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It takes a lot of work to become a successful Amazon seller. Merchants must manage a variety of elements including pricing, shipping logistics, listings, product sourcing, feedback, finances, SEO, advertising, customer service and other key components.
Considering that many eCommerce brands are comprised of a small team (or even a single person), it can seem overwhelming to manage all the tasks. Manually keeping track of it all is just not a sustainable option for most teams. Fortunately, thanks to the influence of the Amazon marketplace, there now exists a myriad of apps and tools that can help manage and maintain every part of a seller’s presence.
Ever since Amazon enabled third-party sellers to access its platform, the number of Amazon tools has grown exponentially. While these products and services can alleviate many cumbersome aspects to selling on Amazon, the sheer number of potential platforms available has created another conundrum for eCommerce sellers —namely how to tell which ones are worth the price tag.
To help Amazon sellers quickly identify the top tools of the trade, we have compiled nine of the most essential services for merchants to leverage for obtaining success on Amazon.
Here are eight must-have tools for dominating your niche on Amazon.
Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA)
Amazon FBA is a service in which sellers can have Amazon store, package, ship and provide customer support for items sold by third-party sellers, all for a nominal monthly fee.
According to a Feedvisor study which surveyed over 1,200 of Amazon’s third-party sellers, those who leverage FBA services tend to be more profitable than those who fulfill their own orders. The company found that the higher a merchant’s profit margins were, the more likely they were to be using Amazon fulfillment services.
There are a variety of reasons as to why this might be. Firstly, when a seller employs FBA, the products included become Prime-eligible, which increases the likelihood of a purchase as Amazon touts over 100 million Prime members. Secondly, when merchants are left to fulfill orders on their own, they are likely to employ a variety of other services or handle things on their own. Each approach can increase costs or lead to bottlenecks in the chain.
For these reasons (and many others), Fulfillment by Amazon is key to ramping up sales.
Amazon Marketing Services (AMS)
As is the norm in the eCommerce ecosystem, advertising is essential to achieving visibility and sales. Fortunately, Amazon provides its own advertising platform, Amazon Marketing Services.
Much akin to Google AdWords, Amazon’s advertising options enable brands to create various types of adverts to promote their products to potential buyers. These ad formats include:
Sponsored Product ads
Sponsored Brands (formerly Headline Search ads)
Product Display ads
These ads enable merchants to target audiences based on keywords, categories or products, and sellers can elect to run manual or automatic campaigns. Because of the effectiveness of these advertisements, Amazon is now the third largest digital ad platform behind Google and Facebook.
Naturally, Amazon also provides merchants with analytics to help monitor and optimize their campaign performance to achieve maximum effectiveness.
MerchantWords is an Amazon keyword research tool that has compiled an extensive database comprised of over one billion keyword searches from real Amazon customers, stemming all the way back to 2012.
What makes this such a useful tool is that, unlike many of the other Amazon-focused keyword tools available, MerchantWords does not rely on guesswork or information from Google, but data from actual Amazon shoppers.
Moreover, MerchantWords utilizes a proprietary AI algorithm to help sift through the billions of data points the company has amassed; it produces an estimated search volume to assist merchants in uncovering keyword opportunities effectively.
This tool can be a healthy addition to optimizing product titles, listings and advertisements.
Effective inventory management is a must for succeeding on Amazon. If a merchant runs out of products, they can lose the Buy Box, which can cause a dramatic drop in organic rankings and a substantial hit to their bottom line.
Therefore, it is vital that sellers (particularly those that take an omnichannel approach) adopt an inventory management software to ensure that they never run out of products.
Skubana is a premier inventory management option that provides multi-channel merchants with one-click integration with platforms like Amazon, eBay and a variety of other marketplaces. However, the key to optimizing this tool lies in volume as retailers should be generating at least 1,000 orders per month. Merchants who are obtaining any less volume simply won’t be capable of maximizing the potential contained within this tool. For those who are driving such volume, Skubana is a vital tool that can help to effectively scale their business.
