So, you already know from one of our most popular past blog posts that Seller Central is almost always a much better option than Vendor Central. This post is all about Seller Central, and some ways to maximize your potential as a seller. Having worked within the system for years, Whitebox knows the ins and outs of Seller Central, and the most common challenges sellers face.
We’ll be honest and say this blog is about convincing you that Whitebox might make a big difference to your company. If Seller Central is the Amazon jungle, then Whitebox is your machete. It’s not like you can’t get by without us… but we would make your life a whole lot easier and more efficient.
This aside, this blog will be useful to anyone who’s currently working with or planning to work with Seller Central, since it highlights some of the most common issues you’ll face. And, as you read further, you’ll start to realize that whether you work with Whitebox or not, you probably won’t be able to manage Seller Central alone.
You’ll have to: Herd those resellers
While pretty much everyone knows that resellers can affect your margins, a lot of manufacturers don’t realize that Amazon makes it very easy for resellers to actually edit your product info. What this means is that a reseller can go in and change your product description, title, or even alter your photos. This can be a big issue for branding, as well as for product ratings, since we all know how much time it takes to set up the listings to be just right.
At Whitebox, we’ve built several pieces of proprietary software to improve our functionality with Amazon. To deal with pesky resellers, we have software that informs of us discrepancies between our listing information and what is customer-facing– and then we can place a ticket with Amazon to fix the issue. That way, if a reseller decides to add their own “improved” description which includes typos and inaccurate information, your product will be back to its old self in a jiffy.
And, if you’re just starting out, Whitebox will get things rolling. We’ll get product listings ready for you, building on our knowledge of listing optimization and Amazon policies, so your product is built for success from the start. We will also work to obtain Brand Registry to help protect our beautiful listings from future resellers.
You’ll have to: Pursue the fickle markets
Of course, alongside resellers messing with your products, there are a lot of other things that change frequently in the Amazon ecosystem. One of these is the shifting costs of your competitors (resellers or otherwise), which can affect your sales. Again, automation is key here, since a regular repricing response is key to keeping up. At Whitebox, we’ve got dynamic repricing software to help keep your product in the Buy Box.
You’ll have to: Follow up and follow up again…
Oftentimes, you’re going to be so bogged down with the day to day of running your company, that you won’t have time to follow up with customers. On Seller Central, you receive customer data, which is a key to both a product’s and a seller’s success.
At Whitebox, our system sends automated emails to follow up with customers in the days following any purchase. These multiple requests to customers to review your product and provide seller feedback are one way we work with you to improve your sales. Plus, they give your customers a chance to voice any complaints directly to us rather than leave a negative review.
And since we all know how much better it is to speak to a human being when lodging a complaint, Whitebox will always reach out to customers who leave negative reviews. Although the Seller Central platform supplies you with customer data, it does not connect it to feedback, but Whitebox built a program to fix that issue. This way, if we can fix it, we will, and within a few hours – which often turns that frown upside down, and makes negative into a positive one.
You’ll have to: Keep Track of Lost Items…
In the chaotic world of Amazon warehouses, it’s no shock that items get lost all the time. Sadly, if you’re running your Seller Central account, you’ll have no way to track this yourself. Amazon won’t notify you when this occurs, and while the occasional lost item here or there might not seem like a huge deal, these little things do add up.
A Whitebox, we have software that closely tracks inventory throughout the Amazon ecosystem, so we’re notified if anything goes missing. For one of our clients with higher-priced, smaller easily lost items, this resulted in reimbursements totaling about $5,000 last year. We always make sure that Amazon sends you reimbursement for these missing items. Just recently, we’ve moved further towards automation by creating software that generates an Amazon ticket each time this occurs, so you get that money back promptly.
You’ll have to: Keep your eye on the numbers…
Sales data can be a real challenge with Amazon, since their system doesn’t make it easy for you to track everything. Given the fact that there is always a lag in your payment, it’s no shock that with Seller Central it can be hard to know exactly what has happened and is happening with your product and especially on a per-order basis.
Whitebox works to make it as easy as possible for clients by setting up a dashboard that has sales numbers, orders, and customer data. Instead of running a bunch of reports yourself and trying to connect the dots, you’ll always have this information at your fingertips. And, if you have any questions at all, our team is always willing to talk you through your numbers.
If you’ve been selling on Amazon for a while, we know that our 10% fee can feel like a lot. However, with all the services we provide, which can make selling with Amazon a lot less of headache AND increase your sales, it’s absolutely worth it. Whatever the case, if you want your store to be run well, chances are you’ll need to hire at least one or two people to run it and pay them a salary – and this isn’t including warehouse staff! (Keep your eyes peeled for another post exploring this further).
If, after this post, you find you’re still asking yourself…
Why can’t I just manage Seller Central myself? Why should I switch to Whitebox?
… we’d love to chat with how our company, your company, and the behemoth that is Seller Central can be one big, happy family.
P.S. Just FYI for those who are looking to set up Seller Central themselves: as of now, as part of a general decluttering of crowded Amazon warehouses, FBA is blocked to new sellers. So, you’ll have to either work with someone like Whitebox, or wait it out.