Are you planning to join the tribe of dreamers – entrepreneurs – bidding goodbye to their desk jobs? With Amazon FBA – Fulfilment by Amazon – there has never been a better time to test the waters of online retailing. You gain access to a massive, trusted platform, get the feel of the market and most importantly, have the logistics handled by someone who knows how – Amazon. Here are some important points to consider before you start retailing on Amazon FBA.
What Amazon FBA can do for you
Sign up for Amazon FBA and store your products at the Amazon Fulfilment centers. From thereon, Amazon takes responsibility for packing, shipping and providing customer service to your customers. This means you are freed from the hassles of actually getting your product to the customer and can focus on growing your business and your brand. Essentially you gain access to Amazon’s entire gargantuan customer base since your products are also eligible to be listed under Amazon Prime Free Two-Day shipping. Amazon also handles returns and refunds for you. With Multi-channel Fulfilment you can use your inventory stored at Amazon to fulfill orders from other sales channels.
How to get started
Once you have decided on the product you are going to sell and signed up with suppliers, create an Amazon Seller Central account. It is best to go for a professional account that can be set up for a monthly fee. The next step is to create a product listing for your product. This is your business hub and you need to optimise it with the right keywords and relevant content. Now all you need is to get your target audience to your page!
What you stand to gain
When you are first starting off into online retail, the first thing you need is a feeling of customer interest in your product. With a large platform like Amazon, you readily get to dip into their existing customer base and test your hypothesis on your product. If the response is good, you can focus on turnover and volume. As sales go up, you can discuss better rates with your suppliers and look for multi-channel options. As you watch your business grow, Amazon is taking care of the heavy-lifting for you: making sure your products reach the customer quickly and efficiently.
What else you need to do
While Amazon FBA is a great place to get started, remember that there are pitfalls too: for one, you are not building brand equity. Anything that gets sold on Amazon is perceived as an Amazon product. When was the last time you noticed the name of a seller on Amazon? Also, you get no access to customer lists meaning you cannot directly reach out to your customers. There is no scope for personalization of your brand or services meaning you may have a steady stream of revenue but no recognition for your brand.
While it is great to get your eCommerce business rolling with Amazon FBA, it is also prudent to put some effort into building our own brand website alongside so that in the long term, you are building up a business and not just anonymously selling products. And lastly, as with any online business, have an exit strategy in place too.
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