10 tips for selling on the Amazon Marketplace

I was the second Amazon employee in France, I managed the Amazon France marketplace when it was launched, and Amazon’s books, software and video games activities. The values, the principles of Amazon remain the same year after year, and the criteria for selling and succeeding in the Amazon marketplace remain unchanged.

Here are some “tips” to take or leave.

Stéphane Jauffret,
co-founder of Sellermania

Stéphane Jauffert - Founder Sellermania

Sell on the Amazon marketplace through 10 key tips, master the basics of selling on the world’s largest marketplace. Selling on Amazon more and better: Tips …

The Amazon Marketplace, which allows a large number of sellers to offer products directly to site visitors now represents 60% of the volume sold by Amazon . As such, the Amazon marketplace, beyond Amazon itself, has become the world’s leading e-commerce site. Some sellers make a turnover of several million euros per year. Some sell there as a complement to their website, and others only sell on Amazon, or only on certain other marketplaces. Here are the 10 tips for selling on the Amazon Marketplace and maximizing your chances of success.

Anyone who has worked at Amazon knows this. The universal modus operandi at Amazon, in all teams is the same and has nothing to do with the Internet. Already in 2000, Jeff Bezos insisted internally that the keys to success rested on 3 universal pillars: The price, the breadth of the offer, and the availability of the products.

These principles, stolen from supermarkets and in particular from Wall Mart, are strongly anchored at Amazon, and served as the basis for a large number of decisions taken from the start by the founder of Amazon.

These are the same principles that have inspired many of the strategic decisions of the American giant, starting with the launch of the marketplace itself , the expansion of product categories, the “Fulfilled by Amazon” program, “Amazon Prime”, the Dash Button, delivery by drones, progress in logistics and robotization, etc. Almost all of the decisions Amazon makes are based on these principles.

When I joined Amazon in March 1999, the company then had a big quarterly all-employee meeting in Seattle, what we called “All Hands Meetings”. There were about 1000 of us at the time. The meeting began with a general question asked by the master of ceremonies: “How many of you are new and were not present at the last meeting?”, And systematically 1/3 of those present raised their hands. Then followed the presentations of the various leaders, to end with a question and answer from Jeff Bezos.

At one of these meetings, Jeff Bezos presented the sketch below. The flywheel , which illustrates the growth based on the offer, and in particular the offer of the marketplace. He wanted to illustrate that “Price, breadth of supply, and availability” could only be fully realized with supply from the rest of the world, and that Amazon alone could not be enough. This is the foundation that started the idea of the Amazon marketplace.

Amazon Flywheel sell on amazon marketplace
Amazon Flywheel: sell on Amazon marketplace

Amazon’s flywheel, or how to sell on the Amazon marketplace, leads to a better customer experience.

The Amazon Flywheel : the legend says that Jeff Bezos drew it on a napkin in 1999 when he had the vision of the marketplace, long before it was launched in 2000 in the US, and in 2003 in France. It materializes the virtuous circle of the marketplace : more sellers generate a greater offer, which in itself leads to a better customer experience, and therefore more traffic, more sellers, etc. Growth lowers costs, which in turn leads to lower prices, and therefore leads to a better customer experience. And so on. This video from Jeff Wilke, SVP Amazon Operations explains very well the concept of flywheel and its impact to sell on the Amazon marketplace.

Sell on Amazon

Here are some tips that I would give to sellers who want to stay in the Amazon marketplace, mainly based on these same principles.

1- The right products

As with all Marketplaces, the first key success factor in selling on the Amazon marketplace is having the right products in stock. Either products that are among the best sellers or products that are difficult to find.

2- The right prices

On Amazon, products are sorted in ascending order of price, including delivery costs. In many cases, sales are “free shipping” (especially if you are selling through the FBA “FBA” program). It has been shown that if you offer free shipping, you increase your chances of a sale. It is for this reason that Amazon has for years developed a free shipping policy. To be successful in the Amazon Marketplace, it is in your best interest to adjust your prices regularly to match the competition. This is the basis of distribution, and is all the more true in the highly competitive Amazon marketplace. Sellermania offers a high-performance price positioning tool, which allows you to stay in the best position, lower the price when you can, increase it when you are alone, within your limits.

3- Impeccable customer service

Amazon is notorious for being relatively tough on Marketplace sellers and demands customer service that is as good, if not better, than that Amazon itself provides to its customers. If there is a problem, take the lead with your customers – better to prevent problems than to wait for your buyer to contact and have to justify that things are wrong. Amazon’s policy is clear: the customer is always right.

4- Deadlines respected

One of the key factors in getting good ratings on Amazon is delivery time. Make a contract with the post office, do not hesitate to change your post office if you do not get the right service. Ship your packages the same day if you can or the next day. For the most expensive packages, use Colissimo to guarantee fast delivery and avoid a refund in these cases, or any other reliable carrier with a tracking number.

