Amazon’s Vendor Central is an all-inclusive platform for suppliers to manage sales and products to hundreds of millions of customers. Vendor Central handles process from beginning to end from buying and storing inventory to shipping and handling. Being an Amazon vendor is a prestige title with it being invite only. Looking further into Amazon Vendor Central gives insight to the benefits and push it gives a business.

Becoming an Amazon Vendor

Amazon has various avenues when it comes to selling products including Advantage, Vendor Express, and Seller Central. Vendor Central is their invite only program that makes Amazon the full-time distributor. Amazon will buy and store inventory in addition to handling pricing, shipping, and returns. Their customer service is exemplary which is to be expected as they are a trusted brand.

As an Amazon Vendor, new doors are opened for a business that they may not achieve selling product on their own. They will experience increased conversions and more sales channels. There is access to detailed analytics. This includes sales and operational metrics, traffic, and geographic sales analysis. While Amazon is selling, the reports generated are helpful to the brand in establishing common ground on what sells best. Pushing similar products will ultimately boost sales.

Vendor Central Dashboard

When selling products online, the interface may be confusing, but Amazon keeps a clean slate. The Vendor Central dashboard has a plethora of tabs and drop-down menus. These provide all the information needed on the merchandise. The quick links on the landing page jump start the process. They feature adding products and images to checking shipments and invoices. Another key feature on this is Business Advisor where Amazon gives a snapshot of the movement in sales along with recommendations.

The tabs and drop-down menus provide a more in-depth analysis. These range from orders to reports. Orders are key and within this category the business can review purchase orders, direct fulfillment orders, shipments, and returns. This section gives the business perception into what is selling, the quantity, and location it’s being shipped to. Returns should be reviewed as well. They affect the items that may or may not have the best reach. Diving further into any returns will help the business analyze what changes and adjustments, if any, need to be made.

Vendor Central Menus Provide Further Analysis

While the dashboard on the landing page gives recommendations, the merchandising section provides further details. Recommended campaigns show items that will give a brand top revenue along with when it will begin and end. Depending on the product selection, items like these may work best during the holiday season. Black Friday and Cyber Monday weekend are typically top contenders. Additional key merchandising features include creating coupons, promotions, Amazon Vine and A+ Detail pages.

Amazon Vine garners top customer reviews from Amazon’s Vine voices. These invite-only reviewers are chosen based on expertise within a specific product category. Additionally, the consistency of previous reviews. Potential shoppers heavily rely on the reviews of before making a purchase. Having the trusted reviewers instills trust in the product. Vendors have no contact or influence.

Analytic Reports

Vendor Central reports span from retail analytics to packaging and operational performance. The Amazon Retail Analytics Basic report meticulously analyzes the product selection. The results include sales and investor summary, metrics, demand forecast, and lead. The inferences help to conclude what products sell best.

The number of products sold are displayed within the Demand Forecast Graph. The initial page gives an overall view. There are also options to filter throughout a product group or category, among others. When filtering, the graph shows the number of products sold within a specific category or subcategory. A business has leverage to pinpoint what comprised the overall total with each sector being broken down. This type of graph is beneficial to not only show what is being sold weekly, but the category that makes up the most sales.

While Vendor Central provides reports that show the positive of sales, the Operational Performance report digs deeper into the flaws. Each issue type is displayed with metrics. This report in particular has details that will aide in preventing the issues from happening again. The tips provided in Vendor Central make the selling process as seamless as possible.

Seller Central

Seller Central has two different payment plans, but potential sellers need to know what they can sell. Product categories include electronics, auto, baby, and beauty, among others. The first plan, “individual,” is for those that wish to sell fewer than 40 items a month. The fee for this is $0.99 per sale. The “professional” plan is for those looking to sell unlimited products. The monthly fee is $39.99. Once businesses register, they will be able to start listing their products.

Vendor Central Versus Seller Central

The key difference between Vendor Central and Seller Central is that Amazon has full control over one versus the other. Amazon completely handles A to Z for those selling through Vendor Central. With Seller Central, businesses do not have the same access and capabilities. These have been viewed as 3rd party sellers. Having this differentiation shows the versatility of Amazon and the type of products they have available. On the other hand, it shows how they value elite businesses and their products with Vendor Central.

The main difference between Vendor Central and Seller Central is that Vendor Central is invite-only. Seller Central is open to anyone and has its perks. Seller Central pays immediately. Those in Vendor Central have to wait 60 to 90 days. Both have access to analytics, but Vendor Central has assets such as Amazon Vine and A+ Content that is not applicable to Seller Central.

Benefit of Being a Vendor Central Vendor

Having access to Vendor Central is one that business should not take lightly. While making sales is important, analyzing the numbers provided in reports should not go unnoticed. This crucial information is a built-in machine that helps to make future projects overall plus for individual products. The filters in place help to infer where certain items need a further push whereas others are smooth sailing. While Amazon has an avenue for all types of sellers, they truly value the exclusivity of Vendor Central.