Shopify and Amazon are two of the biggest ecommerce platforms in the world. So, integrating the two could unlock a wealth of benefits for online merchants.
Cue the Shopify Amazon integration.
With this integration, businesses can quickly expand their reach, streamline operations, and increase sales.
So, I’m going to cover everything you need to know about the Shopify Amazon integration so that you can make the most out of it.
Does that sound good? Fab. Let's dive into the meat and potatoes of this blog post!
What is The Shopify-Amazon Integration?
As you probably know, Shopify is a cloud-based, multi-channel commerce platform designed to help businesses create and manage their online store and e-commerce operations.
For instance, using Shopify, you can:
- Manage and process payments safely
- Process orders and setup shipping
- Build a customizable and responsive website
- Manage customer data, order history, and communication
- Use Shopify apps to bolster marketing, upselling, and social media selling, and extend Shopify's base functionality.
We'll focus on the latter; more specifically, we’ll discuss an advantageous combination between Shopify and Amazon.
But first, you should know that Amazon provides all kinds of perks for online merchants, including:
- Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA): This service warehouses your products in Amazon's fulfillment centers. Amazon will also handle shipping and customer service on the seller’s behalf (fees apply – costs listed below).
- Large customer base: Amazon has approximately 310 million active customers worldwide. Of course, we’re not suggesting that you’ll be able to reach all these shoppers! However, the point remains that there’s enormous potential to engage with new customers.
- Strong brand reputation: Amazon is a well-established brand with a decent reputation for providing adequate customer service. As such, it garners consumer trust. Some customers might feel more comfortable purchasing from an Amazon seller than an online brand they’ve never heard of before.
How Do Sellers Benefit from The Amazon Shopify Integration?
In essence, when you utilize the Amazon-Shopify integration, you combine the two platforms together, so not only do you benefit from the logistical perks and extended reach that come with Amazon, but you get all the goodies that come with a Shopify store. For instance, order management features, analytics, inventory tracking, etc.
Before diving into the nitty-gritty of setting up this integration, let’s explore in greater detail some of the ways integrating Amazon and Shopify can benefit online sellers:
- Increased sales and visibility: By selling on both Shopify and Amazon, sellers can reach a wider audience and potentially increase their sales.
- Simplified operations: If you’re already selling on both platforms, integrating them can automate and streamline time-consuming processes like order fulfillment, ergo reducing your workload.
- Improved data management: Integrating Amazon and Shopify centralize your sales and customer data, making informed business decisions easier.
- Access to Amazon's fulfillment network: By integrating Amazon with your Shopify store, sellers can take advantage of Amazon's Prime shipping service to fulfill orders and provide a better customer experience. Amazon FBA sellers automatically get a prime badge as part of their membership (for eligible items).
The Basics: How to Get Your Amazon-Shopify Store Off The Ground
Before integrating your Shopify and Amazon stores, to increase the likelihood of success, there are a few foundations you need in place. So, below, I’ve provided a comprehensive step-by-step guide on how to get your Amazon-Shopify store off the ground:
How Do You Choose Which Products To Sell?
First things first, you need to pick the right products to sell. As you select your inventory, bear the following in mind:
Choose a Niche.
First, selecting and sticking to a product niche is wise. I.e., products that serve a narrowly defined market or customer segment – for instance, eco fashion for millennial women, pug owner apparel, at-home yoga gear, etc. Ideally, your niche will target a small, dedicated group of consumers looking for something specific that isn’t widely available or offered by mainstream brands.
Selecting a niche will help you focus your product research and market yourself to resonate with the needs of a specific group of customers. Interestingly, a 2019 study by Chicago University concluded that niche products perform better than generalized products.
Consider your interests, expertise, and passions when deciding on a niche. Promoting and selling products that you're knowledgeable and passionate about will be easier.
Identify Your Customers’ Pain Points
With a niche in mind, the next step is identifying your customer's pain points. By ‘pain points, ’ we’re referring to shoppers' problems and/or challenges within this niche. Once you’ve pinpointed those issues, you can then look to provide a solution (i.e., a product that resolves the problem).
