Long before the internet, retail was well established as one of the most competitive industries to enter. The internet has given new entrepreneurs the ability to launch their business with more ease, but it can still be difficult to find a foothold.
Even though there are tens of thousands of retail websites online, a few major brands continue to dominate, much like traditional high street retail. By some distance, Amazon is the largest online retailer of all.
The simple truth is that very few companies will ever be able to compete with Amazon. So why bother? The best thing that you can do if you want to start an online retail business from home is to get involved with the Amazon brand and turn it to your advantage.
Read on to learn the basics of getting up radio and running with your own Amazon business. You’ll find out that by treating Amazon as an ally, not a rival, you too can start earning a great living from home.
Why Start An Amazon Business?
Understanding how you should sell products in the retail environment means understanding what customers look for when they buy them.
Of course, every customer looks for the highest quality products at the lowest possible prices. If you can offer something truly innovative, or enter an existing sector with lower prices, you can certainly attract a large amount of interest in your business.
But this interest is only worthwhile if it turns into revenue. Unfortunately, this means a big leap of confidence for your visitors.
Online security is better than ever, but retail trust is about far more than stolen credit cards. In fact, it can take years for potential customers to learn that you offer good products, you package them well, you dispatch them on time and you follow up with great customer service.
Amazon is the biggest online retailer because it is a brand that customers trust. If you’re selling on Amazon, they’ll trust you too.
How Does Selling On Amazon Work?
First, you need to sign up for a seller account with Amazon. There are two types of account available.
The standard Basic Seller Account is free, and offered to those retailers that sell less than 35 items a month. Products can be listed in up to 20 different categories, and you will simply pay a fee for each product sold. A significant limitation, though, is that you can only sell products that are already for sale on Amazon.
As your business grows, you may want to upgrade to a Pro Seller Account. This type of account is charged at £25 per month, but includes the ability to create new products, and sell them across up to 25 different categories.
For more information on the types of account available, visit amazon.co.uk/services
What Can You Sell On Amazon?
As with any retail business, the first step in successful Amazon selling is deciding on your products. Amazon now has categories for just about anything. Generally, you have three types of products that you can sell on Amazon – which one is right for you?
Products That You Make – If you have a great product idea, or even just a talent for creating new things, your products could fill a niche on Amazon. With little or no competition, these kinds of products are potentially lucrative – but it’s incredibly difficult to be original!
Products From Wholesalers – The traditional retail business model, you could source products from wholesalers or manufacturers and sell them with a mark-up on Amazon. But beware – having stock shipped to your home address usually means buying high volumes of stock in advance! If you plan to use this method, consider drop shipping, where stock is dispatched directly from the wholesaler.
Used Goods – From second-hand books to DVDs, many sellers earn a living from reselling used goods. When a customer searches Amazon for a product, they will see your more affordable used version.
The best kind of product for you will depend on your talents, your goals, and the kind of products that you have access too. It’s great advice to simply make a choice – spend less time considering your first products and more time working on promoting your Amazon business.
One Amazon seller, Tedric P, did exactly this. He started out by selling video games and consoles that he would buy from high street retailers that were shutting down their stores. Now, his products cover numerous categories and he is earning 30% more than he was in his full-time job!
Choose Your Preferred Order Fulfilment Method
When you have selected your products, it is time to think about how you will get these products to your customers. Never rush head-first into selling without getting a clear idea of how the entire process will work.
When you start selling on Amazon, you have a range of options for fulfilment. Each has its own advantages and your choice will depend on the kind of products you are selling.
First, you can keep your business in-house and send out products yourself. This adds to your own workload, but in the early days of your work-from-home business is usually the best method. Another great advantage of keeping distribution in-house is that you can retain control of your orders, reduce your costs, and even include promotional materials with your packages.