4 Ways Sellers Can Set Themselves Up for Amazon Success in 2019Lena R. Liberman
With a new year comes the impetus to make resolutions and changes. All too often, we overreach on these good intentions and end up not meeting our goals; in turn, feeling as if we’ve let ourselves (or others) down Then the failure narrative sets in and we psych ourselves out for future success while adding to the already-plentiful obstacles of selling in the highly competitive, ever-changing environment that is the Amazon Marketplace.
This year, instead of going with all mega-ambitious life-changing resolutions, mix it up with some bite-sized achievable concrete steps for Amazon success. By doing so, you’ll get a lot of must-do’s crossed off your list, you’ll bag a bunch of attainable wins and find new confidence, and you’ll set up healthy habits going forward.
What specifics can this take for Amazon sellers looking to grow their sales and build their brands in 2019? Well, here are 4 practical, actionable things you can, should, and must do in order to position yourself for larger Amazon success this year.
1. MAKE UPDATES AND COMMIT TO KEEPING YOUR INFO UPDATED
- Did you move to a bigger office with a new suite number?
- Change your business name?
- Switch to a new bank?
- Add a staff member who is your new point of contact?
Basically, if you changed anything that identifies you to Amazon, allows Amazon to contact you or pay you without delay or interruption, and keeps you compliant with any of Amazon’s rules, your account needs to reflect those changes. And if you can’t think of any changes that you might have made that would put you in this category, log in and just double check that everything still looks right (peace of mind is priceless).
That said, here are your basic must-do’s for 2019 Amazon success:
- Check/update your Amazon seller account information.
- Update your notification preferences and contact info.
- Make sure that your Amazon tax interview is complete, accurate, and on file. If you find that you need some help, rest assured that you are not alone and that help is available. Check in with Amazon seller accounting superstar Tyler Jefcoat to learn more and don’t hesitate to reach out to TJ who is a both an expert and a really good dude.
2. UNDERSTAND THAT JANUARY IS NOT A NORMAL MONTH (AND ADJUST ACCORDINGLY)
Just as Q4 is not a normal quarter, January is not a normal month. What makes January that way actually has a lot to do with Q4 extrapolations and consequences, some positive and some negative. Regardless, these scenarios present the chance for Amazon sellers to provide stand-out customer service, the kind that makes shoppers choose you in the future and the kind that can turn a negative situation (let’s say a holiday item damaged in shipping or not delivered in time for the holidays) into the kind of make-it-right opportunity that gets you powerful positive feedback.
Here’s some need-to-know info so you can be prepared for January’s outliers and turn them into your own wins:
- Extended Holiday Returns Policy. It’s just the nature of the beast that some of those Q4 purchases are going to come back your way. Again, make it right for your customers and you’ll make it right for your business and your brand reputation.
- Refund Gift Cards and Gift Certificates. Again, nature of the beast given how many Amazon gift cards are in circulation. The good news is that handling returns for purchases made with GCs is no biggie. Just know the deal here and in general about Amazon’s “Things to Consider Before Issuing a Refund.”
3. KNOW YOUR FEES, YOUR DATES, AND YOUR SALES-TAX OBLIGATIONS
Very little is trickier than keeping track of Amazon’s various fees and rates. 2019 actually bodes somewhat well in terms of the fees being laid out in a simpler, clearer fashion and some fees actually decreasing.
Here’s the important scoop on fees and fee changes:
- Amazon Referral Fees
- 2019 US FBA Inventory Storage Fee Changes (Effective February 15, 2019.)
- FBA Long-Term Storage Fees
- 2019 US FBA Fulfillment Fee Changes (Effective February 19, 2019.)
- Marketplace Tax Collection FAQ
4. YOU HAVE MORE RESOURCES THAN YOU MAY KNOW; USE THEM!
We’re all doing business faster than ever in this 24/7/365 global economy. This means that in order to be profitable, keep sane, and make time for yourself and the people and activities you love, you need to work smarter instead of harder.
Try these resources that save you time and money and effort, and put them to work for you.
- Get Amazon Seller Central for Alexa. Why wonder or dig for info, when you can go straight to the source and ask?
- Stay informed: Make it a habit of checking in weekly to keep up with Amazon’s Seller Central News and Seller Labs’ In Case You Missed It. Remember, industry knowledge is seller power.
- Add value to your listings, sell more, and deliver amazing customer service with buyer-seller communication that gets reviews and results. Try Feedback Genius free for 30 days.
- Go beyond Seller Central’s Advertising Campaign Manager to get advantages like ad scheduling and intelligent bid suggestions. Try the Ignite Amazon Advertising solution free for 30 days.
- Go big and grow big by offloading your Amazon Advertising so you can focus your energy and expertise elsewhere. Find out how the experts at Seller Labs Managed Services can help you.
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