Amazon allows other retailers to sell products on its marketplace, where millions of interested shoppers visit daily. This creates an opportunity for sellers — large and small. It is possible to start selling on the Amazon Marketplace in a matter of hours; the barrier to entry is very low.
The key thing to remember is that Amazon is not just an online retailer. Rather, its site has become an ecommerce marketplace wherein millions of shoppers can buy from thousands of merchants. The volume of business done on Amazon means that it can be a significant sales channel for just about any online retail business.
To get started selling on the Amazon Marketplace there are a few things online merchants need to do.
Prepare Your Business Information
Amazon is a respected ecommerce brand. It makes sense that the company would want to know a bit about the sellers it allows in its marketplace. Each new Amazon Marketplace seller will need to create a business account and a seller profile.
For the account setup, a retailer should be prepared with basic contact and company information, including:
- A brand name shown to shoppers — for example “Widget Store”;
- A legal business name — for example “Widget Store Company, Inc.”;
- A customer service email address;
- A customer service phone number;
- The physical location from which items will be shipped;
- Bank routing number;
- Bank account number.
In addition to this information, a seller should be prepared to choose which types of shipping services to offer, including expedited shipping, and how shipping rates will be calculated for the buyer. Specifically, will shipping rates be a flat rate per shipment, per item, or per pound? Will shipping be based on the item’s cost? To choose the best shipping method, have a good idea of what shipping your products will cost. Fortunately, this information may be updated later.
If a shopper in the Amazon Marketplace wants to learn a bit more about a seller, that shopper can view the seller’s profile. Thus, this is another section that potential sellers will need to prepare.
A good profile will have:
- A logo — aim for about 120 pixels wide;
- An “about” section used to describe the seller — this is one of the seller’s chances to market;
- A shipping information section, including information about carriers and shipping times;
- A return and refund section;
Prepare Your Product Information
Amazon needs to know a few things about the products sold in the marketplace. For each item, have a universal product code (UPC) — you won’t be able to list an item without one — and a stock keeping unit (SKU).
Amazon will also need some product information, including:
- The product name or title;
- A Product description;
- Product specifications in the form of bullet points;
- A product image;
- A list of related keywords or search terms;
- The Amazon category in which the product should be included.
If a product is already listed from another seller, Amazon prefers to use the current image and description. Having the Amazon Standard Identification Number (ASIN) for a product that is already available in the marketplace can expedite the listing process.
Amazon will accept the product information in XML, text, or via a desktop or web-based product submission tool.
Create the Seller Account
Once a seller’s business information and product data is prepared, creating the account and posting the first batch of products goes very quickly. Amazon will review the account, and products will likely go live on the Amazon Marketplace in a few hours.