Amazon offers a turn-key, hosted ecommerce platform that makes it possible for most any entrepreneur to start selling online quickly.
The Amazon Webstore platform has three levels of service aimed at small, medium, and enterprise operations. The small business solution, which was available for a 30-day free trial at the time of writing, offers a simple-to-use software-as-a-service solution that will generate a good ecommerce site using basic templates and forms.
After the free trial period has ended, the most basic Amazon web store costs $39.99 per month plus a 2-percent transaction fee.
Step 1: Decide Where to Sell
The Amazon Webstore platform allows shop owners to sell both from their own Webstore shops and on the Amazon Marketplace. Sellers choosing to list in both channels enjoy a slightly lower transaction fee, and have the opportunity to put products in front of millions of Amazon shoppers.
Choosing to sell in both channels can make it more difficult to add products and may create some frustrations thanks to many marketplace-related restrictions. For example, not everyone can sell apparel on the Amazon Marketplace.
After you’ve made your choice click the “Get Started” button at the bottom of the page.
Step 2: Register for Webstore
Unless you’re already selling on the Amazon Marketplace, you will have to create a new account. You’ll need an email address to complete the first form. Webstore will also ask for your name and a password on the next screen.
After a password has been created, Webstore will want even more information. Be ready with basic contact information for your business. The multi-part Webstore account form will also ask for payment card information.
To verify that you are who you claim to be, Amazon will call you at the business number you provided or at an alternative number that will also be associated with your Webstore.
In the confirmation step, you will be asked to confirm that you accept the Amazon terms and conditions. Once that is done, click the “Complete Registration” button on the right side of the page. The Amazon servers may take several minutes to complete the registration process.
Step 3: Prepare Graphics and Product Data
Amazon’s Seller Central is where you go to manage your new Webstore. But before you dive in and start posting product information, you’ll want to assemble graphics like your store logo and product images, and have product description and UPC codes in hand.
Step 4: Create Your First Products
Amazon Webstore likes you to have a UPC for every product that you list, but you may also get started by using just a product name. This field will also work with the product’s Amazon Standard Identification Number (ASIN). If the product being added is already on Amazon, try searching for it to find the ASIN or UPC.
Next enter the basic product information, including the SKU, its condition — meaning new, since Webstore does not allow used products — its price, and the quantity available.
You’ll have the opportunity to upload images and add a product description in the next section.
Step 5: Add Categories
Almost every online store is going to have product categories meant to organize items and make them easier for shoppers to find. Amazon Webstore has a straightforward method of creating categories and adding products.
To make a new category, simply click the golden-colored “New” button, name it, and you’re done. There is also a button to assign products to each category.
Step 6: Choose and Customize Your Theme
Amazon Webstore is built to have a new retailer up and running quickly. To help achieve this goal, the service offers several themes that include the basic layout and colors.
The theme options are limited, but there is an option to customize these using a set of tools provided for this purpose.
Step 7: Add Your Own Domain
By default Amazon Webstore URLs are long and full of hyphens. Thus, most new stores will want to use a unique domain. When you first arrive at Seller Central, there is a link just under the “Getting Started” header for customizing your store’s URL.
This will require you to inform your domain registrar — think Network Solutions or GoDaddy.
Step 8: Publish and Start Selling
The final step is to publish the store and start selling. Depending on which option you selected in step one, your products can be published just on your store or in the Amazon Marketplace. In either case, you are now ready to start taking orders.