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A Sensible Information for Founders

👀 TL;DR: Ought to I promote on Amazon? Even essentially the most profitable Amazon sellers will admit it’s a love/hate relationship. Promoting on Amazon comes with its prices and difficulties, but in addition huge potential. So, is it value it? In the event you have a look at the numbers alone — sure.

To Amazon or to not Amazon? It’s a call most entrepreneurs will face, and it’s not a straightforward one. You need to consider an advanced checklist of the potential alternatives in opposition to the myriad challenges.

In the event you’re looking for a easy reply, then you definately could be tempted to purely have a look at the numbers. In line with the State of the Amazon Vendor 2023 report, 89% of Amazon sellers are worthwhile, and 37% reported elevated income in 2022 regardless of rising prices. However quick time period income will not be the suitable aim for each enterprise. Firms centered on model constructing may battle with Amazon, which prioritizes the shopper expertise with out highlighting the businesses who supply widespread merchandise.

In line with our discussion board’s success tales, the secret’s to make use of the Amazon platform as a step in your organization’s journey. It really works greatest as a facilitator of progress, both at first phases of constructing a enterprise, or after a model has established buyer affinity.

The important thing recommendation is: Don’t solely depend on Amazon gross sales. Construct your small business exterior of the platform as nicely.

The Way forward for Promoting on Amazon: What To Count on in 2023 & Past :astronaut:

Amazon’s dominance within the eCommerce trade is plain. Nevertheless, based on our 2022 eCommerce Tendencies Report, the share of retailers promoting on Amazon has declined barely from 55.8% to 53%, indicating a turning level to be aware of.

Whereas current sellers aren’t planning to go away, off-Amazon manufacturers are outperforming their Amazon counterparts in most metrics. This pattern might sign a gradual decline in Amazon’s affect within the years to return.

However take into account that Amazon is a power to be reckoned with, making $514 billion in annual income final 12 months. However numbers alone don’t inform the entire story.

Many manufacturers hesitate to promote on Amazon as a result of related charges, relinquishing buyer relationships, and worry of cannabilizing gross sales or model picture.


 This complete information goals to offer you a holistic image of what to contemplate when making this determination and supply recommendation from different entrepreneurs who’ve confronted the identical alternative.

We’ll cowl:

  • Amazon Gross sales: Execs and Cons
  • Prices to Promote on Amazon: What You Must Know
  • Mastering Amazon Gross sales: Insider Ideas and Tips
  • Selecting Worthwhile Merchandise to Promote on Amazon
  • Go-To-Market Methods for Amazon
  • Concerns for Amazon Order Achievement
  • Manufacturers’ Success Tales: Transferring On and Off the Amazon Platform

Weighing Up the Alternative Price + Blended Opinions

The state of play: In case you are Anti-Amazon, all the identical causes nonetheless exist, but it surely continues to get higher. Within the face of quickly rising prices and tough progress, anybody that has been on the fence about making an attempt Amazon ought to strike now.

Founding father of Allan Shiffrin sparked an fascinating thread on EcommerceFuel’s (ECF) group discussion board earlier this 12 months.

Context: Petalura, a Shopify retailer reselling distinctive merchandise, grew to an 8-figure vendor in 2022. Going through challenges with extra stock and decreased money circulation, they thought-about exploring Amazon as an choice to complement their efforts in 2023 with out a big upfront funding.

“Initially, the rationale I’ve been contemplating it is because of a big quantity of our Hand Painted South African Candles 15. They’re packaged with Petalura branding and are distinctive, with restricted availability.”

The thread generated combined opinions in our group, reflecting the continued debate concerning the deserves of promoting on Amazon. 

Right here’s a recap: 

  • One ECF member strongly means that Amazon will not be the suitable platform for promoting distinctive merchandise as it’s best fitted to fast-moving commodities. Additionally it is a high-risk channel that requires plenty of vitality.
  • One other ECF member factors out that Amazon’s charges and commissions are fairly excessive, which could be difficult for resellers with low margins. Moreover, there could also be extra promoting prices.
  • An ECF member disagrees with the earlier opinions and believes that high-quality (distinctive) merchandise can promote nicely on Amazon, particularly if they’ve unique contracts with the producers to signify them on the platform.
  • An ECF member who states they’re pro-Amazon, means that there are nice prospects for unique reselling and personal label objects on the platform. They counsel that it’s value making an attempt out a couple of SKUs to see what occurs and observe that unique partnerships with producers and types could be helpful however might not at all times be possible as a result of low margins.
  • One other member warns that promoting on Amazon is a long-term sport that requires funding in itemizing constructing, assessment technology, and promoting for a long-term ROI. Nevertheless, if accomplished proper, it could possibly add important income to the model.

