Calling all entrepreneurs, designers, brands, and sellers. Merch by Amazon may be the next big thing for the e-commerce marketplace. Through this program, creators are able to sell their designs on Amazon, reaching millions of customers with no upfront investment.
How does it work?
Merch by Amazon is an invitation-only program. Sellers request an invite by applying via the Merch by Amazon website. Prospective designers need to input background and experience in order to justify being included in the program. Once approved, they’re invited to upload their artwork to be printed, determine a list price, and allow Amazon to print it once it’s sold. Products are shipped speedily with Amazon Prime, with the designer earning royalties. Items for sale include shirts and apparel in men’s, women’s, children’s and baby sizes.
Pros to Merch by Amazon
The biggest benefit to the program is the streamlined system offered by fulfillment by Amazon. Because items are printed on-demand, the seller does not need to purchase stock, nor store, pick, pack or ship it. Amazon claims they use “world-class print technology” to print the designs on quality items. The Prime Shipping benefit is a huge draw, as customers receive their items direct from Amazon with quick delivery. Amazon handles the customer service, too, eliminating direct customer contact on part of the seller.
Within the platform, sellers have the opportunity to track sales and monitor success with the provided tools. This lets sellers deal solely with creating awesome designs to sell, and also frees up time to optimize listings, SEO, and marketing to ensure customers want to purchase them.
Second, there is no upfront cost or investment. Sellers make royalties on the products that are sold, with Amazon charging the seller to cover costs and fees in the event of a sell. Earnings are broken down on Amazon’s royalty info page, sellers reportedly make $5.38 on a t-shirt sold for $20, or in the UK, £5.60 on a £20 item.
With a predictable profit margin and simple start-up, it’s easy to see why designers and sellers might want to join the program.
Cons to Merch by Amazon
Like any seller relationship with Amazon, sellers themselves are responsible for marketing and product development. Sellers must consider how to best show-off and surface products. Are they SEO-optimized? Is the content outstanding enough to convert page views into sales? These are all considerations when you take into account the number of sellers on Amazon as a whole, and the competition just within Merch by Amazon.
Another complication to be aware of is copyright issues and knock-offs. Amazon is strict to flag non-original work when it comes to Merch by Amazon. If there is a violation, sellers will be banned. As such, sellers will want to ensure their products are their own, and, on the flip-side, monitor for impostors and protect their own intellectual property.
What you need to know
Merch by Amazon features content creators from big, established brands (such as Disney, Universal and Cartoon Network) to small, independent designers. Sellers should think about if Merch by Amazon will benefit them specifically, and not just apply because it’s another avenue to push product. Designers must be able to market themselves and do SEO work to be successful as a seller. And sellers may need to bring on specialized designers to be successful on a platform that requires original work.
If you need more information, check out an exhaustive FAQ from Merch by Amazon. And if you’re a seller ready to join the platform and need assistance with SEO or content, contact eCommerce Nurse for a consultation.