Why a Cash Flow Pinch Can Kill Your eCommerce Business

Cash flow is the backbone of any eCommerce company. It is crucial to keep cash flow moving smoothly. If it becomes too much of a pinch point, it can kill the business. Cash flow is defined by the amount of cash available to your business throughout its operations. It is usually measured every month, and the primary source of promote cash flow for eCommerce businesses comes through selling product. 

Cash flow is crucial for businesses and shows how much money passes through the operations. Yet, it is not the same as a profit. The funds received from customers are collected under the term cash flow. Businesses still need to pay for expenses like rent, labor, utilities, taxes, and other fees. Every company has a constant fluctuation of cash flow. The amount of cash received (and when) depends on supply and demand and the business’s monthly expenses. With proper data management, a company’s ever-changing cash flow can still be predictable and manageable and enable sound business decisions. 

Why Is Cash Flow Important

Cash flow is the backbone of a business, so if it fails, the company fails. A recent study from CB Insights found that a third of companies failed because they ran out of cash. One-third of businesses also fail due to an insufficient market for the product they are selling. Which then leads to a lack of cash flow. Improperly managed cash flow streams can lead to poor decision-making, a misunderstanding of how a company’s money is spent, and ultimately be the downfall of a business. 

Companies need to prioritize their cash flow to ensure that their business will stay afloat and reap more benefits from adequately managed cash flow. As businesses manage their cash flow, they pay close attention to how their money is spent and control their finances. When a company has a positive cash flow, it improves the relationships with its partners and customers and promotes brand loyalty. It can also help businesses find their strengths and weaknesses, and how best they can expand. 

What Promotes Cash Flow 

There are a few ways that businesses can promote cash flow and ensure that they will thrive. The first step in promoting cash flow is planning and forecasting. In order to spend money correctly, businesses need to know how much money will be coming in and when. With a better idea of how money flows through a business, there will be less overspending and fewer mistakes when judging how much money the company has. 

With planning comes a strategy of what businesses should spend money on and when. Companies should plan when their cash flow is coming in and the best allocation of that money. If there is a low demand for a particular product, there is no need to spend cash flow on an abundance of inventory. Companies should find what is a priority for spending and what needs the most attention. Pay close attention to what needs fixing. This will promote more cash flow and allow attention to shift to minor issues. 

Cash flow improves when companies receive money faster and hang onto it longer. Speeding up the process of obtaining cash can incentivize customers to choose a faster form of payment. Companies can hold on to money for longer by buying inventory, earning interest, and elongating the amount of time before paying expenses. This sales cycle gives control over when costs pay off and how much money is in the business at one time. 

What Challenges Cash Flow 

Many daily challenges come along with maintaining cash flow. Businesses that forecast their finances consistently can learn how to work around everyday challenges. Conversely, companies that do not find solutions to these problems end up with cash flow as a bigger pinch point, which can negatively impact the entire operation. 

Some common challenges with cash flow include delayed payments from customers. Sometimes, purchases can happen pretty quickly. Businesses may not reap the benefits of the purchase and experience a time with a shortage of cash. Less cash flow is caused by bank deposits holding money. Or if a large sum of cash flow to buy equipment or machines, leading to businesses waiting for new revenue. Companies unaware of their total cash flow, or spend their cash flow before secure income experience negative cash flow. The life of the business is then solely dependent on the speed of its recovery.

How Payability Can Help 

Payability recognizes the difficulties that eCommerce businesses face with cash flow. The funding programs are built for eCommerce businesses that need assistance filling the gap between paying expenses and receiving revenue. eCommerce businesses no longer have to worry about the risk of cash flow with the help of Payability. To see if your company qualifies for Instant Access to your marketplace payouts, visit Payability.com and apply now.

Thank you Payability for your guest post. For more information on Payability, head to their site. To better your selling business and software tools, head to Viral Launches main page.

E-commerce and Advertising

Corey Gary is Viral Launches amazing Demand Generation Strategist and Advertising Manager. This guest post written by Corey highlights the importance of E-commerce and Advertising in how they go hand in hand.

The beginning.

I started my career in Digital Marketing as an Analyst at an agency located in New York City. I
joined an account with separate teams for programmatic, paid social, and E-comm. Since we
rarely communicated with each other, I felt siloed and inefficient.

A few years and a few clients later, I’ve worked across almost all facets of Digital Marketing.
I’ve run Display & Video as well as Search & Social ads. There have also been opportunities to
buy programmatic podcast ads and CTV (connected TV ads). I also purchased a programmatic Digital-Out-Of-Home campaign where the vendor claimed they could change ads at a bus stop based on the interests of the people walking by. We ran this campaign before iOS 14.5 and increased privacy regulations.

Working on a channel-agnostic team of digital marketers was not only rounded out my Working on a channel-Agnostic team of digital marketers not only rounded out my skill set but was best for the client’s expanding needs. Having multiple types of marketers on one team helped us own all stages of the digital marketing funnel.

Awareness campaigns matter for E-commerce and Advertising.


Awareness campaigns are excellent for large brands, but how about those small Amazon start-ups who don’t have millions of dollars to spend on billboards that connect to the Metaverse? That’s where e-commerce advertising is essential. Buying for conversions is where marketers can gauge the effectiveness of their campaigns. E-commerce advertising becomes essential once a consumer is familiar with a brand. As a consumer, if I allocate myself $150 for a new pair of running shoes, I can choose between big brands such as Nike or Adidas and Asics. Or, I can shop with up-and-comers like On and Hoka. These two shoe brands are agile and efficient in their digital marketing. Both On and HOKA have extensive running shoe digital marketing campaigns while the big brands are nonexistent on
the SERP (Search Engine Landing Page).

As a consumer during the evaluation process of the marketing funnel: I decided to allocate my $150 depending on a wide range of criteria such as cost after taxes & shipping, quality of the product, reviews, merchant (Amazon or EastBay), and color. For the digital marketer on the other end of the purchase, yes, people buy running shoes based on color, guilty as charged.

The seller can optimize their ads to account for all these criteria to meet the customer when
they’ve allocated time to research and budget. It takes time for the Digital Marketer to A/B test which ads perform best on a specific channel. Here’s one example.

On Amazon, an ad for the keyword [running shoe] could perform vastly different than an ad for the keyword [racing running shoe]. The first keyword is for buyers who want a running shoe but aren’t necessarily intense runners. However, [racing running shoe] clarifies that the buyer could be participating in this year’s New York City Marathon in addition to their local Turkey Trot. Viral Launch has expert-level keyword analysis software to help e-commerce marketers discover the best keywords to target for their online advertisement.

Conversions mean results.

So, why is it essential that all Digital Marketers learn E-commerce Advertising? Conversions
drive business results, and ultimately the purpose of marketing is to have a positive return on investment. Marketers can spend all day ideating grand awareness campaigns. Still, conversion marketing is where CMO’s can go to stakeholders exclaiming, “look at how my campaigns drove an increase in sales with a positive.”

What Amazon Sellers Should Learn for 2022.

As the world recovers from the global pandemic, eCommerce is adjusting yet again to the modern landscape. We’ve seen some interesting Amazon selling trends in 2021, as merchants find new ways to stay ahead of their competition and leverage Amazon’s expanding offerings. Here is what to learn for 2022.

Now, as we near the end of 2021, let’s take a look at some key takeaways to keep in mind for 2022. 