Primarily based on these 5 opinions alone, what’s clear is there isn’t any one-size-fits-all reply to promoting on Amazon. Every opinion presents a special perspective and set of issues.

So let’s break the decision-making course of down additional.

The Prices of Promoting on Amazon

The reply no one likes: it relies upon. The value tag for promoting on Amazon is determined by a couple of elements like what you’re promoting, how you intend to satisfy orders, and which promoting plan you select. However that’s truly an excellent factor! It means you’ll be able to combine and match choices to give you the right plan that aligns along with your objectives and funds.


 Learn extra on Amazon’s pricing web page.


 For a extra detailed breakdown of the required prices, advisable prices, and additional prices—extremely suggest testing Jungle Scout’s detailed prices breakdown.

They divide the prices into three classes; required, advisable, and bonus. For the sake of time, a TLDR model of this breakdown is beneath.

Overview: The plan is to promote a product on Amazon US as a non-public label utilizing the Achievement by Amazon (FBA) mannequin. The full landed value of the merchandise is $4, and the purpose is to get a 100% Return on Funding. The product will likely be normal dimension, gentle sufficient to ship by air, and 500 models will likely be bought on the market.

Observe for the reader: It’s seemingly you have already got an concept of stock and pattern prices, however for the sake of offering a full image, we’ll embody the additional element.

Required prices breakdown:

Think about stock value (the biggest funding), Amazon Skilled Sellers Account charge, and $30 one-time UPC code value— all essential elements affecting profitability.


 Whole required prices: $2,570

Required costs for selling on Amazon
The full required prices for promoting on Amazon.
  • Sponsored advertisements funds: $300 ($10/day for 30 days)
  • Registered trademark: $350

Sponsored advert funds have to be used with optimized product listings for efficient conversion. Prior analysis is important to make sure trademark availability earlier than making a model. Early trademark registration permits Amazon Model Registry advantages.


 Whole advisable prices: $650 (plus required prices)

Costs that are recommended for selling on Amazon (+ required costs)
Prices which are advisable for promoting on Amazon (+ required prices)

Bonus Prices Breakdown

  • Design work: $200
  • Product pictures: $300

Success in promoting on Amazon requires good design and photographs. Rent a talented designer from Upwork or Fiverr for an expert brand and packaging. Use white background and way of life pictures for higher product visibility. Closeups and comparisons can convey dimension and high quality. Skilled picture enhancing can value $25-$50 per picture.


 Whole bonus prices: $500 (plus required prices)

Bonus costs for selling on Amazon
Bonus prices for promoting on Amazon

 The Grand Whole: It prices between $2790 and $3,940 to begin an Amazon enterprise.

Jungle Scout’s survey reveals Amazon sellers spend $3,836 to begin their companies. For personal label utilizing Amazon FBA, prices vary from $2,790 to $3,940, together with necessary, advisable ($650), and bonus prices ($500).

Takeaway: Whereas there are prices to promoting on Amazon, these prices are usually no completely different to what you’d incur with your individual Shopify retailer. Nevertheless, you would say there are “completely different” prices at play right here—and it actually is determined by what you’re ready to tackle as collateral. Extra dialogue on this arising!

Mastering Amazon Gross sales: Insider Ideas & Tips You Want To Know Earlier than Beginning

No smoke and mirrors right here— solely actual, actionable recommendation from those that have been there, accomplished that. 

Able to make a take care of the satan? 😈

Regardless of the challenges, an ECF member admits it’s too arduous to stay with out Amazon.

On prime of changing into reliant on Amazon for almost all of his gross sales, he provides to the checklist of Amazon vendor challenges;

  • Lack of vendor assist: Amazon’s customer support is predominantly automated (run by bots), which suggests it may be difficult to talk with a human consultant who can help you along with your downside.
  • Issues created by bots: The bots create issues with key phrase matching. 
    • For instance, the vendor who focuses on stickers has encountered points when trying to promote designs that characteristic the phrase “use hand sanitizer” on Amazon. The platform’s automated system rejects the stickers, as Amazon requires sellers to hunt approval earlier than promoting hand sanitizer. Regardless of opening a case and explaining that the merchandise are stickers, the vendor has confronted repeated rejection from Amazon.
  • Gradual resolutions: Amazon will lose your FBA objects and require you to show that you simply personal the misplaced product. 
    • On this case, the vendor is the producer to allow them to solely ship uncooked materials invoices. They’ve misplaced about $1,400 value of our merchandise, and nonetheless ready on Amazon’s determination weeks later.

