selling-on-amazon

Selling On Amazon: Seller Central v. Vendor Central

Last updated on: 2018

Digital

If there is one monster that dominates the online retailer space it is 100% Amazon! It is no secret that Amazon is not only the top e-retailer in the U.S. but also one of the biggest e-commerce sites globally. The sales channel has secured over 310 million active users worldwide, and continues to capture engaged shoppers daily, spiking sales exponentially across the years! Just last year Amazon’s sales totaled almost $178 billion (yes I said billion), a $171 billion increase since 2004. What does that mean for business? It means you should be selling on Amazon!

amazon-annual-revenue

Image via Statista.

How To Sell Through Amazon

If you are a business owner (or soon to be) and you are not yet utilizing this sales channel, you could be missing out on reaching millions of potential new customers. So, it’s time to ask yourself if you are ready to sell on Amazon. If the answer is no or you are undecided, check this out to learn more about why you should be selling on Amazon.  If the answer is yes, continue reading to learn more about the two ways you can sell on Amazon, and how to decide which option is best for your business model and sales goals.

Amazon Seller vs. Vendor Central

Amazon offers business owners two different options for selling on their site. You can decide to be a third-party seller through Amazon Seller Central, or you can decide to be a first-party seller through Amazon Vendor Central. Now, you must be wondering what differentiates the two, what benefits you get from selecting one over the other, and what baggage you might carry if you forego one option for the other. Let’s dive deeper into the pros and cons of seller central vs. vendor central.

Seller Central Pros vs. Cons

Pros:

  • Available to Anyone
  • More Direct Control Over Listings
  • Brand Registry
  • Protected Registered Trademarks
  • Proprietary Text and Image Search
  • Authority Over Listings that Contain your Brand Name
  • Rich Analytics
  • More Reports, More Analytics
  • Optimize Listings so they Appear More Prominently in Organic Searches
  • Control Over Which Products You Want to Sell & How Much
  • Pricing Control – You Set The Price
  • Fast Payments – Paid by Amazon Every Two Weeks
  • Retail Profit Margins
  • Lots of Learning Resources

Cons:

  • Limited Listing Details
  • Fulfillment Expenses
  • Option to Pay for Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA)
  • No Access to Vendor Specific Programs
  • These Programs Further Entice Users to Buy & Engage
  • Limited Marketing Options
  • Fewer Placement Options
  • Only Simple PPC Ads

Vendor Central Pros vs. Cons

Pros:

  • Establish Consumer Trust
  • “Ships from and Sold by Amazon” Provides More Credibility
  • Prime Eligible – Consumers Filter Out Non-Prime Listings
  • Vendor Specific Programs
  • Amazon Vine
  • Enhanced A+ Content
  • Subscribe & Save (+ Prime Pantry)
  • Amazon Marketing Services
  • Richer Advertising Options
  • Vendor Premium Services
  • Amazon Manages All Returns and Customer Inquiries
  • Wholesale Profit Margins

Cons:

  • Invite Only
  • Limited Analytics & Reporting Available
  • Purchase Premium Analytics for More Data
  • Slow Turnaround on Listing Changes / Updates
  • Less Control Over What Products and Inventory Is Sold
  • Amazon Dictates Which Products and How Much
  • Amazon Sets Prices, Limiting Pricing Control
  • Non-compliance Fees and Strict Policies
  • Slow Payments Terms
  • Limited Learning Resources

The Decision Is Yours!

Now that you understand the basic frameworks of selling on Amazon, it is time to make the decision that fits your business needs best. For more information on Seller Central click here and for more information on Vendor Central click here, or visit the various resources available online such as blogs, forums, Reddit, YouTube videos, and more!

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Nicole is a Digital Account Manager at Taylor & Pond, with a passion for all things beauty! Her day-to-day responsibilities include managing client communication, overseeing content creation & planning, strategically allocating digital ad spend, and establishing relations with social influencers. In Nicole's spare time you can find her running on the beach or enjoying a glass of wine with good food and company!