Selling on Amazon 101: Here’s How The Platform Works [2021]

Why Should I Sell On Amazon?

There are 300 million customers on Amazon worldwide, including individuals, brand owners, resellers, and businesses. By selling on Amazon, you have access to a huge pool of customers and can leverage the existing demand for your products.

When you’re first getting started selling on Amazon, things get pretty confusing. There are so many things to keep in mind on the platform in 2021 and it can be overwhelming.

The idea of Amazon selling full-time is attractive. The recent pandemic is causing many people to rethink their careers and take to online businesses.

A look into the day to day operations of selling on amazon

While there is competition, there’s also demand. Amazon welcomes millions of new buyers to their site every month, and they also need sellers to meet the needs of online shoppers.

Since Amazon is the go-to place to buy online, you can start selling products right away on the platform. Although there is certainly plenty of competition for Amazon sellers, there are millions of prospective customers, too.

How to start selling on Amazon

To succeed, you’ll need to help customers locate your products, among other considerations.

New sellers often won’t see instant rewards, but some do. Statistically, around 64% of Amazon sellers make a profit within their first year. Your profit may not be enough to replace your day job, but it’s essential to recognize that building a successful business takes time.

After reading this beginner’s guide to selling more on Amazon, you’ll need more information to succeed. This resource is here to make it easy to become a seller on Amazon easier. But the real tips and tricks to becoming an Amazon seller is in our 2021 Amazon Playbook.

To continue learning from a comprehensive guide, download our 2021 Amazon Playbook, and take our success quiz here. The success quiz will help you identify whether your brand is ahead of the competition. Successful brands on Amazon do certain things well, so it will also help you identify where to improve.

But enough about future resources at your disposal. In the next sections of this guide, we’ll discuss how to set up shop on Amazon, list your products, and make your first sale. Once you know the basics, you can scale up and focus on a profitable business.

Here’s how to start selling on Amazon. Let’s begin!

The Key To Selling Effectively on Amazon in 2021

There’s no bullet silver when it comes to great sales but there are many tried-and-true elements of selling on Amazon that you’ll most likely want to replicate in your own fashion.

As a new seller, it’s important to understand the basics. This includes registering an account, collecting the information you need to become a seller, and understanding Amazon’s fee structure.

Registering As An Amazon Seller

fees associated with selling on Amazon

Although at first, determining how to sell on Amazon might be a challenge, you’ll see that the platform makes it simple enough to begin.

There are two “plans” or ways to sell on Amazon. You can sell as an individual or a professional. Those planning to sell fewer than 40 products a month are individuals, while those selling over 40 products a month are professionals.

Individuals pay $0.99 per item sold plus selling fees, while professionals spend $39.99 a month to sell on the platform, plus fees. So, why should you go for a professional Amazon seller plan? It’s simple:

  • There’s no limit to how many products you can sell per month.
  • Professional sellers can advertise their products on Amazon, and through the Amazon display network.
  • It’s difficult, if not impossible to get top search placement with an individual plan.
  • There are more Amazon seller tools available, which is important if you want to see reports on your progress.
  • Only professionals can sell in specific categories, which might be too limiting for certain sellers.

Fortunately, if you are not ready for the monthly commitment, you can begin with an individual account and change it at any time. Likewise, you can switch from a professional account to an individual one. This allows business owners to start with a less expensive account until they’re ready to scale up their business on Amazon.

What Information Do I Need To Become An Amazon Seller?

information required to be an amazon seller

Registering an account is simple if you have the correct information available. Before applying for your seller account, have this information handy:

  • Bank account information
  • A credit card for financial transactions
  • Your government-issued ID
  • Business and tax information
  • A working phone number

That’s not too bad, right? These simple requirements are one of the reasons why sellers have a simple time starting on Amazon.

What Are The Fees To Prepare For?

amazon seller category referral fees

In addition to the $0.99 per sale or $39.99 per month subscription fee dependent on your seller account, Amazon has several other fees. There are referral fees, which vary by product category, variable closing fees for media products, shipping fees, and fulfillment fees.

