Selling on Amazon is a fairly straightforward process, but there are plenty of ways you can go above and beyond to make your business stand out from the others. Here are some insider tips — gathered from some of Amazon’s most successful sellers — on how to step up your business and sales.
We collected this invaluable advice from a number of highly successful physical-product sellers who are crushing it on Amazon, including the very people you saw in our “Inside the Lives of Real People…” video. If you haven’t watched that video yet, check it out NOW, because it is absolutely incredible and inspirational!
The number-one characteristic in all successful Amazon business owners is their unwavering belief that they can and will make this business a success, no matter what obstacles get in their way. There is nothing that can drag you down more than negativity — be that from yourself or from those you surround yourself with.
One of the biggest differences between people who struggle with this business model and those who rock it is the mindset. Even though you start on a small scale (with one product), you are NOT just one person (or group) selling products on Amazon; you’re a full-fledged business from day one. This mindset rubs off — that’s why it’s important to surround yourself with positive influences and other passionate entrepreneurs who will keep you going and growing.
Goal setting and visualization are such powerful tools and so many people either don’t use them or use them incorrectly. Start with your biggest goal: how your life will change once you’ve obtained success in this business. Visualize exactly how that will look and feel for you and those around you. This is a powerful internal motivator and it sets your mind in motion working toward the goal, even when you aren’t actively thinking about it.
In addition to your “Big Goal,” set smaller goals along the way and reward yourself as you achieve them.
What will you do once your product is live and selling on Amazon alongside some of the world’s biggest brands? What about when you make your first sale? Your first $1,000 in sales? $25,000? When you quit your job? Even if it’s something small like going out to dinner with your family, or if it’s something big like going on a vacation that you’ve always wanted, be sure to celebrate your accomplishments along the way, and include those around you, such as your family, good friends, and loved ones.
By now you should know the eight-step system for building your Amazon business. If not, check out the video we made that walks you through the whole thing at: amazing.com/start/new-world. We hear one thing from highly successful Amazon sellers over and over again: “Follow the system.” This is especially important when you’re just getting started with your business. You will discover your own tricks and routines along the way, but as long as you stay within the basic eight-step system, you are just about guaranteed to build a successful business. It’s that simple.
You may not realize it, but your product’s packaging is one of the most important details of your business. So put some work into it and make sure you come up with something professional-looking. Not only does this inspire confidence in your brand, it also sets you apart from your competitors.
As soon as you get your product live on Amazon, you want to start getting sales and reviews as quickly as possible. Aside from the obvious benefits — it’s a really cool feeling and you’re making money — this will help your product rank higher on Amazon. So how do you get sales and reviews in a hurry?
Easy! You can send friends and family free products in exchange for their reviews. Or even better, you can ask them to purchase the product and leave reviews. Your product shouldn’t be that expensive, so you should have friends or family members who are willing to help you out!
You need to have goals for any worthwhile endeavor, and this is especially true when you’re starting a business. So set a one-year goal for yourself. Maybe you want to hit $100,000 in sales. Maybe $1,000,000. Maybe you want to launch three products. Maybe you want to quit your job. Set your one-year goal, then build a daily plan based on that big goal. Then…
No matter how busy you are — many successful Amazon sellers worked 40, 50, 60 hours per week even as they built their businesses — you should set aside time every day to focus on the business, even if it’s just 30 minutes. Get rid of any distractions (turn off your phone and Facebook, for example), and if possible, let everyone in your house know you need just a little time alone to work on something that is important to you AND your family. Of course you should still spend time with your loved ones, and you can even involve them in the business. You’d be surprised at some of the cool things kids can come up with!
Remember to approach everything from a business mindset. That means you have to be patient. Businesses aren’t built overnight. You WILL hit points where you want to go faster, see bigger results, etc. But as long as you’re following the system and setting aside time every day to focus on your business, you will see results. We all want to go as quickly as possible, but this business isn’t a get-rich-quick scheme. You’re building something you can be proud of that can give you true long-term wealth. It takes time and work, and it’s more than worth it.
Many Amazon sellers think their product is a dud just because it doesn’t magically start selling like crazy. Although there are some exceptions, it usually takes work to get momentum behind a product. Instead of worrying about the product itself, think about what you could be doing to boost exposure and sales for your product. You’ll probably find ways to boost sales — even if it’s as simple as making small tweaks to your product description. However…
Along the way, and even after you’ve achieved success, you’ll always hear and see a lot of things you could be doing for your business. You CAN’T do them all. Nobody can. But once again, as long as you follow the system and work toward your goal, you are virtually guaranteed to build a successful business. You will discover what works, even if it takes a little while. And as you make more money, you’ll have more room to try new things.
