Amazon is such a great eCommerce platform that helps you cultivate your business and grow your sales. Through this platform, you reach a wide variety of shoppers and customers. More than 300 million people shop through Amazon as they find it convenient, especially during these times. Amazon made at least $125 billion in sales revenue in the last quarter of 2020, and a huge contributor of those sales came from sellers like you!
However, some of you may wonder how such a big platform could help you protect your business and, more importantly, your Amazon products from harm. Some of you encounter different black hat methods such as listing hijacking, counterfeiting, and even spam reviews on your listings.
With these atrocities that could be done to your shop, you wonder if you will be protected against these. Will you be able to grow your business without the help of the eCommerce giant? How will you protect your Amazon products?
Before going on a deep dive on how you will be able to protect your Amazon products, let’s take a ride on learning and discovering more about the eCommerce giant that is Amazon.
With the rise of online businesses, it paved the way for shoppers to see more products coming from different categories. At a glance, they could see different products that could appeal to their needs and wants. Amazon opens their eyes to a whole new consumer world that they probably haven’t seen before.
In order to continue supporting sellers like you and their shoppers, Amazon launched their FBA service. This lets you utilize its powerful distribution channels and broad customer reach in order for you to continue growing your business. Because of this, most sellers prefer the Amazon FBA.
FBA means “Fulfillment by Amazon” which translates as Amazon managing everything about your business. They make sure they fulfill the orders placed by your customers, provide logistical support, and even customer support in case there are delays or concerns. With Amazon FBA, you’ll be able to direct your energy and resources to more pressing matters such as the overall performance of your business and even marketing strategies such as implementing SEO tactics to improve your reach.
Whenever you create product listings and update your inventory into the Amazon platform, your tasks will now involve packing the items that your customers ordered and shipping them to the Amazon warehouse. From there, Amazon FBA will be the one to manage the transportation of the orders to your customers. They will also send the shipping information to your loyal shoppers so they can track their parcels, too.
Most of the models that Amazon FBA provides encompass a robust structure that will let you expand your business even outside of your home country. One thing about this is that you may qualify for free shipping when orders amount to at least $25 for books and $49 for miscellaneous items.
Moreover, when you qualify for the Amazon Prime membership, your customers get unlimited free shipping valid for two days or even free one-day shipping to their area! Isn’t that great? Most of you want to save your resources as you may have just started out your business. Another thing about Amazon FBA is that it allows you to be present in different channels, such as your own website, and even on other platforms such as eBay and other marketplaces outside Amazon.
When you start your own business, part of you worries about how much capital you need in order to put out your products in the marketplace. But you may not need a huge amount of capital, as you can always begin with less than $500 and start sourcing the materials for your items. After which, you may then begin your production process and create the listings on Amazon.
Before you start creating listings about your products, you need to create your individual account first. Make sure the details you fill in are accurate and match the details you have on your IDs. When the time comes that you’ve flourished, you may now upgrade to a Pro account and ensure the increase of your sales even more.
As your business grows, find notable and profitable products to include in your collection. Conduct thorough research and check if the products go along with your branding, mission, and vision.
In order to make your business flourish, there are different steps that you need to take on or do to ensure that you’re on the right track in increasing your sales. Follow these steps to your success!
1. Create your business plan
To secure the growth and stability of your Amazon FBA business, you need to plan out how you want your business to be in the long run. Your business plan must be well thought out and includes your business mission.
When you create your business plan, make sure to include everything and anything under the sun that might be relevant to your progress.
2. Choose your niche wisely
In order for you to flourish on Amazon FBA, make sure you find a suitable and profitable niche for your business. Finding and crafting products that suit your niche will pave the way for you to earn more and even be the best in your chosen industry and niche.
First, in order to achieve that, conduct thorough research about your market. Know what your audience wants and needs. Factor in how much they want to spend for an item since that’s where you’ll be basing your prices. Remember that your target market may have a limit on their budget as they may not earn as much as the other people out there.
Just a pro tip: Refrain from selling seasonal and fragile products since that may cost more, especially when it comes to packaging and even handling.
3. Begin your market research
Once you discover your niche, it’s time to move onto the next step: start your market research. This not only involves finding information about your target market but also knowing if there are other sellers like you who sell the same product you plan on selling. This helps you gain a competitive edge and look at things differently.
Doing your market research also lets you communicate with different suppliers and get what they think about your upcoming collection or products. Conducting a survey helps greatly. You may use tools such as Google Forms, Survey Monkey, and even Microsoft Forms. However, you are not limited to these tools. Those are just a few examples!