Identifying your customer’s pain points will take research. If you’re unsure where to begin, here are a few pointers:
- Surveying your target audience
- Reading customer reviews on Amazon and other online marketplaces
- Checking industry blogs and forums.
Are there any complaints or problems that appear time and again? Note these down and try to source a product(s) that can help- which brings us nicely to our next point:
With a better understanding of your customer’s needs, it's time to start researching specific products. There are several resources you can use to help identify popular and profitable products, such as:
Combined, you can use these tools to analyze product data and trends, such as the average sales price, and get a sense of customer reviews and competition within your niche.
More specifically, you can use Google Trends to evaluate interest in a specific product/niche over a specified time to see whether the product is trending, boasts a stable appeal, or is on the decline.
Keyword research and product research go hand in hand.
For the uninitiated, keywords are the terms people use to search for things (including products) online.
Using keyword tools like AHREFS, you want to determine whether people are searching for keywords in your niche and, if they are, what the competition is like. The higher the search volume and the lower the competition, the better.
Dedicating time to keyword research will provide valuable insights into consumer demand, purchase behavior, pain points, etc. You can then use this data to fuel your product research, increasing the likelihood of picking winning products to sell.
Choosing Your Fulfillment Structure
Below, we’ll discuss Amazon’s primary fulfillment structures.
A fulfillment structure refers to the process a merchant adopts to fulfill their orders. This usually includes inventory management, order processing, and shipping.
Amazon's fulfillment options can be used to fulfill Shopify orders when the two platforms are integrated. In the case of FBA (more on this below), when a customer places an order on your Shopify store, the order details are automatically sent to Amazon's fulfillment system for processing and shipping. This can help streamline the fulfillment process and ensure faster shipping times.
But, regardless of which fulfillment structure you plump for, once your Amazon account is integrated with Shopify (we’ll explain how to do this below), everything you sell on Amazon is trackable from your Shopify admin. You can sync inventories between platforms, sell across multiple channels, and see how well products perform overall.
FBA – Fulfilled by Amazon
As its name so aptly suggests, this is a fulfillment service offered by Amazon.
FBA enables sellers to store their products in Amazon's fulfillment centers. Amazon can also handle the shipping and customer service side of things.
Here's how it works:
- You send your products to Amazon's fulfillment centers: You package and ship your products to one of Amazon's fulfillment centers.
- Amazon stores your products securely.
- Amazon fulfills customer orders: When a customer orders one of your products, Amazon picks, packs, and ships the product directly to the customer.
- Amazon handles customer service: If a customer has a question or issue with one of your products, Amazon handles this on your behalf.
This approach has several benefits, namely that Amazon does lots of the work for you. This frees up your time to focus on other things, such as marketing and sales.
*We’ll discuss FBA pricing below
SFP – Seller Fulfilled Prime (Membership)
Alternatively, Amazon offers another option called Seller Fulfilled Prime (SFP). This is best described as a middle ground between Amazon fulfilling products for you and you doing it yourself.
This program allows you to offer Prime shipping to customers without using Amazon's fulfillment centers. As such, by participating in SFP, sellers can reach a broader customer base by providing customers the benefits of Prime shipping.
This means that instead of Amazon handling the storage and shipping of items, the seller is responsible for fulfilling orders themselves, using their own facilities and logistics.
To participate in the SFP program, a seller must meet specific eligibility requirements, such as maintaining high-performance metrics and offering Prime-eligible shipping options with a 2-day delivery promise.
It’s important to note that while SFP gives sellers more control over the fulfillment process, it also comes with added responsibilities and a higher level of commitment to customer satisfaction.
This service doesn’t carry any additional cost. However, you'll still need to factor in the general Amazon account costs (see below).
FBM – Fulfilled by Merchant
Lastly, this fulfillment option allows you to fulfill orders without getting Amazon involved.
Here's how it works:
- You keep your products in your own warehouse or storage facility.
- When a customer orders one of your products on Amazon, you pick, pack, and ship the product directly to the customer.
- If a customer has a question or issue with one of your products, you handle the customer service for the product.
