It allows sellers to present their own branding and products, track marketing activities, tell their brand story, and communicate with customers on a more personal level. Think of it like a website, but built on the Amazon platform and benefiting from Amazon’s enormous audience.
In this feature, we’re going to uncover the method taken in creating your very own Amazon Brand Store and sending your goods off to market. So, calling all brands. If you’re looking to elevate your business to the next level, then this is the article for you.
Understanding the Amazon Marketplace
One of the first steps in launching an Amazon selling business is deciding whether you want to operate as a Fulfilment By Amazon (FBA) or Fulfilment By Merchant (FBM) seller. FBA is a popular option, as it allows brands to capitalise on Amazon’s extensive fulfilment network. With FBA, Amazon handles storage, shipping, customer care, and returns, giving customers a smooth shopping journey, and traders a hassle-free experience. The biggest advantage of FBA is qualifying for Amazon Prime, which has a profound effect on sales thanks to the vast number of Amazon Prime members. However, the drawback is a loss of control over inventory and delivery options, and an increase in fees to compensate for the convenience of Amazon Prime benefits.
FBA products are affixed with the ‘Prime’ badge, which appeals to buyers and Amazon Prime members.
FBM, on the other hand, gives merchants greater control over these aspects, which can result in cheaper delivery costs. However, it forces sellers to manage storing their own products, shipping, customer support, and returns.
An example of a Merchant Fulfilled (FBM) listing. Note the delivery cost.
Ultimately, there are several advantages and disadvantages to either FBA and FBM. But, factors such as product type, product size and weight, the size of your business, access to resources, and how much control over logistics is what brand’s need to consider when deciding which model to adopt.
Preparing Your Products for Amazon
Conducting detailed market research is crucial when building your product catalog. Your research should seek to evaluate current demand for similar items, identify competition, and discover market gaps. Tools such as Amazon’s Best Sellers, Jungle Scout, and Helium10 work wonders during this process, as these services give insight into sales quantities, customer reviews, and competitor strategy.
Keep an eye on what your customers love and what they’re looking for. Dig into the details of what makes a product stand out in your niche, especially when it comes to prices. Also, reading the negative reviews on rivals’ products can be a treasure trove of information and present potential opportunities for your own product. The aim is to uncover that sweet spot where your product can be set apart from the rest by offering unique features, better quality, or unbeatable pricing.
Optimising your product listings for Amazon’s A9 search algorithm is essential for maximum reach and exposure. Using relevant keywords in your product title, description, and backend search terms all contribute to the health of your listings and how well they perform on the marketplace.
A listing with an optimised product title informs the buyer who the product is from, what the product is, the product’s key USP, and the quantity of the purchase
Professionally written listing copy and high-quality photos are advantageous for converting shoppers into customers. Your product descriptions should be clear, informative, and feature your product’s benefits and characteristics in the best way possible. Use the bullet points to highlight your USPs and make your content easily digestible.
Images are equally as important. Include high-resolution photographs of your product from various angles, as well as pinpoint its features and other important details. Lifestyle photos of your product can be effective as it allows the buyer to visualise the product in their home. Infographics and video provide educational value, engagement, as well as a way to reinforce your branding.
Setting the right price on Amazon is important too, but a bit of a balancing act. Brands have to consider costs, shipping, taxes, and what your competitors are pricing their products at. It’s wise to stay flexible with your prices, adjusting as the market moves, or when your competitors make a change. Pricing that is psychologically appealing, such as £19.99 instead of £20.00, can impact customer decisions.
Monitor your pricing strategy and be prepared to make adjustments to it when necessary. Your products need to be as attractive as possible to shoppers in order to remain competitive on Amazon.
Setting Up Your Amazon Storefront
Before setting up your Amazon storefront, create a Seller Central account and select the most suitable selling plan and subscription for your brand.
- The Individual Plan is designed for sellers who expect to sell fewer than 40 items per month and charges a fee per item sold.
- The Professional Plan is for high volume sellers and charges a monthly subscription fee, but includes additional features such as inventory management tools.
Setting up your Amazon storefront is a fundamental step towards establishing your brand’s successful online presence. To begin, you must have a registered or pending trademark in the countries accepted by Amazon. Amazon will only recognise World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) trademarks.
Once eligible, follow these next steps
1. Create an account in brand registry using the same email address as your Seller Central account
2. Enter your brand’s name, which must have an active registered trademark.
3. Provide the number of your government-registered trademark.
4. Specify the product categories related to your brand.
5. Indicate the countries where your brand’s products are manufactured and distributed.
6. Submit your application for Amazon to review.
During the evaluation process, Amazon will reach out to the person who’s associated with the registered trademark. They’ll be asked a series of questions to determine whether your brand meets Amazon’s Brand Registry guidelines. This approval process can take anywhere from 24 hours to more than a month.
