For today’s businesses, going digital isn’t just an option, it’s a requirement. In many cases, the best way to do that is by building a business web presence that includes an eCommerce solution.
However, rather than designing their own eCommerce infrastructure, many businesses prefer to use Amazon’s established infrastructure to sell their products. On the surface, partnering with a service that boasts 197 million monthly customers seems like a no-brainer—but there’s more to online selling than just trying to reach a large audience.
That’s why it’s important to weigh the pros and cons of selling through Amazon before making the plunge. Here’s what you need to know, and how to get started if it seems like a good fit.
The Benefits and Drawbacks of Selling Through Amazon
First, the most attractive reason a business might choose to sell products through Amazon is the sheer scale of their operation. They provide a sizable eCommerce infrastructure and access to a large built-in audience that can be difficult to match without a skilled website designer.
This allows businesses to offer a direct eCommerce solution in a swift timeframe, albeit with less control over their audience. Due to their robust eCommerce platform, many people automatically assume that it’s easier to work with them and not against them (which isn’t exactly true).
There are drawbacks to selling through Amazon. When selling through Amazon, your business will be placed in direct competition with millions of other sellers, and in some cases, Amazon itself. Then, there’s also the myriad of fees (albeit minor, but they add up) that Amazon will charge your business at various points of a sale.
On top of it all, you will also be giving up ownership of your customers – as you won’t be allowed to communicate with or market to them outside of the Amazon platform.
Is Selling Through Amazon Right For Me?
Typically, selling through Amazon works well for third-party vendors and sundry suppliers who have a large, diverse stock of goods and no direct means to market or advertise.
For businesses who are looking to sell specific products or services, it’s much more beneficial to operate your own eCommerce platform. The ability to track traffic, analyze audience statistics and communicate with customers directly can provide marketing insights, help generate leads and develop a more substantial, long-term source of revenue.
Where Amazon might be best for selling a product quickly and securing a quick ROI, controlling your own eCommerce platform is better for maintaining long-term financial growth and developing a secure customer base.
The Basics of Starting an Amazon Webstore
If you’ve weighed the pros and cons and have decided that your business should be selling through Amazon, here’s a basic look at the steps to get up and running.
1. Create a Sales Projection
Since Amazon has more than one fee structure that you can choose when setting up a store, you’ll need to have an idea of how much you expect to sell on the platform before choosing an account type. In most cases, if you’re an established business, you’ll want to choose a professional account.
2. Sign Up for an Account
After choosing an account type, the next step is to sign up for a seller account and provide your business details and billing information.
3. Pick a Category
Once your account is set up, you need to choose a category that fits your products. There are 20 categories to choose from, each with sub-categories. It’s vital to get this step right, or prospective customers might have difficulty finding your listings.
4. Create Detailed Listings
If you’ve used Amazon, you should already know that they have some of the most detailed and comprehensive product listings anywhere. It’s important for you to add as much information to your product listings as possible, including high-quality photos, specifications, and any other critical details. The more accurate your listings are, the happier your customers will be – and happy customers leave positive reviews.
5. Choose a Shipper
At this stage, you need to decide who will handle the last-mile delivery of products to your customers. If you’re handling fulfillment on your own, you should choose the shipper that works best for your business in terms of price and service. Or, you can let Amazon handle fulfillment for you, as mentioned earlier.
6. Set Prices
Last, but certainly not least, you must price your products at a level that will give them a good chance to sell. To do this, compare your prices to other sellers on the platform, or use the Amazon auto-price feature, which will use their database to suggest a price—though this may not be indicative of the best ROI for your specific product.
Ready, Set, Sell
If you’ve decided to get your business up and running with an Amazon Webstore, you should now know everything needed to get started. However, if you’d prefer to have the robust marketing benefits and greater long-term payoff that comes from operating your own eCommerce platform, then Comit Developers can help with that too. Our team of eCommerce specialists can develop the perfect custom-tailored eCommerce infrastructure to match your businesses needs—yielding valuable insights, more ownership of customer data, and the capacity to grow your business to new heights!