Amazon Merch on Demand 2023 Strategy
We’ve been there. We know. Despite all the best intentions of breaking out of gate and wanting to take over the merchandizing world, after a while issue upon issue can get even the most enthusiastic of us down. And it’s really in any walk of life; your author is also involved in the independent film production world and if you want to discuss jumping hurdles, there is no finer example. And like in that industry, the merch world can get us felling disillusioned pretty quickly. It feels sometimes as if we’re being set up to somehow fail. This should be fun, no? Yes, it’s hard work but fun with a positive payoff? Yes, it should be, and it can be. But to make the problems less monstrous, there are a few elephants in this very small room we need to talk about. So let’s just do that.
It has now gotten to the point where many sellers are experiencing an undeniable confidence problem. Their confidence in both Amazon and themselves has been severely and unhealthily damaged, and revenues being slow, listings not working, to sellers not being able to compete without purchasing expensive ads are all common complaints. Therefore, we have to be open and transparent about POD’s prospects as well as its risks and difficulties.
HOW TO GET EXCITED FOR ANOTHER YEAR: BACK TO THE BASICS
We go into this article assuming that you’re already starting to get a little burnt out, but there could be new people looking to their futures here, so let’s start with basic definitions. We are discussing today a print-on-demand service called Merch by Amazon, which enables designers to produce and market their own unique t-shirts, hoodies, and other clothing. Although the service offers designers a great chance to commercialize their creativity, there are also potential difficulties that they may run into. But please keep in mind that the point of this is not to discourage anyone; rather, it’s to expose the realities of the situation so we don’t get blindsided by them as we are on our journey.
To start with, the most obvious one: we’re not the only ones out there doing this. We do not live in a vacuum where people are seeking us out exclusively. The competition is sometimes overwhelming to look at, and a lot of designers are battling for sales on the same products and categories on the marketplace, which is beyond competitive. This implies that it can be difficult for new designers to get traction and create revenue. And yes, this is sometimes the reality. Especially if you are looking to make something not that unique or in a commonly-used medium. You could spend days creating designs and doing SEO on items that dozens of others are already selling out of. If you’re not right on top of all of that, this will be your fate.
It could also be that our expectations are just too high. No, Amazon is not perfect, and nothing is. But blaming that system when the fault might be somewhere else is just counterproductive. Amazon helps sellers a lot. They provide you with a free spot in their massive online marketplace. Each of your designs get priceless online space on their website, they then take orders from your clients, print your creations are printed on merchandise, handle all the payments, and then even deliver your goods and take returns from customers. They reimburse you each month. And Amazon wants us to generate sales. Both they and their clients gain from it, so low-selling items are the last things they want. Their evaluation procedures and algorithms are becoming more sophisticated. And as more designers sign up for the platform the market will become even saturated, making it more difficult for designers to stand out and generate sales.
The biggest elephant we’re looking at is the fact that the majority of sellers are producing designs that are unoriginal rip-offs of items that are widely available for purchase. One of Merch by Amazon’s largest potential issues is the possibility of infringing upon designs. A designer may experience legal repercussions if they produce a design that is too similar to one that is already protected by a trademark or copyright. Merch by Amazon has strong policies regarding trademark and copyright infringement. By breaking these guidelines, designers run the risk of having their designs taken off the platform and, in some situations, losing their entire account.
There is also the issue of varying product quality. Designers may experience problems with product quality because they don’t physically handle the products or oversee the production process. Customers may obtain low-quality products if the printing or shipping procedure is poor, which could result in bad reviews and lost revenue. Native prominence for bad designs or offerings that are repetitive, subpar, or too identical to what is currently widely available will decrease over time. But since we are the ones actually designing these items, it really is our responsibility as creators to improve. We can’t expect Amazon to suddenly increase customer appeal for poor designs.
When it comes to advertising and getting involved with that, it cannot be denied that Amazon has numerous indexing problems. It has always been a rare issue, but for certain people these days it is a significant one. But does this really damage our efforts? No, not really. You still have a live product on Amazon if the indexing issue isn’t fixed quickly or in reaction to an email to their tech team. There is no reason why your brand shouldn’t also have an Instagram, Pinterest, or Facebook page directing people to your listing if you’ve created a niche-focused brand under which several products are offered. Sales can be sparked and your design’s exposure issue can be resolved with a few sales and reviews. While running ads can help you get much needed exposure, they are not mandatory for success on Merch By Amazon.
As we said, nothing’s perfect. But this is as good a platform to succeed on as any, and far better than some. Despite the fact that struggling sellers today might not agree, it is hard to argue the point that there has never been a better moment than now to launch and expand a Merch By Amazon company. Come and join us, and do not be afraid.