Fulfilment by Amazon or FBA is one of the ‘hot topics’ in the online business world. But what is it, and what do you need to open an FBA account?
Fulfilment by Amazon basically means that you are responsible for finding/creating your product and listing it, as well as making sure they are always in stock – if you want to! And Amazon takes it from there.
Amazon is responsible for storing your products, handling orders, shipping the products, and updating your inventory numbers, as well as a few more things, discussed later on in this blog.
But here’s a question!
What do you really need to open an FBA account?
Let’s take it step by step.
Are there any requirements to open an FBA account?
I guess, there’s a simple way to put this:
If you have a product, if you have some money saved and if you educate yourself on FBA you can create an FBA account – and make it successful.
There is no requirement that will stop you from creating this account, you’ll just need to have the above objectives in mind – in order to benefit from it!
What I mean by ‘if you have money’ is that FBA is costly. So you are basically paying for the quality of service you get – which is good!
And what I mean by ‘educate yourself’ is basically what you are doing right now – before starting off with FBA, make sure you fully understand what it is, what your responsibilities will be, what Amazon will offer, and if you will benefit from it enough.
To create an FBA account, you need:
- A product (before you start creating this online stream of income – you probably have to think about a product that is compelling enough for someone to buy – more on this later)
- Amazon Seller Central account (this account basically allows you to list items on Amazon, manage your orders, and change anything you’d like on your listings. There are two types of sellers accounts.)
- UPC (A UPC [Universal Product Code] is a set of numbers [code] that basically works like your product’s fingerprint. UPC’s are used to identify and recognize products in the Amazon storage spaces and listings.)
- Good quality pictures (This could not be stressed enough! What’s the first thing you notice when you check out a listing for a product you wanna buy online? The first thing I check is the product itself. And given that we are viewing this product online, the most realistic way to understand how the product looks like, and if it suits us, is to check the photos. It is maybe one of the most important aspects of your listing. Photos from different angles, close-ups, real and good quality photos will not only help you gain the trust of your customers but also give you higher chances to convert.)
- Very thorough and clear description (Think of your description as a match to the photos you provide. Given that the images must be of great quality, so must be your description. What does a good description look like? For starters, descriptions should give the reader a complete verbal picture of the product. Make sure you state the dimensions, the special gadgets your product may have, everything! Optimize your description using keywords people already use to search for products such as the one you offer.)
Think of it this way: what we aim for is to make the potential customer as comfortable as they can get with our product online. This way, they are encouraged to purchase it. And the way we achieve this is by Giving Real and valuable Information about it!
The benefits of an FBA account!
So why would anyone want to create an FBA account? Well, if you have ever tried drop shipping or fulfilling orders before, you probably know how unbelievably time consuming the whole process is. You must keep track of your inventory, take care of shipping, handle returns, etc.
Since Amazon takes care of the ‘hustle’, this means that you have only one focus point: to sell! You’ve just given yourself some more free time. And in the entrepreneur world – free time often means innovation & more money!
FBA helps you save yourself the worry and stress of fulfillment.
And actually, with FBA you give your customers a better experience.
Some of the most notable perks of FBA:
- Products are safely stored and managed.
You ship your products to Amazon, and they sort out your inventory. Amazon has a total of more than 170 warehouses and the status of reliable service. Therefore, you just got rid of worrying, there is no losing your products, and in the unlikely scenario that this happens, you will get a refund.
- Customer Service
Amazon basically makes sure that the customer has received their order. They take care of the returns and any questions from your customers. You will also get any feedback given to Amazon by customers, which you are free to use for improvement!
- Delivery is fast.
Amazon takes care of the shipping process for you. Given that they have so many warehouses scattered around America and Europe, delivery is fast and efficient, because the products ordered get shipped from the closest available warehouse.
- Amazon’s multi-channel fulfillment
Basically, Amazon integrates perfectly with BigCommerce and gives you the opportunity to actually sell on other channels. Therefore, if you choose to sell from another channel, Amazon will still deliver and fulfill your orders.
- Amazon speaks to the customer.
The 24/7 customer service is a huge bonus! This allows your customers to remain happy by being able to reach out to Amazon whenever they want to and get great service and help.
Is FBA for everyone?
Truth is, we did make it sound as if it is the easiest thing in the world to pull off, but, managing FBA requires good organization skills, a good amount of studying all the guidelines from Amazon, and lots of consistency (for success).
To take full advantage of FBA, you should consider a few things. As we said before, selling a product people care about is a must for success. I mean, sometimes, it seems like it’s obviously the best product anyone could have. But actually, if there is no demand for it, the business will probably go a bit sideways.
But how can you reduce the likelihood of this happening? Market research.
Make sure you know who hangs out on Amazon and make sure you know who would be interested in your product.
Other than that, I’m sure there might be an eye-roll from your side here, but – marketing and advertising are vital if you are not an already established brand. If your product is new, or your brand is just in the beginning of getting recognized, you have to let people know who you are and what you do! I know this sounds obvious, but for marketing to be successful it must be done correctly.
And last but not least, you might have to look into the cost of the FBA plan. Amazon aims to store your products for some time, and then ship them. Therefore, if the shipping doesn’t happen and your products are just taking up space in the warehouse, there is a higher cost of storage.
This might be a good reason to make sure you start off small (inventory-wise) and make sure your product is appropriate for the season, and the demand.
And as always, some research goes a long way…
So here are some sites giving you a deeper understanding of FBA and its operation: