Welcome to the ultimate resource for Amazon sellers, both seasoned entrepreneurs and those just starting out on their e-commerce journey. In the ever-evolving world of online retail, Amazon Vendor Central stands as a pivotal gateway to success. If you’ve ever wondered how to take your business to the next level, you’re in the right place.

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll delve deep into Vendor Central, demystifying its intricacies and equipping you with all the knowledge you need to navigate this platform with confidence. Whether you’re already a Vendor Central pro or just beginning to explore the possibilities, this guide will serve as your indispensable companion on your e-commerce adventure.

From understanding the basics to mastering the nuances, we’ll cover it all. Discover how to optimize your vendor relationships, streamline your operations, and ultimately boost your sales on Amazon’s platform. Whether you’re a brand manufacturer, distributor, or retailer looking to make your mark on the world’s largest online marketplace, this guide will be your key to unlocking the full potential of the Amazon Vendor program. So, let’s dive in and explore everything you need to know to thrive in the dynamic world of e-commerce on Amazon.

What Is Amazon Vendor Central?

Amazon Vendor Central (AVC) is a specialized platform designed for brand manufacturers and suppliers, providing them with a direct relationship with Amazon as a retail partner. Unlike Seller Central, which caters to third-party sellers, Vendor Central is an invitation-only program. Amazon invites select brands to become vendors, allowing them to sell their products in bulk directly to Amazon, which, in turn, becomes the retailer.

Through AVC, brands can leverage Amazon’s extensive customer reach and infrastructure. Vendors benefit from Amazon’s immense customer base and logistics network, as Amazon buys products wholesale and takes care of warehousing, order fulfillment, and customer service. This partnership offers several advantages, such as increased visibility, access to exclusive marketing opportunities, and a more streamlined sales process.

However, it’s important to note that operating within the Vendor Central account involves adhering to Amazon’s terms and conditions, which can be intricate and demanding. Vendors must maintain high product quality, fulfill orders promptly, and meet Amazon’s performance metrics.

Amazon Vendor Central

Amazon Vendor Central

What is Amazon Vendor Express?

Vendor Express was a program designed to provide a simplified entry point for brands and suppliers who wanted to sell their products directly to Amazon without the more complex requirements of Vendor Amazon. This program was discontinued by Amazon on 2 January 2019. It was aimed at small and emerging brands seeking a quick and straightforward way to work with Amazon.

Vendor Express allowed participants to submit their products for consideration, and if accepted, they could ship their products directly to Amazon. Amazon would then list, sell, and fulfill orders for these products. Vendor Express didn’t involve any fees.

While Vendor Express may no longer be an available option, understanding its history provides valuable insights into the evolving landscape of Amazon’s vendor programs and the need for sellers to adapt to changes in the e-commerce industry.

How Does Amazon Vendor Central Work?

Vendor Amazon is a platform designed for brand manufacturers and suppliers who want to establish a direct relationship with Amazon as a retail partner. It operates differently from Amazon Seller Central, which is designed for third-party sellers. Here’s how AVC works.

  • Invitation-only access

AVC is an invitation-only program. Amazon typically invites brands and manufacturers to become vendors based on their product category, brand reputation, and potential sales volume. If your brand is invited, you’ll receive an invitation from the platform.

  • Wholesale model

As a vendor, you sell your products to Amazon in bulk at wholesale prices. The platform places purchase orders with you for the products they want to stock. You, as the vendor, are responsible for manufacturing, packaging, and shipping the products to Amazon’s fulfillment centers.

  • Warehousing and fulfillment

Amazon takes care of warehousing your products in their fulfillment centers. Once your products are in stock, they handle order fulfillment, shipping, and customer service. That means you don’t have to worry about storing and shipping your inventory.

  • Product listings and pricing

You provide product information to Amazon, including product titles, descriptions, images, and pricing. Amazon creates product listings for your items on its marketplace, making them available to millions of customers. Amazon can also adjust your product pricing based on market demand.

