$1,000 every single month might sound like a lot. But when selling on Amazon, it’s possible.
Amazon accounts for 49.1% of ecommerce sales around the world. Let that sink in.
After five months of selling on Amazon, Madison DuPaix earned $10,000. In profit, not revenue. That’s an average of $2,000 per month, every single month. In another Amazon experiment, Ryan Grant earned $400 in his first month, $1,784 his second month, and over $9,000 his third month.
After hearing about those people, that $1,000 per month probably feels a lot more viable now, huh?
Here’s how you’re going to do it.
Step #1: Choose a Product Niche
Audience. Audience. Audience. It’s the most critical portion of a well-rounded product marketing plan. It’s the “location, location, location” of the marketing world.
Study after study, like this one on Facebook Ads, proves this time and time again:
That’s a 70% cost savings by simply targeting the right niche. Better audience targeting = higher impact = more sales.
When most people decide to sell on Amazon, they usually don’t first think of a niched-down product.
What does that mean?
You can lump products into two basic categories: Commoditized products and niche products.
Commoditized products are the kinds of stuff that everyone is familiar with and either wants or needs on a regular basis. Stuff like shoes, clothing, phones, or even jewelry. Consumers already want these products and, for that reason, they tempt many merchants.
But there’s a problem with selling commoditized products.
These products always have a lot of competition around them. That’s what makes them commoditized in the first place. Lots of people are selling them, and lots of people are buying them. Meaning that you’re going to have a really hard time entering into this type of marketplace.
Niche products, on the other hand, are a unique or specialized set of items that appeal to a smaller, more focused group of consumers. And since the products are more specific, the audience is easier to market to which means it’s a better place to put your hard-earned time and money.
Determining a niche worth selling to is really simple, just combine two things: A commoditized product and a popular theme. Yes, that’s it! And no, the cost of production shouldn’t be something to worry about. Why?
- You can get small business funding with ease
- The price of goods sold will be towards a higher target market
The idea is to take a common product and put a unique spin on it and this approach works far better for ecommerce entrepreneurs or solopreneurs looking to make some money on Amazon because your audience is more targeted and thus easier to market to and choose follow-up products for.
In the words of entrepreneur Chris Ducker:
Products come and go, but niche audiences stick around forever… When you choose a niche audience and take the time to understand their needs deeply, a whole new world of options opens up to you.
A niche audience is a loyal audience and a loyal audience is one you can sell to over and over again.
If you want to leverage that revenue potential, then choose a niche and stick to it relentlessly.
Step #2: Determine Profitable Pricing
The last thing you want to do is find the perfect niche, place your product on Amazon, sell like crazy, and make no money.
You might think that such a thing sounds impossible.
But many “successful” merchants have fallen victim to a negative ROI and there’s only one reason that this happens.
Online retailers often don’t take the time to determine the price they need to charge to create a profitable business. Obviously, if you have more money going out than coming in, your efforts aren’t going to be profitable.
So take a little time to determine what price you should set your products at rather than just throwing on a tag that seems reasonable.
Here’s what you need to consider.
- Cost of the product
- Cost of shipping
- Cost of labor (if any)
- Cost of advertising
- Ideal profit as a percentage
Then, add together all of the costs for a single product (these can be rough estimates if you don’t have exact numbers), determine how much profit you want to make, add those numbers together, and you’ll have the final price you need to charge.
You don’t want to sell plenty of product with measly margins, so calculate the ideal price for each item before you start to sell.
Be sure to research your competition, too. While you don’t want to undercut yourself, you also don’t want to make your product too expensive and cause your prospects to buy from your competitors instead.
Finding the sweet spot for your product’s price might take some trial and error, but fortunately, it’s easy to adjust your price on Amazon. Try selling your product at different prices over a few weeks to see how that impacts your sales, however, if you do that, be sure to determine a price for your product that will yield a positive return-on-investment (ROI) while still enticing prospects to buy.
Spending this little bit of extra time doing the math and a few tests for each product will massively impact your bottom line.
Step #3: Take Awesome Product Photos
The way you present your product matters just as much as the product itself.
Let’s start with product images.
In 2012, one business found a 12% increase in revenue from turning the image on the left into the image on the right.
Now, I know that example is a little bit dated but has ecommerce competition increased or decreased over the last five years?
Increased, of course. Which means that if product image quality made a difference in conversion rate back then, with so many different options online now, it definitely makes a difference today.
Photos like this are good:
But they are also too generic. Every dropshipping merchant ends up using the same product photos. That makes differentiating yourself a real challenge.
A great way to make your own products stand out is by taking unique product photos that no one else can copy.
However, there’s a problem. You’re probably not a photographer.
That’s okay. Neither are many people who decide to sell on Amazon with their own photos. All you have to do to take great product photos is order one of each product to your house or place of work and then follow these tips:
- Use a white or light gray backdrop
- Use natural window light
- Edit your photos using a good photo editing app, like Photoshop, that’s built for enhancing product images
With relentless attention to detail, you can even use your smartphone to take these photos. Otherwise, you’ll probably end up spending hundreds of dollars.
In the end, the product images you use will partly determine how many people click on your product and, more importantly, how many of those people buy. You literally can’t afford to ignore product images.
But images aren’t the only way you present products to sell. Your product descriptions are also critical. Let’s turn our attention to those next.
Step #4: Write Compelling Product Descriptions
Product descriptions are the second way to visually differentiate your products from other merchants on Amazon.
But compelling product descriptions won’t just help you stand out from everyone else. They’ll actually help you sell more as well.
