When it comes to selling products on Amazon, there are two main options for businesses: Seller Central and Vendor Central.
While both platforms allow businesses to list and sell their products on Amazon, there are key differences between the two that can impact a business’s strategy and success on the e-commerce platform.
Indeed, you will want to know about the differences in Seller Central vs Vendor Central before choosing a method of offering your products to customers on Amazon.
Key Differences Between Seller Central vs Vendor Central
Seller Central is the platform that most businesses are familiar with. It allows businesses to list and sell their products on Amazon as third-party sellers. With Seller Central, businesses can create their listings and set their prices, as well as manage their inventory and customer orders. They also have access to Amazon’s tools and resources, such as analytics and marketing campaigns, to help them optimize their sales and grow their business on the platform.
Vendor Central, on the other hand, is a platform designed for manufacturers and wholesalers who want to sell their products to Amazon directly. With Vendor Central, businesses provide their products to Amazon, and the e-commerce giant then sells them to customers. Amazon sets the prices and manages the inventory, while businesses receive payments from Amazon regularly. On the level of control businesses have over their products and pricing, Seller Central subscribers have complete control over their listings and prices.
However, with Vendor Central, Amazon is in charge of these aspects. This can impact a business’s ability to respond quickly to market changes and take advantage of sales opportunities. Another major difference is the level of visibility and brand recognition. With Seller Central, businesses have their listings and can use Amazon’s tools to build their brand and reach customers directly. With Vendor Central, Amazon is the primary seller, and businesses’ productsmay be listed alongside other brands, making it more difficult to differentiate and stand out.
In terms of fees, businesses using Seller Central are responsible for paying Amazon’s selling fees, which include a referral fee, variable closing fee, and in some cases, a per-item fee. With Vendor Central, businesses may not have to pay any fees to Amazon, but they may have to offer discounts or other incentives to secure a deal with the e-commerce giant.
Amazon Vendor Central
The Vendor Central plan is exclusive to only those who get invited. Once you are invited to be part, you relinquish control over your products in most aspects once they leave the production, including the price with which they are offered to the market. Essentially, you are selling on Amazon as a distributor rather than a merchant. This route can be beneficial to manufacturers and distributors since products are likely to attract more sales coming from Amazon than belong to a specific company. Customers are more comfortable buying products that have been verified and linked with Amazon than buying from a third-party seller. Here are some of the features attributed to this plan:
- It is an “invite-only” program.
- Vendors have less power over product prices.
- The plan relies on standard payment terms.
- Vendors sell in bulk
- Vendors have access to elite Amazon resources and tools such as Amazon Vine Program, Subscribe & Save
Amazon Seller Central
The Seller Central plan has no restrictions on who signs up. The difference with Vendor Central is that a seller has control over the prices of goods offered. Additionally, they can access more inventory information and opportunities to create and run independent product promotion campaigns and strategies. Its key features are:
- Anyone can sign up and list their products.
- Sellers have more control over prices and inventory.
- Sellers can access Amazon tools and resources.
- Sellers can enjoy higher profits.
- Sellers have control over promotions, listings, and shipments.
Seller Central vs Vendor Central Comparison Chart
Pros and Cons of Amazon Vendor Central vs Seller Central
Vendor Central: Pros
- Enhanced Consumer Trust. Amazon shoppers and loyal customers trust products branded “Amazon more than anything. This is due to the impeccable reputation the company has based on its products. Being an Amazon Vendor, therefore, allows you to sell under this model where you supply Amazon as a distributor.
- Access to A+ Content. This is a paid service that gives sellers access to their page. You can add HTML content, callouts, photos videos, comparison charts, etc. on your vendor central page without necessarily calling customer service.
- Access to Subscribe & Save Feature. Customers can subscribe to have household stables sent directly to their doorstep at a discount.
- Amazon Vine. This program enables vendors’ products to be sent to top reviewers before they hit the shelves. This is a great product promotion strategy that boosts buyer confidence and rankings on the Amazon A9 ranking algorithm.
- Benefits of Vendor Premium Services. Vendors enjoy a myriad of services with this feature. Duplicate listings can be merged variations set, and content created for you.
Vendor Central: Cons
- Sellers have limited control over analytics and reporting. Amazon makes all sale decisions, leaving sellers with little to no control over prices.
- Amazon must approve all changes that sellers make. That means even a minor adjustment can take a long to be approved.
- Amazon determines the volume of inventory sellers ship in its warehouses. It often requests inventory on Monday and sellers have a few days to ship their products.
- Sellers can also suffer losses if their products are not selling well. In short, Amazon will set prices and promotions on products that do not sell well.
- Sellers have to pay non-compliance fees for late or improper shipments.
Amazon Seller Central: Pros
- It is available to all sellers with a few requirements to qualify. It should be noted, though, that you are not allowed to sell in any category or any product. Certain products, categories, sub-categories, and brands are gated and only available to approved sellers.
- Sellers have more control over their listing, which allows them to determine their marketing and pricing factors.
- Sellers have unlimited access to data, metrics, and analytics on the performance of their business.
- Payments are processed faster (bi-weekly).
- Sellers can decide the volume of inventory to send in.
- Sellers have access to various community forums such as Facebook, Reddit, podcasts, webinars, etc.
Amazon Seller Central: Cons
- Sellers have limited listing details.
- Sellers cannot access vendor programs.
- The plan proves simple PPC Ads.
- Low sales due to lack of customer trust.
Our Conclusion To Reviewing Seller Central vs Vendor Central
Both Seller Central and Vendor Central are powerful platforms for businesses looking to sell their products on Amazon.
It is vital to understand the differences between the two and choose the one that best aligns with your goals and strategies.
By doing so, you can increase your chances of success on the e-commerce platform and grow your business.
The choice between Seller Central vs Vendor Central depends on a business’s specific needs and goals. If a business wants complete control over its listings and pricing to build its brand on Amazon, Seller Central is the best option.
However, if a business wants to sell its products to Amazon directly and doesn’t mind giving up control over pricing and inventory management, Vendor Central may be a better fit.