For businesses today, gaining visibility and traction online has become essential for growth. Having an online shop further increases the chances for success by providing buyers seamless shopping experiences.
For those new to eCommerce, Amazon is one of the best places to start selling online. A Forrester report in 2022 reveals that Amazon still dominates online marketplaces, grabbing 41% share of the total US eCommerce. By selling on the platform, you get a stake in this huge chunk of the consumer pie.
To help you in your journey to success, we’ve created a comprehensive guide to walk you through the process of creating a seller account on Amazon.
Before you create a seller account, you must first decide which selling plan is best for your business and understand the processes and fees associated with Amazon seller accounts. In this section, we go through the basics of being a seller in this marketplace.
Amazon offers two types of seller accounts, Individual and Professional. With the Individual selling plan, you pay $0.99 for every item you sell. On the other hand, you’ll need to shell out $39.99 per month regardless of how many items you sell when you sign up under the Professional plan.
A simple math computation would show that the Individual plan would be less costly if you won’t be selling more than 40 units per month. However, the Professional plan gives you access to brand owner tools, such as Stores and A+ Content. It also gives you access to advanced selling tools, such as on-site advertising, analytics reports, and API integrations that can help you grow your business online.
While the Professional plan offers more potential value, you can choose the Individual plan if you want to explore the platform first before deciding what products to sell. You can’t advertise or access advanced tools, but you’ll be able to list products and use Fulfillment by Amazon. Once you get the hang of the platform and are ready to take your business forward, simply go to your seller profile and upgrade to a Professional plan.
The registration process for Amazon sellers is pretty straightforward. You simply need to sign in to your Amazon account or create a new one with your business email then register for a selling account. During the registration process, you will be asked to provide your information, including your phone number, tax information, bank account and routing number, credit card, and other details.
Then you will also have to comply with documentary requirements for verification. These can include any of the following:
A credit card that accepts international charges is required for billing and payments. A US bank account is also required for all sellers offering paid products in the marketplace. If you don’t have one, you can sign up with Hyperwallet, an independent service provider that can provide you with a US account for receiving your disbursements.
Aside from the subscription fees for the selling plan, there are other fees you must consider when deciding whether Amazon is a profitable platform for your business. Regardless of the selling plan you choose, Amazon collects a referral fee on every sale you make. Depending on your selling plan, fulfillment option, and other factors, you will also have to consider additional charges.
To get an estimate of the revenue you can gain from products you want to sell, use the Revenue Calculator at Seller Central.
Now that you have a clear understanding of the different types of seller accounts and the associated fees, it's time to dive into the preparation phase. This phase involves product research, market analysis, and creating a solid business plan to ensure a successful start to your Amazon selling journey.
Researching and choosing a product category is a critical step in determining your niche and target audience. To make informed decisions about the product category you choose, conduct comprehensive market research. Identify the demand for the products you're considering and assess the level of competition in those markets. Look for products with steady demand and favorable profit margins. Analyze customer reviews and feedback to gain insights into potential improvements or gaps in the existing products. This research will help you identify opportunities and make informed choices when selecting your product category. If this sounds too overwhelming, consider getting expert help from digital platforms such as Threecolts, which have the right tools for these tasks.
Once you’ve chosen your product category, determine the appropriate selling model. You can approach your selling strategy in three ways: reselling, private labeling, or dropshipping. You can also opt for a combination of the three strategies.
Finally, create a business plan that will serve as a roadmap for your eCommerce journey. Your business plan must include SMART goals, clear product descriptions, detailed target persona, pricing plans, marketing strategies, and financial projections. This will help you track your business growth and keep you motivated to achieve success.
These preparations lay the foundation for success and provide a solid framework to help you make informed decisions throughout your selling experience.
Armed with a good grasp of what you need to become a successful Amazon seller, it’s time to take the giant leap and create your selling account. Here are step-by-step instructions to guide you through the entire process.
Use your existing Amazon customer account or create a dedicated seller account using your business email. This will be tagged as the seller of record and cannot be changed once it is associated with a product. Choose one that you would like to use for receiving communication, reports, and disbursements. Once logged into the account, register for an Individual or Professional Plan.