5- An up-to-date stock

Nothing annoys buyers more than ordering an item and receiving an email the next day notifying them that the product is unavailable. Have all the items in stock: sellers who are in a just-in-time supply without stock close one after the other. Amazon keeps track of your refund rate. Beyond 10% you are in the red and risk a suspension of your Amazon seller account. Amazon marketplace also counts “defective orders”, that is to say cancellations, delays, or negative evaluations from buyers. You must keep this rate below 2.5%. If you sell on several sites, carefully reflect the sales of one site on the stocks of other sites, or use software like Sellermania.

6- Zen in case of Amazon AZ warranty

If you have an AZ guarantee and are contacted by Amazon, stay calm! Remember, Amazon sees you as a supplier, not a customer. A priori, it is you who are at fault. Stay courteous, open and above all professional. Always look to improve the situation and show Amazon that you are going to do everything to fix the problem, even if it was nothing to do with it. If you are aggressive, you are going straight for account closure. And if it’s already too late and your account is suspended …, read the Sellermania white paper before responding to Amazon with your action plan !

Don’t respond to Amazon without reading this white paper! And if you’ve never had a suspended account before, download this white paper and keep it for the day ^^

7- Top customer ratings

On Amazon, you get relatively few reviews from buyers, compared to other marketplaces (it can be one in 50 or fewer sales). Happy customers tend not to over-rate. Follow up with your buyers regularly to get good reviews, this will keep your review rate level and compensate for tough times. Be aware that Amazon dunning the buyer for you after 60 days of ordering. Sellermania has developed a feature that allows you to revive your customers at will.

8- Send in letter mode if the subject allows it.

If you are shipping light, inexpensive products, it is better to send letter mode, which will save your margins. Even with tracking, you will pay anyway in the event of a dispute, so you might as well save on shipping costs …. Even though Amazon requires you to send the items in tracked mode, it is very expensive, and in case of AZ warranty, you might be at fault even if you sent in tracked mode. On the other hand, as soon as you sell relatively expensive products, it is better to favor the tracked mode, in order to guarantee delivery.

9- Getting paid frequently by Amazon

Amazon allows a daily payment from Marketplace sellers if you want… you might as well take advantage of it. To do this, go to your seller account in the “Amazon payments” section.

10- Maximize your basket

Most Marketplace sellers place orders for a single item. For this reason, the notion of “average basket” does not mean much. Look at the “average price” instead. With repricing software like Sellermania (the fastest repricing tool on the market), this allows you to optimize your price intelligently. If there is a lot of competition, your price drops within your limits, and if there is little competition, you automatically raise the price, which maximizes your margin. And this, in real time …

Finally, what are the tools to do it? If you have a Pro account on Amazon, Sellermania allows you to easily manage all your activity, from uploading items to processing orders.

sellermania logo

Software to sell on Amazon Marketplace

Sellermania is a software for Amazon sellers , and more broadly for marketplaces sellers.

Our software allows you to perform on marketplaces, centralize activity and save time.

For those who have an e-commerce site , they can export their catalog to Amazon and other marketplaces, and collect their orders efficiently. We are a flow manager.

For those who don’t have one , they can use Sellermania to be better on the marketplaces. Simply.

Do you want to sell on the Amazon marketplace?

If you have a site , you can export the products from your site to Amazon easily. Contact us for this purpose.

If you don’t have a site , no need to have one. You can start selling on Amazon, simply, as well as on other marketplaces. Sellermania allows you to do this easily.

Questions fréquemment posées pour vendre sur Amazon marketplace

Sell on Amazon

Amazon Seller Central is Amazon’s marketplace program, also called 3P for “Third Party” .

You sell your products yourself on Amazon, retail, and direct.

It is up to you to manage the entire product cycle, whether it is:

  1. Integration of your catalog catalog
  2. Managing your stock
  3. Sales / marketing animation
  4. After-sales service management
  5. Logistic

On the Amazon site, the owner of a brand can list their products accurately and completely, and ensure that their products are represented as they wish.

The content can be enriched beyond the “basic” description, with so-called “A +” product sheets : additional images, comparative articles, better formatted descriptions.

This additional, value-added content is a key point in optimizing its visibility and image on Amazon.

Amazon Vendor Central is the classic retail program, also called 1P for “First Party”.

  1. You wholesale your products to Amazon.
  2. Amazon resells them and distributes them itself.

Sellermania can help you optimize your Marketplaces sales with Amazon Seller Central.

Sell on Marketplace or retail? What is the difference ?

Amazon Vendor Central is Amazon’s retail program.

That is to say that the products are sold to Amazon which distributes them according to the usual rules of commerce.

Sure Amazon Seller Central , professional sellers sell their products themselves using the sales features offered by Amazon.

Each sale on Seller Central results in the payment of a commission to Amazon. Conversely, the sale via Vendor Central works on a “classic” model of purchase resale by Amazon.

By selling in Retail to Amazon, brands generally have little control over their selling price, which is decided by Amazon. Amazon is known to have an aggressive pricing policy, and practices automatic and systematic benchmarking of the competition. The moment you sell your products to Amazon, you lose all control over the selling prices. This point is not specific to Amazon, the same applies to other e-commerce sites, which benchmark each other.

