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The Store Owner's Guide to Selling on Amazon with Gooten

Frank Jackson, 05/14/2018,

Shoppers today are multi-channel shoppers, checking prices, comparing products, researching reviews, and consulting social media before buying. Google’s research illustrates this shift, in what they’ve dubbed the “consumer journey path to purchase.” As Google points out, the path to purchase, from start to finish, is rarely linear — it’s more akin to a scavenger hunt.

That’s why retailers with two marketplaces for selling generate 190% more revenue than those with just one. If you’re not selling across channels, your limited presence will derail both the customer journey and your bottom line.

Gooten’s Got Your Back

Thanks to Gooten’s integrations with Shopify and Order Desk, you can sell products directly on Amazon. You can create product listings, manage inventory, and manage orders from Amazon, the world’s largest online marketplace, and thanks to our vast dropship network, you can fulfill orders internationally without ever owning inventory or renting a warehouse.

It will take some work to set up your account so that you can sell your products made through Gooten on Amazon, but the effort is well worth the return. There are two main pieces of work you need to consider: integrating your with Amazon itself and getting approval from Amazon to sell your custom made products. We’ll cover both of these in this article. One of the biggest difficulties for selling on Amazon with custom-made print on-demand products is meeting the UPC (Universal Product Code) requirements for Amazon sellers, but Gooten can provide you with an exception form for selling your unique products!

Getting Approved to Sell Gooten Products

Amazon requires its sellers to provide UPC or GTIN codes on each product, which is a common requirement for a traditional retail business. However, the products you make through Gooten are all custom and don’t come with UPCs or barcodes, so you’ll need to request an exemption from this requirement. You can explore acquiring UPC codes for your products; however, with so many different SKU combinations possible on our platform, the cost of acquiring UPC codes can be very high (in the 10’s of thousands of dollars depending on catalog size).

There are generally two options to avoid this requirement:

Brand Registry

This requires a registered trademark in each global region where you want to sell products). See more here.

GTIN Exemption

This is the faster and generally more applicable method for most ecommerce merchants. This page explains how to apply. From there you will:

  • Complete an exemption letter and fill out YOUR name and contact info for both seller and brand fields.
  • Choose “branded products” from the menu and simply enter “I sell private label products.”
  • Choose the following categories as part of the exemption: 1) Clothing; 2) Cell Phone Accessories; 3) Home and Garden; 4) Sports
  • Contact Gooten Partner Support with your filled out letter and we’ll provide you with a signature and our manufacturing info.
  • Once you’ve filed for GTIN exemption, you’re ready to move forward selling your custom print on-demand products on Amazon.

Using Gooten and Order Desk to Sell on Amazon

Gooten partners with Order Desk, which is an order management platform that allows you to seamlessly connect multiple storefronts and sync your products for fulfillment with Gooten (and other platforms). Order Desk will enable you to link your Amazon seller account to them, add your Gooten account and products and route orders to Gooten for fulfillment.

You can connect your Amazon store to your Order Desk account by following these instructions, and then connect your account to Gooten as shown in this article so that you can send your orders to us for immediate fulfillment.

By following these steps, you can start fulfilling your Amazon orders through Gooten:

  1. Create a Gooten account here
  2. Create an Order Desk account here
  3. Follow this guide for integrating your Amazon store with Order Desk
  4. Follow these instructions for setting up your Gooten products to fulfill through Order Desk
  5. Sell Gooten products and fulfill them automatically!

Order Desk Fees

Monthly costs of having an Order Desk account vary based on the account type and you can find them here:

  1. Starter - $12 + 25¢ per order, which will enable you to get up to 3 integrations, one user and basic support
  2. Pro - $40 + 5¢ per order which will enable you to have unlimited integrations and users, as well as priority support
  3. Plus - $100 + 3¢ per order, which will enable you to have unlimited Pro stores, white glove onboarding and premium support

Using Shopify and GoDataFeed to Sell on Amazon

The easiest way to integrate your Amazon store with Gooten is by using GoDataFeed and a Shopify store that’s connected to your Gooten account. While the price for GDF starts at $299 for the setup and then $99/month maintenance (and it can go up based on the number of SKUs you have in your store and the account type), we believe it’s the best option with the least amount of custom dev work for pushing your products onto Amazon. GoDataFeed also has a GoOrderSync product that syncs your Amazon seller orders automatically into your Shopify account for immediate fulfillment with Gooten.

