How To Get A Head Start With Your New Amazon Store
If you’re looking for a marketplace through which to sell your wares, it’s difficult to conceive of a more reliable option than Amazon: it dominates e-commerce globally (but particularly in the western world), has a low barrier to entry, and offers interesting options for making your sales experience easier (such as using the FBA service).
There’s only one problem: the level of competition. When you step into the Amazon arena, you’re facing off against countless brands of varying sizes and styles, so you need to be on top of your game to be a contender. Now, are you familiar with the eternal wisdom that reads “Start as you mean to go on”? It’s perfectly applicable here. The better your start, the faster you’ll get results, and the better your relative position will be.
To help out with this, we’re going to set out some tips for getting your Amazon store off to an excellent start. Let’s get started:
Set up a supportive office
There are two possibilities regarding your store: either you have employees and an office space rented (possibly shared), or you’re a solopreneur working from your home office. Two very different scenarios, certainly, but presenting the same challenge: make your office as supportive as possible. Like a writer trying to power through their novel while trying to balance on a space hopper, you’ll have a hard time doing your best work if you haven’t optimized your office setup.
Here’s a short checklist of things you need to get right as a matter of urgency:
- Accessibility. If you’re using a home office then you can disregard this part, but otherwise it’s important to minimize the inconvenience of your commute. If you keep arriving at your desk angry after a frustrating journey, it won’t help your work — and it may actually lead to you making some major mistakes.
- Comfort. Do you have a keyboard that you can type on without assaulting your fingertips? A monitor that doesn’t give you a headache? A chair that treats your back with basic decency? Don’t get so comfortable that you can fall asleep, but ensure that your working environment is adequately pleasant.
- Connectivity. For obvious reasons, it’s essential that you have reliable access to the internet, and even a phone line for when you need to deal with phone calls. Look out for broadband deals: fiber optic connections are very common at this point, and broadband plus phone packages are cheaper than you might expect, while providing the kind of reliability that older technologies couldn’t provide.
- Isolation. No, I don’t mean setting up your office on a deserted island, and I don’t even mean ensuring that there’s no one around you. Instead, I mean isolating yourself sonically (and perhaps even visually). Through a combination of noise-dampening wall panels and noise-canceling headphones, you can keep things quiet so you can focus.
Implement dynamic repricing
Chances are you don’t want to spend a lot of time every day manually tweaking all your product prices in an effort to win the buy box more often, so you should implement dynamic repricing as soon as possible. You just need to define your parameters and watch as the system monitors prices in your bracket, adjusts your prices accordingly, monitors the results, gleans insight, and feeds it back into the pricing adjustment stage to repeat the process.
There are plenty of amazon repricer tools around — a popular choice is RepricerExpress. It isn’t free, but you can try it for free to confirm that it’s as good as it sounds, then determine whether the time and money it saves you (and is going to save you over months or even years) warrant further investment. Assuming you conclude they do, you can simply leave it running indefinitely.
Polish your presentation
While using Amazon limits your presentation options somewhat, that makes it even more important that you do what you can with what you have. Most significantly, focus on your product visuals and sales copy: plenty of Amazon listings have low-resolution images, text riddled with typos and grammatical errors, and ridiculous claims about features.
Aim to show each product from several angles so shoppers can confirm that it’s what they’re looking for. Frame each shot in a way that suits the type of item: you might want something pictured in situ, for instance, or presented starkly against a blank background for clarity. And when you consider that Amazon is surely packed with alternative options, your marketing copy is critical for making your listed products sound like the most desirable.
Invest in Advanced Tools
While most Amazon sellers wonder how they can get an edge on their competition, the truth is that only a few bother to search for tools and strategies that provide one. Advanced Amazon seller software can push the limits of traditional online store management, providing you with a comprehensive dashboard to monitor and manage your Amazon store from one location. You can easily track sales, implement inventory analytics, automate repricing, get insightful data, and so much more. This can help you make better decisions and remain one step ahead of the competition.
Go the extra mile with service
Once someone has become your customer, you should make a concerted effort to win their repeat custom, because repeat customers are extremely lucrative in the long run. This comes down to the quality of your service. How responsive are you to customer queries? How good is your product packaging? What assurances and/or money-back guarantees do you offer? How do you deal with returns?
Even if your brand is limited to the context of the Amazon Marketplace, you can still start to build up some goodwill through impressive service. This will also make a huge difference when it comes to getting vital reviews: given how readily Amazon shoppers will sort by review rating, it’s impossible to overstate the need to pick up 5-star ratings. The sooner you can hit an average of 4 or 5 stars, the sooner you’ll see your order numbers rise dramatically.
Of course, once you’ve really got the ball rolling with your store, there’s a strong argument for building a separate, dedicated website to complement it. Doing so can be relatively inexpensive, and there’s no need to splash out on the fastest WordPress hosting or expensive web designers, either. Building a clean, well-designed website is a cinch nowadays, thanks to the myriad of website builders available online. Over the long-term, you may even decide to migrate your entire store over to your own site — this way, you can avoid Amazon’s seller fees and restrictions altogether.