While communicating with the suppliers, you may also communicate with your potential customers to get what they think about your products. You could learn what their expectations are, and you could deal with it before your launch.
4. Finding the right suppliers for your business
Right after communicating with your potential suppliers, some of them would feel curious as to how you plan on moving forward with your business so they will communicate with you. Some look into online suppliers because of convenience or the location.
While you’re stationed in another country, your supplier might be on the other side of the globe. It’s still possible to conduct business with them, but just make sure that communication is open to avoid any misunderstandings. That also prevents expenditures on your end.
If you feel safe attending events physically, you may attend trade shows and exchange contact details with the exhibitors there. This way, you get to know the people working with that supplier and even check out their sample products if it fits your needs.
Just remember these:
Pro tip: Don’t hesitate to ask for samples to check the quality!
5. Place your orders
When you already set your heart for a supplier that works best with your products, make sure to place your orders. Remember that this is the first time you’ll be placing orders, so make sure you don’t go overboard with the quantity of items you’ll order.
As previously mentioned, make sure you tested their products before ordering in bulk. Open your communication as much as you can to get constant updates about the production. Let them know the specifications you are looking for, especially when it’s connected to your products. You always want the best for your items so your customers will enjoy and look forward to receiving their orders.
If it helps, ask the supplier about the raw materials used in order to come up with the final product. This way, you’ll know more about the process needed and even the kind of logistics for the materials for your products.
6. Create your own Amazon account
The next step is to create and register on Amazon for your own account. For starters, you can settle for the free account first, which is the individual seller. You won’t get charged up until you sell your products on Amazon. The cost will be around $1 for every item you sell on the eCommerce platform.
On the other hand, if you go with the pro seller account, it will charge you at around $39.00 per month. It may seem hefty for a new business so this could be your option when your business took off already.
Pro tip: Decide depending on the budget of your business.
7. Start composing your product listings
After creating your Amazon account, the next thing to do is to create product listings for your items. When you create your listings, you will encounter various terms, such as product title, description, and using high-resolution images that will help in your product listing optimization.
If you only have a limited number of items, you may create the listings manually. However, if it’s a lot, let’s say around 50, you may upload it through a spreadsheet that contains information about your items. Make sure to write down information that will help your customers and inform them about your product.
8. Manage your inventory well
Amazon FBA sellers such as yourself need to check on your inventory in order to make sure that you still have items to sell. When your items sell like hotcakes, they will most likely get sold out quickly. Your customers and other shoppers may feel different if they see your listings and products sold out for weeks and it’s what they have been wanting ever since.
You may use a system that will help you manage your inventory well so you’ll never find a hard time when your items run out of stock. You may also tweak your marketing plan in order to create a schedule with your suppliers so deliveries will be consistent.
9. Request for customer feedback
Most of you already know that customer feedback plays an important role in your business. It builds the trustworthiness of your brand and encourages more shoppers to check your items out. When they see high ratings and even good feedback, they will likely buy your products more than ever.
Just as they share their experiences on social media, it becomes solid proof that your products are true to what you post. However, some of them may forget to post their reviews on the listings, so you need to check and follow up on their overall experience and let them give their feedback.
You may write them through email and request for their review. Just make sure to be straightforward about it and no more complex ways on how they will be able to leave their feedback. The more positive reviews you get, the more chances for you to increase your sales and conversions.
10. Optimize your listings
As you deal with your business operations, check how your performance has been and observe how the market receives your products. One way of improving your sales and driving traffic is to optimize your product listings.
Start your optimization process by conducting keyword research. You may discover relevant keywords by using tools to help you with your tasks. When you find the right keywords for your listing, insert them into the product titles, descriptions, and even as you list down the notable features and benefits.
Aside from using keywords, make sure you use high-resolution images to help you optimize your images. These show your customers how the product looks and how it will fit their lives. You may use around 5-7 images per listing. When you shoot your photos, use white background and avoid using filters that will distort the image.
Writing the product features means you’ll highlight the notable things about your product. Put yourself in the shoes of your customers and simulate how they will react if they read what you write. Make it short, smart, and concise. As the days go by, people lose their span of attention quickly. Include the bits of information that add value to your products.
When you compose your product description, make it cohesive. Keep your sentences short and easy to understand. Not everyone who shops on Amazon has the time to search the dictionary for a word they don’t understand.
Pro tip: Always add a call-to-action (CTA) that will make your customers want to buy your products.
