Area Shop and Shopify Inbox: Building Great Customer Connections that can lead to Sales

Thriving ecommerce business Room Shop started as an Instagram account. Founder and owner Shelly Horst started the business with her husband, posting and selling her whimsical, fun vintage clothing finds.
But it became cumbersome to manage all the sales through Instagram direct messages. So Room Shop launched its very own Shopify store to streamline the purchase process for customers.
Eventually, Room Shop started making its own products, transitioning from a vintage boutique to an accessories brand. Now, it sells via its Shopify store and Instagram.
To help stay on top of all of its sales channels and maintain a consistent customer experience across every touchpoint, Room Shop implemented Shopify Inbox.
Doing so has allowed it to:

Make the most of its sales online, 80% direct and around 20% wholesale
Successfully navigate store closings due to the COVID-19 pandemic
Build upon its success selling on Instagram by adding a Shopify website
Make personal connections and build community with its customers

The challenge
Room Shop launched its Instagram account selling vintage finds. It was successful but time consuming. “You’re touching the product a bunch of times. You have to just source it and then clean it and then shoot it, style it, list it, measure it, sell it, ship it—and that’s for one piece,” says Shelly.
Though vintage was how Room Shop got its start, it wasn’t a sustainable business model for long-term growth.
So Shelly tapped into her forecasting background and found her next trending product idea: hair scrunchies. “I just tried to make the biggest scrunchie anyone’s ever seen,” she says. “We made one version out of organza and it looked like a cloud. So we branded it the Cloud Scrunchie and it took off.” The scrunchie attracted a lot of press, and Room Shop couldn’t keep it in stock.

“What’s great about it, like anything else, is you can make a sample, photograph that, do the listing, and then you can sell it a bunch of times,” Shelly says.
With all those sales also come more messages. And Shelly likes to reply to customer inquiries promptly, because she knows a customer on her site is likely to be high-intent. “Someone’s on the website—if they go away and haven’t put their phone number in, then I’ve lost them,” she says. “So I want to reply as quickly as possible. If it’s something that’s too difficult to deal with through chat, or too complex, like filing a shipsurance claim, then I can transition that interaction over to email.” With Shopify Inbox, Shelly can have conversations with her customers all from one place.
Learn more about Shopify Inbox
Navigating Instagram DMs eventually became too much for the two-person team to handle. They needed something that could streamline conversations and also help them prioritize which ones to answer first.
The solution
Instagram has always been and remains a key sales channel for Room Shop. It’s where Shelly’s community started. “Our primary marketing is through Instagram,” she says. “I do a lot of videos through Stories and Reels, and some IGTV about product knowledge and styling.”
But Shelly wanted to build out her Shopify store to grow the business while still being able to have personal conversations with her customers—without the hassle of extra work on the computer. Rather than jumping back and forth between Instagram and Shopify, she tried Shopify Inbox (formerly Ping and Shopify Chat). It was simple enough to install the chat and messaging app, so she added it to the Room Shop website. Once she started using it, Shelly liked how easy it was to continue having warm and friendly interactions with each customer from anywhere.
“I interact with customers through Instagram DM in a similar way that I interact on chat with Shopfy Inbox,” she says. “It feels like I’m text messaging with someone. So, it’s very immediate and casual.” This matches what her customers look for when they come to the Room Shop brand: fun and not too serious. And it’s better than email, as she can answer shoppers’ questions quickly, which is important to her.
“If I can get something accomplished or get a sale through on the spot that you don’t have to deal with later, I want to get it done and take care of it,” she says. Shelly is looking forward to the launch of Instagram direct messages inside of Inbox, which will make it even easier for her to meet her customers wherever they are and manage it from one central place.
The results
For Shelly, Shopify Inbox has proven a valuable sales tool—one that allows her to champion her brand and also be a cheerleader for her customers. She uses it to operate as a virtual stylist of sorts. “I get a lot of product knowledge questions, measurements, sizes, colors. I’m also asked about restock of sold-out items,” Shelly says. Each of those inquiries is an opportunity to build an authentic connection with a customer—they’re communicating directly with a product expert.

“They’re interacting with the owner and designer, and they’re getting my input and my thoughts on my favorites and what trends that I’m seeing, and I can communicate that with them,” says Shelly. “It’s a warm interaction. I want my customers to feel like they’re messaging with someone they know.”

It’s like I’m my customers’ cheerleader telling them, ‘This is going to look great on you,’ ‘I’ve seen it styled like this, and it would look great with this,’ and ‘If you’re in between these two colors, we have this promo so you can save by buying both.’

Shelly has created a community with her customers. She provides personal styling advice and customer service via chat and messaging. Beyond the ability to promptly respond to queries, she can give personalized discounts over chat—an expression of gratitude that nurtures each customer relationship and fuels her community at large.
At the end of the day, Shopify Inbox has been a powerful sales tool for Room Shop. “It helps me make customers feel confident about their purchases,” says Shelly. “Getting a customer feeling really confident about a purchase is Shopify Inbox’s biggest advantage for me.”
Learn more about Shopify Inbox

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How Wood Wood Toys Uses Shopify Inbox to Differentiate and Win Sales

Wood Wood Toys is a Canadian-based wooden-toy store that sells handpicked Montessori-inspired toys. Caretakers from all over the world purchase the toys from the company which was founded by a mom and dad who were looking for toys for their own child.
Before the pandemic hit, business at the online-only toy shop was modest but steady. But COVID-19 impacted the demand for educational toys and changed how they were purchased. Caregivers weren’t able to view toys at brick-and-mortar retailers and needed to be able to trust a fully digital brand to provide toys they’d never played with or touched. The unexpected surge in demand supercharged Wood Wood’s business. Now, co-owner Rennie Wood and his wife, Melody plan to make their ecommerce side gig their sole focus.
But in order to do that, they needed to make some upgrades to their tech stack and their customer experience.
Learn about Shopify Inbox
Implementing Shopify Inbox to manage customer conversations enabled Wood Wood Toys to:

Win a sale eight out of 10 times when they have the opportunity to chat with a shopper
Fulfill every order within 24 hours
Differentiate their business by providing a fast, personal customer experience
Acquire new customers as existing customers age out

The challenge
As the pandemic boosted online sales and brick-and-mortar retailers suffered from store closures, Wood Wood Toys received a lot of the extra traffic. Sales boomed. But Rennie and Melody both still had a nine-to-five job to juggle while staying on top of their growing online business.
Add to that the need to prioritize customer acquisition.
For its first three to four years in business, Wood Wood Toys had a solid base of repeat customers. But as their customers’ children started to age out, there was a renewed focus on customer acquisition.

