Find out how a partnership with Amazon could be a lucrative move for your business.
With its imminent arrival down under, Amazon is set to transform the Australian retail market. But while much of the media coverage surrounding Amazon’s arrival has predicted that it will spell doom and gloom for many local companies, the US giant’s move into the Australian marketplace provides a wealth of opportunities for local businesses to flourish.
Here’s how you can grow your business and increase profits by partnering with Amazon.
How can my business sign up for Amazon in Australia?
How can your business sell on Amazon? Well, until Amazon launches in Australia, which most experts predict will occur in late 2017 or early 2018, you can’t actually start selling through the local version of the online giant.
However, you can take some simple steps now to ensure that you’re ready to take advantage of Amazon’s arrival. The first thing your business can do is register to sell your products when Amazon Marketplace goes live.
To sign up, simply provide your:
- Company name
- Email address
- Phone number
- Company website (optional)
The next step will be to create a seller account so you can start targeting new customers as soon as Amazon launches in Australia. Although it’s too early to create a seller account on Amazon Australia, make sure you’re ready to sign up as soon as Amazon starts accepting businesses.
When creating an account, you will first need to select one of the following options:
- Sell as an individual. This option is for businesses that plan to sell less than 40 items a month, and comes with fewer fees.
- Sell as a professional. This option is for businesses that plan to sell more than 40 items a month. Selling as a professional allows you to sell a wider range of products and take advantage of bulk listing tools, but you’ll also need to pay a monthly subscription fee.
You’ll then need to provide the following information:
- Your name and your business name
- Business address, Australian Business Number (ABN) and contact details
- Business credit card details and bank account information
- Your phone number
You can then upload product listings and start selling to a whole new market of consumers.
What is Amazon Marketplace?
Amazon Marketplace allows businesses and sole traders to list their products for sale on Amazon. By paying a fee, your business can tap into Amazon’s existing infrastructure, giving you the potential to reach a much wider audience of buyers and also take advantage of Amazon’s shipping systems and customer service.
Why should my business sign up to Amazon?
Why should you sell on Amazon? There are several important reasons:
- Increase sales. By taking advantage of Amazon’s global reach, you could boost sales and increase business profits.
- Find new customers. Amazon has a huge online presence and can help you reach an astronomical number of customers. In the US alone, Amazon has more than 150 million unique monthly visitors.
- Easy e-commerce. If you don’t know much about web development or about selling online, Amazon makes it simple and convenient to get started in the world of e-commerce. In other words, you can access a new sales channel without having to go through the process of creating your own website.
- Available to businesses of all sizes. You don’t need to be a big business to sell on Amazon. Everyone from sole traders and small startups through to well-known household names can sell through Amazon Marketplace.
- Fulfillment by Amazon. The Fulfillment by Amazon system allows you to warehouse your products with Amazon, which then ships them out when an order is received. It’s fast and convenient, and it removes the need for you to worry about logistics and shipping.
How to manage a business on Amazon
New to Amazon? The world of e-commerce can be confusing and intimidating at first, so keep the following tips in mind to help your business make the most of the advantages Amazon offers:
- Featured Merchant Status. Featured Merchants are the most visible sellers on Amazon, gaining premium listing locations in or below the Buy Box (box at the top of the page where customers can directly add products to their shopping carts). To attain this status you will need to sign up as a professional seller and then maintain a high customer satisfaction rating.
- Monitor your inventory. Remember to always keep an eye on the amount of inventory you have for your top-selling products, as Amazon takes the amount of inventory into account when determining which products are listed in the Buy Box.
- Remember your global audience. Speaking of inventory, remember that different products will experience varying levels of demand in different countries depending on the season. For example, if you’re selling swimwear online, while demand from Australian customers may be high from October through to February, you could also experience increased demand from northern-hemisphere customers during their summer.
- Learn about the fee structure. Check the fees that apply when selling on Amazon and remember to factor them into your calculations when working out the cost of doing business. If your business operates on very low margins, selling on Amazon may not be a viable option.
- Managing shipping. While you may be able to easily manage to pack and ship the number of orders your business currently receives, would you be able to cope with increased demand if your sales rise? It may be well-worth considering whether you should sign up for Fulfillment by Amazon, which is Amazon’s process for warehousing and shipping your product and also taking care of customer service and returns.
What else can I do to prepare my business for Amazon’s arrival?
- Do your research. Keep an eye out for Amazon Marketplace seller summits and other events designed to help retailers learn about selling on Amazon. There’s also plenty of useful information online about how Amazon works and how sellers can get more out of this online platform.
- Sign up for the US site. Don’t wait for Amazon to arrive in Australia; you can sign up as a seller on the US platform now. By familiarising yourself with how the site works, you’ll be well placed to hit the ground running when it launches in Australia.
- Fine-tune your brand. While Amazon provides global reach it also means increased competition, so think about how you will make your products stand out from the rest. Pricing is obviously a key factor, but working out exactly what you want your brand to represent – and how to communicate that message to consumers – is crucial.
- Get ready for launch. If you want to sell on Amazon, register for Amazon Marketplace now and prepare yourself for the arrival of the US giant. If you’re ready to list and sell your products as soon as the Australian site goes live, the increased visibility and customers you attract in the first weeks and months could make a huge difference to your bottom line.