It’s worth noting that if you’re building a custom API backend which will forward Amazon orders to Gooten directly, you will need to remove your Shopify Amazon plugin, otherwise we will be receiving your Amazon orders twice.

The steps to setting up your Gooten → Shopify → GoDataFeed integration are:

  1. Set up shopify store with products and connect to gooten
  2. Organize product catalog data in Shopify Please note: You cannot use Gooten SKUs because they surpass the 40 character amazon limit
  3. Start an account with GoDataFeed (Install godatafeed app via shopify)
  4. Request to setup an Amazon account feed and a Support Specialist from GDF will walk you through the steps required to get setup.
  5. GoOrderSync - Tool from GoDataFeed to automatically sync and fulfill orders between Amazon and Shopify. Create a separate ticket with the Subject: “GoOrderSync” and a specialist will be able to guide you through the setup.

Amazon Pricing & Fees

Monthly charges for your Amazon account are:

  1. Individual seller (less than 40 items per month) - No fixed monthly fee, $0.99 per item + referral fees and variable closing fees - referral fees vary by product type

  2. Professional seller (over 40 items per month) - $39.99 fee + referral fees and variable fees. Referral Fee ranges from 6% to 20%, most sellers pay 15%, based on category. More information about that can be found here. Additionally, Amazon charges a high volume listing fee and refund administration fee. For a detailed fee explainer, check out this article. It’s also worth noting that some product categories require Professional account as well as approval from Amazon prior to being able to sell them.

Shopify Pricing and Fees

Monthly costs of having a Shopify account vary based on the type of the account you have and they are listed below:

  1. Shopify Lite - $9 + 2.9% + 30¢ for Shopify payments. With this account you can sell on social media or on an existing website

  2. Basic - $29 + 2.9% + 30¢ for Shopify payments + 2% transaction fees if you’re using external payment gateways. This account type will enable you to have 2 accounts, unlimited number of products and storage, 24/7 support, fraud analysis, manual order creation, discount codes, website and blog and a free SSL certificate

  3. Shopify - $79 + 2.6% + 30¢ for Shopify payments + 1% transaction fees if you’re using external payment gateways. This type of an account allows you to have 5 accounts, unlimited number of products and storage, 24/7 support, fraud analysis, manual order creation, discount codes, website and blog, free SSL certificate, gift cards, professional reports and abandoned cart recovery

  4. Advanced Shopify - $299 + 2.4% + 30¢ for Shopify payments + 0.5% transaction fees if you’re using external payment gateways. The benefits of Advanced Shopify are the ability to have 15 accounts, unlimited number of products and storage, 24/7 support, fraud analysis, manual order creation, discount codes, website and blog, free SSL certificate, gift cards, professional reports, abandoned cart recovery, advanced report builder as well as third-party calculated shipping rates

Go Data Feed Fees

When it comes to the monthly costs associated with having a Go Data Feed account, check out the overview below:

  1. One-Feed - $99 - The features available for this account type are: 1 feed, 1000 SKUs, 4 daily feed sync, bulk listing tool, multiple data sources, price adjustment and a one time setup fee

  2. Start-Up - $199 - The perks of having this account are: 2 feeds, 10000 SKUs, 8 daily feed sync, bulk listing tool, multiple data sources, price adjustment and a one time setup fee

  3. Pro - $499 - This account allows you to have 6 feeds, 25000 SKUs, 8 daily feed sync, bulk listing tool, multiple data sources, price adjustment, ASIN tool, 3rd party inventory, order management and a one time setup fee

  4. Agency - custom pricing and features

How You Can Succeed

Be sure to watch our recent webinar featuring Fahim Naim, Founder of eShopportunity, as he shares his expertise and insight on how you can successfully cross-sell your products and turn Amazon into a force to grow your business.

