Over the years, Amazon’s user base has grown to 300 million and counting. This gives new entrepreneurs the leverage they need to earn a passive income on their terms.
Whether you’re motivated to make ends meet or save up for the future, starting your own Amazon store can be the perfect side hustle.
However, great opportunities come with great competition. As more sellers enter the market daily, you need a clear vision to stay ahead of the curve.
Are you motivated to start an Amazon side hustle for some extra income? Follow along as we take you through the best practices required to set your store up for success.
Organizing Your Amazon Side Hustle
Breaking into the competitive world of Amazon selling isn’t easy. But once you have the store set up, you’ll be able to enjoy a steady stream of income while working on it part-time.
Follow these initial steps to start your Amazon selling journey:
Research fulfillment options
Everything that involves receiving, processing, and shipping customer orders falls under fulfillment. Needless to say — you need to get fulfillment right to maintain your reputation and customer satisfaction.
Go through each fulfillment option and choose the one that matches your business requirements. To pick the right method, consider factors such as:
Overall business strategy
Some of the most commonly used fulfillment options include:
Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA): The most popular and widely used fulfillment method is FBA. It allows you to store your inventory in Amazon fulfillment centers and lets you outsource the order fulfillment process. FBA also makes your products eligible for Amazon Prime, which can boost sales and customer loyalty.
Amazon fulfillment alternative: As a new online seller, consider your budget while choosing a fulfillment method. While Amazon FBA may be the most popular, it also has various fees that might be too high for some businesses. To bridge that gap, you can go for Amazon fulfillment alternatives instead. These services offer benefits such as fast inbound receiving, same-day fulfillment, zero inventory shrinkage, and more to help businesses of all sizes. If FBA isn’t a fit for your business model, try choosing an alternative that caters to your unique needs.
Fulfillment by merchant (FBM): If you prefer handling the products on your own, FBM might be your cup of tea. With this method, the seller is responsible for storing their inventory, packaging products, and shipping them directly to the customer. While FBM requires more effort and resources from the seller, it can offer more flexibility and potentially lower costs.
Set up a business plan
Before jumping headfirst into your Amazon selling business, the first step is to create a bulletproof business plan.
Figure out your target audience
Find your niche
Check out the competition
Set your prices and profit goals
Plan your marketing strategy
Figure out your operational plan
Make financial projections
Optimizing Your Amazon Listings
Now that you have a business plan, it’s time to start creating listings so you can do some actual selling.
The goal is to hit the ground running with optimized listings, designed to rank well in Amazon search results and convert visitors into buyers.
This involves fine-tuning various elements of the product listing so they align with Amazon’s search algorithm. Let’s see how we can achieve that.
Conduct market research
Before you jump into creating a product listing, you need to carry out some more hands-on market research.
Here are some ways to help you identify profitable product opportunities, gauge customer demand and determine pricing strategies:
Utilize Amazon’s market research tools: Explore Amazon Best Sellers Rank and Amazon Movers and Shakers. These tools can give you useful insights into popular products, along with customer demand and competition trends.
Analyze customer reviews: Customer reviews are a great way to pinpoint what you should do to win them over. Take notes from reviews on competitors’ product listings to learn what customers like and dislike about products in your niche. This can help you identify areas for improvement or product opportunities.
Craft compelling product listings
It’s essential to provide customers with all the information they need to make an informed purchasing decision, and a compelling product listing can do just that. The components of the perfect product listing are:
Product titles: This is the first thing potential customers see when they come across your Amazon listings. Amazon allows product titles of up to 250 characters, but the recommended length is 80. Focus on using descriptive words, and highlight the USPs of the product.
Description: The product description is one of the main driving factors for sales. Write top-notch descriptions — focus on the benefits, use bullet points for features, and clear, error-free language.
Images: Remember, never compromise on quality when it comes to pictures. Make sure images are well-lit and display the product from multiple angles. Another good practice is to include pictures of the product in use.
Pricing: Price your product too high, and it won’t sell. But set the price too low, and you’ll miss out on profits. Search for similar products and compare their prices to get an idea of what the market is willing to pay.
Keywords: SEO plays a huge role in making your Amazon listings discoverable. Using relevant and popular keywords in your product title and description can improve your product’s search ranking. You can find high-ranking keywords through the Amazon search or Google Keyword Planner.
Deal with customer feedback and reviews
Happy customers result in a successful Amazon store.
With so many sellers promoting similar products, excellent customer service is what sets your store apart from others. This involves following up after orders and dealing with negative feedback too.
