Amazon Seller Central Guide
Amazon enables sellers to earn billions of dollars in sales every year. The potential that Amazon offers in terms of growth cannot be found anywhere else. With half a billion products in the database, and half of the world’s population shopping on the platform for everything from apparels to health equipment, it is a marketplace that does more sales than the GDP of some countries.
This also makes the platform extremely complicated. The terms of service are a pain to go through, and it changes periodically. The product sales depend on a hundred complicated parameters. So, every seller needs a handy guidebook on navigating the platform. This is what we have compiled in this article.
Let's dive deeper and explore what Amazon Seller Central is. We will also discuss how you can set up your own account on Seller Central Amazon. So, without further ado, let's have an in-depth insight. Bear in mind that if you do need some assistance with navigating your way through Amazon Seller Central, check out Amazon IO Scout , specifically the benefits of Live Chat Personal Amazon Business Consultant - IO Scout’s 24/7 expert chat feature is there to assist in the daily running of your Amazon business, and provide real-time, instant solutions to your queries. Definitely an asset to any Amazon FBA selling business.
What is Amazon Seller Central?
Seller Central Amazon is the center of your entire existence in Amazon. When a seller begins their journey on the platform, everything related to their business is located in Seller Central. From the details on your product inventory to orders placed by customers, profits, losses, everything can be seen in one place. It is the most effective management tool of Amazon and every seller must understand the dashboard by heart.
- How to Set an Account on Seller Central Amazon?
- How to Choose What Kind of Products to Sell on Amazon?
- Navigating the Seller Central Key Dashboard Features
- Choosing Fulfillment Option
- Benefits of Using Amazon Seller Central
How to Set an Account on Seller Central Amazon?
Amazon Central Seller account must be created before you begin selling on Amazon. The account creation process is very much like how we create user accounts on Amazon, with a few variations in the details that are required. Make sure you have all of these things if you want to create the seller account.
- A unique business name (this is what buyers will see when they check seller of a product)
- Your personal contact information for Amazon team and for customers (it is recommended that you keep these ids separate for better management of communication)
- An About Us write-up – your customers will see this when they search for your company. Make sure you instill belief in your brand through this
- Your country-specific tax information
- Your full name as in the tax document, and personal address
- The locations where you are willing to ship your products
- A bank account where Amazon will send your earning
- A company logo – this is usually added to the product page, so make it memorable for your customers
- Policies on refunds and returns
Follow these steps to create the account.
Open Amazon.com on your desktop and click on the option labeled ‘sell’. You can also go to the following link directly for the same - Services.Amazon.com
- When you arrive at the page, click on ‘Start Selling’. This option will land you directly at the page for account creation. The step from here is completely like how you create a user account with Amazon. Fill in all the basic details and proceed to the next page.
- Set your login details and you will be able to log in to the Amazon central seller.
- On this page, you have to fill in seller specific details. Use the details you mentioned above to fill in the required fields.
- Pay attention to the section that has tax information. You have to fill the tax details specific to your country, and the federal classification of the company must be mentioned. Your tax identification number is a must, without it you will not be allowed to create an account.
- Cross-check every field to verify your information is correct. Without the correct details’ Amazon will reject your seller application and you will have to reapply.
- If you are selling products in only one country, one seller account is all you need. But if you want to sell in different countries, you have to create accounts specific to each country. This is done as the tax information of these countries are very different and Amazon collects tax at source, so the countries cannot be combined.
- When you have filled in all the details, be sure to use the multi-layer verification to authenticate your account. Your seller account has access to all your products, and the extra security will make sure no one can easily hack into your account.
How to Choose What Kind of Products to Sell on Amazon?
Selling products on Amazon can be a tough task. Over the years, the number of sellers has kept growing. So has the fees and charges on products charged by Amazon. To top that off, the infamous price wars of Amazon keeps the sellers on the lookout for cheaper ways to sell all the time.
For many sellers, it is no longer a simple task to launch a product that will generate a good profit. A lot of calculation has to go in deciding the actual profit margin of the product.
Then comes the fact that Amazon uses its own algorithm to provide search results to users. The A9 algorithm is highly intuitive and intent-based. The algorithm is favored to make Amazon more money, and not the sellers. So, the algorithm only favors sellers that are selling more products as compared to their counterparts. If you want to get into the top 10 results for a product search, you must sell a certain number of units.