The only thing we can control is our customer experience and the message and personality of our communication.

This is where they realized customer experience is one of the biggest opportunities for differentiation, especially when Amazon is thrown into the mix. “We have to deal with some of these same lines being sold by third parties or fulfilled by Amazon resellers,” says Rennie. “So even though it’s not coming out of Amazon, it’s still in the Amazon marketplace. The only thing we can control is our customer experience and the message and personality of our communication.”
But with an increasing number of messages to monitor and respond to, customer conversations become labor- and time-intensive. Wood Wood Toys needed a tool that could not only capture all the conversations but also streamline message management at the same time.
The solution
Rennie knew he needed a way to manage customer conversations while improving the customer experience, which would ultimately support the brand’s customer acquisition objectives. So he set some goals.
To create a customer experience that stood out, his goal was to “be hyper responsive, fulfill orders within 24 hours, and add a personal touch,” he says.
And while this level of responsiveness fueled the company’s growth, Rennie knew it wasn’t sustainable to maintain that standard. So he turned to his tech stack and looked for some Shopify apps to help.
Having had experience with clunky plug-ins on Wood Wood’s previous WordPress site, Rennie was eager to find something simple.
“I kind of helped myself to the ‘Made by Shopify’ apps. And almost from day one, that was part of it,” he says. Now, the brand uses Shopify Inbox to streamline customer conversations. “I [didn’t] have to deal with some third-party developer and plug in any code.”
See how Shopify Inbox works
With Shopify Inbox, Wood Wood Toys is able to promptly answer customer queries, cutting down on all the back and forth that comes with email communication. This interaction is key in driving sales, as it allows the brand to get to the customer while they’re in consideration mode, answer their questions, and instill confidence to make the purchase. “With Shopify Inbox, we can deliver a good customer experience, and answer shoppers’ questions accurately, more often, and faster,” Rennie says.
The results
Chat has become a valuable sales tool for Wood Wood Toys. And Shopify Inbox has streamlined the way it manages each chat conversation, as well as customer conversations from other channels. It’s also enabled it to easily prioritize the most important conversations—the ones with high-intent shoppers that have the potential to impact the bottom line.

Shopify Inbox is a powerful tool… It helps me rescue sales after spending time, money, and energy getting a customer to that point. It pays huge dividends.

“People send emails, people Instagram us, people send us Facebook messages,” Rennie says. “The communication comes in from a lot of channels, but having [chat] on the store is nice because I know they’re actually looking at products. We can do a better job of guiding that shopping experience when they’re on the site rather than if it’s happening on an Instagram or a Facebook DM.” And with cart events, Wood Wood Toys can give top-notch help via chat.
Cart events provide context on what items shoppers have in their cart—or have removed—so you can anticipate potential questions and provide personalized recommendations.

Though Shopify Inbox is powerful and packed with features, it’s not too cumbersome for the small-business owner. “But at least for us, as a very small operation, it’s usually just me answering the chats,” Rennie says. “[Shopify Inbox] is simple and effective.”
Wood Wood Toys uses Shopify Inbox in a variety of ways, but two key approaches stand out:
Mimicking the in-store shopping experience through personalized recommendations. Wood Wood Toys uses chat as a place to have a real two-way conversation, not just a place to answer questions. The best chats start with a discussion about what the shopper is looking for, so Rennie can guide them to find the perfect product. “With Shopify Inbox, we can have a text version of that great in-store experience, ask them questions, build rapport, make some thoughtful suggestions, and create a bundle,” he says. “That’s the best kind of situation.”
Saving the sale and answering questions at checkout. Many shoppers turn to chat when they have issues finalizing their purchase decision—these messages from high-intent browsers are super important and an excellent conversion opportunity. Maybe they have questions about inventory availability or their email isn’t working or they didn’t receive the discount code they were expecting. “With Shopify Inbox, I can save those sales that could have been lost because the customer found some kind of communication barrier,” says Rennie.
Having chat available on Wood Wood Toys’ online store helps create trust. So even if a shopper doesn’t have an immediate question, they feel more confident buying knowing that support is only a message away. “Having that subtle pop-up that shows that we’re available, I think that that drives conversion because [it inspires] people to be more confident, to build a bigger basket, and to trust that we’re going to ship them what we say we will.”
Ultimately, Shopify Inbox supports Wood Wood Toys in its growing business and empowers them to deliver a customer experience that drives both retention and acquisition in a sustainable way. “People that use chat are high-intent customers that tend to make purchases,” Rennie says. “I don’t know if I can put a number on it, but I do know that if somebody reaches out with a problem, I bet eight times out of 10 we can solve it and win the sale.”
Learn about Shopify Inbox