This could be a better option for merchants with their own fulfillment structure or those who want to save money by finding a cheaper fulfillment option.
What Do You Need to Integrate Amazon With Shopify?
Of course, the main thing you need to hit the ground running with the Amazon-Shopify integration is seller accounts with both Amazon and Shopify.
If you don’t have one already, to create an Amazon account, you’ll need the following:
- A business email or Amazon customer account
- A credit card
- A valid form of ID, like a passport or driving license
- Your business registration details
- Your phone number
- A bank account that Amazon can send your earnings to
Your details must match the country you plan to sell within. For instance, US sellers must ensure their business is registered in the US. As such, you’ll likely need to register as a trader for each country you plan to sell in.
Once you’ve signed up, you’ll need to decide which type of Amazon seller account you want.
There are two options available:
- Individual seller account – $0.99 per item sold (separate from referral fees) – Best for newbies, selling less than 40 items a month.
- Professional seller account- $39.99 per month- Best for more advanced merchants, selling more than 40 items a month and those selling items in restricted product categories (For example, alcohol, explosives, and weaponry). You can also set your own shipping rates (more about this below). You can’t assign your own shipping fees for non-media products (i.e., products that aren’t books, music, video, or DVDs) on the individual plan.
It won't affect your plan subscription if you sell more than 40 items on the individual plan. Still, it will probably cost you more to remain on the individual plan than to upgrade to the professional. For instance, if you sold 45 products a month on the individual plan, it would cost you $43.56 ($0.99 x 45), whereas, even if you sold the same amount on the professional, you would only pay $39.99 since it’s charged at a flat monthly rate.
Additional Seller’s Fees:
- Referral fees: Amazon charges a fee for each item sold through its platform. Most referral fees sit between 8-20%, except Amazon devices (i.e., Alexa, Echo, Fire TV stick, etc.) which take a 45% fee.
- Closing fees: This is an additional referral charge for items in specific product categories such as DVDs, video games, and music. This costs $1.80 per item.
- FBA fees: If you opt into Amazon’s FBA fulfillment program, costs are based on the type and size of the products you sell. This can be between $3.22 for small products and $179.38 + $0.83 per lb for larger items weighing more than 90 lb. You should also expect to pay the following:
- Inventory fees: A variable storage cost that depends on the time a product is held and the product’s size and category.
- Order disposal fees (removing a product from Amazon's inventory): This can cost anywhere between $0.97 to $13.05 +, depending on the item's weight.
- Return fees: If a customer returns an item that needs to be restocked or processed, this can cost between $2.12 to $75.05 per item based on product size.
Suppose you aren’t sure which Amazon seller account you’ll need or want more guidance on calculating your potential fees. In that case, you can find more information in the Amazon Seller Central portal.
Shopify Subscription Fees
Likewise, if you don’t already have a Shopify account, you’ll need to create one. Shopify has several paid plans and a free (three-day) trial. When you’re ready to purchase a Shopify subscription, you can opt for either monthly or yearly billing (the latter comes with a 25% discount).
In addition to your subscription cost, Shopify charges a credit card rate (a small percentage fee taken from customer payments).
I’ve covered the cost of monthly billing below and credit card fees below:
Basic – $39 a month
- Create your online store.
- Get 24/7 email and live chat support.
- Basic reporting (covers page analytics, finances reports, product analytics, acquisition reports, inventory reports, behavior reports, and marketing reports)
- You can connect up to 1,000 inventory locations.
- POS integration
- You can register two staff accounts.
- A credit card fee – 2.9% + $0.30 per online transaction using Shopify’s native payment gateway (if you use a third-party gateway, you’ll be charged extra)
Shopify – $105 a month
Everything above, plus:
- Professional reporting (this adds tracking for order reports, sales reports, retail sales reports, profit reports, and customer reports into the mix.)
- You can register five staff accounts.
- Reduced credit card rates – 2.6% + $0.30 per online transaction using Shopify’s native payment gateway (if you use a third-party gateway, you’ll be charged extra)
Advanced – $399 a month
You get everything above, plus:
- Custom report building
- You can register 15 staff accounts.
