There is much ado online about becoming an ‘Amazon Seller.’ But how, exactly, does one go about launching a product with Fulfillment by Amazon? Luckily, it can be distilled down to a repeatable process. The 4 Steps to Launching a Product with Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA) are as follows:
- Find It: decide what product to sell (otherwise known as Product Selection).
- Make It: manufacture your high quality, cost minimized product (or, Product Sourcing).
- Ship It: get your product to an Amazon FBA Warehouse. Amazon handles all fulfillment from this point forward (some might call this Logistics).
- Sell It: convince people to buy your product (this be Marketing).
Fulfillment by Amazon greatly simplifies the process of becoming an entrepreneur. You don’t even have to know what you want to sell before getting started! The beauty of it all is that finding a product is part of the process.
Before we dive in, what’s the big deal with Amazon FBA anyways?
Fulfillment by Amazon: Key Stats
The numbers don’t lie:
- US Customers spent a whopping $586B online in 2018.
- Sales on Amazon alone accounted almost 50% of that number. That’s $290B, and the number is growing year over year.
- Over 50% of all units sold on Amazon were by third party sellers.
This business model is all about how to become one of those third party sellers and siphon off some of the money that naturally flows through the dominant online retailer. That’s part of the beauty of this business model: you don’t have to generate any traffic if you don’t want to; Amazon, by virtue of being Amazon, handles that for you.
I like to think about it like this: capturing 1 one-thousandth of one percent of the Amazon retail market would mean doing over $2 million per year in sales!
That’s a big pie. Now, to cut ourselves a slice…
Each of the four steps to launch your product can be achieved through an efficient and repeatable sub-process. I hope to give you the tools to become a tactical expert in discovering, producing, importing, and marketing products online.
Check out my overview of each of the 4 steps to launching a product with fulfillment by amazon below:
Step 1: Find It (Product Selection)
There are many great tools online for product research. Like I mentioned, you don’t even need to have an idea for what you want to sell before you attempt to start a business on Amazon.
Tools such as Jungle Scout and Viral Launch can enable you to find profitable and underserved product niches and estimate your revenue potential before you ever spend a dime on manufacturing. You can see the data from real sellers of specific products to get a sense for the market’s demand. Your goal is to find a market that has consistent demand but low customer satisfaction. Then, if you can improve upon to products currently being offered, you can make a killing!
Step 2: Make It (Product Sourcing)
Once you select a product niche, it’s time to manufacture your product. To find a supplier, I recommend using Alibaba.
Alibaba is the world’s largest B2B marketplace. It makes it extremely easy to get in touch with foreign manufacturers. On the Alibaba platform, you can request pricing quotes, negotiate, and acquire free samples of the products you want to sell. After narrowing it down and finding the best bang for your buck, you can work with your manufacturer to tweak and differentiate your product and come up with custom, branded packaging, so that you stand out in the marketplace. This is known as private labelling.
Step 3: Ship It (Logistics)
After you’ve chosen a manufacturer, the next step is to get your products to an Amazon Warehouse. If you’re shipping your product from overseas, you will need to book space on a shipping vessel. You can’t do this yourself. Instead, you’ll need to contract with a type of company called a Freight Forwarder. They will handle all of your required product preparation, customs brokerage, and delivery to the Amazon FBA Warehouse.
Once it arrives at the Amazon Warehouse, your responsibilities (as they pertain to logistics, anyway) are done! Amazon handles final delivery to the customer via Amazon Prime 2 day shipping, and takes on all customer service.
Step 4: Sell It (Marketing)
Once your product arrives at the FBA Warehouse, it will be “live“ on amazon.com and available for purchase! From here, you could just advertise, sit back, and watch the sales roll in. But there are a variety of cheap online tools you can employ to drive traffic to your listing, increase sales momentum, and encourage customers to write positive reviews.
Marketing is where the magic happens. The steps up to this point are very procedural. Marketing, on the other hand, is where you get to be creative and exercise some salesmanship. We will spend significant time going through Amazon marketing best-practices in a subsequent section of the site.
Wrap It Up, Chuck…
See how easy the Amazon FBA business model is? You can, in some instances, launch a business for as little as $1000. Crazy, right?
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Up next, check out the 4 Key Benefits of Amazon FBA.