Conversely, if you distribute the products via the Amazon Marketplace, you define your pricing policy yourself. In return, you make the delivery to the consumer yourself, and provide customer service. It is always possible to use the “Fulfilled by Amazon” service which frees you from logistics and customer service, and is often a good solution for a brand that does not know how to manage the end consumer.

The choice to distribute its products through the marketplace also allows more control over its range and the availability of its products. It is the brand that decides to display the products in stock, while through Vendor Central, Amazon decides whether or not to order your products, which sometimes can affect availability.

Sure Amazon , whether we sell it in retail or in marketplace , the wealth of product sheets directly impacts the conversion rate and therefore online sales.

The Amazon product sheets called A + allow a conversion improvement of 30% , which is far from negligible.

No minimum number of products is required for sell on marketplaces .

Some merchants start with a few products, others have hundreds of thousands. The main thing is, as in traditional distribution, to have references that sell, and attractive prices.

Sales via Marketplace can represent a huge and rapidly growing portion of a website’s total sales.

According to FEVAD, marketplace sales represent 34% of the overall sales of sites that have it.

On Amazon, Marketplace sales in France would represent 70% of sales overall, a figure higher than the site average, which is around 60%. Some countries have been opened exclusively in “marketplace” mode, such as India, where 100% of Amazon sales are made by marketplace sellers.

On the seller side, the share that marketplaces represent in their activity can be very variable. Some companies sell exclusively on marketplaces and therefore achieve 100% of their turnover there (this is the case of Momox for example, a German company with more than € 100M in turnover on marketplaces). For others who have a website, it is not uncommon for marketplaces to represent 10 to 30% of their business volume.

This is certainly not a rule, as it will depend on the investment and strategy of each seller.

To get A + product sheets on Amazon , much more detailed information should be provided than is basically required.

  • Additional images
  • Videos
  • Long and well-structured descriptions
  • Comparisons with similar products
  • etc.

As a brand, selling on Amazon makes it possible to monitor the prices charged by competitors and sometimes very aggressive resellers.

Even if brands cannot impose a price on Amazon, being a marketplace seller gives transparency on the prices charged by other sellers for the same products.

Being a referenced and active brand on Amazon is a good way to monitor the pricing practiced by sellers.

Sellermania’s software integrates a dynamic price calculation module “Market First”, awarded and rewarded for its innovation, which allows a dynamic adjustment of all its prices, in real time on Amazon, according to a large number criteria: competition, type of logistics (Shipped by Amazon or not), condition of new or used products, seller’s profile, obtaining the purchase box, competitor’s nationality, etc. The adjustment is done automatically, without the intervention of the seller, once the process has been configured, which is very fast.

The impact on sales is major, and 99% of salespeople who use this solution see a significant impact on turnover.

Selling costs on marketplaces of course vary according to the players who offer its sales functions.

Overall, most offer fixed fees that correspond to a monthly subscription and variable fees proportional to the number of products – the insertion fees – and the volume of sales.

Marketplaces subscription fees vary between € 30 and € 500 depending on the services included. It is therefore advisable to do your calculations well in order to optimize sales costs .

Depending on the sector, marketplace commissions also vary significantly.

Sellermania collected all of these sales costs on marketplaces in a dedicated file: commissions by marketplaces .

This obviously depends on the complexity of what you want to do. 

If you start directly on marketplaces, there is no delay . From the moment your account is opened, and you have passed the step ” Verification / KYC », You can start selling on most marketplaces like Amazon, Cdiscount, Fnac, Rakuten, eBay … For some marketplaces, you will need an interface via an integrator: La Redoute, Rueducommerce, Spartoo …

If you want to interface your website and manage it via flows, the easiest way is to go through an integrator. It will take time to integrate, aiming to adapt your feed to what is necessary to sell on marketplaces. The times for this stage range from 1 day to several weeks, sometimes several months. depending on the complexity of what you want to do, the quality of your catalog, your ability to export the mandatory attributes required by marketplaces.

Time to implementation of sales on marketplaces depends on several factors:

  • Depending on the marketplace chosen, the reactivity time can vary greatly
  • The complexity of your situation can be a source of time to anticipate
  • If you have a website with a product feed to distribute on marketplaces, you must already know if the item sheets are already created on the marketplaces, or if they will have to be created.

To check if your products are already referenced, all you have to do is look for the EAN code of your products on the marketplaces.  If you find them, it means that the item file is already referenced. Otherwise, it will have to be created.

If your products are already listed, it’s easier, and in a few days your feed can be configured to be sent to marketplaces. The sale of your products on marketplaces can then go very fast.

With our solution, you can start instantly and independently if you are in the more simple cases. If you need support and are not sure of your needs, our Account Managers are available to answer your questions. We will study your project, and support you throughout the integration phase, until you are operational on the marketplaces. 

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