What 2,500+ Sellers Have To Say About The Future Of Their Business: Amazon Seller Survey Results


Thousands of successful businesses have been built upon the Amazon seller marketplace, with more and more entrepreneurs seizing the opportunity and moving into eCommerce.

I was one of these people and have since built a suite of software tools that help people overcome the very frustrations I had when it came to finding the right products to sell and managing a thriving Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA) business.

We have such a wonderful and growing community of Amazon sellers and those who will become sellers in the near future. I simply couldn’t pass up the opportunity to survey this community to find out what the future holds for Amazon sellers!

Insights From 2,500+ Sellers

The main purpose of this survey was to find out how Amazon sellers felt right now, in 2017, about their businesses and what they were looking forward to in the future. On top of that, we asked questions about:

  • what business models sellers were using,
  • what growth tactics were working for them,
  • and much more.

Then, I asked our super smart data analyst, Ellis Whitehead, to help make sense of the results. With almost 3,000 sellers responding, it was an amazing opportunity to get a deeper understanding of what helped the top sellers succeed.

Here’s What We Found Out

At the bottom of this post is the full infographic of the 2017 Amazon Seller Survey results with all of the data presented beautifully before your eyes…


Before you read that, here are some of the salient points that caught my attention. These data-backed insights are essential for any existing or aspiring Amazon sellers!

1. Starting Sooner is key…

The longer your business is running, the more successful it will be. So if you get started ASAP, you can start building your base right away. In the survey, we saw that by 18 months, 50% of sellers reported 10k in monthly revenue.  

2. …and starting small is OK

Don’t think that you must have a large upfront investment to get started. We discovered that, in the long run, your initial investment isn’t indicative of your long-term profits. So, leading back to point one, the key is to get started as soon as possible.

3. One of the best ways to scale is to sell more products

Increasing the number of products you sell was the clear winner among ways to increase your profits. The sweet spot was to scale to 10 products in total. This means that you should continue to find new products to sell once you get past that first launch hurdle.

4. Expanding into other markets is the next best way to grow

After launching more products, expanding into other international Amazon marketplaces had the next greatest impact on the profits of those surveyed.

Another way to expand into other markets would be to expand your platforms, such as getting your own standalone eCommerce website. This is more of a long-term return on investment, but it can be a route to branch out into alternative revenue streams.

5. Combining (some) business models is beneficial

Businesses that followed one or more of the private label, invention or wholesale business models performed better overall.

Comparatively, mixing arbitrage and managing your own fulfillment with other business models proved to be too complicated and time-consuming.

Types of Business Models for Amazon Sellers

Private Label Invention Wholesale Arbitrage
The private label model involves sourcing and importing products from a manufacturer with your own brand label. Usually, this will be an existing product with high demand that you will seek to improve. This also means that you won’t be competing for the Buy Box on Amazon as you will be the only seller with this branded item. The invention model is similar to private label except that you have invented your own product. Some inventors manufacture products themselves while others simply own the rights to the design of their product. Selling wholesale means that you purchase items directly from the manufacturer or brand owner and then sell them as a verified reseller on Amazon. Wholesale sellers will be competing with other sellers for the Buy Box. Retail or online arbitrage involves sourcing products at high discounts from retail stores, physical or online, and selling them at a profit on Amazon. This involves a lot of manual work and, often, sellers take the Fulfilled By Merchant (FBM) route, making it difficult to scale.

What’s Next?

I can’t stress enough how important Tip #1 is. I, for one, can vouch for the importance of starting sooner both from personal experience and from speaking with my network of sellers.

The reason so many people falter at the start is because getting started is the hardest part. You need to:  

  • Find your product idea,
  • Source it,
  • Get your product listing optimized, and
  • Maintain that momentum.

Here’s the thing: you can do this, and you can do it well.

You can follow in the footsteps of successful sellers before you and use the same playbook of strategies to ensure success. My best advice would be to follow along with the Million Dollar Case Study. We’re giving a fully transparent, over-the-shoulder view of what it takes to sell $1 million dollars worth of product, and you can join in at every step of this journey.

Full Results From The Survey

Infographic Source: Jungle Scout

Greg Mercer Jungle Scout Profile

Author Bio

Greg Mercer is an Amazon Data Nerd & Founder and CEO of Jungle Scout, Jump Send, Splitly & Fetcher. He loves all things FBA. Tweet him @mercer_greg

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