Shopify and Amazon are two of the biggest and most popular platforms for ecommerce today. While they could be considered competitors, the unique benefits of each mean you can definitely utilize both for your business.
There’s no need to choose just one – there are clear advantages to setting up an integration between Amazon and Shopify and operating multiple sales channels. If you’re only selling on one channel at this time, it doesn’t take too much to expand and launch on the other.
This article will look at how to expand to Amazon or Shopify, and the best ways to set up an Amazon Shopify integration.
Why Start Selling on Shopify?
Selling on Amazon is great, but it’s risky. If it’s your only sales channel, you’re putting all your eggs in one basket. A basket that can easily disappear if you get suspended, new competition pops up, or for some other reason lose visibility.
As well as providing a safety net should things go wrong, adding another sales channel means more potential customers.
As of October 2019, there were more than 1 million merchants selling on Shopify. That’s because it’s the simplest way for someone to launch an online store, that they control.
There are more ways to build an ecommerce or dropshipping site, like Magento or WooCommerce, but there’s more of a learning curve than with Shopify.
Marketplaces like Amazon, eBay and Walmart are easier to get set up and start selling. But you don’t have the same control over your store and your audience.
I wouldn’t advocate choosing Shopify instead of Amazon. Amazon’s customer base and name recognition are too valuable. But, as your business scales, it makes sense to add more sales channels and start reaping the benefits of both Amazon and Shopify.
How to Sell Your Amazon Products on Shopify
Launching on Shopify from Amazon is not too big an undertaking, thankfully. You’ve done the hard part of sourcing and getting stock you can sell for decent margins. What’s left is to set up your store, decide how you’re going to fulfill orders, and how you’re going to get more traffic.
To start with, there are a couple of options for how you can store and ship orders on your Shopify site: using Amazon’s fulfillment network or setting up your own.
Method One: Sell With Amazon FBA
If you’re already selling with Amazon FBA, the easiest way to start selling on Shopify is to fulfill orders with Amazon’s Multi-Channel Fulfillment program.
This simplifies your inventory management a lot. You don’t need to worry about how much of your sales are coming from each channel when you send in stock. If you’re starting out on your own store, you can fulfill orders without needing a lot of inventory sitting around gathering dust.
You can use Multi-Channel Fulfillment by manually creating a fulfillment order from Seller Central when you have a sale on your Shopify store. You can also automate this with an Amazon/Shopify integration app.
MCF is an efficient solution for handling inventory when you don’t expect to sell many units on Shopify. The cons are that it is quite expensive, and your off-Amazon sales will be shipped in Amazon-branded boxes. When you scale, you’ll definitely want to look towards another fulfillment solution, to cut down on costs.
Method Two: Third-Party Fulfillment
A cheaper solution, better in the long-run, is to use a 3PL (third-party logistics) company. Many companies offer fulfillment services, often significantly cheaper than Amazon FBA.
Shopify is also preparing to launch its own fulfillment network, further rivaling Amazon & Amazon FBA.
You can either use separate fulfillment channels for different sales channels (i.e one for Shopify, while keeping your Amazon stock in Amazon FBA), or manage all your stock from the third-party network and sell FBM (fulfilled by merchant) on Amazon.
The latter is efficient in terms of managing inventory, but you’ll miss out on the benefits FBA provides.
Setting Up Your Shopify Site
Here’s how to go about setting up a Shopify store.
- Sign up for Shopify – you’ll need an account to keep your Shopify store running, which starts at $29 per month.
- Get a domain name – you can sell on a Shopify store without a custom domain (your store URL will be [yourstore].myshopify.com), but you want to use the opportunity to push your branding with your own branded URL. You can buy a domain through Shopify, or from sites like domain.com or GoDaddy.
- Choose a theme – one of the big advantages of selling on Shopify is that you can make your store appear just how you want it. The Shopify theme store has a ton of free and paid themes you can use to customize the look of your store, even if you don’t have any coding skills.
- Customize your theme – you’ll want to set up things like color schemes, fonts, logos and more to make the store your own, and push your brand’s image.