You know you should set aside some time every day to focus on your business. With this time you’ve set aside, you should focus on doing at least one thing that unquestionably moves your business forward.
It can be anything from adding one new image in your product description to launching a new product. This is especially important when you feel like you’re in a rut. Keep moving. It will pay off.
From day one, make sure to document all the important tasks, techniques, errors, processes, and anything else that could have implications for your business. This may seem like tedious work, but take it from top Amazon sellers: it will pay off when the time comes for you to step your business up to the next level. More on this later!
Focus on a target market.
Even if you have a product that can be very general, try to focus on a specific target market/audience. This helps you tailor your marketing and messaging, which in turn will help you get great reviews. How’s that? Because you’re focusing on the type of people who are enthusiastic about your product, so they will leave detailed, helpful reviews that speak to specific features of your product. Of course these great reviews get other customers to buy.
Focus on the brand.
Once you’ve established yourself within a target market, it’s all about building a brand that your market will come to know and love. Think of your brand as the go-to name for people in your market. This will lay your foundation for adding more products to your lineup, and it will also help you do things like…
Of course you’ll want to set up a Facebook page for your business to showcase your brand and product(s). But you can also create pages for interests that are related to your products. For example, if you sell grill accessories, you can create a Facebook page that’s all about grilling — recipes, techniques, “best” lists, etc. Once you build a substantial social media following, you have an even larger “built in” audience that will buy your products and spread the word about your business.
Treat your suppliers as a valuable part of your business. Even if they’re on the other side of the world from you, you want to invest in this relationship. When you find a good supplier and build a rapport with them, they’ll often help you out by offering better deals on product or by sorting out problems that may arise with shipping, packaging, etc.
When your business starts making money, you’ll have some decisions to make on what the money goes toward. Come up with a system, something simple and feasible. For example, if you have a business partner, you could use a “25 X 4” rule. That means you would put 25% of your earnings toward your pay, 25% toward your partner’s pay, 25% toward your next product, and set aside 25%.
Remember that you’re not just selling products on Amazon — you’re selling to real people. That’s what a business is, after all. Find any opportunity possible to invite your customers to reach out to you. You can provide your personal contact information in follow-up emails and in package inserts to let your customers know they can reach out directly to you if they have any questions or problems. Always be in “customer first” mode.
Following the system is the most important part of building your business, but great customer service is what will take you from successful to elite, which could mean hundreds of thousands or even millions per month. Check for complaints and refund requests first thing in the morning, and address any issues promptly. You can even offer customers who request refunds a free product. Call customers personally. When you grow too large to do that, you may want to hire ace customer service employees (more on that later).
You can use this list to get off to a great start when you launch something new. Or, you can ask your VIP customers to give you reviews, because one of the best ways to get reviews is simply to ask for them.
If you have a list of loyal customers, it means you never have to worry about launching a dud product/ campaign or not being high enough in Amazon rankings. You’ll be able to send your list an email simply telling them what’s going on, and they’ll respond.
Amazon.com is Amazon’s U.S. storefront, and it’s the largest Amazon market. But Amazon also has marketplaces specifically for the United Kingdom (amazon.co.uk), Germany (amazon.de), and many other countries. You want to start your business on Amazon.com. After you’ve had a few months to learn the business and make sure you’re confident in your product, you can begin to consider selling your product(s) on other storefronts. This is a great way to boost sales and scale up your business, even if you can’t invest in another product.
Remember, you’re always thinking in terms of a BUSINESS. And good businesses rely on good people (plural, not singular). If you want it enough and you put in the work, your business will grow to a size that’s impossible for you to manage alone. You’ll probably want to hire people, even if it’s just one business partner. Because customer service is so critically important, the first hire for many successful Amazon sellers is a customer-service employee (or team). Of course this is a decision that only you will be able to make when the time comes, but the return on investment for good customer service is incredibly high.
Remember how we told you to document everything you do? This is where it will pay off. At this point you have a brand to uphold and grow, so you want anybody you hire to reflect well on that brand. Don’t skimp on training. Be very clear about your goals and what you want your employee(s) to do. Invest time and effort into your hire(s) to make sure they do nothing but move your business forward. This is where you’re putting your business in someone else’s hands, so don’t take shortcuts.