The ability of Dropshipping Lifestyle

Behind the dropshipping meaning hides not just a viable business model but an entire lifestyle. Learn how to get the most of it.Dropshipping Companies in USA: Should You Bother?Lots of famous “dropshipping gurus” are based in the US. Which, of course, makes them somewhat of the faces of this lifestyle on a global scale. And if you, as a dropshipper, chase the American Dream, chances are you are doing it in at least two ways. That is, either by seeing the US as a target market or by looking to dropship the US-produced products. There’s a good couple of dropshipping suppliers in the States: BryBelly, Sunrise Wholesale, ParkFlyers, Beauty Joint to name a few. But are they really that better than the good old AliExpress?A couple of things to consider:The US market is highly competitive. Dropshipping web stores can hardly provide the same levels of customer service like Amazon, Walmart, and other retail titans.America-produced goods are not cheap, even with wholesale suppliers. Keep in mind that they won’t necessarily be better than the ones produced by reputable Chinese manufacturers (long gone are the times when Made in China equaled low quality.) Yet you still will have to set up higher prices to try and make a profit — which, considering the competitiveness of the dropshipping world, is not the best idea.Advertising is expensive as well. The average Facebook CPM for the US is 2.29. Trying to increase your dropshipping conversion rates can lead to hefty spendings if you want to work strictly with America.Also, the USA isn’t even in the Top 3 countries by conversion rate in many dropshipping stores, including the successful ones.If you still want to dropship for the US instead of targeting other markets, that’s fine. But consider the risks.What Dropshipping Apps Are Popular These Days?A portrait of an average round-the-clock dropshipper won’t be complete with an arsenal of digital tools. The absolute majority of dropshipping jobs are done online. Therefore, the most popular apps are actually plugins for running WooCommerce or Shopify stores, add-ons, and such. Some are doing okay, others have seen better times. The rundown at the moment looks something like that:Dropshipping University’s siteshows a 404 error where their software is supposed to be.The ShopMaster plugin has shut down.WooCommerce plugin continues to be not the most user-friendly one.… And so on.Here at Ali2Woo, however, we have prepared a fresh alternative made with the dropshipping lifestyle mind. Our plugin is made specifically for international WooCommerce dropshipping on AliExpress. It has everything a self-respecting entrepreneur desires: synchronization, automatization, knowledgeable experts, and support. If you are new to dropshipping, it is perfect. If you aren’t, it is no less perfect: just migrate your store in several easy steps.Please, contact us to learn more — and Happy Dropshipping!

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Dropshipping Stores For Sale and also Profit: How to Complete More?

One can argue that dropshipping is not strictly speaking a direct sales model of eCommerce. That’s incorrect: it does fall under a B2C umbrella. And that’s actually the thing so many dropshippers tend to forget. As a result, they don’t provide their customers with the same level of personal attention as a prosperous traditional direct seller. You can offer hot dropshipping products in abundance, but that’s not the only tool for success. So what else you may need?Finding The Right Dropshipping Supplier and MoreEven if you’ve already found your winning products, you need to be sure their supplier is trustworthy, consistent, and always updates their inventory in time. The visitors of your dropshipping store don’t care if you are dropshipping or not: they are purchasing items from you. That means you will be the one dealing with positive or negative results. And if you dropship from a wholesaler that always provides quality, you can guarantee a stable B2C / D2C experience to the customers.Use WooCommerce and AliExpress for dropshipping. Don’t immediately pick a supplier with the lowest prices though. Your best bet is the ones with the most orders. Then weed out the ones with the most positive feedback.Read the reviews left by customers in the supplier’s store. They need to paint a picture of a seller that 1. Ships the products as fast as possible 2. Doesn’t mess up the orders 3. Provides quality products 4. Is open to communication and problem-solving. 5. Provides guarantees such as refunds, or delivery on time.Talk to the actual supplier. Message them as a customer, see how quickly they reply.Place an order to check the supplier’s selling ethics and product quality in action.Also, visit dropshipping sites, groups, or subreddits with reviews and success stories to study some tactics first-hand.The information you gather and employ secures the positioning of your dropshipping businesses as a direct sales store. Starting from there, you can build a loyal customer base and develop your own brand.The greatness of the dropshipping model is that you absolutely can provide a satisfying direct-to-customer experience without investing money in buying finished goods beforehand. But you absolutely have to invest in your reputation. And once you find reliable suppliers, you will need to make sure your online dropshipping store is 100% synchronized with theirs.This is achieved through specialized dropshipping software. Not all of them require special knowledge in programming to get a professional-level online store. Ali2Woo is one of those types of software. Our AliExpress dropshipping plugin synchronizes your website with your supplier’s inventory, automizes pricing, automatically fulfills orders — and more. Get started now!

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How to Sell on Amazon in 2021: Selling on Amazon Guide

Wondering how to sell on Amazon? The first step is to sync Amazon and Shopify. Shopify is an official Amazon partner, allowing entrepreneurs like you to sell your products on Amazon . You can use Amazon as an additional sales channel to grow your revenue. 
In this article, you’ll learn how to start selling on Amazon, and why you should list your products on the marketplace  . In addition, you’ll learn a few tricks to maximize your Amazon sales. We’ll also debunk myths about selling on Amazon for beginners.
NOTE: When it comes to how to sell on Amazon, there are lots of options. But… you cannot use Oberlo to dropship on Amazon.

Don’t wait for someone else to do it. Hire yourself and start calling the shots.

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Why You Should Sell on Amazon
1. It’s the biggest online sales channel
Amazon is the biggest online sales channel for an online retailer. With over 1.9 million active Amazon sellers, the site proves to be a powerhouse. 
Shoppers will find best selling items on Amazon first. No wonder 89 percent of them say they are more likely to buy items from Amazon than other ecommerce sites.The massive ecommerce store carries millions of products in various categories.
Don’t be discouraged by the amount of competition you might face. It’s better to be where your customers are by selling stuff on Amazon. Don’t let your competition take all of your potential sales.
2. Additional stream of revenue
The main reason you should learn how to sell stuff on Amazon is that you’ll have access to a second stream of income. When it comes to selling through Amazon, you’ll want to be wherever your customers are. 
If your customers are on Facebook, create Facebook ads to reach out to them. If your customers love reading and learning about your niche, create a blog so that they’ll find you easily. If your customers shop on Amazon, sell on Amazon. You’ll be able to grow your sales and even connect with new customers by selling on the marketplace.

