Amazon is a vast marketplace ripe with opportunities for businesses. As an Amazon third-party seller, you can tap into the enormous potential of connecting to more customers than ever before. But there’s another option – selling directly to Amazon and becoming a first-party seller through Amazon Vendor Central.
This way, Amazon takes care of buying and selling your products while still leveraging its expansive customer base so your product reaches far beyond what it would in any single store alone.
In this blog, we will go over some of the things you need to know about operating on Vendor Central and Vendor Central Management, including the following:
- What is Amazon Vendor Central?
- How to Join Amazon Vendor Central
- Advantages of Joining Amazon Vendor Central
- The Key Challenges of Amazon Vendor Central Partners
- How to Update Product Details on Amazon Vendor Central
- How to Manage Decreasing Purchase Orders
- How to Reduce ACoS
- Lab 916 Amazon Vendor Central Management Services
What is Amazon Vendor Central?
Amazon Vendor Central is an invitation-only platform specifically designed for businesses that manufacture or distribute products and want to directly sell to Amazon.
The platform provides direct communication between the manufacturer or distributor and Amazon, enabling them to easily and quickly supply products to the retail giant while bypassing third-party sellers altogether. With this system, manufacturers or distributors can minimize product costs as well as remain in closer control of their products.
Vendor Central Management begins with Amazon listing and sending out a purchase order. After that’s done, the manufacturer sends the product to Amazon and then sells it to customers. Subsequently, regardless of whether the product was sold or not, Amazon pays according to pre-determined guidelines.
This system automates the entire purchasing transaction from one’s company directly to distribution.
How to Join Amazon Vendor Central
Becoming an Amazon vendor can give you a massive boost in sales, but the process to become one isn’t always easy. It’s not up to you; instead, it is Amazon’s choice to send out invitations proposing vendors join its program.
Selection criteria from Amazon may involve meeting certain conditions such as
- Having a robust brand demand
- Offering unique & distinct products
- Being an Amazon seller with stellar sales and performance
That is why it is important for any potential vendor to take the time to identify what makes their brand or business stand out from the rest. Moreover, brands can also take a proactive approach to increase their odds by
- Applying directly on their website – be sure to craft the most compelling pitch!
- Establishing positive relationships with the Amazon retail team.
- Attending trade shows to increase brand and product traction.
- Innovating and introducing unique products that the market loves and Amazon can pay attention to.
With thoughtful planning and a sharp understanding of the market, businesses can amp up their chances of becoming accredited vendors on Amazon’s ambitious platform.
Advantages of Joining Amazon Vendor Central
Leverage Amazon’s Reputation
When it comes to online shopping, customers tend to choose products that are listed as stocked and sold by Amazon.com. This is because of the quality and trust associated with the iconic Amazon brand.
It offers customers ease of mind since they can rely on Amazon’s dedication to offering only the best products from reliable sellers and vendors.
Get Top-Notch Support
Amazon provides unparalleled support for its vendors, ensuring that their catalogs are managed and updated well, and that customer service is second to none. Having access to these enables businesses with more flexibility in terms of growth potential, as every aspect of the customer journey is taken care of – from discovery to purchase and delivery.
Access to Marketing Tools
Amazon also provides access to numerous marketing support tools for vendors. These include brand pages, A+ content, exclusive promotional programs, vendor coupons, headline ads and more.
Vendor Central partners have the privilege to use these tools to promote their products and increase their products’ visibility on Amazon.
Key Challenges of Amazon Vendors
While there are upsides to joining the vendor program, we can’t ignore the challenges that come with it. These are the most common struggles vendors experience when managing their Amazon Vendor Central accounts on their own.
1. Onboarding & Set-Up
For new vendors, the transition to a different platform can be intimidating. Vendors need to learn how to navigate new product and marketing tools, as well as understand vendor sales reports to inform their initial operations. Without help during onboarding, it could take longer for them to start seeing returns – potentially costing them time and money in the process.
2. Keeping Listings Up To Date
Consistently maintaining product listings is a chore, yet a crucial undertaking. Vendors must regularly go over their listings to make sure they’re updated, keep an eye on the competitor listings and leverage in-platform and third-party tools to keep these listings performing at their best.
3. Managing High Advertising Cost of Sales (ACoS)
Many vendors fall into the trap of aggressive advertising, thinking that the more money they spend on ads, the more revenue will come in. This is not the case when it comes to managing ad costs as a vendor. On Vendor central, the higher your ACoS are, the more money you’re bleeding on customer acquisition than the actual revenue coming in from those ads.
