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

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.