3. Trusted brand
Amazon is a recognized and trusted brand. Amazon was founded in 1994. Thus, it has over 24 years of relationship and trust building under its belt. If your store lacks brand recognition because it’s relatively new, customers may feel safer buying stuff from Amazon than your store. 
By selling stuff on Amazon through your own store, you can build a great brand image and reputation. And when selling on Amazon, you can get access to the customers who may be a bit more risk averse. 
Over time, the customers who consistently buy from you may eventually start buying directly from your store.
4. Many people have an account
As mentioned earlier, Amazon has millions of active users. In the US, there are currently 150 million Amazon Prime subscribers. The average Amazon Prime user spends $1400 a year on Amazon products alone. 
Thus, when it comes to ecommerce, Amazon has a huge chunk of market share in the industry. Those with Amazon Prime accounts will likely search on Amazon for items they want since they have special perks as a member.
It’s important to be where your customers are. If your primary audience is in the US, then selling products on Amazon is worthwhile.
5. Minimal fee
One of the perks of selling on Amazon is that there aren’t any listing fees unless selling as an individual rather than a merchant account. You can add as many products to your Amazon store as your heart desires. With an Amazon Pro Merchant account, you’ll be required to pay $39.99 a month and a percentage of your sale. If you sell a lot of items on Amazon, the monthly fee seems minimal.
6. Proven success model
Many of those who sell stuff on Amazon have achieved big payouts on the platform. About 0.3% of Amazon sellers make over $100 million in sales on Amazon alone, with 0.6% making over $50 million. The number may seem small but $100 million is a lot of money for a brand to make off only one sales channel. Notably, 51% of Amazon sellers make over $100,000 in sales each year so odds are definitely in your favor. With consistent effort, you too can be an Amazon success story.
4 Myths of Selling on Amazon
1. Amazon’s marketplace is too crowded
While there are hundreds of millions of products on Amazon, there’s still room for a business like yours to make money. 
Even if you can’t compete on price, it’s still possible for a potential Amazon customer to choose your product over a competitor or even supplier.
Don’t add barriers. Even if you only make an additional $10,000 in revenue from selling stuff on Amazon, that’s still more than you would have had by avoiding it.
2. You can set it and forget it
Often times, entrepreneurs think marketplaces will result in people finding your products on their own. You need to be proactive about generating sales, especially in the beginning.
Once you’ve built up a few sales and received positive reviews, you’ll be more likely to be found organically. 
3. You can de-prioritize your store
The reality is Amazon is only one of the online selling websites out there. You can also sell on other platforms. However, your own online store can prove to be more valuable over the long term as you can eventually sell it. 
Also, if Amazon were to ever go away or close your shop, you’d still have your online store to fall back on. 
Never become dependent on one sales channel. The more streams of income your business has, the less risky it is for you if any of them ever stop panning out.
4. New products can’t get organic traffic
New products can get organic traffic if they’re well optimized. 
Also, if you send paid traffic to your products as soon as you upload them and focus on getting sales and reviews early on, your new products can also get organic traffic. 
Potential customers may be wary of items without reviews, but there will still be those who buy products without them if it’s something they want.

What is Amazon FBA or Fulfilled by Amazon?
Amazon FBA (Fulfilled by Amazon) is a service Amazon provides where Amazon carries your inventory and ships the products to your customers on your behalf. Items that are fulfilled by Amazon are able to reach customers with faster shipping times.
When investigating how to sell products on Amazon, you’ll want to think about whether you want to ship items to customers yourself or have Amazon do it for you. 
If you ship it out yourself, you can save additional Amazon fees. However, the mega online store has shipping guidelines you’ll still need to adhere to. If you don’t consistently deliver products within a reasonable time frame you might eventually get booted off the platform.
Plus, by taking advantage of Amazon FBA, Amazon will take over the bulk of the work allowing you to have one less responsibility to worry about. Amazon FBA sellers also qualify for free shipping on orders over $49 for all items except books (book sellers qualify for free shipping on orders over $25). 
Note: Using Amazon FBA doesn’t exempt you from selling on other sales channels. In other words, you can continue selling on your online store, Instagram, Facebook, and other marketplaces like Walmart and eBay.
How to Become An Amazon Seller in 8 Steps
1. Choose What to Sell on Amazon
The first step in learning how to sell on Amazon is figuring out what to sell on Amazon. To get product ideas, you can use Oberlo as an inspiration. 
The dropshipping platform has thousands of products in different categories. Check out the items listed to get ideas for what you can sell on the Amazon marketplace.
2. Does your store meet all requirements?
To become an Amazon seller, you’ll need to ensure that you meet all requirements and that your products aren’t restricted. 
Niches like baby products, books, pet supplies, toys & games can start an Amazon store quickly. You can view additional eligible stores. If your niche isn’t listed there, you’ll need to apply for approval. 
Amazon also has restricted products such as hoverboards, explosives, and weapons, so avoid selling anything that falls under Amazon’s restriction guidelines..

3. Create a professional seller account
If you currently run a Shopify store, you’ll likely need a professional Amazon account. 
In the individual selling plan, every time you sell a product a .99 cent Amazon listing fee gets added which eats away at your margins, especially on top of other Amazon fees. 
With a professional plan, you pay a $39.99 monthly subscription and a few category related fees with a professional seller account.
To register, go to Amazon Seller Central where you’ll have to provide your name, email, and password.

Next, you’ll need to share your business details.

Then, you’ll need to continue on with the process by providing Amazon your business’ billing, tax, and product information.
4. Apply for category approval
When working through the process of selling on Amazon you’ll need to apply for category approval. Some categories require approval from Amazon before they can be added.
Popular categories such as Clothing & Accessories, Shoes, Handbags & Sunglasses, and Jewelry require approval before selling.
Take a look at the approval requirements for each category to determine your specific next steps.

5. Connect your Amazon account to your Shopify account
After receiving Amazon approval, connect your Amazon seller account to your Shopify account. On the left navigation of the Shopify dashboard, look for the + button beside Sales Channels and click on it.

A pop-up will appear where Amazon is listed first. Click Add Channel.

Next, click ‘Connect to Amazon.’

6. Create Listings for Products
Under the sales channel, you’ll see Amazon listed. Click on it, then click the create listing button. 
Afterwards, you’ll want to click Select Product. There will be two options to choose from. As a private label seller, you should click the lower option ‘This product is made by another brand.’ 
Choosing the option will allow you to search for the AliExpress product to become an additional seller. After finding the product you sell, click Select. Lastly, you’ll need to select Publish. And repeat the process for each item.
7. Streamline Your Inventory
Effective inventory management is the key to success when selling products on Amazon. It’s crucial to keep your product inventory level healthy for your direct customers and those buying through the marketplace. 
As you get orders on Amazon, your inventory levels will start to decrease, so make sure to update your stock to reflect the current product availability on your Amazon listing.
8. Send Traffic to Amazon Store
The most important part in learning how to sell things on Amazon is knowing how to promote the items. There are a number of ways to promote your Amazon products. Here are a few ideas to get started:

To sell items on Amazon, you’ll need to take advantage of every audience you own. For example, if you have an email list for your business that you’ve been building for a while, you can send them a link to your Amazon store. The upside to using your email traffic is that they’re already familiar with your brand. Loyal customers will likely also write positive reviews which is what you’ll need to sell stuff on Amazon to people beyond your email list.
Another tips for selling on Amazon is by adding your product links to Pinterest group boards. Most small brands don’t have a lot of social media followers. That’s why group boards are a great way to tap into a big audience. You can use a tool like PinGroupie to find relevant boards for your niche.
Amazon ads is one of the most popular ways to sell on Amazon if you don’t have an audience of your own. To get more visibility for your product, an ad budget can help position you above your competitors who sell similar products. If you’re promoting the best selling items on Amazon on your account, the product will sell itself when seen by customers.