4. New Product PushBack
Despite its reputation as a welcoming marketplace, Amazon takes an economical approach to stocking new products. They prioritize sellable products over new ones because of the uncertainty a novelty item brings. Because of this, it can be difficult for Vendors that are trying to build out their product lines on the platform.
5. Proper Inventory Management
Vendors need to be really good in their own backyard in terms of forecasting and managing their inventory to avoid stockouts. Supply issues and lack of analytical know-how in interpreting sales data can affect a vendor’s ability to keep up with potential demand and stay competitive in the platform.
6. Managing Sales Dips and Low Purchase Orders
Mastering the challenge of balancing Amazon sales and purchase orders requires skill and savvy. Knowing when to invest in stock, predict customer demand, or adjust pricing is essential for success on this dynamic platform.
As vendors strive to stay on top of their e-commerce game, three major questions always pop up: how to update products quickly on Vendor Central, manage decreasing POs and battle rising ACoS. To tackle these issues head-on, we’ve put together a helpful step-by-step guide plus strategies for success.
How to Update Product Details on Amazon Vendor Central
To make sure your data is up to date and accurate, updating details on Amazon Vendor Central is a must – but understanding how the backend works isn’t always intuitive. Follow these steps to start updating your product details.
Method 1: Manual Update
Ideal for Vendors with a lean set of products (around 1-3 products).
- Log in on Vendor Central.
- Click on the Item’s tab and hit Catalog.
- Scroll the list or filter using the search field to locate your item.
- Select the product from the list and hit the “Edit Product Details” button.
- Once you’re on the product details page, proceed to edit all relevant details such as titles, bullet points and even product attributes.
PRO TIP: Equip your listings with relevant keywords in two ways. First, is by adding keywords to your titles, bullet points and descriptions. Second, optimize your listing with Amazon search terms that you can update on the backend. Make your listings look good too. Check out our work for more inspiration!
- Scroll down to submit your changes by clicking the “Submit and Continue” button. The item is then good to go and the listing should reflect the changes shortly.
Method 2: Bulk Update
For Vendors with larger product catalogs. This process is more extensive.
- Log in on Vendor Central.
- Click on the Item’s tab and hit Catalog.
- Head over to the Product Name / Product ID box.
- Enter the ASINs you want to update.
- The first 20 ASINs will reflect on the page. Select the items you want to update.
If you have more than 20 ASINs, be sure to expand the number of items on the page to ensure that all ASINs are incorporated once the data is downloaded.
- Once you’ve selected your intended batch of ASINs, click the download spreadsheet icon. You’ll be redirected to the Bulk Submissions page.
- Download the generated file feed. If you’ve done this before, make sure to select the recently generated file to avoid confusion.
- Open the excel file where you’ll see an auto-populated file.
- Fill out all the Required fields and be careful in updating the cells to avoid inadvertently overriding backend data.
- Update all the items on the spreadsheet and once ready, save the spreadsheet and return to the Amazon Bulk Product Submissions page.
- Click the Submissions tab, upload the spreadsheet, and click Upload.
- If successful, you will not receive any error messages. If there are problematic ASINs, an error will pop up indicating the issue for you to fix and re-upload.
Updating products can be time-consuming and very tricky. If you encounter issues that you’re not sure about, be sure to reach out to experts to avoid any unwanted hiccups on your Vendor listings.
How to Manage Decreasing Purchase Orders
- Knowing the root cause of low POs is key to recovery. Uncover the underlying source of diminishing purchase orders on Amazon Vendor Central by analyzing your Amazon Vendor Sales Report. Root causes may vary – it can be due to changed consumer demand or increased rivalry.
- Once you’ve identified key issues, you can explore these strategies to enhance performance on Vendor Central:
- Optimize product listings to attract the right customers
- Improve product reviews and respond to any negative feedback right away
- Run promotions and sales by offering discounts and other value-adding perks
- Using Amazon Advertising tools such as sponsored products, sponsored brands, and sponsored display advertising.
How to Reduce ACoS
To keep ACoS at bay, vendors must have the ability to understand current ACoS, target ACoS, and the campaigns and keywords that are driving ACoS. Once you gain a better understanding of your ACoS, you can implement strategies to reduce your customer acquisition costs:
Optimizing your campaigns
Ensure that your campaigns are geared towards the right audience and use optimized keywords. Use these tips to optimize your search terms:
- Not exceeding 249 character limit
- Focusing on relevance when using search terms and key phrases
- Using hyphens to cover other spelling variants
- Avoid using product names and ASINs
- Using spaces to separate keywords, not commas
- Omiting punctuation marks
- Avoiding false claims & inappropriate words
Optimizing your bids
Assess keyword performance and adjust keyword bids. Pour more resources into high-performing keywords and decrease bids on low-performing ones.