  • Marketing and promotion

Vendor account on Amazon gives the advantage of various marketing and promotional opportunities offered, such as Amazon Marketing Services (AMS) and Amazon Vine. These services allow you to promote your products, run advertising campaigns, and enhance your product visibility.

  • Purchase orders and payments

Amazon generates purchase orders for the products it wants to replenish in its inventory. Vendors receive these purchase orders through AVC and are responsible for shipping the requested quantities to Amazon’s fulfillment centers. Vendors are paid by Amazon for their products based on agreed-upon terms, usually on a regular payment cycle.

  • Performance metrics

Vendors are evaluated based on their performance in areas like order fulfillment, product quality, and on-time delivery. Maintaining high-performance metrics is crucial for continued partnership with Amazon.

  • Inventory management

Vendors need to manage their inventory levels and ensure that they have enough stock to fulfill Amazon’s purchase orders. The marketplace may provide demand forecasts and recommendations to assist with inventory planning.

  • Customer feedback and returns

Amazon handles customer service, including managing product returns and dealing with customer feedback. Vendors should address any product issues promptly to maintain a positive reputation on the platform.

Amazon Vendor Central vs. Amazon Seller Central

Vendor Central and Seller Central are different platforms for various business scopes. It’s essential to carefully evaluate whether it makes sense for your business to use both platforms. Each has its advantages and disadvantages, so your choice should align with your business goals and resources. Here are some key differences.

Amazon Vendor Central

AVC is a platform designed for brand manufacturers and suppliers. It operates on an invitation-only basis, with Amazon inviting brands to become vendors.

Amazon Vendor Central

Amazon Vendor Central

  • Wholesale model

In AVC, brands sell their products to Amazon in bulk at wholesale prices. The platform purchases the products directly from vendors and takes care of order fulfillment, warehousing, and customer service.

  • Amazon as the retailer

Amazon acts as the retailer when you use AVC. That means that Amazon sets the product prices, controls the product listings, and handles most customer interactions.

  • Marketing and promotions

Vendors in AVC can access various marketing and promotional tools, including AMS and Vine, to promote their products to a broader audience.

  • Invitation-only

Access to AVC is by invitation only, and brands need to meet specific criteria to participate.

Amazon Seller Central

Seller Central is open to third-party sellers, allowing individuals and businesses to list their products on Amazon’s marketplace. Here are some key features.

Amazon Seller Central

Amazon Seller Central

  • Individual and Professional accounts

Sellers can choose between individual and professional selling accounts. Professional accounts offer more features and are suitable for businesses with a more extensive product catalog.

  • Fulfillment options

Sellers have the flexibility to choose how they fulfill orders, whether by handling shipping themselves (Fulfillment by Merchant – FBM) or by using Amazon’s fulfillment network (Fulfillment by Amazon – FBA).

  • Control over listings

Sellers have more control over product listings, including product titles, descriptions, and pricing. They can also offer products in various conditions (new, used, refurbished, etc.).

  • Customer service

Sellers are responsible for customer service, including handling returns and addressing customer inquiries.

  • Subscription and referral fees

Sellers in Seller Central pay referral fees and, if applicable, monthly subscription fees based on the selling plan they choose.

Can I sell via Amazon Vendor Central and Amazon Seller Central?

Sellers often wonder if they can use both Vendor Central and Seller Central simultaneously. The answer is generally yes but with some important considerations.

  • Separate accounts

You can have separate accounts for each platform, but you must ensure they are distinct and don’t overlap. For example, you shouldn’t sell the same products in both Vendor Central and Seller Central, as this could lead to conflicts and performance issues.

  • Vendor Express

If you were previously using Vendor Express, which has been discontinued, you can transition to Seller Central. However, transitioning from Vendor Central to Seller Central can be more complex.