With Amazon, more and more sellers like you feel enthused about putting up their own business. Not only is it convenient, it also helps you manage your inventory and even lets you reach more people. However, things get competitive on Amazon, especially since there are brands using the platform too and other sellers with the same products as yours.
Now, before we take another deep dive about selling and protecting your items on Amazon, it’s best to learn the basics about using the great eCommerce platform.
Most of you will worry about what problems you will face when you start selling on Amazon already. Some of you think that logistics will pose a challenge, especially for international shipping. Now, let’s talk about the potential problems you may encounter on Amazon.
Some of you think about the sellers that sell fake products or are present to scam customers to get what they want. Some businesses are not directly connected with a brand and just find their way on Amazon and start selling there.
To prevent that from happening, make sure you manage your inventory. Always update your inventory especially if there are orders placed and even deliveries.
You and your shoppers will always be able to see and observe what’s happening on Amazon. If you always search for specific items, you’ll observe if there’s a price hike or even if it went on sale. Sometimes, you’ll engage in a conversation with fellow sellers and would feel that you seemingly can’t buy on wholesale because there’s a small increment on Amazon.
Then when you try raising it to the brand, they would mention that they know nothing about that company. If your customers see that your competitors are selling for a more affordable price, they will likely buy from them. Of course, you’ll dislike that from happening since one of your goals includes growing your business and your profit.
Remember that your customers will always find affordability as one of the most important factors when they purchase an item. If your products are relatively affordable and still not getting enough sales, then you might need to look at your Amazon channel.
Most of you wonder how to start advertising your products and if you need it. Of course, yes! Advertising helps you grow your business as it will help you reach other shoppers that may not be directly part of your target audience. Moreover, shoppers who really want to buy products search directly on Amazon instead of searching on Google.
Advertising on Amazon lets you grow your business through ads displayed on search engine results pages.
Amazon Brand Registry is a free program where sellers like you may register and protect the sanctity of your brand and business. Moreover, this program lets you submit your listings and lock it down so no other business will ever get to use it.
Just as the year started, your mind wanders about the different strategies on how to protect your Amazon products. At the top of your mind, you want to protect your products from counterfeiting, hijackers, or even baseless trademark complaints. Protecting your products means improving your organic discoverability and conversion. So, where do you begin in order to protect your Amazon products?.
A trademark is defined as a brand name. It is a service mark that includes any word, name, symbol, device, or combination as a means to identify a specific product or service that belongs to one seller or business.
Remember that when you register for a trademark, make sure it describes your product. Be more specific and think of it as an instrument to persuade and influence people to get your product.
Some of you might think that registering a trademark is hard. Fortunately, this article will help you protect your Amazon products and succeed in your business.
You may start registering online through the United States Patent and Trademark Office. It will let you save resources and still stay safe!
Another method would be utilizing a turnkey service to register your trademark. This may cost more since you will collaborate with a service provider, but you will worry less about dealing with the USPTO. Fees will be around $440, which will go to the government to register the name.
Once approved, your brand and your business will get the protection such as the likes of Apple, Red Bull, and Nike. Now, isn’t that sweet?
Amazon Brand Registry is one of the most vital elements for you in order to flourish in Amazon. This program helps a lot of sellers to prevent from encountering bad sellers that will counterfeit their products.
One notable case was the Birkenstock counterfeiting that occurred last 2016 when the brand eradicated its listings due to the increase of imitators. Another is when Amazon implemented restrictions on sellers that were approved by Nike to sell their products on the platform. Therefore, it resulted in the release of a better Brand Registry, which improved the process of protecting your brand and products.
You need to register at Amazon Brand Registry. You need to use your own Seller Central credentials if you already registered your brand earlier. Then, Amazon will verify the trademark to complete your enrollment in the program.
Next, Amazon will ask for more information from you to check if you’re authorized to manage or you’re the owner.
In order for you to get accepted to the program, you must have the following:
As your business grows, your listings gain traction and more and more people see those. Yet, even if you see high click-through rates and low conversion rates, these affect the performance of your business. These occur when you fail to give time to optimize your listings.
There are different ways on how to build your business and protect your products on Amazon. Some of you may have been doing this for a while and were just unsure of the names or formalities. The steps that we mentioned here aim to help you build a reputable and trustworthy brand on Amazon.
As you aspire to grow your business, you also ensure the safety of your products and your brand. By doing so, you save yourself and your business from endless hours of work when your listings get hijacked.
To summarize, make sure you register your brand with the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), sign up with Brand Registry, and optimize your product listings.
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