However, if your Amazon store hasn’t quite reached those levels, then you might consider adopting StitchLabs as this tool also provides seamless omnichannel inventory management, robust reporting and analytics features while maintaining a focus on brand scalability.
Feedback Genius from Seller Labs
Product reviews on Amazon are an incredibly influential element when it comes to driving sales. This concept applies to both established products and newly-launched merchandise.
Consumer reviews substantially affect a product’s discoverability and sales volume on Amazon. For this reason, sellers must be capable of effectively gathering and managing reviews for products.
With Feedback Genius, merchants can automate the entirety of their process for asking for customer reviews. This tool is a massive time-saver, taking nearly all the legwork out of obtaining reviews that can help boost a product’s rankings and sales volume, all while remaining 100 percent compliant with Amazon’s terms of service.
Moreover, using Feedback Genius, sellers can set up notifications for positive and negative reviews, so that they can address situations as they arise, making sure that nothing that can negatively impact a product’s performance slips through the cracks.
While Amazon is a powerful channel for brands to scale their businesses, the platform isn’t without its pitfalls. Because of fraudulent items and unauthorized resellers “hijacking” product listings, many merchants find that when unmonitored, Amazon’s marketplace can do considerable damage to their brand. In fact, forearm forklift counterfeits nearly collapsed the brand.
Since brands can have a hard time remaining diligent about such risks while still trying to grow their business, it is wise to employ a security solution such as AMZAlert.
With AMZAlert, third-party sellers can receive continuous monitoring for all their ASINs. AMZAlert provides users with instant notifications on scammers, Buy Box hijackings, bad reviews, product suppression, product listing alerts, cease and desist letter management and tons of other protective features.
AMZAlert offers several package tiers that dictate levels of security, though the “Start-Up” package provides most of the essentials. Naturally, as more comprehensive packages are purchased, sellers will receive ever-more encompassing features and management tools.
When it comes to succeeding on Amazon, brands must be diligent about protecting their profits.
For Amazon sellers who are not interested in adopting a handful of powerful tools but desire an all-in-one solution to meet the majority of their needs, there’s Sellics.
Sellics is a massively popular and incredibly useful tool that combines some of the most pertinent aspects of selling on Amazon into a single platform. With this tool, retailers can manage and optimize PPC, SEO, inventory management, reviews, product research and reviews from a single destination.
What makes this tool a standout service is that Sellics takes a store’s metrics and data and translates that information into actionable tasks a merchant can take to improve their performance.
Sellics provides merchants with sales data, product tracking information, keywords and analytics, split testing functionality, PPC management and incredible depth for each silo.
Moreover, Sellics offers two versions of its platform: one for Amazon sellers (called “Seller Edition”) and another explicitly designed for vendors (dubbed “Vendor Edition”). With each version, users are sure to have the tools they need to succeed. Plus, they can lower their investment costs by utilizing a single tool for various aspects instead of leveraging a dedicated platform for individual functions.
Amazon is such a fruitful platform for sellers because of its scale and reach, with millions of consumers turning to the platform each day. Moreover, third-party sellers can legitimately create an international business through Amazon. However, with various rules and regulations applying to different areas of the globe, selling products worldwide can be a sticky endeavor.
Fortunately, services like WorldFirst help sellers to set up an Amazon receiving bank account for receiving money in a variety of overseas markets without fees or monthly charges.
With services like WorldFirst, going global just got that much easier.
Amazon’s third-party sellers stand the greatest chance of success when employing powerful tools that help to automate and augment their business efforts. By leveraging the tools listed here, retailers can spend less time managing the more banal and tedious aspects of their store and invest more into the high-impact areas that will help their listings dominate the Amazon SERPs and crush the competition.
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Ronald Dod is the Chief Marketing Officer and Co-founder of Visiture, an end-to-end eCommerce marketing agency focused on helping online merchants acquire more customers through the use of search engines, social media platforms, marketplaces, and their online storefronts. His passion is helping leading brands use data to make more effective decisions in order to drive new traffic and conversions.
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