Move on over, Etsy. Amazon recently launched a holiday gift shop, allowing artists and crafters to sell their handmade gifts to customers, and this guide will tell you exactly how to sell products on Amazon.
The gift shop, called Amazon Handmade, lets shoppers support small businesses while receiving unique, handcrafted presents.
The available categories at this point are jewelry, home and kitchen, wedding, handbags and accessories, beauty and grooming, stationery and party supplies, toys and games, baby, pet supplies and clothing and shoes.
If you’re a seller, when you sign up for Amazon Handmade, you can access more than 250 million customers worldwide, easily make custom orders and get quick and easy help with Amazon’s phone and email support. The site will charge a 15% referral fee for marketing, discounted shipping, payment processing and fraud protection.
Amazon requires that the products, “must be made entirely by hand, hand-altered, or hand assembled (not from a kit).” You must make your goods. You can also have an employee (if your business has 20 or fewer employees) or a member of a collective that has less than 100 people craft the items as well to sell on Amazon.
If you have your own handmade business and you want to learn how to sell products on Amazon, here’s what to do.
The first step is to apply to sell on the Handmade shop. There, you can apply for the first time and check on the status on your application. You’ll need to enter your business name, website address, email and other basic information, as well as become a seller on Amazon.
Once your items are up, you can buy Sponsored Products advertising on Amazon, so that you appear at the top of search listings. You can run other promotions from Seller Central as well. These ads are pay-per-click, or PPC, which means you only pay when someone actually clicks on it.
Once you purchase an ad, you can look at Amazon’s backend data to determine which keywords and popular search terms you can use. By placing these in your ads, you will attract customers to your store and target the right audience. It’s best to start small with Amazon ads, so that there is little risk involved. You can see if it works for you before you move forward and invest more into your campaigns.
Just like on Etsy, it’s important for you to have thorough descriptions of your products. You also need to include estimated shipping time and a question and answer section.
Great photos are a must. Take hi-res photographs of your products from multiple angles and show them in use. This is especially true for clothing, jewelry and anything else that someone may wear. Use professional lighting during your photo shoots, and take pictures that allow customers to zoom in on your products.
For an excellent example, check out this Handmade page for a tiny sparking choker necklace. There are multiple pictures of the necklace, along with photos of it on models. Customers are able to envision how it will look them. There is even an illustration showing how far down the necklace will droop on a person. Try to envision what you, as a customer, would want to see before purchasing an item online.
You also need to encourage customers to leave reviews. After all, according to Net Imperative, when a product goes from having no reviews to garnering one review, it receives a 108% traffic lift and a 65% boost in conversion rate. Also, 84% of people will trust an online review almost as much as a personal recommendation from someone they know.
Send them follow-up emails after they received their products. If you received anything less than a stellar review, contact the customer to ask what went wrong and see if you can remedy the situation.
Once you’ve set up your store, uploaded your photos and asked customers for reviews, you should them share your product pages on social media.
There are a number of ways you can promote your products including placing a link to your Amazon Handmade store in your bios, posting up new products on sites like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest, sharing content around how you make your products, creating video tutorials that will draw in your audience, tagging your loyal customers and writing about your professional experience on LinkedIn.
The holidays are coming up. So why not capitalize on that and make products specifically for the season?
For instance, if you’re a jeweler, you can sell red and green necklaces and bracelets, or rings with Christmas trees on them. You could make wreaths, quilt Chanukah-themed blankets or sell Kwanzaa cards. You know your audience, so get creative and make products they will enjoy.
Amazon is offering an amazing opportunity to all the crafters and artists of the world. By following these best practices, you will be able to draw people in to your online store during the holidays and all year round.
Want to learn more about selling your handmade arts and crafts items online? Check out Tara Gentile’s class: The Art of Selling What You Make.