While you shouldn’t let fees determine what to sell on Amazon, it’s important to understand the fees for each category. And by shipping your own products, you can avoid fulfillment fees, which Amazon charges if you have them fulfill orders as a member of the Fulfillment by Amazon, or FBA program.

As you can tell, becoming an Amazon seller isn’t too difficult. However, these three topics only scratch the surface on what you must do to become a top seller.

Just Received Seller Account Approval? Here Are Some Tips

Now that you know more about registering, how can you start selling on Amazon? Now’s your opportunity to sell your own products or start reselling on Amazon. Here are the processes you should complete to make your first several sales:

  • Upload Product Listings
upload product listings

If sellers already sell the same products on Amazon, you don’t need to create your listings. However, those selling unique products that are not available on Amazon yet must make their listings.

Unlike with other eCommerce platforms, there are many steps involved with creating product listings on Amazon. You must select categories, name your products, and much more to make a listing. Prepare to spend a considerable amount of time uploading product listings.

  • Optimize Keywords In The Product Title
optimize keywords in the product title

Buyers on Amazon use the search bar to look up products. You can identify relevant keywords that your customer will search for and improve the “rank” of your product listing. The higher you rank within in-demand categories, the more products you’ll sell.

Fortunately, there are Amazon keyword tools that sellers can access. These will help you determine relevant keywords to attract the right buyers.

  • Optimize Product Descriptions
optimizing the product description helps selling on amazon

Amazon product descriptions are usually more detailed than on other eCommerce sites. Because product descriptions can increase sales by listing features, showing product photos, and including relevant product information, a lot goes into creating the perfect listing.

Yet, optimizing descriptions doesn’t just help motivate customers to buy. An optimized description will also lead to higher search term rankings so that more buyers see your products. 

  • Ship Orders On Time

Whenever a customer orders something on Amazon, you’ll receive a notification with a ship-by date in your Seller Central account. Keep customers and Amazon happy by sending out products on time. Otherwise, you risk high returns, loss profits, and even seller account termination.

So, those are the basics? Next, let’s discuss how to make your first sale.

3 Steps To Make Your First Sale on Amazon

Selling on Amazon is about 3 things: branding (including product, marketing and building trust), optimization, and promotion. The higher the quality of your listings, the likelier it is you’ll make a sale.

Branding involves presenting your product a certain way. Your product likely isn’t the only one of its kind, so yours needs to stick in a customer’s mind.

Optimization requires streamlining how customers find your product. Are the keywords in the title relevant? What might a customer type into the search bar to find your product?

And once you complete the branding and optimization processes, it’s time to promote. A new product on Amazon is nothing groundbreaking, so you need to generate excitement for your product. Even after you release a new product, you must continually promote it.

Selling on Amazon – Step #1 – Catalog Your Products & Make Them Shine

Step 1 for selling on amazon - catalog your product and make them stand out

Selling on Amazon is about more than promoting products. Instead, you’re selling a lifestyle. Think carefully about your brand’s positioning.

To make more sales, you need your products to be appealing. Describe how the items you sell benefit your customer while cataloging your products. Think carefully about those buying your products and speak to them directly in your product descriptions.

Don’t overlook the importance of appearances. Simply highlighting a product’s features is not enough. Color, logo, and brand identity are all part of polishing up your product to make it as appealing as possible.

Selling on Amazon – Step #2 – Optimize Your Seller Account & Listings

step 2 - selling on Amazon - optimize seller account and listings

It’s important to follow Amazon SEO best practices while listing your products. Build your product’s title and description to reflect how your customer’s search. Are you including the correct keywords in your product titles and descriptions?

Add as much detail as you can to the product title. For example, you might add the height, weight, measurements, and more. Keep the description informative and easy to locate.

Good seller behavior is also essential. View your customers as critical to your business and do what’s in their best interest. Fast shipping and good-quality products all contribute to an outstanding buying experience.

Focusing on your customers will net you good reviews and high ratings, which will push you higher in the listings.