Like great sales copy, you can use your product description to build trust, inspire confidence, and sell like crazy.
One study by NNgroup found that 20% of the time when people failed to finish purchasing a product online, it was due to either unclear or inadequate product descriptions.
In other words, ignore the product description at your own risk.
Consider, as inspiration, this product description for a SanDisk.
This product description does a nice job of translating product specifications into user benefits. Phrases like “faster downloads” and “better performance” help non-technical browsers understand the advantages of the product.
Always make sure that you explain the benefit of your product specifications if you’re selling a highly-technical product. People want to know how your product will help them practically, not just that it has a 12-inch screen and 4k resolution.
You can easily turn all of those details into emotionally-compelling buying reasons.
With each product specification, ask yourself, “How does this benefit the user?”
Also, consider this example for the Kindle Voyage.
Specifically, notice their list of product details. The phrase, “Passionately crafted for readers,” elicits an emotional reason for the customer to purchase. Whoever made the Kindle made it specifically for passionate readers and regardless of how true that is, it’s convincing sales copy for avid readers.
Additionally, one of the product details says, “Battery lasts weeks, not hours.” This indicates that the e-reader won’t just meet your emotional desires, it will also meet your practical desires.
And whenever you’re writing product descriptions, you want to appeal to those two things: emotions and practicality. The first surges people’s interest, and the second justifies their decision to buy.
Both of the above product descriptions do this with finesse.
You can do the same thing, even if you aren’t the world’s best copywriter. Using modern writing tools like Grammarly you can actually customize your copy for these factors like intent, audience, tone, style, etc, and get direct suggestions on how to tailor your phrasing towards that goal. Pretty awesome, right?
Tell people why what you’re selling is practical and why they’re going to love it. Then, they’ll be more likely to buy, moving your dial toward the $1,000 marker for the month.
Step #5: Optimize your Products to Get More Eyeballs
Once you’ve determined what products you’re going to sell, set the pricing, taken awesome product photos, and written compelling descriptions, it’s time to start raking in the mula.
Most people who browse Amazon use the search bar, which means that they’re only going to see your product if you rank in Amazon’s search results. If you don’t rank, they won’t see you. It’s really that simple.
There are three big factors that matter when optimizing your products for Amazon’s search engine:
- Product Title
- Reviews (indirectly)
Let’s start with the product title and product description. Both of these need to include the keywords you’re trying to target so that the right people will see your product.
If you’re selling Star Wars socks, then you probably should have “Star Wars Socks” in the title and maybe even the word “Stockings” or “Shoes” as well. Then, include the size, gender (if relevant), and other qualifiers that you think people might use to search.
But beware: You don’t want to overdo it.
Don’t try to stuff a massive amount of keywords into your title and product description. This will only kill trust between your business and visitors because it might come off as being spammy. Just include the keywords tactfully and in a way that no one will even notice that you’re trying to help your SEO.
Your goal is simply to include the keywords that are actually relevant to your product. That way, when people want to find it, they can.
Also, encourage customer reviews. The more reviews you get, the better.
While it’s difficult to tell whether or not more reviews impacts your Amazon SEO, there’s no denying that it impacts your conversion rate.
In fact, 97% of consumers say that reviews impact their buying decision, and up to 32% of them will postpone their purchase if reviews aren’t available.
But having reviews is one thing, getting reviews is another.
How can you encourage people to leave reviews for your products on Amazon? Two primary ways:
First, after someone makes a purchase, send them a follow-up email asking for a review. Include a link to the place where customers can do so.
Ideally, don’t send this email right after they buy the product, but one day after the product arrives at their house. That way, they have actually had a chance to experience your product and aren’t reviewing it blindly.
Second, include a note inside the box which encourages them to review the product on Amazon when it arrives. Consider offering an additional incentive for those who do, something like a discount on their next purchase or a free follow-up gift.
Even if people view your product, without reviews and social proof, you’ll struggle to sell. So make sure that you encourage reviews from existing customers as often as possible.
By following all of these Amazon SEO and conversion rate tips, you’ll be well on your way to passing over the $1,000 marker in no time.
Step #6: Deliver on Customer Service
Customer service is arguably more important than ever before.
One-third of people will switch brands if they experience one bad customer service instance. And if you want those buyers to come back for more, you need to have a customer service plan in place before attacking Amazon with full force. Otherwise, your business will flop after the first few sales.
So, how do you do it?
First, be active on your customers’ reviews. If someone leaves a negative review, solve it instantly. In the public comments and reviews section, be sure to give them additional ways to contact you and assure them that you will resolve the issue.
This will help build value and trust amongst current and potential buyers, and even allow you to turn reviews into testimonials. For example, check out how Housecall Pro turns their product reviews into testimonials for their site:
If you also aren’t using a helpdesk software to monitor customer complaints, you need one ASAP. It doesn’t matter what software you use, as long as it integrates directly with Amazon to provide you with a way to manage complaints and resolve issues fast.
Customer service can make or break you and unless you want this business to die-out fast, you need to invest in it before you begin.
While $1,000 every single month might sound like a lot, my hope is that, after reading these steps, you have a better understanding of what it takes to actually hit that number and how reasonable that goal actually is.
By following these steps, anyone can make $1,000 every month selling on Amazon but the difference between people who will and people who won’t, of course, is that some people actually take action.
They choose a niche, determine correct pricing, take great product photos, write compelling product descriptions, and optimize for Amazon’s search engine. And soon, that $1,000 turns into $10,000.