Sellers on Amazon know firsthand how stringent and difficult Amazon’s seller policies can be. The standards and policies that Amazon requires sellers to follow are far more difficult than many of the other Ecommerce websites on the Internet. However, there is a very good reason that this is the case.
Amazon is the largest marketplace the world has ever known. In December of 2013, Amazon sold 426 items per second during the holiday rush. For the entire year, Amazon raked in more than $74 billion in revenue; larger than the GDP of most countries on earth. There is no question that Amazon is a massively successful marketplace, and a significant reason for that is the fact that Amazon is a great place for consumers to get the exact product they want at a great price.
While it is true that Amazon’s policies are relatively difficult to follow, it is those very same policies that make Amazon such a great place for consumers to buy billions of dollars in products every month. Ultimately, what is good for the consumer is good for the sellers as well, which means that Amazon’s seller policies, while stringent, make sellers who can handle them much more successful on Amazon than they would be if the policies did not exist.
The following are some of those policies, and why they are beneficial to consumers and sellers.
Use of UPC/EAN13 Codes
With thousands of new products listed every week, it is important that Amazon keep the products sold on their website organized and easy to find. In order to do this, Amazon requires the use of EAN/UPC codes. This helps prevent duplicate product listings, and makes it easier to streamline the product classification process. For consumers, this means that every merchant selling a particular item will show up on the same product search result so consumers can find the best price.
Amazon wants the products sold on their website to look professional. As a result, they have strict guidelines on how products should be photographed before being uploaded. Put simply, product photos on Amazon should look as they would on the manufacturer’s website, however Amazon does have some specific polcies to ensure photo quality.
Items should be photographed on a blank background without watermarks or any type of text. The item itself should be large and centered, with as much product detail as possible. Beyond just being Amazon policy, high-quality photographs are important for consumers who are not able to hold the product in their hand like they would in a traditional brick and mortar store.
Using bullet points in the product description
Bullet points have long been known to be useful for SEO (search engine optimization) and SERP (search engine results page) strategies. In addition, bullet points make it easier for consumers to find the important pieces of information about a product without needing to read a huge block of text to find it. This is a perfect example of an Amazon policy that will all but guarantee better sales results for sellers.
Proper product packaging
Unlike traditional brick and mortar stores, virtually all of the physical products sold on Amazon are shipped to the buyer. This means that proper packaging and shipping policies are absolutely essential. A poorly packaged item will have a greater chance of being broken or damaged en route. Even if the seller offers to replace a damaged product, doing so still costs the seller money as well as generates frustration for the buyer.
Similarly, a product that appears to be professionally packed will make consumers happy, and will increase the chances that they order their next product from you instead of another seller. Amazon offers numerous tips and tricks to properly packing products; make sure to take advantage of these resources.
Minimum number of products
If everyone that had a single product to sell was allowed to do so on Amazon, the website would quickly become a disorganized mess that wasn’t useful to anyone. This is one of the reasons why Amazon requires a minimum number of products to be qualified as an Amazon seller. Having more products also increases the chances that you will generate sales, which is a win-win for everyone involved!
Responsive customer service
As a seller on Amazon, you represent Amazon to their customers anytime you sell a product. This means that communicating with customers whenever they have a problem, concern, or comment is an important part of being a reliable seller on Amazon. Ultimately, this benefits all parties involved: the buyer, the seller, and Amazon itself.
Refunds are bad for everyone. Sellers lose money on used merchandise and shipping costs, buyers lose time and become frustrated, and Amazon risks losing a customer. This is the primary reason why Amazon will close seller accounts that have a too high percentage of refunds. Prevent unnecessary refunds and returns by being upfront about your products and following the other guidelines listed above.
Remember, selling on Amazon can be a massive boost to your business, but you have to play by their rules!