Is Amazon the Proper Place to Promote My Merchandise?
From Teddy Smith
Retailers today are turning to online marketplaces to bring their products to a wider audience. A particularly popular marketplace is Amazon. Amazon Prime had a staggering 112 million US users as of January 2020 and has a global reach that no other market can match.
While Amazon offers entrepreneurs a tremendous opportunity in terms of customer reach, how do you know if this is the right place to sell your product? If you are considering doing business on Amazon, here are answers to some common questions.
Is Amazon the right place to sell my premium products?
You buy inexpensive books or kitchen products on Amazon, don’t you? Amazon has traditionally been viewed as a discount store by many premium brands, and because of this, many brands have been reluctant to sell on the platform as they could potentially harm a brand. Another problem premium brands have is the risk of their products being sold on Amazon by hijackers and disreputable third-party sellers and the negative impact this could have on customer perceptions.
Amazon has worked hard not to position itself as a discount store, and many luxury brands have recognized the value of having a presence on Amazon and the ability to reach a huge customer base (especially important at a time when many department stores and malls are operating on the all over the world are blocked). Beauty brands are a great example of this. Many high-end brands like Stila and Elizabeth Arden are reporting spikes in sales during the pandemic
Amazon alternative? If you have any reservations about selling on Amazon, an alternative is to sell from your own website, where you have complete control over your brand and customer experience. You might also consider niche markets like Aftcra, which specialize in American handcrafted goods. The total number of customers might not be that big, but you will reach an audience that is more likely to be looking for similar products.
Is Amazon the right place to sell my handcrafted products?
Before 2017 the answer would have been no. For a long time, consumers associated Amazon with mass-produced generics, but then Amazon launched Handmade on Amazon.
Amazon Handmade is a store for customers looking for unique, handcrafted products. It offers more than 1 million handcrafted items. Amazon protects the quality of this category by asking sellers to meet a strict list of criteria.
Amazon alternative? Etsy is the obvious alternative to Amazon Handmade. Etsy has over 35 million buyers, all of whom are looking for unique craft products. Etsy may also be cheaper for some sellers because it charges lower commission fees, although it does charge listing fees and the listings have expiration dates (unlike Amazon Handmade). Many brands sell their products to the best of both worlds on both platforms.
Is Amazon the Right Place to Sell Expensive Products?
Amazon used to be the place where consumers could find their favorite products at a low price. Offering customers good value for money is at the heart of what Amazon offers. Many companies offer product discounts and coupons to help them stay competitive.
This is one of the reasons so many consumers use Amazon as a price comparison tool. A survey found that 66% of US consumers typically search for new products on Amazon, compared to 20% on search engines like Google.
So is it worth selling high-ticket items on Amazon? Surprisingly, it can be. On Amazon, you can find brands that sell high-end exercise equipment, expensive technology, art, and even memorabilia – and that do really well in the market. While there are plenty of bargain hunters on Amazon, there are plenty of shoppers who use Amazon to find exclusive products that may be harder to find in retail stores.
The key is to make sure that your product lists are fully optimized so that the quality of your products is clearly indicated. This means using high quality lifestyle images and writing convincing copies so that customers can feel confident about the product they are buying.
Amazon alternative? If you’re not convinced about selling premium products on Amazon, you might prefer to sell from your own website, where you can target a select audience and provide a high-end experience. You can also market your products through one of the many niche markets. Houzz, which carries a wide range of homeware brands, and Poshmark, which showcases a wide range of fashion labels, are two good examples.
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Is Amazon the Right Place to Sell Great Products?
If you look at the Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA) fees and storage fees that Amazon charges for large, oversized products, plus shipping costs, you can decide that large products just aren’t worth selling and you’d rather fulfill items yourself. But don’t write off FBA right now – it all depends on your margins.
If you sell high priced items, such as high quality coffee tables or armchairs, you may be able to absorb the higher fees and still make a substantial profit. The other thing to consider is that if you are selling large, oversized products, you will face far less competition since most sellers stick to small, lightweight products and your advertising costs will likely be lower.
Amazon alternative? If selling your great products on Amazon isn’t economical for your brand, it might be better to sell through your own website that doesn’t incur any fees. Another option is eBay, which has a large customer base and lower fees.
Is Amazon Right For You?
Amazon isn’t the right platform for all brands and products, but it’s worth considering, given the size of its huge global customer base. The website has changed a lot in the past few years – it has shaken off its discount store origins and is now targeting a wider range of consumers with different preferences and budgets. However, if it doesn’t suit your business, there are other marketplaces that might be better for you.
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About the author
Contribution by: Teddy Smith
Teddy Smith is an e-commerce consultant and founder of AceListing, a management and product listing service for Amazon sellers.
Connect with me on Facebook and LinkedIn.