By Andrea Kinnison
For ecommerce businesses, Amazon tends to look like the big bad. You try to do everything right — build an awesome website, invest in online marketing, provide high-quality products with top-notch customer service — but you still lose out to the ecommerce behemoth.
The hard truth about selling online these days is that you can’t really compete with Amazon — not on their level. They’re just too big and too ubiquitous.
That doesn’t mean you should give up on building visibility to your own website and trying to gain new customers there. But it does mean that you’ll likely go a lot further if you decide to stop seeing Amazon as your competitor and start seeing them as a selling tool your business can benefit from.
Admittedly, changing your perspective from seeing Amazon as the enemy to an ally in making sales is a mental challenge. But there are a number of compelling reasons your business can benefit from embracing Amazon rather than fighting it.
5 Reasons to Start Selling on Amazon
- More buyers start their search with Amazon than even Google.
You’ve probably devoted a significant amount of time and money into marketing strategies centered on improving your visibility in Google. For years now, Google has been seen as the go-to place for finding answers, products, and brands online.
56% of people say they start their search for products on Amazon.
Google still matters, for sure, but 56% of people now say they start their search for products on Amazon and 72% say they use the site to find products. That puts Amazon ahead of Google as the number one search engine for online shopping.
If you care about your products being found online, Google SEO doesn’t go as far as it used to. Listing your products on Amazon is the best way to bring them to more people searching for what you sell.
2. You can reach new customers.
How many visitors does your website get each month? You could go check in Google Analytics right now but, frankly, no matter what the number is, it pales in comparison to Amazon’s estimated 197 million monthly visitors.
Granted, not all of those visitors will be searching for the items you sell, but even just the small fraction that are represent a wealth of new potential customers for you to tap into.
One of the rules of good marketing is to go where your audience is. Much of your audience is already on Amazon — probably a much higher portion of them than have already found your website. You stand a higher chance of reaching those people if you start selling your products through the site they already use than by hoping they’ll find their way to your site.
3. Amazon has 100 million Prime members.
One of the biggest hurdles to online purchases has been the cost and speed of shipping. People don’t like having to pay extra on top of the cost of their products and they don’t like having to wait over a week to get something they’ve already paid for.
Much to the dismay of ecommerce businesses everywhere, Amazon Prime largely removed that hurdle for its members and, in the process, completely changed people’s expectations for online shopping. Where costly 7-10 day shipping used to be the norm, people now expect fast, free shipping and consider it an inconvenience if you can’t offer it. And be honest, you can’t. Not without it seriously cutting into your bottom line.
While that’s bad for businesses that have to figure out how to balance the desires of customers against the cost of providing faster, more affordable shipping, it’s good for Amazon vendors who benefit from the loyalty Prime members have to buying their products from Amazon.
By becoming an Amazon vendor, you can start benefiting from the higher expectations and improved experience customers get from using Amazon Prime.
By becoming an Amazon vendor (and especially if you use the fulfillment-by-Amazon option), you can start benefiting from the higher expectations and improved experience customers get from using Amazon Prime, rather than remaining frustrated by the seemingly impossible standard it sets for smaller businesses.
4. You can benefit from Amazon’s logistical setup.
Amazon has warehouses all over the country and an efficient process for packaging and shipping all the items people buy from them. They have the logistics of fulfilling orders quickly and efficiently figured out.
You can potentially cut down on your storage, labor, and shipping costs by outsourcing that part of the process to them for orders made through the Amazon site. Granted, that does mean paying them higher fees for the all the orders they fulfill, but if getting your products out quickly and affordably has been difficult for your business (as it is for most), this is one challenge you can take off your plate when you start working with Amazon.
Amazon can make it possible for you expand and start tapping into a much larger pool of potential customers.
In addition, if the location of your warehouses has put some markets out of your reach entirely, Amazon can make it possible for you expand and start tapping into a much larger pool of potential customers. That means more sales and profits than you could manage on your own.
5. It’s easy to get started.
Creating a seller’s account on Amazon is relatively quick and easy. You can decide today to start selling on Amazon and be listing your products on there within hours. You do need to pay a monthly fee in addition to the fees associated with each order, but if you’re on the fence, the barrier to entry for giving it a try is low.
Getting The Most From Selling on Amazon
While getting started is easy, there is a lot to learn if you want to get the most out of selling on Amazon. You’ll want to:
- Brush up on Amazon’s guidelines so you don’t get kicked off the platform soon after signing up
- Familiarize yourself with the different types of selling plans and fulfillment options to determine which are right for you
- Research Amazon SEO and tips for winning the buy box
- Consider if Amazon’s advertising options are worth it for your products
- Learn how to create attractive product pages with high-quality photos and compelling copy to increase conversion rates
- Master Amazon review management
- Look into the different vendor software products that can help you increase sales and earnings
As with any other marketing or selling platform, taking some time to learn all about how Amazon works and the best practices for using it is important. But for many businesses, the increased sales a presence on Amazon brings will make that time and effort worth it.
Trying to beat Amazon is a losing game. Instead, use the platform for your advantage to boost sales, extend your reach, and connect with new customers.
Andrea Kinnison is the Content Strategist at Volusion. She enjoys going hiking and eating sushi, but not doing both at once.