We’ve seen an uptick in clients requesting us to help them make the transition from Vendor Central to Seller Central. Why is that?
If you recall, roughly two months ago, Amazon made changes to their vendor management strategy. Initially Amazon stopped issuing purchase orders to small first-party vendors, causing panic and confusion among the community. Several weeks later Amazon reversed course and resumed issuing POs. At the same time, vendors were sent an email with a request to sign up for Brand Registry. Once enrolled and verified, Amazon’s Brand Registry helps protect your intellectual property and gives you greater control over your brand’s product listings.
Over the last few years, Amazon has strongly encouraged vendors to take ownership of their business across all aspects like promotions and merchandising. This push for retail vendors to become third-party vendors makes it more of a self-service model, transferring the responsibility of inventory planning and management back to the merchant.
There are several reasons why Amazon is shifting strategy towards working directly with brand owners and manufacturers.
- Ensure product quality and data accuracy
- Reduce counterfeits
- Achieve competitive pricing and full product selection
Furthermore, Amazon has been developing its own private label items ranging from consumables, to kitchen products and even apparel. What would prompt Amazon to stake a claim in brand ownership? The company is in the unique position to analyze sales data across all product categories, allowing them to make informed decisions on what private label products to manufacture, often at a lower price point.
As the retail giant pursues this strategy, what does this mean for suppliers? As an integrator, we have seen Amazon increase product listing requirements, pushing merchants to go through the Brand Registry process in order to publish certain types of products and merchandising content. The fear is that Amazon will ultimately break ties with small vendors and stop taking bulk orders. That possibility is uncertain, but it would be wise for vendors who may be at risk to make the shift to Seller Central. As an approved Amazon partner, we can assist with the transition.
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Brian Roizen is the Cofounder and Chief Architect of Feedonomics, a full-service feed optimization platform that optimizes product data for hundreds of channels. He has been featured on numerous podcasts and eCommerce webinars, and regularly contributes to Search Engine Land and other industry-leading blogs. Brian graduated summa cum laude from UCLA with both a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in Mechanical Engineering.