The beginner's guide to selling on Amazon


Guide for how to sell on Amazon

This post was last updated on December 2, 2022.


It’s no secret that Amazon is a juggernaut in the eCommerce world.

Today, it accounts for roughly 40% of U.S. retail eCommerce sales—or nearly $2 of every $5 spent online—according to eMarketer. And more than 60% of online product searches now start on the marketplace.

For sellers, Amazon represents a vast, green opportunity.

Home to 200 million loyal Prime members and billions of monthly visitors, Amazon sets itself apart as the largest online marketplace in existence. That’s what makes it a welcome addition to many multichannel selling strategies. (Not to mention that if your online store is built with Wix, adding Amazon as a sales channel is just a matter of a few simple clicks.)

But Amazon is also a gargantuan marketplace. To stand out from the crowd, there are several things you need to be aware of before getting started. In this blog post, we’ll cover all the fundamentals of selling on Amazon, including:




Is Amazon right for you? 5 considerations


1. Audience


It’s tempting to assume that everyone and their mother shops on Amazon. However, the reality is that just like any other sales channel, Amazon attracts a unique clientele.

Earlier this year, Business Insider—together with analytics firm Numerator—even reported that the typical Amazon customer is a college-educated married woman living in the Southeast earning $80,000. According to the same report, these shoppers are mostly between the ages of 35 to 44 or 55 to 64, and spend 9% of their shopping budget on Amazon.


This is consistent with Similarweb’s findings:


  • 60% of Amazon.com visitors are female, 40% are male

  • 25% of shoppers are between the ages 25 to 34, 21.6% are between 45 to 54, and 16.3% are between 55 to 64

  • 70.2% of visitors have a college degree or higher

  • 39.5% have an annual household income of over $100,000, 29.9% earn between $50,000 and $100,000, and 30.6% earn under $50,000

  • The average household size of Amazon shoppers is two


Prior to selling on the channel, confirm that your audience aligns with Amazon’s and set your expectations accordingly.



2. Product category


With more than 30 main product categories and 25,000 subcategories, Amazon is known to be “the everything store.” And yet, not every category is created equal. Some see much more light of day than others. Some are more highly regulated. Still others are easier to rank for (read: less competitive) or more profitable to sell in.


Make sure to do your due diligence and understand the types of behaviors that your target categories attract. Browse through the top-ranking products of relevant search and category pages. Check out Amazon’s Best Sellers list. If you resell popular products, see who you’re up against by navigating to the product page and checking out the “Other Sellers on Amazon” section.



amazon's best seller list


Keep in mind the top 10 more popular categories (by seller count) as well, as reported by Jungle Scout:


  • Home & Kitchen

  • Beauty & Personal Care

  • Toys & Games

  • Clothing, Shoes & Jewelry

  • Health, Household & Baby Care

  • Sports & Outdoors

  • Arts, Crafts & Sewing

  • Books

  • Kitchen & Dining

  • Baby



3. Seller requirements

Virtually anyone can join Amazon. However, as a third-party seller, you’ll be measured against strict performance standards. More specifically, you’ll be expected to maintain:

  • Below 1% order defect rate (ODR) - based on the number of chargebacks processed, negative feedback you receive, and more

  • Below 2.5% pre-fulfillment cancel rate - based on the number of orders you cancel prior to shipping out the product

  • Below 4% late shipment rate (LSR) - based on the number of late or missing shipment confirmations

  • Above 95% valid tracking rate (VTR) - ensuring that the tracking numbers you upload are valid


Needless to say that you’ll want to make sure you’re set up to consistently meet these standards. Otherwise, you risk listing suppression or, even worse, account suspension.



4. Costs of selling on Amazon


If you’re serious about making Amazon work, you’ll want to sign up for a Professional plan, which costs $39.99 a month. With this plan, you gain access to the most useful tools in Seller Central, plus become eligible to win the Buy Box (this is a must for resellers).

In addition to a monthly subscription fee, you’ll be required to pay a referral fee on every item sold. The exact amount varies based on the product category but usually shakes out to be between 8% to 15% of your item’s total sales price.


