So… you’ve started to sell on Amazon or you might be contemplating selling on Amazon, but you’re not sure how to boost your business to its ultimate efficiency and greatest potential for success.
No need to fret, Amazon is one of the best ways for your business to gain the most customers, so you’re moving in the right direction. However, we know it can be intimidating to start the journey as an Amazon seller.
Here at Cascadia, we’re committed to educating Amazon sellers about the best ways to grow their businesses, no frills.
One way you can grow your business is through the tools and tricks available on Amazon, and we’re here to help break down those exact tools to prepare you to optimally use Amazon.
Today, we’re highlighting Fulfillment by Amazon and how Fulfillment by Amazon can change your business.
What is Fulfillment by Amazon?
Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA) is one of the most useful tools offered to Amazon sellers that can help your business become more efficient, professional and polished.
What does it include?
With Fulfillment by Amazon, your business can rely on Amazon to “pick, pack, and ship your orders.” While you can center your efforts on being an Amazon seller, Fulfillment by Amazon acts as a middleman and allows you to store your products in Amazon fulfillment centers, which can allow you to prioritize more important tasks to run and grow your business.
Again, Fulfillment by Amazon is one accessible way that you can expand your business’s reach and rely on Amazon for the mundane procedures that aren’t necessarily your focus point when it comes to being a business owner.
So instead of worrying about finding room for storing your shipments, you can trust Fulfillment by Amazon to safely hold your products and prepare them for shipment in one of their many trusted fulfillment centers.
Another beneficial component of Fulfillment by Amazon is the promise of customer service for your valued customers. Amazon provides sellers FBA Customer Service and FBA Returns for customers seeking help.
This means that at any point in time, customers can call Amazon’s customer service centers to receive help for problems involving any possible concerns.
Furthermore, of all the great advantages of Fulfillment by Amazon, perhaps the cost-effective approach of the program is the best.
Amazon promises that you’ll pay as you go with Fulfillment by Amazon, which means that you pay a fee for storage and fulfilled orders, but no extra charge for Amazon Prime FREE Two-Day Shipping and eligible free shipping.
How Much Does FBA Cost?
The Fulfillment by Amazon fee itself is determined by a fee per-unit, based on the dimensions and weight of an item.
Here’s the category breakdown and standard size of shipped items:
Weight of item:
There are specific outlines for oversized items, and Fulfillment by Amazon requires certain items have additional fees, such as certain sized TVs and “Dangerous Items.”
Dangerous items can only be sold through the FBA Dangerous Goods (Hazmat) program. These items require special hazmat storage, shipping, and handling.
Below is the table for hazardous goods, and you can always check the classifications of items you sell with the look up ASIN tool provided by Amazon.
How Being an Amazon FBA Business can Transform Your Brand
The Amazon FBA Business program promises to help your business on Amazon “save time and help grow your business.”
Here’s an outline of the ways in which being an Amazon FBA business can benefit your brand:
Your Brand Name Associated with Amazon
Having Amazon’s name associated with your products indicates that your business is a quality brand trusted by Amazon, making Amazon customers more likely to patronize you as a seller because you are a recognized Amazon FBA business.
Being directly associated with the Amazon name can help gain the trust of customers, and provides excellent customer service and quick delivery.
Subsidized Shipping Fees
Because Amazon has a relationship with the shipping companies and is in some cases handling last mile delivery themselves, sellers using this service will be able to pay less in shipping than if the items were being delivered from an individual’s account.
Also, sellers can offer free shipping over a certain amount since products sold through FBA are eligible for Amazon Prime and FREE Super Saver Shipping.
Amazon can ship and handle inventory that is being sold on multiple channels, and not just through the Amazon marketplace.
All FBA orders are processed in exactly the same way Amazon handles its own merchandise.
This means that when someone purchases an item, Amazon picks the item from their inventory, packs the item, and ships it to the buyer.
A seller can feature an item on his own website, and, through the Fulfillment By Amazon service, still have Amazon take care of all of the heavy lifting.
Access to the Prime Audience
Qualified FBA listings are Prime-eligible and displayed with the Prime logo.
This enables the seller to reach new and existing customers who seek out free one- or two-day shipping, filter specifically for Prime-eligible products, and only convert if the Prime badge is visible.
Make Money on Amazon with Fulfillment by Amazon
Anyone can become an Amazon seller, run their business via Amazon, and even make money on Amazon…yes, really!
With so many buying categories and selling possibilities on a site as complex as Amazon, it can be hard to wrap your head around all of the options available for both customers and people looking to make money on Amazon.
However, making money on Amazon does require expert knowledge into the inner-workings of Amazon.
At Cascadia Seller Solutions, our full-service plan is a robust account launch, which provides you an entire Amazon account launch that can ease the process of setting up an account on the Amazon Marketplace and Seller Central.
There are many mistakes that can happen when launching an Amazon account but, with the right experience and help from a team with many years of experience combined, you can make money on Amazon sooner.
Check out one of our monthly support packages, which includes:
- Unlimited ad management, listing creation (including A+ and Storefront content), and unlimited seller support contacts.
- Unlimited support in basic photography.
- Unlimited support in customer service and performance management.
- Monthly consultation check-ins with experienced former Amazonian to discuss Amazon business strategy, with weekly sales performance reports, and detailed advertising and performance reports.
- Onboarding fee of $4000 includes review of your existing ads, products, and growth strategy. Minimum hours guarantee of 10 hours/month. All plans include commissions, based on account size.
