How To Smash 2023 on Amazon

How To Set Up Your Amazon Inventory SKUs, Including FBA & MFN & Prepare for Launch

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Jan 25, 2024
A clack at 12:20
min
How To Set Up Your Amazon Inventory SKUs, Including FBA & MFN & Prepare for Launch

Table of contents

So far in our blog series, we have touched on many techniques that will help you smash 2023 on Amazon, whatever your goal. However in this next topic, we want to take you back to the basics.

“How do I correctly set up my Amazon Listings”, “What is the best practice”, “Am I filling out my flat file correctly”... these are familiar questions that our clients always ask us. So, without further ado, here is Sitruna’s guide on setting up your product listings, pitfalls to avoid and how to prepare your listings for launch day!

After your seller account is verified and your brand is approved in Amazon Brand Registry (if you’re selling products under your own brand), the next step is to create a new listing and prepare the product for the launch. 

STEP 1: GATHER THE REQUIRED INFORMATION

Before creating a new listing on Amazon, please ensure that you have the following information:

PRODUCT IDENTIFIER:

Most products have a unique identification code, such as a UPC, EAN, JAN or ISBN. It ensures accurate information on the product detail page.  Every seller is now required to register with GS1 to get a legitimate GTIN for each ASIN that they have listed on the marketplace. If you have been using barcodes that you purchased from somewhere other than GS1, they may not pass the test. Without authentic GS1 UPCs, your ASINs could be delisted at any time per the updated Amazon GS1 barcode policy.

Visit the GS1 website and apply for a company prefix. This will safeguard your listings on Amazon since each of your products will have a legitimate Amazon GS1 barcode with the unique GS1-generated product code and check digit affixed to the end of your identifier. This means that each code can be traced back to your company, identifying it as yours.

OFFER DETAILS:

Offer details include, for example, the product’s condition, price, quantity and shipping options. You can update your offer information at any time.

PRODUCT DETAILS:

Product details include attributes such as product name (title), brand, category, description and images. These details give buyers a clear view of the product being offered and can be used to highlight special features. Mandatory attributes are subject to change depending on the category you are listing your products in.

KEYWORDS & SEARCH TERMS:

Strong keywords can help make your products easier for buyers to find. 

We have a separate blog post on how to optimise your product listings. Please review this before writing your listing contents to have a better understanding of what a listing should contain to organically drive traffic to your listing. 

STEP 2: SELECT THE PRODUCT CATEGORY

  1. In Seller Central, select Catalogue, and then click Add a Product.

  1. Click I’m adding a product not sold on Amazon.

  1. Search or browse for the category that matches the product you want to sell in, and then click Select category. Choosing an accurate category can help buyers find products more easily.

STEP 3: INPUT THE PRODUCT DETAILS

PRODUCT IDENTITY:

Enter your GS1 barcode, product title and brand name. If you don’t have a product ID, you can apply for a GTIN exemption if your product is eligible. With the brand name, you can tick the box “This product does not have a brand name” if the brand hasn’t been approved or your product doesn’t have a brand name. 

VITAL INFORMATION:

OFFERS:

Input the product SKU, price, condition and how you will fulfil the product

Fulfilled by Merchant (FBM): you will be asked for the product quantity 

Fulfilled by Amazon (FBA): you will need to input the Barcode type selected, dangerous good information, and fulfilment programme (if applicable)

  • Manufacturer barcode vs Amazon barcode: Amazon will always use the manufacturer barcode to track inventory throughout the fulfilment process unless you change your barcode setting. If more than one seller has inventory with the same manufacturer barcode, Amazon fulfils orders with inventory that’s closest to the customer. If you do not have an eligible barcode for your product, an Amazon barcode can be used in place of the manufacturer barcode.
  • Standard FBA vs FBA Small and Light: Check the eligibility here

Add dangerous goods information

IMAGES

We recommend having 6-7 images including product and lifestyle photos. Images must meet the following requirements:

  • Products must fill at least 85% of the image. Images must show only the product that is for sale, with few or no props and with no logos, watermarks or inset images. Images may only contain text that is a part of the product.
  • Main images must have a pure white background, must be a photo (not a drawing) and must not contain excluded accessories.
  • Images must be at least 1,000 pixels on the longest side and at least 500 pixels on the shortest side to be zoom-able.
  • Images must not exceed 10,000 pixels on the longest side.
  • JPEG is the preferred image format, but you also may use TIFF and GIF files.

DESCRIPTION

Add product description and 5 bullet points. If you plan to create A+ content for your product if you’re a brand owner, you can leave the product description field blank for now. 

KEYWORDS

Add the backend search terms and ensure to keep them under 250 characters

MORE DETAILS

Add as much information for your listings as you can to help the customer understand more about the product and avoid negative product reviews.

STEP 4: SAVE & FINISH

It may take up to 30 minutes to see the new listing on Amazon and up to 24 hours to see the product images on the product detail page. 

FBA & FBM working together for greater sales

Once you've set up your listings and worked on the traffic drivers to get eyes on your product detail page you need to work out the best way to get your products to the customer. There are two main ways of doing this; Fulfilment by Amazon (FBA) and Merchant Fulfilment Network (MFN aka FBM).

Subject to the nature of your selection we generally recommend using FBA for 3 reasons:

  1. Every product in FBA automatically becomes Prime eligible (which is estimated to improve conversion by 30-40%)
  2. You are afforded far greater protection in the event of customer raising A-Z claims in the event of misdelivery
  3. Similarly, if the item is damaged in transit, Amazon will take the blame, reimbursing the Seller as well as striking through any negative feedback left by the unhappy Customer.

Merchant Fulfilling makes sense for those with unsuitable product types (e.g. modular products which need more than one box to be shipped to the customer), those with established warehousing and fulfilment operations and like to keep those they currently employ in those roles and sellers who have multiple sales channels (e.g a bricks and mortar shop, shopify store, and are on other marketplaces) to have a single inventory pool to draw stock from. Sure, you could use Multi Channel Fulfilment but unless you've got a good integrator and don't mind your eBay orders turning up in Amazon boxes, this isn't the best solution. MFN also does not make your selection Prime eligible unless you enrol into Seller Fulfilled Prime (SFP).

Therefore which should you use, FBA or MFN?

We would actually recommend using both. You are perfectly allowed to have multiple SKUs from the same Seller account under the same ASIN.

This is because you could split Amazon's Customers into two segments: Prime and non-Prime. Prime Customers would inevitably opt for the Prime-eligible FBA SKU which would be shipped to them quickly and included in the Prine package. If you only had an FBA offer, non-Prime customers would have to pay the non-Prime shipping fee of £4.49 regardless of product size (99p for Small and Light items). Therefore to maximise conversion of non-Prime Customers you could offer a merchant fulfilled SKU with free shipping. The Prime SKU will invariably win the Buy Box but, depending on the number of competitor offers on the ASIN, the MFN SKU should show in the 'Other sellers on Amazon' section below the Buy Box. This would be more attractive to non-Prime Customers who can then avoid paying the non-Prime FBA shipping fee.

If you have any questions on how to set up your first listings, our consultants will be happy to advise you, so please do get in touch.

Our Amazon team is ready to help you succeed.

Book a discovery call with us today!

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