Of the tens of products in the market, we have selected the top three in terms of the results they have provided for sellers, features provided, and the pricing models.
This is a difficult game and sellers can use all the help they can get in generating sales. Fortunately, some sellers have watched Amazon evolve, and put in years of experience in the business. Many of them have come up with apps and products that can optimize the chances for a seller to find and market a product that will generate the most profit.
The tools like product finder, keyword research, profit calculator, are pretty accurate to the market trends, which makes it a great investment.
There are many other features besides researching a suitable product. The promotional features for your product, listing creator and email campaigns can be especially useful for advertising. Other great tools include full-scale analytics of sales, researching the right keywords, and alerts whenever the product details are available. With the app, you also get access to Training Academy by Jungle Scout.
Most of the tools in the market are quite pricey. We like IO Scout because it brings a comprehensive set of tools that can do the research for a good product, analyze the demand in the category and market to give you an accurate idea of what is profitable.
But it also brings a lot of flexibility in terms of the pricing option. The basic plan starts at $30 and is cheaper than most good tools in the market. In addition to that, you can share the account with 10 other people. So, your business partners can also keep track of how the sales are coming in, and get work done much faster.
Helium 10 is a complete package of 15 tools that take care of idea validation, keyword research, marketing campaigns, and review tracking. This app has it all. The Helium 10 chrome extension has been downloaded over 200,000 times. Worldwide, around three hundred thousand sellers use this tool to optimize their business. Sellers who use Amazon FBA or FBM and private label sellers can utilize this tool to make faster sales.
This tool is not available if the seller is using Amazon retail. The product pricing is a little costlier than most tools but considering how many features can automate most of your manual tasks, it is worth taking a look at.
Navigating the Seller Central Key Dashboard Features
The Amazon Seller Central app is highly customizable. Upon registration, you will be allotted a default dashboard, where the navigation tabs can be found above the page. These are static. But you do have the option to use widgets to make the dashboard much more customized by arranging information that you quickly need to see. There are various labels on the dashboard. Get acquainted with them and what information they provide.
- Your Orders. This will be one of the most used features by any seller. Any time a customer places an order of your product, you will see the entry here. If there are any customer requests for returning the product, that information will come here too. You can also see all the orders that are yet to be shipped.
- Selling Coach. The Selling Coach provides you the overlook of the inventory. If any product is selling very fast, the levels of products that are still in stock, and if any product can sell better if you change the shipping method for it. The most useful feature here is that whenever your inventory is running low, a restock button will appear. If you click on it, Amazon will take care of replenishing the stocks.
- Payments Summary. Find a detailed analysis of your income and deductions here. Remember that Amazon deducts a monthly $39 for your professional account membership charges. Payments will come in every two weeks. The dates of the next payment and how much Amazon has to pay you can be seen here.
- Manage the log for user case requests. When a user creates a complaint or service request, it gets added to this page, so you can immediately take care of the issue.
- Sales summary. You can see how many products you have sold. Amazon Seller Central App allows this data to be filtered by days. If you are selling on many other marketplaces of Amazon, you will be able to select your sales made by countries. The summary option lets you understand at a quick glance which products are selling well and which could be removed if your marketing campaigns are performing well, etc.
- Performance. This is basically a health check of your store. The score depends on how well you are serving your customers. If your performance is very low, you might be banned from the platform or get fined for it. Try to keep the numbers up, as low performance is an indicator that your account is flagged with Amazon. It will cause your account activities to get reviewed.
- Brand Health. It is a sub – version of the performance tab. You can see any urgent actions needed immediately so you can set your priority accordingly. The widget also shows the factors that are affecting the experience of buyers in the shopping process.
- Inventory Planning. Seller Amazon Central has the option to monitor the inventory of your product, as well as give a performance score. The ideal score should be closer to 1000.
Choosing Fulfillment Option
The simple answer to this question is that it depends on the type of business. There is no shortcut to deciding the right choice. Various factors influence this choice. We have tried to summarize the effects that cash flow; inventory management and the style of business have on the choice of fulfillment option of a seller.
This is a crucial decision, so do not give up and go through the individual points. We promise you will appreciate the knowledge later.
There are three options when it comes to Amazon fulfillment. We will start off with the most popular option – FBA.
