Amazon Handmade – Tips & Tricks for Selling Handmade Goods on Amazon
Amazon Handmade is a relatively new offering from Amazon, allowing artisans and vendors to sell products made by hand. You might be thinking, this sounds an awful lot like an Etsy shop, and you’d be correct. Amazon Handmade is a direct competitor to Etsy. Today, we’ll examine this new service, including why it appeals to sellers and how you can build a storefront to help your business succeed.
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Understanding Amazon Handmade
The first step to succeeding on Amazon Handmade is understanding the intricacies of the platform.
Although Amazon Handmade shares many similarities with Etsy, it’s not exactly like Etsy. To sell on Amazon Handmade, everything you sell needs to be completely handmade, meaning you can’t partner with manufacturers (as Etsy allows). Your products can be made by a team of no more than 20 contractors. Amazon is doing its best to ensure that everything is handmade and unique.
To know whether you qualify, and to get started, click here for more details. Amazon will walk you through the steps and tell you which information you need to provide. Amazon will require proof of quality and that you make the goods yourself (which includes images of your goods and the production process).
Of course, as a potential seller on Amazon Handmade, you probably want to know about fees and cost structure. Amazon has built the platform to attract as many vendors as possible, and they’ve done so by offering a fee structure with no upfront risk.
The only money you pay Amazon is 15% of each sale. There are no up-front fees, no listing fees, and no hidden fees. You only owe this 15% when you make a sale.
Of course, 15% is a sizable chunk of your earnings. You’ll need to balance this cost against the benefits of utilizing Amazon’s platform to sell your wares. In the next section, we show you a reliable method for finding success on the platform.
Tips for Finding Success on Amazon Handmade
As you can surely guess, selling on Amazon is competitive. The Amazon platform has the potential to reach millions of people, so there is no shortage of vendors. Even within a relatively new service like Amazon Handmade, competition is robust.
Here are the steps to follow to navigate the platform and find success on Amazon Handmade.
First – Decide What to Sell
Your first, and most important decision, will be the handmade goods you plan to sell on Amazon Handmade, which will determine a large amount of your success. It’s important to note that Amazon Handmade only allows products from one of their 14 product categories. These categories include:
- Beauty and Personal Care
- Shoes and Handbags
- Outdoor and Home Care
- Jewelry and Watches
- Kitchen and Dining
- Pet Supplies
- Sporting Goods
- Stationery and Party Supplies
- Toys and Games
When deciding what to sell as an Amazon handmade seller, consider your skills and what you have experience making. However, you also want to make sure that these skills match a certain level of demand. If you’re a versatile artisan, then there’s an opportunity to match your skills to an in-demand product and even tailor your offerings to trends.
To find out which products are popular, search Google Trends for various products you are considering, which will give you data on how many users are searching these products on Google. You can also search Amazon Handmade or Etsy. Look out for products that are generating lots of positive reviews, indicating not only that customers are happy with the products but that customers have bought the product.
Build a Beautiful Artisan Profile
Once you’ve decided what you’ll be selling, it’s time to create an Artisan Profile. An Artisan Profile is your storefront. The way you organize, price, and display your products will play a big role in how well they sell.
Each Artisan Profile is relatively standardized, but Amazon does allow some room for creativity. Here are some considerations for making the best Artisan Profile possible:
- Catchy Store Name: The first element you can customize is your store name. Many vendors have found success with short, catchy names that quickly summarize their main appeal. You can also customize the URL to include your store’s name.
- Your Craft and Your Inspiration: Amazon allows you to describe your craft, as well as what inspired you to create your craft. Your inspiration acts as a tagline at the top of your profile, which is an opportunity to quickly sum up what you do and why you do it, which can quickly explain the appeal of your store to potential customers. You can also fill out a biography where you can expand on your history and why you craft.
- Explain Your Production Process: Amazon allows you to explain your production process on your profile. Talk yourself up. Talk about how you source your materials (the more local, the better) and go into detail about the care and effort you put into each craft.
- Location: It might seem like a simple category, but many people who buy artisan goods are serious about buying local. We suggest putting your location as a larger region or city (near you, of course). It should be immediately identifiable to buyers in your area.
Listing Your Products
Once you’ve created your Artisan Profile, it’s time to list your products for sale. Of course, if the listing is more appealing, you’ll sell more goods. The two most important parts of a listing are good pictures and optimized text. Here’s what to do:
Take Excellent Product Pictures
Think of any time you’ve bought anything online. Have you ever done so without seeing a picture? Probably not. Quality pictures are some of the most effective assets for making online sales.
