Advertising on Amazon in 2018 – Part 1

If you are currently an ecommerce business or a business interested in advertising your products online in 2018 you may have thought about getting an account with Amazon.com. If that’s the case you’ve probably asked yourself, ‘How do I get started with Amazon advertising?’ Below is a response to that question. Part 1 covers the different types of accounts Amazon.com offers and some details on how they differ. From there, you can decide what option will be best for your business needs.

Q: How do you advertise on Amazon in 2018?
A: You must become a vendor or seller.

Q: How do I become an Amazon vendor or seller?
A: You have 3 options for establishing a vendor relationship with Amazon. But 4 total options to sell on Amazon.

1. Vendor Central 

An invitation from Amazon is required to join Vendor Central.

  • Vendor Central is a Wholesale Relationship with Amazon.
  • You are the manufacturer/distributor and own the brand of products.
  • When selling your products Amazon sets the price and even if a minimum advertised price policy is agreed upon with you and Amazon, they will meet the selling price to the lowest advertised price online or in-store.
  • Access to Amazon Marketing Services(AMS) and enhanced selling opportunities. This means you can create advertisements for your products to be displayed in the marketplace. This includes A+ Content and Amazon Vine – more on this in pt. 2.

2. Vendor Express 

[Update: As of March 2018 Amazon is removing its Vendor Express program, which means there are now only 2 seller programs with Amazon: Vendor or Seller. May 21, 2018 Amazon will stop taking orders and permanently remove the program Jan. 1, 2019.]

If you don’t have an invitation to Vendor Central and want to become an Amazon vendor, you could sign up for Amazon Vendor Express.

  • Amazon purchases products directly from you at wholesale price and takes care of shipping, promotions, customer service, and returns.
  • You must own intellectual property rights for products sold by you.
  • Your products appear as “Sold by Amazon” on the product page
  • No annual charge to join or participate.
  • Free shipping from your warehouse to Amazon or directly to Amazon customers. Product storage and order handling.
  • Products are eligible for Prime and free shipping to customers over a standard order threshold.
  • Access to Amazon Marketing Services(AMS) and enhanced selling opportunities. Again, this means you can create advertisements to help boost sales and brand recognition.
  • Requires your company to send a minimum sample of free units so that the product may be evaluated.
  • A+ Content is not available but currently running a limited time offer of A+ EMC pages (Enhanced Marketing Content) are available – more on this in pt. 2.

3. Advantage (Self-Service Consignment Program for Media)

If your company sells music, videos, books, the Advantage could work for your business.

  • Distribution and promotions for media
  • Designed specifically for publishers, music labels, studios, authors, and other content owners.

4. Seller Central 

Anyone can become a seller on this platform. There are 2 programs: Professional and Individual.

  • You do not have access to AMS as you do as a vendor but do have access to an advertising section in your account.
  • You can create advertisements for your products using Sponsored Product Ads, Lightning Deals, Promotions, and Enhanced Brand Content – more on this in pt. 2.
  • “Other Selling Fees”(noted below) is typically around 15% of sale.
  • You take care of shipping and customer service unless you enroll in Fulfillment by Amazon, which is an additional cost.
  • You do not have to own the brands you’re selling.
  • Compete against Amazon and their products.

Professional Plan

  • Plan to sell 40+ items a month
  • $39.99 a month + other selling fees

Individual Plan

  • Plan to sell <40 items a month
  • $0.99 per sale + other selling fees

Part 2 will cover the different types of advertisements available on Amazon. Be sure to stay in touch.