When you’re finally approved, it’s time to begin creating your store. Woop!
Log in, then click the “Manage Stores” tab in the main navigation bar. On the following screen, choose the “Create Store” button. Select your brand’s name from the menu that appears. Click on “Create Store.”
You’ll now be in the Store builder. This is the first step in opening your Amazon Store. Add your brand display name and logo. Then press “Next.”
The next step is to select a homepage layout. Amazon will provide you with a number of themes to choose from. Go for the one that best suits your brand’s needs.
Setting up your Amazon storefront is relatively straightforward thanks to Amazon’s user-friendly approach. The platform comes with pre-created templates, akin to popular website builders like Wix. This means you can easily customise your store by simply dragging and dropping sections into place, arranging sections and elements to your liking.
When your homepage has been laid out, it’s time to create additional pages for your brand store. These can be anything from different ranges of products, best-selling items, your brand’s history, to FAQ’s. Don’t forget, your brand store is the Amazon equivalent to an eCommerce website. The only real difference is, it’s on Amazon.
According to Amazon, “Stores with 3+ pages have 83% higher shopper dwell time and 32% higher attributed sales per visitor.”
Once your store layout is done, you can now begin populating your homepage and subpages with content tiles. This is your chance to share your brand’s story and demonstrate what makes you unique and recognisable. Invest in high-quality photographs and videos to showcase your products. Adding lifestyle images and videos will help consumers in visualising the products in action. Remember your branding colours, graphics and styles that are associated with your brand too, as these all contribute towards building brand recognition.
Inside the store builder displaying your store pages along the left, and the page tiles down the right
Finally, you’ve set your store up to look how you want it to look, and populated it with your content to make it your own. But, like any other retail space, your Amazon store requires inventory.
The ease with which you can stock your virtual shelves is what sets apart your Amazon store from any other – the ability to upload your entire product inventory at once. Wow!
The process is simple: assign each of your products an Amazon Standard Identification Number (ASIN) or UPC Code. Then it’s just a matter of copying and pasting these details into your store.
Amazon makes this process even easier by allowing you to easily search for the ASINs of the products you already sell on their marketplace. This feature not only makes stocking your store more efficient, but also more user-friendly. And that’s what we like to hear.
And there you have it, a brand store completed. Give it one final check by hitting store preview, scanning for spelling mistakes, functionality, image alignments, and mobile compatibility. Make the necessary changes if you need to, otherwise submit so Amazon can review your store.
Example of an optimised brand store home page
Fulfilment and Inventory Management
Brands using FBA will want to take full advantage of Amazon’s fulfilment services. But you will still need to supply Amazon with the stock. It’s important to have an effective inventory management system in place to keep everything running smoothly, balancing in-stock levels to match demand without overstocking.
Utilise Amazon’s features to keep track of inventory by setting up low-stock alerts and planning replenishments based on sales patterns and the time of year, such as Q4 and Christmas. Effective management minimises unnecessary storage fees and helps to avoid out-of-stock product lines, which affect sales.
Furthermore, check stock levels on a regular basis, matching how fast items are selling and how quickly your suppliers can deliver. For demand forecasting and reorder suggestions, use systems like Amazon’s Restock Inventory. Consider just-in-time inventory for predictable, fast-moving products to help save on storage costs and avoid the hassle of being stuck with outdated stock.
Optimising Your Amazon Listings
You’ve got the store, now it’s time to get the sales. In order to do so, It’s vital your product listings are optimised for maximum visibility. Think of it like casting a giant fishing net – the bigger the throw, the more likely you are to catch something.
Focus on keyword research to identify the most relevant and high-traffic keywords for your products. Weave these keywords into your product title, description, and backend search terms strategically. Make sure your product listings are thorough, with well written descriptions, bullet points, and relevant keywords. Remember that Amazon’s A9 algorithm prioritises listings that are most relevant to the customer’s search query, so relevancy and clarity are key in your listings.
Sponsored ads on Amazon can dramatically increase the visibility of your products. These pay-per-click advertisements place your products prominently in search results and on product detail pages.
Sponsored ads appear prominently in the SERP as well as on PDP’s, as seen by the top row of products here.
Tip: A good strategy for brand’s new to PPC is to start with Automatic Campaigns to collect data and determine which keywords are most effective for your listings. Gradually transition to Manual Campaigns, which provide you greater control over keyword selection and bidding. Monitor the effectiveness of your advertising on a regular basis, modifying your strategy and budget based on the data acquired to maximise ROI.
