One of the most common pain points we hear from manufacturers when we go to tradeshows is that they lose some of their brand control when their products are listed on Amazon. For manufacturers who want to retain their current business model of selling through third-party retailers, but would still like to affect their sales channel, we suggest a simple trick:
Create a Seller Central account.
You may be asking, “What if I don’t want to sell my product myself?” You aren’t required to hold an inventory position to have a Seller Central account. A Seller Central account, even without inventory, helps manufacturers contribute to sales growth and improve brand control.
Specifically, creating a Seller Central account enables manufacturers to:
- Access Sponsored Brand Ads
- Enable you to answer questions and comments as the brand, increasing customer confidence
- Improve integrations of Amazon with social media marketing
- Become Brand Registered (this requires a trademark), which in turn allows you to:
- Build a Brand Store
- Create A+ Content
- Access Amazon Live
- Access Amazon Attribution
Read about each of these tools in our free whitepaper, The State of Amazon Marketing.
These tools can significantly help manufacturers protect their brand integrity on Amazon, without forcing them to change their desired business model. It should be noted that the benefits of creating a Seller Central account are easiest to obtain for brands who have active relationships with their distribution network, as some tools will require collaboration with their retailers.
How to Create a Seller Central Account
- To create a Seller Central account, go to Amazon’s pricing page: https://services.amazon.com/selling/pricing.html
- Navigating to the pricing page will allow you to select the Individual Plan, which is entirely free, rather than the Professional Plan that has a $39.99/month subscription fee. If you are not taking an inventory position and using Seller Central only to gain access to additional tools, you do not need the Professional Plan. Note that Amazon will ask for a credit card/bank to have on file since they’re assuming sales will occur through the account, but so long as none do, you won’t see any fees.
- Next, complete several forms detailing your contact information and proving you’re not a robot, and you’re set.
Gaining Access to the Seller Central Tools
Seller Central has a fairly logical navigation, making it easy for newcomers to utilize the platform.
- To access Sponsored Brand ads, navigate to ‘Advertising’ along the top menu and select ‘Campaign Manager’. From this view, you can create and manage Sponsored Brand campaigns, as well as Sponsored Product and Sponsored Display campaigns. By running ads yourself, you gain more control of your marketing, rather than delegating control to one of your sellers. This is most useful if your sellers are not well versed in Amazon marketing strategies. By using ads to drive more sales for your third-party sellers, the more POs they will place with you and the more sales you’ll both experience.
- To answer questions in the Customer Q&A section of each listing, you’ll need to first add your brand’s ASINs to your Seller Central account, then enable notifications in the Product Support section of your Fulfillment by Amazon Settings. In some cases, you may have to go through an approval process before you’ll be able to add certain ASINs to your Seller Central account. Even when these ASINs have an inventory of 0, you’ll be notified of when a question is posted to the listing, and then you can respond as the brand, building customer confidence and encouraging sales.
- To integrate your Amazon strategy with your social media strategy, you’ll need to become Brand Registered so you can begin using the Amazon Attribution Program.
Become Brand Registered
Enrolling in Brand Registry provides brands access to additional access to marketing services, brand protection services, and analytics. To become Brand Registered, visit our enrollment guide.
Once you’re enrolled, here’s how to gain access to all the other goodies:
- To use Amazon Attribution, log into your Seller Central account and visit the registration page. If you have enrolled in Brand Registry, you will be able register. Once Amazon confirms your registration, you can immediately start creating advertisers, orders, and line items to use for your off-Amazon marketing attribution. Read our blog post for an overview of how to start using the program.
- To use Amazon Live, download the Amazon Live Creator app and log in to your brand’s Amazon account. Currently, Amazon offers the service solely through an iOS mobile app (Amazon has not yet released an app for Android or Google phone users). Once you have the app, use Amazon’s guide to test the program and begin broadcasting.
- To create A+ Content in your Seller Central account, navigate to the Advertising tab and then A+ Content Manager. Once there, you can start creating A+ Content for any of your registered ASINs. You’ll construct the content in the builder with the preset modules.
- To create an Amazon Brand Store, navigate to the Stores tab in the navigation bar, and then click on Manage Stores. This window will provide you a list of all registered brands that you can build Brand Stores for. Simply click “Create Store” to start the creative process of building a beautiful landing page for your brand.
Other Ways to Increase Brand Control
There are a whole host of ways to better protect your brand on Amazon and other online marketplaces. Check out our blog post, 11 Ways to Protect Your Brand Against Counterfeits, IPR Violations, and Rogue Sellers to learn about other helpful methods and tools.