Can you imagine what 197 million unique monthly visitors looks like? That’s what Amazon gets each month. And ecommerce retailers can get in on that traffic too, by selling on Amazon Marketplace.
Half of all products bought on Amazon are from Amazon Marketplace. For ecommerce retailers, selling on Amazon’s Marketplace opens the doors to a whole new wave of customers and sales. After all, the more places you sell on, the more opportunities your customers have to find you.
If you’re wondering whether this is a channel you need to tackle, then this blog post is for you. It walks you through what you should consider if you want to sell on Amazon, how Printful’s integration works, and extra tips for success.
Should you become a seller on Amazon?
Amazon is an ecommerce giant. You know the numbers:
- Amazon’s revenue in the fourth quarter of 2017 was reported at $60.5 billion
- In 2016, Amazon was responsible for 43% of all online sales
- Amazon shipped over 5 billion orders through Prime in 2017
- According to a 2016 study, 55% of consumers check Amazon first for their online shopping needs
Besides these impressive figures, there are some more practical reasons ecommerce retailers should consider selling on Amazon:
- Amazon is a trusted marketplace. You know that customers trust and shop on Amazon, so being a seller there adds legitimacy to your business.
- Multichannel selling is a growing ecommerce strategy. You shouldn’t just be selling products on your online store, but also on marketplaces where you can access previously untapped audiences.
The cherry on top of the cake? The Printful + Amazon integration
Our integration makes your life easier by automatically handling printing and fulfillment for your Amazon orders. And with our product push generator, you can add products to your storefront in a couple of clicks.
It also lets you sell in different Amazon marketplaces and regions. You can sell in North America or Europe, or both! This is one of the only integrations out there that lets you connect with a global audience, so it’s a big advantage if you don’t want to limit yourself to one region.
BUT – and this is a big but – you should be aware of these things before moving forward:
- You’ll need to sign up for an Amazon Professional Seller Plan, which costs $39.99/month. That’s because Amazon requires you to have a Professional Seller Plan to use their API, which you’ll need for this integration to work.
- You’ll also have to pay referral fees for each product you sell. The fees depend on the product category and listed retail price, but they can be up to 15%.
- This is a more complex integration compared to other platforms we integrate with. And Amazon has strict seller regulations. So the setup and maintenance will be more time-consuming than with other integrations.
Amazon isn’t for beginners and it’ll require more time and money to keep it going. It might not be for everyone, but if you’re ready to take the plunge and give Amazon a try, read on and forge ahead!
How to set up your Printful + Amazon integration
Before I continue, let me get this out there: you’re in for some heavy lifting.
The Amazon integration is technically dense, and Amazon itself has rules and approvals for setting up. This process might not be as quick and easy as our other integrations, but we have plenty of resources to walk you through it.
You can start by watching this video tutorial for detailed, step-by-step instructions on how to connect your Amazon account with Printful.
Adding Amazon products through Printful
Once your GTIN exemption (or registered brand) is approved and the integration is complete, you can add products to Amazon through Printful’s push generator.
Remember that you need to have GTIN exemption for every product category you want to sell on Amazon. You also need to authorize at least one marketplace.
Watch the video to learn how to add your products:
- It may take up to 24 hours for products to sync from Printful to Amazon.
- Amazon has a limit for how many products you can add at once. If you reach the limit in one upload, you’ll have to wait a little before you can add more.
- If you’re having trouble syncing a product, double-check that you’ve requested GTIN exemption for that product category! This is the most common error we see with syncing products to Amazon.
Image requirements and product descriptions
Amazon has strict requirements when it comes to adding product images. You can read them in full here, but there’s no need to worry. Mockup images that are pushed through Printful meet Amazon’s requirements.
Amazon also has guidelines for how to write your product titles and descriptions. You should follow their suggestions because they’re designed to make it easier for buyers to find you. Read their guidelines here.
Setting up shipping and taxes
Another technical aspect you’ll need to take care of is shipping and taxes.
For shipping, we recommend using Amazon’s default rates. They’re calculated based on industry standards for each product category. Watch our tutorial on shipping and returns below:
We recommend consulting an accounting professional to help sort out your taxes. You can take a look at Amazon’s resources here (you have to be logged in to Seller Central to view).
Keeping your Amazon account healthy
Amazon’s priority is the buyer. It wants its buyers to keep coming back and spending more. That’s why they have strict rules for sellers – to ensure the buyer has a good experience.
If your store’s performance metrics don’t meet Amazon’s standards, they’ll issue warnings and then penalties if nothing is improved. Too many infractions and your Amazon account will be suspended. So it’s best to keep an eye on your metrics before things get out of hand.
You can keep track of your account’s performance by going to the Performance tab.
There you’ll see how your account is performing and what you need to improve. These are some of the metrics Amazon tracks:
- The number of negative reviews for your account or products
- The number of orders you cancel prior to delivery
- The number of shipments that are sent out after your promised production time
So do your research. Make sure you understand Amazon’s terms and know what you need to do to follow them. You’ll find more detailed info throughout Amazon’s FAQs and forums. Contact their support if you need clarification.
How will Printful handle fulfillment?
If you work with Printful, you can’t control fulfillment on your own. You’re relying on us to ship your orders on time, and we don’t take that lightly.
To make this smoother for us and for you, we automatically set the production time for Amazon products pushed through our generator to 6 days. This is on average the longest time it takes for Printful to fulfill a product. So as long as your orders ship out within 6 days, your account won’t get penalized for late shipments.
We don’t suggest changing this, because if you set it to a time that Printful can’t work with, your orders will count as late, which could mean trouble for your account. If you really want to, you can edit the production time by going to Manage Inventory -> Edit -> Production time.
Bonus tip: Startup Vitamins manually upgrades all of its orders to expedited shipping. This automatically marks them as priority on Printful’s end, which bumps them up the queue so they’re sent out faster.
Tips to manage your customer support
It’s critical that you keep your customers happy on Amazon. An unhappy customer can leave a negative review, which can lead to account suspension.
Here are some tips to manage customer support on Amazon:
- Amazon requires you answer all customer inquiries within 24 hours. So when you get an email, answer ASAP. This increases customer satisfaction and decreases your chance of getting negative feedback.
If you need Printful’s help, reach out to us straight away. Hop on chat or give us a call at +1 (818) 351-7181 (Mon-Fri 9-5 PST).
- Customers are sent requests to leave reviews after they’ve received their products. So it’s important to provide them with the best customer service you can so they’re more likely to leave a positive review.
- We recommend you provide returns or refunds for all products. Again, this is to keep your customers happy. At the very least, you need a very clear returns policy. And if you sell apparel, provide detailed size charts and product photos.
Ready to start selling on Amazon?
Hopefully, this blog post gave you all the tools and info you need to start selling on Amazon. And now Printful’s integration will make it easier for you to manage your orders. Be sure to keep this post bookmarked as a resource – you’ll likely have some questions while you’re setting up.
Amazon is a powerful marketplace, whether you sell on it exclusively or simply use it as another sales channel. It may be a steep learning curve, but if you have the time to master it, get started now!
Already selling on Amazon? Share your experiences in the comments!
This article was originally published in March 2017; it has since been updated.