Setting Up an Amazon Shopify Integration
Syncing your two stores will save time and increase efficiency. An Amazon Shopify integration app can copy and migrate listings from Amazon to Shopify, sync your inventory, and automatically fulfill orders with Amazon MCF.
Shopify has an official Amazon-Shopify integration app in their app store. The app is free – however, it has some pretty bad reviews, and it’s only applicable for Amazon US and CA.
Alternatively, there are a number of third-party apps which are better reviewed, and do the same job. They’ll sync details such as inventory and pricing across your channels (most include eBay and/or Walmart as well), and allow you to quickly duplicate listings on new stores.
A few examples are:
- Codisto (4.7 stars on the app store)
- Xpert Importer (4.8 stars)
- Magnalister (4.3 stars)
- Connectr for Amazon Sellers (4.8 stars)
The best Amazon Shopify integration app is likely one of the above, rather than the official Shopify app, based on the feedback we’ve seen in the appstore. You could also set up an integration with Zapier to keep some information synced between the two channels.
Driving Traffic to Your Store
The biggest difference between running an Amazon store and a Shopify store is traffic.
With Amazon, it’s possible to get traffic (and as a result, sales) passively once you’re ranking high for a few keywords. Shopify, however, doesn’t have a marketplace and an audience as Amazon does. You’ve got to go out and get customers by yourself.
The most common way to get in front of customers for ecommerce sellers is Facebook Ads. You can also use Google Shopping ads, Google Adwords, or other social media platforms (Pinterest, for example).
We have a free video course on running Facebook Ads to Amazon, and the principles are mostly the same for running ads to your Shopify store.
It is possible to get passive traffic to your store too, through Google SEO. This is a bit more complex and competitive though. It usually takes a lot of time to build up the assets you need to rank in google.
For some niches you may be able to implement good SEO practices on your product pages and have them show up in Google SEO. For others, you may have to write long-form blog posts and build external links in order to get organic traffic.
For more on ecommerce SEO, check out these resources:
Affiliate marketing is another way to get semi-passive traffic to your store. It’s one of the reasons Amazon is so big (the Amazon Associates program). Setting up an affiliate program for your store can boost your sales by letting other people do the hard promotion work for you.
Shopify to Amazon: Why Launch on Amazon?
We’ve covered the reasons for Amazon sellers to launch on Shopify, but how about the other way?
While increased control and lower fees make Shopify attractive, it makes a lot of sense for Shopify store owners to launch products on Amazon as well.
49% of consumers’ first product searches take place on Amazon. That means half the time when someone thinks about buying a product online, they look for it on Amazon first. That results in over 197 million people visiting Amazon.com every month.
If you’re not on Amazon, you’re ignoring all these potential customers.
What’s more, people on Amazon are geared up and ready to buy. Amazon products have an average conversion rate of 13% for non-Prime buyers, and 74% for Amazon Prime members.
In comparison, the average conversion rate for all ecommerce stores and platforms hovers around 3%. That just goes to show the power that the Amazon name carries today.
Finally, it’s just easier to sell on Amazon. There’s so much that they handle for you, running an Amazon store takes significantly fewer man-hours than a standalone ecommerce site. The impact that has on your business can’t be understated.
You don’t have to choose one or the other – many sellers operate on both Amazon and Shopify. But it’s smart to at least have a presence on Amazon.
How to Set Up Your Amazon Store
Luckily, if you’ve got a Shopify store, you’re really well placed to launch on Amazon. If you’ve been selling for a while, you’ve probably got a product (or products) that people like and want to buy, and you’ll likely have some assets that help you get your Amazon store rolling.
There are a few things you need to get used to when selling on Amazon rather than your own store. Once you get these down, you’ll have a multi-channel ecommerce empire brewing.
Get to Know Amazon’s Rules
One of the biggest concerns for Amazon sellers is the knowledge that Amazon can shut your store down at a moment’s notice if you break the rules.
