Let’s start from the beginning: what exactly is Amazon FBA? Essentially, FBA here stands for “Fulfillment By Amazon.” This does exactly what it says on the tin: it means that Amazon will handle your fulfillment. With FBA, you’ll be able to outsource all the most complicated, costly, and error-prone aspects of your business, and instead just focus on choosing products and selling them.
Amazon FBA is a service provided by Amazon that allows anyone to sell a product without worrying about storage or logistics. That in turn means that it’s now impossible to run a large-scale product-based business from your front room, with no need for staff, large investments, or warehouses.
This is great because it means you can live the dream of running a business with relatively little involvement. But therein also lies the pitfall: how do you set yourself apart from the competition, when you are sourcing the same products (from the same manufacturers) and letting the same company take care of delivery?
So, what do you do? Providing the very best product and service you can is one important step but these additional tips can also help a great deal.
They will handle It
That’s because Amazon will handle both storage and delivery, meaning that you just need to get the products shipped directly from the supplier/wholesaler to Amazon’s warehouses (called “fulfillment centers” which sounds like some kind of self-help cult hideout). Your product will then be listed on Amazon, and will then be fulfilled via Amazon.
That means in other words, that Amazon will list your product on its storefront, and every time someone puts in an order, it will send it out to the buyer. This way, you can potentially fulfill hundreds of thousands of orders without needing to see a single product!
Of course, you will pay fees, and there are particular regulations you need to abide by. But for the small business owner or entrepreneur, this is a FAR preferable scenario than having to have large amounts of inventory delivered to their home. And it opens up nearly endless opportunities. Your buyers can even benefit from Prime delivery and get their products the very next day.
Amazon Prime alone has over 95 million members in the US alone, and that’s only 59% of the user base in that country! The site owns 49% of the eCommerce market in the US too. By having your products listed on Amazon, they become significantly more likely to succeed – especially as customers have become so used to buying on the platform with a single click.
With Amazon handling the delivery, you’ll have just a few fees to worry about and no logistics, tracking, or other stuff that can go wrong! Your customers will be getting a service that is comparable to the very biggest and best-known brands in the world.
As long as you choose the right products, invest wisely, and know how to write a great store listing… then you can’t fail. And you’ll learn all of that over the next chapters of this book.
Another strategy is to over deliver on your promise by pleasantly surprising your customers. You can do this in any number of ways. One obvious strategy is to deliver a parcel faster than you say you will, another is to include a free gift. Otherwise, you can just make sure that aspects of their experience are better than they would have predicted.
Either way, people will be so pleasantly surprised at getting something ‘extra’ that they will be almost guaranteed to leave a positive review.
One key method is to ensure that your branding is front and center. You can do this with the packaging, but also by placing your branding on the item itself. If you are reselling a product from Alibaba, then look for a “white label” product. That means the company will not use its own branding anywhere, and will allow you to use yours in its place.
Next up is the service and how well you treat the customer. If the customer has any problems or questions you need to ensure that there is someone available to answer those queries as soon as possible. Good quality service will ensure that your customer feels confident handing over their money and knows that they’ll get what they asked for in return. It also ingratiates them to you which hopefully results in their being more likely to want to deal with you in future as well.
Packaging is something that’s highly important when it comes to selling anything – especially if you’re delivering the item. Think about Amazon versus eBay. When it comes to these two companies you might find that you can get the same item just as quickly and for the same price from either online vendor. Thus, the only thing you know will be different is the packaging – which means you’re likely to pick Amazon in that scenario.
Packaging can make an item seem more premium, can make it more enjoyable to open and can strengthen your brand. At the same time you will this way be able to strengthen your brand and get free advertising.
Of course, with Amazon FBA the exterior packaging will be handled by Amazon – but you can still add your own packaging for the product itself, which is a perfect way to really stand out and get people excited for what you’re selling.
Amazon is not all about reselling – it can also be a great opportunity to sell your own products! And it’s almost just as easy – just approach a manufacturer on Alibaba selling something similar to what you have in mind, and discuss making the necessary tweaks with them.
If you’ve come up with an idea for a product, then that probably makes you an ‘inventor’. If you’re now planning on turning that idea into a business, then you’re also most likely an ‘entrepreneur’.
So many hats
There are many hats in fact that you will have to wear in order to make this project a success and many skills you’re going to learn, but one that often gets forgotten and that might not necessarily come naturally is also one of the most important: you must also be a ‘designer’.
It can often be quite easy to forget the design stage altogether if you are someone who tends to focus on creating products and selling them. Most likely you will have had the idea for your product in order to solve a problem point and from that point it might be a simple matter of choosing a color and size as far as you’re concerned.
Even those that do take design seriously and spend time thinking about it will often approach it in the wrong way – thinking about it from a purely aesthetic stand point rather than a functional one.
If it all seems a little daunting at first, then one great way to make it less so, is to choose a product on Alibaba that only requires a small initial order. Buy 5 items rather than 10, and then try the business model on a small scale before going all in.
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Kind Regards Shane.