Above all else, you can make money on Amazon by following this simple guidance:
Learn how to successfully and efficiently follow Amazon’s guidelines when opening an Amazon seller account and seek expert advice from people like us who have worked for Amazon, behind the scenes.
Congratulations! You’ve already done one of those steps by reading this post and any of our many blogs including insight from our team of former Amazonians.
By researching the ways of Amazon, you are already investing in knowledge that can serve your business and help you achieve success on Amazon as a seller who knows that success on Amazon is never simple.
How to Start Selling with a FBA Account
Essentially, entrepreneurs, like you, can act like a major corporation, but without the headaches of actually being one with an FBA account.
You can spend your time searching for profitable products, and Amazon handles the rest on your behalf with an FBA account.
Whether you’re new to Amazon entirely or you have an Amazon account and would like to be a FBA account, we’ll explain the step-by-step process of achieving an FBA account below.
Create an Amazon seller account. Check out our blog post about Creating an Amazon Seller Account in 2020 that details this exact process.
Pick your niche. This is the hardest step in starting an FBA account because when you’re excited about starting a new business endeavor on Amazon, you want to sell everything!
The best way to pick your niche is to decide on your purpose in the e-commerce world.
Every brand is different, and every brand has a strong suit, so it is important to see your brand as a customer would and what need they have that you can meet with your product.
Start this process by narrowing down and brainstorming with everyone (yes, everyone! It can be your family, friends, colleagues, employees, etc) what products you can sell and decide on a handful that make sense for you to sell.
After brainstorming what you can offer consumers, you need to be specific. Without a specific product (i.e. “eco-friendly, silicone reusable sandwich bags”), you will be too general (i.e. “eco friendly tupperware”) and fail to actually come up with a niche product that people need and will buy to meet their needs (i.e. wanting to refrain from single-use, plastic sandwich bags).
Check out our blog post, When You Need to Choose the Perfect Product, including key insight from our founder and former Amazonian, Rachel Johnson Greer!
Research products! It’s inevitable, you will need to spend time doing some groundwork, like researching competitor’s products, in order to understand the market and how to sell products to customers effectively.
Here are some ways you can research products:
- General product searches–doing broad research by simply searching for the product on e-commerce websites like Amazon, eBay, and other major retailers can give you a more robust picture of the product you’re trying to sell. If the price is listed between $10 and $50, that is a good sign that your product is easily sellable to the average buyer demographic because it’s at a good price point. Products within this price range tend to be impulse purchases, which are easier to sell than luxury items. Plus, you’ll be able to turn over a higher volume of stock.
- Using similar keyword tools–this is essentially a tool that will help provide a picture of what’s in demand relating to your product. This will help you determine if your product has a good market for what you intend to sell. Ideally, you want your product to be in high demand, but not have too many sellers providing the same exact product.
- Best seller rankings–Amazon best seller rankings (BSR) shouldn’t be at the top of your list for deciding factors on whether to sell a product on Amazon or not. However, this tool can give you a look inside which product categories on Amazon attract the most buyers. Check out the first three to five products on the BSR within the various categories and niches you’ve narrowed down for your product. A lower number on the BSR means that more of that specific product is selling than its competitors. If there are a large number of products with low BSR in a particular product category, then you are in an extremely competitive category. Categories with higher BSR rankings make it easier to enter these categories with your initial product listing.
- Here are some Cascadia approved tools for market research that will help with much more in-depth research like data and interpretations into your product’s market:
Establish your source and how you will create this product. Creating the product and the product line is a major task, but you’re in good company…
It’s also essential to test your products and find a reliable supplier.
Here are some tips to help you find a supplier:
- Check out trade shows and attendee lists (since none are happening right now anyway!)
- Look at the shelves in your local grocery store and look up new brands that you’ve never heard of
- Google “food distributor” or “wholesale [your product type]” to find distributors such as UNFI – https://www.unfi.com/
- If you’re going direct to the factory, we highly recommend Global Sources (www.globalsources.com), rather than Alibaba. Alibaba is an online flea market full of people who are as likely to cheat you as help you produce a product to sell. Global Sources validates the type of business license companies have so you know you’re buying factory direct.
Once you determine which supplier will ship your product, you will then need to purchase and ship your first order of products. Hooray!
Create your product listings! This is the most complex part to ensuring your success on Amazon because unfortunately, so much can go wrong from seemingly insignificant mistakes.
Working through everything to reach this point just to list your products incorrectly… is very frustrating.
This is also the exact reason why we offer reinstatement plans to not only launch your Amazon account, but also to make sure your product listings are correct and nothing is missed.
Here is a quick rundown of some things you need to know about product listings:
- You need professional photos.
- You need invoices from your supplier or distributor.
- You need any certifications or registrations needed to be able to legally sell those products (if you’re 100% wholesale, most states require a reseller permit).
- You need well written content that explains why your product is great, and answers customer questions before they can even ask them!
It’s imperative to provide solid marketing and advertising for your product on any online marketplace, and it’s especially imperative to selling on Amazon.
Here is a quick rundown of what you need when advertising your products on Amazon:
- Target keywords for your product to rank well and get to page one
- Target competitor products so you can show up on a more popular page and potentially snipe business from your competitors!
- Check our our blog about Using Amazon Advertising to Increase Revenue and Gain New Customers.
Innovate and grow! Never rest on a good product and think you’re done… and don’t get too down when you launch a product that doesn’t do well.
There is always room for improvement, and having a business is a marathon – not a sprint.
Have you had experience with FBA or are you new to the idea? Either way, let us know your thoughts about FBA in the comments below!