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How to Transition from Amazon Vendor Central to Seller Central

As reported by some of clients, prospective clients and by various reports including 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 moving forward, but it’s causing a lot of concern among vendors who have seen their partnership with Amazon dissolve and many of those in the Vendor program don’t know a lot about how to manage all the various aspects of selling Amazon as a 3rd party seller.

If you find yourself no longer able to sell your products directly to Amazon, you’ll need to prepare for the switch from Amazon Vendor Central to Amazon Seller Central. Below, we’ll take a look at a few of the 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, though, 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 all that challenging. However, it is important to understand that you will need to set up and learn how to use this new account if you plan to begin selling directly to customers on Amazon.

Take Advantage of Amazon Fulfillment (FBA)

One of the best things about being an Amazon vendor as opposed to an Amazon seller is that you don’t have to deal with hassles such as shipping out individual products and handling returns. Thanks to a program called Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA), though, 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. Not only does this program eliminate many of the hassles associated with selling directly to customers, it also enables you to easily make your products eligible for Amazon Prime – a huge benefit in the eyes of many Amazon customers. Stat – 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. In many ways, this new responsibility is the most challenging part of making the switch from Amazon Vendor Central to Amazon Seller Central as now sellers and brands must be aware of and 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 more traditional avenues of digital marketing, you can also market your products on Amazon using Amazon advertising tools..

Of course, hiring an outside marketing agency to handle these tasks for you in the most effective way possible is always an option as well. Either way, though, 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 within the domain of the seller.

In order to keep your account in good standing with Amazon, it is essential to monitor your customer feedback and 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 of the customer service burdens such as 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.

Conclusion

Making the Transition from Amazon Vendor Central to Amazon Seller Central may be stressful, but there are certainly opportunities to continue finding success on Amazon even if you are no longer able to sell your products to Amazon directly. If you would like to learn more about how we can help you make the transition and develop a marketing strategy that will lead to success, we invite you to contact us today.

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