Have your valid ID, tax information, and other documentary requirements on hand. Fill in the form and double-check if the information you provided are correct. Make sure that the forms required for your business are properly filled out. These include the US Tax Interview, VAT Information, US Bank information, Charge Method, and Deposit Method.
To receive disbursements, you must provide additional information to verify the bank account you listed in your payment information. Go to Settings > Payment Information > Manage Deposit Methods and follow the instructions for verification. You might be asked to submit scanned copies of your government ID, passport, and financial statements.
Create a unique seller display name and storefront to establish your brand identity and make it easier for buyers to recognize your company. Your public profile provides potential buyers with information on your business, including your company name and logo. To see or update your public profile, go to Settings > Account Info > Seller Account Information.
All Amazon sellers must register an internationally chargeable credit card for settling monthly fees and other charges when necessary. Amazon accepts only Visa, MasterCard, American Express, JCB, Discover, and Diner’s Club. PayPal and other online payment systems are not accepted as charge methods. To add a credit card, go to Settings > Account Info > Payment Information > Charge Methods. Make sure the information you provide is exactly the same as those on your credit card.
Amazon allows sellers to add or change their deposit methods. From your Seller Central account, go to Settings > Account Info > Payment Information > Deposit Methods. From here, you can register your deposit methods and enter your bank account details. If you have more than one account, you must select one to be your default deposit method.
As your business grows, you may need to build a team to help run your operations. To manage access and permissions for multiple users, go to Settings > User Permissions. Send invitations to users you want to add, then edit the level of access that can be granted to their account credentials. This ensures that each team member has the appropriate level of access to perform their respective tasks while maintaining security and control over your seller account.
Regularly review and update user permissions as your team evolves and new roles are assigned to ensure that access remains up-to-date and aligned with your organization's requirements.
With your seller account all set, you can now start listing your products in the appropriate categories. If you have just registered though, you need to wait a couple of hours for your new account to be verified. Leverage management platform tools to discover lucrative products, manage your inventory, optimize ads, and maximize revenue.
To maintain the integrity of the platform and continuously deliver positive experiences to all users, Amazon imposes strict guidelines for sellers. You must adhere to policies and legal regulations to avoid penalties, account suspensions, and other consequences.
Take the time to thoroughly review Amazon's Seller policies and guidelines. Understand the requirements for product listings, product condition, shipping and fulfillment, customer service, and other important areas. Stay updated with any policy changes or updates to ensure ongoing compliance.
Be aware of activities that are strictly prohibited on Amazon. These may include listing counterfeit or infringing products, manipulating product reviews or ratings, engaging in price gouging, or violating intellectual property rights. Avoid engaging in any such activities to maintain a good standing on the platform.
To maintain policy compliance, regularly audit your seller account to make sure that it adheres to Amazon's policies. Monitor your product listings, product descriptions, and customer feedback to address any issues promptly. Respond to customer inquiries and complaints promptly and professionally, aiming for high customer satisfaction.
Protecting intellectual property rights is crucial to maintaining a fair and ethical marketplace. It also helps you protect your seller account and avoid legal issues. Before listing a product, conduct thorough research to ensure it doesn't infringe on any existing trademarks. Check for trademarks related to the product's brand, logo, or other identifying features. If you are a brand owner, enroll in Amazon’s Brand Registry program to prevent the unauthorized use of your intellectual property.
To jumpstart your way to success, here are some tips to accelerate your growth in the Amazon marketplace.
Creating a seller account on Amazon in 2023 requires careful consideration and adherence to the platform's guidelines. By following the steps outlined in this guide, you can establish a solid foundation for your selling journey on Amazon.
As the future unfolds, Amazon continues to evolve and present new avenues for sellers to expand their businesses. By staying informed about Amazon's updates, exploring new programs and features, and adapting to changing market trends, you can position yourself for growth and capitalize on the vast opportunities that Amazon offers to sellers in the years to come.