Last week, Virid attended the NEMOA directXchange conference in Itasca, Illinois. During a keynote session, we heard from Kenneth Harris of KLH Associates who spoke to attendees about how to sell successfully on Amazon. The fact of the matter is, Amazon is a major disruptor in the eCommerce industry and has no plans to go away. In fact, Amazon will continue their growth, offering more products to customers at better prices with faster shipping. For over 20 years, Virid has been a leader in the eCommerce space, and we’ve helped out clients sell successfully in the Amazon Marketplace. One of the struggles that we’ve helped our clients through is setting up products to be purchasable on Amazon.
While the business returns on selling in the Amazon Marketplace can be tremendous, one of the most challenging steps in the integration of your storefront with Amazon is the initial product set up. Unlike other merchant-specific product feeds, products are loaded into Amazon through an orchestrated collection of product data files. Each file contains a part of the product from descriptive information, to shipping rates, inventory, pricing, and style-SKU relationships. At each step of the process, extensive logs are provided by Amazon in a machine-readable format. However, deciphering what went wrong can often make it difficult for merchants to get up and running.
A fundamental concept that many merchants struggle with when starting to sell on Amazon is that Amazon is an aggregator of product content. If you sell the same product as another merchant on Amazon, your product will not be listed alongside the same product from another retailer. Instead, the information you provide from your store will be combined with the information provided by other merchants. This creates a more complete product listing for the Amazon shopper and additionally allows you to capitalize on information and imagery you may not have had before.
This, however, presents a challenge when you aren’t the first merchant to post a particular product. Amazon has a set of quality control rules in place when evaluating new additions into the Marketplace to ensure that duplicate products are not listed and that the product you are offering for sale is an accurate representation of that product. As with most things, there are sometimes discrepancies between merchants on what the correct descriptors are of a product, and Amazon has an arbitration process in place for handling those disagreements. When one of these discrepancies occur, the merchant can open a case on a product by product basis to get this issue resolved and have their product successfully listed.
As you can see, the product integration process involves many steps and feedback points to ensure that your products make it successfully into the Marketplace. A simple export of your storefront’s product data will most likely not be enough to get your products listed, and identifying and correcting the issues that arise will take some considerable skill and expertise.
At Virid, we have helped numerous merchants successfully integrate not only their product data, but their entire fulfillment process with the Amazon ecosystem. Our experts have faced the same challenges that await you and can help you navigate through them and get your products up and running with ease. If you are considering selling on Amazon, reach out to our team and let us help you start capturing sales sooner.