During the 4-day event, I had the opportunity attend “Amazon Day”, a full day of sessions led by Amazon team members.
What I heard and saw in these session will have a major impact on ecommerce and for online sellers moving forward –
Amazon has long offered opportunities for 3rd party online sellers, but to say they are taking it up a level (or 3) would be an understatement.
Amazon already offers 3rd party online sellers a distinct selling advantage in its represented categories over many marketplaces (including FBA (the option to have Amazon handle your shipping and customer service) as well as access to their best “Prime” customers.
And with the announcements of their new global selling systems, along with focus on helping even the smallest of businesses scale… paired with expansion goals for 3rd party merchants, there is no doubt that the opportunities are huge…
It’s Not About the “Next Hot Thing” It’s About Business
Recently, I detailed 7 Ways to Build Your Online Empire with Amazon. Seven ways that online businesses can leverage the massive growth of Amazon to build their own online businesses. In my post, I said that I was only scratching the surface of what lies ahead for your business and integration with Amazon.com…
Last week, these opportunities became bigger and more far reaching.
In fact, if your business doesn’t have some kind of a presence on Amazon.com, you’ll soon be at a distinct disadvantage.
I say this not because Amazon is “hot and cool” or because it’s the latest and greatest “sexy” place to sell.
But because as an ecommerce business strategist, I’m constantly scouting the next channels of growth.
For online sellers, Amazon is that channel.
Amazon Reveals Opportunities for 3rd Party Merchants at their Yearly Conference
While attending the 2011 Amazon Sellers Conference (SCOE) here in Seattle. I was thrilled to speak to a standing room only crowd on the topic of “How to Find Hot Product Trends and Sell the Products Amazon Buyers Want”.
Day 1 of the conference however, was “Amazon Day” – a full day of Amazon led sessions that revealed a tremendous amount about where the company stands in relation to 3rd party merchants, global sales expansion and selling digital content.
Much of what you’re about to read came directly from my conversations with the Amazon team members at the conference. This is hot off the presses – news that you wont’ find anywhere else!
6 Powerful Reasons to Integrate Amazon into Your Business Model
Amazon’s goal is to be the place where customers can find, discover and buy anything online. And they have the systems and infrastructure in place to accomplish this. According to Amazon, currently 1/3 of all product sales are driven by 3rd party merchants. And that number will only increase.
Amazon is looking to 3rd party merchants to bring variety and selection to the marketplace.
Scale with Amazon’s technology and systems. Amazon offers technologies, systems and automation to help small sellers scale their business. One of the biggest pain points for small business owners trying to scale their business is handling the operations of running the business. Inventory storage, shipping and customer service all take a big bite out of an online business owner’s most precious asset… time.
Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA) removes this barrier. Even smaller sellers with limited inventory can easily an inexpensively ramp up their inventory by having Amazon store and ship their products and provide world class customer service on their behalf.
In fact at the recent Amazon Seller’s Conference, the majority of Amazon/eBay sellers were using Amazon FBA to fulfill both their Amazon and eBay shipments.
Automated global commerce for 3rd party merchants. Even Amazon’s focus on global commerce includes 3rd party sellers and makes it easy for them to transact commerce in the soon-to-be trillion dollar global commerce marketplace.
Amazon just announced that 3rd party FBA sellers can now list, sell, and manage orders on all of Amazon’s European Marketplaces (UK, Germany, France and Italy) through one central seller dashboard. And the biggest benefit? The orders can now be fulfilled in Europe through Amazon’s European Fulfillment Network (EFN).
This is huge because it now means that small-medium sized businesses can sell into the lucrative and rapidly growing European marketplace without having to ship each order individually.
Yet, another example of the way Amazon is putting into place systems and technologies that will serve to grow the businesses of 3rd party sellers.
Access to high-quality customers you won’t find elsewhere. Amazon customers are some of the best in the world. Amazon’s Prime customers come back to shop at least once a month. And while there is a subsection of customers who shop on Amazon, eBay and the Internet, there are millions of customers who turn only to Amazon.com for their online purchases. Without a presence there, you’ll miss out on a substantial part of the buying public.
Opportunities to branch into new markets. As ecommerce gets more competitive, the profits go to sellers who are knowledgeable in their categories. Amazon category managers are looking for new products to offer their customers. With shipping, storing and customer service off you plate (when using FBA) you can focus more of your energy on sourcing products in new markets. A win/win situation for your business!
Because of the way business runs on Amazon, you can move in and out of products and categories quickly and easily.
And all the knowledge you acquire in your category can also be applied across other sales channels!
Make more money with existing inventory. If you have a good thing going on eBay and/or your own website, by bringing that inventory to the Amazon marketplace, you’ll make more because of Amazon’s rapid ecommerce growth.
When you sell in-demand products on Amazon, you have the potential to turn it over quickly, increasing your sales volumes and profits. Some of the clients I work with sell up to 10 times more on Amazon than they do from their own website or in other marketplaces.
From a strategic profits standpoint, you can clearly see why you want to have a presence on Amazon.
Amazon has the systems, infrastructure, and a sales channel to benefit 3rd party merchants in place right now. They are not in the planning stages, this is not ‘vaporware’ (as we say in the software industry).
And even with 46% year-over-year growth, Amazon states that their projected growth is still in its infancy. The time to ride a wave is from the beginning.
You want to get a firm hold in the Amazon marketplace now. (Not when the rest of the world wakes up and sees the opportunity.)
Seeing Value in the Opportunity
One of the reasons that online businesses don’t thrive is that people fail to see the value in the opportunities when they appear.
As loyal readers of my blog, I want to be clear – this is your opportunity. But the time to act is now. Don’t wait.
You can get started on Amazon today with one product and list it for free.
Just like Amazon founder Jeff Bezos who started the company with a box of books in the basement of his Seattle home, you too can start with one product and expand/build your online empire with Amazon.