What can you do in Vendor Central?
As the main hub for vendors to interact with Amazon, there are a lot of different features and tools provided in Vendor Central.
Even before you sign up for Vendor Central, Amazon will assign a dedicated Account Manager who will be your official point of contact. In addition to helping out with day-to-day activities, your Account Manager will be tasked with answering any questions you have about the Vendor Central platform. The simplicity of the relationship between Amazon and its vendors, though, makes that system fairly easy to understand. Some of the most commonly used Vendor Central features cover matters like:
Amazon runs a tight ship and tries to keep inventory levels relatively low. It sends purchase orders via Vendor Central once each week to many members, with particularly hot products meriting more. Currently available under the Vendor Central “Orders” tab, these requests are the cornerstones of each vendor’s relationship with Amazon.
Just like with Seller Central sellers, Amazon holds its vendors to high standards. Being late on too many shipments, failing to include purchase orders, using non-compliant barcodes or creating other problems will attract negative attention. The “Reports” section of Vendor Central details any of these failures and provides a summary of overall operational performance. It also tallies up the chargebacks incurred each week, a figure most vendors will want to keep track of and limit.
Vendors are responsible for shipping products to Amazon and making sure they arrive as agreed. Vendor Central makes it easy for partners to check up on shipments that still need to be sent, as well as those in progress.
As might be expected, Amazon provides plenty of information to Vendor Central members about how their products are performing. Partners can review sales and returns figures, as well as Amazon’s current and historical stock levels for their products. Although Amazon itself puts together product pages for the items it buys from vendors, Vendor Central allows suppliers to note any required corrections or improvements.
When a company signs on as an official Amazon vendor, one or more products will normally be part of the bargain. Later on, vendors can submit additional products or variations on existing ones for consideration. Submissions and their approval status can be viewed under the Vendor Central “Items” tab.
The “Reports” section of Vendor Central also includes some features that can be used to help market products and protect brands from imitators. Companies that use Amazon Marketing Services will also find Vendor Central useful for managing certain PPC-related activities, like approving recommended coupons.