How To Sell Custom T-Shirts On Amazon
Selling merch via the powerful Amazon platform helps efficiently monetize one’s creative imagination. This is an on-demand source of income available to every creative person out there. You can design and sell t-shirts online without even touching a physical product or investing money. Let’s see how exactly.
Table of Contents
Start with Research
Without going through this stage, it will be difficult to pinpoint the exact type of t-shirts that are really demanded and will be bought by the target audience. The main principle at this stage is to identify the most sought-after product in a particular category and make it more attractive with your own design.
T-shirts with vegetarian, maternity, animal, and child themes are generally in great demand. You shouldn't stop at one niche to achieve success. To begin with, you can choose five themes and improve the presented models in your own style. And if you think that 20 designs will provide you with profits, then you are mistaken. You need to aim for 2-3 thousand designs to sell 100-200 t-shirts a day.
Create Your Amazon Store
Go for a business account right away. If you think you can get by with a regular account and save money, we're sorry to disappoint you. An individual account is severely limited both in functionality and in selling capacities. For example, you cannot put up more than 40 lots per month. That is why you should immediately focus on creating a business account. It provides the following opportunities:
- Amazon's shipping program — FBA (Fulfillment by Amazon). That's when you take your order to one of Amazon's warehouses, turn it in to the employees, and forget all the delivery “dirty work”. The FBA employees do the rest. There are such warehouses in almost all U.S. states. For instance, when placing an order with a Chinese supplier, you need to specify one of the fulfillment warehouses in the USA as the delivery address and the order will be brought right to the place;
- The use of various t-shirts marketing and promotion tools, including targeted advertising;
- Creation of an authentic store name and even registration of a trademark;
- Reduced commissions on sales;
- An ability to place numerous products (listings). If on an individual account you can put up no more than 40 listings, a professional account allows 250 items to be published at once.
Now, let's move on to the creation of the account:
- Go to the main page of the service and select Sell;
- A new window appears with the button Start selling, which you need to click on;
- Proceed to the standard form for logging in or creating an account. Here, we are interested in the Create your Amazon account button:
- A window appears for filling in the data: an email address, a name, and a password.
After entering the information, a confirmation password — OTP — is sent to your email. It consists of 6 digits. Enter it into the field for authentication and access your newly-created personal cabinet.
Choose a T-Shirt Fulfillment Provider
There are two ways to deliver a shipment from China to the Amazon warehouse: you may either get the delivery from the supplier or use the services of a third-party logistics company.
The first option to deliver goods from China may seem the easiest and cheapest one as it doesn’t require searching for intermediary companies. In practice, however, everything turns out to be a bit more complicated and entails a number of risks.
First, direct Chinese suppliers usually do not include various tax duties, the cost of clearance and storage of goods in a customs warehouse, and other specifics in general delivery costs. The solution to all the problems arising in this connection lies on the shoulders of the client, who, as a rule, learns about them at the last moment.
Secondly, the main task of the factory is the production and sale of goods, so there is no point in creating a specialized logistics department. In such cases, the supplier turns to a partner transport company, which is not always aware of the peculiarities of delivery under the Amazon FBA program.
The language barrier and peculiarities of the Chinese culture further aggravate the situation. For example, FOB terms may be treated by the Chinese side as delivery to a provincial port, whereas for the customer it is the port of embarkation from the country.
Thirdly, the supplier objectively has no incentive to go into detail, work out the optimal delivery scheme, and monitor all stages.
As a result, the risk of problems at any stage of transportation increases dramatically. The best way to avoid them is to turn to a professional logistics company.
Merch by Amazon (MBA)
The Amazon Merch program was launched in 2015. Its primary goal was to create a platform for selling printed designer t-shirts. The program offers a convenient print-on-demand service. So starting out with Merch by Amazon is quite an optimal decision.
Design Your T-Shirt
After logging in, choose a product color, and then you can use the software to load graphics onto your shirt. There are a number of programs that you can use to design.
You can download Amazon T-Shirt Template, this can help you specify the dimensions for your graphics. These templates can be created in high quality, and they do not stretch them, as this will distort them.
The step-by-step instructions are as follows:
- Place your design where you want it;
- Look for shirt colors and go through the design using different colors;
- Select the types of shirts from the drop-down list — t-shirt, women's front or hoodie, etc.;
- After creating the design, save the content, and save it as a new PNG file;
- Then you will need to upload it to Create with Amazon.
Handle Amazon SEO and Marketing
Amazon's SEO algorithm focuses on best-selling products, products that drive visitors back to the site, and the most relevant items.
Simply put, you require product views for successful promotion.
Amazon ranking factors
If you intend to bid on relevance to buyer intent, all you need to do is find the right keywords and insert them into the product description.
Amazon A9 considers several factors that can help you boost online sales in 2019. Once Amazon A9 makes sure a product is relevant (through keywords), its ranking correlates to two factors:
— Conversion rate
— Sales velocity
Amazon explains that factors such as bestseller ranking (BSR rating) and customer reviews are not taken into account. However, in practice, this is not the case. These factors contribute to higher conversions and sales on the site. Remember, the easier it is to find your product, the higher the number of hits and rankings.
A list of factors that affect your ranking on Amazon:
- Relevancy - the general relevance of the product offered to the search context. It is usually determined by the keywords a potential customer uses. Thus, product relevance is achieved by applying relevant keywords in the product description. Including description, functionality, specifications, and product brand (for particularly demanding customers).
- Bestseller ranking - within a product listing, Amazon assigns a value that shows how actively a product sells compared to other products in the same category. This metric is called Best Sellers Rank and is updated hourly. It can help you better understand your competitors by regularly monitoring their product ratings and streamlining their positive experiences.
- Customer reviews - Amazon A9 doesn't count customer reviews directly, but they can help improve the ranking of your products indirectly. Ask customers who have made a purchase to leave a review. Preferably immediately upon completion of the order.
- Customer satisfaction - customer satisfaction is also not directly taken into account by Amazon's search algorithm, but the actions of satisfied customers will help convince later potential customers of the relevance of your product. For example, when a customer is satisfied and returns not just to Amazon, but specifically to your product page, then Amazon sees that you are generating traffic. This, as we said, is important for ranking products in Amazon search. If a customer makes a repeat purchase from you, your BSR rating goes up. If many customers make repeat purchases, your conversion rate goes up and your BSR-rating stays high. You generate a significant amount of traffic for Amazon, thereby improving the ranking of your own products
That's the end of the description of the method for starting a t-shirt selling business. Reaching millions of customers on Amazon has never been easier. If you have a limited startup budget, you can save money by designing stuff single-handedly.
You won't need equipment and the problems you may encounter will be minimal. Think of this method as creating an online brand with all the power of Amazon behind you.