Social proof is the number one form of validation, so every customer’s review plays a crucial role in the decision-making process of potential customers. By providing exceptional customer service and a pleasant user experience, buyers will be more inclined to submit a positive review following their purchase. Responding to both good and negative reviews demonstrates that you respect what customers have to say, eager to fix any concerns, and want to provide a quality service. Adopt customer feedback to improve your products and listings. Full transparency can result in improved brand trust, which leads to higher sales and product rankings.
A glowing customer review is the ultimate assurance a potential customer needs to make a purchase
Launching Your Products on Amazon
The success of your Amazon product launch depends on a well-planned launch strategy. This consists of market research, analysing your target customer, and identifying your products’ unique selling features (USPs). Identify what you plan to achieve from the launch, whether it’s brand recognition, customer acquisition, or volume of sales. Timing is everything, so your strategy should include a timeline, ensuring your product aligns with major shopping events or seasons relevant to your product. But make sure your inventory is well-stocked to accommodate any potential rise in demand as you don’t want to be out of stock when those sales roll in!
Promotional campaigns and deals are excellent strategies to build enthusiasm and increase early sales. To encourage customers, consider limited-time offers, discounts, or bundle deals. Amazon’s “Deal of the Day” or “Lightning Deals” may boost awareness and sales significantly. Make sure your promotions coincide with holidays or shopping occasions like Prime Day. Just remember to track the performance of these campaigns to understand their impact and improve future promotions.
Black Friday is the largest shopping event of the year and will do wonders for your brand and conversions
Social media and influencers can be helpful for your Amazon product launch. Finding those influencers who really get what your brand is about and have followers who would love your products is great for exposure. Collaborating with them for sponsored posts or product reviews can give your product a big boost and introduce it to lots of new potential buyers. Alternatively, generate hype for your product by releasing teasers and behind-the-scenes snippets on your brand’s social media pages. Actively engage with your audience and utilise targeted hashtags for greater reach.
Hiring an Amazon Product Launch Consultant or Agency
If all of this sounds a little out of your depth, don’t fret. There is a solution. Assess the benefits of using internal vs external resources. Hiring an Amazon product launch consultant or agency like This Is Unicorn offers up experienced expertise to your product launch, providing market insights as well as tried and tested advertising methods. Weigh the cost of hiring a third party in contrast to the possible return on investment (ROI). While in-house staff are familiar with your brand, external specialists can provide a new perspective and professional knowledge that may be lacking within your company’s team.
Measuring Performance and Ongoing Optimisation
After you launch on Amazon, it’s crucial to keep a close eye on how your store is doing. Amazon’s seller analytics and reports are your go-to tools for understanding your business as they give you a clear picture of what’s selling, customer preferences, and overall market trends.
Keep track of your key performance indicators (KPIs) like conversion rates, average order value, and customer acquisition costs. These are vital in understanding the health of your store and pinpointing areas that need attention.
Sustained success is all about making informed decisions. Use the insights from analytics and KPIs to guide your brand’s next moves, whether that’s tweaking your marketing strategy or refining your product listings. The goal is to keep adapting and improving, ensuring that every change you make is based on solid evidence. This way, you’ll keep your store optimised and on a path to long-term prosperity.
Dealing with Challenges and Competition
Handling issues and competition on Amazon requires a strategic and proactive plan:
Fighting fake and unauthorised sellers: Brands may join Amazon’s Brand Registry to combat false and unauthorised sellers. This gives you tools to protect your brand, like searching for your own text and images, and tools that guess which reports of breaking intellectual property rights might be right.
Protecting Your Brand on Amazon: Beyond the Brand Registry, brand’s should consider registering for Amazon’s Transparency programme or Project Zero, which provide extra levels of protection. Always check your listings to make sure they’re right and haven’t been changed without permission, and carry out test purchases to check for counterfeit items.
Use Amazon Project Zero for additional brand security
Staying Ahead of Competitors by Being Different: Make your products and brand special by offering something that others don’t, such as higher quality, innovative features, or exceptional customer service. Watch for changes in the market and what customers want. Apply customer feedback to continually improve your products and remain ahead of the competition.
The path to Amazon success isn’t an easy one. From creating a brand, to sourcing inventory, to creating a store, to listing products and shipping out your wares. Task after task, the process can be long and cumbersome, with many hurdles along the way. But with the right application, those obstacles are minuscule compared to the potential for growth on the platform. Amazon isn’t going anywhere anytime soon, and each day more brands move to the platform, or begin their journey here. This guide is a clear-cut way to create your own store and learn how to get started in the Amazon ecosystem, but if it’s still not for you, then we’d be glad to help.