Before going deep, first let me explain to those who don’t know what is Merch by Amazon? It’s a print-on-demand (POD) service launched by Amazon in 2015, where you just need to create designs, upload them and price your products and rest is taken cared by Amazon. Wherever someone buys your product Amazon prints the particular design and ships that to your customer and you get the profit you set for the product.
Its an awesome business model, but unfortunately process of Merch by Amazon approval takes life for applicants to get in. They have an invitation system, where you submit a form that you are interested in selling through Merch by Amzon and then you have to wait and… I guess just wait!
I’ve applied for Merch last year and this is how it looks whenever I login to check my application status: –
What To Do During Merch by Amazon Approval Process?
One line answer is, DO NOT sit back relaxed…
What does that mean?
Well, to be honest there is nothing you can do to get approved for Merch by Amazon, but there is certainly a smart way to get POD products listed on Amazon.
Shopify being one of the fastest growing eCommerce platforms not only helps you setting up a fully functional eCom store, but you can easily sync several different sales channels like Amazon, eBay and others with your Shopify store. To know more about sales channel integration you can visit Shopify.com/channels.
How this all works?
Well, to sale POD products on Amazon without an approved Merch by Amazon account, first you need to create a store on Shopify.com and then you need to add a print-on-demand vendor to your store.
There are quite of few good POD vendors you can find on Shopify’s app store, but I recommend Printful. Though its a bit expensive than others and your profit margin may go down a little, but the quality of your products will be unmatched if you use Printful. They also offer very good branding options like stickers of your brand’s logo are dispatched with products, custom packaging and other cool stuff. You can checkout details at Printful.com.
Understanding the process:
To simplify it, I’ve made some bullet points.
- Create Amazon account (if you haven’t already)
- Signup for Shopify
- Add Printful (or any other POD app) into your store.
- Sync your Shopify store with your Amazon account.
- Create awesome designs
- Have them on appropriate POD article(s) and list them on your Shopify store
- Choose the best or all listed products from your Shopify store and add them into your Amazon account for sale.
You can find tons of helpful videos on Youtube explaining how to sync your Amazon seller’s account with Shopify. It’s a pretty simple procedure and once you do this your POD business will be streamlined.
So, when you get an order on Amazon, its details such as, product, quantity, size, color, customer’s address and etc will automatically be updated into your Shopify store under unfulfilled orders. So, now you can place order for that particular article to your POD vendor for fulfillment.
You can even set this fulfillment process completely automatic, but I’d recommend setting it manually – at lease in start, as it only requires a few clicks to place an order.
What Makes This Amazon-Shopify Integration Worth Trying?
So, I guess you’ve got some idea that how this model works. Lets come to another important question i.e. what are the benefits, which you can get using this POD business model!
Amazon Being Search Engine: I think no one would differ the fact that Amazon is the biggest search engine for products. Utilizing the power of the platform you can take your merch business to a whole new level in no time. Unlike standalone ecommerce stores, where you need to put your efforts and money for pulling buyers to you store, selling on Amazon is much easier. You just need attractive designs and good product descriptions to rank in Amazon search. You’ll see tons of sales coming in without having to place a single paid advertisement.
Sell Not Just Tees: Many would think that Merch by Amazon is completely free all you need just some good designs. On the other hand using Shopify-Amazon model will require monthly subscription. Well this is absolutely true, but provided the fact that with Merch by Amazon you can only sell t-shirts and with Shopify-Amazon model you have quite of few product options. You can sell different types of t-shirts, hoodies, pillow cases, curtains, mugs and other good stuff. So, I guess paying $29 a month for selling variety of products isn’t a bad deal.
Multi-Channel Sales: With Shopify-Amazon POD model you can sell same Amazon products though your Shopify store as well. You can also sell same products on other eCommerce sites like eBay, Wish etc. You can even sell products on different social networking sites and through POS. All these product fulfillments can be handled by a single POD vender linked to your Shopify store. If you want, you can also use multiple POD venders for different sales channels simultaneously.
Gaining Buyer’s Trust: This is a big one! Its psychologically proven that people are reluctant to buy from sites, which they visited for the 1st time. People who are running ecommerce stores put really hard work to gain trust of the buyers. With Amazon there is no such issue; Amazon is part of their lives. They know if they are buying something from Amazon, they are covered with lots of guarantees and buyer protections. If you are able to establish a brand on Amazon, you can then use this trust and recognition to market your products through your personal Shopify store as well.
So, its really a high time to get the ball rolling and tap into the huge POD market. I’ve seen a lot of people making really handsome money with Merch by Amazon as well as Shopify merch stores. If you link both platforms together you can easily make better income then doing it individually. Using Amazon as the launch pad for your brand and Shopify to streamline your order fulfillment will surely make you some good money in less time with low efforts and least promotional cost.