Following are some tips for dealing with customer feedback:
Respond promptly and politely to negative reviews.
Offer a solution such as a refund, replacement, or compensation.
Don’t get defensive or try to make excuses.
Learn from the feedback and improve your service.
Encourage positive reviews with great customer service and follow-ups.
Managing Your Amazon Side Hustle
How do you ensure that your Amazon side hustle runs smoothly even when you have a lot on your plate? There are limited hours in the day, but here’s how to make the most out of them.
Manage inventory and finances
To achieve financial sustainability with your Amazon side gig, you also need to focus on managing your inventory to meet customer demands:
Forecasting demand – Much like any shop, your Amazon store needs to meet the demand and avoid stockouts. For that, you need reliable demand forecasting. For example, fill your inventory with relevant products for the holiday season and special occasions such as the Black Friday sale. Tools like Amazon’s sales data and Google Trends will help you track product demand and adjust your inventory levels accordingly.
Monitoring stock levels – You can’t have a steady sales flow without keeping track of your inventory levels. Amazon’s inventory management tools can help you monitor your stock levels and set up alerts for when running out of inventory.
Tracking sales – Tracking your sales gives you an idea of how well your products are selling and highlights areas of improvement. It also enables you to make informed decisions about your business. You can use Amazon’s seller central and sales reports to analyze your sales data to monitor your store’s progress and improvement.
Time management and scheduling
Selling on Amazon can generate a decent source of passive income but it still requires time and effort to keep it running successfully.
To effectively manage your time as an Amazon seller, try these:
Create a schedule – Set aside dedicated time blocks for sourcing products, creating listings, managing inventory, and responding to customer inquiries.
Outsource tasks – Consider outsourcing tasks such as bookkeeping, customer service, or product photography to free up your time for other aspects of your business.
Use automation tools – There are tools that can automate important, time-consuming tasks like repricing, inventory management, and order processing. For example, the SellerSnap Amazon Repricer leverages AI to optimize listings and generate maximum profit.
Marketing and Promoting Your Amazon Store
Now that you’ve taken the first step into the world of eCommerce, it’s time to make sure your side hustle takes off. That’s where marketing and promotion strategies come in.
Build a brand and establish customer trust
Establishing your own brand gives you the competitive edge needed to stand out from the millions of sellers trying to attract customers’ attention.
Create a unique brand name and logo
Use high-quality product images and videos
Offer excellent customer service
Engage with your audience on social media
Implement marketing strategies
With thousands of options to choose from, customers don’t have the time to browse through each and every product listing. Most people either go for the top-ranking product or follow their favorite content creator’s recommendations.
That’s why your products need to be easily discoverable. And this is where marketing and promotion strategies come into play.
Here’s a video introducing 9 ways to promote your Amazon listings for maximum visibility:
So, in a nutshell, the key to growing your business is finding the right mix of marketing strategies that work for your Amazon business and target audience. Some popular options include:
Amazon Advertising: You can utilize Amazon’s advertising platform to promote your products and maximize visibility. This allows you to run sponsored product and brand ads, and display them on Amazon.
Social media marketing: People from all around the world use social media to make buying decisions. So, if you’re not promoting your product on online platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and TikTok, you’re missing out.
Influencer marketing: Another winning tactic is promotion through influencers on social media. Whether it’s TikTok or Instagram, social media celebrities with large followings can bring you a lot of new customers.
Email marketing: Email might not be everyone’s first option but providing customers discounts, offers, and promotions still works like a charm. It also builds brand loyalty as customers get informed about new product launches and store updates.
Content marketing: Produce value-added content about your product niche through a blog, a YouTube channel, or other online platforms. As people gravitate towards your content, you’ll automatically get more traffic to your Amazon listings.
Thriving in the Amazon Side Hustle Game
As you enter the world of Amazon selling, you should remember that success doesn’t come overnight. It’s called a hustle for a reason!
To thrive on the platform, you need to take your time to organize and perfect the main pillars of a successful eCommerce business. This includes everything from fulfillment to marketing and promotion.
Just start with a solid business plan and stick to your vision to turn your Amazon store into a profitable side gig.
About the Author:
Alex Selwitz is the Director of SEO for Red Stag Fulfillment, an eCommerce fulfillment warehouse that was born out of eCommerce. He has years of experience in eCommerce and digital marketing. In his free time, Alex enjoys playing guitar and learning about new trends in the digital world.