  • Potential conflicts

Managing both Vendor Central and Seller Central accounts can be challenging, as the two platforms may have different pricing, fulfillment methods, and terms of engagement with Amazon. Ensure you have the necessary resources and systems to handle both accounts effectively.

Amazon Vendor Central pricing

Amazon typically employs wholesale Vendor Central fees, which often include a 4% to 10% charge to account for slotting and marketing expenses. As sales volumes grow, Amazon may additionally request higher fees for active account support or marketing initiatives.

Amazon Vendor Central’s pricing structure

AVC pricing structure differs from that of Seller Central.

  • Wholesale pricing: In AVC, brands sell their products to Amazon at wholesale prices. The agreed-upon wholesale price is a critical factor in determining the profitability of your sales through this platform.
  • Co-op fees: Some vendors may be subject to co-op fees, which are costs associated with marketing and advertising initiatives on Amazon.
  • Chargebacks: Vendors may incur chargebacks for issues such as late shipments or packaging violations. Chargebacks are fees imposed by Amazon when vendors fail to meet their performance standards.
  • Vendor Central fees: Amazon may charge vendors additional fees for various services and programs, such as participation in AMS.

Advertising Amazon Vendor Central

Advertising within AVC is a powerful tool for brands and manufacturers looking to increase their product visibility and drive sales on the platform. Amazon offers a suite of advertising options designed to help vendors effectively market their products to a vast audience of potential customers.

Types of advertising within Amazon Vendor Central

  • Amazon Marketing Services: AMS is a key component of advertising in Vendor Central. AMS provides various ad formats to promote products, including Sponsored Products, Sponsored Brands, and Sponsored Display ads. These ads appear on Amazon’s search results pages and product detail pages, offering increased visibility to shoppers actively searching for products.
  • Sponsored Products: These ads showcase individual products in search results and on product detail pages, helping drive targeted traffic to your product listings.
Amazon Sponsored Products ads

Amazon Sponsored Products ads

  • Sponsored Brands: Sponsored Brands ads allow you to feature multiple products along with your brand logo and a custom headline. That is a great way to boost brand recognition.
Amazon Sponsored Brand ads

Amazon Sponsored Brand ads

  • Sponsored Display: These ads extend your reach to engage customers on and off Amazon by targeting audiences based on their shopping behavior and interests.

Amazon Sponsored Display ads

  • Amazon Attribution: Amazon Attribution enables vendors to measure the impact of their advertising campaigns across various channels, including off-Amazon sources such as social media and display advertising. This valuable data helps vendors understand the customer journey and optimize their advertising strategies.
Amazon Attribution page

Amazon Attribution page

  • Custom Advertising Strategies: Vendors can create custom advertising strategies tailored to their goals. Whether you’re looking to increase sales, drive brand awareness, or launch new products, Vendor Central allows you to adjust your advertising efforts accordingly.

Are you making the most of your Amazon advertising?

Effective advertising within AVC can be a game-changer for your brand, but it’s essential to ensure that you’re maximizing the potential of your advertising campaigns.

Getting the most out of your Amazon advertising efforts involves:

  • Data analysis;
  • Keyword research;
  • Ad creative;
  • Optimization;
  • Testing and experimentation;
  • Monitoring competition.

What Is the Difference Between Amazon Vendor Central and Amazon FBA?

AVC is an invitation-only program for brand manufacturers to sell products in bulk directly to Amazon, which acts as the retailer. Amazon takes care of inventory, order fulfillment, and customer service.

FBA (Fulfillment by Amazon) is open to third-party sellers who send their products to Amazon’s fulfillment centers. Amazon stores, picks, packs, and ships the products for these sellers, who retain control over pricing and listings.

What Is Vendor Central Fulfilment?

Vendor Central Fulfilment is a key aspect of AVC, which is a platform for brand manufacturers and suppliers. It involves the process of fulfilling orders when selling products directly to Amazon as a vendor. Unlike Seller Central, where third-party sellers handle their own fulfillment, Vendor Central Fulfilment is the responsibility of the vendor, and Amazon takes care of various aspects of order management.

