line of products.
In addition to your product description, a visual image is the shopper’s first experience with your product—so you want to make it count. You’ll want to make sure that your product image is clear, professional, and even helpful. You don’t need a professional camera, but keep in mind the Amazon product image requirements, such as using a pure white background. You can also use small details, like silhouettes and measurements, to give the consumer a better idea of what your product will look like after opening the box.
STAYING IN STOCK
On Amazon, it’s all about securing a spot in the buy box. Once your product is there, it’s just one click away from a successful sale. There’s nothing worse, as a seller, to make it to the coveted buy box, but then lose out on a sale because you’re out of stock. You don’t need a massive inventory to compete with other top sellers, but it’s critical to keep an eye on your inventory to ensure you don’t lose out on sales. Consistently disappointing customers with out of stock items can also hurt your overall reputation.
RECEIVE GOOD CUSTOMER FEEDBACK
We all know customer feedback and reviews, especially online, can make or break any seller. The value of good customer feedback is critical to success in the Amazon marketplace and can make a significant difference in your rankings. While you can’t technically control your customer feedback (which is why it’s such valuable information for other customers), you can minimize poor feedback, such as responding as quickly as possible to any questions or complaints. You can even request Amazon to remove any poor feedback that was not your fault.
Mastering the Amazon marketplace can seem daunting. In the world’s largest online market, how can you possibly stand out from the competition, so your product has a chance to shine? Sadly, there’s no silver bullet here, but by understanding how this digital marketplace works and how Amazon ranks their products, you can manage a glimpse behind the curtain and then more strategically design and market your products. Don’t let the competition intimate you. Just like Ovid’s horse, let the competition inspire and ignite your competitive spirit. Use these tips and advice to help your products run faster than the rest.