Do you want to start selling on Amazon? Amazon FBA is the perfect business for any hard working entrepreneur with startup funds available. Get started with our six-step process to making your Amazon FBA Store!
August 23, 2022
Amazon is the perfect choice for anyone looking to get into e-commerce. Like any business, starting with Amazon requires hard work and preparation. However, the steps are easy to learn if you're willing to invest your time in the process. Learn how to get started in these six steps.
How To Sell on Amazon US In 2022: A 6 Step Beginner's Guide
Did you know that getting started on Amazon is as easy as 1-2-3? Okay, it's more like 1 through 123, but for now, we'll break it down into six easy steps. If you're considering selling on Amazon, read these before you start.
Step 1: Research Everything
Nobody wants to start off their exciting new business with research. It's just not fun.
But the reality is that you can't succeed in this industry just flying by what "feels right" or "seems good." You need hard data to back it up.
Before you can even create your professional account, you must decide a few things.
- What kind of product do you want to sell?
- How do you want to define and develop your brand?
- What niche are you hoping to reach?
These answers all require the same preliminary process: product research. You can't build a brand without knowing who your audience is, and you can't define your audience without defining your product.
So before starting a new storefront, perform quality market and product research. Investigate which industries are booming and which are plateauing off. Don't just consider what products will do well - but what the ideal customer for those products is looking for and how you can best connect with them. This will help you identify your branding technique.
You need some essentials to fill out your Amazon Seller Central account details like a business name, formal business details, and product category - so having these things figured out beforehand will be helpful.
Step 2: Create An Amazon Seller Central Account
Once you have completed your initial research, you must sign up for Amazon Seller Central. There are a few options right off the bat to choose from.
- Amazon Individual Seller: This plan allows you to sell 40 items monthly, costing $0.99 per sale and some transaction fees.
- Amazon Professional Seller: This plan allows you to sell as many items as you want every month. You'll pay a $39.99 subscription fee for your account, along with transaction fees.
- Amazon Vendor: This plan is for those who manufacture their own products wholesale and want to sell wholesale online. Amazon handles a ton of account management, inventory services, and even ordering products for vendor accounts.
As someone looking to start their own private label business, you'll choose the "Amazon Professional Seller" account. This removes any limits from your monthly sales while minimizing fees and giving you the freedom to expand your business. Individual seller accounts are best for existing small businesses looking to fulfill a few orders on Amazon, and Vendor accounts are for manufacturers. So stick to the "Amazon Professional Seller" account status.
To set up your Amazon seller account, you will need the following information.
- Your Business Name. This is something you need to think about before getting started. Consider which market you want to work in and what niche you are selling to. Then, create a good name that connects well in that space.
- Your Personal Information. This includes your name, address, and contact information. Use your legal name and official information. You should set up a business email to avoid having official Amazon communications coming through your personal account.
- Bank Account Details. Set up a new business bank account with your official business details. Do not mix up personal and business finances.
- Shipping Details. You will enter your "ship from" location and which regions you will provide shipping to. If you're using FBA (which we recommend you do), this will be much easier to handle.
In addition to these details, anticipate spending some time setting up your profile. You should do this professionally and tactfully - these details will be available to the public to connect with your store.
This seller profile will include information about your company (who you are, what you value as a business, what problems you solve for customers, etc.), your logo, and any return policies you may have.
As you'll note, a few things you already need to have in place before creating your Seller Central Account. Make sure you've completed step 1 before hopping into step 2.
Step 3: List Your First Product
This is where the fun begins! Now that you've prepared your research and created your Seller Central Account, you can create your first listing. We'll assume that if you're reading this, you're interested in the private label aspect of Amazon sales - if you're selling items from your existing small business on Amazon, the process will look a bit different.
There are two kinds of products that you can list on Amazon. Products that already exist on Amazon and products that aren't yet on Amazon. We recommend to start selling your product from a unique angle for maximum success. You do not want to add something to a product that already exists en-masse online.
