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How To Make Money Online With Amazon? Killer Tips For Amazon Success!
With assets worth more than 130 billion US dollars, Amazon is ranked as the number one online retailer on the planet. Its bigger even than the Chinese giant, Alibaba. To put it bluntly, there are truckloads of cash to be made on Amazon, provided you know how to.
Competition is vicious but if you apply these tips and combine them with some smart work, you’ll be able to carve out a nice big piece of the pie.
Step 1: Laying The Groundwork:
If you’ve not already done so, you’ll have to apply to become an Amazon seller and familiarize yourself with the administrative panel. This is fairly quick and straightforward as long as you can read and understand basic English.
You’ll also have to get the necessary paperwork in order. This includes documents such as import/export licenses (if applicable), permits etc. Some categories such as e-books require no to minimal paperwork while others like health products require a lot.
You can integrate Shopify with Amazon to leverage the potential of both platforms. Shopify helps to automate a lot of stuff and some of its tools are invaluable.
Step 2: Choosing the Right Product To Sell:
If you’re already deeply passionate about something, then it’s certainly good to consider selling something related to your passion. However, you may need to give it a spin depending on various factors like competitiveness of the niche, marketability and so on.
I have observed that the most successful entrepreneurs have almost a clinical approach towards their businesses. They know how to read market trends and their experience has helped them to develop an instinct for sniffing out top-selling products on Amazon BEFORE they become top sellers!
Here is a quick crash course on picking the right product.
You have two options:
- Option A) Deal in well known brands (such as Nike, Philips etc.)
- Option B) Start your own brand. This is also known as private labeling. You basically add your brand or label onto a generic product that is manufactured and customized as per your requirements.
The pros of going with option A is that since the brand is already recognized, people already trust the product.
However, you will have to settle for a lower margin and deal with a lot of other sellers who will try to undercut you in terms of pricing.
Also, I personally feel that eventually, the middle men will be squeezed out of the online market. In order to cut costs, brands will begin to list and ship products themselves. This trend can already be observed in select categories.
If you’re buying a Tesla car, you configure and buy it online. There’s an authorized centre where you can test drive the automobile and take delivery. But essentially, this is the beginning of the end of the dealership model of car sales. I hope you get the point…
Option B can be highly lucrative but there’s a lot more research and paperwork involved.
Good branding can exponentially raise a product’s perceived worth.
You can probably buy a generic t-shirt for about 5 bucks. But slap on some quirky graphics and a catchy line on it; suddenly the same t-shirt becomes much more appealing and you can sell it for 20 bucks or even more.
Here’s a store, for example, that I’ve purchased a few tee-shirts from. They price their shirts around $23.95, and I’m betting they don’t cost more than $5 or $7 to make.
This is the power of branding. It gives your product a certain personality and traits that make it attractive to prospective buyers.
I feel that despite the added responsibilities and risks, private labelling is a good bet.
Let me explain:
It’s quite likely that you’re going to spend money on marketing your products through Amazon, google or other online channels.
So why spend money on making somebody else’s products popular?
Sure, you’ll earn some short term profits but if you invest in growing your own brand, it will be more profitable in the long run.
Once you have launched one or two products successfully, you basically repeat the same process with the next ones. More on this soon.
Whatever option you go with, if you’re a beginner (I’m assuming you’re one since you’re reading this), I’d suggest opting for products that are priced at or below 20 bucks and that weigh less than 2 lbs.
This way you’ll minimize the initial risk and end up paying less for shipping.
Usually people shy away from products that are already selling well. However, these are also the products that have the most money making potential.
Have you ever wondered why a fast food outlet pops up next to an already very popular fast food outlet? The reason is that they hope to offer the public more choices. People always want to try out something new and like being spoilt for choice.
If a product is already selling well, it means that there’s good demand. This helps to mitigate risks. If you do even a half decent job with marketing and branding and list it for a good price, you’ll be able to sell it.
However, the real pros are always on the lookout for spotting winners early. This helps them to capitalize on their growing popularity and establish, at least temporarily, a kind of monopoly.
You don’t need to be Nostradamus to predict which products will increase in popularity over the coming months. Although you will need a bit of alertness and some common sense. Here is a quick example:
You’ve probably seen the new The Lion King trailer. Well, the top players of this game have already ordered a bunch of Lion King themed merchandise (t-shirts, toys, key-chains etc.) and they’ll cash in big time at the time of the launch
Sure, in this case, you must consider things like copyright infringement and other legal limitations. But I hope that you’re getting the drift of what I am saying.
Here is another example:
For decades, the American Health Association has been telling people that fats such as coconut oil, butter, egg yolks are bad and carbs like bread, corn, rice are healthy.
Today, we know that fats are not that bad after all and consumption of excess carbs has made us the most obese nation on Earth.
As a result, there’s been a massive surge in the Ketogenic and Paleo lifestyles, especially since there’s tangible evidence of people losing massive amounts of weight with these diets.
This presents a phenomenal opportunity to get into keto/paleo-friendly foods that are suitable for people with a busy schedule.
Remember that all products have a market lifespan.
Some categories like pet-food have a relatively long lifespan while tech-based items usually die out in 3-4 years max. Some stuff like Halloween or Christmas merchandise sells only at certain times of the year.
Most private labellers import their goods from China.
You’re free to do the same or have them made in the USA. The latter will cost you more but it will hold immense appeal for certain buyers.
