The only limitation to possibilities for starting a business these days seems to be our own imagination. Even amidst such endless opportunities, Amazon stands out as one of the highest quality options available, especially for new entrepreneurs.
Why? Amazon lends itself quite well to the process of starting a business, lowering the degree of business experience and know-how that it takes to successfully launch a product.
How Amazon Guides the Startup Process
The popular business tool, “Business Model Canvas”, outlines what entrepreneurs should be thinking about when starting a business. At the core of it all is the “Value Proposition,” which is what value the product or service will provide customers; without meeting customer needs and wants, products don’t sell and there is no business.
How to Find What People Want
The nature of Amazon, where customers begin their shopping by searching for what they want, goes a long way in tipping sellers off to what customers want. Instead of having to go through the arduous and often less than conclusive effort of researching your intended market, using an Amazon tool can quickly and precisely tell you how many people are searching for a product each month. Armed with such a tool, you can confidently determine whether a product you want to sell has demand, and more accurately forecast sales performance.
On top of the incredible amount of insightful data that can be gleaned concerning Amazon products, even the simplest observation and analysis of current offerings yields valuable information about customers and competitors. All you have to do is search Amazon for a product you want to sell, and you can see exactly what products competitors are offering. This enables you to consider how you could differentiate your product and seek competitive advantage. It’s almost like playing cards with an opponent when you can see their cards. Reading reviews for such products is also very important, as it will accomplish two things.
Deep Dive for Product Opportunities
First, read enough reviews across various products in a market and you’ll walk away with a good understanding as to the different customer segments (groups/ demographics of customers) in the market and what their unique needs in the space are.
Second, many entrepreneurs would give an arm and a leg to know what customers like and don’t like about a product, and that information is right out in the open on Amazon. Find out what customers like about your competitor’s products, and make sure your product does the same; then consider what people don’t like about other listings of the product, and make sure you don’t make those mistakes too.
Reviews also tip potential sellers off to what’s most important to customers in a product and what questions they may have, allowing the seller to highlight such elements and answer such questions when they build the listing for their own product.
Running an Amazon Business is Straightforward
Returning to the use of the BMC, the Amazon business model provides simple, up-front solutions to the matter of “Channels,” “Key Partners,” and “Cost/Revenue.” As soon as you list a product on Amazon, you get instant exposure to potential customers. Thanks to Amazon’s popularity, customers will come to you without the need for creating brand awareness from thin air. In fact, to incentivize and aid new sellers, the platform even favors new listings for an initial period, boosting organic search result rankings. On top of that, Amazon marketing through sponsoring products is quite effective, and conversion rates on the platform are quite high. Product fulfillment, which is typically one of the most demanding sides of operating a business, is all taken care of with Amazon FBA (fulfillment by Amazon). FBA provides entrepreneurs the ability to be hands-off the sales process as soon as inventory is accepted at an Amazon warehouse, providing more time for other things, and enabling scalability in a much more efficient way. Finally, costs and revenues are clearly spelled out for sellers on the platform. Amazon provides charts that allow you to determine quite accurately what your Amazon related costs would be before you even begin to look for a supplier.
Managing Costs and Taking Profits
All that’s left in determining your Cost of Goods Sold is estimating the cost of your product, shipping to Amazon, and a few other minute details. Revenue must be estimated, but can be somewhat easily. Tools allow you to see how much current products are selling each month and the revenue they’re bringing in, so potential sellers can see what the market looks like and make an informed projection as to what their sales volume and revenue would be.
As we’ve seen, launching an Amazon business can be rather simple and straightforward. While this doesn’t mean it will be easy, or even quick, it does mean Amazon is a great opportunity for entrepreneurship. Instead of manually undergoing the usually complicated initial tasks of conducting market research, segmenting customers, locating opportunities for product differentiation, spreading the word about your product launch, and forecasting financials, Amazon and tools for Amazon research save time and allow sellers to derive valuable insights with precision and make strategic business decisions from the get-go. Much of the guesswork is removed from the process and business owners can put more of their energy toward sourcing their materials and ensuring product quality. While it certainly may be unwise to try to enter highly competitive and saturated product markets, Amazon at-large still holds many opportunities for the entrepreneurs who are willing to find them.