This is often the most popular choice amongst vendors. If you know about the various fees associated with FBA, you might wonder why any seller would pay such a significant portion of their earnings for this service? And the reason is simple, Amazon does 95% of the work for you in return for the fees it deducts.
Make no mistake, FBA is super expensive. But here is why you should factor in the benefits that you get from choosing this option.
With FBA, the only thing you have to do is source the product from a place where you get a good price. Your job is done here. After this, Amazon will pick up the product, store it in the inventory, warehouse, take care of orders, alert you when the stocks are running low, handle any return requests, handle all customer service related things and deliver your product.
Meanwhile, you are free to spend all your time working on how to find more profitable products that you can sell and grow your business. Instead of handling the day to day activities of running a business, you can actually scale up to however you want to. Amazon’s resources are at your convenience for the fees that you pay.
But as we said, FBA is pretty expensive. So, before you jump into grabbing this as your first choice, make sure your product can pull in enough money to make the business sustainable even after paying all the fees. Take a look at the FBA details to understand how each of these services costs per unit. Or better yet, utilize the tools like Helium 10, Jungle Scout or IO Scout to compute the profitability for you, so you make no mistakes.
Having said that, also consider that with FBA you have access to sell your product to the sixty five million prime customers worldwide. You have free two-day delivery and a better chance of getting the Buy Box.
What if you already have a department for shipping products and taking care of customers?
Do you think you will sell well even if prime customers do not have access to your product as much?
Do you have a warehouse big enough to fulfill all the order requirements?
What will it cost to hire employees to do the picking, packing, shipping, customer handling, warehouse handling, delivery and return for you?
Is the total salary required by your workforce more or less than the FBA fees?
Consider the answers to all of these questions. Because FBM means you are in charge of getting the product from to source to the doorstep of your customers. You handle all the daily activities and all the departments we listed above.
If you have a handle on all these things, then FBM is the perfect solution for you.
The third option is a hybrid of FBA and FBM.
When you opt for SFP, you will still be handling the sourcing, picking, packing, delivery, customer handling and return. Basically, everything you do at FBM, you will do here. So, what is the difference between these two fulfillment options? It is that you have access to sixty five million prime customers through SFP. For this, you do not even have to pay all the heavy fees that FBA sellers are required to pay.
However, qualifying for SFP can be difficult. You must first opt for a trial with a minimum of 300 product orders. If you fail to fulfill all the requirements of SFP, Amazon will not allow you to go for this plan. So, depending on your infrastructure, you are back at the choice between FBA and FBM.
And all the hassles of SFP and FBM is why FBA tends to be so popular with many sellers.
Which Option Should You Choose?
This decision has nothing to do with Amazon Central, but everything to do with your business.
If you are unsure about what every step of the delivery process will cost, we suggest choosing FBA. It will cost you a lot of money for all the services. But if you price the product right and it has good demand, you will make your money back. Plus, this will allow scaling opportunities.
If you already have a business set up and accustomed to doing all the business activities, FBM is a good option other than the fact that you do not get access to prime members.
This is why we suggest going for SFP instead of FBM, if possible. You will have access to millions of prime customers and be in a much high position for the Buy Box.
Benefits of Using Amazon Seller Central
The reasons why every seller should learn how to handle the seller central are because it is a superior tool that makes your life easier by providing the following benefits:
- You control your products – you will know where your product is at every step of the way from shipping to delivery. If there is any mismanagement, damage or another issue, you can immediately step in and remedy it.
- No counterfeit products – sellers will only be allowed to sell the products they are supposed to. If any seller tries to hijack your ASIN and sell counterfeit products, they will immediately get banned from reporting.
- You control the price – the seller sets the price. Period.
- Quick analytics – the widgets lets you keep track of important information like sales numbers, payment date and amount, inventory status, etc. And all of this data is provided to the sellers completely free of cost. Every seller gets a central seller dashboard and there is no membership fee associated with it.
What more can one ask for?
Now that we have been through an overall idea of the Amazon Central Seller, and all its features, you can start using it. Make sure to utilize the widgets and statistical analysis to keep track of your products. If you use another third party software like Helium 10, IO Scout or Jungle Scout, you can connect them to your seller dashboard and generate even better analytics of your business.
That said, Amazon Seller Central is a great platform every Amazon seller must access. What are your views on this? Have you ever used Amazon Seller Central? How was your experience? Let us know in the comments below.