Get started on Amazon | Your industry-insider onboarding checklist

Get started on Amazon
If you want to ace Amazon as a seller, you need to know that you’re stepping into a dynamic and competitive marketplace that requires strategic planning and meticulous attention to detail. Listing your products on Amazon is the perfect way to unlock endless e-commerce possibilities but it also comes with a comprehensive checklist. Before a sense of overwhelm sets in, we are here to guide you through the seller onboarding process and the list of optimisation steps required for your product listings.

Selling on Amazon can be a lucrative venture, but not without diligent first-phase planning and execution. 

Our onboarding checklist ensures that you’re covering all the essential bases of a successful Amazon seller and that you’ll be well-equipped to navigate the complexities of the marketplace.

#1 Product listings | Make them stand out

First impressions ALWAYS count and your Amazon product listings are no exception.

Parading as your virtual storefront, the upfront images and content you provide will determine whether customers engage or move on. 

Providing high-resolution images of your product (taken from all angles), clearly outlining product features, and addressing the needs, wants and pain points of your target audience are all paramount to a visually attractive and algorithm-friendly listing. 

To get this right, you will need relevant & optimised content to populate the following fields: product titles, product benefits (5 bullet points) and product descriptions.

(Product listing top tip: Incorporate the country of origin information in your listing. This transparency builds trust and helps customers make informed purchase decisions). 

Optimising product titles

  • Make titles as easy to read as possible and match the wording to that of the physical packaging of the product (e.g. use standard and acceptable abbreviations such as ‘fl oz’ instead of fluid ounces and ‘kg’ instead of kilograms).
  • Keep the copy clear and concise – including your product’s most identifiable features – and make sure it contains relevant keywords.
  • Pay attention to title length. Amazon guidelines advise that titles can be up to 200 characters in length (depending on the category),  but we recommend around 80 characters. (Longer titles are also harder to read than shorter titles, especially on mobile devices, so the longer your title is, the more you risk losing a customer’s attention).
  • Begin each title with the product’s brand name and only capitalise the first letter of each word except for prepositions, conjunctions or articles. 
  • Do not use terms like “hot item” or “best seller” in the product title.

Optimising product key features:

Unless a potential customer is familiar with your product, highlighting the key features of your product is your persuasive power. Amazon guidelines are as follows: 

  • Highlight a maximum of 5 key features per product listing in bullet-point format. Start each bullet point with a feature and then state the benefits of that feature – e.g. dimensions, age appropriateness, ideal conditions for the product, skill level, contents etc. 
  • Maintain a consistent order for all products with a recommended 150 – 200 characters per bullet point. 
  • Reinforce any important info from the title and description and, once again, include relevant keywords.
  • Write with sentence fragments and do not include ending punctuation
  • Do not include promotional or pricing information

Optimising product descriptions:

This is the text that appears below the title when you click through to an Amazon product page. Have a little fun. You have up to 2000 characters to describe your product in detail.

  • Include detailed info about the product’s features
  • Highlight specific product info not included elsewhere in the listing’s title or key features
  • Include the brand name
  • Include sizes
  • Include material types and benefits
  • Include relevant details such as colours, ages, quantity etc.

#2 Strategic inventory planning | Stock up

Inventory management is a crucial aspect of maintaining a positive customer experience. It’s no use having the most amazing product listing with no stock to back it up. This is e-commerce suicide and your product ranking on Amazon will quickly nosedive. (Amazon will give stock recommendations based on your sales data and you can also set custom notifications to be alerted when stock reaches a certain threshold).

Running out of stock can lead to lost sales while overstocking ties up your capital(Running out of stock can also result in losing the ‘buy box’ which means you have to win it again). Maintain inventory levels and avoid stockouts by developing a meticulous restocking plan that takes into account sales trends, seasonality, demand fluctuations and lead times to ensure your products are consistently availabl

Address stale inventory which ties up your resources and reduces your profit margins by Implementing strategies like bundling, promotions, or liquidation to clear out stagnant products to make room for new ones.