- An 88% shipping discount
- Credit card fee – 2.4% + 30¢ per transaction using Shopify’s native payment gateway (if you use a third-party gateway, you’ll be charged extra)
Other fees: Depending on your Shopify plan, Shopify also charges variable credit card fees for in-person sales, 2.7% to 2.4%.
Once you’ve decided which plan works best, the next step is to design your site, set up your customer payments, add products, etc. I’ll cover the ins and outs of this below, but you can also follow Shopify’s starter guide to kick things off.
Integration: Basic steps
There are two main ways to integrate Amazon with a Shopify store:
- Via the Amazon Sales Channel (I.e., Shopify’s native integration)
- Via a third-party app
As it stands, Shopify only allows Amazon Marketplace accountholders in the US and Canada to use its built-in integration. If you aren’t located in these regions, you’ll need to use a third-party app, like Amazon FBA / MCF Shipping, SnapSync, or Order Automator.
Below we’ll take a look at both integration methods in turn:
Integration via the Amazon Sales Channel:
- Head to your Shopify dashboard
- On the right-hand side of your Shopify dashboard, you’ll see your sales channels; navigate to this tab.
- Click the ‘+’ button next to Sales channels.
- Select Amazon.
- This will redirect you to log into your Amazon seller account and connect it to your Shopify store.
Create or Link Your Amazon Listings
For Shopify to track the products you list on Amazon, you’ll need to follow these steps. First, if you’re a new seller with no products listed on Amazon, you’ll need to create a product listing page:
- Within your Shopify dashboard, head to your sales channels and open the Amazon sales channel.
- Select ‘Create listing.'
- You’ll now be able to browse your Shopify catalog and select the products you want to list on Amazon.
Alternatively, if you already have products listed on Amazon, you can skip those steps. Instead, you can find your existing products like this:
- Within your Shopify dashboard, head to your sales channels, and open the Amazon sales channel.
- Select ‘Link products.’
- This will bring up all your Amazon product listings.
- Browse through the listings and select the products you want to link to be able to track within your Shopify dashboard.
- Now click ‘link products.'
Manage Your Inventory
How you proceed from here depends on your inventory settings. You can either have Shopify automatically sync your inventory with Amazon or select “don’t track” so that your Amazon stock always appears full on your Shopify store.
Execute the following steps if you want to automatically sync your Shopify and Amazon inventory:
- From your Shopify dashboard, go to products, then inventory.
- Select the item or items you want to track.
- Under the inventory of the product, there’s a drop-down list allowing you to choose whether Shopify tracks this product or not.
Alternatively, If you want to manually set the stock quantity of an Amazon item in your Shopify inventory:
- Go to products, then inventory.
- Search for the product you wish to edit.
- You can change the quantity of an individual product by entering a new quality in the on-hand column or selecting multiple product variants, then selecting update quantities.
- When you click save, the new amounts will be updated accordingly in your Shopify inventory list.
Integration Using a Third-Party App
- Log into your Shopify account and go to the Shopify App Store.
- Type in or search for the Amazon fulfillment app you wish to use, then click ‘add app.'
- This will redirect you to your app dashboard, where you can connect the app to your Shopify account.
- Then, you’ll need to go into the app and connect your Amazon account.
*You’ll need to look at the app documentation to determine how to use your chosen third-party app.
Now that your inventory is synced, every time you receive a new order on Amazon, it will appear on your Shopify orders list. You can fulfill these orders simply by selecting them from your orders page. When you fulfill an Amazon order via Shopify, it automatically triggers fulfillment in your Amazon account.
Are You Ready to Start Using The Shopify-Amazon Integration?
Integrating Shopify and Amazon provides a powerful way for businesses to expand their reach. This integration can potentially increase sales and streamline your order and fulfillment processes. Additionally, with the ability to manage your Shopify and Amazon stores from one central location, this integration can save you tons of time while making operations management much more manageable.
But that’s enough from me – over to you, what do you make of the Shopify-Amazon integration? Will you be trying it? Let me know your thoughts in the comments box below!
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