15 Feb 2022 By By Alice Davies
Amazon is one of the largest online marketplaces in the world. It’s also one of the biggest search engines too - yup, more users than ever before are using Amazon as their go-to search engine for products, finding exactly what they need, without having to use Google.
Selling on Amazon can enable you to reach a much wider audience, an audience who don’t always go straight to Google to find what they need. In fact, in the UK alone, 90% of shoppers are using the platform.
But how exactly do you go about selling on Amazon? We’ve created the ultimate guide to selling on Amazon in 2022, with hints and tips, need-to-knows, and our industry insight.
You might already have a successful eCommerce business. This makes it easier to decide what you’re going to start selling on Amazon - and it gives your customers more options on where to buy from, as well as tapping into new audiences.
But if you’re new to the eCommerce game and simply want to start making money, you need to find a niche. Amazon currently has 20 categories available for sellers to choose from, without needing approval from the platform. These include:
Amazon Device Accessories
Camera & Photo
Clothing & Accessories
Health & Personal Care
Home & Garden
Software & Computer Games
Tools & Home Improvement
Toys & Games
Video Games & Video Game Consoles
If you have other ideas in mind, you’ll need to go through a different approval process with Amazon. Products and services for approval include:
Automotive & Powersports
B2B Business Products
Grocery & Gourmet Food
Industrial & Scientific
Luggage & Travel Accessories
Shoes, Handbags, & Sunglasses
Video, DVD, & Blu-Ray
There’s plenty to choose from - you just need to decide whether the approval process for the second lot of categories is worth it. It can sometimes take up to three working days to be approved - or to be told they require further information from you. With the first list of categories, you can start selling almost immediately.
We told you Amazon’s eCommerce platform is pretty slick. You have options to choose from when it comes to how you sell. You can either have an Individual or Professional plan, which will greatly affect how much (or how little) you want to sell.
With an Individual plan, you can sell fewer than 35 items per month. This is probably a good choice for any business which is just starting up, or isn’t sure exactly what they want to sell. It will also give you a decent overview of which products are most successful, allowing you to adjust your offering, or upgrade to a Professional plan.
Once you upgrade, you can then sell more than 35 products per month, access Amazon’s library of APIs, and generally have more options available to you.
This is the straightforward part. Simply head to Amazon Seller Central and sign up. Amazon is pretty clear from the get go that it will cost £25 per month for a Professional plan, allowing you to reach multiple customers, in a variety of countries. For an Individual selling plan, you’ll be charged 75p for each item you sell.
If you already have an Amazon account that you normally use for purchasing, you can use the same details to set up a seller account, keeping everything in one place. However, if you feel like keeping things separate for business reasons, you can create a completely new account.
Make sure you have the following information available before you begin:
Your business’ mail address or your Amazon customer account details
Your business’ registration details, as well as your VAT number
A credit or debit card
ID, such as passport or driving licence
Now you’ve set up your account, if you’re selling products from the list of categories that don’t require prior approval, you can start selling almost instantly.
Listing your products is simple. If you have an Individual account, you have to list each item one at a time, but with a Professional account, you can upload in batches. This is easier if you have a wide variety of products you’re hoping to sell.
You might have a product that Amazon hasn’t already listed i.e. it’s not in their system. This can slow the process down a tad, as it means you’ll need to provide more information, such as universal product codes and SKUs.
Amazon is pretty flexible with your shipping options. You can either fulfil these yourself, or use FBA - Fulfilled by Amazon. There are benefits to both, but the choice is completely up to you.
Choosing to fulfil your own orders means you can store and ship your products directly to your customers, without intervention from Amazon. You can set your own shipping rates for individual items. It also means you’re in control of your own products, including returns and the general condition they appear in before they’re shipped.
Utilising FBA means you can take advantage of Amazon Prime, shipping products the very next day, which can encourage more customers to buy from you. However, it also means you’re reliant on Amazon’s delivery service, allowing your products to be handled without your knowledge.
Once you expand to a warehouse you look to automate your shipping further with inventory, picking, packing and dispatch software. Integrators such as Shipster can integrate these systems and link to your couriers for automatic shipment booking and processing.
You’ve got your store ready to go - but how do you actually get customers to buy from you? Just like any new website or shopfront, you need to make people aware you’re alive and kicking.
Make sure your products are titled correctly and have a decent description. Amazon works similar to Google in that customers are likely to click on the best listings because of the way they’re written or put together. Good images and descriptions of your products make it easier for people to know what they’re buying. If you have the best quality images compared to the listings around you, you’re likely to draw the customer’s eye in.
Similar to Google again, you can also create ads, or ‘sponsor’ a product. This means it appears higher up on the results page, as well as standing out more to customers. It will often have an orange outline or ‘sponsored’ caption on it. This can be a straightforward way to get some quick wins, before your Amazon store becomes more well-known.
Reviews are also extremely important on Amazon. The more reviews you have, and the better rated they are, the more likely customers will buy your products - and then recommend it themselves. Amazon will often remind customers to write reviews a few days after they’ve received their item, or you can send an email yourself.
Keeping on top of your inventory is important. You need to have enough inventory to ensure customers can buy your products without being disappointed. Although Amazon automatically decreases your inventory as the products are sold, you need to ensure you can maintain levels to meet demand, as well as knowing when to contact suppliers to replenish your stock.
Selling on Amazon can be a great tactic to complement your other eCommerce methods. Once you’re set up and ready to go, the process is straightforward and allows you to start selling almost immediately. If you are thinking about selling on Amazon and require a shipping software solution, check out our integrations and couriers here.
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