China is the biggest source of products when we look at Amazon FBA. But there’s no reason you have to source only from China. Other countries also export to the US, and you might want to think about some of the other opportunities out there.Continue reading “Sourcing from around the world”
Let’s just be clear that in this blog post, we’re not going to talk about finding the right product – we’ve covered that elsewhere. We’re going to talk about when you’ve found the right product range, what you do next to find a supplier.Continue reading “Sourcing – Start Small?”
You may be brilliant at spotting new product trends and product improvement ideas. You may be really great at dealing with suppliers and running business strategy. But if your writing skills aren’t that great, your product pages could be letting you down.
Everyone has weak spots. When you start out, you’re probably going to have to do nearly everything yourself. But to get your business on to the next level, you’re going to want to use freelancers to fill in the gaps in your skill set.
Don’t wait till you are run off your feet. You need to have the time to decide which areas to outsource, the time to write a job specification, and the time to interview freelancers. So start thinking well ahead of time.
First, think where are the areas that either you don’t really understand all that well, or where you find it a real effort to get started. You should also think about what areas are taking up too much of your time. And finally, think about where you can make the greatest contribution to the growth of your business. That’s where you ought to concentrate – other tasks can be outsourced.
Thank goodness, there are plenty of consultants in the gig economy who are happy to help you with tasks like
• product description writing;
• SEO and listing optimization;
• customer service – monitoring messages and reviews, and responding;
• inventory management;
• graphical design;
• social media management, creating content;
• product photography;
• product sourcing;
• supplier management;
• advertising campaign management.
Finding freelancers is a breeze. If you don’t know someone personally then you can use one of the freelancer platforms like Upwork (nearly ten million freelancers!), FreeUp (specializing in online business), or Fiverr (for cheapskates since it starts at just $5). Both Upwork and FreeUp have client reviews and rank their freelances, which is extremely helpful in getting the right person.
The more specific you are about exactly what’s needed, about time lines (ten product pages now, or one a month for ten months, are very different things), and about your store branding and where you want to go with the business, the more likely you are to find the right freelances. “I want some stuff written for Amazon” will not get responses from top freelancers; “I want product description pages including A+ content for 20 products aimed at dog owners” is far more likely to get the right writer.
Set up interviews, or chat online, with the freelancers who have the best match to your requirements, and make sure you both understand each other’s requirements and ways of working. Decide whether you are going to treat the project as a one-off job, a project with payment by milestones, or whether this is a pay-per-hour job on an as-required basis.
Make sure you know what software you’re going to use. You may need to give a freelance a log-in to your own inventory management systems, or to share documents on Google Drive. You also need to know what’s the best way to chat to each other – email, Skype, or collaboration tools like Trello. Ensure you have VOIP in case of emergencies.
Finally, make sure your freelancers understand where you want your business to go. For instance, you might point to your competitors’ business and say “I want our products to be better than theirs,” or “how can I get a better sales ranking than them?” Or you might say “I want my store to be the go-to store for stationery addicts on Amazon, can you help me get there?”
The more your freelancers understand your business, the better they’ll be able to help you – and the further your business will go.
If you’re like most people you haven’t even begun to think about Christmas yet. You might have had a few thoughts about replacing some of your older computer kit on Black Friday, but that’s about all.Continue reading “Looking forward to the holiday season”
One Amazon seller was already selling stationery and fountain pens, and looking for new products. Glass pens, with beautiful colored spirals in the glass, seemed like a really interesting new product.Continue reading “How returns destroy your profit – and how to avoid them”
A lot of the time, when you start out as an Amazon vendor, or when you introduce a new product, you’re reinventing the wheel.Continue reading “Things to learn from your competitors”
Amazon’s search engine includes quite a number of different inputs. For instance, it includes your sales velocity and your historic sales – which gives you no help at all if you’re just starting out. It also includes your conversion rate – that is, the percentage of people who click on your product page and then go on to buy the product.Continue reading “Higher conversion rates boost your search ranking”
If you have to open your own store or create your own website and delivery service, you’ll have big costs – rental, insurance, and labor. If you’re importing as well, it can take up a lot of time and a lot of effort and cost. That’s why many businesses prefer to use FBA.Continue reading “Lower fulfillment cost = higher profit”
If you are doing things right, you’re building your brand outside Amazon as well as within the platform. You have a blog, you have a Facebook page, you Tweet, you’re on Instagram. Your branding is consistent and it’s working.
But do you know how your competitors’ brands are positioned? It’s time to take a look.Continue reading “Check Your Competitors Social Media”
Competitor analysis used to be easy. There were maybe five or six major competitors and you knew who they were.
But now there are literally thousands of sellers joining the Amazon marketplace every day. (That’s right; not every month, or even every week – every single day.) It’s much less easy to keep an eye on them.Continue reading “Keeping a watch on the competition”