Eight steps to successful selling on Amazon

I certainly don't need to introduce Amazon to anyone. This online store giant is a virtually unrivaled sales platform in many countries and is growing at an amazing rate. Amazon is not only a traditional online shop, but also a supermarket that delivers purchases to your home within two hours, a video library for the home, a wholesaler for companies and a virtual wallet. Amazon's services are beginning to accompany every step of daily life, no longer just for American and German citizens.

When I started my adventure with Amazon as a seller in the US market in 2009, it took me very little to get a satisfactory profit from my sales. Those were the days! There was little competition on Amazon, and it didn't take even the slightest amount of advertising to make a product a bestseller. But over time it became more and more difficult. The growing share of Amazon in the market for online shops and the tendency of Internet users to search for products directly on Amazon has resulted in Amazon becoming a marketplace where almost everyone wants to present their products. Millions of providers compete with each other for millions of customers.

Now in 2021, to be successful as a seller on Amazon, you need to undertake a number of marketing actions related to the quality of your products and services. In addition, you almost constantly need to keep up to date with Amazon's new options and algorithms that may affect your product's position on the search engine pages. Twelve years of experience positioning and selling a variety of products on Amazon marketplaces around the world has allowed me to review the most valuable and inevitable steps to making profit on Amazon. And these are exactly the steps I want to share with you.

Does my product have a chance of becoming a bestseller?

Whether you're a manufacturer, a wholesaler, or an individual with a business idea, the first few tasks that are a must on Amazon are the same.

Before setting up an account on the Amazon Merchant panel, you should check whether your products have a chance of success and whether they meet the formal requirements. It pays to start by answering the three basic questions you should always ask yourself before embarking on your Amazon adventure.

  • 1. How does my product stand out from the competition?

    If well-known brands offer similar products or there are already many sellers with very similar offers, this does not mean that there is no chance of landing on the first page of Amazon searches. On the contrary, it could be an indication that demand for the products in question is high and all good sellers are making a satisfactory profit.

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  • 2. What profits can I make from the sale?

    In order to estimate the return on projected sales volume, you need to understand the basic costs associated with one-off and recurring sales. The main costs associated with selling on amazon.de include:

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  • 3. Can I customize the product and its packaging to meet Amazon's requirements?

    If you intend to use Amazon's fulfillment warehouses (Amazon Fulfillment), the product's packaging must comply with certain guidelines and the relevant codes, product and manufacturer information must appear on the packaging. All of this information - broken down by product type - can be found on the platform's website.

    I assume that your product has interesting features that differentiate it from the competition, that the costs have been checked and that the packaging has been adjusted.

    So let's get down to business!

What is the key to the success on Amazon?

Below I present the eight most important steps to success on Amazon, which form the basis for positioning products on the first pages of search. Working with more than 40 companies over the past few years has shown me that these steps are almost universal, fitting for any type and category of product.

  • 1. A distinctive brand

    David Ogilvy, dubbed the father of advertising, believed that "Any fool can make a deal, but it takes genius, faith and perseverance to create a brand". Amazon values sellers who have their own registered trademarks and work on their image. Only registered brands have access to a wide range of free presentation tools on Amazon's platforms. This includes:

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  • 2. Professional photos and videos

    You can only make a first impression once! More and more purchases are made via mobile devices and customers tend to make purchasing decisions based solely on images. The content and the product description have a positioning role, i.e. placing the right keywords. Professional, high-resolution photos that show the product from all perspectives on a white background are already standard for sellers. It is worth enriching the product presentation with lifestyle photos that show the use of the product in everyday life. Brand owners also have the option to upload promotional videos. Unofficially, it is said that promotional videos position a product higher and result in 5% more sales on Amazon.

  • 3. Ensuring a positive customer experience on a daily basis

    Customer service is an often underestimated and unnoticed part of a company's day-to-day operational tasks. However, in our experience, it is one of the key elements that testifies to a company and how it treats its customers. In addition, the friendly and professional handling of every customer inquiry and complaint avoids not only the return of goods, but also negative reviews and comments.

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  • 4. Interesting SEO descriptions or content creation

    "Think like a customer" is the message that usually accompanies me when creating content on Amazon. Paul Gillin, public speaker, author of numerous books and marketing strategist specializing in social media, points out that content aimed at potential customers should be tailored to their needs and ideas. So when you're describing your products or talking about your brand, it's a good idea to switch roles for a moment and put yourself in the customer's shoes.

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  • 5. Effective advertising

    If you ever "need to hide a body," put it on the second page of Amazon search results. This saying makes you smile, but it's true.

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  • 6. Expansion to other Amazon marketplaces

    After you set up your main marketplace (aka source marketplace), created all offers, uploaded professional images and added keywords, surely you are thinking about the possibility of expanding your customer channels to other marketplaces - target marketplaces. Currently, Amazon, through the Amazon Global Selling Tool, allows sellers to list and sell their products in 7 European countries, North and South America, Asia and the Middle East.

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  • 7. Patience

    All of the measures mentioned in the previous six points together form a major factor for product positioning. High sales from the first day of product launch do happen, but not often. You need to be patient to get satisfactory increases in sales over a period of 3 to 6 months. The fact is, in the 12 years that we've been working with products from different brands, we've never seen a salesperson fail to meet expected KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) within six months of going on sale, even if the products appear to be were not very promising, e.g. Vitamin C in 5 kg packs or very expensive GPS watches for children

  • 8. Outsourcing

    "Those who work hard all the time don't have time to make money" - this still relevant quote from John D. Rockefeller aptly applies to the world of selling on Amazon. It's not easy, with the complexity of product positioning and to keep up with dynamically changing algorithms. Therefore, it is worth outsourcing part of the tasks to specialists and focus on the core competencies of your company yourself. Experts in product positioning on Amazon use a range of tools and programs, are always up to date State of the rules and features of this platform and know how to effectively increase sales and avoid unnecessary costs.According to the German saying "whoever buys cheap, pays twice", we would like to encourage sellers to use the services of reputable and professional agencies .

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Steps to Success on Amazon

Very important Important Optional

Formalities

Trademark registration at the EUIPO    
VAT registration    
Seller Account: Regulamin, Imprint    
Presentation of the product Professional photos on white background    
Lifestyle photos    
Descriptions written by a native speaker    
SEO check of the descriptions    
Promotional videos    
Additional content, i.e. extended content on the product card    
Presentation of the brand Webshop - a shop on the Amazon platform    
Brand Description - Presentation of the brand history    
Types of advertising Classic advertising "Sponsored Products"    
Participation in promotional offers and special promotions    
Creation of an advertisement    
Improved advertising, so-called HSA, targeting    
Logistics Amazon's Fulfillment    
Fulfillment of orders by the seller    
Selling directly to Amazon    
Sales in other markets European markets    
Markets outside the EU    
Customer care Response within 24 hours    
Answer in the customer's language    
Personalization of responses    
Courtesy and understanding    
Live chat and phone    

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