Amazon is the biggest marketplace in the world, and over 50% of searches for online products begin there.
This means that to be a successful online seller in 2020, you need to sell on Amazon. This provides an excellent way to reach millions of customers, allowing Amazon to focus on customer service, warehousing and fulfilment, so that you can spend your time where it matters – product research, manufacturing, and growth.
Whether you’re an Indian looking to sell on Amazon for the first time, or an established business looking to sell on Amazon India from the USA (or elsewhere) this guide contains everything you need to get up and running selling products on Amazon India.
But first, a little more on the why….
Why Sell on Amazon India?
In general, Amazon is the most successful marketplace on the planet, with over 2.5 million sellers using the platform as of 2019.
This makes it a very important place to be for online sellers looking for a lot of exposure to potential customers.
However, it also has some downsides, especially in the case of Amazon US, where there are a huge amount of sellers. This means competition is high for new sellers who may be relegated to the 2nd page of the search results and beyond, unable to get the visibility they need.
In India, this is much less of a problem, however. With only around 200,000 sellers on Amazon India, but the population of the country sitting at 1.4 billion as of 2018, competition is still a lot more manageable in India than the US, but demand remains high.
Regardless of whether you’re a small startup in India, the same selling on Amazon India as an American, or an established business from anywhere else in the world – if you have the capital to begin selling on Amazon India, it’s something you should consider.
- Instantly sell to customers across India without needing to worry about logistics or inventory storage
- Have a wide and easily accessible presence across one of the fastest growing nations and developing populations in the world
- Register and set up a store in minutes
- Get paid regularly
- Easy access to support and advice
What Do You Need to Register for Amazon India?
Signing up as an Individual
When signing up for Amazon, you will need to provide the following documents so that Amazon can register you as a working business.
It’s likely a good idea to get these documents together before signing up so that you have everything you need and aren’t delayed.
If you’re selling on Amazon as a sole trader or individual, the documents you need are:
- Your name, email address and phone number
- Your bank account details and card details, both for Amazon to bill you and for them to be able to pay you
- Your PAN number
- Your GST registration number
The last two might be a mystery to people outside of India.
A PAN number is a 10 digit number which is displayed on a PAN card, issued by the Indian Income Tax Department.
Non Indian nationals can apply for a PAN card here, but there are also companies that can help you to apply if necessary, for example VFS Global in the UK.
A GST registration number is for Goods and Services Tax and can be most easily compared to a VAT number in Europe. You can apply for one here. Indian nationals will need a PAN number and Aadhaar card to do so.
Signing Up as a Private Ltd Company
A private ltd company (or LTD) is generally the best and most future proof way to sign up to Amazon, as it allows for future growth.
To sign up to Amazon as an LTD, you will need to enter your name, email address, contact details, bank details and GST registration number as detailed above.
However, you will also need to provide copies of your Certificate of Incorporation, and Memorandum of Association.
The former is simply a letter proving that you have registered your company officially with the Indian government.
The latter is a legal statement signed by all company shareholders, which, in the case of a small startup, could just be yourself.
How to Sign Up to Amazon India as a Seller
If you’re from outside of India and already sell on your local marketplace, signing up for Amazon India will be much the same process.
However, if India is your first marketplace, signing up can be a little intimidating.
It’s actually a really quick and easy process however, especially if you already have all of the documentation listed above.
Simply follow the below steps:
- Go to Seller Central India
- Click Sign up in the top right corner (shown below)
3. Now, click “Start Selling” and create your account as shown below
4. You will now need to go through some self-explanatory steps, including filling in your business’s legal name, verifying your phone number via a verification code, choosing your store name, and entering your GST number.
In order to start listing products on Amazon, you will need to follow the regular Add a Product process as in other marketplaces (guide to follow soon).
How to Find Top Selling Products on Amazon India
In many cases, you may be expanding into India from other countries, or expanding onto Amazon from other sales platforms in India, and therefore you may well already know exactly what product you are going to sell.
But for other people this may not be the case. You know you want to sell on Amazon, and you know you can do well at it, but you’re not sure what to sell.
In this case, it is a good idea to analyze the top selling items on Amazon India, in order to give yourself the best possible chance of success.
But it’s not just as simple as looking at the best selling products on Amazon India in 2020, and selecting one of those.
Because competition is just as important a factor as demand.
