As Amazon continues to dominate the e-commerce marketplace, selling products on Amazon continues to be one of the most lucrative opportunities for companies in all industries. If your goal is to carve out a piece of the e-commerce pie via Amazon, you’ll have an important decision to make right out of the gate: Amazon Vendor Central or Amazon Seller Central.
In this article, we’ll take a detailed look at both of these platforms and help you decide which one is the best fit for your business.
Seller Central Vs Vendor Central – Pros and Cons
In the simplest possible terms, there is one key difference between Amazon sellers and Amazon vendors. Sellers sell their products directly to consumers, while vendors sell their products to Amazon (who then resells them to consumers on the site).
With Prime Day right around the corner, you’ll want to make a decision soon. While this difference is easy enough to understand, there are several pros and cons that go along with both platforms. These must be taken into account in order to make an informed decision.
Pros – Vendor Central:
Brand Recognition – Since these products are sold directly from Amazon, they’re also more likely to inspire consumer confidence, increasing your probability of making a sale.
Prime Eligibility – Products sold by Amazon through Vendor Central are automatically eligible for Amazon Prime.
Marketing Tools – Vendors using Vendor Central have access to Amazon Marketing Services, meaning they have more tools to market their products compared to Seller Central.
Fewer Headaches – Vendors selling products directly to Amazon don’t have to manage the shipping or customer service. They simply deliver their products to Amazon, market those products accordingly, and leave rest to Amazon.
Cons – Vendor Central:
Control Over Pricing – Since your products are technically being sold by Amazon, Amazon holds all of the power when it comes to setting prices. As a result, vendors may not always be satisfied with the price that Amazon chooses.
Barriers to Entry – Amazon accepts vendors by invitation only. On top of that, they are currently sending out fewer invites than ever before. Even if you decide that Amazon Vendor Central is right for your business, acceptance into this program is no guarantee.
Concerns with Logistics – Amazon demands a lot out of their vendors, and maintaining sufficient inventory on-hand can often be a logistical nightmare.
Pros – Seller Central:
More Control – With Amazon Seller Central, you control every aspect of your product, including its pricing and how it is displayed on the site.
Better Analytics – With Seller Central, customers have access to more analytics from Amazon. This paints a much better picture of how well your products are performing and can be incredibly valuable for shaping your marketing strategies.
Anyone can Join – While vendors are accepted into Amazon Vendor Central by invitation only, the Amazon Seller Central program is open for anyone to join at any time.
Cons – Seller Central:
Products are not Labeled as “Sold by Amazon” – Since products that are sold by Amazon inspire consumer confidence, Amazon sellers typically see fewer sales than Amazon vendors. In addition to that, products from sellers aren’t automatically Prime eligible.
More Responsibilities – With great freedom comes great responsibility. As a result, Amazon sellers are responsible for shipping individual products, handling returns, and addressing customer complaints.
So, Which One Should I Choose?
Both Amazon Seller Central and Amazon Vendor Central come with a number of advantages and disadvantages that must be considered carefully prior to making an informed decision for your business. Ultimately, though, the best choice will depend on the unique requirements and goals of your business.
Retail Bloom offers a wide variety of services to help businesses navigate through the numerous obstacles that sellers encounter on Amazon. If you would like assistance choosing which program is best for your business, contact us today to schedule a consultation.
It’s no secret. Prime Day is a huge opportunity to capitalize on Amazon traffic — and the proof is in the numbers.
This July, Prime Day is expected to attract over 4 million customers (!) and generate more than $4 billion in sales(!!). In fact, 31% of all consumers anticipate making some sort of purchase on Prime Day.
Trust us. You want to get a piece of this. Fortunately, you’ve got the time to tweak your listings so you can find success on Amazon’s biggest holiday. Given the volume of traffic expected on Prime Day, even the smallest adjustments can earn you major wins. Even if Amazon has been tricky for you to navigate in the past, there are several main starting points for you to optimize your product pages.
Follow these tips, and you’ll be well on your way to a successful Prime Day selling experience:
1.) Titles are Key.
Given the volume of shopper traffic on Prime Day, you’ll want to make sure your titles are crisp, clean, and descriptive. It’s crucial that your products make a strong first impression. Otherwise, shoppers will breeze right by. Keep in mind: a huge portion of shoppers won’t be on their computers. Instead, they will opt to scan for deals on their smartphones or tablets. Catching the eyes of potential consumers is everything.
2.) Optimize, Optimize, Optimize.
Take a deep dive into your ad campaigns by utilizing a wide array of keywords. These keywords should relevant and similar to products shoppers are looking for. Remember, industry terms mean nothing if they don’t align with the searches and lingo used by consumers. Keep this in mind. Now’s the time to adjust your keyword bids based on demand and performance.
