COVID-19 has impacted us all in one way or another. From the countless stories of personal struggle to the devastating impact on the global economy, 2020 has been a year of challenge. But, not unlike any other challenge in life, there have been some transformative changes taking place across the globe. A vaccine was created in record time, nature is bouncing back from the harsh realities of human behavior, and innovation has led the way in business endeavors. We learned how resilient we indeed are, and at the same time, how creative we can be.
It would be easy to read some of the Amazon headlines and be overwhelmed. Inventory restrictions, increased freight costs, and rapid change across the platform could make any newbie want to hit the eject button before getting started. Hold up, though! Ecommerce boomed during this global pandemic, more so than any other year in history. Amazon's stock has increased by 60% in 2020. The trajectory is upwards from these staggering numbers, so it's safe to say if you're contemplating Amazon, now is the time. That's why we have crafted 7 strategies to help you find a successful online business on Amazon. It's possible to start an e-comm business even in times of global uncertainty.
#1 CLEARLY DEFINE YOUR GOALS
Personal and professional goals help you create a clear vision. Goal setting affects all avenues of your life, and therefore you should be carving out where you see yourself personally and professionally. Start with short term goals, 1-year goals, and move to 5-year goals.
- Set Specific Goals
- Set Measurable Goals
- Set Attainable Goals
What are your goals for your Amazon business, and how will you achieve them? These questions can help you determine if your personal goals align with the time and energy, it may take to grow an Amazon brand.
- Do you want to sell products or create a brand on Amazon?
- Will you sell your products off of Amazon?
- What is your timeline to scale and add products?
- Are you starting an Amazon business to scale and sell?
- What will you do if your first product isn't successful?
#2 COMPLETE A BUYER AVATAR PROFILE
Simply put, a buyer avatar is an insight into who your ideal customer is. Whether you are selling products or growing a brand, understanding your buyer avatar is key to your success and vital on the Amazon platform. By understanding your buyer avatar, you create products to suit particular demographics, desires, needs, and of course, pain points. It's a key ingredient to your marketing strategy and helps you develop a personal relationship with your customers.
''People …can’t read our minds and they don’t know what we want, even if it seems obvious. We have to clearly invite customers to take a journey with us or they won’t.'' - Donald Miller, Building a Story Brand
# 3 UNDERSTAND YOUR INVESTMENT & YOUR NUMBERS
One of the biggest mistakes we hear in Amazon is "I didn't know how much it would cost to stay in business". While it's true anyone can start in Amazon, it's incredibly challenging to do so with limited resources. Many sellers do the initial number crunching but don't anticipate costs such as PPC, scaling, brand awareness, and general startup costs. It takes money to make money! While you may not need ten thousand, make sure you have investigated precisely what you require, so that you are comfortable with your projections.
#4 TAKE ADVANTAGE OF EDUCATION & RESOURCES
Six years ago, you wouldn't have found the onslaught of YouTube hosts talking about Amazon. You may have been lucky to find a few key people providing insight into their Amazon journey. Nowadays, you can find education on platforms such as Udemy for minimal costs. A simple Google search can lead you to some great blogs, Amazon groups, and consulting firms offering valuable free or paid content. You don't have to go far, but you do have to understand that not all Amazon content is created equal. Look for information and Amazon business tips for success, from established companies with good track records. If you're consulting YouTube, verify that the person speaking is selling on Amazon to some capacity. You want experience; it's an asset in Amazon as the environment is fast-paced and ever-changing.
#5 FIND GAPS IN YOUR TARGET MARKET
We support using tools to help you find your first product, as many of these tools can heed great results. Aside from product research tools, social sites can provide substantial insight to great products too! Etsy, Pinterest, and a new front runner TikTok are all great examples. You may be a little surprised to see TikTok on the list, as most brand builders reference the site in terms of influencing. While it's valuable for influencing, it also provides hidden information to buyer avatars and product trends. One creator's For You page can be a window into what products their fans love or hate. It's worth looking into if you're stuck for ideas and inspiration. Warning: It can also take a lot of your valuable time; set a limit with the scrolling, and be strategic. Look for gaps in product differentiation and over-deliver on solving pain points for your buyer avatar. Not every brand nails this aspect on Amazon and many products end up looking the same.
#6 GET INVOLVED IN A GREAT AMAZON COMMUNITY
Aside from finding education, some mentors and coaches offer free Facebook groups that provide free content on all the latest announcements and info to Amazon. It's a great place to find like-minded entrepreneurs looking to craft their business model or find support for Amazon-related stressors. It's nice to have a community that understands what you are going through. Be sure to check the Facebook community before soaking up all that info, though. Not every group is the same, and some information you find, just like you would find on Google, isn't relevant.
#7 WORK ON CONTINUOUS IMPROVEMENT & KEEP GOING
Working on your business will require daily effort and action. It's the same for the inner workings of Amazon. Look for ways to evolve your product offers, optimize your listings, and enhance your competitive edge. There will be challenges in Amazon, regardless of your experience or knowledge. It is a dynamic platform that is evolving to suit its own needs. Amazon is not a short term, get rich quick scheme. Be prepared to put in small steps of daily action, and whatever you do, don't quit.
If you're looking for current info, head to my YouTube channel, where I share parts of my story, tips for online selling, and info on how to navigate the Amazon online jungle.