So, you have decided to launch your alcohol brand on Amazon. Wise choice, Coronavirus has changed consumer buying habits and accelerated the adoption of buying alcohol online and Amazon is one of the primary beneficiaries. This guide to selling alcohol on Amazon covers the ten most important steps so that you can capitalize on this shift.
Amazon will only work on a trade relationship with the brand owner or an entity with exclusive distribution rights.
If you are the brand owner, then the best approach is to sell via Amazon’s Vendor Central platform. If you are a distributor and do not own exclusive rights to a brand in your market, you will sell through the Seller Central platform.
If you are a distributor you will sell through the Seller Central platform. The initial set up is straightforward. Go to sellercentral.amazon.com and create an account in two simple steps.
If you are the brand owner then the best approach is to sell via Amazon’s Vendor Central platform. The first and most important thing to know is that Vendor Central is invite-only. There are two ways to get an invite
As you might expect, there are specific administrative tasks that you must complete before Amazon will allow you to sell alcohol. Vendor and Seller Central sellers must meet all the following requirements.
You have a choice between 3 options.
Our ‘Which Amazon Fulfilment Method is Best for your Business Guide‘ will help.
Now that you have an account, it has been approved, and you have chosen your fulfilment method, you can start to create your listings.
It is vital to understand that if the product is already sold on Amazon, then you do not create a new listing; instead, you add your offer to the existing listing.
If the product is already on sale, then you will be prompted to create an offer on that listing.
Those of you who have already received approval to sell alcohol (step 3) then you can create your offer. If not, you will be prompted to ‘apply to sell’. Enter your sales prices and confirm your order handling and delivery times.
Your products are ready to be sold.
Setting up your listing or making your first sale is a huge milestone, but it’s just the beginning of your growth opportunities selling on Amazon. Once your store is up and running, there are a few important things to keep in mind.
How you ‘win’ the sale or in Amazon’s jargon, how you ‘win the buy box’ comes down to a few things…
The algorithm that decides which Seller wins the sale is heavily weighted towards rewarding the lowest price and, secondly, how quickly they can deliver. Then the seller rating. If a seller performs poorly on any of these measurements, they will struggle to win the buy box.
The biggest challenge with online distribution is awareness. Amazon provides the opportunity to access millions of customers, but it does the same for thousands of other brands including your competitors.
It is essential to understand some core principles of Amazon marketing;
Now that we understand the underlying principles let’s walk through the marketing tools at your disposal.
SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization. It is the practice of understanding how people search for your type of product and optimising your listing to reflect that customer behaviour.
From a practical point of view, it means…
When people search on Amazon, the top of the search results is usually taken up by ads. Amazon calls these ‘sponsored products’ or ‘sponsored brand’ ads. Any Amazon seller can use ads. Amazon advertising should be an integral part of every Seller’s toolkit. To say there is a lot of search traffic on Amazon would be an understatement.
Ads are based on keyword targeting. You can decide which keywords you want to target, or you can let Amazon’s algorithm decide for you.
At the start of a campaign, it is better to let Amazon decide. This is because the algorithm will pick up any relevant keywords. If you pre-empt what those keywords are, you may miss out on keywords you are not aware of and lose out on lots of traffic.
Increasing sales on Amazon does not have to be a linear process – sales rise in proportion with the amount you spend on advertising. Promotions will drive short term sales which in turn improves sales rank. Do this consistently over a period of months, and you will build up a sustainable Amazon store.
Spikes of promotional activity, particularly preceding and during seasonal events, will enable you to accelerate sales. We often recommend that clients treat some events as loss-leaders. A short-term loss is worth it for the long-term benefit of increased exposure.
Lastly, assuming that you’ve discovered this article as an alcohol brand looking to begin selling on Amazon, we hope that this guide has helped. If you have any unanswered questions or would like assistance with any aspect of your strategy, do get in touch, we would be more than happy to help – email@example.com.