Inspect Sample Goods Before Switching Manufacturers

Poor product reviews break listings. Products with good reviews and listings influence 79% of Amazon prospects, so you can’t afford to lose consumer trust by accumulating bad reviews. If your products have a bad reputation, you will have trouble selling them to just break even. 

So, be sure to order and inspect samples from manufacturers beforehand. If you’ve been using a supplier for a while, don’t drop the ball by compromising your vetting process; it takes one wrong delivery to ultimately tank your customer reviews. Another thing to learn for 2022.

Take Advantage of Amazon’s Expanding Branding Features

Amazon’s Brand Registry gives sellers more control over their products and brand representation. The program is easy to join, and here are a few reasons why you might want to consider it (other than the fact that it’s free):

Increase product sales and conversions

While you may not notice an immediate change in your bottom line, Amazon’s Brand Registry actively works to remove fraudulent listings and delist third parties that are fraudulently using your brand’s name. 

Reducing fraud is vital to building trust in your brand and driving conversions. Otherwise, if buyers unknowingly purchase a knockoff, it may reflect poorly on your brand’s image. You can use the registry to report any perceived violations and have infringements removed. 

Take back control over your product’s information 

Sharing accurate, valuable product information is vital to building customer loyalty. It’s essential to avoid misleading prospects and help them understand precisely how your product can benefit them.

Unfortunately, third-party sellers may not honor your core values and alter your descriptions, spreading misinformation. You can’t avoid third-party sellers either, because they make up for more than 50% of Amazon sales. 

Fortunately, Amazon’s Brand Registry gives sellers more control over how products are described in the listing. After submitting your product and company information, Amazon will regulate any third-party attempts to alter them, preserving the key information.

Beyond these measures, the Brand Register protects brands against more complex fraudulent efforts as well. For example, some third parties may use your company logo or information to sell their own knock-off products. Amazon’s Brand Registry combats these malicious activities by:

  1. Removing listings that use your company logo or trademark on products that aren’t yours. 
  2. Images need to be removed with trademarked information/items that don’t represent your company. 
  3. Removing fraudulent listings that use your brand’s information.

Learn and implement this for 2022.

Access the Sponsored Brands Feature

The Brand Registry unlocks your access to Amazon’s Sponsored Brands Feature, which is an ad format that lets businesses promote up to three products. It also allows you to include your company logo and brand name, which is great for raising brand awareness if you’re selling on Amazon.

A big draw for using the Sponsored Brands feature is that your ad will appear at the top of search results, even above “Sponsored Products.”

Stay on Top of Amazon’s Evolving SEO Algorithms 

Paying attention to Amazon SEO is vital to increasing your listing’s visibility and ensuring prospects can easily find you. In a nutshell, Amazon SEO’s purpose is to help consumers buy, so the algorithm works to meet this goal. 

When a consumer searches on Amazon, the algorithm quickly determines which product listing has the highest likelihood of fulfilling the searcher’s needs. In other words, Amazon’s SEO algorithm needs to figure out which listing has the highest ‘purchase likelihood’. 

Similar to Google on-page SEO practices, there are technical steps you can use to improve your product ranking, including the use of keywords, images, and optimized titles and descriptions. But, to beat out the rigorous competition and rank at the top of Amazon search results, you need to convince the algorithm that consumers are ready to buy your product. 

That’s where the A10 (formerly known as A9) algorithm comes in. Amazon’s algorithm undergoes continuous updates, with the ranking factors adjusting slightly every six months or so. Thus, staying current with the evolving algorithm is important to keep your product listing at the top. Keep this up for things to learn for 2022.

Amazon’s A10 algorithm, in general, prioritizes two core criteria for ranking:

  • The number of customer reviews
  • Your sales rank, which includes details like how many customers are searching for your product and buying it

It’s important not to get bogged down by the algorithm’s technicalities. Sure, it’s updated regularly, but its core working and objective remains the same: to help customers buy what they need. This intention means sellers should focus on optimizing their offerings for customers. 

True to Amazon’s MO, you’ll notice that the two core criteria behind the A10 algorithm are geared towards customers. The algorithm reflects Amazon’s commitment to delivering the best customer experience. By sharing this commitment i.e., keeping customers happy and meeting market needs, you can drive your search ranking up. 

Have Both a Vendor and Seller Account

Many growing businesses struggle to decide between having a vendor or a seller account, because each offers unique pros and cons. But what if you could combine the best of both worlds? Turns out you can—Amazon doesn’t restrict sellers from having both accounts. 

By having both a vendor and seller account, you can complement sales efforts and mitigate restrictions. For example, seller accounts usually get fewer sales because they lack the “sold by Amazon” endorsement, so having an additional vendor account can increase your bottom line. 

Retailers can also leverage the advanced analytics and flexibility of a seller account to help launch new products. Generally, Amazon is hesitant to promote new vendor products because they lack performance information. So, you can do the initial heavy-lifting and sales testing from your seller account and eventually use the analytics to encourage Amazon to endorse the item from your vendor account. 

Invest in Good Customer Service Mechanisms

Amazon’s commitment to customer service and delivering the best customer experience is a critical driving factor behind the eCommerce giant’s success. Amazon sellers can take a page out of the megacorp’s book and improve sales by committing to good customer service.

Ecommerce gives merchants access to a full suite of data, analytics, and meaningful insights to tailor marketing efforts and optimize the customer experience. However, without the right systems in place, your support team won’t be able to leverage the data to your brand’s benefit. 

Thus, it’s important to invest in good customer service software solutions. For example, you might want to consider using email automation to deliver automated updates, like shipping notifications or order verification. 

Additionally, it’s vital to invest in tools to centralize information to maintain customer satisfaction. If customers receive unsatisfactory answers or varying responses across channels, they become frustrated and confused, reducing your FCR (First Contact Resolution) rates. With a centralized knowledge base, you can resolve customer support requests faster and more accurately. Learn this for 2022.

Executive Summary

The core best practices for Amazon Sellers don’t change. Whether you look at 2010 or 2021, successful sellers prioritize customer-first experiences, strive to deliver value, take feedback seriously, and leverage tools to optimize their operations.

As we break into 2022, it’s important to remember that these objectives won’t change, but the means to achieve them might. For example, SEO algorithms are continuously evolving, and new technological developments help businesses optimize their operations in new ways. Therefore, staying up to date with these advancements and trends is vital to keep your brand relevant and successful.

To sum things up to learn for 2022, don’t forget to:

  • Weigh your options out with Seller and Vendor accounts, and see if it’s beneficial to use both. 
  • Invest in centralized knowledge and automation to deliver better customer service. 
  • Leverage Amazon’s robust branding features.
  • Keep up with the latest Amazon SEO updates.
  • Inspect your products as they arrive.

And don’t forget to put your customers first!

—-

Jake Rheude is the Director of Marketing for Red Stag Fulfillment, an ecommerce fulfillment warehouse that was born out of ecommerce. He has years of experience in ecommerce and business development. In his free time, Jake enjoys reading about business and sharing his own experience with others. 

Thank you, Jake for the guest blog post! Be on the lookout for more great content!

Myth: Run PPC even when not retail ready.

The truth is: You should not scale up or aggressively run PPC before you are retail ready.

A majority of advice that comes down the line on selling is focused on PPC campaigns. You are able to find hundreds of articles conveying “The best PPC campaign” or “Do this to build sales”  for your business. Yet, not many articles go over when you should focus on PPC campaigns and start investing in those areas. 

