Selling on Amazon offers so many advantages that it has proven nearly irresistible for companies all over the world. Even many of those that see plenty of traffic to their own sites have realized that they can’t afford to forego the benefits of selling on the world-renowned marketplace.
Still, many companies have been wondering how drastically their experience with selling on Amazon can possibly change.
Although there's no reason to panic, there are reasons to believe that changes are right around the corner.
However, without confirmation, we're left speculating. Right now, all signs point to a singular vendor system set to replace Amazon's dual-vendor system: Amazon One Vendor.
What Is Amazon One Vendor?
Given Amazon’s well-known devotion to improving their customer experience, many people have long-suspected that the company would eventually move to consolidate their current two-model seller system into one. This would give Amazon much more control over the customer experience they want to perfect, while simultaneously allowing them to create more prosperous relationships with brands.
Currently, Amazon offers sellers two options for using their platform. They can either choose to sell as a first-party seller through Amazon Vendor Central or as a third party through Amazon Seller Central.
Soon, Amazon may change this with the introduction of One Vendor.
Instead of giving sellers the option to choose their approach, the company would make the determination on a per-product basis.
What does that mean for third-party sellers who enjoy the level of control they currently have? Unfortunately, it means those days are most likely coming to an end once One Vendor is introduced.
If Amazon determines that a wholesale relationship would be more beneficial, you would have no other option but to adopt that approach. Any attempt to continue allowing third-party sellers to offer your products could incur the company’s wrath. Specifically, Amazon could move to prevent your company from allowing marketplace resellers to offer your products.
What Does This Mean for Amazon Sellers?
For the vast majority of sellers, this represents an extremely significant change to their operation.
However, in some ways, it’s really nothing new.
Amazon has always made it clear that they expect companies to grant them competitive terms when sourcing their products if those products are also sold elsewhere. It’s just that this Amazon Retail expectation hasn’t always been uniformly enforced very well.
That could change in the coming months.
So, where does this leave third-party sellers who may all of a sudden see a big part of their online business model uprooted?
We're really not sure, but preparation is key.
3 Ways Amazon Sellers Must Prepare for the Arrival of One Vendor
No one knows for sure when Amazon One Vendor will be launched or what its exact requirements will be for sellers on the platform.
Nonetheless, there are three steps your company can take now to better prepare for the possible effects of this change.
1. Invest in a Multichannel Strategy
Regardless of what Amazon One Vendor actually ends up entailing, this is sound advice every company should take. That’s because the very fact that everyone is worried about One Vendor is proof that Amazon should never be a seller’s sole platform.
Even if it the worst rumors don’t materialize with One Vendor’s launch, that’s no guarantee those major changes won’t eventually happen. You’re better off preparing accordingly now.
Consider opportunities with other massive platforms, like Walmart, Google, and eBay. Diversifying your mulitchannel strategy isn't necessarily easy, but it can be with a product feed management tool.
With GoDataFeed, we make it as easy as possible to move, manage, and sync your inventory across 200+ channels. We're definitely not the only company doing this, but you are on our blog after all... wink. By eliminating the manual work that’s otherwise required when moving to new ecommerce channels, there’s no reason to put off a multichannel strategy.
Even if you’re already using other channels, now would be a good time to consider other options, as well. The more opportunities you have to sell your products on your terms, the more insulated you’ll be from the possible risks posed by Amazon One Vendor.
2. Reconsider Amazon Advertising Dollars
With that said, your multichannel approach should still include Amazon, which means you should still consider how to optimize your company’s presence on the site.
The reason is very simple. No matter what effect One Vendor may have on sellers, it’s undoubtedly being implemented because Amazon has reason to believe it will improve customer satisfaction. That improved satisfaction will most likely lead to more sales, as well.
So, while sellers may not be thrilled about some of these changes, it seems safe to assume that it will only make Amazon more popular with customers.
As a result, expect sellers to start finding room in their budgets to advertise on Amazon. Many businesses already started upping their Amazon ad-spends back in 2017 after the company opened a Manhattan office and hired 2,000 advertising professionals.
That doesn’t mean adjusting your budget quite yet, though. Wait and see what One Vendor’s effects will be; your money may be better spent elsewhere.
For now, start running the numbers. See what you could increase your ad-spend to and then get ready to implement a new strategy if One Vendor results in greater traffic.
3. Optimize Everything Else About Your Amazon Strategy
It definitely seems as though the motivation behind One Vendor is to give Amazon as much backend control as possible, so they can offer a better customer experience.
As a result, sellers should expect a lot less control on the platform. They’ll upload the required information about their products and Amazon will decide how it will be sold to customers.
Fortunately, you won't be left without any control over your products. You'll still manage your inventory levels, be able to react to feedback, and make necessary changes that would help sell more products. And, as we just touched on, there’s still – and will always be – plenty you can do to market your products, as well.
Until Amazon One Vendor is formally introduced to the world, we can’t know for certain how much control sellers will get to keep, but it’s doubtful that those areas we just mentioned will see any big changes.
For now, prepare for the worst. When it's announced, optimize away.
Preparing for Success with Amazon One Vendor
No matter how many other priorities your company has at the moment, make time to consider what One Vendor could mean for your business strategy.
There’s no downside to taking the three steps outlined above.
Even if One Vendor never comes to fruition (it will), you’ll still be better off for having those contingencies in place – just in case.