We recently took on a client that had their vendor manager quit and never replaced. This pre-dated the huge move from Vendor Central sellers to Seller Central. This was new for us so we reached out to our network to find out what was going on. We also tapped into Reddit’s knowledgeable community, r/fulfillmentbyamazon to corroborate experiences.
We found out that Amazon has plans to cut their vendor manager team by half and attempt to automate as much as possible. This isn’t a huge surprise as Amazon is known to be terrible for sellers to deal with and workforce bloat is something they actively fight. For Amazon, this means more profit but for sellers, it means something much more dire.
The push from Amazon to have less involvement with their vendors means services like ours are much more important. Many vendors are manufacturers and don’t have the ability to navigate Vendor Central at the same level as their competitors… especially those without vendor managers. The ability to run deals, make edits to listings, and manage comprehensive PPC campaigns is the foundation of a successful Amazon listing.
Another pitfall for vendors without a manager is the ability to manage IP and copyright infringement issues quickly. Vendor managers have the ability to fast-track violators into purgatory. Without that, vendors are stuck dealing with the notoriously inept seller support queue.
Thirdly, many vendors relied on their manager for market insights when releasing new products. They would lean on their vendor manager to help direct them on which products should succeed and which ones would not have much search volume/sales. These vendors will have to use other tools or agencies for research which could yield a lot more of a trial and error approach.
In all cases being equal, Amazon vendors will rank products higher than seller central only products. With that in mind, the extra margins provided to savvy seller central sellers could be spent on marketing their product and improving rankings.
These changes are huge for the success of vendors on Amazon. Those who sell less than $10 million/yr are potentially doomed to middling success on Amazon.
Have you been forced from Vendor Central to Seller Central? We’d love to hear your case and how you navigated it. Comment below!
Sam is the owner of Amazon SEO Experts.com, the first public Amazon consulting agency. He started by selling ebooks on Amazon and then moved into private labeling. He currently sells on Amazon and runs the Amazon marketing agency based in Dallas, TX.
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