How does Vendor Central Fulfilment work?

Vendor Central Fulfilment allows vendors to benefit from Amazon’s vast customer reach and logistics network while streamlining the sales process. Vendors are responsible for maintaining product quality, timely delivery, and adhering to Amazon’s terms and conditions to ensure a successful partnership. Here’s a breakdown of how Vendor Central Fulfilment works.

Vendor Central Fulfilment

Vendor Central Fulfilment

Wholesale ordering

As a vendor, you sell your products to Amazon at wholesale prices. Amazon places purchase orders with you for specific quantities of the products they want to stock in their fulfillment centers.

Shipment to Amazon

You, as the vendor, are responsible for manufacturing, packaging, and shipping the products to Amazon’s designated fulfillment centers. That typically involves preparing the products according to Amazon’s guidelines, labeling them with barcodes, and coordinating the shipment.

Warehousing

Upon arrival at Amazon’s fulfillment centers, your products are stored in Amazon’s warehouses. Amazon manages the storage, inventory tracking, and warehousing of your products.

Amazon Vendor Receive

Vendor Receive is the process by which Amazon receives products from its vendors. This process takes place at Amazon’s fulfillment centers and sort centers. Vendor Receive associates are responsible for unloading trucks, inspecting products, and preparing them for storage. They also work closely with the Vendor Central team to ensure that products are received accurately and on time.

Order fulfillment

When a customer places an order for your products on Amazon’s platform, Amazon handles the order fulfillment. That includes picking, packing, and shipping the items to the customer. Amazon also manages customer service, addressing any inquiries or issues.

Payment

Amazon pays you for the products sold based on the agreed-upon terms. Payment is typically made on a regular payment cycle.

Performance metrics

Your performance as a vendor is evaluated based on various metrics, including on-time delivery, order completeness, and product quality. Maintaining high-performance standards is crucial to continue your partnership with Amazon.

How Do I Become a Vendor on Amazon?

Becoming a vendor involves a specific process that is typically initiated through an invitation from Amazon itself.

Steps to becoming a vendor on Amazon

  • Step 1. Invitation from Amazon

AVC is an invitation-only program. To become a vendor, you need to be invited by Amazon. Amazon typically extends invitations to brand manufacturers and suppliers based on various factors such as product category, brand reputation, and the potential for a mutually beneficial partnership.

  • Step 2. Contact Amazon

If you believe your brand or products align with Amazon’s criteria for a Vendor, you can reach out to them to express your interest. You can contact Amazon through their official website or through your Amazon account representative if you already have one.

  • Step 3. Evaluation and onboarding

If Amazon is interested in working with your brand, they will guide you through the onboarding process. This process involves setting up your AVC account, understanding the terms and conditions, and agreeing on pricing and logistics.

  • Step 4. Product listings and inventory

You’ll be responsible for providing product information, including product titles, descriptions, images, and pricing. Once your products are in AVC, you’ll need to manage your inventory, ensuring that you have enough stock to fulfill Amazon’s purchase orders.

  • Step 5. Performance metrics

Amazon closely monitors your performance as a vendor. It’s essential to meet Amazon’s performance metrics, which may include on-time delivery, order completeness, and product quality. Failing to meet these metrics can lead to issues with your vendor relationship.

  • Step 6. Fulfillment and customer service

As a vendor, you’re responsible for manufacturing, packaging, and shipping your products to Amazon’s fulfillment centers. Amazon handles the order fulfillment process, shipping the products to customers, and managing customer service.

  • Step 7. Advertising and marketing

AVCl offers opportunities for marketing and promotion, including AMS and Amazon Vine. You can use these tools to enhance the visibility of your products.

How to be an Approved Vendor for Amazon

To be approved as a vendor for Amazon, you’ll need to meet their specific criteria and guidelines.