3.) Create a Buzz.
For Cyber Monday promotions, you’ll notice that companies always go out of their way beforehand to make their deals well known. Why wouldn’t you do the same for Prime Day? While you shouldn’t necessarily do a complete overhaul of your advertising strategy, you can absolutely make sure that all of your followers are aware of Prime Day deals beforehand. Make time to hype up your customers. Define your target audience and focus on building their interest.
4.) Rock your Ad Creative.
40% of Prime members have clicked on an ad while browsing Amazon—and that’s just on an average day. We can expect this number to skyrocket on a day as popular as Prime Day. As a result, you can definitely count on getting your return on investment when it comes to advertising. Amazon offers multiple varieties of advertising campaigns, meaning you’ve got plenty of options. Now’s the time to put those options to use. Do your research beforehand so you can put together a diverse and comprehensive advertising campaign.
5.) Compete on Pricing.
Remember that 82% of Prime members consider price to be the key factor in their decision-making process. If your prices aren’t competitive, chances are your product will be left on when it comes time to buy. In addition to that, make sure your inventory counts are at appropriate levels. Since there will be a huge demand on Prime Day, you’ll want to avoid stock-outs at all cost.
6.) Promote Growth.
Discounts. Coupons. BOGO. Free shipping. If it’s available to you, take advantage of it. There are a ton of promotional opportunities at your disposal, and Prime Day is an ideal time to roll them out. Place an emphasis on generating buzz that will grab your shoppers’ eyes and get your products in their shopping carts. Prime Day is an advertiser’s dream.
7.) Adjust on the Fly.
As your strategy evolves, so will your competitors. Monitor their actions and prepare your team for anything. Shift strategy as needed. The world of Amazon can be difficult to predict, but the best companies are constantly preparing for everything. Stay the course and trust your process. However, don’t be afraid to switch gears if an opportunity presents itself. Now’s your time to shine.
The time of year has come again to start preparing for Amazon Prime Day. Since 2015, Amazon has been celebrating its founding day in a rapidly-growing global deal marathon for Amazon Prime members. Prime Day takes place in 17 countries around the world that offer Prime including the U.S., U.K., Canada, Italy, Germany, and Japan. For Prime Day, as well as the week leading up, Amazon offers many discounts on products, as well as short-lived lightning deals (which appear and disappear at specific times).
Why Should I Participate in Prime Day?
70% of online consumers shop during events for deals and discounts. With 31% of US customers planning on making a purchase on Prime Day for 2019, this is a “prime” time to invest in advertising or in promotions to capitalize on traffic. The graphic below shows the sales for Prime Day by year.
Prime Day is closing in on Black Friday and Cyber Monday for sales. Prime Day 2016 beat out the previous Cyber Monday’s sales by 19%. It also comprised 74% of e-commerce sales conducted on that date. In 2017, Prime Day beat the previous Cyber Monday’s sales by 33%.
What Are My Available Options?
1.) Lightning Deals: A 4-hour flash promotion that is run in the deals section of Amazon. These deals require a specific discount/deal price be offered that is set by Amazon and must be Prime eligible with a 3.5 Star average review.
Only certain items are eligible to be offered as Lightning Deals. Amazon tells us which items are eligible.
Amazon also requires a certain quantity of inventory that has to be in stock at their warehouse during the deal period.
Amazon will select the date/time that a lightning deal will run. Once they select the deal, we have until 25 hours prior to the deal running to cancel the deal.
Amazon can cancel the deal, or choose not to run it, at any time. If the deal does not run, there is no charge.
These will cost $500 + the cost of the discount to run during Prime Week.
2.) Coupons: A discount offered to customers that will show up on the product listing and in the coupons section of Amazon.
Coupons can be offered on any in stock item.
Coupons can be marketed as a percentage off or as a dollar amount discount.
The cost is .65/clip + amount of discount. A budget has to be set beforehand.
These can be run in a date range that can be edited throughout the course of the coupon.
3.) Advertising: With the amount of traffic increasing rapidly, an increased advertising budget will help increase the visibility of your products and capitalize on the influx of consumers.
Competition will be heavy for Prime Day and we recommend doubling ad budgets for the month of July.
Budgets should be set and monitored starting at the beginning of July.
A strategy may include running specific campaigns to increase awareness of any products on promotion or with low visibility.
When Do I Have to Decide?
This year Prime Day is predicted to bring in over 4 million customers and see over $5 billion in sales. Retail Bloom wants to help your brand take advantage of this event and the 31% of US customers who plan on making a purchase on Prime Day 2019.
All Prime Day deals have to be submitted by May 10th.
All inventory related to Prime Day must be at an Amazon fulfillment center by June 27th.