Retail Ready comes first

You and your business need to be retail ready in order to successfully run Amazon Advertising. Set yourself up correctly with reviews, correct SEO and keywords, product photos, etc. It is okay to not immediately jump into PPC, it is the safer route. A majority of sellers want to quickly scale up and aggressively run PPC in order to get ahead and set the curve. The truth is, if you are starting out right now, you are going to have to slow down. 

Most of the differentiating ad types on Amazon simply use your existing listing as the ad itself. Sponsored brand ads that are largely designed to drive awareness even include the listing elements such as product photography and reviews. 

Don’t pay before you are ready.

You are paying Amazon to show your listing to more shoppers. If you start paying for more people to see your listing before it is ‘retail ready’ you are bound to get low click through rates and low sales. Regardless, Amazon will still happily take your advertising budget.

There are millions of sellers out there all running PPC as well. Before getting your feet wet, have all of your ducks in a row. Join Amazon seller community groups and ask questions in the forums, learn all there is to know about PPC while still building the business. Once your business is running smoothly and is retail ready, then create the PPC strategy and implement it. 


Doing this will save you time, energy, and a lot of money at the backend. Save your reserves and don’t jump the gun. If you need resources on Amazon PPC specifically, this guide will give you more insight into how Amazon runs their programs. Viral Launch has their own guide as well utilizing the Ad Manager tool and Kinetic.

Keyword: Squid Game

How you can make the most of the newest Amazon keyword: Squid Game.

As most of the world knows, Squid Game was released by Netflix on September 17th, 2021. Not even a month into its release, it is the number one watched show on Netflix. Plus, it is the streaming platform’s most watched tv show in its history. What once was a keyword no one has heard of before just 3 weeks ago is now one of the largest keywords on Amazon.

As you can see in the image below, “Squid Game’s” keyword phrases dominate halloween costumes and costumes in general. It is on trend to be the halloween outfit of the year. Similar to the Harley Quinn costume in 2016 with Suicide Squad. It is fascinating to see how quickly keyword trends and phrases pop up. This verifies again that it is vital for Amazon sellers to stay up to speed on social trends. If you are able to get involved with selling early, you can make thousands of dollars quickly and efficiently with not much competition.

Squid Game reaches beyond Netflix

Alongside costumes becoming a trending search on Amazon, Vans saw a 7,800% increase in sales of white slip on vans. They’re the TV show’s premier shoe with an increase in sales across the globe. Netflix, Vans, and those selling track suits are on par to make big bucks in 2021.

The trend continues.

According to our Keyword Manager and Research tools, Squid Game Costume has over 500,000 searches starting in October. In September, it only had around 50,000 searches. Those who were in the selling game that early were the first to make big bucks on those searches. It is still not too late. Our data shows that the search volume will most likely continue to trend upwards till about October 31st. After halloween, search volume will more than likely drop off.

What is next after Squid Game?

As the movies Marvel’s Eternals, new episodes of Netflix’s Bridgerton, and Spiderman: No Way Home are coming out later this year, it is important to keep in mind that these will open up avenues for more selling opportunities. Try to get involved in these early before they skyrocket in keyword trends like Squid Game.

With data research going back over 4 years, Viral Launch provides their users with the largest library of Amazon keywords. The Keyword Manager tool is the most popular among users. Especially for its ability to quickly compare and contrast specific keywords and how it compares to similar ones. Users can optimize the best SEO for their products to hit the number one spot on Amazon.

How to Prepare for Prime Day & Crush It

Don’t let Prime Day sneak up on you! With one of the largest shopping holidays of the year approaching, find how to prepare for Prime Day.

Amazon Prime Day 2021 is almost here! Amazon’s signature shopping event — the 48-hour event kicks off June 21st — will surely be a smash hit once again.

For Amazon sellers, it goes without saying how massive of an opportunity Prime Day represents. Even though Prime Day 2020 was delayed due to COVID-19 and placed in a jam-packed holiday season, it became the largest grossing Prime Day yet, cracking over $10 billion in sales for the first time.

Amazon Prime Day sales by year, since 2015.

Of course, every seller wants to get a piece of the action. A successful Prime Day can feel like hitting the jackpot, delivering a windfall of profits as your business receives a massive influx of orders.

While the wave of sales provides the most exciting benefit, there are plenty of additional benefits that can serve as a catalyst for your business. As millions of Prime members search Amazon for Prime Day deals, their purchases can reasonably viewed as a way for sellers to increase their rank in a brief timeframe. On top of the opportunity to boost rank, sellers who capitalize on Prime Day traffic will likely garner more reviews as a result.

At Viral Launch, most questions we receive revolve around how to increase sales, boost rank, or generate reviews. Simply put, Prime Day offers the opportunity to achieve all three.

With stakes so high, the competition escalates in the lead-up to Prime Day. Conquering your market for this sales event requires more time and energy than during typical times. Below, we’ll list a few ways you can set yourself up for a successful Prime Day as the big day draws nearer.

Set Up Your Deals

Don’t forget about the fundamentals! At the most basic level, customers on Prime Day are looking for a deal. They want to see markdown prices they can’t resist or put off for later.

The tried-and-true way to achieve that would be through Prime Exclusive Discounts. Just as the name implies, they allow your product to be discounted to Prime members. These deals must be at least 10% off non-member, non-promotional price.

Exactly how much of a discount you offer is entirely your decision, but take careful consideration of your best possible offering. Assume your competition will deliver their goods for markdown prices and strategize what it will take to make your product offering the most compelling.

Even if trimming your profit margin doesn’t sound like fun, review the benefits we mentioned earlier that can provide a boost for your business. If you were seeking more reviews or want your organic keyword ranking to rise, even the smallest of profits could answer potential problems for your product that increases your chances at sustained, long-term success.

How to set up Prime Exclusive Discounts

  1. In Seller Central, select Prime Exclusive Discounts within the Advertising tab.
  2. Download the Discount Upload template spreadsheet. Then, fill in the spreadsheet appropriately with product and pricing information.
  3. On the Prime Exclusive Discounts page, click Create Discount. Enter the name of discounts, date, and upload the completed promotion upload spreadsheet.
  4. Optional: Review and edit the information of any products that fail the upload and submit.

In case you’ve never created a Prime Exclusive Discount or haven’t done so in a while, be sure to check the eligibility requirements beforehand to ensure your products meet the criteria.

Monitor Your Keyword Ranking

As always, your product’s organic rank remains a top priority. As Prime Day nears, your rank only grows more critical. For the most convenient keyword tracking, utilize a tool like Keyword Manager.

Tracking rank trends can inform you of plenty regarding your strategy and execution. On Prime Day, millions of customers will perform searches. Positioning your listing in prime digital real estate puts you in an excellent spot to win the day.

Make sure your rank isn’t falling over the next few weeks to avoid the rug being pulled from under your feet during the big rush. Each spot represents a piece of the pie your business will receive on Prime Day. Doing whatever you can to stay on top of your ranking to maintain or improve your rank could pay off exponentially.

But it all starts with keyword tracking.

Also, closely monitor the placement and performance of your sponsored ads through June 21st. With sellers looking to accelerate sales before Prime Day, bids for keywords become more expensive. A bid that would normally win the top billing for a keyword may not land on the first page of search results.

You may want to increase your bids, or try a new strategy altogether. Perhaps bidding on low-to-medium search volume keywords provides a better return on investment at this time.

It’s important to remember that this time is not normal. As a result, maintaining a “business as usual” strategy may not work. Those who recognize market changes and adjust appropriately will reap the benefits.

