What’s one of the best innovations for online shoppers in the past ten years?
The answer is Amazon Prime.
Amazon Prime is incredible.
If you ship your products to FBA, Amazon customers who have an Amazon Prime Membership can get your products with free, two-day shipping.
So, think about it. Your customer could wait 5-8 business days to get their order, or they could pay extra for shipping to get it there faster (I hate doing that). Don’t force your customers through the painful and expensive process of regular shipping.
Using Fulfillment by Amazon allows your items to qualify for Amazon Prime to the millions of shoppers on Amazon.
That means free, two-day shipping on the items you offer.
Amazon Prime can also work for you in another way.
If you order supplies for your business online (printers, toner, stationary, office supplies, etc.), Prime becomes very handy because you can let your fingers do the walking rather than spending time driving to one store, then another, and another.
Since your Prime account works for your household, you can also order personal items (with your personal credit card) and have the same benefit of the free, two-day shipping. We ordered a some heavy equipment and got it with free shipping in two days. It weighed close to 90 pounds and shipped for free!
It also works out really well, when family member birthdays sneak up on you…
The Numbers are Staggering
The bottom line is that with over 60-80 Million Amazon prime subscribers, there’s a whole lot of customers that qualify for free, two-day shipping on items that ship from an Amazon warehouse.
Those customers want items fast and with free shipping.
Ease of ordering makes ordering easy.
Because so many Amazon customers qualify for free, two-day shipping, they’re looking for products that meet that criteria.
Imagine using Fulfillment by Amazon for your business and having your products offered with free, two-day shipping.
When customers are shopping other sites or looking at other sellers on Amazon that offer shipping times from 5-10 business days, it’s an easy choice given who to buy from: The merchants that offer free, and extremely fast shipping.
Setup isn’t complicated, and for pre-existing listings, it’s even easier.
With fulfillment centers all over the US, and now in multiple countries around the world, time has never been better to get started.read more
It’s never been easier to get products to sell, but with that ease and convenience, you want to make sure that what you’re getting is what you’ve ordered (the quality, the quantity, the packaging, and all the important details of your order).
You want to make sure that your products are safe and meet safety standards.
In the old days, you had to visit your sources yourself, but fortunately, there are services that can visit your supplier to make sure that what you’ve ordered is what you’re going to receive. They can even have your products laboratory tested to make sure that your products are safe.
There are a number of services that can do this for you, and you’ll most often use these services when sourcing your own products from overseas.
Below are some of the services you can use:
Make use of these services to do an onsite inspection to make sure that the factory you’re dealing with is a real factory and business.
Use them to do laboratory testing on your products to make sure that they’re safe and free from harmful chemicals.
You can also use them to show up when your order is being processed and packed so they can inspect the quality and make sure that what you’ve ordered matches what is being shipped.read more
When I was first starting out, I’d get boxes from OfficeMax and they were expensive!
There’s a better way to save on shipping.
If you use Fulfillment by Amazon (which has helped me build my business), you’ll need some larger boxes to ship items in bulk to the Amazon Fulfillment Center.
You can definitely get boxes from Uline.com where I get other packing and shipping supplies, but there’s something you might want to try first.
There are probably lots of businesses in your city that would be willing to give you their used boxes.
If you know someone at the company, get permission to come pick up some of their used boxes that they don’t need anymore.
It’s a great way to save on boxes. Make sure that the boxes are in good shape, and that you cover any barcodes or labels, but such boxes can work out great to house your products in bulk on the way to the fulfillment center.
If you’re looking for bubble wrap, Kraft paper (the brown packing paper), box tape, tape dispensers, or any other shipping supply, Uline is a great source. Uline also sells boxes in bulk.read more
The quality of your pictures makes a difference. A product picture that has a background that hasn’t full been removed, or is out of focus really puts a damper on sales.
The software I use to clean up product images is Adobe Photoshop. I sprung and bought it as one of their product suites, but you can buy it individually as well.
It really makes a difference when you use pro-software to get the job done.
I’ll use Photoshop to remove backgrounds from product images, re-size images for the web, and Photoshop compresses them really well.
Photoshop has also been helpful as I’ve purchased website themes to use for my product sites because those themes come with the regular images, but if you want to customize them, you need Photoshop to open the files.
You can go for the Creative Suite which is what I got, or the less expensive Elements which is a simplified version of the full Photoshop.
If you don’t want to remove backgrounds yourself, you can have them removed for you with the service at www.removethebackground.comread more
Good pictures sell products, the better your pictures, the better the chance of making a sale.
I use a photo box to take pictures of the products to get a white background.
The photo box has been a tremendous help in taking pictures and giving the white space behind the product.
You may need to take your image into Photoshop for a little bit of cleanup (if the background didn’t come out completely white for example.
The photo box can be folded up and placed into a case which is great so it doesn’t take up a lot of space when it’s being stored.
Here’s a photobox on Amazon with lights similar to the one I have (I don’t think they make the one that I bought anymore): 30-Inch LightBoxread more
If you’re selling on your own website, or have a blog that you’re using to promote your products and brand, it’s important to track how well it’s working.
You could have lots of visitors to a certain page, but not getting any sales.
If you’re not tracking how visits to your eCommerce site, you won’t know if you’re getting lots of visits, and won’t be able to track your sales conversions.
Lots of visits but no sales could indicate something is wrong with your shopping cart and visitors aren’t getting through the purchase process.
If some sales get through, but there’s lots of visitors, it could be that price, description, or images need to be updated on your site.
Google Analytics is what I use to track the traffic to my eCommerce.
It makes it easy to see how much traffic is coming to my sites as well as what search keywords were used to get there, among many, many other reports.
You’ll be able to see where your visitors are coming from (state, country, etc.). You’ll also be able to see what days of the week and times of day are most popular.
You can also set up “goals” so when a customer visits the “thanks for ordering” page, you’ll be able to see how many times per day that happens (hopefully a lot!).
You can sign up for free, and then you’re given a small tracking code to copy and paste into your website.
Another Tool that I’ve used is Quantcast which can give more information on basic demographics of your visitors.
Point is, if you don’t track it, you won’t know.read more