5. Costs of competing on Amazon


Beyond required costs, there are other costs associated with being able to realistically compete on Amazon’s bustling marketplace. Among them:


  • Amazon FBA fees - With 92% of Amazon sellers using FBA, participation in the fulfillment program is hardly optional. It is currently the only way for third-party sellers to earn the coveted “Prime” badge on their listings (Amazon used to offer a Seller-Fulfilled Prime option, but the program has since been closed off to new registrants), and win the Buy Box in most categories. FBA comes with various shipping and storage-related fees that you’ll want to know.

  • Advertising fees - Nearly two-thirds of sellers promote their products through Amazon’s Sponsored Product ads. They’re pay-per-click (PPC) ads that vary in cost, depending on the competitiveness of your target keyword.

Make sure you thoroughly understand how much it costs to sell on Amazon before diving headfirst.

Pros and cons of selling on Amazon


With the above said, there are clear pros and cons of selling on Amazon. Not all cons are unique to Amazon—many are inherent to selling on any third-party marketplace—but you’ll nonetheless want to be mindful of them.



Pros

  • Massive reach - Amazon’s global presence and reach can yield lots of new traffic to your products and, ultimately, sales.

  • Trusted channel - You may enjoy an easier time earning the trust of new customers, simply because of Amazon’s reputation as a fairly priced, buyer-friendly marketplace.

  • Competitive advantage - As shoppers jump to Amazon to compare products and explore all of their options, you can make sure your product remains top of mind, no matter where your customers shop.

  • Open-minded shoppers - Sixty-five percent of consumers say they’re comfortable buying from sellers that they’ve never heard of before on marketplaces like Amazon, leveling the playing field.

Cons

  • Lack of control - Amazon has its own unique algorithm, processes, and requirements (for pricing, listing, fulfillment, and more) that you’ll need to adhere to in order to maintain your selling privileges.

  • Exposing your data - Amazon knows what you sell, what’s most profitable, and who your suppliers are—and unsurprising, may use this data to create competing products.

  • Tons of competition - While pretty much anyone can start selling on Amazon, only one percent of Amazon sellers make over $100,000 each month in sales (you’ll have to play the long game rather than dream of overnight success).

  • Brand dilution - With 78% of searches being unbranded on the marketplace, you may find it difficult to attract repeat buyers and redirect customers’ loyalties from Amazon to your brand.

  • Fees can add up - Amazon seller fees can eat into your margins and may be hard to avoid, especially if you use FBA for fulfillment.

How to start selling on Amazon


If you’ve decided that Amazon makes sense for your business, follow these steps in order to hit the ground running.



1. Set up your Amazon seller account


One of the fastest ways to get started is by going through your Wix account. By integrating your Amazon store with Wix, you can automatically import your existing catalog to Amazon, avoiding tons of manual data entry and repetitive work.



integration between Wix and Amazon


To do so, simply log into your Wix account and add Amazon as a sales channel.Alternatively, you can sign up for a new account through Amazon. (Note: you can still connect your Amazon account to Wix after creating an account.)


During the setup process, you’ll need to provide the following information:

  • Tax information

  • Phone number

  • Bank account number

  • Bank routing number

  • Credit card details

  • Government-issued ID




2. List your products


If you’re using Wix, simply select the products in your Wix Store catalog that you wish to list on Amazon. You can add to an existing Amazon listing (aka “ASIN”) or create a new one (only if no one else sells your product on Amazon)—all from within Wix. If desired, you can customize your product details specifically for Amazon.


For example, say you want to change the price for Amazon. You can easily define the price within Wix, then hit “Publish” to send those details to Amazon.


Alternatively, you can go into Seller Central and create your listings from within there. It’s a fairly straightforward process, though it can be tedious if you’re entering details by hand. That said, Amazon operates on a first-come-first-serve basis.


In other words, if an ASIN already exists for your product because other sellers are already offering it on Amazon, you won’t be able to change the listing details without submitting a support ticket. On the other hand, if you’re the first seller to list a unique product to Amazon and/or are registered in the Amazon Brand Registry, you can enjoy the most control over product details, including the titles, images, and bullet points.



