Your Guide to Selling On Amazon: Small Business Edition
The B2B ecommerce channel of Amazon, known as Amazon Business, boasts a staggering number of over one million customer accounts across the globe. With a vast network of more than 150,000 sellers, this platform has generated over 10 billion in global annualized sales, reflecting its impressive reach and popularity in the B2B space (source). Third-party sellers were able to join Amazon starting in 1999, and now they account for over 58% of Amazon’s sales. But what are the most important aspects of selling on Amazon?
If you are a small business owner seeking to establish or expand your brand presence on Amazon's vast e-commerce platform, read on to learn more about product selection, listing and delivery, brand building, growth and scaling strategies, and other essential insights and strategies for success.
Starting to sell on Amazon may seem like a Herculean task at first, but there are many things you can do to ensure you are creating the most sales opportunities. First and foremost, you must identify your target audience. By defining your ideal customer, you can tailor your marketing efforts and product offerings to meet their specific needs and preferences, making your brand more attractive and relevant. Knowing your target audience can also help you create more effective messaging that resonates with their pain points and motivations, leading to increased customer engagement and, ultimately, sales.
Another important aspect of beginning to sell online is supplying high-structured, quality data. This means providing detailed descriptions of your products and including high-quality images with variations in photos to show different angles and elements of your products. Some best practices for the title are to keep it relevant and concise while still providing necessary information to potential buyers.
Supply Chain and Shipping
An aspect that many first-time business owners often overlook is the importance of having a sustainable, reliable supply chain in place. This is necessary to establish before you begin selling so you may meet any increase in demand for your product without increasing fulfillment times. People have become less tolerant of shipping delays and expect overnight deliveries for most products. Therefore, having a well-established supply chain is crucial to providing your customers with a positive experience and setting your business up for success.
It’s also important to think through other fulfillment considerations before you begin selling. For example, does your product require temperature control or have a short shelf life, which may require more effort to ensure freshness? Is your product fragile or large and heavy, which may take up more space in the warehouse and increase costs? Additionally, it's essential to consider the location of your warehouse and whether you can successfully ship your product there, as this can affect your overall fulfillment strategy.
Resources for Growing and Scaling Your Brand
As a first-time business owner, many resources are available to help you grow and scale your online brand, and already quite a few programs and resources from Amazon are made bespoke for selling on the Amazon marketplace. Here are a few options for you to consider.
Amazon Small Business Academy
Amazon Small Business Academy is an eight-part Pathways series program that guides you through the fundamentals of starting an e-commerce business, launching it, and growing it within the Amazon ecosystem. In addition to the academy, there's also the option of accessing Seller University through your seller essential account or YouTube. This free resource offers valuable insights on topics such as how Fulfilled by Amazon (FBA) works and understanding product IDs.
Fulfilled by Amazon
Fulfilled by Amazon (FBA) is a service where Amazon handles the storage, delivery, and customer service requests for your products. Utilizing FBA comes with numerous benefits, including guaranteed Prime shipping for your products, which customers value and expect in today's age. Additionally, the global network aspect of FBA allows you to leverage Amazon's warehouses around the world to take your business to the global stage, providing opportunities for growth. As a business owner, you can use the FBA Revenue calculator to estimate the cost of using this service and make informed decisions about whether to join.
Sponsored Product Ads
Amazon's Sponsored Product Ads program is designed to help small sellers increase visibility and sales for their products. When customers search for similar items, your products will be featured prominently on search pages, giving you high-end visibility. Additionally, the program offers Creative Product Videos, which allow business owners to upload videos showcasing their products in use, providing a real-life look for potential customers.
Black Business Accelerator
The Black Business Accelerator (BBA) is a program launched by Amazon in June 2021, with a commitment of $150 million to support and help grow Black-owned businesses. The program provides financial assistance, including a $500 startup credit, one-on-one meetings with executives, and sponsored ad credits for promotional and marketing support. The aim is to provide opportunities for Black small business owners to access the tools and resources they need to succeed on Amazon's platform and beyond.
The Amazon Launchpad program is designed for innovative entrepreneurs who want to launch their products in the Amazon store. In partnership with Shark Tank, Amazon Launchpad provides global support, expertise, and launch support to help businesses succeed. This program helps businesses set up their product page, provides one-on-one support, and hosts webinars on how to sucessfully launch products. By joining this program, businesses can benefit from the Amazon brand and reach a large audience of potential customers. Additionally, they can access resources and support to help them succeed in the highly competitive e-commerce market.
Selling on Amazon can be an effective way for small businesses to reach a global audience and grow their brand online. From advertising and fulfillment services to review management and customer engagement tools, there are many resources available for small businesses looking to succeed on Amazon. With careful planning and execution, even the smallest businesses can achieve great success on Amazon and build a thriving online business.