How to Sell on Amazon Successfully: 5 Tips
1. Treat your Amazon store like your actual shop
If you sell stuff on Amazon, it won’t make you six figures in sales just because you uploaded products. You’ll need to treat it like your online store. 
You’ll need to drive traffic to the Amazon product pages whether with Amazon ads or other methods. You’ll need to optimize product pages. You’ll need to get great reviews. You’ll need to offer great customer service. 
In a nutshell, Your brand still has to live up to a great reputation even if items are sold on Amazon.
2. Get online reviews early on
Focus on getting positive reviews early on. Go the extra mile for your customers when you sell stuff on Amazon. Issue refunds quickly if a customer is upset. In the event that you get a negative review, communicate with the customer to try to have it removed. 
You can also offer a replacement quickly and great service to keep your customers happy. After going above and beyond, many customers will change their review if asked. Most sellers have experienced that having a 95% rating has led to a better ranking in the Amazon search engine, allowing them to sell products on Amazon in higher quantities.

3. Focus on optimizing your product pages
When selling on Amazon, it’s important to optimize your product pages. You can use a tool like Merchant Words to determine the estimated monthly search volume for keywords as well as which categories they dominate in.
By choosing popular keywords you can improve your chances of being found organically by customers. Also, you’ll want to consider which product categories your products would perform well in. Keyword tools can also help you identify what items to sell on Amazon.
4. Pay for Amazon ads
Paying for Amazon ads is optional and not essential for growing your Amazon presence. One of the perks for paying for ads is that you get access to Amazon’s search data making selling on Amazon easier.
The cost per click is often fairly low on Amazon compared to other ad networks. Also, the product ad blends in well with the other products which makes it likely that a customer will click on the product if it meets their needs.

5. Register as a professional seller
Having a professional seller account will save your Amazon store money if you’re uploading countless products. As a professional, you can add as many products as you wish. Remember, there’s no listing fees. 
The more products you list on Amazon, the more likely that you’ll be found. Also, the more items you sell on Amazon, the more money you can potentially make. Product volume, especially on marketplaces, can be great for getting sales.
How to sell on Amazon for free?
Sign up as an individual seller. This saves you from the monthly fee associated with a professional seller account. 
How to sell on Amazon without buying products?
Register for Merch by Amazon. This is Amazon’s version of print on demand. You just design merchandise and earn every time a customer buys your product.
Is selling on Amazon profitable?
Selling on Amazon is still a great way to earn profits. According to JungleScout, 62% of new sellers saw an increase in profits in 2020, and 80% are planning to continue using Amazon to sell products in 2021.
Becoming an Amazon seller can help you earn additional income for your business while also finding new customers you wouldn’t have had access to on your own. 
In the beginning, your focus for selling products on Amazon should be on getting product reviews so you can build social proof and trust. Take advantage of the email lists, social media followers, advertising services, and Amazon affiliates at your disposal. 
With the best selling items on Amazon in your shop, you’ll be unstoppable.
Summary: How to Sell on Amazon in 2021

Choose your product niche
View eligibility requirements
Create a professional seller account
Apply for category approval
Connect your Amazon account to your Shopify account
Create listings for products
Manage your inventory
Send traffic to Amazon listings

Is there anything else you’d like to learn about how to sell on Amazon? Let us know in the comments below!
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eBay’s Executive Leaders Stock Their Favorite eBay Thoughts