You may know that many people want a macbook charger for example, but if 500 people are selling them on Amazon, and the first page is full of well established sellers with thousands of reviews, then your product is going to show up several pages back in the search results, with zero reviews, and you are going to struggle to get any sales.
In the same way, if you are thinking of selling books on Amazon India, you are much better off going for a book with small demand and no other sellers, compared to one with high demand and a huge amount of competing sellers.
In this case, not all is lost – check our post on organic rankings to learn more about how you can help turn the tables when the odds go against you.
But to do this does cost time and/or money, and so if you’re a new startup it’s much, much safer to go for a product with a good balance between competition and demand.
We will soon bring you more on that in an in-depth look at competition analysis and how to find a low competition, high demand product.
The quickest and easiest way, however, to see the bestselling items on Amazon India is to simply go to Bestsellers and then click through categories to find a product you like.
Of course, another question many will have is around fees, so let’s take a look at that next:
Charges for Selling on Amazon India
It’s important to know that the selling fees on Amazon India are different to other countries.
If you are used to selling in the UK or the USA, you will be used to making a choice between a free Individual Seller account and a Professional Seller Account with which there is a paid subscription.
This choice doesn’t exist in Amazon India – however, there are still fees you need to be aware of.
It’s crucial to understand this part before deciding on your selling price, as it’s easy to cut out too much of your profits.
Every time you make a sale on Amazon, you will be charged a referral fee. This is a percentage of the total sale price, and the percentage depends on the category your product is in.
The full list of referral fees by category, and other details on Amazon’s fees can be found here.
Closing fees are a fixed price as opposed to a percentage, but still vary depending on your category.
They also very depending on how the product is fulfilled (FBA, self ship, or easy ship).
The full breakdown of closing fees based on selling price is found here:
Amazon Easy Ship Fees
In most Amazon marketplaces, you have two fulfilment options – FBA (when Amazon stores your inventory and fulfils it for you) and FBM (when you fulfil the product yourself by shipping each order out manually).
While both options exist in India, there is also another option – Amazon Easy Ship.
This is similar to FBM in that you don’t store any inventory at Amazon’s fulfilment centre, but it’s a little easier in that Amazon will actually pick up the order from your location and deliver it directly to the customer.
This is a great option as it avoids FBA storage fees and allows you to handle packaging yourself, but Amazon is responsible for timely deliveries and collecting the item from you.
Easy Ship costs an extra fee, which depends on the weight of the package and the distance of the delivery.
If you’re not sure what locations are considered local, regional, or national, you can find a full breakdown below. The simplest way to think of it is local is within your city, regional is within one of 4 regions India has been broken down into, and and national is across one or more of those regions.
Selling on Amazon India: Reviews
Reviews are a major factor on Amazon sales.
While they aren’t a direct ranking factor, social proof is a strong persuasive tool.
This means having more positive reviews than your competitors can give you a better conversion rate, making you move up organic ranks more easily and win more sales.
First and foremost, you need to have a great product. If you’re selling cheap rubbish that doesn’t work, your reviews will reflect this, and you’ll struggle in the long term.
Putting in the work to make the product as good as it can be upfront will pay massive dividends.
Another good idea is to study your competitors reviews – positive ones can tell you exactly what your product should offer, and negative ones will tell you what you need to avoid.
You can also use feedback email software such as Feedbackwhiz to encourage more reviews.
A final option is to ask friends and family to purchase your product and leave a five star review, then refunding them or buying them a drink for example. This is against Amazon’s TOS, and we don’t directly recommend it for this reason as it may lead to issues.
Research this strategy at your own risk, but it can be a useful way to get one or two early reviews when first launching a product.
How Much Money Can You Make Selling on Amazon India?
This is impossible to answer specifically, since there are so many factors involved such as:
- The demand for your product
- The competition
- How attractive your listing and photos are
- Your price compared to the competition
- The amount of inventory you can afford to invest in
- Your organic ranking
- Your reviews
However, if you do your research, pick a product with high demand and low competition, and approach all of the above correctly, the sky is the limit.
We have been able to take brands from 0 to $90k a month just by pushing their organic ranks, so with a little hard work you can provide a massive ROI on Amazon.
Looking for More Info?
If you still need extra help selling on Amazon India, feel free to Contact Us!
As the leading Amazon marketing agency, we can help you get set up on Amazon India or boost your organic rankings to take your sales to the next level!
We will leave you with this high quality video from a leading Amazon marketer giving tips in Hindi on how to get past the registration process: