Estimated read time: 9 minutes
You know my love of livestreaming my podcast episodes! It’s a wonderful way to maximize each recording. Another way to livestream that I incorporate is the Amazon live streaming platform. Yup, you can now go live on Amazon and basically produce your own infomercial.
Like with any new platform there’s always something new to learn and it’s an ongoing process. I share what I’ve learned since I started going live on Amazon in November 2020 in this article.
Jim Fuhs and Chris Stone went live on Amazon Live 2-3 times a week with their show and shared their strategies with us in this livestream of the Business Storytelling Podcast.
Here’s an example of my latest lives. As I mentioned on the podcast episode discussing the Amazon live streaming platform, the videos can’t be embedded on websites (yet). Amazon Live displays the streams based on your influencer level. The higher, the more people see it.
For example, your livestream could be highlighted on the product pages of the items that you’re talking about. That can help you get more viewers as people who are currently shopping for those items see the live.
Are you a brand and want to work with me? Check my Amazon Live metrics
How to start with the Amazon Live Streaming Platform
Simply to go Amazon.com/influencer and sign up for an account. There are a couple of other seller ways as well, but this is the way I signed up. That account ties to your Affiliate Marketing Account with Amazon.
From your mobile device – iPad or iPhone – download the Amazon Live app. Sign into the app and start creating your livestream by picking products to talk about.
You can also stream via Switcher Studio. In the Amazon Live app simply pick external camera to do that.
Click the plus sign to get started.
Then add products. You can simple search Amazon.
From there you can search Amazon and add products to your stream.
Once live, you can highlight them as you talk and they show up at the bottom for viewers to click:
Afterwards Amazon gives you details on what – if anything – was bought, how long people watched, etc.
Using Switcher Studio on Amazon Live
In this video, I discuss how I use Switcher Studio specifically to stream to Amazon. Using a third-party platform makes the videos look nicer in my opinion then just streaming from the app.
Adding products to your Amazon Live while on-air
It’s also possible to add products to your livestream while you are live. There are two ways:
Add products in the chat
You can simply copy and paste the product’s Amazon URL into the chat. Here’s how that looks. Make sure to grab the full one. Not the shortened one. And grab your affiliate link.
Add product to carousal
To add a product to the carousal while live, simply open the Amazon Live Creator app on a second iOS device. Join the stream and then click on ADD product and then either add products from your shop, which will be the first screen, or search all of Amazon like you normally would.
What products to highlight on Amazon Live
Highlight the products that you have experience using. For example, on my podcast livestreams, I add books from me and the guests if they have any and the equipment I use and show on the screen.
In essence, I’m showing off the products I use while also livestreaming and recording a podcast.
I demonstrated my robot vacuum cleaner cam before and that drew 10,000 viewers. I place my iPhone on a small tripod on top of the cleaner and it drives around the house. Then I answered questions and talked about the product.
I also have done a stream of my office setup.
Keep in mind that Amazon wants you to be interactive so you do have to be talking about related topics to the products in your carousel.
I’ve also done an unboxing live on air.
There are certainly many other ideas on how you can create an interesting Amazon Live. These are some that worked for me and the audience seems to enjoy them and keeps showing up.
Amazon Live’s new rule on what products can be displayed
In October 2021, Amazon changed the terms as follows:
Insiders must have 75 percent of items in their carousal physically on hand or in video b-roll using the products.
So that means that you can’t just talk about the latest deals, unless you have those deals in hand. A number of influencers would just talk through products on Amazon on their streams while not owning or having the product to use. This update prohibits that practice now.
Participate in shopping events and deals
I’ve had a lot of success participating in Prime Day and with Lightning Deals. On these shows basically I talk about the deals of the day and products that are currently being highlighted by Amazon. There is a variety of ways to find them and often they are on the Amazon homepage. Another way is to go to the deals section and then sort by the different categories.
The trick on these shows is that you want to talk about things that are relevant related to the products that are currently on sale. With the terms update mentioned above, you must have the product on-hand to participate!
Adding Amazon Live followers and moving to A-List
Amazon Live has a number of requirements to move up levels. Each level helps put your show in more prominent places on Amazon. The requirement to move from Insider to A-List recently changed and now includes a minimum follower count:
I was on track to meet the requirements for A-List, which were to stream 1,000 minutes and sell over $5,000. Then Amazon changed the requirement to followers. Following Amazon Live accounts is a bit hidden so I wanted to consider and share some strategies to grow my followers. I discuss strategies in the video below and they include:
- On-screen graphic to encourage following
- Verbally invite people
- Promote where people can follow off-channel
- I added a bit.ly and put a popup on this site to drive following as well
- Ask guests to share and invite people to follow
Adding products to Amazon
You can also talk about your own products, which leads me to the next section on how to add products to Amazon. These are the strategies I’ve used before as a small business person. There certainly are other ways as well.
There are few ways you can add products to Amazon. I’ve self-published my books and added them via Kindle Direct Publishing.
You can also create merchandise and add that. For example, I added merch for my book and in 2020 created a 1-star review t-shirt.
The year 2020 was something:
- An inland hurricane type storm (officially called a derecho) hit our county
- Other mystery, including impact on business all around
To say the least, I would give 2020 a 1-star rating if it was a business. So I promptly tweeted and Instagrammed my review.
Terrible customer experience. Nonstop. Would not recommend.
I then turned it into a T-shirt that you can buy in a handful of sizes and 10 colors on Amazon.
I thought it was a fun idea while being creative and on brand. So how do you sell a T-shirt – or other merchandise – on Amazon?
Let’s dive in. I did this entire process from my iPad.
Selling merchandise on Amazon
The easiest way for creators like me who create T-shirts once in a while is to use Merch.Amazon.com
To get started, head on over to merch.amazon.com and apply for an account.
Once approved you can pick a number of products for your designs like:
- Sock pockets
- Tank tops
I’m surprised you can’t submit a face mask design yet, given that many around the globe now wear face masks due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Read next: Should your brand create branded face masks?
You can submit one product per day and have a certain number of submissions available to you. Products can be published to Amazon in the US, UK, Germany and France.
This is where the interface gets tricky. You can only submit one per day, but a bunch of products are checked by default. Just go into “select products” and uncheck all but one.
The publish button is greyed out until the unchecking has happened. Once you click publish the product is submitted
How to design your Amazon merch
Certainly many design programs and a good designer will do the trick.
Be sure you know what the specific dimensions are for the specific product you want to choose.
I use Canva – the pro version (~$12/month) – which allows me to do simple design on their web-based platform. I’m not a designer by trade but Canva helps me do some design myself.
I first created this for Instagram:
- I picked the Instagram template
- Added a background
- Picked a template text and changed it to 2020
- Then added more text
- Found a gold star (under elements) and one unfilled star that looked similar
- Then sized the stars and aligned them
- Added URL for branding
Super easy. For Instagram it’s okay to export as a jpeg. That doesn’t work for Amazon Merch where you need a higher-resolution png.
Resizing my Instagram post was super easy, using the resize function.
Then just save as a png and upload into Merch for Amazon.
Amazon merch revenue
Of course creating products that people might enjoy is only half the battle. Now you have to promote it and get it in front of people. ￼
How much money would you make on a $19.99 T-shirt? Just under $4 is the royalty Amazon currently pays.￼
But following my process above the production cost is also relatively low. There’s some time involved.
On books you also make a portion of the total cut. A little bit more on Kindle versions as Amazon takes less out to cover production and shipping.
Recommend Amazon Live?
I’m definitely on-board. I’ve sold over $500,000 of merchandise just by going live for a few months. Especially when I make it part of my multi-channel livestream it’s worth trying.