STEP 3: Creating A Killer Listing:
I know from personal experience that Amazon does not like it when you keep changing your product listing all the time. It is especially difficult and time-consuming to get them to change product titles and categories. So it is crucial to get your product listed right on the first attempt.
A good listing comprises of a few essential elements.
i) Product Title: The title must be spot on. It should neither be too short nor too long. However, it must contain all the important information regarding the product. It MUST include the main keyword and its variable.
For example: If the listing is for a ‘key-chain’, then the title must include it and the most commonly used variable, which happens to be ‘key-ring’. In this case, the title should also list the material (metal, plastic, acrylic etc.) and describe the key-chain (dragon key-chain, Lion key-ring and so on).
ii) Product Photos: A product will never ever sell well if it does not look good. You can take some kick-ass photos with a normal smartphone and a table lamp. Ideally, the photos should also contain graphics. In case of a key-ring, there must be some sort of scale or to indicate the size. (Placing it next to a human hand is also an option).
Depending on your region, product category and type of Amazon account, there may or may not be certain limitations on the type of photos you can upload. Usually, Amazon insists that the main photo should be on a plain white background. This is fine, but remember that artistic photos in a more lifelike setting help a great deal in closing the deal.
You have the option for choosing a paid plan (like Amazon Launchpad etc.) wherein you get to display premium images. You can opt for such packages if it suits your budget. It certainly makes a lot of sense if you have multiple products under the same brand.
Also, remember that VIDEOS are the NEW PHOTOS. No matter how trivial or straightforward the product, it will certainly sell better if the listing has a video highlighting features and specs.
It’s super easy to create a short video about any product using your smartphone and a basic editor. People prefer watching a short video over reading a bunch of text.
iii) Features & Description: These must be short, to the point and easy to read. They should contain other long-tail keywords and important info (such as warranty). You may also add a comparison table to help buyers to select the right fit.
iv) Amazon Fulfilment: People prefer products that are fulfilled by Amazon as they’re usually delivered faster.
v) Review Score and Count: If there’s only one thing that you’re going to remember from this post – let it be this. Your product’s review score and count is what will make or break it. A string of bad reviews at the beginning can throw it off track for weeks and even months.
So the moment your listing is live on Amazon, I want you to contact every damn person you know and tell them about your product. Give it to them as a gift if you must and ask them to give an honest review 😉
I know that contacting friends and asking them to buy/review might not be something that you’re looking forward to. The good news is that you’ll NOT have to do this every time you launch a new product.
Once a couple of products in your store/brand start selling well, the others will pick up much more smoothly and quickly. However, you must actively get the ball rolling for the initial product launches.
Another way to increase review score and count is to insert a message or pamphlet into the box asking people to review the product as it helps to spread the word. A sincere message goes a long way.
If a customer has given a bad review, offer to rectify the issue. Give a full refund or replace the item. The key to winning is to always make the customer win.
Once a product has about 20-30 good reviews (4 stars and above), it begins to sell well and becomes profitable. However, that’s not the end of it. You still have to do your bit to grab as many eyeballs as possible.
STEP 4: Promote Like There’s No Tomorrow:
Even before your product is launched, you must start talking with social media influencers and discuss the terms of having your product reviewed/promoted on their respective platforms. Most of them want an upfront fee.
If you negotiate well, have a good product and explain to that that you’re working with a limited budget; you might get them to promote your product in exchange for just a few samples or affiliate commissions arising from the sales. (Amazon Affiliate)
Paid campaigns on Facebook and Instagram also work very well. The cost-per-click is relatively low and targeting is easy. Amazon has their own paid methods for promoting products but they are expensive IMO. If you do use them, make sure to bid on your competitor’s keywords also.
For example: If you’re PEPSI©, bid on ‘Coca-Cola©’ also as it’s your closest competitor.
STEP 5: BUILDING AN EMPIRE:
I suggest that if you’re planning to do Amazon sales long term, then you create some kind of outlet to reach out directly to your customers. This helps to develop and raise brand equity.
If you deal in cooking utensils, start a recipe blog.
If your product is clothing, start a YouTube channel about grooming, fashion and style.
This also helps a great deal when announcing special deals, discounts and launching new products. In essence, you will build a continuously expanding ecosystem of subscribers who already love you and your products.
Other factors such as quality control, product packaging are important for making money on Amazon. However, the most important qualities to inculcate are a good attitude and commitment to customer satisfaction.
You don’t need any kind of superhuman abilities or special talent for succeeding on Amazon. I have loads of FREE content about Amazon and internet marketing in general. So grab a coffee, sit back, learn, apply and earn.
So What Next?
Read My Blog Post on Finding Top Selling Products already on Amazon. The post is fairly long (about as long as this one) and goes into step-by-step instructions for finding products YOU can sell on Amazon.
If you want even MORE inspiration, read my Amazon and ECommerce Experts RoundUp Blog Post! I interview and get ‘top tips’ from 17 Amazon & ECommerce experts, all of these guys are 7 or 8 figure per year earners, so it’s definitely worth paying attention to.
Believe it or not, there are a TON of Amazing Amazon Training Courses out there. As they’re pretty extensive, most aren’t that cheap, unfortunately. My personal favorite is Amazing Selling Machine, it’s only available to purchase a couple weeks out of the year, so get it if you can.