Amazon Australia is the newest member of the Amazon family, a powerhouse made up of 300+ million active users across 189 countries with local marketplaces in 10 countries including the US, Australia, UK and Europe. Launching in December 2017, the platform has grown steadily with shoppers in search of competitive pricing and retailers joining the ranks to meet these customers there. But there's still a lot to learn for retailers selling on the platform.
In this article, we'll show you why you should be selling on Amazon Australia, give you a step-by-step plan to getting set up on the platform, and attempt to answer all the most commonly asked Amazon questions.
What is Amazon Australia?
Amazon Australia is the Australian version of Amazon US, a global marketplace known for their cheap prices and fast shipping, Amazon began selling books in 1995 and now sells ‘literally everything’ from electronics and clothing to television and music streaming, and now even groceries through Amazon Fresh. Valued at over US$500 billion—beaten only by Apple, Microsoft and Alphabet (Google)— Amazon is one of the most influential and well-known companies in the world.
Why Sell on Amazon Australia?
There are many reasons to sell on Amazon (in fact we wrote a post listing our top 10), but for omni-channel retailers, selling on Amazon Australia should be just another tool in your toolkit to reach new customers, gain exposure and boost sales.
And here's a few other reasons you may not have thought of:
- Search behaviour is changing - over half of product searches in the US begin on Amazon; Google is isn't necessarily the first stop anymore.
- Leverage Amazon's reputation - customers trust Amazon and by way of association, they will trust you too (and buy from you!)
- Shoppers prefer marketplaces - our research has found that shoppers prefer marketplaces, and they are quickly gaining marketshare. So if that's where your customers are hanging out, then why wouldn't you be there?
- Conversion rates for marketplaces are much higher than ecommerce websites, which sit as less than 10% (eBay is 78% and The Iconic is 53%).
- Save on marketing expenses - Amazon gives you the opportunity to reach new customers and test new products without outlaying huge marketing costs (and zero risk).
With Amazon still in relative infancy, there are still big first mover advantages available. The platform is effectively a blank slate for sellers to start building up a long term sales history now.
How Do I Sell On Amazon Australia?
To sell on Amazon Australia, you'll firstly need to register a seller account via Amazon Services and set up your profile.
Next you'll need to ensure you have both a strategy and the back-office systems in place to support your omni-channel operations. With orders coming in from multiple places, you’ll need to think about how you’re going to manage the orders, how to control your inventory and keep stock in sync across each channel, and how you can keep product information accurate and up-to-date. We recommend finding an ecommerce solution that lets you manage all your sales channels in one place.
Then you can register your product listings to the Amazon catalog and begin selling! There are a few ways to register your listing:
- One-by-one via Amazon Seller Central - a good option if you only have a few products to upload.
- In bulk via Amazon's 'inventory' file spreadsheet - better for bulk uploads, but beware the 195 columns that can take a while to complete!
- Via Neto - push products you're already selling on your ecommerce store or other channels to the Amazon catalog in just a few clicks.
Obviously you don't want to be spending hours filling out complex spreadsheets, and if you've got lots of variations or thousands of products then you don't want to be uploading each product one at a time. Therefore Neto's Amazon integration is the best way to go for serious sellers with lots of products.
Once your products are listed, then you need to think about the rest of the Amazon sales cycle, what happens when someone actually buys your product? In Neto, this is how the order process works
- Transaction received and new order displays in your dashboard for processing, alongside the others from your other sales channels
- Item/s will automatically decrement from your inventory count, updating stock levels across all sales channels
- Move order to 'pick' ready for picking and then packing (Amazon orders can be separated out from the others so that you know not to include any promotional material)
- Order marked ready for dispatch, shipping information will be pushed back up to Amazon and the customer will receive a tracking notification
Customer information is also recorded in Neto, but the regulations around contacting Amazon customers are pretty strict, so be sure you're only using Buyer-Seller messaging.
How to Succeed on Amazon Australia
Once you've got a solid process in place to manage your marketplace operations (and if you're using Neto, that can all hum away nicely in the background without you having to do anything at all), then it's time to switch your focus to growth—increasing the likelihood of shoppers finding your products, clicking on them, and buying them.
Amazon is essentially a really powerful search engine, not unlike Google, and for customers to be able to find your products, you need to optimise your entire Amazon listing for search. In fact the most common question we get is:
how can I get my product to show up on the first page of the Amazon results?
Getting your products featured can be a bit of an artform, as there are complex algorithms at play. Just like a Google search returns pages with higher domain authority, traffic and quality content, as your product generates more page views, sales and product reviews, it will rise within the search results - known colloquially as ‘Amazon SEO’. But it's not just about getting your products onto the first page of Amazon. Once the customer has found your product and clicked on it, don't forget that you're selling to a human, not a computer.
Here's our top tips for increasing your chances of succeeding on Amazon.
1. Optimise Your Amazon Listing
The first port of call is your listing itself.
- Use high quality images (and lots of them): at risk of sounding cliched, a picture really does tell a thousand words, and with 9 image slots for each product on Amazon, use them! Make sure your images are high quality, display the product from a number of different angles and are clear of text or watermarks. Image size should be cropped to at least 1001 pixels on the longest side. Check out this marketplace photography guide to make sure you're not breaking any of Amazon's image guidelines.
