Most people agree that Amazon is the poster boy for online customer service. The main concern is to make the Amazon shopping experience as easy as possible to maximize customer satisfaction. But to say that Amazon is customer-centric would be to focus on only one dimension of the company's strategy.
Amazon is also seller-centric, offering many options to sellers on the Amazon marketplace that help them maximize customer satisfaction. After all, without third-party sellers (3PS) like dropshippers, Amazon would still just be a warehouse retailer of used books.
Anticipating buyers' needs and being proactive in filling those needs helps ensure success for an online retailer. These 18 tips should help you take advantage of what Amazon has to offer and create a premier shopping experience for your customers so you know exactly how to successfully sell on Amazon.
Amazon designs its strategies around the belief that what buyers prioritize are price, selection, convenience, information and speed. Note, however, that many of these incentives and services require sellers to log into Seller Central, which is exclusive to Merchant Pro account holders.
One of the most attractive things about Amazon for buyers is that it usually has the lowest prices; it's even launched an app that encourages buyers to price check items while in retail stores, and gives them credit for doing so. This isn't always a good thing for sellers, especially not for dropshippers. That's because it cuts into their profit margins per item and stiffens competition.
To maintain this reputation and still keep sellers happy, Amazon offers incentives and services that encourage 3PS to offer the best possible price or value for money to their buyers.
1. Free shipping
Buyers can take advantage of free shipping if they purchase a minimum dollar amount in Amazon merchandise. The exact number fluctuates according to the country the buyer lives in. In the US, the minimum is $35. Items that qualify for free shipping are clearly marked on the page.
Amazong handles free shipping, which adds no cost to the seller, so this translates to significant savings. At the same time, the offer of free shipping attracts more buyers which translate to more sales.
However, items are only eligible for free shipping if they are fulfilled by Amazon (FBA). Dropshippers who have already identified fast-moving items in their Amazon catalog may find it worthwhile to purchase such items outright, and have Amazon handle fulfillment.
Bonus: Amazon Prime members get free shipping for most items without a minimum purchase requirement. So if you don't want to invest any cash upfront, you can still benefit from sales to Prime members.
Related Article: eBay Free Shipping - does it increase your profit?
2. Coupons and promotions
Amazon allows Pro sellers to create a wide array of coupons and promotions that you can customize to your heart's content. Dropshippers do not need FBA to run a promotion or offer coupons.
3. Today's deals
Technically, Today's Deals promotions benefit sellers by providing exposure for their products, but Amazon also indirectly encourages sellers to price competitively at the same time. This is because an item to be featured in any section of Today's Deals must be priced lower than any other seller of the same item and buyers must have purchased at least 10 units previously.
You can use the Match Low Price feature to check this. In most cases, Amazon picks sellers who already have proven track records.
The Amazon Marketplace is huge, featuring millions of new, used, and refurbished items from 3PS as well as Amazon's own offerings. It can be hard for buyers to find your item, but there are some ways Amazon gives you an edge.
4. Featured merchant
You can improve the visibility of your items by becoming a Featured Merchant. When a buyer browses for an item you're offering for sale, Amazon will place your listing on the top of the list.
There is no cost to you as a seller, but you do need to have fantastic feedback from customers. It gives you an incentive to keep your customers happy so that you get positive reviews every time.
5. Volume listing tools
if you have a large selection of products you're selling, you benefit from the increased exposure they provide, and your buyers benefit from an extensive selection. However, it takes a lot of time and effort to upload them manually, so you will want to use these volume listing tools. You can also match items, make changes and generate reports.
Buying online has become very popular mostly because it is convenient. As a seller on Amazon, you want to make it easy for your buyer to find your product, make a decision to buy, and actually purchase it. Amazon has several unique ways to help sellers do this.
6. Buy box
Buyers don't necessarily notice it, but when they search for a product and click on one of the results, the Buy Box gets the majority of their attention. Amazon chooses one seller to give a full spread, while other sellers of the same item may appear as an abbreviated listing on “Other Sellers.”
To be the major seller for an item, you have to be a Featured Merchant with a proven selling history.