3. (For new listings) optimize your content


When it comes to creating a brand new listing on Amazon, you’ll want to make sure that you optimize your content for Amazon’s algorithm, as well as their seller guidelines. Keep in mind that Amazon SEO is not synonymous with Google SEO. Amazon has its unique ranking algorithm, intended to promote listings that are high-converting and sold by reliable sellers.


Follow these below tips to strengthen your Amazon listings.



Product title


Your product title is instrumental in getting shoppers to click to your product detail page, so make sure to craft them carefully.

  • Keep your text to under 200 characters so that Amazon doesn’t crop it. Amazon Seller Guidelines recommend keeping titles to 60 characters.

  • Make sure to include the most important aspects and keywords of your product. Consider what your customers will be looking for when shopping for your product, like size, color, brand and compatibility.

  • Include relevant search terms that will enhance each product’s discoverability.

  • Aim for high-volume keywords that’ll bring the right shoppers to your listing, but don’t overpack it with searchable terms.

  • Capitalize words carefully so that your listings look professional.



Product images


Product photography is very important for establishing trust, so don’t settle for anything short of professional.

  • The recommended size for product images is 2,000 pixels by 2,000 pixels.

  • Make sure the main image is shot against a pure white background and only includes the product(s) that are shipped with each order.

  • You can add up to nine images, each of which can help customers envision your product's size, details, and intended use. Consider hiring a professional product photographer and retoucher to give your imagery a skillful touch.

  • Avoid distracting backgrounds that can take away attention from the product itself. Make sure the product is the star of the image.

  • Use soft lighting so that the product is easy to see in all its detail.

For more tips, check out our guide on product photography.


Key features and description


featured bullets on an Amazon listing


While key features (aka “featured bullet points”) tease the best aspects of your product, your long descriptions can help you to seal the deal by providing more in-depth details about your product—don’t skimp on either of these.


  • Use bullet points to give customers a glimpse at the top selling points of your product. Don’t merely focus on features, but rather talk about the benefits of owning your item.

  • Use the product description to help shoppers appreciate how your product will change their lives. What value does it bring? What sets it apart? How might it compare to other similar products on the market?

  • Don’t stuff your copy with filler or over-the-top words (like “extremely”). Instead, write to inform your customers about the most helpful aspect of your product, and to appeal to their values.

  • Naturally weave in keywords, including any alternate names, synonyms, and spelling variations.


Pro tip: Tools like Jungle Scout, Helium 10, and SellerApp can all help you perform thorough keyword research, specifically for Amazon. Scope out the competition and discover the best keyword opportunities for your products.



4. Name your price


At this stage, you’ll want to keep your pricing competitive without squashing your margins. Check what your top competitors are charging by scoping out the top-selling products in your category. Analyze your existing sales data, plus use the aforementioned tools to inform your pricing strategy.


Bear in mind that your Amazon price shouldn’t be too far off from your normal store prices. Your listing may not rank well—or be suppressed entirely—if your product can be bought at a far cheaper price in your store or elsewhere on the internet.


If you’re a reseller, you’ll additionally need to familiarize yourself with the Buy Box. This little piece of real estate (located on the right side of your product detail page on desktop, or below the product images on mobile) dictates who “wins” and gains the profits from a sale. Buy Box winners may change daily, if not hourly, to reward sellers with the best track records.



example of an Amazon buy box winner


While your Buy Box eligibility depends on a variety of factors (including good account health and sufficient order volume), your price and total offer (e.g., shipping time and fees) will also come into play. You do not need to necessarily offer the lowest price, especially if you sell with FBA and offer Prime shipping. But, you’ll still need to optimize your price for the Buy Box.


Consider testing out an Amazon repricer to dynamically adjust your prices. At minimum, be diligent in your research when deciding the best price for your product.


5. Decide how you’ll fulfill orders


There are two ways that you can handle order fulfillment on Amazon.

