How to start selling on online platforms (marketplaces)
How to create your online store within a platform like Amazon. How do you stand out when you want to sell on online platforms? How much does it cost to sell on online platforms like Amazon? In this article I will take Amazon as a reference, but the way it works is similar on different platforms.
Electronic commerce, which had already been growing strongly for many years, has seen a new development opportunity during the pandemic. For this reason, many digital entrepreneurs wonder how to sell on online platforms, also known as digital marketplaces, such as Amazon, Ebay, or AliExpress. In this article I will take Amazon as a reference, but the way it works is similar on different platforms.
Why sell on online platforms?
If you want to start in electronic commerce, you have two paths, which do not have to be mutually exclusive. You can set up your own website with an integrated online store, or you can start selling on digital platforms.
In the first option, the main difficulty is that, since nobody knows your page or your brand, you will have to invest a lot of time and money in online marketing. I am referring to SEO strategies to appear well positioned in Google search results, to pay to be in sponsored results and to also invest time and money in social networks.
Your other option is to create an online store within a known platform. That allows you to have access to the millions of customers who are already used to using it. Of course, to stand out, it is recommended that you invest in advertising on Amazon, but I will talk about that in more detail in the continuation of the article.
Another advantage of selling on popular online platforms is that the customer is more confident and knows that if anything happens to the product, they will have good customer service. The customer who does not know you and finds your own online store on Google may have more qualms about buying.
How to create your online store within a platform like Amazon
1. The truth is that creating a seller account on a platform like Amazon is quite simple. They ask you for basic information such as credit card, telephone, company details, contact details, bank details and little else.
2. Then, obviously, you have to upload an inventory, and choose in which of the local Amazon platforms you want to place your products.
3. Choosing logistics is an important step. Amazon recommends you use its own service, and the truth is that it has a few advantages. You don't worry and it allows you to take advantage of services such as Amazon Premium so that the product reaches customers very quickly.
4. You start to sell and send the products. You receive payments, minus the Amazon seller commission.
How to stand out when you want to sell on online platforms?
Before I mentioned the great advantage of digital platforms is that you have access to millions of customers who trust them. But of course, you are not the only seller, far from it. Therefore, unless you sell something very specific and not very competitive, you are going to have to stand out.
That's why before I was talking about advertising on Amazon. Within online platforms, you have marketing solutions that help you sell more. In the case of the company founded by Jeff Bezos, you have three interesting solutions.
Sponsored products. They are the products that appear at the beginning of the results when you do a search on Amazon. It is a very efficient strategy, because clients do not usually want to look at many results, and they focus mainly on the first ones they find. ^
Sponsored brand. It is a different strategy, which consists of making your company known. In this way, ads are created that lead to your seller profile. It is a good way to build a brand image.
Red display. In this case, it is advertising off the platform. Many websites and blogs have advertising, and with this solution, what is done is that your products are shown to a relevant audience. When the customer clicks on an ad, they land on your product page on the platform.
Take care of the service in all its aspects
One of the keys to long-term success in selling on digital platforms is having excellent customer service. Amazon and the other companies generally already have fairly strict criteria for response times and other factors. But that is not enough.
Customer reviews can be decisive for other people to buy your products. And those opinions are the result of the shopping experience. If a person receives a late or damaged product, chances are they will write a negative review. If, on the other hand, everything happens without incident, few people will register a positive evaluation, but some will.
How you handle a problem has a huge impact on opinions. If you respond quickly and fix it in a short time, they may post a negative opinion, but it will not be so harsh. But if you are slow to respond or resolve the issue, the probability of receiving a very bad review goes up a lot.
Another important element is the question and answer section. Even if you have put a very clear description of the product, it is possible that customers have to answer questions before they can buy it. If you respond quickly and concisely, you will be able to close more sales, and it will also give you the opportunity to improve the description of your products.
How much does it cost to sell on online platforms like Amazon?
Having access to millions of customers has a cost, but if so many sellers do it, it is because it pays off in the end. As a reference, I am going to give you the Amazon Spain rates as of the publication date of this article. When you read that, they may have changed.
Subscription fee: € 39 per month for Professional, free for Individual.
Rate per unit sold: does not apply for Professional, € 0.99 for Individual.
Rate on each sale (in addition to the previous one): between 7% and 45% depending on the type of product, generally with a minimum of € 0.30, with few exceptions.
There are more fees, for example, for managing customer reimbursement (another argument for taking great care of the service), having many active listings or selling certain specific items.
I do not pretend to give you exhaustive information, just that you have an idea of the costs of selling on digital platforms.