Update: 2023 will be an entirely different experience than 2022 for getting started on Amazon. We've updated this article to reflect that.
A lot of people getting into the idea looking to make online investments, expand their eCommerce shop to new channels, or start a business from scratch usually have Amazon FBA within their consideration set.
But this leads to the obvious question: Is Amazon FBA worth it?
Back in 2022, it was one of the tougher years to get started on Amazon. Everything went up in price in terms of cost, especially sea freight shipping.
Now that it's 2023, some things are actually falling back to normal price levels, and sea freight is currently below pre-pandemic pricing.
On top of that, there are new technologies rising in popularity (like AI chatbots) that can help with almost every aspect of your business, from product ideation to listing building.
With all this, Amazon is continuously smashing its sales records.
Indeed, if you wanted to start an Amazon business, now would be the best time in a long time to give it a go.
Let’s go over a few ways 2023, in particular, is a unique year for Amazon and why it’s more worth it now than last year to get started.
Costs are coming down – at least in freight
The big deal this year is freight.
It’s down. By a lot.
With a full container load costing around $15,000 during the craziness of 2022, full containers are as low as $1,300 these days, a more than 10x reduction.
With this reduction, not only are containers extremely cheap, but less-than-container loads (meaning you only fill a container with a few pallets, rather than the max of 10 or 20) will also be cheaper, allowing you to test products much easier.
Amazon is breaking all records… again
Ignore the news: Amazon is constantly breaking its previous selling records, and 2022 was no exception.
What does that mean? Everyone is on Amazon, everyone is buying on Amazon, and if you’re selling but you’re not selling on Amazon, you’re missing a big piece of the eCommerce audience pie.
2023 will likely be a repeat of 2022. While Amazon has actually seemed to hit a peak with Prime membership and actually lost prime members last year, it’s good to note that the number only went down from 170 million members to 168 million.
This is less of a sign that Prime is losing its popularity as it is that Prime is hitting its peak levels of market penetration.
So if you want to sell, know that there are more Prime members now than there will likely ever be. That’s a lot of potential customers.
Artificial intelligence, while not the society-changing innovation people are hyping it up to be yet, can be a great source of inspiration to help get you started with the ideation process of many facets of building out your Amazon FBA offerings.
Here are a couple of ways an Amazon seller can use ChatGPT to assist their business:
If you’re having trouble coming up with the start point for your product's title, ask the chat bot to make a title for your product and keep it under a certain character limit.
While you won’t go with exactly what it puts out, sometimes just seeing the words in front of you can help you come up with a title that you can then edit into something you’re happy with.
Try a prompt like this:
“Make a product title, 100 characters long, describing a children’s red bicycle”
If it doesn’t put out something you like, analyze the result, make suggestions, and ask it to regenerate the title.
If you are having a tough time thinking of what to put in your product bullet points, simply ask chatGPT for a list of 5 bullet points for your specific product.
Again, if you don’t like the result, ask the bot to redo the response or give it specific instructions as to what you want to be fixed.
You can ask for adjustments like:
- Tell the bot to use specific keywords for each bullet point
- Tell it to avoid using certain keywords
- Describe the type of cadence you want the bullet points to have (casual, professional, descriptive, etc.)
- Pick the level of writing (simple, technical, choose a grade level, etc.)
While the output might not be perfect, sometimes all you need is something to edit rather than create from scratch to get the current task done, and chatGPT excels here.
General product descriptions
Beyond bullet points and titles, you can have it make your description for your product as well.
The best thing here is to have the chatbot write a paragraph about your product.
Describe it as best you can, include keywords you’d like included, and add any information about your target audience to help build it all out.
While AI is not at the point where it can straight up create your product listing images, it is a fantastic tool for getting inspiration on what can potentially go in your listing that you can hand over to a photographer, use it to inspire your own photos, or give to a 3D render specialist to recreate with your product.
The easiest image generation tool to get started with is Midjourney, which you use in conjunction with Discord to create images based on prompts you feed it.
For generating the image you want, experiment with prompts and be as descriptive as possible, and realize that image creation is still a way off from being a replacement for real photos and 3D Renders.
AI won’t create an entire business for you, but it is a great tool for getting started with ideas that can speed up the tough parts of building out descriptions for products.
If you feel like you are not the creative writing type to sell products, then AI is a great tool to help you get over the nerves of wondering if your writing is good enough.
If you’re a seller deciding if Amazon FBA is a potential channel to sell your product on, or you’re deciding to launch a new eCommerce brand on the platform, I believe it won’t get any better than it is right now.
The tools at your disposal are more sophisticated than ever, you can utilize innovative technology coming out like AI to boost the creative process, and costs associated with starting are falling to pre-pandemic levels.
Nothing is holding you back, and people are shopping on Amazon more than ever, so go and get selling!