The first step to promoting your Amazon listing is to understand what you’re up against. For most categories, you can learn a tremendous amount about what customers want and don’t want based on competitor pages. Additionally, reviewing complementary products regularly can alert you to best practices and/or promotional opportunities. Specifically:

Read customer reviews and Q&A for competitor pages

Customers are very clear on what their preferences are, and oftentimes can lead you to future product enhancements or ideas. Are customers complaining about packaging? How many customers mention price in their reviews? What other products have they mentioned trying in the same category? How often are competitors updating product content, pictures, or other content? Are they cycling through seasonal photos (i.e. Christmas or Halloween themed?) Do they have clearer messaging of product benefits and usage than you do? How often are they changing pricing and what effect does that seem to have on their Best Seller Rank?

For complementary categories (for example, memory cards and cameras), what are those brands doing well in? Is there an opportunity to cross-promote with them? Are there any insights on their customer reviews about what lead them to that purchase and how that may affect how they search for your product? Does it make sense to target those category keywords on your Sponsored Product campaigns?

Finally, move quickly. If you see a competitor is out of stock, that may be a good time for you to lower pricing and/or increase ads. If you see that competitor reviews are increasing at a faster rate than you, try to figure out the cause. Look for new and innovative ideas such as images or product content from broader categories, and implement them before your competitors.

Optimize Your Product Listings

Ecommerce shoppers, particularly on Amazon, make a decision within just seconds on whether they want to further engage with a detail page or go back to search results. How do you pass this initial hurdle so that a customer goes below the fold and seriously considers purchasing your product? Start by making it simple for them.

  • Titles matter. Does your title clearly describe to customers what the item is and if it is compatible with their needs? Does it mention the brand name? Does it clarify what the use case is or primary benefit? And most importantly, does it do all of this concisely so it isn’t too long to skim?

  • Bullets are your elevator pitch. Make sure to hit all of the key areas that customers need answered before they have to scroll below the fold on desktop or to additional sections on mobile. Mention key facts like if there is a warranty or customer service available to troubleshoot issues. Also avoid having bullets that are more than a few lines long since most customers are skimming this section.
  • Pictures are important. Your main photo should clearly show what the product is before zooming/panning in. Additional photos should provide additional angles of the product, and if relevant lifestyle imagery. It is also probably worthwhile having one image of the ‘back of the box’ showing ingredients, instructions, etc.
  • Product descriptions matter too. Remember that customers are skimming so a 10-line long paragraph probably won’t do the job. Use your brand voice here and reiterate key selling points while mentioning any supporting facts that can help customers understand why they need to buy now.

Lightning Deals

Promotions are a great way to increase visibility and gain reviews. Lightning Deals, price discounts, best deals, coupons, buy one get one offers, etc. are all great opportunities to offer and highlight a temporary discount to your product. Promotions including Lightning Deals are a great way to sell units at an increased velocity, ultimately leading to more reviews. The goal is not to always be on promotion or providing deep discounts, but if you can sprinkle these in towards the beginning of your product lifecycle on Amazon, it is a great way to gain additional reviews and build relevancy so other customers can find you.

Early Review Program

Sellers can also opt in for their products to be included in the Early Review Program. Amazon randomly selects customers who leave reviews and provides them with a small reward (such as a $1-$3 Amazon Gift Card) to thank them for sharing their unbiased review. There is no guarantee that this reviewer will provide a positive review, but it is a great opportunity for sellers to with new products.

Ensure Profitability

Although there are many great tools to help you decide what to sell on Amazon, the Amazon Seller App is one of the best. Use it to snap a photo of a barcode and you can instantly see if you are eligible to sell the product and what your estimated profit is. The app calculates all Amazon costs (including shipping) and can help you make decisions in seconds.

Have Great Content

Make sure your pictures are professional, high resolution, and don’t be afraid to add lifestyle images as well. Combine these pictures with keywords throughout your product listings and you’ll be well on your well to growing your sales on Amazon.

Now you’re ready to take on Amazon. As always, at Gooten, we’re here to help. We have hundreds of products that are ready to find a home with your customers, what are you waiting for?

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