Are You an Amazon Seller?

Use Customer Behavior Analytics to
Drive Better Business Decisions

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In many ways, launching an Amazon store is like starting any other business. You have a lot of ground to cover and a whole lot to learn before you’re able to make a successful go of it. If you want to know how to make money selling on Amazon, you first have to master customer behavior analytics and other key concepts.

If you’re ready to discover the truth behind how selling on Amazon works, then you’ve come to the right place. Below we’ll cover a wide variety of topics you’ll need to know to put your Amazon seller analytics to work for your business.

So let’s get started and get you on the road to becoming the next big Amazon seller.

What is Amazon FBA vs FBM:
How to Choose What's Best for You

What is Amazon FBA vs FBM:
How to Choose What's Best for You

With Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA) and Fulfillment by Merchant (FBM) fulfillment options, you need to understand exactly what occurs once you put these into action. So let’s consider how both will affect your business.

Fulfillment

This is the biggest distinction between the two primary types of fulfillment. If you want to retain full control over your Amazon store, you are probably better off with Amazon FBM. But if you’re willing to streamline and have no need for product customizations, then consider Amazon FBA.

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Multi-Channel

If you need to introduce multi-channel fulfillment into the mix or want to sell your products on your own website too, then you definitely need to go for Amazon FBA. FBM just simply doesn’t offer the flexibility to bring several different sales channels to your store.

Fee Structure

Amazon FBA sellers wind up paying out for storage and shipping fees, while FBM sellers can save money since they run the complete order cycle. In particular, sellers with larger/heavier products and low profit margins should just carry the responsibility of fulfillment themselves.

Shipping Price

If shipping fees are minimal, Amazon FBA may prove to be a worthwhile route for sellers with the right kind of product. Take a closer look at how your products factor into your shipping costs before you decide what type of fulfillment best leverages the possibilities of your business.

Fee Structure

Amazon FBA sellers wind up paying out for storage and shipping fees, while FBM sellers can save money since they run the complete order cycle. In particular, sellers with larger/heavier products and low profit margins should just carry the responsibility of fulfillment themselves.

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Setup

Because Amazon FBA sellers rely on Amazon to assist with the entire fulfillment process, the setup process can get complicated. Therefore, FBM may make more sense if you want to get started quickly. Remember, it’s all on you to get your store up and running in a timely manner.

Location

Amazon sellers who don’t want to get tied down to a physical location by having to manage their own fulfillment center can defer their fulfillment to Amazon FBA. In this case, there’s no need to establish the infrastructure you’d otherwise need for FBM purposes.

Conversion Rate

When you turn to Amazon FBA for your fulfillment, you’re liable to see a significant bump in your conversion rates. Thanks to the aforementioned buy-box advantage, Prime shipping eligibility and a tighter working relationship with the site, FBA sellers maintain better numbers than FBM.

Thinking of Becoming an Amazon FBA Seller?
8 Things You Should Consider

Thinking of Becoming an Amazon FBA Seller?
8 Things You Should Consider

With Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA) and Fulfillment by Merchant (FBM) fulfillment options, you need to understand exactly what occurs once you put these into action. So let’s consider how both will affect your business.

Know Your Fulfillment Options

Be sure to go into your Amazon business with a full understanding of what your fulfillment options are. Both FBA and FBM (Fulfillment by Merchant) have distinct advantages and disadvantages, and while FBA is generally better suited for new Amazon sellers, you should learn about the trade-offs involved in each.

Know How the Buy Box Works

Every product detail page has a Buy Box where customers can initiate a purchase. Amazon selects those sellers themselves based on a combination of the kind of pricing and offers you provide your customers, your history as an Amazon seller, and the amount of positive feedback you’ve received. Once you make it into the Buy Box, you’re bound to see an increase in sales.

Know Your Marketing Strategy

Rather than just listing your products and waiting for profits to roll in, you’ll need to take matters into your own hands to stand out among the countless Amazon sellers. Leverage social media, email marketing, and any number of other tools to attract traffic to your product listings. Find out what your ideal customers are looking for in the type of product you provide.

