If Amazon Sellers are fish, then Amazon itself is Poseidon, Greek god of the sea. We swim in its waters trying to get by but we are always subjected to the torrential whims of the ocean.

And can we do anything about it? No. Because no fish army can stand against the will of Poseidon.

I had some fun with that analogy. But the point is clear: as Amazon Sellers we are merely fish swimming in Amazon’s waters.

That can be a scary thing to think about. There are plenty of sellers that stake their entire lives on becoming successful with their Amazon stores and any shift of the playing field could bring their hopes, dreams (and even lives) crashing down in an instant.

If you haven’t already experienced what I’m talking about. Amazon has historically made (and continues to make) spontaneous changes to their terms of service that can jeopardize the businesses of their sellers.

What sellers were doing one way that was bringing in sales is now illegal, according to Amazon. Just like the banning of incentivized reviews in October 2016, for example.

So what are we sellers to do?! If we can’t do anything about it, how can we at least stay one step ahead?

Changes In The Waters

Well first of all, it’s not as scary as you might think. You should start by looking at things from Amazon’s perspective. The number one thing they care about most is the customer experience.

…Which you should too! Obviously.

But you’ll need to position yourself so that when Amazon makes changes like these, you’ll have no reason to panic.  

The best way to go about doing that, is to diversify your product line.

When Amazon makes it’s TOS changes, certain product niches can be affected more than others. For example, Jungle Scout did a study on the effects of a TOS change on different product categories. It breaks down the data of what percentage of product categories lost the most reviews when Amazon banned incentivized reviews on that fateful day…

But I digress, let’s talk more in depth on why diversification of products is the key to longevity in the Amazon selling game.

Gear Up For Competition

It’s no secret that the Amazon space is fiercely competitive. Something like a thousand new Amazon Sellers pop up every day.

Remember my “fish in the sea” analogy from earlier? That also includes sharks, giant squids, giant sea dragons, whatever other intimidating metaphor you could think of to describe the varying sizes of Sellers that you are sharing the waters with.

The point is, your competition should never, EVER, be ignored.

If you happen to occupy a specific product category and you’re doing pretty well, it’s only a matter of time before your place in that category is challenged by someone else.

Of course, it’s important to maintain your position in the face of competition, but it’s also important to be smart and have contingencies. Again, this is where diversification comes in.

So, have different product niches under your belt. I personally have 8 different Amazon stores with different products mainly for this reason.

Going Global!

In addition to diversifying your product categories, you should also consider diversifying your marketplaces within Amazon as well.

There are a tremendous amount of benefits to expanding to a global marketplace. Plus it makes logical sense that casting a wider net will bring in a higher percentage of sales.

But you should also definitely do your research and find out if these different marketplaces have demand for what you’re selling (or going to start selling).

If you currently sell in the US, start looking at European marketplaces to see if there are similarities in consumer behavior. The Chinese and Indian marketplaces are also great places to scope out demand.

And if the products you currently sell don’t seem that profitable in other countries, it’s time to add more and different products to the portfolio.

There is a lot of life-changing opportunity to be found with selling on Amazon. But it’s not an easy, or straightforward journey.

As a Seller, you have think of yourself like Indiana Jones braving the perils of the Temple Of Doom. In order to make it out alive, you have to be cunning and intuitive. Diversification is a major player in you staying one step ahead.

That’s the key to outlasting the storm of Amazon’s spontaneous TOS changes. It highly increases your odds of handling competition. And it’s an invitation to marketing your products (and making new ones) to different parts of the world.

I’ve been trying to avoid saying this for the entirety of this blog because everyone else says it, but I can’t deny how spot on it is: at the end of the day, don’t put all your eggs in one basket.

There, I said it. Now start exploring ways that you can diversify your Amazon store and make them a top priority if you are playing the long-game like I am!