Are you an Amazon Vendor Central Seller?
Not sure? I’ll explain.
Amazon allows 3rd parties (both individuals and companies) to sell products on their site (or, “sites” as it were), and has 3 different fulfillment methods for doing so:
1. Fulfilled by Merchant Sellers
The responsibility is all on you, the merchant.
You post your item on Amazon, someone buys, and you ship it to them from your location. Your involvement is high, Amazon’s involvement is low.
2. Fulfilled by Amazon Sellers
The responsibility is shared.
You create a listing on Amazon, send Amazon your inventory before the fact, they act as a storehouse for it, someone buys, and Amazon ships it to them. Your involvement is moderate, Amazon’s involvement is moderate. A lot of HonestFew’s clients are FBA, because you get full control over your listing while Amazon handles warehousing, shipping logistics, and most customer service. FBA sellers use an interface called Seller Central, which we know inside and out.
3. Vendor Central Sellers
The responsibility is Amazon’s.
You sell your product to Amazon on a wholesale basis, and they post it to the site and ship it. Your involvement is low, Amazon’s involvement is high.
Let’s say we’re a fitness company that wholesales ab wheels to Amazon. So, we’re a Vendor Central seller.
Here’s our listing.
Our Vendor Central designation is evident by looking at the fulfillment details on the listing. It says “Ships from and sold by Amazon.com”.
Whereas a product sold independently by another company using Amazon Seller Central says “Sold by [Brand Name] and Fulfilled by Amazon”. F-B-A.
Sure, being a Vendor Central seller is low maintenance. We’re wholesaling to Amazon, and that’s about it. I’ll see you at the beach. But there’s one problem: you can’t control how your product is marketed on Amazon.
Meanwhile, Amazon FBA sellers like our ab wheel competitor Elite Sportz can solicit new product reviews, have special sales, optimize their listings, talk to customers, and run pay-per-click advertising. Eventually, they could take our market share, and we don’t want that to happen.
So as a Vendor Central seller, fun’s over.
Or is it?
Now that I’ve provided some context, I’ll provide specific steps on how Vendor Central Sellers can actively increase Amazon sales.
Here’s the executive-level summary:
Selling more ab wheels on Amazon.com is achieved by selling products at a discount to product reviewers.
This increases sales in 2 ways:
(1) Sales = higher keyword ranking = more $
Like Google, Amazon is a search engine: a product-specific search engine. When our ab wheel gets more sales, it tells Amazon’s ranking algorithm to place it higher in search results. Soliciting extra sales, like on HonestFew’s platform, will earn us more organic sales. Here’s what an algorithm is, in simple terms:
(2) Reviews = better conversion rate = more $
And, since we’re selling to designated product reviewers instead of just regular customers, we also increase the number of reviews on our ab wheel. More often than not, customers make decisions based on what other people are doing. And Reviews are that social proof. If you take a look at the keyword search “ab wheel”, it’s pretty clear that you’re going to choose our wheel (Perfect Fitness Ab Carver Pro) because we have the most reviews (3000+), and therefore appear the most popular. We’re going to make more money, even as the most expensive option.
That sounds great, but as a Vendor Central brand, we can’t just go out and solicit product sales and honest reviews…
Here’s how to increase sales on your listing in 8 steps, start to finish:
- Find a partner with a Seller Central account.
We, the Vendor Central seller, find a trusted party with an Amazon Seller Central account. I’m going to call this person “Partner”. HonestFew can do this for you if you’re interested. That’s why I put our phone number and email here, in case you need us: 1-855-707-2395 and firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Add the product via Seller Central.
The Partner indicates to Amazon’s system that they would like to sell our ab wheel as well. This is done in Seller Central by adding the ASIN (Amazon’s identifying code for the product) of the ab wheel to the inventory of the Partner’s seller account.
3. Partner lists our product for sale.
Partner creates an Amazon listing for the ab roller from their Seller Central Account. This includes things like availability and price. Note: this isn’t a “new” Amazon listing. The Partner is becoming an alternative seller of the product for the same listing. Then, the Partner is going to sell products on our behalf (which is how we’ll control the sales and reviews of our product). Not sure how that’s going to work? Let’s continue.
4. Locations & labels.
Every product that’s shipped to Amazon using FBA (Fulfillment by Amazon) needs 2 things: labels (both individual labels on each package and labels on the shipping boxes) and a pre-determined warehouse location. The Partner generates the locations and labels in the Amazon Seller Central shipping workflow and sends them to us.
5. We ship to Amazon.
According to the locations and labels generated by Amazon in Step 4, we label our ab wheel packages and ship to the Amazon warehouse locations. And in about a week (allow time for shipping and processing), the inventory will arrive at the fulfillment center and populate in our Partner’s Seller Central account.
6. Partner sells products for review.
Our item is in stock in the Partner’s Seller Central account. Great. The Partner generates single use claim codes in Seller Central (which are basically like unique, one-time use coupon codes on any e-commerce site), and uses them to sell our ab wheels to product reviewers at a discount. This is HonestFew’s core service and we also have a professional Seller Central account, so it makes sense that we play “Partner” in this scenario.
7. Reconcile the fees.
Important nuance: when an FBA seller (i.e. our Partner, who is using Seller Central) sells products on Amazon, Amazon charges fees. Using a tool called the FBA Revenue Calculator, the Partner can discern exactly how much money we’ll lose or gain for each transaction.
For example, if I input that I want to sell the ab wheel to reviewers at a discounted price of $1.99, it shows me that I’ll lose close to $5.
But, if I were to sell the ab wheel to reviewers at $7, I am basically at break-even per unit. With this in mind, the Partner using Seller Central will accrue a balance. If the balance is negative, we reimburse the Partner for the loss. If the balance is positive, the Partner pays the profit to us, the brand.
8. Make more money.
The goal of selling to reviewers is not to make a profit per unit short-term. Rather, the increase in sales and reviews increases our visibility (more sales = better ranking) and conversion rate (more social proof = more sales), and we make the money back through organic sales in the coming weeks, months, and years. After all, review count is permanent.
Invest short term, make money long term.
And that’s the strategy that we successfully implement at HonestFew every day. We’ve successfully launched thousands of products, and would be happy to work with you as well.
We can take care of everything, from being your Seller Central partner, to helping you sell your product to reviewers, to when you get your ROI: your strategic partner every step of the way.
So I hope this was useful in achieving your goals. That was “How to get Amazon reviews for Vendor Central sellers”.
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