The Ultimate Guide to Selling on Amazon in 2024

In 2024, Amazon‘s dominance in the ecommerce space shows no signs of slowing down. The stats speak for themselves:

  • Amazon‘s net sales in 2023 topped $600 billion, a 20% increase from 2022. (Source: Amazon)
  • More than 60% of all online product searches in the US now begin on Amazon. (Source: Feedvisor)
  • Amazon now accounts for over 40% of all US ecommerce sales. (Source: eMarketer)
  • Over 70% of US households have an Amazon Prime membership. (Source: Consumer Intelligence Research Partners)

For entrepreneurs and businesses looking to sell products online, these figures make one thing abundantly clear: you need to be selling on Amazon. In this comprehensive guide, we‘ll walk you through everything you need to know to not only get started, but to truly thrive as an Amazon seller in 2024 and beyond.

Is Selling on Amazon Right for Your Business?

Before diving into the how-to details, let‘s address a fundamental question: is selling on Amazon the right move for your specific business?

While Amazon accommodates sellers across nearly every product category imaginable, certain types of products tend to perform better on the platform than others. In general, products that do best on Amazon have most or all of the following characteristics:

  • Lightweight and durable – Products that are easy and economical to ship tend to do well on Amazon. Fragile or heavy items can eat into your margins with higher shipping costs or more returns.

  • High demand – Unsurprisingly, products that lots of people are searching for and buying will fare better than niche or hard-to-find items. Use tools like Google Trends, Jungle Scout, and Amazon‘s own Best Sellers Rankings to gauge a product‘s demand.

  • Competitive pricing – With so many sellers competing in most categories, products priced significantly higher than the competition are unlikely to win many sales. Your products need to be priced competitively while still allowing for a healthy profit margin.

  • Consistent availability – Regularly running out of stock can tank your search rankings and lose you sales to competitors. Make sure you have a steady supply chain and inventory management system in place.

Amazon‘s own product research tools can give you valuable insights into a product‘s viability on the platform:

Tool Description
Best Sellers Rank Shows a product‘s current and historical sales rank in its category. The lower the number, the better the sales.
Brand Analytics Shows top products and search terms in your product categories. Only available to Brand Registered sellers.
Fulfillment Reports For FBA sellers, shows inventory levels, turnover rates, and more to help with demand planning.

That said, having a great product is only one part of the equation. Equally important is having a sound strategy for listing, pricing, promoting, and fulfilling your products. Read on to learn how to execute on these key areas.

How to Get Started Selling on Amazon

Once you‘ve determined that Amazon is a good fit for your products, here are the key steps to get up and running as an Amazon seller:

1. Create an Amazon Seller Central Account

Your Seller Central account is the hub where you‘ll manage all aspects of your Amazon business. To get started:

  1. Go to sellercentral.amazon.com and click the "Sign up" button.
  2. Select between an Individual or Professional selling plan (more on the differences below).
  3. Enter your business details, including name, address, and tax info.
  4. Provide a credit card and bank account for Amazon to charge selling fees and deposit your revenue.
  5. Submit your account for verification.

2. Choose Between Individual and Professional Selling Plans

Amazon offers two distinct selling plans, each with its own costs and benefits:

Plan Costs Best for
Individual $0.99 per item sold Sellers with < 40 sales/month
Professional $39.99/month Sellers with > 40 sales/month

In addition to the per-item or monthly fees, both plans pay referral fees on each sale, typically between 8-15% depending on the product category.

3. List Your Products

With your Seller Central account created, it‘s time to start listing your products. For items already sold on Amazon, you can simply add your offer to the existing listing. If you‘re the first seller of a product, you‘ll need to create a new listing from scratch.

Optimizing your product listings is absolutely essential for attracting buyers and converting sales. When creating your listings, focus on:

  • Product Title: Include your brand name, product name, and top 1-2 features or keywords. Keep it concise but descriptive.
  • Key Product Features: Highlight the top 4-5 features and benefits of your product in a bulleted list.
  • Product Description: Provide detailed information on your product‘s features, specifications, use cases, and benefits. Use formatting like bullet points, bolding, and headers to make it scannable and easy to read.
  • Product Images: Use high-quality images that clearly show your product from multiple angles. Make sure to meet Amazon‘s image requirements.

If you have a large catalog, you can use bulk upload tools to simplify the process of creating and optimizing listings at scale.

4. Decide on Your Fulfillment Method: FBA vs FBM

One of the most impactful decisions you‘ll make as an Amazon seller is how you will fulfill your orders. Amazon offers two main options:

  1. Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA): With FBA, you ship your inventory to Amazon‘s fulfillment centers and they handle all storage, picking, packing, shipping, and customer service for your orders. Your products are eligible for Prime 2-day shipping, which can be a huge boost to sales.

  2. Fulfillment by Merchant (FBM): With FBM, you store your own inventory and handle all order fulfillment yourself. You can still sell to Prime members if you offer fast shipping options, but you‘re responsible for making sure orders arrive on time.

So which fulfillment method is right for your business? Each option has its pros and cons:

Fulfillment Method Pros Cons
FBA – Increased customer trust/sales from Prime badge
– Amazon handles all shipping and customer service
– Products are eligible for Super Saver Shipping
– Higher fulfillment and storage fees
– Less control over inventory
– Commingling of inventory with other sellers
FBM – Lower costs
– More control over inventory and order fulfillment
– Ability to customize packaging/branding
– Shipping and customer service is your responsibility
– Generally fewer sales than FBA
– Harder to compete with Prime sellers

Ultimately, many successful Amazon sellers use a combination of FBA and FBM, choosing the optimal method for each product based on size, demand, profit margin, and other factors.