Know Your Products and Where to Find Them

Before you launch your store, you also need to familiarize yourself with the profitability involved in any product you’re considering adding to your inventory. Pay attention to the market trends, and you’ll be able to be much more savvy about how you shape your store. Moreover, you’ll need to investigate which suppliers you can rely on to provide you with a steady flow of inventory. Know your options, and pay close attention to the balance of supply and demand.

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Know Your Fee Schedule

The amount you’ll need to pay every month in fees depends on how you set up your Amazon store. Nevertheless, you will be incurring a variety of fees simply by operating an Amazon store. FBA sellers will need to count on covering fulfillment fees and storage inventory fees, but even FBM sellers will have monthly seller fees, referral fees, returns processing fees, and more.

Know How to Optimize Your Listings

Taking the time to make sure your products are listed properly — in the right categories and with accurate details — goes a long way in helping you attract customers who may be searching for a product just like yours. Your product listing is your chance to make a first impression on prospective customers. Don’t let small details muck up your opportunity to prove yourself.

Know What Your Customers Think

You need to keep a strong connection with customers right from the beginning. Of course, ratings and reviews will be instrumental in helping you to build your store’s reputation as an Amazon seller. But you should also maintain a level of transparency with customers. Be honest and upfront with them throughout your interactions and promptly respond to messages.

Know How to Foster Positive Partnerships

Unless you plan to manufacture your products yourself, you’ll need a supplier or two to ensure that you’re always fully stocked. Likewise, shipping companies might be necessary, depending on how you intend on getting your products sent to your Amazon FBA warehouse. Don’t rush into a business relationship without getting enough information about the company in question.

How Long Does it Take to Start
Selling on Amazon?

How Long Does it Take to Start
Selling on Amazon?

Though having an Amazon store may seem like an easy way to establish a loyal customer base, there’s a lot you need to consider before you begin to hit your stride. From selling on Amazon fees to how to find products to sell on Amazon, you’ll have to be strategic with your store’s launch.

Here is the basic process to become an Amazon business seller:

First, you need to check a few things off your to-do list before you even register, starting with deciding what kind of products — Amazon lists more than 20 different categories — you plan to sell.

Once you have a focus in place, you need to select either a Professional or Individual selling plan. The Professional plan allows sellers to sell an unlimited number of products for $39.99 monthly. Meanwhile, the Individual plan charges $0.99 for every item you sell.

Once you apply, then you might have to wait anywhere from a few days to a couple of weeks to be approved. After you do receive Amazon’s green light, you’ll be able to create your account on Seller Central and begin to manage your account.

Following registration, you’ll want to begin listing products to the Amazon Marketplace. As a Professional seller, you can use bulk tools to add multiple products at once. When you add to your store, you can list both new products and those already on Amazon.

Now it’s time to begin selling! Whenever a customer places an order, Amazon will let you know. You can either handle fulfillment yourself or allow Amazon to do it. For every item you sell, payments will be deposited automatically, and you’ll be notified via email.

Is Your Amazon Seller Account Suspended?
5 Things You Can Do

Is Your Amazon Seller Account Suspended?
5 Things You Can Do

Naturally we need to address this first and get you back up and running. If your Amazon seller account has been suspended, this means that your account has been marked inactive until you can successfully appeal your case.

The best way to protect your account’s good standing is to either prevent suspension altogether or to streamline the process of resolving your current suspension case.

Here’s a few tips:

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Mind your account details: Sorting out your account details is a best practice that will inevitably make your seller account stronger overall. Pay attention to your Amazon reports and, in particular, those relating to your returns, imperfect orders and negative feedback. Your shipping details can help you identify trouble areas even before you face any consequences.

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Stay on top of Amazon messages: If your account is already in the midst of suspension, you should be even more vigilant when it comes to your messages. These can often make the difference between saving your seller account from being banned or allowing your bad situation to turn much, much worse. Consider downloading the Amazon Seller app so that you can react quickly on your mobile devices.

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Troubleshoot your account: No one knows your account like you do. So empower yourself to do what’s right for customers and by Amazon’s standards. Look through your listings for any potential flags that might cause (additional) problems. And ensure all communication on your account ― including product descriptions ― maintains a level of trust and professionalism, resulting in a positive standing for your seller account.