Whereas Amazon makes it tougher with minimal assist and creating points you’ll want to remedy, one other ECF member stated they’ve a workforce of 4 completely different specialists to work throughout their model and shoppers’ Amazon accounts. 

  • Model supervisor— drives technique
  • Promoting specialist—is aware of advertisements in and out
  • Content material creator—designs the listings (photoshop, and many others.)
  • Compliance specialist—makes use of our SOPs to combat with Vendor Assist and get reimbursements

On that observe, promoting is completely required to succeed. With one search on Amazon you’ll be able to see that 90% of merchandise above-the-fold are advertisements. It is a professional and con. In the event you do promoting nicely you’ll be able to rise above your rivals. However should you don’t, you can be placing your product discoverability and conversion charges in danger.

However the query nonetheless stays, goes down this path value it?

Checking Search Demand: An Alternative Hiding in Plain Sight :mag_right:

Do you know you would be producing demand on Amazon as a by-product of your present advertising? Curiously, 66% of shoppers begin their on-line searches for merchandise on Amazon.

Need to know if there’s a possibility in your model? Right here’s how:

  • Analysis demand on Amazon: Kind in your key phrases into the Amazon search bar. This gives you an concept of what individuals are trying to find when they’re in search of merchandise just like yours on Amazon.
  • Use Merchantwords (or comparable database) to get estimates of search volumes: This may offer you frequent searches associated to your model and their estimated search volumes.
  • Test for rivals bidding in your model identify: Be careful for any rivals who could be bidding in your model identify and taking away your potential clients.
  • Use Helium10 or JungleScout to search out product alternatives: As an alternative of specializing in the merchandise that you’ve got good stock in, these instruments can assist you discover the merchandise which have essentially the most alternative for progress on Amazon.

An instance for Petalura:

These are the most typical searches. Subsequent, search on MerchantWords for Petalura to see frequent searches and their search quantity.

From this preliminary investigation, you’ll not solely be capable to see if individuals are looking on Amazon for you, but when different manufacturers are taking clients away from you by bidding on key phrases that comprise your identify.

There’s an argument to say that should you don’t promote on Amazon, another person will. 

But it surely’s not about going all-in. The secret is understanding what merchandise to promote to satisfy the demand. 

Selecting the Most Worthwhile Merchandise To Promote: Branded vs. Generic 📦

Must you promote your individual branded merchandise completely on Amazon or generic non-branded objects too? Which results in higher gross sales? Let’s speak about profitable methods utilized by different ECF members.

Promoting non-exclusive SKUs

One ECF member began promoting on Amazon round 11 years in the past. He listed his merchandise on the market on Amazon by matching them with current ASINs (Amazon Normal Identification Quantity) of comparable merchandise already listed on Amazon. This technique allowed him to piggyback off the prevailing demand and visitors for these merchandise with out having to create a singular product itemizing from scratch. By doing so, he may learn the way the Amazon platform labored and generate further income and revenue with minimal effort.

From his perspective, it’s attainable to have good gross sales on Amazon for non-branded merchandise—however you shouldn’t make it your main enterprise mannequin.

I’d say out of the 10-15 or so of these merchandise over the previous 5 years, 50% of them have been very profitable for a short while (1 12 months or much less), 20% have been full let-downs, and 20-30% are nonetheless promoting on Amazon (US) very robust.

ECF Member

His recommendation for itemizing non-branded merchandise: Photographs and titles are essential for product listings, and setting your product aside from rivals could make a distinction. However, select your product rigorously, as your account’s maturity and observe report might also influence product rankings.

🔥 Sizzling tip: Use an Amazon itemizing optimization instrument like Helium10 that can assist you enhance each side of your product itemizing to maximise gross sales and increase your rankings.

He talked about that regardless of promoting generic merchandise, they checklist them underneath their model identify to make the most of the advantages of Model Registry and forestall others from becoming a member of the itemizing.

Learn extra: Instance if you’re promoting non-exclusive SKUs (for current ECF members)

Itemizing older merchandise

Isaac Medeiros Founding father of Minikatana determined to promote on Amazon after 2 years of resistance—after he came upon that they had 100k branded searches a month on Amazon. His technique is itemizing older merchandise and saving one of the best stuff for his web site.