eBay’s executive leaders are innovators in technology, culture and business, shaping the company’s vision and driving the future of inclusive ecommerce forward. They are also buyers, sellers and ambassadors on eBay’s online marketplace, dedicated to empowering our communities of small businesses and unearthing one-of-a-kind finds. Here are some of our executives’ most memorable eBay experiences. Jamie Iannone, President and Chief Executive OfficerOn eBay, I sold a Hammond B-3 organ that I’ve owned since I was a teenager to a church. The day it was delivered, the pastor sent me a video of his organist playing it, and I joked with him that it never sounded that good when I played it!Cornelius Boone, Senior Vice President and Chief People OfficerI am a self-proclaimed “sneakerhead.” As a child, I used to save my allowances from doing chores to buy sneakers. Now, as an adult, buying my favorite shoes from my childhood is always a nostalgic moment for me. Some old habits die hard — I have continued to add to my collection by finding unique and collectible sneakers on eBay.Rob Hattrell, Senior Vice President and Head of eBay EuropeMy favorite eBay experience as a seller was when my wife and I sold our prized home sofa, which was the first one we’d ever bought. We purchased it when we moved into our first home. It was perfect for us and our house, but as our family got bigger, it could not come with us. Naturally, we sold it on eBay. The couple who came to pick it up was just like we were when we first bought it – newly married and moving into a new home. It was perfect for them, and it was great to see it go to be part of their story. My favorite eBay experience in my job is every year in the U.K. we run a set of seller awards where we recognize our business sellers from all parts of the U.K. Their stories of courage and bravery in the face of what is often personal adversity; their trading skill and agility; and the diversity of their backgrounds, businesses and approaches are truly inspirational for me and my team.Marie Oh Huber, Senior Vice President, Chief Legal Officer, General Counsel and SecretaryI love the story of the husband-wife team of Hans and Andrea that I was privileged to meet who started selling yarn on eBay after their clothing operation went out of business. They grew their company to 40 employees, selling 1 million balls of beautiful yarn every year. They live in a small town in Germany away from major urban centers and are providing employment to many who might not otherwise have had a chance to work outside the home.Stefanie Jay, Senior Vice President and Chief Business and Strategy OfficerI love using eBay to find unique, hard-to-get fashion items in my petite size! My favorite classic white shirt from Steven Alan has a unique inside-out seam that makes it very special. I bought the same one again and again, but after a few years, they stopped making it. But I found it on eBay! Also, when Roger Federer moved his brand from Nike to Uniqlo, it was impossible to find his signature logo hat, but of course, I was able to get one for my husband on eBay. Lastly, my son’s size 3 authentic Ferrari racing jacket will forever be the most memorable Halloween costume win ever. These simple but not easy to find items bring so much joy to our household!Jay Lee, Senior Vice President of International MarketplacesWhen I went to visit some sellers on the outskirts of Shanghai, I realized that the sellers were newlyweds and their three-story home was also their office. They told me their eBay business had helped them pay for both their wedding and their house. They had their staff there and all the rooms were filled with merchandise. This brought home to me in a real way what we do at eBay every day.Julie Loeger, Senior Vice President and Chief Growth OfficerMany great stories come to mind – both my own and those I’ve heard. One theme that holds true in our household is eBay as the place to go to find the items you want at the right price. In December of 2020, my husband purchased really cool binoculars so we could view the Christmas Star, and I purchased a purse for my daughter that was quite difficult to find through normal channels. I was so excited to find it on eBay for the right price and delivery schedule.Steve Priest, Senior Vice President and Chief Financial OfficerWith young children at home, eBay is always my go-to for toys and games, and the oh so hard-to-find replacement parts that inevitably go missing! Only a few weeks ago my four-year-old was devastated that we were missing pieces from his favorite game. eBay saved the day, and I was a hero when three days later the parts arrived in the mail!Mazen Rawashdeh, Senior Vice President and Chief Technology OfficerMy 18-year-old son is an avid eBay buyer and seller. I regularly hear his compliments and complaints on both buying and selling experiences. This reminds me how relevant and accessible our commerce platform is to users of all ages.Jordan Sweetnam, Senior Vice President and General Manager, North AmericaWith over 1,200 pieces of feedback, it’s hard to think of one moment – every part of my home is touched by eBay. All of our art has been purchased from independent artists on eBay, as have my tropical plants and the ladybugs that protect them, the cool vintage pinball machine that lights up our living room and the throwback to my lost childhood Christmas ornaments that have such strong memories. The amazing diversity of eBay’s sellers and their inventory support my passions.Pete Thompson, Senior Vice President and Chief Product OfficerMy favorite eBay experience has been searching for hard-to-find Lego figures for my kids. While not the biggest gift for their birthdays, they were always the best and most appreciated. It was so gratifying to see their excitement and joy for these toys that could only be found on eBay. 

How to Do Crowdfunding in 2021: With Expert Tips and Examples from Successful Campaigns

Crowdfunding is an increasingly popular option for any small business looking to raise money and it’s one of the most accessible ways of financing a new idea or product. But launching a successful crowdfunding campaign isn’t as easy as setting up a page on Kickstarter or Indiegogo and waiting for the money to roll in.
In this guide, we’ll look at how to plan, prep, and launch a successful crowdfunding campaign, as well as how to transition your idea into an enduring, self-sustaining business once your campaign is over.
What is crowdfunding?
Instead of seeking a large sum from a single source, like angel investors or a bank, crowdfunding raises small amounts of money from a large number of people—often in exchange for direct rewards—who want to see a project succeed.
The concept of reaching a fundraising goal through crowdfunding isn’t new, but over the past decade or so, online platforms like Kickstarter, Indiegogo, GoFundMe, and Crowdfunder have made the process of raising money online for a business, product, or charitable cause easy and accessible to everyone. They serve as virtual matchmakers for entrepreneurs and backers, provide the structure and space to host your campaign, and the ability to accept funding.
How does crowdfunding work?
Crowdfunding sites offer you a place to host your campaign, usually in exchange for a percentage of the money raised. Backers are given various “rewards” based on the level of funding they provide. These rewards can include an exclusive promotional item, advance access to the product being supported, or some form of public recognition—the more funding offered, the better the reward. (Some campaigns offer equity in place of rewards, but in this guide, we’ll focus on the latter model.)
Most crowdfunding websites require you to set a financial goal for your campaign, as well as a timeframe in which to reach that goal, usually between 30 and 90 days. Some platforms let you keep all of the money raised during a campaign, whether you meet your goal or not. Others, like Kickstarter, use an all-or-nothing model that returns funds to backers if your campaign falls short.
If your campaign is successful, you’ll be in an excellent position to transition into a sustainable business by leveraging the audience built through your efforts crowdfunding.
Other types of crowdfunding
Projects that rely on crowdfunding or online fundraising generally fall into one of three main buckets:

Equity: Equity crowdfunding gives contributors partial ownership of a business in exchange for the capital they provide.

Donation: Donation-based crowdfunding provides no financial rewards or incentives for backers, so it’s most often used for charitable purposes.

Rewards: As covered above, any type of crowdfunding campaign that incentivizes contributors with rewards (but not a stake in the resulting business) upon completion can be considered rewards-based. We’ll mostly focus on this approach throughout the rest of our guide.

The benefits of crowdfunding
Crowdfunding offers several valuable perks on top of being a great way to raise startup capital.
Validating your ideas
The more you know about the target market for the product or business you plan to launch, the more you’ll reduce your financial risk, and crowdfunding can be an excellent tool for conducting market research.
Pre-selling your product via a crowdfunding campaign helps validate your creative projects by giving you a solid answer to the question, “Will anyone buy this?” Manufacturing your product without any indication of how it will sell could cost you a significant amount of time and money if it turns out the demand for your idea isn’t strong.
Knowing people want what you’re selling allows you to plan and scale your business with confidence.
Building a following
Having a solid following before you ship your first product is a rare and significant advantage. When done properly, crowdfunding, especially when combined with social media and press coverage, can help you build a dedicated audience that will ideally stay with you as your business grows.
Creating an accessible source of funding
Securing financing can be both time-consuming and difficult for many new business owners. Untested ideas or new business models may not appeal to conservative lenders, like banks, and while finding private investors to help raise funds is an option, you’ll usually need to give up a portion of ownership in exchange.
Running a successful crowdfunding campaign can be a big undertaking, but for many founders, it also can be easier and more rewarding than traditional methods.
What can I crowdfund?
There aren’t many restrictions on what types of products or businesses can be crowdfunded, but the most successful projects tend to have a few key things in common:

A specific product. If you look at the biggest crowdfunding success stories, you’ll find most of them focused on funding individual products, not stores. There’s a reason for that: backers tend to want to support tangible items, not broad ideas. For the best chance of success, seek backing for your best product. You can build a store later, after your initial idea has taken off.

