Amazon Marketplace: The benefits for small business

Why you should consider selling through the e-commerce giant’s platform

Amazon Marketplace allows third-party retailers to sell their products through the site. The Marketplace is growing fast, accounting for more than 30% of the company’s total unit sales in the fourth quarter of 2010, and small businesses can sell their products through it in two key categories: individual (which applies to people selling less than 35 items per month) and professional (35 items or more)

Here are five key reasons why you should consider listing your product on Amazon Marketplace

Exposure. Amazon currently has 130 million global customers – that’s over twice as many people as live in the UK. The Amazon market grew over 43% in the fourth quarter of last year, and according to stats from Nielsen, was visited by almost 17 million British people in March 2011 – around 42% of those who are actively online. So it’s fair to say that, if you put up a listing on Amazon, a lot of people will view it.

Simplicity. As a small business, you want to get your products listed, and sold, as soon as possible to get money coming in and brand awareness up. The simplicity of Amazon is ideal in this regard; when you sell on Amazon, all you need to do is enter the product you want to sell, set a fixed price, record the condition and click Yes. In most cases, your listing will be live in 15 minutes. This compares favourably with other auction and ecommerce sites, which can be much more complicated and time-consuming.

Cost efficiency. You can list as many products as you like on Amazon with no listing fee, so you can choose a sales strategy to suit you – either putting all your products on display at once, or introducing new items slowly as awareness of your brand grows. There are no fixed costs for shipping and handling.

It’s worth bearing in mind that sellers in the professional category have to pay a monthly subscription of £28.75 or £25 if you’re a VAT registered seller; however, if you are selling enough products to fall into the professional category, chances are you’ll be making enough money to justify this fee. Also, Amazon Marektplace are currently offering a one month free trial on subcriptions so you now test it out without the charge.

Trust. Amazon is liked and respected by the majority of its customers; indeed a US survey last December gave Amazon a score of 86 out of 100 in terms of customer satisfaction, as high as any other American ecommerce site. If your product is listed on Amazon, you will benefit from the trust and loyalty which are fundamental to its brand.

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If a potential customer isn’t familiar with your company, they may be reluctant to make transactions via your site. However Amazon, with its secure payment system, is known to be trustworthy, so people may be more willing to buy your product via the Marketplace.

Market awareness. By joining the Amazon Marketplace, you can easily view the prices your competitors are charging for their products, and see the marketing messages you are using. Any small business relies on targeted, intelligent pricing and marketing, and Amazon Marketplace can give you a real leg up in this crucial area.


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