5. Drive Traffic to Your Listings

Of course, none of the work you‘ve done creating listings matters if potential customers never see them. Here are some of the most effective ways to drive qualified traffic to your Amazon listings in 2024:

Optimize for Amazon Search: Amazon is now its own search engine, with over 60% of product searches happening there. Make sure your listings are optimized for the keywords your potential customers are searching for. Some tips:

  • Include high-volume, relevant keywords in your product titles and descriptions.
  • Use Amazon‘s backend search terms fields to include additional keywords.
  • Drive sales velocity and earn positive reviews – Amazon‘s algorithms give preference to listings with proven sales and high ratings.

Run Amazon PPC Ads: Amazon offers several ad types to help promote your products, including:

  • Sponsored Product Ads: Keyword-targeted ads that appear in search results and on rival product pages.
  • Sponsored Brand Ads: Banner ads featuring your logo, custom copy, and multiple products.
  • Product Display Ads: Show up on related product pages or interest-based offsite channels.

When managed correctly, Amazon PPC can be incredibly effective at boosting product visibility and sales. Structure your campaigns with relevant keywords, attractive ad copy, and competitive bids, and be sure to regularly optimize based on performance.

Build Your Off-Amazon Presence: Driving external traffic to your Amazon listings can give you a big advantage over competitors. Some effective off-Amazon marketing channels include:

  • Social media – Build a following on platforms like Instagram, Facebook, and TikTok, and direct your audience to your Amazon listings with compelling content and promotions.
  • Email marketing – Build your own email list of past buyers and interested leads, and alert them to new product launches and special offers.
  • Influencer marketing – Partner with influencers in your niche to get your products in front of relevant audiences. Provide unique promo codes to track attributable sales.
  • PR – Pitch your brand and products to relevant media outlets and blogs for features and product round-ups.

6. Deliver Outstanding Customer Service

Providing a great customer experience is crucial for both earning positive reviews and encouraging repeat purchases. Make sure to:

  • Respond promptly to all buyer messages
  • Proactively communicate any delays or issues
  • Offer no-hassle returns and refunds
  • Go above and beyond to resolve problems and satisfy customers

Positive reviews are essential for building trust and credibility with potential buyers. In addition to providing great service, you can also use automated email requests and product inserts to encourage customers to leave honest reviews.

7. Measure and Optimize Your Performance

As you start generating sales, it‘s essential to regularly monitor your key metrics and make data-driven improvements to your listings and overall strategy. Some important KPIs to track include:

  • Sales and revenue
  • Conversion rate
  • Average order value
  • Units/order
  • Profit margin
  • Return rate
  • Advertising cost of sale (ACoS)
  • Customer acquisition cost (CAC)

Amazon provides a robust suite of Business Reports to surface these and other key data points. Use these insights to identify your top performers, spot listing optimization opportunities, and double down on what‘s delivering the best ROI.

Advanced Tips for Amazon Selling Success

Looking to take your Amazon business to the next level? Here are a few expert tips for driving more sales and maximizing profits in 2024:

Win the Amazon Buy Box

Over 80% of Amazon sales go through the Buy Box, the prominent "Add to Cart" button on a product listing. On listings with multiple sellers, only one will "win" the Buy Box at any given time. Amazon‘s algorithm rotates the Buy Box winner based on factors like price, fulfillment method, and seller rating.

Winning the Buy Box is essential for maximizing your sales. Some tips:

  • Keep your prices competitive
  • Maintain a high in-stock rate
  • Offer fast shipping options like 2-day or next-day delivery
  • Minimize order defects and maintain a high on-time delivery rate
  • Achieve and maintain a high seller feedback rating

Expand Your Presence Globally

Amazon now operates marketplaces in 18 countries worldwide, including the UK, Germany, Japan, and China. By expanding your listings to these global marketplaces, you can tap into an enormous source of international shoppers.

Before expanding globally, make sure your business has:

  • The ability to navigate the legalities of cross-border sales, including taxes and regulations.
  • Reliable international shipping options at competitive prices.
  • Localized product listings and customer support in the appropriate languages.

If the above are in place, selling globally on Amazon can be a powerful way to scale your brand to new heights.

Protect Your Brand with Amazon Brand Registry

As you build a business on Amazon, proactively protecting your brand and intellectual property is increasingly important. One powerful tool is Amazon Brand Registry, which unlocks enhanced brand protections and marketing features, including:

  • Greater influence over your product listings
  • Powerful tools to identify and report trademark violations
  • EBC (Enhanced Brand Content), which lets you add rich media to your listings
  • Brand Store, a customizable Amazon storefront to showcase your brand and products
  • Sponsored Brands video and display ads

To be eligible for Brand Registry, you need an active registered trademark in each country where you wish to enroll. If you haven‘t yet registered your brand trademarks, it‘s well worth the investment.

Selling on Amazon in 2024: The Bottom Line

Despite growing competition, Amazon remains an unparalleled opportunity for ecommerce businesses to reach massive new audiences. As Amazon continues to raise the bar for online sellers, the key to success in 2024 will be delivering best-in-class products, listings, and customer service.

Use the proven tips and strategies in this guide to create a strong foundation for your Amazon business. But don‘t stop there – continually test and optimize your prices, keywords, ad strategies, and more. By staying agile and always prioritizing the customer experience, you‘ll be well-positioned to thrive on Amazon both now and in the years to come.