- Ensure they are clear of text or watermarks and that the image is good quality and cropped around the product without too much white space. Image size on Amazon should be cropped to at least 1001 pixels on the longest side in order to enable zoom. You can also check out our blog post
- Use keywords: as we mentioned, Amazon is basically a really powerful search engine, and one of its inputs is keywords. By embedding relevant and accurate search terms throughout your listing (the title, description, bullet points) you will increase your chances of showing up higher in search.
2. Optimise Your Amazon Pricing
Contrary to popular opinion, Amazon isn't always about the lowest price. Although it is important to be competitive, you also need to deliver fast, efficient service, and there's no point in pricing low if there's not enough in your margins. Depending on your business model, there are various Amazon pricing strategies that might work for you, but before you go down that path it's important to first work out your cost price, research your competitor's pricing, and look at different ways that you can add value to your product, for example
- free shipping
- express shipping at no extra costs
- free gift with item
It's also a good idea to have consistent pricing across all of your channels. If a customer purchases your products for one price in one place, and then sees them cheaper on another channel, that isn't a great customer experience—something you want to avoid!
3. Build up Reviews and Ratings
Reviews can make or break a sale and building up positive product reviews is a key component of the Amazon game. Customers more often than not read product and seller reviews before hitting the buy box and many will specifically search for negative reviews. Read our tips on how to build up positive seller ratings on Amazon, but as a start ensure you deliver quality products, service and value for money.
| Read more: Get Set up for Success on Amazon Australia
Frequently Asked Amazon Questions
What is Amazon Marketplace?
Amazon marketplace provides businesses a model where they can use the Amazon platform to market and sell their own goods, similar to eBay, Etsy and Catch Of The Day. Retailers set their own pricing and take care of inventory, fulfilment and shipping (unless they use Fulfillment By Amazon).
How Much Does It Cost To Sell On Amazon?
It costs $49.95 a month (ex. GST) to sell on the Amazon marketplace, and Amazon takes 6-15% cut off the top of sales, depending on the product category.
What Is Amazon Prime?
Amazon Prime is a paid membership program that gives members a range of benefits, deals and discounts including video and music streaming, free shipping and fast delivery - same day or even two hour delivery on certain items in the US. An Amazon Prime membership costs our US counterparts $99 US per year, and Prime members are reported to spend double that of non members. Amazon has confirmed that this Prime subscription service will launch in mid-2018.
I’m a Neto Seller, Do I Need a Separate Neto Platform for Amazon?
No. Neto is an all-in-one platform, which means that you can connect Amazon Australia to all of your existing channels.
Can I Control What and How Much I Sell on Amazon From Neto?
Yes. Our integration with Amazon allows close control over your inventory so that you can choose not only what products to sell on Amazon, but also establish buffers that save stock for other channels.
What categories can I sell in on Amazon?
The best place to find out what categories you can sell on Amazon is via this link
Are there products that can't be listed on Amazon?
A: You can find a list of restricted products on Amazon here
Can I Sell in the US Through Amazon Australia?
Unfortunately not. Amazon Australia is a separate Marketplace in Australia which means that you cannot sell on Amazon.com. The good news is that Amazon has confirmed that Australian vendors will have access to international markets through Amazon Australia. Additionally, we will be launching an integration with Amazon US soon which will allow you to sell on Amazon.com.
How Do I Use Fulfilment by Amazon (FBA)?
Fulfilment by Amazon is a warehousing and customer fulfilment solution offered by Amazon to sellers that allows sellers to generate more sales without having to worry about the logistics. As a retailer you can send your products to an Amazon fulfilment centre and they will store your inventory, pick, pack, and ship your products to customers, and take care of your customer service and returns, all without you having to step foot in a warehouse. There is no minimum quantity or SKU count.
Do I need UPC barcodes for Amazon? Is there an option for sellers who manufacture their own products and do not have a UPC/EAN?
There are a number of benefits to your business in the long term of having unique identifiers, but if you can't source them or it's not relevant to your products, you may be able to with through the Amazon Seller Support team. (requires a login to Seller Central).
Once you've got an exemption from Amazon, there's a field called "Registered Parameter" that these can be mapped to in Neto. In this field you can enter a value provided to you By Amazon for the exemption.The options we are aware of are 'NonConsumer', 'PreConfigured', 'PrivateLabel', 'Specialized', but again, these are provided by Amazon.
If your products are already listed on Amazon but you're not the main seller, Neto will link your inventory to those listings in the catalog through your UPC, so it's important that you have the correct UPC.
I’m Not Sure About Amazon, What’s the Benefit of Joining Early?
Like the US, Amazon Australia's marketplace utilise single listings to maximise customer experience. These single product level listings are generated from multiple seller's data, so joining early will increase the chance that your data is used to help populate the listing, providing you with some control over how your products are displayed.
At Neto, we‘ve been helping stores sell on eBay, and through online and physical stores for over eight years, and now we’re helping stores sell on Amazon Australia. For those wanting to leverage the Amazon channel, investing early in the technology that enables you to seamlessly surface your inventory may give you a unique opportunity to gain a first-mover advantage.