Utilizing negative keywords
Use negative keywords to exclude search terms that are not relevant to your products.
Monitoring your campaigns regularly
Track your ACoS and make adjustments as needed.
It also helps to go over your top 3 competitors and analyze their keyword strategy.
Outsourcing Amazon vendor central management
To sum it all up, managing a Vendor Central account can be a time-consuming and difficult process for busy entrepreneurs. Without expert support, vendors can run the risk of mismanagement that could significantly affect their bottom line.
That’s why many vendors resort to outsourcing. Outsourcing Amazon vendor central management requirements provide businesses with a whole suite of benefits such as
Access to In-House-Level Expertise
Amazon Vendor Central Management Consultants take the guesswork out of managing your business on the highly competitive platform. Working with agencies like Lab 916, assures that your account will be managed correctly, strategically and efficiently.
Lab 916 handles trade secrets and key operational information with utmost confidentiality and security. This ensures that vendors maintain their competitive edge over others on the platform.
Working with agencies with a proven track record in the field of vendor central management brings invaluable benefits to any business. Entrepreneurs do not only benefit from strategic expertise but can also leverage longstanding industry success and reputation.
Lower procurement risks and revenue losses with data-driven and expertly-informed decisions.
Lab 916 Amazon Vendor Central Management Services
Lab 916 can take every aspect of managing an Amazon Vendor Central account out of your hands. Our Amazon Vendor Central Management Services include:
New Item Setup (NIS)
Lab 916 offers complete assistance in setting up your inventory on the platform. This includes optimizing listings, verifying ASINs, eliminating barcode errors, and updating the inventory status on your store—all of which come together to create a streamlined process that helps get your business up and running.
A9-Powered Product Listing Optimization
Amazon’s A9 product search algorithm is designed to order product listings based on relevance and popularity. As a result, Amazon Product Listing Optimization plays a critical role in ensuring your products appear prominently within search results.
Lab 916’s Vendor Central Management Consultants will take your new or existing product listings and supercharge them. Listings are set to feature high-performing keywords, images, compelling descriptions and bullet points that can improve visibility while also improving click-through rates and conversions.
Stop bleeding money over ads. Lab 916 can help optimize your campaigns to ensure that you’re speaking to the right audience; optimizing keyword bids, leveraging negative keywords and tracking ACos regularly to ensure that you’re customer acquisition costs are in check.
Amazon inventory management involves tracking and managing stock levels to ensure that demand is met with the right amount of inventory in stock. Techniques such as forecasting demand, determining reorder points, and calculating safety stock are essential for this practice.
Partnering with Lab 916 Vendor Central Management Consultants can help you with all these while improving business efficiency and profitability through loss prevention measures.
A+ Content Creation
A+ Content can add a new layer of engagement to product listings. It allows you to put more information than the standard limitations of text characters and image size restrictions. With it, you can display larger photographs, descriptive content, and the ability to compare products side-by-side. But A+ Content goes further with its offerings – allowing vendors to add multimedia like videos and interactive features to their product listing. These allow potential customers interesting ways to engage with your products, enhance their buying experience, and even drive sales conversion rates.
Lab 916’s expertise in premium A+ content development keeps your brand relevant and click-worthy across all Amazon platforms.
Vendor Account Health Management
Vendors must meet Amazon’s stringent standards throughout their Amazon Vendor Central membership. If vendors are unable to reach the expectations set out by Amazon and do not fulfill obligations, they will be held accountable and have to pay penalties such as chargebacks. Lab 916’s consultants ensure that
your Vendor Central account is compliant and performance metrics are always on the green.
Full-Service Vendor Central Account Management
Managing an Amazon Vendor Central account is no small feat. With Lab 916 Vendor Central Management Consultants by your side, you don’t have to worry about any of it.
Not only do we analyze invoices and other key data points on a daily and weekly basis so that you’re always on top of things. We also help you make the most of your relationship with Amazon by helping you build a lasting partnership with them.
With Lab 916’s comprehensive knowledge of Amazon Vendor Central, we can create strategies to assist clients of varying scales in advancing their e-commerce brand. Through efficient account management, continuous content & listing optimization leading to an increase in both short and long-term profits.