So Amazon Australia’s anti-climactic launch leaves little to talk about, right? Wrong! Don’t lose faith and write Amazon off yet. Amazon purposely approaches new markets in start-up phase. But, unlike most start-ups, Amazon plays the long game and their resources are abundant. They can likely survive 10 years or longer while building users and momentum. But they don’t want to, and they wont. They start off slow and let the market determine where Amazon should put its efforts. The more users on Amazon, the greater momentum. The greater momentum, the more wild the beast.
My advice? Start today while things are slow, easy to track and to stay on top of. It’s a perfect environment for learning. Just like the US market circa 2006, Australia is ripe for changes in the world of retail. What does that mean? It means there’s unlimited potential for you to succeed. Have no doubts. Amazon will gain momentum and when it does, you’ll want to be as set up as possible to ride the wave. If you don’t start today, a few years down the road you’re going to wish you would have, trust.
So how do I start, you ask?
- Apply to open a store here: https://www.amazon.com.au/gp/
- Right now Amazon is only allowing established brands. There’s no prime offer, but I think they’ll be introducing it as soon as their warehouse and logistics are set up.
- If you currently sell wholesale then use the relationships with your vendors to lock down exclusivity. Here’s what you say: Amazon is off to a slow start but eventually it’s going to turn into a slaughterhouse with 3rd party sellers and price wars. Your brand image will diminish. I’ll help you protect it but I need exclusivity. With exclusivity, you maintain control of your listings, marketing/promotions and brand image. What do I get? I get to sleep at night knowing my income is secured.
- If you’re a brand owner ask yourself if you have the personnel, interest and resources to dedicate to Amazon. Selling on Amazon is great for capturing full retail margins, so if that’s an interest to you then, opening your own store is a good choice. If you have no interest in Amazon, look for a trusted partner to run your store for you (perhaps one of your wholesales whom you trust.)
- Whether you buy wholesale or are a brand owner wanting to open your own Amazon store, getting started is the same.
Use this guideline to add products:
- If you’re products are b2c (business to consumer).
- Add your best selling products to start.
- Add items above 30% margin (you’ll need to calculate).
General Listing Creation:
- Insert most important keywords in your title.
- Most product title limits are 200 characters, use them all.
- Insert images that meet Amazon’s guidelines. Don’t worry too much about variety and number of images. Just get started and learn how to improve your listings for better visibility later. Amazon guidelines can be found here: https://www.amazon.com/gp/
- Highlight your products best features using the bulleted descriptions. Tell the customer why the feature is important. For example: “plant pot with a tray so you can water without worrying about root rot.”
Join a Community
Something will happen and you won’t know how to move past the block. There’s a huge community of people out there talking about Amazon. People want to help. To name a few, Facebook groups, information on reddit, seller forums, meet ups, conferences (like Retail Global’s conference happening in May), etc. Go find them!
So you started, now what?
Learn about seller rank, product rank and the buy box. Watch your listings, keep track of things that affect their rank. Make sure you respond to customer questions and feedback under 3.5 stars. Do whatever you can to make the customer happy. A negative review will hurt more than sending a new product at your cost. Keep return rates below 10%.
That should be enough to get you going in the right direction. I am in no way affiliated with Amazon.com. My encouragement to start an Amazon business is so you have an outlet for creativity, can secure a second income and be free from whatever it is that binds you.