Keep An Eye on the Competition

When considering how to prepare for Prime Day, the competition plays a tremendous role in your actions.

Much like Texas Hold ‘Em poker, you must consider your assets versus what your competitor may play. Think about the start of Prime Day as the final flip of the cards, when the better hand is determined and the winner is crowned.

Continuing the poker analogy, you never truly know which cards your opponent possesses. But like poker, you can read your opponent’s “tells” to inform your decision-making and use it to earn the upper hand.

Unlike poker, you can eliminate much of the guesswork with a good competitor tracking tool, like Competitor Intelligence. Within Competitor Intelligence, you can enter a competitor’s ASIN and instantly understand their strengths, weaknesses, and a deep dive into their performance.

Competitor Intelligence spies on your competition, so you can make more informed decisions.

By tracking over time, you can also see their performance in keyword rank both organically and in sponsored ads to know what moves they’re making. In return, you can play defense and strategize appropriately to gain or maintain an edge.

Just as you’re gearing up for Prime Day, so is your competition. Accessing crucial metrics such as organic and sponsored rank by keyword, pricing changes, seeing who owns the buy box, and many more may open your eyes to their strategies.

Now just imagine how much of an advantage knowing your competitor’s thinking would be in poker…

Conclusion

With the amount of money and traffic driven through Prime Day, every second invested into optimizing your offering should be considered time well-spent. These are just a few ways on how to prepare for Prime Day.

Hopefully, at this stage, your inventory levels are prepared for a monster Prime Day. Also, your copy and product photography should already be optimized to maximize traffic and conversions. For those with the resources, Amazon Posts and Lightning Deals may also be intriguing ways to differentiate your product from the competition.

However, the clock is running out before Prime Day for drastic changes. With under two weeks to prepare, prioritizing your needs and wants first may be the way to go.

Best of luck to you in your quest to dominate Prime Day!

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Want to Know How Much Your FBA Business is Worth? Start Here

Chances are, you probably sell on Amazon because you recognize the huge potential ROI there.

But have you ever stopped to think about your next step after your FBA business? Many FBA owners have never considered selling their business—or even know the option is on the table!

We wanted to share why selling your FBA business could help you build an even better business and be the best thing for your entrepreneurial journey. Let’s explore the reasons FBA owners sell their businesses.

The Truth about Selling Your FBA Business

Selling an FBA business boils down mainly to personal or business-related reasons. 

In terms of personal reasons, we’ve seen sellers exit because of an event or goal that meant they no longer had time to manage the business. Some of these reasons include a death in the family or wanting to spend more time with their kids.

Business-related reasons tend to revolve around raising capital for another project or losing motivation to stay with the business. 

Whatever their reason for selling, some FBA sellers have received two to four years of net profit in cash in one payment. That’s the biggest windfall many entrepreneurs have ever received in one go.

But don’t start counting your chickens before they hatch: first, let’s dive into understanding how FBA businesses are valued.

FBA Business Valuation

Online business brokers and individuals working in mergers and acquisitions (M&A) usually value businesses by a multiple of earnings before interest, tax, depreciation, and amortization (EBITDA). EBITDA represents a business’s annual profit, and it is multiplied in the range of two and four times.

The valuation formula we use is:

Valuation = 12-Month Average Monthly Net Profit x Multiple

There’s not much difference between the two formulas. We stick to the average monthly net profit because it gives a more granular view of an FBA business’s performance than an annual profit figure. 

While average monthly net profit is easy to calculate, determining the multiple is a bit more complicated as it takes into account the business’s age, traffic sources, branding, product line, and pricing window.

Age of FBA Business

A profitable older brand tends to be valued more highly than a younger one because it has survivability.

Unexpected market demands and changes place stress on FBA businesses, which can seriously affect cash flow and average order values.

A business’s ability to scale and grow through these challenges shows buyers that it’s resilient. While you can’t directly influence your business’s age, the takeaway here is that age works in a seller’s FBA business’s valuation, which is why a long-term Amazon selling strategy pays off more than a short-term plan.

Diversity of Traffic Sources

One of the greatest advantages of selling on Amazon is being able to leverage their brand, which customers love and trust.

However, selling on a single marketplace can lower a business’s multiple because if that source of traffic is shut down, there’s a higher risk that the business will be negatively impacted.

Amazon is well known for delisting products and shutting down stores for minor infractions. While you can prepare to ensure you fulfill Amazon’s requirements, increasing the number of traffic sources through multichannel selling is a good way to minimize your business’s risk and increase its multiple.

Branding

Branding has a smaller influence on the multiple than the other factors listed here since it’s hard to quantify how strong a brand is .

That said, the number of customer ratings and reviews, as well as how high the ratings are, play a part in determining the multiple. If people mention the FBA brand on social media, the context is also taken into consideration. Are customers raving about a store’s products and recommending them to their friends? Or are their experiences mixed, with varied reactions toward the customer service or the product’s functionality?

A strong brand is an attractive asset to a buyer, but it has less weight than the other factors that affect a multiple.

Product Line

There isn’t a perfect number of products that will help you gain the highest possible valuation. A couple of key things to keep in mind are the amount of work it takes to manage your product range and the diversity of the revenue generated by the products.

Let’s compare two FBA businesses in the home niche, both selling kitchen products. Business A has only one product, while business B has 50, and both generate $100,000 in revenue from sales each month.

Business A’s single product has the same risk as a single traffic source: if the product is delisted, the business’s cash flow is completely cut off. 

While it might look like business B won’t suffer from this issue, there are a couple of issues with its product range. For instance, if a single product generates over 50% of the business’s revenue, this is also cause for concern from a revenue-by-product basis. Managing all those listings could also consume most of your productive hours, time that could be spent growing the business in other ways.

We’ve seen the ideal range of products to diversify sales and be manageable without being overwhelming is between three and eight products. 

Of course, there are exceptions to the rule. Some buyers with large capital reserves won’t mind paying for a single-product FBA business because the potential ROI of a future flip may outweigh the risk. These types of buyers will probably make strategic acquisitions and have a team of optimization ninjas to increase the value of their assets.

Buyers who can afford to buy only a few FBA businesses will be much more cautious about a business with a product range that’s too large or small. They are likely to be solopreneurs who manage operations on their own, so the stakes would be much higher if the business didn’t work out as hoped.

Pricing windows 

Another thing to keep in mind is for how long you’ll calculate the average monthly net profit.

12 months is the golden standard because it provides a good view of the business’s traffic and revenue earnings and takes fluctuations in buyer demand, aka seasonality, into account.

If you started your FBA business less than 12 months ago, we’d recommend waiting before considering a sale. While you could shorten the pricing window to three or six months to reflect the profits, buyers will look at the business holistically and see that only a short window of data is available to help them decide whether to buy your business.

Again, there are exceptions to this rule. Some buyers with more capital means or a higher risk tolerance might make an offer for newer FBA brands.

Shorter pricing windows narrow the buyer pool, making it harder to find the right buyer who’ll offer you a reasonable deal. You might receive only a single offer and find yourself settling for a much lower offer than you wanted to ensure you close the deal.

Who Would Buy Your Site?

Now that you have a basic understanding of FBA businesses are valued, you might be wondering who would be interested in buying one. 

There’s a wide range of buyers with different levels of available capital and time, but all buyers recognize the power of selling on Amazon, and they want a piece of the ecommerce pie.

FBA businesses offer a lower barrier to entry for ecommerce entrepreneurship than full-blown ecommerce, which requires owners to manage many different moving parts. Instead of building a business from scratch, a buyer can acquire an existing FBA brand that’s generating steady profit.

