Amazon has outstanding reach in the UK with 40m shoppers registered, and 21m people using the site every month (according to Amazon AMG), so do seek expert advice if you are looking to really maximise the most of this sales potential. In the meantime, here is a basic guide on how to set up a Seller Central account, considerations regarding stock and pricing as well as key factors to boost discoverability and ultimately sales.
What do you need to open and setup your new Amazon Seller Central account?
1. Relevant business information including legal business name, business address and contact information
2. Email address that can be used for setup, but also any ongoing communications - as such it is best this is a business email
3. Credit card information and valid billing address so that any fees such as professional selling account can be charged
4. Phone number, either a mobile or office landline for the purpose of verification throughout setup and logging in
5. VAT information for the business
6. You may also be asked for other information such as details on individuals with a significant stake in the business (e.g. passport info)
7. Trademark information if you have one. This will allow you to enroll in Brand Registry which opens up further options such as Enhanced Brand Content and Sponsored Brands
Once you have setup your Seller Central account you need to consider the stock which you will be selling on Amazon. Having a defined Amazon strategy right from the outset will enable a smoother process for creating listings and getting the products onto the marketplace. Some businesses that have smaller product catalogues may decide to list all products whereas others may decide to cherry pick the best sellers to begin with to test the water. If there are huge numbers of products then it may be an issue logistically to try and list all of them, so looking at a strategy for which products to list is important. If you have an existing e-commerce site then a good place to start is to look at the best converting products and trial these on Amazon. You can always add to your product portfolio at any time.
Another key aspect to consider is an Amazon pricing strategy. Sellers will need to be aware of others on the marketplace who may already have listed the same product, in which case, your pricing will need to be competitive in order to have a chance of winning the Buy Box. Another consideration to take into account is that of an existing pricing structure. If you are selling your products on your own website, are you happy to offer them on Amazon at a slightly different price or do you want to try and ensure pricing consistency? Other factors that will play a part in your Amazon pricing strategy is whether you are fulfilling your own orders or whether you are using FBA (Fulfilment by Amazon), plus Amazon’s selling fees and potential advertising costs.
Fulfilment by Amazon (FBA) is a decision that most sellers will need to make at some point. FBA enables sellers to send their items to an Amazon fulfilment centre where they are held until a customer makes an order, then Amazon will pick, pack and send the item to the customer (as well as handling any customer service elements arising from these orders). Amazon will charge an FBA fee which is calculated on the dimensions of your item along with its weight. There are also monthly storage charges to consider. That said, FBA listings are much more likely to convert than typical FBM (Fulfilled by Merchant) as they are Prime eligible. Prime listings are eligible for free one- or two-day delivery, meaning that customers can get their item quicker and at no additional cost (other than the initial cost of Prime membership). Research shows that there are around 8 million Prime members in the UK. Another benefit of FBA is that it enables your products to be listed on other Amazon markets including in Germany, France, Italy and Spain. Of course, you will need to be mindful of VAT implications and the various thresholds when looking into this option.
An often overlooked but hugely important factor to consider is your Amazon product photography. Not only can good imagery help to entice customers but it is also part of Amazon’s A9 ranking algorithm, meaning if you have limited or low-quality images then your listings will be less discoverable by potential customers. Ensuring you have enough product images and lifestyle shots will help customers visualise your product and also allow you to add additional imagery to any Enhanced Brand Content you may add.
You can’t simply just add your products to Amazon and expect them to start selling like hot cakes! You need to think about the content with a lot of work going into Amazon SEO and listing optimisation to aid discoverability and conversion. Listings with little or poorly optimised content are less likely to lead to sales versus listings which have properly optimised titles, bullets and descriptions. Optimised listings don’t only benefit on-site search, but can also lead to greater discoverability on search engines including Google, meaning even better reach and a wider potential audience.
With even the best will in the world, a brand-new account and product listings will still likely need a little help initially to become discoverable on Amazon. That is where Amazon advertising becomes your friend. Sponsored Products allows you to promote your listings to boost discoverability and also hopefully reviews. Ultimately, the ads will be key to driving sales initially which is essential not just to the success of your business, but also to further Amazon sales with sales velocity another of Amazon’s key ranking factors. If you also have a registered trademark then you can go through the Brand Registry process and also set up Sponsored Brand campaigns to further increase brand awareness. If you aren’t sure where to start with advertising on Amazon then you could trial a small automatic campaign to give you some insight with which you can then set up additional campaigns.
Following all of the steps above should put you in good stead, but of course, there will be other factors at play such as time, resource and expertise limitations. If you would like help with your Amazon account, get in contact with the UK based Amazon Specialist Consultancy who can help and are the author of this blog on MENTA’s behalf.