  • Fulfilled by merchant (FBM) - You handle everything from warehousing to shipping, and packaging to returns processing.

  • Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA) - You outsource fulfillment and customer service to Amazon. You’ll simply be responsible for shipping your products to Amazon’s fulfillment centers.

As mentioned earlier, FBA is nearly a prerequisite for competing in Amazon's most popular categories. That said, you can choose to take a hybrid approach and only use FBA for certain products.

Possibly the greatest advantage of FBA is that it gives your products a leg up in rankings (plus the Buy Box) by making them Prime-eligible. To sweeten the deal even more, FBA offers highly competitive shipping prices, allowing you to save significantly more in shipping costs than with other delivery partners and carriers.

However, there are some challenges to be aware of. Sellers most recently reported that Amazon drastically cut their FBA storage limits, chokeholding sales. You lose even more control over your business, allowing Amazon to hold on to your inventory, decide how to handle returned items (dispose or resell?), and restrict storage space—among other things.

Carefully decide which shipping method makes most sense for your products, then enter these offer details into your Wix account. In Seller Central, you can fill out the “Offer” tab.


6. Publish and start marketing your products


Once you’ve completed the above steps, you can publish your product listing to Amazon. Remember, the job isn’t done once you’ve hit “publish.” Take steps to driving more traffic to your listings via channels like:


  • Amazon ads - Create PPC (pay-per-click) ads for your products and target the main keywords your target audience will be searching. These sponsored ads appear in search results and on other product pages as recommended products. There are three types of Amazon PPC ads available: Sponsored Products, Sponsored Brands and Sponsored Display.

  • Social media - Choose the right social media channels for your target audience and build a content strategy to grow awareness for your eCommerce business. Create engaging content that brings your products to life and drives customers to your online store or Amazon product listings. Connect with social influencers who can promote your products using an Amazon affiliate link, earning them a commission in return for sales.

  • Amazon badges - Amazon has created a variety of badges designed to help shoppers make a purchase decision. Available only to sellers on a Professional plan, these badges—or ribbons— can appear in search engine results page (SERP) or on product listings. Some require more time and effort to acquire, but all can positively impact your store’s traffic and sales.

  • Amazon's Choice - Sellers can’t buy or apply for this sought-after badge. It’s an algorithm-chosen “best option” specially designed to streamline the customer journey. To qualify, you’ll need to be Prime-eligible with competitively priced, high-rated products that are in stock and ready to ship.

  • Promotions and coupons - Customers love the thrill of a bargain. Grab their attention in a crowded marketplace by offering incentives like free shipping, percentage discounts or seasonal promotions. Promo codes or percentage discounts are enticing and free to use, but they’ll only be visible within your product listing. Coupon codes are discoverable in the SERP, but Amazon charges a fee for every coupon redeemed. Ultimately, you’ll need to do the math to see if price promotions work for your business.

  • Deal of the Day or Limited Time Deals - Flash sales like these encourage shoppers to take advantage of the discounted prices while stocks last. Due to its high visibility on the Deals page, sellers must pay a fee to participate. Even so, sales aren’t guaranteed and you’ll be charged whether your campaign performs well or not.


Unicorn-themed children’s store, Daughter’s List, cleverly uses some of these sales techniques to offer cost-conscious shoppers perceived value for money—a discount on every product’s original List Price, as well as extra savings coupons ranging from 5%-25% off. This competitive pricing strategy, alongside well-crafted product descriptions and solid product reviews, has earned the coveted Amazon Choice badge on some of their products.



amazon coupon on a listing by Daughter's List


Sell on Amazon and beyond with Wix


Selling successfully on Amazon involves strong brand management, financial management, and continual optimization across your listings. To stand out in such a crowded marketplace you’ll need to embrace strategic planning, pay attention to the finer details, and stay focused on your business goals.


Operate faster and smarter than your competitors by managing your multichannel sales in Wix. Get set up and scale your reach—all from one place.


New to Wix? Create your online store for free today.



Amazon selling FAQs


Is it profitable to sell on Amazon?


