You have been successfully selling online through your webshop for many years now on your local market, and suddenly something happens that can turn the market upside down: Amazon sets up shop in your country. What do you do? Ignore it, try to fight it from the sideline, or join forces with it and go with the tide?
You have been successfully selling online through your webshop for many years now, but lately things are stagnating and you feel the need to expand to other geographical markets. What do you do? Set up shop in each market and deal with the increasing complexity, or go with a powerful international platform such as Amazon that allows you to sell globally?
You never sold anything on the web and all the hype about going online finally catches you. Should Amazon be your first choice?
Depending on your business model and the products you sell, the answer in any of these scenarios may or may not be an easy one. But one thing is for sure: Amazon cannot be ignored.
If you choose to partner up with Amazon and you are ready to make an effort for this to be successful, you will need to have your product information organised spot-on. And a few other things too.
For your products to be successful on Amazon, you will need to provide rich, meaningful information about your products, while at the same time respecting Amazon’s data feed rules for each market. To that end, you may need to make significant changes to the way you manage your product data, and set up automations to be able to accurately propagate modifications. And most probably you will find that these inclusions/changes to your digital stack are helping you in other areas of the business as well.
Quick facts about Amazon
- globally recognized e-commerce platform that has a high level of credibility
- it sells over 12 million products
- present in 8 European countries and expanding
- over 70 fulfilment centres across Europe
- over 180.000 sellers in Europe (a quarter of all Amazon sellers), and 50% of them sell globally
- the platform has over 100 million users in Europe alone
- more than 50% of all Amazon sales comes from third-party sellers
- 80% of sellers also sell on other platforms outside of Amazon
- in the U.S. it accounts for more than half of all online sales
- Amazon's biggest European market in 2021 was Germany with 31.6 billion EUR in sales, followed by UK with 27.9 billion EUR
How Amazon works as a selling platform
Amazon is striving to make the consumer experience simple through behind-the-scenes complexity. This complexity concerns the fulfilment and logistics side, but also the inner workings of the customer-facing side which is the online platform. Behind this online platform are very strict rules for the sellers, and a continuous assessment of sellers and their products by Amazon, through big data analysis.
Amazon has a sizeable advantage for the customers, over shopping on individual seller websites: convenience. That means having a very easy, tried and tested means of placing the order, as well as a standard interface for presenting all products, that becomes more and more familiar as you continue using Amazon. You can buy a huge assortment of products from many sellers, Amazon included, without having to register as a user several times, all while using a standard, familiar interface. Plus perks like Amazon Prime, if you’re a regular customer. What’s not to like?
As a seller, you must choose a subscription type and decide which fulfilment method is most convenient to you: done by you or done by Amazon. Then you must list the products you want to sell, with all relevant details, either by creating them from scratch or by choosing from existing products on the platform if that’s the case. It seems quite easy, but it must be done with care and attention to details, and always having in mind Amazon’s way of optimizing sales which we’ll talk about further.
Why it's a good idea to sell on Amazon
Selling on Amazon is no easy task, at least that is what 85% of the sellers are saying. It requires good planning and careful product data handling. But it also comes with the advantages that such a big online platform gives you as a seller, not least of which are platform notoriety and customer trust.
Here are a few perks that you can enjoy as a seller on Amazon:
- option for order fulfilment by Amazon (FBA)
- shipping rates customization
- bulk listing tool
- advertising, deals and coupons
- automated pricing tool
- brand registry tools and benefits
- Amazon selling coach
- business reports
- marketplace web services
Amazon makes use of the most advanced tools for analysing its customer data to bring in more sales: big data, predictive behaviour and machine learning. What’s more, as a seller you can access key user data like what the customers are searching, search word distribution by volume, and others. This allows you to optimize your product pages, but also to come up with new business ideas.
Amazon will give you the opportunity to sell to the entire world. Of course, that will require a bit of effort to send the relevant data to each Amazon site. You will need a capable PIM system to:
a) send data to each Amazon site in its own format as amazon.com, amazon.co.uk, amazon.de, etc., all have different product data requirements to some degree;
b) manage and send appropriate product description localizations according to the target market.
As consumers will gradually realize how convenient it is to shop on Amazon, it will become increasingly difficult for you to sell to them from your own online store. That is another reason why as a business it makes sense to open up shop on Amazon. Yes, you will find a lot of competition there, but at least you will have access to the same weapons as they do, and you will be able to put up a good fight.
Last but not least: putting your products up for sale on Amazon means that you will be well prepared to sell on any other online platform as well. As the song goes: ‘If I’ll make it there, I’ll make it anywhere’.
Optimize your product data for Amazon
Amazon has very strict rules for listing products on its platform. It provides necessary details about these rules upfront, so that sellers have all the information they need when they decide to list their products on Amazon.
When a customer searches for a product, the platform uses algorithms to prioritize suggested results based on such metrics as seller conversion rates, price, customer satisfaction and sales history.
Let us suggest a few optimization tips:
- make sure you have all your product data under control, to ensure you present high-quality product information to your Amazon customers. A good PIM helps a lot in having your product data well sorted, no matter how big your SKU count is.
- special attention must be paid to titles, key product features, product descriptions and images.
- create your listings according to SEO rules.
- focus on winning the Buy Box. You can achieve that by having a good ordering policy, optimal delivery time and positive customer reviews.
- if you operate in several markets, familiarise yourself with each market's specifics and adapt your selling strategy accordingly. For example with select products in the French market, you must have written permission from the manufacturer to be able to sell on Amazon.
- offer free shipping where possible.
- automate data management and transfer as much as possible, including sending product data out to Amazon and receiving sales orders to your system. In order to make it all work seamlessly, a good PIM is a must.
Can Pimics help?
It will help a lot.
In order to be successful in making your products stand out on Amazon and in complying with the platform’s rules for listing products, your optimum path will be to use a good PIM.
Among PIM solutions, Pimics is uniquely positioned to let you take advantage of the intimate ERP integration brought by our PIM-in-ERP concept. Our Amazon integration will not only provide the usual product data feed to Amazon, but also send live prices and stock availability taken first-hand from the ERP. It will also take in customer orders and payments information sent from the Amazon platform, and create the necessary documents in Business Central. This way you will have an end-to-end solution for selling on Amazon, right within your ERP.