How to Start Selling on Amazon UK in 2024
October 17, 2023
With a massive customer base, unparalleled reach, and sophisticated infrastructure, Amazon remains perhaps the most lucrative platform for sellers looking to tap into the ecommerce market. But how to become an Amazon seller, especially if you’re a beginner? Let's walk you through the process.
Why Selling on Amazon is a Good Idea
Amazon UK is not just an eCommerce platform: it's an ecosystem. With its Prime members alone numbering in the millions, sellers have access to a ready and loyal customer base - plus, Amazon's brand reputation means new sellers can leverage its trust factor to alleviate the apprehensions that new brands typically face. In addition to this, the platform's suite of tools and services, from analytics to advertising, ensures that even novices have what they need to start on the right foot.
Getting Started on Amazon
Before you can become a seller on Amazon, you’ll need to spend a hefty chunk of time on preparation, strategy, and due diligence. Here’s what you need to do:
Set Up Your Amazon Seller Account
Before you can start selling, you need an Amazon Seller account. Choose between two primary account types:
- Individual: Suitable for those looking to sell fewer items, it comes without a monthly fee but charges per item sold.
- Professional: Designed for sellers with a larger inventory or those planning to sell more frequently. It carries a monthly fee but waives the per-item charge.
The registration process will require details like your business name, address, contact details, and bank information. Ensure all details are accurate to prevent future complications.
Legal and Tax Considerations
Understanding the legalities is crucial when pondering, "How can I sell on Amazon?" Ensure you have all necessary business licences and permits; in the UK, you might require a sole trader, partnership, or limited company registration, depending on your business structure.
Also, be aware of the VAT (Value Added Tax) implications. If your sales exceed the VAT threshold, you'll need to register for VAT and incorporate it into your pricing.
Initial Budgeting and Investment
Before taking the plunge and officially becoming an Amazon seller, you’ll also need to determine your initial investment. This should cover:
- Product procurement
- Packaging and branding expenses
- Advertising and marketing costs (we’d recommend working with an Advertising agency for Amazon sellers to avoid sky-high costs.)
- Amazon's selling fees
Finding Profitable Products
One of the most crucial aspects of a successful Amazon business is product selection - this is going to be the bread and butter of your business model, so it’s important to choose wisely, while considering both logistics and profitability. Here’s what to consider:
Market Research and Niche Selection
Start by identifying gaps in the market or areas with lower competition but consistent demand; you can use tools like JungleScout or Helium 10 to find insights in current market trends, best-selling products, and potential niches.
Sourcing and Procurement Strategies
Once you've identified a niche, the next step is sourcing: consider factors like quality, reliability, and cost. While many turn to platforms like Alibaba for bulk purchases, don't dismiss local suppliers who might offer unique products or faster lead times.
Understanding your competitors is another essential aspect for anyone looking to sell on Amazon. To perform competitor analysis without a paid tool, simply search for similar keywords and find popular products, and analyse their product listings, reviews, and pricing strategy. This not only helps in positioning your product effectively but also in identifying areas of improvement or potential differentiators. You don’t want to necessarily copy the competition directly; you want to take a popular product and make it better.
Pro Tip: Reading the 3-star reviews of competitor products is one of the best ways to gauge how customers feel, as these reviews will usually mention something positive about the product, while giving ideas about room for improvement.
Creating Your Amazon UK Listings
Now, your product listing is your storefront on Amazon, so ensuring that it's compelling and informative should be atop your seller to-do list. High-quality images, a catchy title with relevant keywords, a detailed product description, and strategically placed keywords can enhance product visibility and conversion rates, so take your time to make sure to optimise these sections correctly.
You might want to use bullet points to highlight the primary benefits and features of your product, and including genuine reviews and answering customer questions promptly can further build trust and boost sales.
Choosing a Fulfilment Method
Now you’ve got your products up, how are they going to be sent to your customers? Amazon provides sellers with two main fulfilment options:
Fulfilment by Amazon (FBA)
If you opt for FBA, Amazon will take care of storage, packaging, and shipping your products to customers. This method can be more expensive due to the associated fees, but it offers convenience, Prime eligibility, and potentially higher visibility on the platform.
Fulfilment by Merchant (FBM)
With FBM, sellers handle storage, packaging, and are responsible for handling product shipping; this option does give sellers more control and can be cost-effective for certain products or regions, but do note that it might demand more hands-on effort on your part, especially if you’re shipping bulky items or you start getting a lot of orders.
If you’re struggling to decide, you can read our article here on choosing between these two fulfilment methods.
Managing Your Inventory
It’s simple: inventory management (or mismanagement) can make or break your Amazon selling experience. Running out of stock can hurt your product rankings, while overstocking can lead to additional storage fees, especially if you’re using FBA. Tools like Amazon's Inventory Planning can provide insights into inventory levels and sales velocity, helping you make informed restocking decisions.
Marketing and Promotion
Even the best products need visibility! Amazon has millions of products for customers to wade through when searching for what they’re looking for, so consider leveraging Amazon's advertising options or hiring an Amazon advertising agency to help optimise your campaigns. Regularly monitor your advertising ROI and adjust strategies as needed, and don’t forget that seasonal promotions, lightning deals, or bundle offers can also help in boosting sales and product visibility.
Handling Orders and Customer Service
Prompt order processing and customer service can greatly enhance your seller reputation - it just takes one bad review to tank your business for a while! To keep customers happy, always address customer inquiries and complaints swiftly and professionally. You should also encourage satisfied customers to leave positive reviews, as these are going to play a pivotal role in influencing potential buyers.
Scaling Your Amazon UK Business
Once you've established a footing in the Amazon marketplace, there’s no reason you can’t think about scaling your business further. This could involve expanding your product range, exploring international markets, or automating certain aspects of your business, such as repricing or customer service.
Diversifying your product portfolio based on market research can open up new revenue streams: for example, if you've found success in the UK, consider selling in other European markets or even globally. With Amazon's global fulfilment network, the platform can make this transition smoother.
The Bottom Line
Overall, becoming a successful seller on Amazon UK requires strategy, persistence, and adaptability - but is it worth it in 2024? Absolutely!