We’re solely placing older merchandise on Amazon and preserving the actually great things on our web site. To this point, it’s set to do 7 figures this 12 months with minimal effort from my workforce (the advertising will get accomplished with or with out Amazon).

ECF Member & Founding father of Minikatana Isaac Medeiros

Reader Observe: Lately, Isaac stated they’ve stopped utilizing Amazon. It was an experiment that didn’t work out nicely for them ultimately—primarily as a result of they do drops, and that technique didn’t translate nicely on the platform.

Supply restricted sizes and colours

One other ECF member stated he affords a restricted providing of sizes and colours on Amazon—which may very well be one other good technique to contemplate when you’ve got plenty of SKUs.

Promoting high-end enterprise merchandise

This ECF member recommends branding merchandise for higher management and alternatives within the gross sales course of. Nevertheless, there are nonetheless some alternatives in promoting open-branded merchandise, but it surely comes with potential dangers and volatility.

My private expertise is that there are some alternatives in open-branded merchandise however it is best to attempt branding the place attainable when attainable.

ECF Member

Key takeaways:

  • Good gross sales are attainable for non-branded merchandise, but it surely shouldn’t be the principle enterprise mannequin.
  • Itemizing in opposition to current ASINs can earn income and assist be taught the nuances of the platform.
  • Photographs and titles are important for non-branded product listings, together with product differentiation.
  • Account maturity and observe report might influence product rating.
  • Promote older merchandise on Amazon whereas saving greatest ones in your web site.
  • Providing a restricted vary of sizes/colours on Amazon may work when you’ve got many SKUs.
  • Aggressive pricing is essential with out model differentiation to realize an excellent rating.
  • The value ought to be at or beneath the highest listings to have an opportunity at rating.

Amazon Go-to-Market Strategies 🏌️

Two finish methods for home Amazon sellers: fats margin and dominate advertisements, or let-it-ride. The previous entails elevating costs, rebranding, and specializing in advertisements.

The latter entails shutting off advertisements solely, with one large caveat: most people having success with this have a robust model presence exterior of Amazon, an already dominant product, or a particularly distinctive product that can not be simply replicated.

Amazon Order Achievement Concerns 🚚

Most entrepreneurs start promoting on Amazon by creating a non-public label product and utilizing Amazon FBA, which 86% of sellers favor. In comparison with 37% preferring FBM (Achievement by Service provider). And based mostly on some ECF members experiences, FBA is best for gross sales.

FBA will double your gross sales based mostly on what we’ve seen through the years.

ECF Member

One other ECF member completely makes use of FBM as a result of their giant variety of SKUs, though they lately launched some FBA productsm which already signify ~5% of their Amazon gross sales. 

Some key factors:

  • Non-public label sellers favor FBA, whereas dropshippers and handmade artisans favor FBM.
  • FBA sellers usually spend extra upfront on stock funding.
  • FBA permits for totally distant ecommerce companies.
  • FBM sellers can begin promoting sooner than FBA sellers.
  • FBM sellers normally have bigger product catalogs than FBA sellers.
  • 22% of FBM sellers use a mix of FBM and FBA.

However from buyer scams to A-Z claims, there’s a irritating facet to promoting on Amazon—regardless of which achievement methodology you select.

After promoting on Amazon for a few years, this vendor shares his rising frustration with promoting on Amazon, citing buyer scams and A-Z claims as frequent complications. 

  • In a single occasion, a buyer returned a $250 FBA merchandise with an older, broken model of the product and one other vendor’s sticker on it, however his declare was unsuccessful. 
  • In one other case, USPS misplaced a seller-fulfilled merchandise, prompting an A-Z declare from the client. Though he shortly resolved the problem by refunding and sending a brand new merchandise, Amazon nonetheless marked his account negatively.

To carry you out of the rabbit gap of achievement experiences, keep in mind this: Scams and claims can nonetheless happen, no matter whether or not you select FBA or FBM. It’s essential to weigh the professionals and cons of every choice and select the one which aligns along with your objectives and desires. Keep knowledgeable about potential dangers and issues that will come up whereas promoting on Amazon.

It’s Not One or the Different: Preserving Your Eggs in A number of Baskets ⚖️

SMB sellers utilizing a multichannel technique for on-line gross sales are growing and anticipated to proceed in 2023. 61% of Amazon SMB sellers bought on not less than one different channel in 2022, up from 58% within the earlier 12 months. 