Amazon requires that your main product image be taken on a fully white background, giving customers a look at your complete product. Successful images layout or prop up the product in an appealing manner. They also utilize professional-level lighting to ensure a bright image.
Past the main image, you can upload different images which give customers a closer look at certain aspects or even show the product in use (they can also include labels and text). Try to take photos that convey the benefits of your product. If it uses high-quality materials, ensure that the customer can get a close look or even label anything special about the design (ex. 100% locally sourced materials).
When taking photos, think about what makes your product unique and why this will benefit your target market. Take photos that communicate this message.
Use SEO To Optimize Your Listings
The other aspect of your product listing is the text. Of course, the text is necessary to convey key information about your product, and there are several required fields that you’ll need to fill out. These include title, description, the quantity for sale, weight, product category, among others.
The important message in all this is that you need to optimize your listings to be discovered. People find products on Amazon by searching for them. Therefore, you need to think about what people are searching for when they look for your product. Use these words and phrases in the title and description of your product. You’ll end up with a descriptive listing that is returned in many different search results.
With SEO, you don’t want to overdo it to the point that your listing is confusing, illegible, or containing words that aren’t relevant to your product. Make it descriptive, but also make it readable. Once a customer finds your listing, you want them to see why they should buy it. Here’s our full guide to SEO on Amazon.
Ads are Powerful
You need to spend money to make money. Amazon Ads can be an excellent investment for sellers, especially if you learn to craft and optimize them properly.
Amazon Ads have the result of pushing your product to the top of a search listing. You pay to sponsor certain keywords and search terms, so when a customer inputs that term into Amazon, your product shows up at the top. Of course, it’s quite a bit more complicated than this simple description. Amazon gives you lots of freedom to decide the customers you want to target with your ads. There are also many metrics for monitoring the performance of your ads, so you can optimize them to target the customers who are most likely to buy your goods.
It’s hard work, but when you start making ads that have positive ROIs, then your ads are essentially paying for themselves.
Motivate Sellers to Leave Reviews
Reviews are one of the most important metrics that determine your success on Amazon. Reviews are a customer’s way of knowing whether your product offers good value, by looking at the objective opinion of someone who bought the product.
As a Handmade Vendor, you want to generate more positive reviews. Amazon prohibits you from asking for positive reviews, but they do allow you to ask for reviews. Amazon has a built-in feature where you can send an automated email to a customer to request a review (click Request a Review on the Seller Central page).
There are other, more creative ways that other vendors utilize to generate reviews. You can even ship your products with a handwritten note, thanking them for their purchase and reminding them to leave a review. Just be sure not to specifically ask them for a positive review. But if you’re confident in your product, it shouldn’t matter.
Optimize Your Prices
Optimizing your prices is one of the primary ways to stay competitive on Amazon. For artisan goods, we recommend your price to stay competitive with other products within your niche. Don’t try to undercut on price, because it’s a game that has no winners. Just be aware of what your main competitors are charging, and attempt to remain in line with them.
Of course, you also need to do the math to calculate how much each product costs to make so that you can be sure your products generate a good margin (don’t forget to factor in Amazon’s 15%). If you find you aren’t making a worthwhile margin at a competitive price, try to source less expensive materials, optimize your production process, or perhaps consider making a different variant of your product.
Consider How Long it Takes You to Make Products
One thing that artisans too often overlook is the value of their own time. Consider how long it takes to make your products and factor that into your decision of what to make and sell. A product is more valuable if you can make it faster – all other things being equal. For example, if you have similar margins on two products, but one takes much longer to make, you’ll want to lean toward the product for which you are more efficient.
Of course, you also need to consider whether you will become more efficient over time and whether you can make similar products with the same level of quality. The important part is to consider all factors when deciding what to make and sell, and your labor is an extremely relevant consideration.
Conclusion – Put it All Together
Perhaps the most important advice is that running a successful Amazon Handmade Storefront will be a combination of all the above factors. Make a plan before you start selling. You need to know what you will make, how you will make it, and all the relevant strategies to create and market your storefront.
Go through our guide, but keep your strengths in mind. Amazon Handmade is still relatively new in the world of e-commerce, and the opportunities are enormous. With careful planning and consideration, you can find success doing what you love!