5 Tips for Running Your Amazon Store as a Socially-Driven Seller
by Brady Burke
Last month, we shared our company’s story with you. Textbooks for Change is a company with a social mission. We collect textbooks from dropboxes and student drives and then we donate half of them to universities in sub-Saharan Africa. Twenty percent of the textbooks, however, are sold on Amazon. The eCommerce portion of our business is very important to us - it’s what keeps us going. So it’s very important that we maintain a great feedback score.
We’ve uncovered several things that help us succeed as Amazon sellers. Here they are.
Tip 1 – Branding Our Amazon Storefront
We want consumers browsing Amazon for textbooks to be drawn towards us as a seller. In the “About Seller” section, we include our social mission of providing affordable and accessible educational material. We also hope the “for Change” aspect of our name is fairly obvious to potential consumers!
Tip 2 – Include our Messaging in the Product
When we sell a textbook from our 4,000 sq ft warehouse, we include a small print insert that mentions our social messaging and encourages consumers to find out more. We’ve had people share these online with their followers and hope that it leads to more loyalty moving forward. It’s a small gesture, but an opportunity to interact with consumers more.
Tip 3 – Follow-up with FeedbackFive
FeedbackFive allows us to automatically solicit feedback from customers and encourage positive reviews of their experience. By following up with buyers, we’ve recently increased our Amazon seller rating to 99%. We also are able to share the social impact the buyer created. This has led to some awesome customer reviews on our page, which other Amazon consumers can read online. Since using FeedbackFive, we’ve noticed an increase in the number of customers who comment on the social mission.
Tip 4 - Targeting our Messaging Online
University and college students tend to buy textbooks during three key times: September, January, and May. Whenever students are looking to buy textbooks, we target our social media messaging to focus on our store. We make our messaging directly related to our value proposition: affordable textbooks that make an impact. Any opportunity to direct a potential consumer to our store is a good one!
Tip 5 – Amazon Best Practices
At the end of the day, we follow the same steps and best practices of every other Amazon merchant. We make sure to have the lowest price for the textbook and have customer service, too. Our team lives by the “prompt and pleasant” model for addressing customer issues. This has led to tons of positive feedback, and often being the first listed seller for textbooks we have in stock. Having a social cause is definitely a competitive advantage, but at the end of the day, we have to be able to be the best at every other category, as well.
About Textbooks for Change
Textbooks for Change is a social venture and B Corp that provides affordable and accessible educational material to students both locally and globally. They currently operate at 18 campuses and various Goodwill locations in Canada. Textbooks for Change has donated 50,000 textbooks to university campuses in East Africa, with a goal of sending 1 million textbooks in 5 years.
Originally published on January 12, 2016, updated May 9, 2019
This post is accurate as of the date of publication. Some features and information may have changed due to product updates or Amazon policy changes.