The Amazon Marketplace has become a mainstay of online retailers worldwide. No other retailing platform is as easy to get started with and use, even if the competition can be fierce.
Fortunately, there are some great ways for newcomers to be sure of maximizing the odds of success. That is especially true of the Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA) program, which does away with the need to personally package and ship orders.
Making good use of FBA and the Amazon Marketplace can turn a retail business into a success story overnight. Master the following five skills and you will be ready to realize the considerable potential locked up in FBA.
#1. Optimizing Listings
The appeal of combining Amazon Marketplace with the FBA system is that millions of potential customers visit the site every day. There are also many sellers who compete in each niche, though, for their own shares of that traffic.
Poorly optimized product listings can leave an FBA retailer without business, regardless of the other details. Experts at Amazon management have ways of ensuring that listings will work well with the company’s notoriously opaque search system.
Effectively optimizing even a single product can produce huge improvements in page views and purchases. Most successful FBA sellers end up fine-tuning their listings regularly.
#2. Cost-Effective Use of Sponsored Products
Just as with other types of marketing, it can be helpful to drive paid traffic directly to Amazon Marketplace product pages. While pay-per-click (PPC) programs maintained by other companies can be used for this purpose, leading FBA sellers tend to prefer Amazon’s own advertising options.
The simplest of these is the Sponsored Product program, a system that puts paid placements right in line with Amazon’s search results. Just as with other types of PPC advertising, though, it is always necessary to make sure the required investments pay off.
That normally takes some experience and experimentation, so chalk up modest early losses to learning. Become confident with the Sponsored Product program, and you will be able to drive profitable traffic to your listings on demand.
#3. Fulfillment of Off-site Orders
One of the frequently overlooked benefits of FBA is that it can be used to fulfill orders placed through sites other than Amazon’s. The company’s multi-channel fulfillment program comes with the same restrictions and costs as the rest of the FBA system.
While FBA will not always be the best way to handle third-party orders, it should generally receive some consideration. Using FBA to fulfill off-site orders can simplify your operations significantly.
#4. Supplier Relations
Many Amazon product categories become crowded over time, with some featuring dozens of essentially identical products. Develop strong relationships with your suppliers, and you should become privy to opportunities that others will need to wait for.
Getting out ahead of the competition can allow you to rack up huge amounts of business quite quickly. If you are the first to stock a popular new product on Amazon, your storefront can even benefit from increased exposure for a long time to come.
Although FBA relieves retailers of needing to pack up and ship individual orders, it does have its limits. One common reason for failing to thrive as an FBA seller on the Amazon Marketplace is lacking a grasp of the underlying numbers.
Strong bookkeeping skills will ensure your records always reflect reality, which will be helpful in many common situations. Having some accounting chops will allow you to analyze where your business stands and is heading, which can also make a definite difference.
Master these skills and you should find yourself getting off to a good start with Amazon’s unique FBA program. There is no simpler way to run an online-focused retail business, as many have discovered.