Amazon is the 800-pound gorilla. The Buddha said “life is difficult.” Once we accept the reality of the situation, our efforts ought to be directed at optimizing our success, rather than complaining about any challenges that are presented.
One way to drive sales and visitors to your products is to consider Amazon as a comparison shopping site that can expose your products to lots of potential customers. The cost of gaining such wide exposure on Amazon is reasonably inexpensive – somewhere around $40 per month. Your products will be grouped with similar products, and if you can distinguish yours as superior, you can persuade many new customers that you have the product they need. Of course, if the sale is effected through Amazon, your order may be bundled with other orders, for you to ship your individual products directly to the customer.Amazon is a very large, complex company and not particularly communication-friendly. If you have an issue, you may not be very satisfied with their customer service. This makes it sensible to use a good Channel Management software package to help you load items correctly and simply, especially if you are using your own Amazon store.
Another decision is how to price your product, given that Amazon will determine the shipping price. Can you squeeze a little increase into your price, to make up for the fact that you won’t likely make any money on shipping? Remember, you are on the world’s largest comparison shopping site, so you have to be very careful not to be priced higher than your competitors. Again, using your own Amazon store and taking advantage of a sophisticated Channel Management software will enable you to present your items so that they appear unique and you are not forced to compete with other sellers willing to cut profit to the bone. It’s hard to understand how some sellers offer prices that must be under cost, but time and time again, you see it happen.
If your items are unique and profitable, Amazon is the place for you. If you have nothing but “me too” items, Amazon will be a race to the bottom. $40 per month doesn’t sound like much, but if you’re spending $40 a month to increase the pace at which you lose money, it might not be a very good investment.
Amazon’s pay-per-click ads are another option that can send customers to your store. Roughly, the cost can be up to $0.50 per click for apparel, up to $1.25 per click for electronics, sports equipment up to $1 per click and toys up to $0.25 per click.
Check with Amazon to see if better rates are available. The pay-per-click fee can be expensive, but if you can confidently anticipate a high “close” rate, it might be worthwhile.
Where can you find help navigating the complexities of utilizing Amazon as a sales channel?