How to Deal with the Transition from 1p to 3p
As reported by some of clients, prospective clients, and various reports like Bloomberg, Amazon has recently cut ties with many of its vendors as the company moves to focus on larger vendors where it makes more profit. This means that many sellers now have to focus on the transition from Amazon Vendor Central to Amazon Seller Central. This new business model may be what’s best for Amazon, but it’s causing concern among vendors who have seen their partnership with Amazon dissolve. Many in the Vendor program don’t know how to manage the various aspects of selling to Amazon as a 3rd party seller.
If you find yourself unable to sell your products directly to Amazon, prepare for the switch from Amazon Vendor Central to Amazon Seller Central.
Let’s look at a few important components of this switch that vendors need to consider as they go about making this transition.
Read more about selling through the vendor program vs selling in the Amazon Marketplace as a 3rd party seller here.
Set Up Your Amazon Seller Central Account
Amazon has two different accounts for vendors and sellers. If you are a vendor who has been selling directly to Amazon, you will have been using Amazon Vendor Central. As you transition to selling directly to consumers, you will need to create an Amazon Seller Central account. Amazon Seller Central is designed to be intuitive, and setting up an initial account isn’t super challenging. You’ll need to understand how to use this new account if you plan to sell directly to customers on Amazon.
Take Advantage of Amazon Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA)
As an Amazon vendor (versus an Amazon Seller), you don’t have to deal with hassles like shipping or returns. Thanks to FBA, it is possible to let Amazon handle these tasks while still selling directly to customers.
Through FBA, sellers are able to ship their products in bulk to Amazon warehouses. When a product sells, Amazon handles the shipping and fulfillment and the seller is paid for the sale. This program eliminates many of the hassles associated with selling directly to customers. It also enables you to easily make your products eligible for Amazon Prime. That’s a huge benefit in the eyes of many Amazon customers! Hot tip: more than 70% of sales on the Amazon marketplace occur under the Prime badge.
Take Charge of Marketing
When you are a vendor selling directly to Amazon, not much marketing is involved. Amazon simply purchases your products and takes on the role of marketing those products themselves. This is not the case with selling directly to customers, though.
As an Amazon seller, marketing to customers and generating sales will be entirely your responsibility. This new responsibility is the most challenging part of making the switch from Amazon Vendor Central to Amazon Seller Central. Sellers and brands must now effectively use the various advertising and marketing avenues on Amazon in order to compete. More sellers selling, and more eCommerce dollars being spent on the marketplace are creating an increasingly competitive landscape.
With that said, there are avenues that you can use to successfully market your products directly to customers. While marketing products on Amazon differs in many ways from marketing products that you are selling on your own website, you can still take advantage of digital marketing strategies such as PPC advertising and social media marketing. In addition to these avenues, you can also market your products on Amazon using Amazon advertising tools.
Hiring an outside marketing agency to effectively handle these tasks for you is always an option as well. The transition from Amazon Vendor Central to Amazon Seller Central will mean that you have to take charge of marketing your products and generating sales.
Handle Customer Service
Amazon places a premium on customer service, and they expect the same out of their sellers. When working as an Amazon vendor, customer service is Amazon’s responsibility rather than your own. When you’re selling directly to customers on Amazon, though, customer service falls mostly with the seller.
To keep your account in good standing with Amazon, it is essential to monitor your customer feedback. You must also ensure that you are delivering the best possible customer experience to the customers who purchase your products. Taking advantage of FBA can help shift some customer service burdens like product fulfillment and handling returns back to Amazon. In the end, however, customer service is still a critical component of selling directly to customers on Amazon.
Transitioning from Amazon Vendor Central to Amazon Seller Central can be stressful and difficult. There are certainly opportunities to continued success on Amazon even if you’re unable to sell your products to Amazon directly.
To learn more about transitioning from AVC to ASC, contact us today! We will guide you through this transition and develop for you a successful marketing strategy.