Despite the overwhelming popularity of the world’s leading online marketplace, many businesses face Amazon Seller Problems. We’re not just talking about the regular headaches of running a successful online business. No, these are issues for Amazon Sellers that are unique to the business itself.
So is selling on Amazon bad? Absolutely not! As an Amazon Seller you have access to an enormous array of advantages that scale up your business and boost your profits. However, there are some potential issues that can crop up.
Don’t worry though, that’s why we’re here. We will take a look at some of the most common Amazon Seller problems and how to fix them – but first, a quick reminder of why Amazon is an excellent tool for businesses.
Advantages As An Amazon Seller
Before we highlight the issues of selling through Amazon, we want to make it clear – Amazon is worth it for your business. The benefits outweigh the drawbacks, as long as you know how to overcome those drawbacks effectively. Before we talk about the Amazon Seller problems, let’s look at the Amazon Seller advantages.
More Than A Marketplace
When we say that Amazon is big, we are underexaggerating.
It is a marketplace of mammoth proportions. In fact, it is easy to underestimate the overwhelming scope of their reach and market coverage.
Take a look at the hard numbers to begin comprehending Amazon itself.
- More customers begin their product search on Amazon than on Google.
- Amazon ships 1.6 million packages a day.
- That’s 66 thousand packages an hour.
- That is 18.5 packages a second!
- That’s 66 thousand packages an hour.
- Amazon has over 150 million Amazon Prime members.
- Third-party sales grow each year at an average of +52%.
Amazon Sellers have access to the single largest market ever produced. Consumers from around the world take to Amazon via desktop or app and make purchase after purchase every single moment.
For certain customers, ordering online is risky. Especially with a brand new business.
However, if you sell through Amazon you are a legitimate Amazon Seller. It may not seem like much, but you now have the “Amazon seal of approval.” It grants a certain gravitas to your business and can help sway those potential customers on the cusp of not purchasing your products.
Customer reviews also give you an edge as any satisfied customer may well leave a shining review for others to read. This can also feature on your website if the rating is especially good – allowing you to gain traction with your business and start scaling up.
Amazon Seller Problems
Now we’ve briefly mentioned a couple of advantages to selling via Amazon, let’s tackle the reason that you’re here – Amazon Seller problems. There are a vast array of issues and difficulties involved. Some are merely inconvenient, while others can be disastrous.
However, while we cover the difficulties, bear in mind that these are merely the most common problems for Amazon Sellers. Each business will have different needs, supply chains, budgeting, profitability and much more. Every unique business faces unique problems – so make sure to stay on your toes!
Essentially the easiest Amazon Seller problem, but you would be surprised how many new businesses trip up over this one.
Amazon pays third-party sellers every two weeks. Each payment includes 14 days worth of orders that were successfully delivered 7 days ago. Now this may not seem like much of a problem, but brand new Amazon Sellers struggle. If you rely solely on profits from successful orders to fund the creation or purchase of new products – then it becomes a serious matter.
This escalates as suppliers and manufacturers often request payment of at least 25% of an order before they ship or even begin production on your items.
Plan ahead, and don’t be surprised.
Yes, we did talk about Amazon’s market being saturated with consumers. However, the one thing we didn’t mention is the saturation of other businesses.
There are thousands of businesses producing variations on the same items. No matter how niche your target market is, there are almost certainly vintage options, modern options, different coloured options and (most importantly for many consumers) different priced options.
We’ll talk about pricing and profitability in our next section and how to overcome this particular Amazon Seller problem. But in terms of style, design and uniqueness, you must do one thing to stand out:
Remember who your target market is.
Old, young, sporty, geeky, boutique, mass-produced, members of a fandom.
Each of these words can change the way your product is viewed and seen by potential consumers. Not to mention that when it comes to marketing efforts – you need to define your product.
Your product must relate to the target audience with the most potential, and be honest about itself. You can maximise market penetration and minimise unsatisfied customers and returns. Remember that satisfied consumers mean good reviews and more earned advertising.
In a race to the bottom, nobody wins.
Highly related to our previous section, many businesses make an effort to stand out by cutting prices again and again to attract customers.
This is a terrible strategy.