You will have to find a supplier/manufacturer who can customize your product for you. You'll also go through the process of ordering samples, confirming exact specifications, and acquiring photo and video assets of your product to utilize in your listing.
Once you have all these details, you use them to fill in your listing. Create your first listing by logging into Seller Central and Finding the “Add a Product” dropdown in the Catalog navigation panel.
Within your listing, you include the following details:
- UPC Code & SKU Number. Every product must have its own UPC. You can easily register for these online! The SKU code you create on your own to help you track your inventory.
- Product Title. Your product title should be clear and filled with the most relevant keywords applicable to your product.
- Description. In the description, you show customers precisely what features are relevant to them and how your product can best solve their problems. Make sure you stuff this with relevant keywords.
- Bullet Points. Most customers are going to read these before anything else. They should be catchy, stuffed with keywords, and written to draw in the reader.
- Product Images & Videos. Every listing needs a collection of high-quality imagery and videos to sell well. This includes white background photos, variation photos, lifestyle photos, infographics, and professional video work. As you upgrade your account, you'll get even more options for filling your listing with beautiful imagery.
- Backend Search Terms. You can enter five different keywords or search terms in your listing. These will help Amazon determine which searches to showcase your product in. Make each character count and utilize the best keywords for your product here.
- Category. You also need to choose a category for your product. There are many main and subcategories for products on Amazon - carefully select which applies best to your product.
Some sellers add many products simultaneously - our advice, however, would be to focus on making one product at a time. Put all your energy into that product. Once it is perfected and performing well, add another.
Step 4: Organize & Manage Your Inventory
Before your big launch, you need a strategy for inventory management. If you run out of inventory prematurely, you may get bumped down in the search results for having low-stock items. On the contrary, if you order an abundance of inventory, you could end up in the red too early because you couldn't sell it all.
On your first big order, you want to find that middle ground. Make some sales projections and estimate what you want to sell in the first month or two. Order somewhere in that ballpark - and don't go too far above or below that number.
You can use inventory management apps to streamline this process if you are going the FBM route. For FBA users, however, this is all managed within your Seller Central account.
Step 5: Fulfill Your Orders - Use FBA
The best method to fulfill your orders is Amazon FBA. It makes things simple and easy for you as a seller, and Amazon prioritizes you as an FBA merchant.
FBA stands for Fulfillment By Amazon. Sellers using FBA store their products directly with Amazon. They handle packaging, shipping, fulfillment, and even returns for you. This stands in contrast to FBM (Fulfillment by Merchant). In FBM, the Amazon seller is responsible for every aspect of shipping and fulfillment. Both of the services will also calculate your shipping costs very efficiently, so it's worth getting one of them.
Any Amazon seller serious about building a career on Amazon should use FBA. There are fees associated, but the cost is worth it for all the perks you get in return.
- Better Ranking. Amazon wants sellers to use their products and features. When you use FBA, they increase your ranking. This can be very useful in a competitive place like the Amazon marketplace.
- Prime Eligible Products. FBA sellers automatically get the coveted Prime Checkmark on their products. These days, many customers won't buy a product without it.
- Get The Buy Box. It's challenging to win the buy box if you are using FBM. FBA increases your odds of doing so.
- Easier Inventory Management. If you use FBM, you have to manage all inventory personally. This can require additional software, time, energy, and investment. FBA streamlines this process for you.
- Faster Shipping. Since you get Prime shipping on your products, customers get your product faster. You can also offer ultra-fast shipping for orders over $25, making you the go-to choice for shoppers in a rush.
- Customer Service. Using FBA means that Amazon handles customer service for you! This includes returns and refunds.
- Easy Payments. Whenever an order is placed, Amazon ships everything out, collects payment, removes fulfillment fees, and disperses funds to your account every 14 days.
All in all, FBA is an essential tool for any serious Amazon entrepreneur.
To get started, you'll enter your product details.
Then, you will arrange to ship your inventory to the closest warehouse (either to you or the port where your products arrive).
