Making it as an Amazon seller takes a lot more than just the will to get started. After all, if it was so easy to make a living on the world’s largest online marketplace, then everyone would do it.
The site offers the means for sellers to deliver their products to their ideal customers. But it’s up to you to put the pieces in place to effectively leverage your store’s potential. With the right marketing strategy (and Amazon seller analytics) working for you, the sky’s the limit for what you can achieve.
Of course, putting time and effort into building your business from the ground up will take you a long way. Still, you need to develop a winning process that can weather the ebbs and flows of your sales. To really develop your Amazon store into the success story you want it to be, you’ll need to have documentation for what works and what simply does not. Repeatable processes are the key to making any business venture sing, but as an Amazon seller, they’re even more important.
If you’re a relatively new Amazon seller or are just looking to refresh your approach, you might need a bit more specific guidance. So let’s dive into why repeatable processes are so important and what types of processes you should be focused on.
Creating an Amazon Marketing Strategy
When you have a passion for your products, you might be inclined to do everything yourself. That’s an all too common problem for small business owners, but you need to think bigger. When you remain stuck on your own way of doing things, you’re often missing out on opportunities to make process improvements.
After all, if you’re the only one who conducts said processes, then there’s no reason for you to sketch out what you’re doing at all, let alone develop a better and better way to achieve the same results (or improve upon them).
To build your business to last, you need to establish these repeatable processes. That way, you can continually troubleshoot any issues you may encounter and course-correct as necessary. And, when you’re ready to step away from your Amazon store, you can step away confident in the processes that have performed so well for you over time. Take a look at other successful businesses, and you’ll acknowledge that every single one of them applies some fundamental principles to their performance.
This is the basis for every other element in your Amazon marketing strategy. However you choose to document your processes — whatever outline you follow to identify and connect with customers — will be instrumental in every aspect of your business. Such an approach to your Amazon marketing strategy leads to consistency, and consistency is absolutely key in a sales-driven environment like Amazon. You’ll learn to live or die by your customer behavior analytics. Before long, your Amazon store will be running like a well-oiled machine with minimal effort on your part.
The Most Important Repeatable Processes
You’re ready to start getting some repeatable processes in motion. But you’re probably still wondering how in the world you can get started with it. Truthfully, it can be intimidating to begin documenting your processes, especially if you have a new store.
In that case, you might even still be trying to work out what works for your store. For now, let’s run through some of the most critical processes you should try and nail down first, since they will greatly impact your bottom line.
- Inventory management: Once your store really gets moving, you’re likely to see lots and lots of inventory moving through. To minimize problems, you’ll want to determine your prepping and shipping methods. This really boils down to becoming an expert in your product. We recommend you start to hone in on what sells and what is most cost-effective as soon as you can. Using this tactic, you can standardize your process and the equipment — packaging, labeling, etc. — you need to get inventory ready to send out. To keep your profits up, you want to streamline this period as much as you can. Remember, you’ll begin to incur fees all throughout the process. So get moving!
- Pricing: You’re going to face unanticipated roadblocks on your journey to Amazon seller success. That just comes with the territory. However, while you can’t avoid the fees and basic needs to get your products out the door and into customers’ hands, you can certainly make adjustments with regards to pricing. The best way to handle pricing is to decide on your profit standards, such as your minimum profit percentage. How much of your overall profit margin are you willing to sacrifice to make a sale? Crunch the numbers now so that you don’t encounter any surprises on that front. Toying with discounts and incentives is a slippery slope. Be sure you have a safety net in place.
- Restocking: The longer you operate your Amazon store, the better metrics you’ll have to work with. But you definitely want to be sure that you’re restocking your inventory on a frequent enough basis. Set checkpoints in your inventory so that you don’t forget to order more inventory once you reach a certain level. You especially want to ensure that your most popular products are always available, as you never know when your store might have a slight advantage over its competition. Once you discover the lead time you need to receive more inventory and prepare it for shipment, then you can identify the best time to take action and emerge fully stocked. It’s just a matter of knowing (relatively) how long it takes you to sell through your current stock.
- Bookkeeping: Very few parts of running your own business are less popular than keeping a close eye on the books. Managing your accounting and financial records certainly isn’t the highlight of your processes. But it is a very important one. Without updated and closely managed books, your business is doomed to inevitable failure. So determine a process that works for you, and make sure that you are tending to your books at least every quarter. This, of course, includes not only reviewing what you’ve done well and what you haven’t but also planning ahead. These quarterly check-ins are your chance to take stock of your business, where it’s headed, and what you need to do next. Create a checklist and regular reminders to keep yourself accountable. And have tools in place to help.
- Compliance: Most of repeated processes we’ve discussed fall more in the realm of best practices, but this one actually has the potential to derail your business regardless of its profitability. This should be self-evident, but you need to stay on top of compliance issues. Pay your business taxes. Ensure compliance needs are met. And be aware of the consequences if you don’t heed these requirements. Treat your Amazon store like any other business, and consider how often successful businesses are thrown for a loop simply because they missed a critical deadline. Your Amazon store has a lot of moving parts. So don’t just trust that you’ll remember to take action when you need to. Embrace automation, including payments and business filings. It will save you tons of heartache and late or violation fees later on.
The Difference You’ll See in Your Store
Some of the above may seem obvious, but you’d be surprised how many business owners fail to follow these basic steps to optimize their businesses. Just imagine the havoc you’ll face if you run out of stock on your best-selling product or, even worse, if you find yourself completely out of a label or packaging item you need to ship it out.
What about your company would suffer if you fail to pay your business taxes or remain in compliance with Amazon’s policy? Everything you have worked so hard to achieve would be at risk, simply due to a lack of a solid process. This result could have been prevented with a bit more care and planning. The last thing you want is to make your business more complicated.
Simplicity is the name of the game on the way to success, after all. Once you put repeatable processes into action, you’ll see just how quickly this approach yields results. Rather than throwing everything you have at the wall and seeing what sticks, you’ll have a baseline of success, one you can sharpen and elevate for years to come. Once you know what to do, then you can continue to do it better every single time.