Many of our eCommerce clients sell on Amazon alongside their own eShops. But why would they do this? Isn’t that twice the work?
Amazon is a sales channel that you should be taking advantage of. Yes, it will require some time and effort to get going, but it certainly won’t double your workload.
To begin with you will need to create an account and upload your products. This can be done manually one-by-one, or via a csv file. Amazon provide the template for you, all you need to do is fill in the required information.
If you have a database/spreadsheet of products, then the csv upload should be relatively straightforward. The majority of the information can be copy pasted in to the correct fields. Amazon also provides a service called Jumpstart which will create your Amazon product catalogue for you. There is a fee for this service, but if your time is valuable or you tremble at the thought of formatting spreadsheets it could be a worthwhile investment. It is worth noting that you must have a minimum of 100 products to use Jumpstart.
A word of warning. If you have your own eShop you will have to comply with certain rules with regards to your pricing. Be sure to check these out before signing up as these regulations, coupled with the referral fees can seriously jeopardise your margin.
After you have your products online, the majority of the work is done. You now only need to set aside time for maintenance. This includes reviewing listings, pricing and customer service. Your performance will be monitored, so ensure you accurately describe your items and the shipping service to avoid complaints. Amazon will expect you to reply to the majority of messages within 24hours, it is recommended to login 2/3 times a day in order to keep on top of this. You will enjoy greater success after you have built up some customer feedback, so it is worth contacting clients on an individual basis over the first few months in order to build up your rating.
Your orders should process in a similar way to your eShop orders. If you have the technological capabilities (or can borrow someone else’s) ensure your orders are setup to process automatically. This is a huge time saving opportunity, which will print off orders within an hour of them being placed, and will automatically mark the item as shipped if it is in stock. This may only avoid a few clicks of the mouse, but rest assured they soon mount up. The initial investment to get this configured will save you an enormous amount of time in the long run. If you have reservations about how well your products will sell, have a trial period and try running the process manually before you splash the cash.
Amazon has a huge online presence; in fact there are over 144 million active customer accounts. It is not surprising that sellers report an average 50% increase in sales when they join the Amazon marketplace. Although these impressive stats are very convincing, you must do your research before getting involved. Analyse the demand for your products, calculate the fees for your bestselling lines and research the possible side effects on your eShop. If you contact Amazon to ask for information or clarification, please persist until you have the answers you need.
Statistics from www.wsj.com
7 April 2014 14:47