Tips to increase your chances of becoming an approved vendor

  • Establish a reputable and recognizable brand with quality products;
  • Ensure that your products meet high-quality standards;
  • If you believe your brand fits the criteria for AVC, contact Amazon to express your interest;
  • Be prepared to provide necessary business documentation;
  • Demonstrate your ability to manage inventory efficiently;
  • Create a history of successful e-commerce sales and positive customer feedback;
  • Ensure that you can meet Amazon’s terms and conditions.

What Are the Benefits to Your Business with Amazon Vendor Central?

Vendor Central offers several benefits to businesses, especially brand manufacturers and suppliers. Here are the key advantages.

  • Access to Amazon’s vast customer base

By partnering with AVC, your products gain exposure to millions of Amazon customers. That can significantly expand your reach and potential customer base, increasing the visibility and sales of your products.

  • Simplified order fulfillment

Amazon takes on the responsibility of order fulfillment, including warehousing, packaging, and shipping. This allows you to focus on your core business operations while Amazon handles the logistics, saving you time and resources.

  • Marketing and advertising opportunities

Vendor Central provides access to AMS and other advertising tools. You can run targeted ad campaigns, increase product visibility, and boost brand recognition, ultimately driving more sales.

  • Exclusive promotional opportunities

AVC often offers exclusive promotions and deals that can enhance your product’s exposure. These promotions can include Lightning Deals, Best Deals, and other special marketing initiatives.

  • Streamlined relationship with Amazon

Vendor Central facilitates a direct and close working relationship with Amazon, allowing for collaboration on product listings, pricing, and inventory management. This collaboration can lead to better communication and improved sales strategies.

How to Optimize Your Vendor Central Listings?

Optimizing your Amazon listings is crucial for higher search rankings and a better shopping experience. Informative, keyword-rich, and visually appealing listings increase your chances of attracting and converting customers. Regularly monitor performance and adjust based on customer feedback and market trends.

For quick and effective listing optimization, consider using tools like SellerSonar. It’s a highly regarded tool known for its features that empower sellers to analyze competitors and maintain a competitive edge.

Sellersonar dashboard

Noteworthy SellerSonar features

FBA Calculator: Estimate profit margins effectively.

Hijacking Alerts: Protect your listings from unauthorized sellers with immediate alerts.

Competitor Research: Gain a comprehensive understanding of the market and competitors.

Price Change Alerts: Stay updated on competitors’ pricing strategies.

Product Listing Alerts: Monitor your Amazon business environment.

Product Review and Rating Alerts: Enhance your online reputation.

Amazon Keyword Rank Tracker: Optimize your product positioning in search results.

Amazon BSR Tracker: Stay informed about your seller ranking.

Product Suppression Alerts: Address product suppression issues swiftly.

Try SellerSonar now. Register for our 29-day trial and boost your incredible journey of running your business on the platform.

Conclusion

Amazon Vendor Central offers a unique opportunity to partner with one of the world’s largest marketplaces.

Whether you’re a seasoned vendor or just embarking on your e-commerce journey, understanding the intricacies of Vendor Central is essential for your success on Amazon.

With the right approach, you can tap into Amazon’s vast customer base and boost your brand’s presence and sales. We wish you all the best in your endeavors as an Amazon vendor and hope this guide serves as a valuable resource on your journey to success.

FAQ
What is Amazon Vendor Central?

What is Amazon Vendor Central?
What is the difference between Amazon Vendor Central and Amazon Seller Central?

What is the difference between Amazon Vendor Central and Amazon Seller Central?
How can SellerSonar help optimize sales on Amazon Vendor Central?

How can SellerSonar help optimize sales on Amazon Vendor Central?
Are there any training courses available for Amazon Vendor Central?

Are there any training courses available for Amazon Vendor Central?
How can businesses leverage Amazon Advertising products through Vendor Central?

How can businesses leverage Amazon Advertising products through Vendor Central?