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Clean up your listings: If you have old listings populating your account, you’re making it infinitely easier for your account to fall prey to ecommerce fraud. Work with customers to ensure that the integrity of your seller feedback rating remains intact, and don’t fall for cheap items that appear too good to be true. A bit of housekeeping with regard to your listings demonstrates your commitment to providing quality service.

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Watch what you sell: Especially if your suspension is due to selling restricted items, you should assess your current inventory and ensure that you don’t have anything listed that might cause additional trouble down the line. Repeated offenses, particularly of the exact same cause, are a surefire way to get yourself on the road to being outright banned from being an Amazon seller. So take a closer look at Amazon’s rules.

Why It's Imperative to Establish a
Repeatable Process as an Amazon Seller

Why It's Imperative to Establish a
Repeatable Process as an Amazon Seller

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To build your business to last, you need to establish 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.

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.

Truthfully, it can be intimidating to begin process documentation, especially for a new store. You’d be surprised how many business owners fail to optimize how they manage inventory, set prices, restock products, maintain finances, and even stay in compliance. But imagine the consequences that you’d 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 how you would suffer if you fail to pay your business taxes or remain compliant with Amazon policy? Everything you have worked so hard to achieve would be at risk. After you implement repeatable processes, however, you’ll see just how quickly this approach yields results. Once you know what to do, you can continue to do it better every single time.

Grow as an Amazon FBA Seller:
Inventory Management Tips and Tricks

Grow as an Amazon FBA Seller:
Inventory Management Tips and Tricks

Now that you are up to speed about keeing your account in functioning order to avoid suspension, let’s take a look at some of our recommended tips and tricks to use in your amazon seller strategy.

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Pay attention to the key performance metrics

Key performance metrics can guide you towards how to adjust your inventory management and course-correct as necessary. If a sudden dip in sales occurs, then you know you need to take action quickly to get your inventory back on track. Likewise, take note of your Amazon sales rank and restock items that need a boost to their sales rank. Your page views say a lot about the level of interest your inventory is garnering among your prospective customer base. And be sure to react and resolve any issues if your positive feedback begins to dip.

Exercise caution and strategy for promotions

On the one hand, promotions are absolutely a strong way to boost sales (and, hopefully, your Amazon sales rank), earn positive feedback from customers and move inventory like never before. However, today’s consumers are savvier than you might realize. When you launch a promotion, you are sacrificing a bit of your profit margin, but a promotion that gets out of hand and leads to you running out of stock on items undermines all your hoped-for success. Of course, promotions have their place, but don’t put your Amazon store in serious jeopardy.

Plan ahead for your inventory’s busy season

When it comes to managing your inventory, knowing when the busiest times of year are and preparing your inventory to meet them makes a big difference. Start by studying your backlog of sales data so that you can spot those times when your business tends to spike. After you know when your business is expected to pick up, you can order enough inventory to meet anticipated demand and ensure that you are able to more effectively serve your customers. Until you recognize when your products appear to be at their hottest, you’re playing a guessing game.

Leverage both Amazon and third-party tools

Amazon’s built-in FBA inventory tools can take you a long way, providing an easy option to track inventory, customers and product performance. It can even help you forecast your inventory turnover, but you also should investigate other tools that might more effectively manage your inventory specifically. You might even find some third-party inventory tools better fit your business, since they are able to consolidate management for multiple sales channels into a single source. Best of all, third-party systems offer a range of services and functionalities that Amazon itself hasn’t.

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Calculate and monitor your turnover rate

Your inventory turnover rate represents the speed with which your inventory is sold through, that a particular shipment is depleted and due for restocking. While this might be difficult to ascertain for Amazon sellers who are early in their store’s history, you should be able to determine at least an approximate range for the average inventory turnover rate of your products. Factoring your turnover rate into your store’s plans, you will be able to decide how much inventory you need to maintain your stock at a certain level. Find a happy medium, and you’re all set.

Break down your supply chain lead times

Without your supply chain lead time — i.e., how long it takes your products to arrive at your warehouse upon ordering — it’s impossible to accurately set benchmarks for when you need to reorder popular items and to forecast your budgets going forward. You may even need to make adjustments to your supply chain if you just aren’t able to find an effective way to minimize issues that may delay or otherwise disrupt the flow of your inventory. In order to provide quality customer service, you’ll need to sync everything up or have a contingency plan just in case.