7. European marketplaces account
Amazon has separate websites for the different countries it services. But the company has unified the European marketplaces so sellers can choose to expand their reach by choosing to be an international seller. Simply use the Expand Offers Internationally tool and you're all set. It's convenient for buyers who may need items not offered in their local Marketplace. However, you have to comply with the seller rules for each of the different countries you offer in.
8. Educational webinars
Amazon offers learning opportunities to international sellers so that they won't fumble and disappoint customers when they first break into a foreign marketplace. It ain't easy being the new kid on the block.
9. Business reports
This tool can be a valuable one for projecting what items will sell during certain seasonal periods. Amazon's business reports help you target different gift ideas, which enables you to adjust your promotions accordingly, like selling tools for Father's day, or flashing lights leading up to Christmas. Your buyers enjoy the convenience of shopping ahead of time as well as effortless bargain hunting.
10. Amazon webstores
Sellers can put up their own website, but still benefit from the conveniences of Amazon with an Amazon Webstore. Not unlike eBay shops, these webstores make it easy for buyers to find all of the items you have for sale on one page rather than having to search for individual items. Of course, you pay flat monthly and per-item transaction fees, but with the turnkey convenience Webstores offer, it's well worth it
11. Amazon payments
Sellers and customers alike benefit from this service because it's a convenient, safe and secure way to pay. Buyers won't have to type in payment information if they already have an Amazon account, and Amazon handles all of the necessary processes, including paying sellers.
12. Listing quality alerts
If buyers can't find your items, they can't buy them. This can happen if the listing has errors or has missing information. Make it easy for your customers to find your item quickly by giving all the important facts.
You can make changes to your listings based on what Amazon identifies as needing improvement by reading the Inventory Reports for Pro sellers.
13. Detailed product description and recommended for you
Amazon prefers clear, concise, and comprehensive product listings. To increase conversions, all you have to do as a seller is make sure to put in the information you need your customers to have when you list the item.
Not only that: Amazon also automatically populates recommended items for customers based on their shopping histories, which shows up in your business reports so you get to know your customers better.
Most people are impressed by fast delivery, and that is something that a dropshipper may have a problem with occasionally, unless their suppliers are close to their customers, and are as customer-oriented as the seller is. Here are some tools that may help keep your buyers smiling.
14. European fulfillment network
As an international seller, you may want to let Amazon do all the heavy lifting for the items you offer for sale. It means having inventory on hand, but you can be sure your customers will get their items within the promised period.
If you're aiming for Featured Merchant or Top Deals, you'll want to make sure your European customers continue to the happy with your delivery speed.
15. Fulfillment by Amazon
You can sell on Amazon without keeping inventory, but that can be a problem if your supplier isn't reliable, or located in a country where the delivery is slow. Your street cred can suffer if your supplier is messing with your fulfillment strategy. If you have been at this a long time, you may want to consider selling certain lines of product that move at high volumes consistently using Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA).
As mentioned earlier, you make up for the cost with the savings from packaging and shipping costs and future purchases from satisfied customers.
16. Multi-country inventory
If you are doing FBA for some items already, you can choose to use this feature to sell internationally. It works great mainly because shipping times are shorter. Moreover, items that are warehoused locally are available with all the perks for Prime account holders (including free shipping), which will make them happy. You can also make more money because of your expanded market.
17. Search optimization tools
When you put up your Amazon Webstore, you can bring your items to buyers' attention by making use of these tools built into the system. You don't even need to know what you're doing; Amazon will tell you how to improve visibility so customers can find you fast.
18. Focused and fast checkout
This is available for all sellers, actually. Amazon makes it easy for customers to see what they bought, the shipping options and any other information they may need. Amazon customers don't have to put in their information every time they visit the website or make a purchase, so they get through the checkout process fast.
That is a major factor in increasing sales conversion and minimizing cart abandonment, which is great for Amazon sellers and Webstores that take full advantage of this oft-overlooked feature.
So there you have it: 18 great ways to make your customers happy and increase your profit margin with the help of Amazon. If you have any thoughts, corrections or suggestions of your own, please feel free to put them in the comment box below. We'd love to hear what you have to say!