Selling food on Amazon can be a very challenging but also an incredibly rewarding experience.
However, business owners are often unsure about how to make the most of their Amazon food business.This might come as a surprise, but selling food on Amazon is not only rewarding, but also very easy to do! If you feel hesitant, it’s completely natural. Lucky for you, we’ve written this guide to help get your food selling avenue off its feet. Let’s get started.
Amazon is an amazing platform and the world leader in retail. It is the biggest online selling and buying site in the world. Many of you can use this giant image associated with Amazon to your advantage. Here are the top few reasons why you should start selling food on Amazon:
For starters, if you’re looking to sell less frequently, an individual Amazon account would suffice for your needs.
An individual account usually charges $0.99 per item sold, along with other charges (usually selling fees). This is the perfect option for small-scale, individual sellers.
On the other hand, a professional seller account is another inexpensive and reliable service you can employ if you’re a relatively larger scale business. It usually costs $39.99 per month.
The fun part is that this minute investment opens up all of Amazon’s selling options to you.
You may be thinking: “Well, sure that sounds good, but am I really getting my money’s worth, even if my upfront investment is small?”.
We completely understand your reservation. As a business owner, you need to be very careful with your priorities.
That’s why we’ve scoped out what you’re getting, and trust us, it looks amazing. You can put up photos, ask for reviews, negotiate a transport deal with Amazon and much, much more.
Amazon is reputed for its simple and easy to work with plans, business plans, and logistics. Amazon Logistics is a shipping service that works along with other useful delivery services.
Amazon simplifies the process of selling and breaks it down into simple operations for you. This includes plans to build your team, identify your goals, deals with Amazon vans, insurance, training packages and service providers that help you set up your business.
Here’s a fact: Buyers trust Amazon, and this is probably the best thing about selling there!
It’s certainly true that there are very few businesses that have made an impact quite as Amazon has. Food is now a very central part of the selling and buying experience.
Since millions of users visit Amazon and use the Amazon app every day, your food selling idea can receive traffic and attention like never before.
We’ve found that most customers are looking online for household purchases, such as food, groceries, utensils and more, instead of attacking the stores.
With Amazon, you also have the option to promote your items through paid sponsored ads, which can be targeted via keywords and topics. The best part? Amazon has around 200 million unique users every single month!
We’ve made it pretty clear that selling on Amazon gives you a definitive advantage over sellers selling on other platforms. You want the smartest, the biggest and the best, right?
Amazon has more market share than the next three largest online selling companies combined. Also, it is the site that gives you the most variety when it comes to selling options, logistics, advertising, etc.
We know that your time, resources and plans are very important to you as a seller. That’s why we’d recommend Amazon over other online ecommerce solutions. Its gigantic outreach and impressively efficient distribution systems are far ahead of its competitors.
Unlike some other sites, Amazon doesn’t restrict your brand name to only their site. You can use it across a variety of platforms. For you, that means one name across multiple sites and an established brand name.
When people are considering making a purchase, online sites are the places they visit first! You’ll be pleased to know that on Amazon, you can count on buyer intent being pretty high.
There is also, however, a significant amount of research and exploration done on Amazon, thanks to the product information, imagery, videos, FAQs and reviews on its product pages.
People come to Amazon to check rival brands and competing prices and then choose what fits them best. We can tell you from experience that people mostly browse Amazon when they are convinced they want to buy something, it’s just a matter of where from, at that point.
A product page on Amazon can help you a lot in judging your demographic of customers. For the item you’re selling (food), your demographic is pretty much universal!
Food is one of the most marketable items in the online realm. You just need to get your product out there.
Bear in mind though, high buyer intent does not mean that you are guaranteed millions of customers from the second you create a seller profile.
It just means that people who see your content on Amazon are the ones who are most likely to make a purchase right away or at least plan on purchasing similar items in the near future.
Food is a perishable item. Keeping that constraint (or advantage, however you want to look at it) in mind, Amazon has certain standards and requirements they want you to meet as a food seller.
There are some categories you will find on the Amazon site (for example: organic food category) where you have to prove via certification that your items are actually organic.
For your information, Amazon has divided the sale of food into three categories to make it easy for both you and the customer to define exactly what both parties want out of the experience:
Without further ado, let’s finally discuss a step-by-step breakdown of the entire process of getting approved to sell, passing certain standards and making your way to the top of the food business mountain.
As we’ve mentioned before, all product categories on Amazon come with a unique set of requirements.
Getting nervous at the thought of your products being put to the test? Don’t worry, there’s nothing really to fret about. These standards just make sure that the customer is getting a reasonable quality of services. Let’s get down to the specifics now:
Along with these requirements, as a seller, you need to meet some basic criteria with regards to the quality of your food, the timing, and the response of your delivery, and so on:
To get started with ungating, just apply in the Grocery & Gourmet Food Category, and Amazon will contact you with details.
Again, selling food can be a hassle at times, especially with all the thought and effort you have to put into proper packaging, and other details.
Amazon encourages you to pay proper attention to the quality of your packaging. There are some set requirements here as well, so let’s get to them one by one.
Keep in mind: the way you package and present it to your customers plays a huge part in them becoming not only your regular customers but regular buyers on Amazon as well.
