Many Amazon sellers assume all they need to do to build a successful e-commerce business is to have a great product and list it on Amazon. They buy into the falsehood that if they have a quality product to sell, the online marketplace will take care of everything else.
This is wrong, and it’s unfortunately the message that’s pushed by Amazon gurus who promise an unrealistic method of making money online, while ignoring the fact that Amazon e-commerce stores require the same amount of attention and work as any other business. Simply listing your product without any additional work will get you nowhere. Amazon is a complicated marketplace where finding the right product and building a solid brand around it will get you much further.
If you’re serious about making money on Amazon and providing valuable products for your customers, this article will offer you some helpful guidance. Once you understand how to build value on Amazon, you can focus on creating a well-reviewed, trusted online brand.
Using Amazon as a brand building platform is critical simply because of its dominant retail presence, especially in the United States. Think about these statistics:
At this point, you’re probably convinced that Amazon is a great place to start building your brand when you’re already selling products. But where do you start?
Before you do anything, you need to know what you’ll be putting out into the world. Write down on a piece of paper the types of products you want to sell (or already sell), the people and demographics you want to reach, and the goals you’re trying to accomplish (e.g. solve a business problem, improve buyer’s lifestyles, etc).
It’s critical to have a solid strategy for choosing the right product niche. The right niche for you can eventually become a gold mine when selling products on Amazon. Also, having just one niche can help you stay organized and keep track of which products are selling well and which ones aren’t.
The reality is, selling online is a hugely competitive market. When you have a great niche, you don’t shoulder as much risk from multiple competitors stealing customers from you. Put simply, the more niche you go, the less people you have to compete with. And this process begins with an objective analysis of the niche, whether that’s keto cookbooks or bamboo toothbrushes.
Many aspiring sellers start with an idea for a product, develop it further, and then go assess what the market looks like. This presents a massive roadblock to many people because oftentimes they discover the barrier to entry too late and after they’ve already committed to a product idea. That’s why it’s always better to assess the product niche as a whole before developing the idea further to see if the area is actually viable for sellers.
How Massview Can Help
Massview’s analytics tools can help you find the right niche for your brand by allowing you to quickly assess any product vertical before you invest in it. Say, for instance, you are interested in the “baby products” vertical. On our dashboard, you can find the Amazon search volume for different terms in that category, which is helpful for figuring out how big the market is. You can see if the search term is currently trending up or down versus last month.
The third column shows how many reviews the products on page 1 of Amazon have, on average. The more reviews they have, the more money you will have to spend to compete to get reviews and get your product to rank. So, you want to stick with products that have a low number of reviews on average; that will make it easier for you to enter the market. You can also check the average product rating for a keyword. If products are ranked poorly on page one of Amazon, that is an opportunity for you to jump in and create a better product that will rank higher.
Finally, you can click through to see what products are actually on page 1 for each keyword, so you can quickly check pricing and other factors to continue researching the vertical. Using these tools, you will be several steps ahead in finding a product niche where you can really be successful.
Choosing the right Amazon seller niche also means you need to understand who you’re selling to (e.g. your buyer persona). Study them closely. Put together multiple profiles of what your ideal customer looks like. Research it like crazy because you need to know who’s going to buy your products. These are the people you will be learning to interact with, and your brand will be built around products, content, and interactions that appeal to this target demographic. If you can clearly iterate the target audience and their needs, that is a good sign that you can figure out how to build a brand in this niche.
It’s worth mentioning that seasonality will also play a role in your business. Some products have a spike in demand during holiday seasons and specific times of the year, or only have demand during those times. So knowing whether or not your product is seasonal will affect your selling approach. Seasonality can complicate your product research, but as long as you are aware of it, you can successfully find products to sell in this area.
But bottom line, you should aim to sell branded, high-end products that are specific to only your brand, with high margins and low product weight. This is how your brand identity will grow.
Amazon, for example, started off selling books and then built a lasting brand around that. Now they sell, well, everything you could possibly imagine. The point is, they wouldn’t have been so massively successful if they didn’t start out with a great niche. So, in sum, find your niche first.
In a perfect world, you’ll be able to sell products that solve problems you’re passionate to your core about. But that’s not exclusively the case. The sellers who thrive on Amazon don’t go with their gut every single time they make a decision—they methodically analyze the situation and use the data that’s available to them to make the most informed decision possible. Remember, your product needs to fit a market, so do your niche research first. We’re all about using data to help sellers be successful on Amazon, and product research is just the first step.
Once you have figured out what products to sell, you will need to start answering pinning down the specifics of how to build a brand and get your products up to the top of search results. There are a lot of things that go into a killer product that helps your brand grow, and attention needs to be paid to every product to make it the best it can be.
Amazon is now the go-to platform for product searches and has surpassed previously leading platforms like Google or Bing.
With how competitive the Amazon marketplace has become, you’ll want to invest in an Amazon SEO Strategy to get your products listed on page one. This includes:
Research your competition so you understand where you fit in the marketplace and continually stay ahead in the search rankings. Tweak and split test different variations of product titles to generate a high click-through rate and organically grow your brand’s visibility.
If you want to build a lasting brand with followers, you’re going to need a coherent product base. If you’re pushing products that have solid profit margins but aren’t related, you’re not building a brand. If your customers buy products from you and then never interact with you ever again, you’re not building a brand.
The work of building a brand doesn’t end at choosing a niche. It’s a long-term game that starts with choosing the right products to sell and ends with having consistent, repeat business.
As mentioned before, two elements of building a quality brand are high-quality photos and copy. While building your brand, you’re going to want professional photography that engages customers to increase traffic and conversion rates. High-quality photography adds to your brand’s visual identity, and you can use it on and off Amazon.
Another thing you’ll want to pair with photography is high-quality copywriting. It takes a professional copywriter to know the difference between copy that persuades people to make buying decisions and copy that bores and confuses people. You want the former. The quality of your copy can make or break your product listing.
This may sound counterintuitive, but in order to grow your brand on Amazon, you’ll need an off-Amazon strategy. You have to diversify because, as an Amazon seller, you have minimal information about the people who are actually purchasing your products. That’s why we recommend building an email list of real customers who want to purchase your products. Every time you engage with a customer, give them the option to type in their email address so you can begin sending valuable offers, resources, and promotions to their email address.
Using social media and exploring other channels to sell your products online. Amazon is a tool—one tool. Although it’s a big tool, it’s still only one piece of the puzzle. So, diversify your distribution and marketing channels and invest your time and energy in creating relationships with customers.
That’s where social media can be a great tool for you to engage with your customers on a consistent basis. You can link to your Amazon store on Facebook and Instagram to slowly build up a following. These platforms can be used to direct traffic straight to your Amazon page through content that persuades your customers to say yes. Also, build relationships with influencers who can support your brand through social media posts that link to your products, website, or promotions.
In the end, you cannot control everything that happens with Amazon. In fact, you have control over very little of it. Amazon can make one change to their platform or algorithm that drastically affects your ability to sell or rank. A key takeaway: don’t put all your eggs in one basket, or else you will put your business at risk. Build a brand that succeed on Amazon but also has a stronghold outside of the platform.
Learn how we can help you build relationships with customers and drive them to your online store here.
Succeeding as an Amazon seller is totally possible if you work smart, have a well-defined and well thought out strategy, and market your e-commerce business effectively. Figure out your process, find the right niche, come up with an SEO strategy, and optimize your product pages with great photography and copy. Now go make money selling on Amazon!