If you’re currently selling through your website, and are looking for additional ways to make sales, you might be considering adding new sales channels, such as Amazon or eBay. We have some new information that might make that decision easier.
ShipStation partner Stitch Labs investigated more than seven million orders from January 2015 to May 2015 to determine what a successful retailer looks like, comparing single channel sellers who only run their business through one marketplace or their individual web store to multichannel sellers who use a combination of a branded website and marketplaces.
According to the July 2015 report on these Stitch Lab findings, the evidence is overwhelmingly in favor of selling through multiple channels. Here are some of the most significant findings:
- On average, shopping cart customers who also have a single marketplace make 38% more revenue than those with no marketplaces. Those who have two marketplaces make 120% more revenue.
- Customers selling on Amazon have more average orders than any other channel – marketplace or shopping cart.
- Retailers who sell only on Amazon have more than four times as many orders as retailers who sell through either a shopping cart or eBay.
If these statistics motivate you to take action, you should start putting the channels in place now, to work through any issues before it gets really busy.
Sales Channels to Consider
There are literally hundreds of online sales channels out there. Each has its good and bad points. Of course setting up a channel, no matter its size, takes work. While ShipStation is happy to support any or all of the over 40 channels and platforms you might choose, based on the information above, you might want to add Amazon as your first additional sales channel.
Amazon is the largest online retailer in the U.S., and the second largest in the world (after Alibaba). With hundreds of millions of customers, it offers an enormous opportunity for product sales.
There are many ways to sell on Amazon. Most people start by registering as a seller and posting items. This is the fastest way to start selling on Amazon, and the least expensive. You can learn how to start selling on Amazon quickly, here.
If you’d like to hand off the fulfillment and shipping process, you might want to consider the Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA) program. While it carries higher fees, it can make life easier for you. In this program, you can have your products warehoused at Amazon, orders picked, packed, and shipped by the Amazon team, and even have your returns handled by Amazon (for a fee, of course). Participation in the FBA program allows you to utilize Amazon’s free shipping offer on orders over $35 and Amazon Prime.
To learn how ShipStation supports all of your Amazon orders, check out our blog post, here.
No matter which option you choose, here are some key points to be aware of when selling on Amazon:
- Pricing needs to be very competitive, so consider your profit margins on each product before listing them on Amazon
- Positive customer reviews are critically important to your sales success on Amazon. Not only do the number and amount of positive reviews factor into the ranking of your Amazon product searches, but customers can choose to sort their results by average customer ranking.
- Describe products for the most successful results. On Amazon, product titles and descriptions serve two purposes: they help customers make buying decisions, and they help your products get found in an Amazon search. Similar to your website SEO efforts, think about the terms that your customers will use when searching, and use them as much as possible without overdoing it. In addition, talk about the features and benefits of your products in your description.
More information on how to maximize your sales on Amazon is available in this great article by ecommerce platforms.
Now is the time to add sales channels in preparation for holiday sales. With a bit of work on your part, you can see a jump in sales from this effort.