Does your product have a definite expiry date? Most food items on Amazon do have a shelf-life. Some are prone to more damage than others. Some are likely to melt after a certain period of time. Let’s look at what Amazon has to say here.
When it comes to food with expiry dates, Amazon has a certain policy that it adheres to.
Certain food products can melt during the entire transactional process. For you, that means you have to make sure that if your product is “meltable”, according to Amazon, then it must be able to withstand a minimum temperature of 100 degrees Celsius and a minimum of 50 degrees Celsius.
Also, meltable products should survive the mentioned temperature range without any adverse effect on quality.
If you want to use FBA, make sure that your product reaches an Amazon warehouse within 105 days of its expiry date. Also, if there are less than 50 days left until the expiry date of a product, Amazon will remove it from their warehouse.
Now that you’ve gone through the packaging and quality standards, it’s time to move to the next stage.
You know what they say, in a seller’s world, capturing the customer’s interest is half the work done, right there.
Food has to be shown under some parameters that Amazon has set to make it easy for all customers to see one standard of representation for all food products out there.
We’ve found that these standards have been carefully tested by Amazon, to ensure that along with the customer’s satisfaction, your product is using the space it is allotted on the site to maximum effect.
Here’s a quick look at things you need to keep an eye on:
By now, you’ve made your way through the entire list of requirements about packaging, quality, logistics, etc. Now, it’s time to go that extra mile in order to stand out among competitors. Let’s learn all the cool tips and strategies we’ve outlined to make your selling experience a profitable one.
As a smart seller, you’ve got to make sure that you leave no stone unturned in your quest for marketplace domination (that may sound excessive, but there’s nothing wrong with aiming high, right?).
You should group products together into attractive sets and gift packets. Trust us on this one, food is one of the top gifts given everywhere.
You can also keep an eye on various opportunities across the year to bundle your products together and market them to your customer’s delight (Father’s Day, Teacher Day, etc.).
You can’t miss out on the holidays!
Use holiday themes and dates and use the feelings in the air to your benefit.
Post ads that explain to the customer exactly why your product is the best gift choice or the most amazing addition to a holiday feast! People often tend to splurge during important holidays, so you should definitely try adding holiday-themed keywords to your product descriptions and get a bucket-load of traffic to your products.
Ever wondered how the placement of your brand name impacts the attention your product gets?
We looked into this to find the best possible way of advertising, and here’s what we found:
If you’re a new seller, with a relatively unknown brand name, it helps to place your brand name at the end of your title, for example, “Cream Biscuits by ABC”. We’ve found that in this scenario, putting it in the beginning can bury product information.
However, if you’re a big brand, putting your brand name first helps, especially if people directly search for your brand name.
Maybe the products you’re selling vary in one way or another. The most common variation with regards to food is the flavor. If your products come in different flavors, instead of making separate pages for them, list them under one page.
This will not only help customers get a look at all the variations you’re selling easily but will also lead to more sales!
Let’s face it, customers are often looking for quick and easy work, and making separate listings will pretty much discourage them from buying more, with the added effort they’ll be putting in.
There’s really no limit on how creatively you can market your products and your prices.
Think like a customer. Would I want to buy product A more right now, or would I want to buy product A if it was coupled with product B at 15% off? Be inventive, you can even have traditional “Buy 2, get 1 free” offers work for you.
Bundle your products together, find combinations that are useful and appealing, and trust us, the customer’s will end up thanking you for it.
At this point, you must be asking: “How do I appeal to my customers besides just using words?”. Here’s the simple answer: use images!
In the knock-down, drag-out world of online competition, images are the undisputed king. Your posts are one image away from looking livelier, more attractive and a lot more credible.
Pick images that emphasize the qualities of your products. For food, make it look appetizing, influence your customer’s emotions, and breathe life into your posts using visual queues.
It’s time to address the top most common concerns a seller has when starting out.
We’re sure you’ll find what you’re looking for here:
That depends on the package you’ve selected as a vendor.
We’ve determined pretty thoroughly that if you choose FBM, and have your account running, everything in place, it can take at maximum a few days, and at a minimum, less than 24 hours.
If you picked FBA, it can take a few days to a few weeks to start selling on Amazon. This is usually the time it takes for your products to reach Amazon warehouses.
There are a number of food items that Amazon prohibits you from selling. Here are some examples of what those items may look like:
Like we’ve mentioned before in this guide, the number you need to remember is 105.
Amazon wants you to send in items to its fulfillment centers if there are at least 105 days left before they expire, counting from the time of arrival at the warehouse.
Also, if you send food that expires in less than 50 days, Amazon marks it as disposable, and like the label, disposes of it. Amazon knows that customers don’t like receiving items with just one or two months of the shelf-life left, so send in your items on time, with a 3.5-month window for expiry.
Selling food on Amazon is a highly profitable business opportunity if you really know what you’re doing. This is not a difficult task, especially if you follow all the guidelines we just discussed.
If you just went through this entire post with us then congratulations! You’re all set to start your Amazon food business!
Share your success stories with us or drop down your questions in the comments section below.
Here, we’ll help you through the process of getting an exemption on your products.
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