Selling on Amazon – Step #3 – Actively Promote Your Listings

selling on amazon step 3 - promoting your listings

The more you sell, the higher you’ll rank in the listings. Of course, this is where a brand-new seller may struggle.

You can generate awareness and excitement for your product by offering a giveaway or promotion. You can also start advertising your products on Amazon and through Amazon’s display network on other websites.

The best promotions tell a relevant story. When you create your brand and spread its message, focus on emotion. How will the product make a customer feel, and how will it benefit them?

A Few Tricks To Speed Up The Sales Process

We work with 100s of Amazon sellers every week, and we’ve seen a ton of different tactics, tricks, quirky optimizations that would appear for a while and then they were gone.

  • Upload Clear Images & Write Good Product Descriptions
upload clear pictures & write great product descriptions

Customers will always want to see what they’re buying. Informative, easy-to-read product titles and descriptions, along with clear and relevant images, are something you should always use.

  • Maintain A Q&A Page
answer customers questions through FAQs

Communication between seller and buyer can be tricky, and a Q&A page provides the perfect platform to discuss possible issues and find workable solutions.

  • Keep A Consistent Brand Message

Your brand is how you stand out. Keep guidelines on what is “on-brand” and what isn’t. Customers will pick up on inconsistencies.

Of course, while these tips are handy, it’s essential to know that the core sales process is still the most crucial aspect. Don’t get so caught up in sending the perfect brand message that you’re sending out poor-quality products or neglecting your real customers.


The Post-Sales Experience on Amazon (It’s Super Important!)

selling on amazon tip - the post-sales experience

Amazon is known for its impeccable customer service, and especially its post-sales efforts. They never leave you hanging and wondering where a package is, it just doesn’t happen.

The largest online retails is known for its impeccable customer service, and especially its post-sales efforts. They never leave you wondering where a package is. They understand that on-time delivery is vital to their customers.

Amazon expects its sellers to match its ambitious standards. For example, Amazon sellers must dispatch orders within two working days. The order should reach the customer within three to thirteen days.

When it comes to Amazon, it’s good to stay organized. Don’t procrastinate on fulfilling orders. What matters most to your customers are the events which happen after they place an order.

Selling Your Products on Amazon in 2021 is Still a Great Investment

selling on amazon in 2021 is still a great investment

As a new seller, there’s plenty of space for you to find your niche or penetrate an existing market on Amazon. That’s because the tech giant is still growing at an incredible pace.

With online shopping at an all-time high, now is the perfect time for a seller to transition to the Amazon marketplace.

However, merely joining this gigantic eCommerce platform is not enough. If you don’t put in the work and get the sales, Amazon won’t promote your items. It would be best to create quality product listings, fulfill orders, and promote your products with ads.

In the future, as more sellers join Amazon, brand identity, positioning, and acceptable sales practices will become more critical than ever. You need to create a solid marketing strategy and position your brand identity now.

It may sound like a lot of work – and it is! However, with Sunken Stone’s services, which combine brand and sales marketing specifically for Amazon sellers, you can streamline the process. We help Amazon sellers achieve higher sales through systematic changes to conducting business on the world’s leading eCommerce platform.

If you want to learn more about advanced methods to help sell more products on Amazon, we have the guide for you. Download our 2021 Amazon Playbook now and discover how to take your business to the next level.

Download the Ultimate Amazon Success Guide by Sunken Stone

Why Should I Sell On Amazon?

There are 300 million customers on Amazon worldwide, including individuals, brand owners, resellers, and businesses. By selling on Amazon, you have access to a huge pool of customers.

What Is The FBA Program?

If you prefer not to handle shipping, returns, and customer service, Amazon can do that for you. The Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA) program costs money but automates the process of fulfilling your orders.

Should I Start As An Individual Or Professional Seller?

How you start on the platform is up to you. If you are selling products for the first time, consider becoming an individual seller, until your demand requires you to switch to a professional seller account. Or jump straight into a professional account and access tools to help you sell more products.

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