Giants like Amazon, Facebook or Google, have made getting your product into the hands of customers more attainable than ever.  

So why are so many sellers working around them, and not with them?

I quickly came to see these platforms as partners in business, knowing that they want to make your product successful as much as you do--then, everyone wins.

Instead of asking myself how I could use the platform to catapult my product to success, I began to think, "What can I do to make them more money?"

In essence, here's where my mindset shifted: I am not doing business on these platforms, I am doing business with them.  

The sooner you make this mind shift on how you approach e-commerce business, the more success everyone will have. Here's how:

1. Realize that their customers are your customers.

The overwhelming majority of consumers express leaving a service or product due to poor customer experience.  With this in mind, make buying your product on Amazon effortless for all customers, because when people enjoy the experience, they are willing to return to buy your product--through Amazon.

There was a period of time at the beginning of business when we had a product quality issue which resulted in an influx of return requests.  Instead of simply providing customers with a refund, we also sent them a full replacement and included additional freebies along with it. It's safe to say, we went above and beyond, which helped customers return, not only to us--but also to Amazon.  

Focus resources and energy into providing incredible customer support through Amazon.  Reply to reviews and reach out to customers through the platform for their input and ideas.

When a customer receives an experience like this, they will have instilled trust in your brand, and also the platform they are buying from.  

2. Play by the rules-- so you both win.

If you try to get an edge on the platform, by creating content that is clickbaity, sharing fake news or listing fraudulent reviews, you will be manipulating their customers and ultimately building a sense of mistrust.  This negative impact on the perception and value of the platform will lead to them losing customers, and you better believe your business will not be welcomed in the future.

As "they" say, if you want to go fast, go alone.  But if you want to go far, go together. It is of the utmost importance you collaborate by honoring the rules.

Cutting corners and breaking the rules on a selling platform may get you a spurt of success, but that isn't going to sustain you for long term growth.  I have never sought out 15 minutes of fame! Instead, the focus has been on building a lifetime of growth and success, always keeping the long term goals in mind.  

I have been selling on the Amazon platform for over four years and only been kicked out of the system for less than a day due to a glitch.  Believe me when I tell you that this was painful enough. Imagining the profit loss that businesses take for getting caught doing illegal actions has to be detrimental to their overall profit.  

3. Create a loop of building assets.

It's a simple system-- the more products you sell, the more money Amazon makes, and the more they are willing to support you.  In turn, the more support Amazon provides, the more you will sell.

Our business foundation has been rooted in doing right by the customer and providing the best online service possible.  Amazon took notice in this and made us a preferred partner, which skyrocketed our selling capabilities and audience reach.

Start to look at every decision you make through the lens of respectful partnership, you will make decisions form a more intelligent place and your company will stand the test of time.  This is how I have always looked at these platforms to create lasting success--and I believe that you will have it, too.

Published on: Jun 20, 2019
The opinions expressed here by Inc.com columnists are their own, not those of Inc.com.