While many e-commerce business owners see Amazon as their fierce competition, the best thing they can do for their brand is to use the successes and failures of this online giant to learn about which selling tactics are advantageous, offer users a favored customer experience and lead to the highest amount of sales. So, continue reading this blog if you’re interested in discovering the pros and cons of Amazon and understanding how consumers like to shop.
What is Amazon and how did the company get its start?
Amazon is an American multinational company that’s based out of Seattle, Washington. Featuring the world’s largest online marketplace, the businesses primarily focus is on e-commerce, cloud computing, digital streaming, and artificial intelligence, and alongside well-known brands like Google, Apple, and Facebook, Amazon is considered to be one of the Big Four technology companies.
The company was founded by Jeff Bezos in Bellevue, Washington, on July 5, 1994. Commencing as an online marketplace for books, Amazon expanded to start selling electronics, software, video games, apparel, furniture, food, toys, and jewelry. However, of the many achievements in recent years, Amazon’s two-day delivery service, Amazon Prime, has managed to surpass 100 million subscribers worldwide. Not only do customers get to enjoy fast, professional service year-round with their subscription, but they also get to take advantage of Prime Day, an annual event that’s exclusive to subscribers, delivering 48 hours of premium savings on popular site items.
Why has Prime Day proven so successful?
While ‘2020s Prime Day has been temporarily postponed, there’s still a lot that can be learned about the company and its e-commerce success. For starters, while there are many pros and cons of selling on Amazon, Prime Day has proven to be a great success, with “a record number of shoppers purchas[ing] more than 175 million items during the two-day event [in 2019]”. Also, members from within 18 countries shopped — doubling the number of countries participating in the first Prime Day in 2018.
Similarly, to how Black Friday is hosted right before the shopping season, Prime Day usually comes before the back-to-school season, where people are on the hunt for bargains and are needing to make purchases.
How can e-commerce business owners learn from the success of Amazon?
While you don’t need a Prime membership to purchase from Amazon’s website, you do need one to participate in Prime Day; and while the day of deals might feel like a reward, receiving free two-day shipping, same-day or one-day delivery in select areas, Prime Video, Prime Music, and Prime Reading also stacks up as the benefits of paid membership.
Today, Amazon nets upwards of $100 billion a year in revenue, so what lessons could small businesses learn from this titan in the technology industry?
- Know your customers: Since Amazon does a great job of understanding customer preferences and using that information to increase sales, perhaps that could translate to your website? To break things down, when you shop on Amazon, you may notice pronounced sections like “recommended items” or “customers who bought this item also bought this item”. These suggestions are based on your past purchases and are designed to effortlessly upsell to the consumer.
- Remember to experiment: Technology allows us to test out different strategies to see what might work for our brand. So, with a little planning, you can also find innovative ways to be profitable, like offering free shipping on orders over a certain price, monthly subscription plans, and more.
- Recurring revenue is the way to go: Amazon has mastered the online subscription model, so sometimes rather than throwing money into ads and traffic, they invest in converting consumers into long-term, loyal customers. This way they acquire the customer to guarantee ongoing revenue, which is likely why items like food and households are also bought alongside furniture and electronics, making Amazon marketplace the one-stop-shop for all your buying needs.
How to sell on Amazon?
You’re probably wondering, “is selling on Amazon worth it?”, “what are the downsides to having an Amazon business account?”, and “what are the Amazon marketplace charges that I will have to pay?” As an e-commerce business owner breaking down the barriers of online management, these are all viable questions that need to be answered before you can determine if the cost of selling on Amazon is worth it on top of the costs from your own webpage.
Let’s answer the first inquiry of “How to sell on Amazon”.
- Decide what you want to sell on the platform.
- Choose a selling plan (the cost is dependent on the category of products you’re selling and whether you plan to fulfill your own orders).
- Publish your products by uploading inventory files.
- Sell your products by making them active.
- Ship out your products or allow Amazon to fulfill your customer’s order.
- Get paid by Amazon when a product purchase has been made.
So, now that you understand the simplistic nature of selling on Amazon, now you will need to determine if selling on Amazon is worth it? For most e-commerce business owners, Amazon can provide them with a reliable, selling storefront, a larger amount of traffic opportunities, a secure payment method system, and the shopping experience that they otherwise may have not been able to provide to their customers.
Next, the cost to sell on Amazon is dependent upon the selling plan that you want, which category of products you’re selling, and how you want to fulfill your online orders. While the options are flexible, each business needs to find a combo that works best for their goals. The following options are a toss-up between the Individual Account and the Professional account. The Individual Account does not require a monthly subscription fee, which means that you only pay a small fee when someone buys your item, whereas the Professional Account allows you to improve your brand’s discoverability by providing you with reporting tools and bulk list for one, flat monthly fee.
With everything above to consider, is selling on Amazon worth it, and could you benefit from taking the above pros (visibility, functionality, and security) and cons (cost) of selling on Amazon and translating those investments onto your own e-commerce platforms?
What web development investments can you make to improve your business success without Amazon?
While there are many development elements that Numinix Web Development can complete to assist your business in e-commerce success, the following upgrades are first-rate choices for evolving online businesses.
- Abandonment: When a consumer fills their virtual cart and then closes the tab to save for another visit, this is referred to as shopping cart abandonment. One of the ways that business owners combat this purchasing problem is by sending a friendly reminder to the consumer telling them that they have items in their cart. This is a great method to recover lost sales and is among the many ways that Amazon encourages further shopping.
- Responsive checkout: Have you ever noticed how easy it is to process an order on Amazon? That’s business they want to ensure that every consumer makes it to this step and proceeds to finish the purchase. So, if you want to join the ranks of bigger box businesses, it’s essential to invest in a one-page responsive checkout system. This will help to increase your businesses’ conversion rate and lower the drop-off rate of sales that comes with multi-page checkout methods.
- Social networking: Believe it or not, social networking is a great investment for your online business, allowing consumers to share your products on their social channels as well as within their social messenger apps. These types of plugins support sharing and posting functions, which creates wider visibility and better user experience overall.
What other development elements would be beneficial for those who admire Amazon’s high-performance marketplace? Drop a comment below to start a conversation.