To increase your chances of receiving a great offer and landing a successful deal, let’s discuss how to widen the buyer pool.

5 Ways to Optimize Your FBA Business

Buyers are much more likely to put down an offer after doing their due diligence if they think a business is a deal they just can’t pass up. So how can you make your business an asset that buyers will compete for?

By making it as hands-off as possible.

This is not to say that a less optimized business will attract zero buyers, but an FBA business that requires minimal work from the owner to maintain will be more attractive.

There are already some great tips for selling on Amazon, so we’ll focus on a few other ways you can improve your FBA business.

1. Use a Third-Party Logistics (3PL) Service Provider

Many sellers ship their inventory directly to FBA fulfillment centers, so storage and fulfillment are managed in one place. While it might be easier to allow a manufacturer to ship their products to FBA warehouses, it could be costlier than using a 3PL service provider.

Spend some time shopping for reputable 3PL solutions to see if there’s a more cost-effective route.

Another thing to consider is if you should use a 3PL as an additional storage facility. If stock doesn’t sell within six months, Amazon will charge long-term storage fees.

Depending on your products’ average turnover time, it might be better to hold stock in a warehouse and send batches of inventory to FBA centers according to your inventory forecasting.

While additional expenses sound like they should bring down your business’s valuation, removing essential services will in turn add extra burden and responsibility for the owner to manage and make the business a less attractive option.

A common mistake we see FBA sellers make is to cancel their 3PL solutions services, which brings down overall costs but adds 10–20 hours of work each week. The initial valuation price may increase but at the expense of making your business more hands-on.

2. Nurture Great Supplier Relationships

If you have exclusivity with your suppliers, ensuring that agreement will be carried over to the next owner makes purchasing your FBA business a more attractive prospect.

Establishing a strong relationship with suppliers saves the buyer the time and energy required to find reliable manufacturers, giving them one less thing to worry about, so they can focus on expanding the business in other ways.

Diversifying the number of suppliers the business owner can call on also works in a seller’s favor. The ability to order from multiple suppliers helps avoid dreaded out-of-stock situations for your top-selling products, especially during peak seasons.

We’re not advocating for drop surfing, where you’re encouraging suppliers to compete for your business by undercutting each other to offer the lowest price. Developing good relationships with more than one supplier opens up other manufacturing channels in case your usual supplier has production issues.

3. Optimize Product Listings

Creating a great product is only half the battle. Getting it in front of the right eyes is the other half.

Increase the chances that your products will appear to your target audience by optimizing the listings for SEO.

Search engine optimization will involve keyword research and the placement of target keywords in your copy’s title and body. Just don’t stuff the keywords in; Amazon’s search algorithm will deprioritize your listings if it detects too many keywords.

As an FBA seller, you can leverage Amazon A+ Content (formerly known as Enhanced Brand Content) to enrich your ASIN descriptions. A+ Content doesn’t get indexed by Amazon’s search engine but can increase conversion rates, leading to more sales.

4. Automation

Hiring virtual assistants or outsourcing time-consuming tasks frees you up to focus on your growth strategy. 

A great way to improve your own efficiency and automate more of your processes is by creating standard operating procedures (SOPs).

Well-documented SOPs will help a buyer keep the business running as it currently does, so it doesn’t drop performance after changing hands. SOPs are especially helpful to solopreneurs, streamlining the transition period by providing a resource they can refer to at any time.

If the new owner decides to outsource, they can use SOPs to train freelancers to operate the business as you did.

5. Build a Monetized Email List

Many FBA owners overlook using an email list as part of their marketing strategy, but to understand the power of email marketing, the real value lies in the audience it builds.

Gathering subscribers looks great, but the number remains a vanity metric if the list isn’t used properly. When you consistently deliver value to an audience through curated content, the email list becomes a valuable asset in itself because you don’t rely on search engine algorithms for your content to be found and you can address your audience any time.

However, if you are considering selling your FBA business and haven’t started an email list, I’d recommend that you use your time and resources to bolster your business’s strengths instead. 

Email lists take a lot of time, energy, and patience to get right.

You’re nurturing an audience from scratch, so you’ll need to experiment with the type of content you send out and to get all the elements aligned for the highest conversion rate.

The Myth of Timing the Sale

Deciding when to sell can be hard. Some sellers think they can time the sale like a stock based on market conditions and whether the forecast is bullish or bearish.

In reality, it’s extremely difficult to succeed with this approach. We’d recommend selling your FBA business when it’s at its strongest and performing optimally on the capital means available.

A buyer may be willing to pay a premium price for an FBA business generating steady sales that has products with Amazon’s Choice or Best Seller status in their subcategories. 

A business’s value is how much a buyer is willing to pay for it, which is why it matters where you list your business for sale if you want to succeed in landing a deal.

Best Places to Sell Your Business

There are really only two options: selling privately or using a broker.

A third option is to use a DIY marketplace, but we’d strongly recommend against using this type of service. DIY marketplaces charge a commission comparable to that of brokers, and you have to do a lot of the work to source deals and market your business yourself.

If you’re selling for the first time, a broker is the optimal route (even though we might sound biased for saying so).

If you go for a private deal, you risk running into two of the worst kinds of buyers: the savvy kind, who know how to negotiate a low price, and tire-kickers, the sort who make inquiries and non-serious offers, wasting your time. There’s also the need to attract many qualified buyers, which can be tough if you don’t have a wide network of suitable connections.

Then you have to worry about marketing your business and making it as attractive as possible without overselling.

There’s a mixed bag of brokers available. A reputable broker will have processes in place to attract buyers who can prove their buying intent with verified liquidity. When shopping for a broker, do your due diligence to see if they have such a system, as it helps both sellers and buyers.

You can register for free on a broker’s marketplace to talk about selling your FBA business and how they’ll help you handle the administrative side of things so you can focus on managing the different offers that come your way.

What’s Next? Preparing for Life After an Exit

We hope that by this point you’re aware of the amazing potential that selling your FBA business holds.

One of those possibilities is to buy another FBA business and keep your momentum going. After all, no one said you had to hang up your FBA hat and call it a day! The skills and experience you’ve developed could be used to scale a series of smaller businesses, so they reach their potential. 

In time, you could flip them for a profit, creating a money-making engine that provides five figures of capital for each deal you make.

In time, you’ll have built up an ecommerce empire.

This is just one of the routes you could go down. Of course, you can reinvest the capital in any way you want.

Whether you pursue a passion project or put the money from the sale in your kids’ college fund, the possibilities start with the knowledge that your FBA business is a highly lucrative asset to the right buyer.

This insightful guide was brought to you from Empire Flippers. Do YOU want to contribute to the Viral Launch blog with your expertise? Simply complete our brief guest blog post form and we’ll contact you if it it seems like a great fit!

How To Self-Publish Through Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing

There are plenty of ways to make money on Amazon, with Kindle Direct Publishing standing out as an opportunity for those with a passion for writing. Fresh off the release of his debut book, Dylan Hughes shares a four-step guide based on his recent experience with Kindle Direct Publishing.

Going back to my third grade days, writing and coloring in blank hardback books, I have always loved writing. When I was even younger than that, I would take my kids books and write down their contents onto blank sheets of paper (someone should have taught Young Dylan about copyright infringement). 

When I was about 14, I finally took my talents to the internet, blogging about sports. Once I started, I fell in love and have been at it ever since.  

