Amazon.com wants to bring your company on as a vendor or your company wants to sell on Amazon.com. What can you do on your end to make sure you're ready for the transition to Seller Central, Vendor Central or Vendor Express?
Clearly Communicate Your Pricing
If you're planning on selling on Amazon.com through seller central, communicating your pricing is as simple as setting your price in the seller central platform. If you're working with Amazon.com through Vendor Express or Vendor Central however, it can be a little more complex. First you'll need to send Amazon.com a pricing sheet of all your SKU's. This is a good point to communicate other shipping and purchase information to Amazon.com like case/inner price and quantity.
Find The Right Product Submission Format
If you're looking to sell your products on Seller Central adding new products is as simple as clicking "add new product" option in the platform, but if you have a Vendor Express or Vendor Central relationship, you'll have to upload and edit your products through spreadsheet submissions. Amazon.com receives monstrous amounts of data every day and information uploaded for updating and adding your products can take a while to propagate. This is why you want to ensure that you upload your products to Amazon.com correctly the first time. Incorrectly uploading information can create errors that can take weeks to correct. Research which product category similar products are listed in on Amazon.com to ensure that you have the correct format. Download the most recent upload spreadsheet for that category to upload the item. Amazon.com categories are occasionally gated. In this case your buyer or contact at Amazon.com will send you an upload template.
Format Your Catalog
It's important to have all of your SKU information organized and sorted so that pulling information for product uploads and edits is easy. You'll want to create a spreadsheet containing all the data points you'll need for each SKU. Shown below are data points that should be included.
- SKU Title
- Brand Name
- Amazon Consumer Price
- MAP Price
- SKU weight & dimensions
- Case Quantity & Price, Inner Quantity & Price and Pallet Quantity & Price
- SKU UPC, Inner UPC (if applicable), Case UPC (if applicable)
- SKU ASINs (if product is already live on Amazon)
- SKU Product Code ( your internal product number)
Collect Your Product Images
A product's image is one of your listings most important components. It's one of first impressions Amazon.com consumers have of your product. Also Amazon.com customers are doing increasingly more shopping on their phones. When shopping mobile a consumer is even less likely to read the text of a listing and more likely to base his or her purchase decision on star rating, review number, image and title.
It is crucial that your products put their best foot forward. Typically you'll want around four images for each product. Images consist of different profile views of the product, diagrams of the product or photos of the product in use. Video files when added, work great if they're high quality. Images uploaded should have a height and width over 1000 pixels. Images of this size will allow shoppers to hover over your images, zoom in and inspect your products.
Companies with many SKU's need to have their image database organized before they upload to Amazon. Images upload to Amazon.com easiest in JPG format. If you have only a single image or multiple low quality images for your products, it will be worth your while to invest in having professional images taken. While it may cost you some extra money on the front end, it'll pay for itself in increased sales on Amazon.com in no time.
Find Out Who Else is Selling Your Product
Amazon.com is an open market and arbitrage and resale is common. Third party sellers can dilute your sales, damage your brand's image, misrepresent your products and destroy your markets on Amazon.com. Defending your products and your brand is an aspect of selling on Amazon.com that many companies over look. There are multiple things that you can do to take back control of your brand and products. Duplicate listings can be merged to drive more traffic through your listings and counterfeit products can be flagged and removed by Amazon.com. With some investigating you can even discover which of your sales accounts are reselling your products on Amazon.com.
During the on boarding process issues and problems will inevitably come up. Preparation and having all the information you could need, organized and on hand will prevent many problems before they occur and set yourself up for Amazon success.