Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA) has made it possible for virtually everyone to become an Amazon seller. With the number of benefits on the table – low startup costs, Amazon’s shipping and customer service, and a proven platform – it’s easy to see why so many decide to sell on Amazon.
However, before you can start dreaming of those lucrative profits that are available, there’s one aspect you have to pay careful attention to: the products you want to sell. If you make the wrong product decisions, forget about any potential profits – all you’ll be faced with are storage costs and items you cannot shift.
To ensure that doesn’t become a reality, here’s how to make the right picks when selling products on Amazon.
See What’s Selling on Amazon
It’s an obvious starting point yet don’t be surprised at how many new Amazon sellers forget to put in their research on the platform. The first thing you want to do is gain an understanding of customer trends on Amazon. You may have sourced an excellent product at a rock bottom price, but this counts for nothing if there are no customers interesting in clicking that “Buy” box.
There are a number of ways to find out what’s generating major sales figures. The easiest place to begin is by looking at the best-sellers page for a specific product category. If your desire is to, say, sell your own custom leggings, you can see which leggings are currently pulling in the most purchases right now. By doing this, you gain a clearer picture of what style, color, price, and so on are currently hitting the mark for customers.
However, it’s important you don’t only base your decisions around the best-sellers list. You might see products in that #1 spot in a specific category, but that doesn’t necessarily mean they are a hot seller. This is why it’s essential you also analyze the Best Sellers Rank (BSR). The BSR accounts for both historical and recent sales of an item. As a result, the higher the BSR, the more in-demand it currently is on Amazon.
There’s also the Amazon Trend Report you can view. If you scroll go down to the bottom of the Trend Report’s page, you’ll notice the “Trending Products” section. This gives you a quick – and informative – insight into what’s currently hitting the mark with consumers on Amazon.
Select Categories That Have Multiple High BSR Scores
Going back to BSR, finding one item within a category that has a high BSR is a good sign. It indicates this product on Amazon is generating searches, sales, and is a viable option for your business to follow.
Or is it?
It may indicate this is an untapped market for you to target. That’s possible. However, it could also mean that one Amazon seller already has a stranglehold over the entire category, where their product is the only one that customers are interested in purchasing. In that situation, you could have a troublesome inventory management situation on your hands as you try and shift unsold stock.
Instead of those that only have one outright BSR leader, you should decide on categories that currently feature multiple products with a high BSR. The reason for this is simple: it demonstrates that users are not only fixated on a single product. They’re willing to peruse and decide between multiple items before making their purchase. When selling products on Amazon, you have to find a demand that you can harness – and a category with multiple high BSR scores is one way of doing that.
Before you make that private label purchase and have a load of stock heading in your direction, another key step is to conduct keyword research. This is another method to gain proof that products you intend to sell have a certain level of demand. If the search volume is high, you have a potential hit on your hands.
Keyword research is also useful because it helps with discovering current trends. Going back to the leggings example, if you decide to do a search in this category, it could reveal that people are searching for “black gym leggings.” This type of long-tail keyword could be a potential goldmine for brand owners. While a generic “leggings” search is likely to pull in hundreds of thousands of results, “black gym leggings” will pull in a fraction of that – but your keyword research shows it’s a lucrative and less competitive avenue to go down.
When selling products on Amazon, one thing that makes it stand out from running a regular eCommerce business is that you benefit from Amazon’s vast resources. With your Amazon seller account, you can send in your products to one of their fulfillment centers and directly benefit from Amazon Prime and Amazon’s stellar customer service.
Yet as an Amazon seller, you have to decide on which items are worthwhile to send to Amazon. The reason for this is simple: fulfillment fees. Even with a seller account, Amazon won’t store your items in their warehouse for free. You are charged based on the size and weight of the product. Long-term fees can also apply if the items are sat around for too long.
With these fees in mind, it’s essential you avoid sending products that are big, heavy, and cheap. You might generate sales, but the expenses will cut into any profits made.
Receive Assistance From an Amazon Consultant
One of the best ways to guarantee you’re making a safe product pick is to receive guidance from an expert Amazon seller consultant. An Amazon consultant possesses the knowledge, experience, and research skills to know what products will work for an Amazon business and which ones are best avoided.
Of course, an Amazon consultant isn’t just there to help you decide on items to sell. For instance, you may have picked a potentially money-spinning product, but sales numbers are currently stagnating. Why? Well, it could be due to a lackluster product listing.
With an Amazon consultant in your corner, they will be able to add the correct product details – as well as incorporate keywords that generate searches – for the listing. As well as upgrading the product detail page, they also understand how to entice those all-important customer reviews. The more positive reviews your product has, the more social proof is gained – and the more sales you will ultimately generate.
Ryan Flannagan is the Founder & CEO of Nuanced Media, an international eCommerce marketing agency specializing in Amazon. Nuanced has sold $100s of Millions online and Ryan has built a client base representing a total revenue of over 1.5 billion dollars. Ryan is a published author and has been quoted by a number of media sources such as BuzzFeed, CNBC, and Modern Retail.