I have known for a long time that I want to become a professional writer. I knew I wanted to go to college for journalism and I did that, graduating last year with a Sports Journalism degree from IUPUI. While I was a little lost career-wise after graduating, the end-goal remained clear: I wanted to write professionally.

After months of struggling to find even an entry-level writing job, I threw in the towel and took matters into my own hands. First, I began my Substack newsletter, Heavy Pockets, where I write words weekly on what is interesting to me in the business world—as well as personal development stuff here and there. I also publish at least weekly on Medium.com on the same topics.

I have enjoyed doing that for the past five months. In late November, however, I didn’t feel like I was doing enough. So I made a snap decision: I was going to publish a book.

I have dabbled with the idea of writing a book for years now, but it was always something I looked forward to doing in the distant future. I had no idea what to write about, the process to go through to get it published, or how long it’d take. It felt like I was best suited to stick with blogging about dumb sports stuff online.

On that November night, though, I wasn’t willing to just toss the idea out. It felt right. Before thinking about anything else, I just started writing.

Step 1: Write the Darn Thing

Whether in writing or elsewhere in life, a lot of people get held back by the minutiae. Writing a book sounds hard. Editing it, making a cover, and finding a place to publish it is just too much to stomach, especially considering that stuff comes after actually writing all of those words.

So don’t worry about that other stuff! Write the book and worry about that stuff later.

You don’t have to write the entire book before researching how to publish it. But at least get the ball rolling and build some momentum. You’ll be surprised at how quickly you can write 1,000, 2,000, or 5,000 words. A handful of sessions like that and you’re either done with your book (if it was short like mine) or making great progress to getting to that finish line.

Step 2: Edit and Prepare

In the self-publishing world, this may be one of the more difficult steps. In my case, I was lucky enough to have a friend—who happened to edit our college newspaper—and my mom—an English major—edit my book. Alongside myself, a  perfectionist when it comes to my writing.

If you are not as confident in your editing skills and/or don’t have the supporting cast to help you out, there are surely editors available for hire on places like UpWork and Fiverr. If you aren’t looking to spend money, though, having a handful of friends read a chapter or two each and giving light feedback is better than nothing.

Once you feel confident in your words, it’s time to move over to Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP).

Step 3: Prepare the Manuscript

Amazon makes the remaining steps fairly easy. Which is great, since you just spent all that time working on the hard part: writing the book.

Head over to the KDP website, click “Your account” in the top right-hand corner of the screen (after creating an account, of course), and navigate to the “Bookshelf” menu located towards the top of the screen.

You will then see the “Create a New Title” section, which lays out your remaining steps in publishing your book—whether it be an eBook or paperback (it will later give you the option to do both).

After choosing your desired form of book, you will then start filling out the necessary information for the book, such as the title, subtitle, description, keywords, and categories, among other things.

Once that step is complete, you will be asked to upload your manuscript and cover. 

For the manuscript, I would recommend using Kindle Create (download here). This makes it easy to format your book to properly satisfy Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing standards and make it look as good as possible. You can also make edits to your writing through this tool if necessary.

For the cover, some people like to use Canva (which has a free version but more options through its subscription). I personally just used Kindle Cover Creator, which gives you some basic and decent-looking options. They also give you some options that they created on their own (I chose this option after doing a bad job making my own cover). It may not help your book stand out, but it that doesn’t concern you, it is a very easy option.

After that, set your price and you’re ready to roll!

Step 4: Start Sharing!

Once everything is complete and submitted, Amazon will review your submission and publish within 72 hours (or get back to you if there is something wrong). My submission took less than 12 hours to go live.

After it goes live, congrats! You’re finally done and you can now share your awesome work with your friends, family, and followers.

Want more helpful Amazon news, updates, and tips and tricks sent directly to your inbox? Drop your email below!


Now that you’re done writing your book, take a look at mine: From One Young Soul to Another.

2020 was hard for most people, and it wasn’t any different for me. While I didn’t lose my job or a loved one to the virus, I still faced many challenges that hurt my brain and heart for the majority of the year. After I felt mostly recovered, I took the lessons I learned from those challenges and turned it into a book, hoping to help young people struggling with similar issues. I feel that anyone struggling with relationships, employment, identity, or self-confidence could take something positive away, no matter the age.

And if not you, maybe a loved one would benefit.

Want to write a featured guest post for our blog? Submit a brief application to get the process started!

10 Ways You Can Make Money on Amazon

Whether you’re searching for a side hustle or a full-time gig, here’s how to make money on Amazon.

As Amazon has grown, so has the opportunity for everyday folks like me and you to make money through the e-commerce mega-power.

Much of Amazon’s immense success comes from its ability to create and host marketplaces and charging for its platform and services. While millions and millions of people will pay Amazon for products this year, you can instead use Amazon to make money.

No matter your background, resources, or time commitment, Amazon has a money-making proposition for you. To prove that, check out this list for 10 ways how you can make money on Amazon.

1. Start Your Own Private Label Business

Through the Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA) program, selling on Amazon remains a tremendous opportunity for those looking for high-upside, sustainable income. You’ve probably purchased plenty of products on Amazon, but did you know you might be buying from an independent seller not much different than yourself? Independent third-party sellers sell over half of the products sold on Amazon.

Private label refers to sellers who manufacture a product to be sold under a retailer’s brand. Third-party sellers are independent sellers who own a product to be sold. Thanks to the seller-friendly Amazon FBA program, starting your own online business has never been easier.

Enrolling in FBA gives you access to Amazon’s seemingly endless warehouse storage space, two-day Amazon Prime shipping service, and customer service team. These features eliminate the most challenging barriers of starting an online business while simultaneously placing your product on a platform with hundreds of millions of built-in customers.

The process for kickstarting an Amazon business is more simple than you’d think!
  • Find a product to source and sell with help from a product research tool like Product Discovery. With access to sales data for product markets and customizable filters, you can efficiently perform data-driven research and dig deep to find a winning product.
  • Once you’ve broken down the numbers and decided upon a product that is right for you, find a manufacturer. Sites like Alibaba specialize in manufacturing products for independent sellers.
  • Sign up for FBA and ship your product to Amazon’s warehouse. Just complete your listing, and you’re ready to start generating sales. Your listing automatically is equipped with the Amazon Prime badge!

While selling on Amazon requires ongoing work in various business aspects, the startup is affordable and straightforward. With literally billions of dollars going to Amazon sellers, the prospect of selling on Amazon provides limitless potential for ongoing success.

2. Resell Goods Through Retail Arbitrage

Want to make money on Amazon without the cost or commitment of FBA? Retail arbitrage might be for you!

Retail arbitrage is the practice of buying an item from one marketplace and reselling it on another at a higher price. Recently, buying sports cards and collectibles at garage sales to resell online at a marked up price increased in popularity.

Because this often includes finding products on other websites (like eBay) or physically purchase products in stores, this option may not make sense for everyone. This makes scalability difficult but allows many to dip their toes into the water without diving in headfirst.

However, if you find a product you can reliably flip for a profit, it’s not much different than finding cash! Retail arbitrage is especially appealing for those who find joy in the hustle and grind.

3. Find A Wholesale Distributor and Sell Products from an Established Brand

Wouldn’t it be nice to skip building your own brand and sell products from name brands? If this sounds intriguing to you, wholesaling might be your route to success!

In a way, wholesale mixes of #1 and #2 on this list.

Wholesaling on Amazon typically involves buying products in bulk from an established company to resell for a profit. The process of finding an excellent wholesale product would be identical to private label until it’s time to purchase.