With every price cut two things happen:
- You lose more profits on every sale
- Customers may assume that your products are of poorer quality
These two hamper both profitability and sales. Either one is damaging for your business and limits your ability to scale up. If both occur – then it becomes one of the most serious Amazon Seller problems.
To solve this, we’ll break it down into two solutions that are related to each other:
Profitability – A Product Finder Tool
To deal with profitability, the most surefire way to accurately measure and budget is to use a Product Finder tool.
How does this tool help? It provides actionable information for you to make the best business decisions. Simply enter a product identifier code for your product and in a moment you receive a spreadsheet containing:
- Amazon Specific Internal Number (ASIN)
- Brand (The one that Amazon associates with the identifier)
- Title (The description Amazon associates with the identifier)
- Buy Box Price (Click here for more about winning the Amazon Buy Box)
- Amazon Referral Fee
- Amazon FBA Charges (Check out our Amazon FBA Guide for a full breakdown!)
- Product Sales Rank
And much more! This tool scans across thousands of similar products so that you can identify your competition in a moment. You can analyse profit margins and assess your next steps carefully.
Set your price low enough to be competitive, but don’t compromise on profitability.
Sales – Win The Amazon Buy Box
No matter how many Amazon Seller problems you face, if you win the Amazon Buy Box – your sales will go through the roof. In fact, the Buy Box accounts for almost 82% of all Amazon sales. On mobile devices, that figure jumps up to around 90%!
With careful pricing and optimisation of your metrics, your business can win the Amazon Buy Box. While it is tricky, we’ve put together this guide to the Amazon Buy Box, so you have a shot at scaling up your business in no time!
Overwhelmed With Business
It’s the problem that every Amazon Seller wants – to have too much business.
And yet, many do face this issue.
If your consumer demands start to outweigh your supply chain – what do you do? You can refuse orders, but that will drive customers to other businesses and products. Or you can simply “be late” on delivery times which Amazon will punish you for.
It isn’t always a simple fix of building up a huge inventory to act as an emergency buffer either. If you’re an Amazon Seller who works from home, where can you store your inventory? You still have to spend your time fulfilling each and every single order separately and continue production on your other items.
So how do you fix your inventory issues?
Easy, Amazon has already thought of that by introducing Amazon FBA.
One tool that Amazon Sellers can make use of is Amazon FBA. It’s an excellent tool that certain businesses can use to effectively streamline their supply chains.
FBA, while not for every business, effectively aids businesses every day. Essentially, you are responsible for shipping bulk orders of items to an Amazon warehouse – and that’s it.
Obviously Amazon FBA fees do come into play, but that’s a conversation for different, more in-depth article. Don’t worry, we’ve already prepared a guide to Amazon FBA Fees for you!
Relying On A Single Sales Channel
We talk about Amazon being the biggest marketplace in the world. But that doesn’t mean you should drive every single effort into Amazon and neglecting your other sales channels. Ironically one of the Amazon Seller problems is being too focused on Amazon. Many strong businesses utilise both Amazon Sales and Direct Sales in order to achieve massive amounts of profits.
Look at it this way – consider Amazon as an excellent way to highlight your products, drive hard to gain customers, recognition, and a huge amount of those 5* ratings! Every satisfied customer that you gain through Amazon might return via a direct sale from your own website.
But only if you use the right eCommerce business strategies. These can include:
- Search Engine Optimisation
- Aesthetic Design
- Featured Customer Reviews
- Social Media Engagement
- Blogs and Articles
- Abandoned Cart Recovery emails
Now whether you use eSuperStore (which charges 0% commission on every sale) or some other eCommerce platform, once you learn to diversify and juggle your sales channels, you can increase profits.
Support For Your Amazon Seller Problems
As part of the latest eCommerce technology, Seller Central Connect accurately completes tasks with automation, allowing you to focus on more important aspects of your business.
Seller Central Connect is a tool that can:
- Bulk upload your entire catalogue
- Automatically alter pricing to win the Amazon Buy Box
- Provide clear profit and sales information
- Synch your order metrics and customer data
- Increase your operational efficiency and streamline work processes
It automates the menial tasks that bite into your more valuable work processes. With Seller Central Connect you can focus on providing a more productive, professional, proactive business while selling through Amazon.