Despite the fees, it’s impossible to ignore the profit potential when it comes to selling on Amazon. The eCommerce giant boasts an incredible 300 million customers, including 200 million Amazon Prime members—an exciting prospect for entrepreneurs looking to grow beyond the reach of their current SEO and marketing strategies.


It’s also worth mentioning that Amazon’s relationship with third-party sellers is mutually beneficial. In 2021, Amazon generated approximately $103.4 billion in third-party seller services, and third-party seller products now account for more than half of all units sold.



Why should I sell on Amazon if I have an online store?


A multichannel strategies strategy is advantageous for many reasons:


  • You’re not dependent on bringing in customers through one single sales channel.

  • Your chance of discoverability increases with Amazon’s international audience of loyal shoppers.

  • An online store adds credibility to your brand. Customers browsing on Amazon might look up your website to learn more.

  • Wix stores that add an additional sales channel increase their revenue by up to 12%.


Wix merchant Qualis uses Amazon to get its diverse array of products (including home, lifestyle, pet, and baby products) in front of the right audiences. Rather than building an audience from scratch for each category, Qualis can tap into Amazon's massive following—plus offer site visitors various ways to shop their products.



Badge on Qualis's homepage stating that it's a proud Amazon seller


The Qualis homepage proudly dons a sticker stating “Proud Amazon Seller," letting shoppers know that they can complete their purchases via their Amazon Prime account if they wish. Meanwhile, for Amazon shoppers, the Qualis website is a good place for them to learn more about the Colorado-based company. Both the Qualis website and Amazon page have a similar look and feel, creating a symbiotic relationship between the two channels.


What are good Amazon seller tools?

Amazon Seller Tools are third-party software solutions designed to help grow your Amazon business and streamline your workload. In a crowded market, they can help distinguish your store from the competition.

Some of the most popular tools include:

  • Jungle Scout - An all-in-one platform that helps Amazon sellers find products to sell, source suppliers, optimize listings, manage inventory and sales, and more.

  • Helium 10 - An all-in-one platform offering a comprehensive range of software tools to manage your Amazon business.

  • SellerApp - An analytics software app that offers a suite of tools to analyze and optimize your Amazon store’s marketing, sales, and operations.



How do I get more reviews on Amazon?


Amazon automatically emails buyers asking for a product review, so you technically don’t have to do anything to get reviews. But, there are other steps you can take to increase your review count. Just make sure to acquaint yourself with Amazon’s strict community guidelines, which prohibit things like bribing a customer to leave a positive review.

Some things you can do to earn reviews:

  • Join Amazon’s Vine Program which is open to sellers who have Amazon brand-registered products and fewer than 30 reviews. In the Vine program, a seller submits 30 units of inventory. Selected Vine reviewers receive the product for free, test it out, and write a review.

  • Manually request a review in Seller Central using Amazon’s “Request a Review'' button. It allows you to request reviews for each of your orders within four to 30 days of purchase.

  • Place a card requesting a review along with your packaging. Adding a personal touch like this encourages users to give you feedback.


Don’t forget to optimize the user experience to naturally earn reviews:


  • Be responsive. Handle and respond to any questions, issues, or concerns promptly and professionally.

  • Reply to customer reviews on the product detail page and, if you need to resolve any issues, ask them to contact you through Amazon’s Buyer-Seller Messaging Service.

  • If you do get a bad review, you can try to reach out to the customer to offer compensation, like a full or partial refund or replacement item.

  • Track your performance in Amazon’s Seller Central.

  • Embrace feedback and use it to improve your business. Consider implementing changes to the aspects of your business that continuously receive negative feedback.



headshot of Geraldine Feehily

Geraldine Feehily

Marketing Writer, Wix for eCommerce


Geraldine is a marketing writer for Wix. She uses her broad experience in journalism, publishing, public relations, and marketing to create compelling content and loves hearing user success stories.


headshot of Allison Lee

Allison Lee Editor, Wix for eCommerce


Allison is the editor for the Wix eCommerce blog, with several years of experience reporting on eCommerce news, strategies, and founder stories.

Wix eCommerce Expand your eCommerce reach