Once you’ve found a perfect product, you would go directly to the brand instead of sourcing from a manufacturer and slapping your logo on it. Instead, you’d purchase the inventory and ship it to Amazon’s warehouses under the brand name.

For example, Nike stopped shipping directly to Amazon in 2019, yet people still search for Nike gear. Hypothetically, you could research Nike’s wholesale policy and apply to become a wholesaler. If approved, you could sell a globally recognized brand that people are already looking to buy.

Of course, this is dependent upon their approval, your ability to gain the necessary certificates and documentation, and the negotiated prices that impact your profitability.

4. Start Dropshipping on Amazon

Similar to retail arbitrage, dropshipping features even less seller responsibility, although it often requires even more research and lower profit margins.

Dropshipping is an order fulfillment method in which the seller does not keep product in stock. Instead, the seller receives an order and passes it to a third-party supplier who ships and completes the order.

The appeal of dropshipping is apparent, you never touch or store the product, saving you a ton in manufacturing and inventory fees! However, the downside is equally prominent. Most of the money received will end up in the hands of the manufacturer, making it difficult to turn a profit.

For many dropshippers, it requires a high volume of sales for it to be worth the time and effort. Although it requires less

While there are plenty of pros and cons, dropshipping can be a winning method to making money on Amazon, or a way to give selling on Amazon without the long-term responsibility and fees of FBA.

5. Author Your Amazon Success Story with Kindle Direct Publishing

Amazon famously began as an online bookstore. Since then, it’s continued to look for ways to revolutionize bookstores.

Kindle Direct Publishing generates recurring income for authors.

In late 2007, Amazon launched the initial Kindle. While most of the emphasis centered around the way we read, Amazon also looked to revolutionize book publishing with the Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) platform. KDP allows authors to publish their books directly to the Kindle Store independently.

Passionate writers no longer need to rely upon lengthy, expensive publishing companies for their words to reach the masses.

If you’re willing to give Amazon exclusivity to your e-book, you can earn even more money through KDP Select. Utilizing KDP Select makes your e-book “free” for anyone with Kindle Unlimited. Authors get paid per page read, which can be incredibly rewarding and makes it possible to earn money in perpetuity for your writing skills.

Now that I mention it, maybe this article would look better in an e-book…

6. Show Off Your Design Skills with Merch by Amazon

Merch by Amazon extends a golden opportunity to those with a passion for graphic design. And the best part? Selling on Merch by Amazon features zero upfront fees, making it completely risk-free!

To be a Merch designer, you must first submit an application stating your information and goals. Then, upload your artwork and click submit. Amazon takes care of the rest, placing your art on merchandise like shirts, phone cases, tote bags, and throw pillows. As orders come in for your artwork, you earn royalties for each item purchased with your design.

For designers selling goods, the issue of ordering the optimal amount of a product often presents problems. Make too many of an item, and your profits take a significant cut from excess inventory. Make too little and miss out on potential sales.

Merch by Amazon alleviates creators of any inventory concerns or other selling responsibilities, allowing designers to do what they do best.

7. Flex Your Marketing Muscle With Amazon Associates

Ask any seller on Amazon; visibility is the name of the game. With millions of product listings in the marketplace, sellers need to position their products for maximum visibility.

Enter Amazon Associates – an affiliate marketing program created to help influencers of all backgrounds monetize their audience.

Have you ever read something on the internet with a message like this?

Via GQ

Affiliate commissions are rapidly surging in popularity, from social media influencers to major publications to popular Facebook groups or other internet forums. And for a good reason.

Affiliate marketing commissions create continuous, recurring revenue. A written article, social media post, or video that drives continuously drives traffic can create a constant stream of passive income.

8. Monetize Your Large Following within the Amazon Influencer Platform

An extension of the Amazon Associates program, the Amazon Influencer Platform fits the specific needs of influencers.

How an Amazon Influencer storefront looks to viewers

To be accepted into the influencer program, Amazon requires a larger following than the Affiliates. Unfortunately, Amazon doesn’t state the magic number of followers for acceptance into the program.

But if you have a sizable following up to the program’s standards, it can be incredibly rewarding with little work!

However, being an Influencer gives you access not just to purchasable links but to an entire storefront. Add your storefront to your bio or high-visibility sections of your social media profile of choice and gain commissions as followers purchase from your curated list of favorites.

Just keep generating click-worthy content, build your following, and watch as your commissions pile up!

9. Be A Part of Amazon’s Revolutionary Fulfillment Process

In 2005, Amazon debuted Amazon Prime, its membership program boasting free two-day shipping, among other perks. As of January 2020, more than 150 million people are Prime members.

Fulfilling orders so quickly requires a massive team of workers.

To fulfill the massive amount of orders, Amazon needs plenty of laborers in its warehouses and delivery network.

Amazon employs more than a million people, many of whom work in logistics at one of the company’s many warehouses. In the wake of COVID-19, Amazon added over 150,000 employees to handle the booming workload.

In late 2018, Amazon announced it raised the minimum wage for U.S. employees to $15 an hour, more than double the country’s minimum wage. For full-time workers, that comes out to $31,200 before taxes!

Unlike most retail businesses that open and close daily, Amazon is open 24/7, allowing for flexible scheduling for warehouse workers and delivery drivers. Whether looking for full-time or part-time work during the day or night, there’s a shift for you at Amazon.

While most of the other jobs are a little more unconventional, being a part of Amazon’s logistics team provides a safe, traditional way to earn money for your time.

10. Craft A Worldwide Business with Amazon Handmade

Amazon Handmade allows artisans to scale their business internationally. Amazon boasts creators from over 80 countries through Amazon Handmade.

In eight categories (Jewelry, Home Décor, Kitchen & Dining, Beauty & Grooming, Handbags & Totes, Stationery & Party Supplies, Clothing & Accessories, and Toys & Games), craftspersons can easily take their local business global.

Amazon Handmade presents another option for artisans, in addition to platforms such as Facebook Marketplace, Shopify stores, and Etsy shops. By adding Amazon Handmade to the mix, handcrafted items reach a larger audience than ever before. For business owners selling do-it-yourself crafts, maintaining a presence on these platforms can pay off exponentially.

Conclusion

As the leader in e-commerce, Amazon presents plenty of excellent ways for people of all walks of life to make money. Of course, there are more than 10 ways to make money Amazon, and likely, even more will spawn as Amazon continues its explosive growth.

Thanks to Amazon’s massive, far-reaching marketplace, anyone can get involved and find a way to make money on Amazon.

At Viral Launch, we’re constantly amazed at the diverse backgrounds and stories behind those utilizing Amazon in the pursuit of financial freedom. For instance, we’ve witnessed college students pay for school via dropshipping and grandparents starting an online business with hopes to pass it down for generations.

No matter who you are, Amazon offers a way for you to make money online!

Have any questions or experience making money on Amazon! Feel free to leave a comment and join the conversation!

5 Tips To Improve Your Amazon Ranking

Whether you’re just starting or a longtime seller, every seller should be taking advantage of these tips on how to improve your Amazon ranking.

On Tuesday, Amazon kicked off their Amazon Accelerate virtual conference for current and prospective sellers looking to boost their Amazon ranking.

After one particular session, guests participated in a live Q&A with Conner Sigman, an Account Representative at Amazon. As they took questions from the digital audience, one question dominated in popularity:

“How do I get on the first page [of search results]?”

