Union Kitchen Amazon Set-Up Guide

Consumer purchasing behavior is shifting rapidly in response to recent events around COVID-19. Not surprisingly, e-commerce sales grew by more than 25% between March 13th and March 15th (Adobe Analytics). Amazon sales, largely regarded as the leading ecommerce platform, increased by 20% at the beginning of March, with the number of daily visitors increasing by 7.5% between March 14 and March 17 (Digital Commerce 360). 

Launching on Amazon and other online platforms allows CPG brands to reach consumers directly at home. This guide shows you how to register your business as a seller with Amazon, manage your listings page, and market your product post-launch.

Setting up your Amazon account

In an effort to make the sign-up process as smooth as possible, Amazon has centralized everything, including sign-up and profile management, on: Seller Central.  

Selecting a Selling Plan 

Selecting the Amazon selling plan that works best for you is one of the first decisions you’ll make when setting up your seller account. According to their website, a selling plan “is a pay-as-you-go plan that provides access to a basic set of listing and order management tools. Individual sellers can create listings one at a time by matching their products to existing pages or creating new pages in the Amazon catalog”.

We have outlined the plan options and what each has to offer below. We recommend the Professional Plan for anyone planning to sell in large volume through Amazon.

  1. Individual Plan: $0.99 per item sold + referral Fee

    1. Ideal for sellers who sell fewer than 40 items a month 

    2. Allows you to add new products to the Amazon catalog and grow your business with Fulfillment by Amazon

  2. Professional Plan: $39.99/month + referral fee

    1. Ideal for sellers who sell more than 40 items a month.

    2. Allows you to do everything the Individual Plan does + apply to sell in 10 additional categories, set your own shipping fee, manage inventory, use on-site advertising tools, run promotions, use advanced selling tools like APIs and reports, and more.

The Referral Fee included in both plans refers to either an 8% commission on products that sell for $15.00 or less or a 15% commission on products that sell for greater than $15.00. This is calculated using your shipping + product cost. 

*Note that you’ll need the following information and documents to complete your registration after selecting your selling plan:

  • Legal business’ name, address, and contact information

  • Email address for the company account

  • Internationally-chargeable credit card with a valid billing address

  • Phone number

  • FEIN

  • 1099-K Tax Document

Account Settings and Profile

Amazon offers sellers a number of customization options. These include the option to describe your company’s values, policies, and story, as well as selecting your tax, shipping, and return settings. 

You will also need to determine what “category” your product should fall under. Categories are a group of similarly-oriented products that feature on the same page. For example, notable categories include: Beauty, Fine Art, Music, Sports, etc.

We recommend looking at how similar brands are categorized. As in stores, you want consumers to find you with other like items where they’d expect your brand. For most food brands, this is “Grocery & Gourmet Food.” 

Finally, through the Seller Central you can confirm your return address and information, and how you want to fulfill orders. We recommend Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA) service. Through FBA, Amazon handles all shipping, customer service, and returns. You are also automatically eligible for Amazon Prime Free Two-Day Shipping. Please note that FBA does charge a fee for these services.

Coming out of the Account Settings & Profile, you should have completed:

  • Company Information (values, policies, and story)

  • Tax, Shipping, and Return Settings

  • Product Category

  • Return Address / Policy

  • Fulfillment (*we recommend FBA) 

Setting up your listing page

This is your chance to show off your product! 

There are several factors to consider when displaying your products:

  1. Are you creating a single product listing? Or Bulk?

  2. Is this a seasonal product?

As a general rule, if your business offers more than one product, you might find it easier to upload your products in bulk when first starting out. 

Pay special attention to the “Related Product ID” feature when creating your listings page. This feature allows you to tag other items your business is selling that compliments the product being bought. Along with this, you’ll want to include:

  • The product 

  • Brand name

  • Package quantity

  • Material type

  • Size, item dimensions and weight

  • Product ID (generally your UPC code) 

Finally, providing high-quality, well-lit pictures, which comply with the guidelines provided by Amazon, to accompany your products is one of the most important and powerful things you can do as a seller. For an extra bang, supplement these product photos with equally detailed product descriptions and keywords. Use sensory descriptors for food products. 

Post-Launch Considerations

By this point, you should have finished setting up your Amazon seller account and made your products available to all Amazon users. Now, you’ll want to revisit a few things: 

  1. If you choose not to opt into FBA, consider whether you should lower the costs for associated packaging, shipping, and customer service costs. You can do this by handing these duties over to Amazon themselves. 

  2. Reviews are incredibly important and heavily weighted in Amazon’s listing algorithm. Although there are several ways a business can do this, we recommend checking out AmbassadHER. This online network has over 650,000 women and men who market, review, and provide feedback to brands and businesses. 

With COVID-19 pushing consumers towards e-commerce, online platforms, such as Amazon, provide an excellent opportunity for CPG businesses to continue reaching customers. This guide has summarized several factors to consider when registering, including picking a selling plan and necessary documents to have on hand, how to handle shipping and returns, ways to customize and categorize your product listings page, and ways to continue to promote your products.