The reason Amazon has so many loyal customers is the weight their brand name carries. Amazon puts a huge priority on maintaining customer satisfaction. So when Amazon sellers do something that inconveniences customers, Amazon is quick and merciless in action.
This includes violating product listing policies, incentivizing reviews, and selling faulty or misleading products.
Amazon’s rules on product reviews are particularly strict. Doing anything to incentivize someone to leave a review on Amazon (even an honest review) is a big no-no. As is leading people to leave favorable reviews by using suggestive wording when you ask.
Make sure you familiarize yourself with everything you can and can’t do when selling on Amazon, so you don’t wake up one day to find your listings suppressed or your account suspended.
List Your Products & Optimize Your Listings
You’ll have to transfer your products listed on Shopify over to Amazon. You can do this pretty quickly with an Amazon Shopify integration app. However, you’ll need to make some changes to your product listings to optimize them for Amazon SEO.
It’s vital on Amazon that you optimize your listings to show up for as many keywords with high search volume as possible. This is the “Golden Goose” of Amazon. Showing up in search results and getting sales, basically without doing anything.
Use a tool like Jungle Scout or Helium10 to research search terms related to your products. Give the most important real estate (your title, bullets and description, in that order) to keywords with the highest volume and most relevance. Then try and fit as many long-tail keyword variations as you can into the rest of the listing.
All the while, make sure you maintain readability and copy that convinces people to buy.
Apply for Brand Registry
Amazon is moving more towards brands, rather than nameless whitelabel sellers. This means it’s definitely to your advantage to do this, and enroll your brand in Brand Registry.
There are a few really good features they offer that are only available to brand registered sellers, such as Amazon Storefronts, Enhanced Brand Content (or A+ Content) and Sponsored Brands ads.
Brand Registry also helps you protect your products against counterfeiters. Bad actors can damage your brand name and product listings easily, if you’re not prepared.
Make Your Products Prime-Eligible
One of the reasons Amazon is ahead of all the other ecommerce platforms today is Amazon Prime. Shoppers love free, fast shipping, and they get it with Amazon Prime. The shiny Prime badge on your listing is a valuable piece of social proof, and pretty much guaranteed to increase conversions.
What’s more, since Amazon knows that customers are more likely to buy a product if it’s Prime-eligible, they actively rank these products higher.
If you use Amazon FBA, they’ll automatically be Prime-eligible. Otherwise, if you’d prefer to ship from a 3PL, apply to sell with Seller-Fulfilled Prime so you can get the advantages that Prime affords.
Rank Your Products
Finally, the huge advantage of selling on Amazon, versus a self-sustained platform like Shopify, is their search platform. Around half of all online product searches start on Amazon. That’s even more than this pretty big search engine called “Google”.
So, succeeding or failing on Amazon is mostly down to whether you’re able to get your products to show up in the search results. While there are many factors that go into ranking, including keyword relevancy, it’s widely accepted that sales velocity plays a huge part.
Essentially, the products that show up at the top of the SERPs are the ones that sell a lot.
To rank your products and ensure they get visibility, you first need to get a lot of sales.
This is a tricky spot for new Amazon sellers. You need visibility to get sales, but you need sales to get visibility. But as a Shopify seller, you’re well-positioned to launch products successfully.
You should already have processes in place to drive traffic to your store – all you need to do is alter this to send traffic to Amazon instead.
You may also have an extensive email list of past customers from your Shopify store, which you can use to launch Amazon products or create Facebook lookalike audiences.
Bottom line, you’ve got a serious competitive advantage as a Shopify seller over anyone else trying to launch on Amazon. This allows you to get off the ground on Amazon with a running start.
In Summary – Shopify Amazon Integration, Done Right
A lot of people ask which is best – Shopify or Amazon?
The fact is, you can (and probably should) run your business on both platforms simultaneously. And to do this successfully, you’ll want to integrate your sales channels.
Luckily there are many who have come before you to do just this. It’s quite easy to set up an Amazon Shopify integration that will greatly simplify your business.
Strengthen your business with multiple sales channels, and watch it grow into an e-commerce empire.