Successful Amazon sellers tend to have one thing in common – they love selling on Amazon, and why wouldn’t they? It’s easy to get started, easy to scale and there’s an abundance of opportunity to make tons of sales.
If you’re riding high on your Amazon sales you might be happy to stick with the status quo, but if you’re interested in real, long term success as a brand and as a seller, these five tips will help you to start preparing for the wide world of commerce that waits just outside of Amazon.
#1 Start your online store
The advantages of selling on Amazon for ecommerce newbies are undeniable. With it’s built in audience and low barriers to entry, almost anyone with the right approach and a determined attitude can build their business almost overnight.
If you’ve found marketplace success however, the prospect of starting again on another channel can be daunting.
Even with all the winning strategies you’ve learnt for marketing with Sponsored Products, getting five-star reviews, ranking your products for keywords and everything else that goes into a successful Amazon product launch it’s a completely different set of ecommerce skills you’ll need to learn to launch your own online store.
The old adage nothing good comes easy rings true here, and even though getting your first sales through your online store comes a lot slower and with a lot more time and money investment than Amazon, there are a long list of advantages to cutting out your own little corner of the online world to sell from.
Unlike Amazon, with your own online store you own the customer interaction, and can interact with them on your own terms – collect emails for marketing purposes, customize your shipping and even personalize their experience.
Furthermore, your own online store opens up new marketing channels such as Google Ads and gives you a place to send traffic from your social media pages or digital ad placements that you don’t have to share with dozens if not hundreds of similar products from competitors, and with tools like Google Analytics you can gain valuable insights about customers behaviour when they visit your store that you can’t get from Amazon, but that can help inform you’re Amazon strategy.
Ecommerce platforms like Shopify, BigCommerce and Ecwid make it easy to get started with an online store, or if you’re needs are more unique Magento may be right for you. If you’re already running a website through WordPress, then WooCommerce will let you easily turn it into an online store.
#2 Build a social presence
Just like growing your online store, building a social media presence takes time. It’s a marathon, not a sprint, but the rewards for having a captive social audience are undeniable to any ecommerce brand serious about their future.
Customers are becoming increasingly savvy and demanding more from the brands they buy from. They can tell the difference between ‘real brands’ and those selling generic products on Amazon. A lack of any real social presence is a huge red flag for customers who want to separate the real brands from the get rich quick sellers.
If you don’t already have a Facebook and Instagram account for your brand, get one ASAP and start posting straight away even if nobody’s listening.
You may not be ready yet to start using social media to market your brand, but when you do cross that bridge you’ll be starting from a much better position if you’ve got established social pages filled with photos, videos, posts and comments that tell your brand’s story.
Again it’s all part of spreading your brand visibility online. Sure, customers may continue to find your brand on Amazon and not on social media, but they won’t stop there. Many customers will research your brand and products before they buy, and if a quick google search returns nothing to help them make a decision about your brand you might already be losing sales.
However, if a potential customer on Amazon finds your social pages, filled with great pictures of your brand, positive interactions with customers and even simple ‘shares’ of other content that’s relevant in your space they are far more likely to see you as a brand they can trust.
Combine this with a slick online store for your brand and your conversion rates on Amazon can only improve.
#3 Start creating killer content
In the never-ending battle to differentiate your products in a crowded market, content is king. Customers want to buy products of people that live and breathe the space. By showing off your knowledge and passion for the products you sell, customers will see you as not just a product seller, but a product expert.
Start small. Good content can be just about anything you create the share with your audience that isn’t directly promoting your product. If you’re passionate about the space you sell in, it should be easy to share that passion with the world.
Things like blogs, YouTube channels, podcasts, ebooks, memes, etc. are all great ways to start producing content that shows customers that you’re more than just someone trying to sell them something.
These things might not be essential for an Amazon seller, but if your plan is to grow beyond just being an Amazon seller and being a full-fledged brand you’ll be glad you started to create content today.
#4 Start consuming killer content
Content goes both ways. You should create content for your space whilst also exposing yourself to as much as you can from others.
You want to know who the major players are in your space, what the latest trends and tastes are and what kinds of content your competitors are producing.
Keeping your finger on the pulse will help you anticipate the changing demands of your customers and inform your strategy moving forward from everything from choosing new products to sell to finding new ways to market your brand.
Don’t just consume, engage. If you find content you like, share it through your social pages or even reach out to the creator – you never know what opportunities from your brand will come from connecting with creators in your space.
Don’t stop at your product’s space or niche though, you should endeavor to become the best seller you can be and that means being a knowledge hog for all things ecommerce.
Read blogs, listen to podcasts, attend webinars and do anything else you can to learn about ecommerce and how to do it better.
You’re here reading this, which is a start – but with so many hours in the day and so many great educators sharing their ecommerce knowledge online for free you should always be seeking out more and more great content on your journey to become a master ecommerce seller.
#5 Expand Your Business Globally with Amazon
With Amazon FBA now available in countries all over the world, it’s never been easier to get started with cross-border trade.
If you’re already selling on one Amazon marketplace, then you should already have your products and listing assets (photography, descriptions, etc.) ready to go. Simply pick your next Amazon, set up your listings and start sending products in to the overseas fulfillment centers.
For US based sellers, Canada and the UK are a great place to start. Germany and other parts of Europe are also great prospects if you’re willing to spend a bit more time and money on getting your listing information and product packaging translated, but with a huge market with less competition it can often be worth the investment.
When you’re just starting out with a new regional marketplace through FBA, it’s best to start with a small test shipment – send in a few products and see if they sell. If you’re already an experienced Amazon seller, you should know pretty quickly whether you’re product is going to find success. Once you start making sales, you can scale up with bigger shipments.
If you want more inspiration for choosing the right global Amazon marketplace, our article on global marketplaces will help you make the right decision.
If you’re already using Channel Cloud to manage your marketplaces, simply create an Amazon account for the region you want to sell into, connect it to your ecommerce platform with Codisto and automate the creation of your new Amazon listings in bulk.