A targeted, niche audience. Create a product that fills a need or a gap, then find the market that craves it. Often, founders create products that solve a problem that exists in their own lives, like MindJournal did when they couldn’t find a journaling tool designed for what they needed. Develop a prototype that taps into those needs.

Strong differentiation. To generate buzz and attract backers, your product has to be something that can’t be found elsewhere. Do your research to ensure your product is one of a kind.

Marketing and promoting your crowdfunding campaign
Think of your crowdfunding campaign as an extended product launch. To make it successful, you’ll need to dedicate some serious time to marketing and public relations, both before and during your campaign.
There are a few key things you’ll need to convert visitors into backers: a compelling video, great product photos, and engaging campaign copy.
A campaign video can be repurposed across multiple platforms, making it the cornerstone of your marketing efforts. Whether you’re DIY-ing your video or working with a professional team, make sure your script explains the following:

Who you are. Tell potential backers about yourself and your experience.

The story of your product. Describe how you came up with your idea, the current state of your product or business, why your product matters to you—and why it will matter to your target audience.

Why you need support. Explain why you’re raising money via crowdfunding and how that money will be spent. Make sure to include a direct ask for support.

The rewards being offered. Include an overview of your most interesting rewards, or the ones you feel will be most appealing to backers.

Keep short attention spans in mind—your video should be no more than two to three minutes long and hit your key points quickly.
If you’re planning to DIY your campaign video, here’s a guide to help you get started.
Visual Assets
The quality of your product shots can make or break a conversion with potential backers, so it’s important to make sure yours look professional.
Here are some resources to help you take your own photos, no matter your budget:

Photos can show off more than just your prototype and its specifications. Include other visuals to help backers get a sense of your brand as a whole, such as behind-the-scenes shots of your campaign in action and photos that demonstrate the progress you’ve made so far.
By giving potential backers an insider’s view, you’ll create a sense of connection to your team and your process.
Well-written words are just as important to a crowdfunding campaign as high-quality photos. You’ll need a compelling title and a clear, convincing project description to build a successful campaign.
Your project’s title—the headline that will sit at the top of your campaign page—should be simple, specific, and memorable. Be sure to include the name of your project or product in your title. “New chew toy for dogs” isn’t as helpful or searchable as “Bristly: The World’s Most Effective Toothbrush for Dogs.”
Your campaign introduction should give backers a clear understanding of what your product is, what problem it solves, how it compares to other products on the market, and why it’s important to them. Don’t make people read the entire campaign page to understand the basics, but use the basics to entice them to read further.
Campaign copywriting doesn’t stop there. Some of the most successful campaigns read like long-form sales pages, and include a lot of in-depth content.
Here are some additional resources to help you with your campaign copywriting:

Public relations (PR)
Reaching out to people who write about your niche is an important part of any crowdfunding campaign. When you hear “PR,” your mind might go straight to pitching stories to big name media outlets, but whether you’re contacting large media outlets, smaller bloggers, or social media influencers, many elements of your approach will be the same.
Build a sizeable list of contacts, and do your research
It’s a hard truth to accept: most of the people you reach out to will ignore you. Bloggers and media reporters receive dozens of pitches a day and can’t possibly respond to all of them.
Do your research to create a media list with a broad reach, but not so broad that it becomes irrelevant. That means making sure the people you’re contacting actually cover subjects and industries related to your campaign. Pitching people who don’t cover your niche wastes your time and theirs.
Consider if these points apply to each person on your media list to make sure you’re pitching the right people.

The writer has previously covered other crowdfunding campaigns—bonus points if they were in a similar industry.
Your product is in the industry the writer covers.
Your product builds on or relates to the writer’s previous coverage.

Reach out before your campaign launches
There’s no reason to wait until you go live before reaching out to press and influencers. Your campaign will do much better if it gets strong coverage—and support—within the first few days of its launch.
Write a compelling pitch
Your pitch should be concise and to-the-point. Tell reporters and bloggers how your product fits into their beat, and hit your most important points. Also include a link to your video—it’s the quickest introduction to your product, and can be easily embedded into a story or blog post.
Not sure how exactly to finesse your pitch? Use this template as a starting guide.
Don’t stop pitching after your campaign launches. Writers are always looking for relevant, interesting stories, and the media has a soft spot for DIY successes. Do another round of media outreach once your campaign has some traction.
Personal outreach
Attention on social platforms can be as helpful as media coverage. Use your personal network to create buzz in the days before you launch. Ask people you know to share details of your campaign on their social media feeds, blogs, or newsletters. This initial traction can help you get additional press coverage and even grab the attention of your chosen crowdfunding platform, many of which often look for successful projects to highlight.
Don’t forget to use your personal blog or social media feeds to reach your extended network. Don’t overwhelm with email blasts and group messages, but send a few reminders about the campaign and personally contact anyone you think will help spread the word.

Planning a successful crowdfunding campaign from start to finish
Much of your crowdfunding campaign’s success will be determined by your marketing efforts. But there are other important elements you also need to plan, including your campaign’s timeline and the logistics of fulfilling backer rewards—not to mention making the transition to a sustainable long-term business after your campaign is done.
Setting timelines
Shorter campaigns set a tone of confidence. They should be long enough that you have time to build interest and reach your biggest potential audience, but not so long that they become background noise. Seeing that a campaign has just a few days remaining creates a sense of urgency for potential contributors, motivating them to act now, rather than later.
Choosing perk levels
Choosing and pricing your reward tiers are important strategic steps in the crowdfunding process. Offer a range of rewards that entice users to back your project or product. If buying the product itself is the core perk, include a few lower-priced options for people who just want to support you, and scale up to some exclusive high-end perks for backers with lots of money to spend. Here are some of the more common crowdfunding tiers:

Acknowledgments. Public acknowledgment of backer support is a good entry-level perk. For a donation as small as $5, Dominion City, a Canadian brewery that funded its bottle shop through Kickstarter, published the names of all its backers in a full-page ad taken out in a local magazine.