An ECF member thought-about pivoting to Amazon by shutting down his Shopify retailer, however acquired recommendation from discussion board members in opposition to it.

Context: He proposed a method to simplify and scale his enterprise by shutting down his Shopify retailer and transferring all weblog content material to his WP website. He deliberate to ship merchandise on to Amazon FBA, use electronic mail advertising and their WP website to extend visitors and gross sales on Amazon, and ahead the model URL to the Amazon retailer. He additionally deliberate to promote on a number of marketplaces and create a store web page on their WP weblog to hyperlink to every market, believing this is able to get rid of the issue of shoppers getting data from their website however shopping for merchandise from Amazon and allow them to outmaneuver Chinese language rivals.

As an alternative: You wish to have a various enterprise technique and never be too leveraged to Amazon.

Do Amazon and your shopify retailer. Do Amazon to pay the payments and scale. Then use that Amazon cash to construct a model off Amazon.

ECF Member

You need to be testing issues. Check sending stock into FBA, check vendor fulfilled. Check purchase with Prime. Check all of it and see what’s the cost-benefit.

ECF Member

However others have chosen to remain off.

I’ve chosen to remain off Amazon for these causes: I wish to personal my buyer information, I would like management over the shopper expertise, and returns and critiques are in my management.

ECF Member

Success Tales: Journeys Into And/Or Out Of Amazon 🚀

Listed here are some manufacturers which have skilled success by both getting into or leaving the Amazon platform. 

Tarriss Journey Gear—Moved away from Amazon

Tarriss Journey Gear began on Amazon in 2014 with a $6,000 funding and a single non-public label product. In 4 years, they reached seven figures, with 90% of gross sales coming from Amazon. However in 2018, they determined to diversify and transfer away from Amazon.

We’ve lastly kicked the Amazon behavior like we’ve been making an attempt to do for years now. Amazon accounted for lower than 20% of our income. Immediately, it accounts for 0%. Simply this morning we closed a deal to promote Tarriss Journey Gear finishing our journey into and out of Amazon.

TouchUpDirect—Adjusted their Amazon reliance

TouchUpDirect initially centered on Amazon, however they later diversified their gross sales channels. They presently have a 75/25 break up between their web site and Amazon, with a method in place to develop their Amazon enterprise whereas defending their eCommerce enterprise, corresponding to solely providing their prime colours on Amazon. They’ve had success with FBM and plan to exchange all FBM gross sales with FBA sooner or later.

Animalhouse Health—Branching Out to Amazon & Preserving Shopify Retailer

ECF member Paul Jackson, founding father of Animalhouse Health, completely bought on Shopify for 2 years. Lately, they determined to launch on Amazon to succeed in new clients with out affecting their DTC gross sales. Their primary product MonkeyFeet already has some search quantity and copycat variations on the platform—so their ultimate aim is to rise above these rivals. Nevertheless, they’re nonetheless within the technique of launching on Amazon and haven’t evaluated its worthiness but.

Paul shared some perception into what he realized lately from eCommerceFuel stay

  • Doing FBA as a substitute of simply FBM utilizing our current 3PL. Apparently, FBA converts 2-4x in addition to FBM, which is difficult to move up!
  • Working some primary PPC advertisements with the intention to seize branded visitors. We haven’t dove into this fairly but, however that is on the agenda.

In case you are pondering whether or not to chunk the Amazon bullet, AnimalHouse Health’ journey is one to look at!

Ultimate Ideas: Is Promoting On Amazon Value It?

There’s no single definitive reply as to if it is best to promote on Amazon or not. It’s pure to really feel protecting of your model, so as a substitute of going all-in, attempt dipping your toes with one or two merchandise to see the way it goes. You by no means know till you attempt.

Need extra? Entry practically 3,000 Amazon-Particular Discussions Inside ECF

If you’d like extra sources and recommendation from different entrepreneurs in your footwear, be a part of our group of 7-8-figure model homeowners. All our members are vetted practitioners—not distributors or freshmen—making certain everybody has a deep, significant eCommerce expertise to share.

Courtney Goudswaard

Publish by Courtney Goudswaard

Courtney Goudswaard is a contract author for eCommerce and associated SaaS manufacturers. She approaches her craft in a journalistic setting, delivering evidence-backed, action-packed, and easy-to-understand content material that retains your readers hooked. Join together with her through or on Twitter @courtig



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