Amazon seems to have a monopoly on shopping online. It seems a consumer can get just about anything they are looking for and at a great price. Does it make sense to compete against Amazon by starting your own eCommerce store?
There are certainly some instances in which it is unwise to try to compete with a behemoth like Amazon. But, that isn’t always the case. Sometimes you can actually beat Amazon at their own game.
However, there is also a way to join Amazon rather than compete. You can actually use Amazon to fulfill your orders for you. Rather than start your own store and drive your own traffic to your products, you can take advantage of the system that Amazon has perfected by using them as your store.
In this article, I will go over either scenario so you can decide for yourself what the best route to take for your business should be.
What Is FBA?
FBA stands for Fulfillment By Amazon which means that you will be sending your stock to an Amazon fulfillment center and they will put your product together and ship it when an order comes in.
In order to get started, you’ll need to buy a barcode for your inventory. If you only have one type of product, then you only need to have one barcode. But for every variation you will need a new one. For instance, if you have a clothing line and offer shirts in men’s and women’s sizes then you will need a separate barcode for every size and gender.
Once you have that, then you can sign up for an account on Amazon and start sending in your products. Amazon will give you all of the information about where to send them as they have distribution centers all over the country.
Of course, there are plenty of fees associated with this ranging from storage fees to fulfillment fees, but this can be a lot cheaper than having to arrange all of this on your own with your own warehouse and staff.
Running Your Own eCommerce Store
You can directly compete with Amazon, by running an Amazon-like eCommerce store. In this scenario, you will be selling products from your own website. The issue here is twofold. One is that you need to drive traffic to your site. With Amazon, they have millions of people on their site everyday, so there is no need to drive traffic from an outside source if you don’t want to.
The other issue is that you may be competing against products that people can get on Amazon for less money and a faster delivery. So, this must mean that you should go the FBA route, correct?
Not necessarily. There are products that can’t always be gotten from Amazon and sometimes the wait for delivery can be quite long. If you have a unique product or something homemade, then you may be better off with your own site.
You’ll need to have your marketing down to a science to make sure you have enough traffic and targeted traffic that is ready to buy what you’re offering. You can use a fulfillment center to ship if you don’t have the capacity to do so and pay their fees.