Become a Data Driven Amazon Seller
with these 10 Tips

Become a Data Driven Amazon Seller
with these 10 Tips

Amazon seller analytics can give you an endless supply of information, but here are a few key tips to keep in mind as you review your metrics:

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Pay attention to the fluctuation of your sales: Your sales figures will change over time. However, you can take steps to adjust your business to fit your customer’s behavior. Use this data to adjust your inventory levels accordingly.

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Don’t let your inventory sit idle for too long: Of course, your goal should always be to move your inventory as quickly as possible. But if you are an FBA seller, your inventory will begin to incur long-term storage fees at a certain point.

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Track how much you’re spending on fulfillment: If you are an FBA seller, then you know how helpful it can be to take this burden off your shoulders. However, take these expenses into account when you set your prices to avoid sacrificing profitability.

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Acknowledge how your return rate reflects on you: If the number of customers returning your products begins to rise, Amazon may take this as a sign of your store’s downward trajectory. Tracking your return rate can alert you when something’s wrong.

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Never underestimate the power of customer reviews: Reviews are the biggest indication prospective customers have about your reputation. An occasional negative review may occur, but tons of them means something fundamental has to change.

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Consider how your conversion rate affects your standing: You may be watching your conversion without realizing just how big an impact it has on your business. If this number suffers, then Amazon is less likely to promote your store.

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Be careful not to enter into promotions lightly: Running a short-term promotion can be huge in attracting first-time customers or drain your inventory and profitability. Be aware of your profit margins, and don’t let too much of your inventory slip away.

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Don’t get carried away on your advertising: If ad rates are elevated, then your store could suffer. Instead of boosting your sales and exposure, you could be doing yourself more of a disservice than anything. Be strategic in your advertising expenses.

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Watch your best-seller rank and adjust accordingly: Retaining the orange Best Seller Rank badge for as long as possible should be an ongoing goal. If your competition has claimed this ranking, you could boost your store by briefly dropping prices.

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Monitor how your competition’s prices change: Keeping a daily eye on your competition’s pricing can help you decide how to adjust your own pricing. Without this kind of proactive thinking, you might lose your edge with customers.

4 Tools to Help Amazon Sellers Increase
Productivity and Make a Profit

4 Tools to Help Amazon Sellers Increase
Productivity and Make a Profit

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Seller Spike

Analytics are a tremendous part of turning your startup Amazon store into a major player within the world’s largest online marketplace. With so much competition to contend with, you need to know what is going on with your store and its customers before you can ever hope to improve. Our tool can optimize your Amazon marketing strategy analysis, giving you the data you need to increase your sales. After all, without the right information to act on, you can’t identify and leverage approaching opportunities to grow your Amazon business.

Amazon Seller

Retail arbitrage is often one of the most common ways Amazon sellers start building their business. Retail arbitrage is the term used when sellers purchase a discounted item at a bricks-and-mortar retail store before reselling those items for a profit. You may choose to have a tool like the Amazon Seller app to help you engage in retail arbitrage more successfully. You can use it to scan items you want to sell, and it will suggest the ideal price to maximize your profitability. For FBA sellers, this can translate into a huge boost to your bottom line.

ShipWorks

Shipping is one of the costliest and most complex elements of running an Amazon store. After all, you need all the necessary equipment to properly package and label your items. And that’s before anything is shipped out. The promise of automation is what makes ShipWorks such an easy tool to recommend. This software gives Amazon sellers like you the chance to download orders directly from your store. With just a few clicks, you’ll be able to manage the entire shipping process, create custom invoices, generate reports, and create promotional emails.

AMZFinder

Customer reviews are perhaps one of the most frequently undervalued aspects of running an Amazon store. If you don’t respond to reviews in a timely fashion, you may struggle to let your customers know that you hear them and respect their feedback. And this software makes it easier to manage and monitor your customer reviews. Choose from a variety of customizable templates or create your own, which can be sent out automatically. By responding quickly (even with an automatic email), you are letting your customers know how much they truly matter.

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