New service for sellers on Amazon: Vendor Express
For a few days now, Amazon has also been offering German manufacturers and retailers the service Vendor Express, which the company has been offering in America since the beginning of the year. Unlike Vendor Central, Amazon does not require an invitation to join Vendor Express. Registration is free of charge for everyone, but it doesn't offer all the possibilities offered by Vendor Central. The new service is primarily aimed at "new-to-market" products from small manufacturers and start-ups. These are usually too small to qualify for Vendor Central. With Vendor Express, Amazon is creating a way to win over small suppliers that would otherwise not have the opportunity to do so. Excluded from participation are products in the categories of dangerous goods, adult products, heavy products (over 10 kg), bulky and large products, as well as all products that are more expensive than $500.
What exactly does Vendor Express include?
- No participation costs
- Storage and order processing for products by Amazon
- Automatic determination of the correct price by the Amazon algorithm
- Amazon Catalog Integration and Search
- Free 2-day shipping for Amazon Prime customers
- Free shipping for orders €25 upwards
- 24 hour customer service and returns management
- Amazon marketing program, such as Best Seller, Buy X/ Get Y, Recommendations, “Customers who bought this item also bought...” and many others
“It’s very easy to get started”... says Amazon about its new service. First of all, set up a business account and add the items you want to sell via Amazon. You decide which products you want to sell to Amazon. After you have decided on items, you will be asked to specify the EAN of the products to check whether the products are already offered on Amazon.com. If this is the case, you only need to add some additional details and prices. Usually, Amazon places an order for these products immediately. If the product is not yet distributed through amazon.com, Amazon will ask you to send a few free units to the shipping center so that the company can track customer demand through the website. If there is enough demand for your products, Amazon will demand more goods and you will of course pay for them. With the exception of sample orders, you will be paid within 60 days of the date on which your invoice was received by Amazon.
4 steps to your created product
Step 1: Suitability of the productIn the first step, you are asked to check the EAN of your product. On the one hand, as explained above, it will be checked whether the article is already sold on amazon.com and on the other hand, whether your product is suitable for Amazon. Some product groups are therefore out of the question for Amazon due to expiry dates, hazardous ingredients or legal requirements. This has to be found out in the first step.
Step 2: Information about the productThe second step involves general product information such as category, weight or size. Moreover, Amazon's algorithm for calculating a competitive selling price comes into play here. You specify your desired price and Amazon will then tell you whether the company can pay this price or not. In order to create a product, however, the price suggested by Amazon must be accepted.
Step 3: Product information and imagesIn the third step, product information and images are added. These serve for the later product detail page. Amazon requires information such as the brand, manufacturer's name, country of production, model number. The information for bullet points, product text and keywords are also stored here.
Step 4: Add labels and warningsIn the last step, labels and warnings are added depending on the product type. These include expiry date, minimum age to purchase the product, age-specific safety warnings, etc. Once you have completed the relevant fields for your product, you can now create your product.
What is the difference compared to Amazon Vendor Central?The biggest difference is the free participation for all manufacturers and retailers, as the participation in the Vendor Central Program is exclusively by invitation of Amazon. The new program also makes it easier for third parties, small businesses and start-ups to become an Amazon supplier. Another big difference is that no A+ content is available to Vendor Express subscribers yet. This is reason enough for some brand manufacturers not to register as a vendor express member, because in many cases A+ Content offers the decisive advantage over the competition. With A+ Content, Vendor Central Partners have the possibility to add a multitude of images, to extend the product text (e. g. step-by-step instructions) and to insert comparison charts (cross selling tables). A+ Content has been proven to increase sales and strengthen brand and product loyalty. So far, this service is only available to Vendor Central partners. Not yet possible in Germany, but already in America: „direct fulfillment“.In contrast to Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA), the manufacturer also sells via Amazon, so they are also a "supplier" for Amazon, but the products remain in their own warehouse and does not have to be sent to an Amazon Fulfillment Center. When a product is ordered, Amazon notifies the seller and provides a free shipping label. Subsequently, the seller is solely responsible for shipping their goods.
What advantages do I have as a manufacturer or retailer?Amazon Vendor Express provides some advantages for manufacturers and retailers. As a supplier to Amazon, Amazon's interest in actually selling the products is increasingly growing. This means that Amazon will rank the products as high and as well as possible to increase conversion rates and sales. By participating in Vendor Express, the manufacturer also has the opportunity to offer its customers the Amazon Prime service and thus supplement a further service that is meanwhile desired and used by many buyers. Amazon's "Sales and Shipping by Amazon" statement, which is supplemented on product pages at Amazon Central and Amazon Express partners, also creates a major competitive advantage because it creates consumer confidence. These trust Amazon rather than sellers not known to you. As already mentioned, the "direct fullfilment" service does not yet exist in Germany, but if it is also available to German retailers soon, the new option can greatly benefit them. Often, small sellers in particular are unable to meet the exact regulations and strict delivery regulations of the Vendor Central program and fail due to logistics problems. “Direct Fulfillment” enables Amazon to take advantage of its services and grow slowly with the group. In addition, the independent dispatch gives you the advantage of being able to pack “individual” packages and, if necessary, to supplement flyers or other advertising material and thus create further brand loyalty. Amazon's promise and benefit for Vendor Express: Amazon buys your products and takes care of shipping costs, marketing, customer service and returns. You can focus entirely and exclusively on producing good products.
Is Amazon Vendor Express the right choice for your company?If you can answer yes to these following questions, Amazon recommends participating in Vendor Express:
- I would like Amazon to be the seller of my products
- I would like Amazon to take care of the shipping and service of my products
- I would like Amazon to take care of the customer management and returns of my products
- I would like my customers to get discounted shipping options when they buy through Amazon
- I would like my products to be calculated using Amazon’s pricing algorithm so that they are competitive