Branded swag. Backers often like the thrill of being an early adopter. Offer perks that help them show their pride in participating, such as branded stickers, T-shirts, or bags. These lower-priced perks are especially good reward options if your product cost is high.

Product pre-orders. One of the most popular perks is early or discounted access to a product. This is the best way to validate demand. If most of your marketing materials are focused on the benefits of the product, you may see higher conversions on perks that act as pre-sales.

Creative collaborations. These perks offer backers a role in your project or business. For example, if you’re creating a comic book, you might offer to draw a backer into one of the panels or base a character on them in exchange for a specific level of financial backing.

Unique or exclusive experiences. Backers can be interested in perks that offer exclusive access to your brand, such as a one-on-one consultation or an invitation to an exclusive event. These experiences will cut into your working hours, so use them as higher-end rewards.

Price your perks in a way that’s sustainable for your business. If you’re offering a discounted price on your product in return for backing, make sure you understand the full cost of delivering that reward to a buyer, including shipping. If you’re offering one-on-one time, you need to limit the quantity of that reward so it doesn’t disrupt your day-to-day operations.
Backers are usually your most understanding customers, because they know crowdfunding a product isn’t the same as buying one off the shelf. But that doesn’t mean they have zero expectations.
Before launching your campaign, you should have a solid, informed estimate of your production timeline. To build that estimate, consider the following:

How many products do you plan to make? Producing one unit is different than producing 100, and producing 100 is different than producing 10,000.
How long will production take on your ideal order size?
How long will it take to receive your products from your manufacturer?
How long will it take to fulfill your campaign rewards? (Use a shipping calculator to estimate the shipping times for different classes of mail.)

It helps to have your manufacturing or production process finalized before you begin your campaign. (Don’t forget to add in some additional flex time to account for unforeseen delays.) Your timeline mostly likely will change as you proceed, but a well thought out estimate gives backers an idea of what to expect. If you do experience delays, notify your backers as soon as possible and provide an updated estimate.
Shipping and fulfillment
Before you launch your campaign and make promises to supporters, confirm that your manufacturer can ship to your location, especially if they’ve never delivered to your country before.
Also, be prepared to ship products en masse to your supporters. If 1,000 backers pre-order your product, that’s 1,000 orders you need to package and mail. A bit of planning can go a long way in creating a smooth fulfillment process. Have you selected a carrier? Do you know the mail class and postage cost? Do you have a way to print labels? Have you taken international shipping into consideration? Keep these factors in mind as you set and price your reward levels and communicate timelines to backers.
Here are some additional resources to help you with your shipping strategy:

Don’t underestimate the importance of knowing how to manage your income and expenses during and after your campaign, especially if you don’t have much experience with business finance. A good accountant can start you on the right foot by helping you optimize your campaign earnings and make the most of your taxes, expenses, and cashflow.
Communication with funders
Your campaign’s funders are your earliest fans, supporters, and customers, so keep them up to date. Communicating frequently with them builds trust, inspires further support, and keeps them apprised of any unforeseen delays or complications. Most crowdfunding platforms have tools, such as an email newsletter, to help you inform backers of your progress throughout and after the campaign.
Some information you might want to relate in a newsletter could include:

News about funding milestones
Updates about the production process
Behind the scenes photos
New products or product variants
New or expanded reward tiers
New stock available
Thank you messages

Examples of successful crowdfunding campaigns
There are many successful businesses that started as crowdfunding campaigns. Here are a few examples you can dig into from existing Shopify merchants.

GNARBOX: A multimedia management company that built a pre-launch list of 20,000 potential customers before it launched its crowdfunding campaign, which raised more than $500,000 in 30 days.

BodyBoss: A physical product and related digital service that aims to “bring the gym to you.” It launched across multiple crowdfunding platforms, one after the other, and in the process raised more than half a million dollars on Kickstarter, followed by a further $1.3 million on Indiegogo.

Wipebook: Two entrepreneurs had an idea for a zero-waste notebook that erases like a whiteboard and sold the first version of their product to validate demand before using crowdfunding to scale up and build buzz. They met their funding goal of $4,000 within a few hours, and went on to raise more than $500,000 over their 30-day campaign.

Setting up your own web presence
The best time to establish your web presence is before your campaign launches—or at the latest, during your campaign.
If your crowdfunding platform ends up featuring you, or if you get some social media or press buzz, you’ll probably see a lot of visitors coming to your campaign page. When you have a web presence of your own that will live on after your campaign ends, you’ll be able to build links from established websites early on, and that can pay long-term search engine optimization (SEO) dividends.
You should treat your campaign as a way to ultimately bring people over to a platform you own and control—and that will live on beyond your campaign.
Do you have a distinctive voice that might work as a blog? Do you want people to know the story of your brand, not just your product? Do you have other products for sale you’d like people to know about? These are all good ways to build connections with your backers, and there’s only so much information you can fit on a campaign page.
If you have active Twitter and Facebook profiles, you’ll probably get an influx of followers once your campaign launches. This will be useful for future marketing and engagement. That same logic applies for your website. Not only will it give you a chance to get attention, it’ll also provide you with a great head start on building an email list for future engagement—and sales.
For a detailed tutorial, here’s a guide on moving from Kickstarter to Shopify that covers everything you need to know about setting up a web presence to take pre-orders, capitalize on your campaign’s momentum, and make the move to a sustainable long-term business when it’s done.

Learn how to create your online store

Get step-by-step help setting up a Shopify store for your campaign with Shopify Academy’s new course, Getting Started With Shopify. Learn from a six-figure store owner who built her business on Shopify and can help you build yours, too.

Your campaign is just the beginning
Successful crowdfunding projects can help you get the capital you need to produce a product, but don’t take your eyes off the long-term goal of building an enduring business.
Think of a crowdfunding campaign as a wedding: you want it to be spectacular, but what’s most important is how things work out in the long term. Once you’ve run a successful crowdfunding campaign, you’ll have proven market demand, connected with active supporters, and earned the funds to start a real business.