This post covers some factors to consider before opening your own Amazon store. The article is for medium sized manufactures or distributors who are on the fence about taking their product listings into their own hands. It’s geared toward brands that are already sold on Amazon (opposed to launching a new brand on Amazon).
Major Factors to Consider Before Opening Your Own Store
Developing seller rankings takes a while. It happens gradually over time.
High seller rankings, customer satisfaction rankings and overall high performance rank matter to how well your products do on Amazon. How does it matter? Well it matters in terms of product rank and winning the buy box within Amazon’s ecosystem. On a different level, it matters to customers. Customers often times will choose the seller who has the buy box and if they look at other sellers they’ll choose a seller with high rankings because it’s safer. How fast your store can get up and running on Amazon depends on how quickly you can navigate Amazon’s waters. Speed develops over experience.
Amazon requires approval to sell in certain categories.
You can find a list of categories requiring approval here.
Sellers must meet these minimum seller performance metrics:
- Pre-fulfill cancel rate of 2.5% or less
- ODR 1% or less
- Late ship 4% or less
New stores are not able to sell under the category needing approval because they have zero customer performance metrics. This means a longer time before your store is running and turning out sales.
Managing a store is a lot of work.
It’s a full time job to learn Amazon’s ecosystem and all it’s ins and outs. Learning is one thing but managing it is a whole other beast. Amazon is forever changing. Additionally you have to manage returns, customer service, inventory, deactivated listings, shipments and other Amazon issues.
If you’re considering managing your own Amazon account I’m guessing you’re trying to capture retail margins. If you want to build a successful Amazon store you’re going to need at least one person working full time developing and manage it.
When we train folks on Amazon, the truth of the beast comes out. We get the same reaction every time, “Wow I didn’t realize how much work goes into this. It’s a full time job.”
Could you imagine doing more work on top of manufacturing, building and maintaining your retail clients? No! It’s a full time job so think of building a successful Amazon store as another (separate) full time job. Get a dedicated team.
You Can Always Change Your Mind
Remember that the decision you make can be a temporary one. Whether you decide to let 3rd party sellers sell your product on Amazon, or manage your own store or work with a management service it’s possible to change your mind. While it may be difficult to return from excessive 3rd party seller chaos, it’s not impossible. Hiring a management service instead of having a dedicated team operating your store could be less expensive initially. It could serve as a stepping stone to having your own team someday. If you start off doing it yourself it’s easy to open the market to 3rd party sellers. It’s just as easy to pass to a management team if you find it’s overwhelming. Testing the waters and figuring out what works best for your company is highly encouraged.