6 Tips to launching on Amazon SA

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Forget the thrill of the chase. When it comes to online shopping, both the thrill of the purchase and the anticipation of a package being delivered to your door are psychological realities. (Not to mention the product unboxing videos that go viral!). It seriously is the cat’s whiskers. This sets the scene for the imminent launch of Amazon in South Africa and its online listing possibilities.

The Amazon ideology – WORK HARD | HAVE FUN | MAKE HISTORY – now comes knocking on your online door if you are a local e-commerce business owner. A small window of opportunity presents itself before Amazon’s much-anticipated launch in South Africa in Q1 of 2023 for you to take the steps needed to sell on this marketplace. 

There is much to do, but we are here to guide you through the 6 basic tips for you to set up a successful listing on Amazon’s marketplace

Amazon launch in South Africa

Editorial credit: Hadrian / Shutterstock.com

Tip #1 – Build your online listing NOW

Building your portfolio of products and crafting a perfect listing for each is the backdrop to a successful product launch on Amazon. Carefully researched and specific keyword derivatives need to be implemented and optimised. (E.g. ‘baby clothes’ is not going to cut it, but ‘handmade baby girl rompers’ or ‘organic baby swaddle sets’ are more likely to get you noticed and ranked on page 1 among a saturated online baby clothing offering).

Amazon wants new and emerging brands, but its algorithm sees what is being searched on the platform. You need to leverage this by doing your homework. This is going to come down to professional images (and video) and compelling, unique, engaging and relevant SEO content. 

If you are an entrepreneur starting out with a new online business, we suggest you do some research on what the bestsellers on Takealot are and reverse engineer that information. (This is all about providing what the people want and doing that really well).

Tip #2 – Streamline your review strategy NOW

Reviews are gold on Amazon and can make or break you. Your goal, once you are listed on Amazon, is to have all your product and packaging ducks in a row to ensure that customers have no reason not to leave you a 5-star review. Now is the time to perfect any potential troubleshooting issues with regards to your product, packaging and customer service plan, so that when you do start selling on Amazon, all the stars are aligned.  

Amazon SA e-commerce strategy

Editorial credit: Hadrian / Shutterstock.com

It is also vital to brush up on Amazon’s stringent terms of service and how you can engage with customers on the platform to ask for reviews etc. 

A helpful tip is to put yourself in the customer’s shoes and place an order on Amazon US/UK to see what the user experience is like. This will assist you in streamlining your service offering and ironing out any potential glitches now. 

Tip #3 – Register a SA trademark NOW

To be registered with Amazon as a business, you are required to apply for a SA trademark that reflects your product. This can take up to 6 months, so there is no time to tarry. This is a quintessential step in protecting you from potential copycats. 

You will not be prohibited from selling on Amazon without a trademark, but having this trademark opens up additional benefits like having an Amazon brand store and of course, protecting you from product imitations.

Tip #4 – Build up your stock NOW

If your current e-commerce business imports stock, you need to start building up your stock so that when you launch on Amazon you have stock reserves in the wings to satisfy potential demand. Just one negative review on a supply chain delivery issue will really hurt you and cancel out hundreds of positive reviews. You do not want a slap on the wrist from Amazon if they cannot fulfil an order on your behalf because there was insufficient stock. 

‘Supporting local’ is always a win. If you can find a local supplier to manufacture your product, you are likely to cut down on import duties and supply chain import delays.

Another key consideration is deciding on which shipping plan you intend on implementing for your e-commerce store: FBA (Fulfilled by Amazon) or FBM (Fulfilled by Merchant). 

  • FBA reduces your logistic planning by automatically shipping products from Amazon’s warehouse. All you have to do is send inventory to them. 
  • FBM will be cheaper and is beneficial especially if you have products that are large in size and which require a robust shipping strategy. 

Tip #5 – Check out what’s trending in the US NOW

South Africa is generally 6 months behind US trends. If you want to tweak your product offering, check out what is currently trending on Amazon in the US; this is what South Africans will be wanting and waiting for. So, when Amazon launches in South Africa, make sure you are ready with a niche offering that people are searching for.  

Tips for launching on Amazon SA

Editorial credit: Khomulo Anna / Shutterstock.com

Tip #6 – Partner with an expert agency NOW

Data is always an invaluable performance marker and data-driven insights are the secret to a business growing or failing on Amazon. This is where partnering with a local expert agency becomes your performance marketing ally to help onboard as well as leveraging Amazon tools such as Helium 10 or RevSeller to provide you with real data-driven insights relating to search volume and revenue. A performance agency also gives you access to SEO specialists who will do the research to target niche keywords for your product to increase your rankings. 

Contact Prebo Digital TODAY

Prebo Digital is a local Performance Marketing Agency with a global footprint. We are a verified Amazon Ads Partner, have been awarded Google Premier Partner status and our creative and specialist team has been helping our European and North American clients grow their businesses on Amazon since 2019. That makes us an ideal partner to help you implement these steps in time to launch your e-commerce business on Amazon when it launches in South Africa. 

Contact us today for a free 20-minute consultation.

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