Once your product has arrived, you will have to pay a storage fee for items as long as they remain in the warehouse. This includes:
- A monthly inventory storage fee. This charge is adjusted every month depending on how much space you're using.
- Fulfillment fees. This charge is added on a per-product basis and depends on the weight and size of your product.
I can't stress this enough - make sure you are using FBA. It is essential if you want to succeed in this field.
Step 6: Optimize Everything
If you've set up your business account, filled out your listing, organized your inventory, have a professional selling plan, and you're ready to launch - great! But don't forget to keep improving and optimizing your listings as you grow.
From the start, every piece of your listing should be optimized. That means stuffing keywords anywhere and everywhere, using high-quality imagery and video work, creating a great product, using a trusted supplier, branding your store well, and investing in good packaging options.
But the work doesn't stop there.
Optimizing continues from the moment your product launches until the day you quit.
You can keep improving your store and your listings with a few tools.
- Brand Registry. If you sell custom products, you need to trademark that item and register it as your own brand ASAP. This gives you access to some of the tools we'll unpack below.
- A+ Content. A+ Content (Or EBC) allows you to fill your listing with customizable graphic-driven widgets. These are proven to increase conversions and ranking - but are only available to registered brands.
- Custom Storefronts. Creating a beautiful, customized storefront is a great way to engage Amazon business customers and create an appealing landing page for external traffic. These are only available to registered brands.
- PPC Campaigns. Using Amazon Sponsored Products and Amazon Sponsored Brand posts is a great way to get a particular product in front of more people. Create data-driven campaigns based on keyword research.
- External Marketing + Amazon Attribution. Amazon loves getting external traffic and will reward you for bringing customers from outside their platform. Use your social media platforms and your external website to direct people to Amazon with an attribution link - you'll get a kickback for it from Amazon.
There are many additional ways to continue optimizing your store, but these are a few of our favorites.
How Much Does It Cost To Start An Amazon FBA Store?
I'll be honest - starting an Amazon store is not cheap. There are many expenses to consider.
Your first batch of inventory alone could cost you $3,000 or more. This cost entirely depends on whether you opt for a low-range or high-ticket item. Shipping and freight costs can add another thousand or more dollars to that.
In addition to inventory, you must consider standard business expenses. Internet, office supplies, digital assets, subscriptions, business registration fees, Amazon account fees, FBA fees, and more.
You may have to hire a professional photographer to get listing photos, a graphic designer to handle infographics, and a videographer to get video content.
Any PPC ads and marketing endeavors you include will cost money upfront. There are many costs to consider.
In addition, you may want to invest in professional training or guidance to help you get things off the ground.
All in all, you're looking at at least $5,000 - but probably closer to $10,000 or more.
The good news is that if you do it right, you'll earn that money back in no time. But if you are low on startup funds, this isn't the business for you.
What Should I Consider Before Becoming An Amazon Seller?
Most importantly, you want to make sure that this is the right choice for you. Amazon stores are not easy, even if they aren't complex.
Decide upfront if this is something you want to do on the side for fun or something you want to turn into a full-time gig. Determine if going full-time as an FBA seller seems enjoyable to you or not. If not - don't make the dive.
Selling on Amazon is fun. It's an ever-changing industry with new challenges every day. You can work from home for yourself and travel as you like. But you do have to work hard. If that sounds like something you can do - give it a shot. We're here to help if you need anything along the way!
Selling on Amazon can be highly lucrative and is definitely a business worth considering. Before diving in, there are many things to consider, but these six steps should give you a good starting point. If you are giving it a shot on your own, we offer Agency services to make running your business more manageable. If you're looking for mentorship to guide you through the process - consider our FBA Academy for step-by-step help from beginning to end.
Julia Grant is a copywriter specializing in e-commerce and small business, helping businesses expand their reach with copy that clearly communicates their message and converts. She is a certified translator and interpreter and prides herself on providing culturally relevant content in both English and Spanish.See more posts from this author