It’s a question that’s raged on since 1999 when third-party sellers were allowed to sell on Amazon’s platform. But rarely do we get answers straight from the source on how to maximize rank. Sigman answered with five helpful tips sellers should be doing to increase their opportunity to land on the coveted page one.

At Viral Launch, we strive to provide helpful solutions for Amazon sellers. Since our inception, we’ve studied what steps sellers can take to improve organic rank. 

Below, we’ll share five recommendations on how to rank higher on Amazon and how our software suite of tools can help you accomplish these tasks.

Step 1: Choose Fulfillment By Amazon (FBA)

“Using FBA immediately will give you the Prime badge and give you options for a couple of different advertising opportunities,” Sigman explained.

FBA comes with not-so-fun fees, but the cost is well worth the benefits of being a part of Amazon’s legendary fulfillment program.

Utilizing FBA guarantees the customer receives the complete Amazon treatment they are accustomed to experiencing. Free two-day shipping, valuable Prime badges, and Amazon-led customer service ensure a sturdy foundation for your product. Customers want to know that they’ll receive items quickly and be taken care of appropriately if any help is necessary.

Amazon takes care of all of that for you, simultaneously making your product more likely to be purchased while also taking cumbersome aspects of e-commerce off your plate. Choosing the FBA route will also help you out with #4 on this list!

Step 2: Optimize your product detail page

Consider your personal buying habits. Customers are drawn to main product images that pop off the page and sales-inducing copy that stands out.

“Product detail page is another really good opportunity to show how important your product is and how it differentiates from the rest,” Sigman said about product listings.

A crucial part of the formula to elevate your rank is increasing sales velocity. Above all, your product detail page must have captivating product images to make a positive first impression and SEO-friendly, sales-inducing copy.

Viral Launch offers a few helpful tools to help your listing stand out for this step.

Listing Analyzer performs a SWOT analysis on key aspects of your listing, including photos and copy, to make sure it’s optimal. Listing Analyzer informs you of what facets of your listing are thriving and what has room for improvement.

Keyword Research and Listing Builder are a powerful duo that provides everything you need for an optimized listing for your listing’s written content. 

Keyword Research provides valuable data in the form of an exhaustive keyword list and search volume estimates to inform you of your most potent traffic drivers.

Listing Builder allows sellers to experiment with their listing’s copy and strategically place keywords in areas with the most indexing weight.

To be eligible to rank for a specific keyword or phrase, it must be included somewhere in your listing. The title and bullet points possess the most indexing weight, so you’ll want to prioritize your more prized keywords accordingly.

Consider #1 and #2 to be the base level foundation for a successful, high-ranking listing. While these two alone do not guarantee a high ranking, it’s nearly impossible for a third-party seller to climb their way to the top without them in place.

Once you master these tips, the rest becomes much easier to execute tactfully.

Step 3: Drive traffic through advertising and promotions

You’ve set your listing to convert, but how will people find your listing?

The two popular avenues to boosting discoverability for your Amazon listing are advertising or running promotions that drive external traffic.

To boost ranking through either of these options, your product listing would need to receive credit for purchase as if it came via a keyword either through advertising or search. When driving external traffic to your product listing to improve rank, make sure you use a two-step URL that includes the targeted keyword to achieve the intended results.

Two-step URLs require the customer to arrive at a search results page where your product is featured exclusively to complete the purchase.

Running a Launch, or a discounted promotional giveaway to a buyer group with substantial size can be an excellent way to drive exposure and sales to your listing without relying on customers to stumble upon your product listing organically.

The ManyChat Approach

Another great option to boost external traffic to climb the Amazon ranks is ManyChat. ManyChat requires a bit of technical skill, but the results make it a no-brainer to learn. As we detailed in a prior post focusing on driving external traffic, we sum up the ManyChat process as such:

“To recap the basic steps for a ManyChat campaign:

Create ads and posts to provide an offer to your audience and direct them to messenger for engagement with ManyChat.

Develop a ManyChat script, first implementing some sort of simple engagement step.

If someone engages with the chat, provide them with the coupon code, steps to claim the code, and a link to purchase using a targeted URL.”

Advertising your product is a great way to get your product in front of potential customers. Amazon offers Pay-Per-Click (PPC) advertising that allows you to choose exact keywords or opposing product pages to advertise on to capture some sales.

“The first thing I would say is to start a pay-per-click campaign; even if you want to budget $5 a day, it will help a lot.”

Kinetic and Keyword Manager are two tools within the Viral Launch fleet of seller tools that help you run, monitor, and automate your PPC campaigns.

Keyword Manager showcases your high-priority keywords and notifies you of its organic and sponsored rank for each keyword. You can even sign up for rank change notifications to stay up-to-date on how ads or promotions impact your ranking in real-time.

Kinetic is our all-encompassing PPC automation tool that simplifies creating and optimizing your PPC campaigns from start to finish.

Step 4: Earn reviews

You searched for a product. Attractive product images caught your eye. The compelling copy explains why you need this and answers any questions you might have. But before you Add to Cart, you want to see what customers have to say about this product.

Sigman highlighted Amazon’s stance on customer reviews, “The product detail page and customer reviews are also something we really cherish here at Amazon.”

By placing average review rating and review count directly below the product title, customers can quickly see past consumer feedback. Bad reviews or no reviews at all risk losing consumer trust, and that can spell doom for your product.

Amazon’s Early Reviewer Program helps sellers garner their first five reviews to compete with more mature products. We strongly recommend paying the program’s fee to get your listing off the ground, but the program ends after your fifth review.

After the fifth review, there are very few options with Amazon’s terms of service for sellers to generate reviews. You’ll find competitor tools and Facebook groups to help boost reviews. But, Amazon can and will erase those reviews and provide a warning or ban to sellers who utilize black-hat methods.

Enter Viral Launch’s Request Automation tool. 

Within the Market Intelligence Chrome extension, sellers can send review requests in bulk. It’s a time-saving hack that is entirely within Amazon’s Terms of Service!

Step 5: Be Price-Competitive

It’s no secret that Amazon can be a dog-eat-dog marketplace, and that’s a hallmark of its success. A competitive marketplace means sellers have to box out competitors, resulting in a lower price for customers. Sellers need to remain price-competitive to keep a steady flow of sales coming in. 

As previously mentioned, sales velocity is critical towards boosting and maintaining your Amazon ranking. If your product isn’t price-competitive with others in your market, picking up optimal sales velocity is an uphill battle.

With Viral Launch’s Market Intelligence and Listing Analyzer tools, you can quickly inspect and examine your competition. As displayed in the image for #2 on this list, Listing Analyzer will show you the average market price.

Market Intelligence takes a more granular approach to keeping tabs on rival sellers. Search a keyword to find your product, and you’ll see a full list of significant metrics of each top-selling competitor.

Clicking on any of the data points in orange and you’ll also be able to see this data historically. As a result, you catch sight of when your competition raised or lowered their price and how it impacted sales.

One Last Note On Sales Velocity

The importance of sales velocity can’t be understated regarding boosting or maintaining rank. Sales rank is updated hourly on Amazon, so the Amazon ranking algorithm continuously checks for sales trends.

To rank with the top-sellers in your market, you need to sell like them. Market research tools like Market Intelligence provide all you need to know about how competition performs on page one. Depending on the market, it may only take a day or two of high sales velocity to see results.

Utilizing PPC or a Launch are two tried-and-true strategies for boosting visibility.

At Viral Launch, we possess a tool for each step of your Amazon journey to help you achieve out-of-this-world results. Start your free trial today!