#3 The devil is in the detail | Follow the rules

Accurate product information is crucial when selling on Amazon. If your products require certification, adhere to specific sizes, or have expiry dates, ensure that you comply with all relevant regulations. Amazon values customer safety, and meeting these requirements boosts your credibility as a seller and builds trust with your customer(s). 

Amazon also has strict requirements for some product categories. Depending on the items you are selling, make sure you have all the correct documents for your products. (If you have no official documents, certificates, or other vital information about your products, the platform will block your listing until all requirements are met).

Examples of vital information: All product dimensions (including weight), expiry dates, heat sensitivity, plug and voltage type, manufacturer’s number etc.

#4 Amazon’s brand registry | Leverage your trademark

As an Amazon seller, establishing your brand’s authenticity is foundational. If you have a registered trademark, then enrolling in Amazon’s brand registry enhances your brand’s credibility, gives you increased control over your product listings, and protects you against counterfeiters. 

A registered brand on Amazon gives you the added advantage of using video content, building custom stores, analysing unique reports, and using an extensive set of tools from Amazon to manage your listings. (While a registered trademark is required for Amazon’s Brand Registry, you can explore other options for protecting your brand on the platform).

#5 Who else is selling your products? | Suss out the competition

Amazon competitor analysis in your product portfolio will help you stay ahead of market trends and modify your own product offerings. Conduct thorough research to identify competitors selling the same SKUs (Stock Keeping Units) as you. Identify their strengths and weaknesses so as to differentiate your products and develop unique selling points that give you an edge in the market. 

Analyse competitors’ pricing strategies, customer reviews, and marketing tactics to position yourself advantageously and be a buy-box winner. (Winning the buy box is prime Amazon real estate to increase your sales and give a customer peace of mind). 

#6 Amazon’s fee structure | Do the sums

Amazon fee structures can get quite complicated, but Prebo is here to help you make sense of it all. For a more in-depth look at fees, have a look at this comprehensive fee structure guide. Read on if you just want the basics.

There are two types of selling plans available on Amazon; Individual Seller and Professional Seller.

Professional Seller Account:

  • Monthly fee for access to tools like brand store, A+ Content, Amazon Ads, Analytics, and Amazon Vine.
  • Broader category options than Individual Seller accounts.
  • Monthly fee of R400, but a special launch offer for South Africa at R1 per month until December 31, 2024.

Individual Seller Account:

  • Suited for businesses selling fewer than 40 units a month.
  • Limited selling tools and category options.
  • Pay R10 per item sold to Amazon for less than 40 sales a month.

Shipping Fees (Fulfillment Fees)

Amazon offers three shipping options for sellers; fulfillment by Amazon (FBA), Easy Ship option (ES) and Self Ship. Each of these options has its own applicable shipping fees.

Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA):

  • Amazon handles fulfillment, packing, shipping, and customer service.
  • Fulfillment fees start at R27 per unit, varying by product size.
  • Monthly storage fees based on volume, with additional long-term storage fees for inventory over a year.
  • Sellers responsible for shipping their products to Amazon’s fulfillment centers.

Amazon Easy Ship:

  • Unique to South Africa, a service similar to Makro fulfillment.
  • Fees based on product value and weight, ranging from R20 to R99, with an additional R5 per kg handling fee.
  • Convenient parcel tracking.

Amazon Self Ship:

  • Sellers store, package, and ship their products.
  • Shipping costs vary with the third-party carrier of choice.

Referral Fees

  • Referral fees are a percentage of the item’s selling price, and fees vary by product category.
  • Fees start from 3% or min R10 and go up to 15%.        

Partner With Prebo

For any local Amazon vendor, success on the platform is at the mercy of more than just listing your products. It requires strategic pre-planning, continuous optimization and an understanding of customer preferences. The above checklist is your basic initiation to onboarding as a novice Amazon seller.  

As an Amazon Ads Verified Partner, let us help you win on Amazon – from creating your Amazon seller account all the way through to advanced SEO and content optimisation, PPC strategies, competitive analysis and Amazon storefront design. 

Give us a call or join our waiting list if you need help launching your products on Amazon.

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