5 Tips and Best Practices for Marketplace Ecommerce Sellers
It’s difficult enough to be successful as an ecommerce seller on Amazon Marketplace when you know what you’re doing; It’s a competitive platform.
However, if you don’t know exactly how to differentiate yourself from other sellers, it can be quite a challenge to succeed on the Amazon Marketplace.
The truth is that optimizing your third-party Amazon Marketplace eCommerce store is a worthwhile endeavor. The Amazon Marketplace generated $117.7 billion in fiscal 2022.
If you want to take advantage of this, you need to differentiate your store from all the rest – and to do that you need to understand and apply third-party selling best practices on Amazon.
No one can deny that succeeding on the platform can be time consuming and a lot of work. However, these tips will give you the best chance of going beyond mediocrity and reaching the customers you really care about.
If the success of Amazon Marketplace has long eluded you, check out this list of top five tips and practices for marketplace ecommerce sellers.
1. Write masterful product descriptions
Like any form of e-commerce, e-commerce on the Amazon Marketplace involves some level of content marketing. In this case, it’s all about writing the best product descriptions customers have ever seen.
That makes sense on several levels.
In practice, customers want as much detail as possible about what you are selling and how it differs from competing products.
The most comprehensive and detailed product descriptions fill this need, covering everything from the product model and serial number to all the features that are part of the package.
Also, SEO-optimized product descriptions — that is, descriptions that use relevant Amazon-based keywords — have a better chance of ranking in Amazon search results and being found by the customers they want.
You can actually do keyword research on Amazon by launching a search query and seeing what the algorithm predicts next.
Or do an actual search and look at the first product group. If they rank where your competitor products should rank, take a look at their listings to see what they’re doing right. This is a good opportunity to highlight some keywords and use them in your own listings.
However you choose to approach the keyword part, always make sure your product descriptions provide users with as much information as possible – because the most useful ones are the ones with the best chance of ranking well on Amazon.
2. Focus on creating reviews
As with local Google business profiles, Amazon product reviews go a long way in showing the Amazon algorithm that customers like what you’re selling.
Similar to the descriptive product listings above, positive product reviews on the Amazon Marketplace make sense on two levels.
On the one hand, the algorithm naturally prioritizes products with many positive reviews over products with one-star ratings. It’s all about the user experience on the platform.
Think about it logically: if Amazon wants to sell more products to more customers, it will show product results that have performed well with real users in the past.
So, five-star ratings work for Amazon’s A9 algorithm (which is responsible for product ranking), but they also make an impression on human customers. Very few people will buy a product they’ve never seen before when they see that it has an average customer rating of just one or two stars.
These types of poorly rated products exist on Amazon, and they are usually complemented by customer reviews urging others to stay away.
You will rank higher on Amazon’s results pages if you have an average customer rating of 4.5 stars or more and have many sales. If you get everything else right, the sales will come on time.
In the meantime, you can work towards getting a rating for every item you sell on Amazon Marketplace.
The easiest way to do this is to use Request a review button in Seller Central. Amazon will send the buyer an automated email asking for a review and rating. To comply with Amazon’s policy on asking for customer reviews, this button is only available between 5 and 30 days after product delivery.
3. Invest in quality photos
If you’re a Marketplace seller, you should already have this third point in mind: Use only the best, highest-quality photos of your products.
If everything else is equal between you and your competitors and you don’t use product images in your listings, you can’t beat them.
Think about how much time you spend shopping on Amazon. The standard product photo is the first thing you see of an offer, before you even read a word of the product description. So images are crucial if you really want to sell people something.
Just make sure the images are high resolution and show the product in every possible detail. This allows customers to zoom in on the products and see what they want up close.
Another quick tip is to take photos of the product being used in the intended environment. This could apply to almost anything you sell. If it’s a stereo, place it on a shelf with the speakers on either side.
Or maybe you’re selling a garden hose and reel. Have one of the high quality pictures show the hose wrapped around the drum in a backyard.
Adding images to your product listings is a cinch, but if you’ve gleaned more pro tips from this section, you’ll already have another win.
4. Don’t try to be too unique in your pricing
A fascinating area of research on the Amazon Marketplace is the pricing of your products.
As with any business event, if you go too high, you will be left out of important customer deals; If the price is too low, you may get more deals but not make a big profit.
Essentially, the answer to the Amazon Marketplace pricing question is: Be boring: Stay somewhere in the middle of your competition while still making sure you’re making the desired profit margin.
You know from your own business operations how much you need to make on a sale to break even. Once you have this number, you’re in a good place, but you’re not done yet.
You then need to know what percentage of the profit you want to make. This can be difficult as firstly it will be different for everyone and secondly you may need to learn to judge this by the amount you think your customers will pay.
Again, I can refer you to your competition on the Amazon Marketplace.
Maybe you make and sell turntables. If a competitor is selling a turntable with roughly the same features and capabilities and their models are priced under $300, you may be wrong in charging $550 for your model.
Keep in mind that the products are almost identical; There is some reason to charge the customer more for a better quality product, but you just can’t justify two brands of the same product having such a wide cost discrepancy.
With Amazon in particular, you are already paying to sell your products on the platform. You pay even more if you choose Fulfillment by Amazon.
These fees are already increasing your costs and you would need to factor them into the prices you ultimately set for your products.
Ultimately, Amazon pricing comes down to a few things:
- your business costs.
- Your competitors’ prices.
- The profit margin you want to make.
Don’t overdo it on the pricing; Just make sure your price is reasonable for the product you’re selling and try to align somewhat with the similar products already on the market.
5. Strive for customer service
Finally, if you’ve been taking customer service lightly on your Amazon store, it’s time to overhaul your entire approach.
Customers respond to sellers who seem to take their concerns seriously, and there are some specific steps you can take to be a good company and do just that.
First of all, you can answer questions that customers ask about your offers directly on your Amazon product pages. This is the perfect opportunity to attract additional customers by providing even more information that you may still need to include in the product description.
It’s also a chance to communicate directly with people who are thinking about buying your product!
By answering these questions, you accomplish two things at once: you provide more information that could lead to a sale, and you show that you are a company that knows how to speak to customers in a helpful and professional manner.
The other important step you can take in customer service is to respond to negative product reviews from verified customers.
If you’re currently a seller on Amazon, you know that the company removed the ability to comment on product reviews a while ago. However, sellers are not completely without options. For sellers, rating comments have been replaced with “Contact Customer.”
This is an automated feature of the Amazon Marketplace that allows sellers to contact customers who have purchased their products but left negative reviews on the product page.
In this context, negative ratings are ratings with stars between one and three.
However, to prevent any inappropriate request to change a review, the Contact Customer feature uses a variety of email templates to respond to negative reviews.
In the first email, sellers can offer customer support by asking the customer for more information, or simply offer a full refund.
Either way, the Contact Customer feature is the best way to deal with negative Amazon reviews.
While this is all done confidentially between sellers and buyers, it could still have a positive impact on your product’s rating—since customers can, but don’t have to, change their rating after you resolve the issue.
The point is that excellent service can have a real impact on your overall Amazon seller profile, so don’t neglect it.
Amazon Marketplace can be a lucrative platform for ecommerce sellers, but it’s also a crowded space and reaching your target customer is easier said than done.
Chances are that simply signing up and listing your products won’t make you very successful.
Instead, try using some of these tips and best practices to optimize your Amazon Marketplace presence and gain an edge over your competition.
It may take a little time and effort, but the results will be worth it!
Featured image: Surasak_Ch/Shutterstock