Have you ever wondered whether there’s a secret formula for success selling on Amazon? Well, success as an Amazon seller can mean different things to different people. But if your idea of success includes delivering positive customer experience, gaining great feedback, driving repeat business, and reaping sizable profit margins; then you’ve come to the right place.
Outlined in this article are 10 tips to help you gain the strategic advantage you need to succeed on Amazon.
- Go Pro All the Way
Professional Amazon sellers enjoy a huge advantage over individual sellers. Although pro sellers pay a monthly fee of $39.95, they are charged only a sales commission of 15 percent. An individual seller, on the other hand, pays an additional 99 cents per item sold on top of the 15 percent commission.
If you are serious about making real money, aim to sell at least 50 items a month. Otherwise, the fees, commission and other expenses will only eat up your profits. The good thing about being a pro seller on Amazon is that you are given a lot of leeway when it comes to what you can sell. In fact, you can even create listing for items that are not yet available on Amazon.
Another nifty feature offered by Amazon is you can sell product by bundles, which is a convenient way to enhance your profits.
Quite a number of categories are flagged restricted. This means you must actually ask Amazon’s permission to sell these items. Products that fall under restricted categories include:
- Car parts, gadgets and accessories
And only a professional seller can qualify to have these products included in their listings.
- Save Time, Money and Effort with Fulfillment by Amazon
Fulfillment by Amazon or FBA offers an easy way to ship items to your customers. This program can be quite convenient for busy sellers – almost like an automated system for filling orders. All you have to do is send your inventory to Amazon’s warehouses and let them take care of shipping and handling.
Another feature of this program is that communications, customer service, returns and refunds are handled by Amazon. In addition, should your goods or products get damaged or lost Amazon binds itself to reimburse sellers for the full amount of those items.
The majority of previously merchant-fulfilled vendors who made the switch to FBA saw a dramatic increase in their sales volume. Some even reported an astonishing 400 percent growth in their revenue. Despite the fact that Amazon’s FBA fees cost more compared to if you were to ship the items yourself, you still end up saving a lot because you are no longer burdened by the cost of packing materials, containers, boxes and freight.
Furthermore, taking advantage of FBA saves time and spares you the hassle of having to pack and ship a couple dozen packages daily. This gives you plenty of breathing space for tasks that are higher priorities such as marketing, brand management and product sourcing.
- Take Heed of Amazon’s Regulations and Guidelines
Like most other online retailers, Amazon has regulations they expect every seller to follow. Once you get the hang of it you will find these rules are really designed to facilitate communication, transactions and productivity; and are not too cumbersome to follow.
Log into Seller Central where you’ll find Amazon’s general guidelines and policy. Click on the help button for more detailed explanation of specific rules. In the search box, type the keywords Amazon policy. This opens to a page containing a list of rules and guidelines relevant to your niche and activities.
- Boost Your Sales with Amazon’s Buy Box
An Amazon search can yield multiples of related results, any of which opens to a page with a buy box. The significance of this is that nearly 80 percent of customers don’t linger too long on the page and simply click on the buy box.
What this means for you winning that buy box is that it greatly increases your chances of getting the sale. Here are the criteria for winning the highly coveted buy box:
- You must be in good standing with Amazon (by following their rules)
- Sell your products for the lowest possible price
- Offer the lowest (or free) shipping
Now if you are enrolled in the FBA program, you are entitled to free two-day shipping. And customers whose purchase reached a total of at least $35 will in turn enjoy free standard shipping.
Another surefire way of winning the buy box is to carry items or products no other vendors are selling. Either you sell these unique items under your own unique tradename-trademark or you can do this by bundling items into a unique offering that clearly sets your brand apart.
- Deal with Customer Queries Right Away
When a customer asks a question about your products, consider this as an opportunity to learn about them and what matters to them as buyer or consumer. That said; make it a rule to answer all customer communication within the same day. Otherwise, that will be considered by your customers as a big minus against your brand.
Monitor your Seller Central regularly to keep yourself updated on customer questions concerning your products or services. You can have these questions emailed to you, which you can access and answer from your mobile device.
- Write Helpful Product Descriptions
Most purchases happen because the buyer felt confident that the product bought was described accurately. If your descriptions feel too oriented toward making a sale, then you need to change them and make them sound more professional, accurate and oriented more toward the needs of your customers.
If there’s even a slight deviation between your promise and what your product actually delivers your customer will know and will lose their trust in you and your brand.
- Learn to Solicit Great Feedback
Amazon buyers are known to almost never leave feedback. And that’s sad because feedback is extremely important to seller popularity and rating.
A great way to ask feedback is by using a feedback tool such as, InMoment and Feedbackify. There are tons of other feedback tools available on the internet that you can use. With these tools, you can create feedback forms and have them sent to your customers automatically.
Here are some of the most important reasons why feedback is crucial to your success:
- It lets you know whether or not the transaction went along smoothly
- Gives you a chance to fix problems
- Helps improve your products and services
- Helps you deliver positive customer experience
- Allows you to gain your customers’ trust
- Helps you drive repeat business
- Take Prompt Measures to Reverse Negative Feedback
Just as great feedback can boost your rating, the opposite is true whenever you get a negative feedback. Even if it’s a neutral feedback, a seller must never be complacent. Here’s how to go about it:
- Email the buyer the instant you learn of the negative or neutral feedback
- Offer a genuine apology
- Do not ask the customer to undo the neutral or negative feedback
- Include a small gift as a symbol of your earnestness
- Offer a solution to the error
If the customer did not respond to your email, don’t worry; you’ve done your part. However, when they do answer your email; especially if you got a more or less positive response, you can then ask them to remove the negative or neutral feedback.
After you’ve shown the customer your sincerity and apologized for your mistakes, there’s a great chance they’ll replace the negative feedback with a positive one.
- Use Images of 1006px or Larger
Larger images are easier to see and appreciate. Aside from it being encouraged by Amazon, customers are more likely to click on the buy button if they can see your products clearly.
Another thing to remember is that Amazon requires all products or items to be photographed against a simple backdrop of white tone background to avoid distractions. Following these requirements will almost always guarantee a higher click through success rate.
- Leverage Just-in-Time Inventory Management for Lower Storage fees
Running an online store requires a healthy working capital. And getting your capital tied up in inventory and storage fees hurts your ability to meet daily business expenses.
Now JIT facilitates getting your inventory to Amazon in the nick of time before you totally run out of stock. What this does is help you limit the volume of goods you have in storage, which in turn reduces the amount of storage fee you have to pay.
Leveraging JIT frees up your cash flow. So now you can get rid of this unnecessary worry and direct your focus towards growing your business.
Many Amazon sellers who are on the FBA program, have at one time or another suffered losses due to Amazon’s failure to reimburse them for lost or damaged goods.
If you are or have been in this situation, it can surely undermine the success you are trying to achieve.
Asking Amazon for reimbursement can be a long and tedious process. Many have failed.
Fortunately, it doesn’t have to be that way for you.
Seller Investigators can help you save time and resources, and collect the money owed you by Amazon in a fast and expedient manner so you can begin the journey of driving your business towards success.