How to Get Your Product into Amazon
In just about 24 years, Amazon has gone from a small startup company that sold used books to the world´s largest online retailer. Launched in 1995, Jeff Bezos knew that the e-commerce marketplace was set to explode, and quickly moved to transform his used book platform into an “everything store” that would be in prime position to establish itself as a leading e-commerce platform. In 2018, Amazon generated $232.9 billion in revenue and compiled a net income growth of 30.9 percent.
These numbers are good news for Mr. Bezos. Still, it is also worth mentioning that almost half of all sales on Amazon come from third-party sellers who use Amazon marketplaces to sell an incredibly diverse selection of products. Today there are roughly five million sellers on Amazon, and their collective product sales totaled $118.57 billion in 2017. With Amazon purchasing Whole Foods in 2017, an increased interest in healthy, wholesome food alternatives has created a niche market within the Amazon marketplace. Companies and brands that make and market low carb, keto, grain-free, and paleo food alternatives should certainly consider selling their product on an e-commerce platform that averages around 306 transactions per second. Below, we offer a step-by-step guide to help you understand how the Amazon marketplace works and how you can get your product into Amazon and in front of the eyes of millions of potential customers from around the world.
How to Get Your product into Amazon and Start Selling
The first thing that you will need to do to get your product into Amazon is to set up a seller´s account on Amazon.com. Fortunately, Amazon as a company thrives by increasing the number of sellers and the diversity of products that it offers to its consumers. Thus, the setup process is relatively straightforward and detailed in simple steps below.
- If you don’t have an account with Amazon (as a consumer), you´ll first need to sign up by visiting their home page at https://www.amazon.com/.
- Once you have an account, visit https://services.amazon.com/ and click on the “Start Selling” button.
- Next, type in the legal name of your company or brand.
- Fill in all relevant information about your business, including your address and phone number.
- You will then receive a text message with a PIN to continue the registration process.
- You will then need to choose a selling plan. Amazon offers two types of plans: Professional and Individual. Professional plans cost $39.99 a month while choosing to “sell as an individual” will only charge you $0.99 per month. As we will explain below, Keto food brands will most likely have to sign up to “sell as a professional.”
- Finish creating your account on Amazon´s “Seller Central” including your bank account information (how you´ll get paid) and your credit card information.
- Once your account is registered, you can start to list products on your Amazon page.
If you are not a U.S. citizen, you can still create a seller´s account with Amazon. You will need to provide your home address where you receive mail, a local phone number, a credit card that can be charged internationally (usually Visa or MasterCard), information from your local bank that supports ACH, or automated clearinghouse. ACH enables your local bank to receive electronic transfer payments from Amazon. Lastly, you will also need to provide a US EIN number, which you can get on this website.
Once your account is set up, there are simple instructions for listing your product(s). Sellers with a professional account will sell get paid bi-weekly, once shipment is confirmed for all items you sell. Your payment is subtracted for your Amazon Seller fees and is directly deposited into your bank account, followed by a confirmation email. To insure shipment, Amazon will notify you when an order is placed. You can either choose to use “fulfillment by Amazon (FBA) for an additional cost or handle shipping yourself for each sale you make.
Specific Considerations for the “Grocery and Gourmet Food” Category
As we mentioned above, merchants on Amazon who are planning to sell grocery and gourmet food products face more rigorous oversight, especially during the signup process. Due to food safety laws and considerations, Amazon requires all sellers of food and grocery products to sign up for a “Pro Merchant” account, which will cost you $39.99 per month. Furthermore, sellers must also provide acceptable documentation and other information regarding the products that you intend to sell on Amazon. Once you submit this initial documentation, Amazon will contact you to ask for additional information. Also, it is worth mentioning that all food products must be new, as Amazon does not allow used products in this category.
While the exact requisites for selling food items on Amazon will be specific to each product, some of the requirements could include:
- Proof of proper packaging, sealing, and labeling.
- License and/or approval from all relevant government agencies for the products you plan to sell.
- Since food is date-sensitive, you will need to have a clearly marked expiration date.
- If you want to sell in the USA, you will need to abide by the FDA Food Labeling and Nutrition requirements, which you can see here.
- Amazon will also require that your food products are sealed in packaging that will keep the product from contamination during shipping.
- If you have hired a separate product manufacturer, you should also list your food products with the manufacturer´s UPC code. You can learn more about that process here. If you are self-manufacturing and don’t have a UPC code, you can check the Amazon Brand Registry for pertinent information.
Strategies for Gaining Visibility for your Product
With your professional subscription, you can easily add large batches of items or products through the usage of the bulk selling tools that Amazon puts at your disposition. However, just because you have your product listed on your Amazon page doesn’t mean that you should expect sales to start pouring in immediately.
Instead of merely waiting for someone to come across your product and make that first purchase, there are three things you can do to improve your sales possibilities.
- Consider automating your listing: If you are a small startup brand with limited product offerings, you can probably dedicate the time to list your products individually. If, however, you have dozens or hundreds of products that are moving quickly off the virtual shelves, consider investing in automated listing software to free up time for you to spend on other aspects of running your business.
- Improve your SEO: While Amazon is a great marketplace, it is also incredibly competitive. To make sure that you are getting your product in front of the eyes of potential customers, spending time developing an Amazon SEO strategy will increase your visibility in the confusing world of e-commerce. SEO strategies include maintaining a blog on your website, strategic use of your brand name in your product listings, and using essential keywords throughout your product listing.
- Invest in High-quality Photography: Good photography is a must when selling on e-commerce platforms and will go a long way to help you convert visits to your Amazon page into sales.
Setting up a Seller´s Account with Amazon is relatively inexpensive and straightforward. However, as with any marketplace, increasing your sales will require dedication, hard work, and a quality marketing strategy. Be sure to check out our other array of business articles that offer insights from Grain-free, Paleo, and Keto Certified brands on how to improve your business strategies!