Amazon Vendor Central & Seller Central Explained

Amazon Vendor Central & Seller Central Explained

Friday, November 1, 2019Eric Zegarski

The Difference Between Amazon Seller Central and Vendor Central  

Amazon is a fantastic channel to grow your omni-channel strategy on. On Amazon Marketplace, you’ll find some of the world’s leading consumer brands as well as niche products targeted at specific communities. When it comes to being an Amazon vendor, you’re either a member of Amazon’s Seller Central or Vendor Central Program. In addition, the Seller Central program has two additional subcategories as well, FBM – Fulfilled by Merchant and FBA – Fulfilled by Amazon. Amazon has plenty of resources about selling on Amazon Marketplace on their website. Below you'll find high level information on both Vendor Central, Seller Central, and its subcategories.  

What is Amazon Vendor Central?  

Vendor Central is reserved for elite brands looking to sell on Amazon. The only way to be a part of this program is to be invited by Amazon. As a Vendor Central merchant, you are an Amazon supplier. Amazon is responsible for selling directly to the consumer and fulfilling orders. In addition, Amazon Vendor Central requires you to be EDI complaint. If you’re new to EDI, then we strongly recommend you learn more about Amazon’s EDI requirements

Therefore, your relationship with Amazon can be boiled down to these 3 points:   
  • Amazon sends you a purchase order for your products  
  • You send Amazon the products they ordered   
  • Amazon pays you for their order 
Learn more about Amazon Vendor Central here.  

What is Amazon Seller Central?  

Seller Central is a great way to get started with selling on Amazon. Essentially, the merchant has their products listed on Amazon, but Amazon does not own the inventory. When it comes to Seller Central fulfillment, Amazon offers two options, FBA (fulfilled by Amazon) and FBM (Fulfilled by Merchant). If you’re looking to start selling on Amazon and growing your multi-channel, then Seller Central is a great place to start.  

Amazon Seller Central - FMB - Fulfilled by Merchant  

After setting up a seller account on Amazon and creating listings for your products, you’re ready to sell on Amazon. With Fulfilled by Merchant, it’s your responsibility to handle the fulfillment process from start to finish. In addition to packing and shipping, you are also responsible for handling returns and providing customer service. It’s also your responsibility to find your own shipping and fulfillment providers such as FedEx or USPS.  Learn more about Amazon’s Fulfilled by Merchant program here.   

Amazon Seller Central - FBA – Fulfilled by Amazon  

With Fulfilled by Amazon, the merchant has their products listed on Amazon, but Amazon does not own the inventory.  If you’re looking to lighten your order fulfillment load, then applying to be a part of Amazon’s FBA program is highly recommended. Since some of these warehouses are over one million square feet in size, Amazon has their own logistics process to sort and store products. Once your product is received by Amazon you can rest assured that it will be kept safe in their facilities. Amazon manages the entire sales and transaction process for you! In addition, all picking, and packaging is done by Amazon’s human and non-human (robot) staff. The purchaser of your product will receive fulfillment and shipping updates in their Amazon account as well. Learn more about Amazon’s Fulfilled by Amazon program here.  

Integration Supercharges Your Multi-Channel Amazon Marketplace Strategy  

As a Vendor Central or Fulfilled by Amazon merchant, it’s your responsibility to make sure Amazon always has ample stock of your products on hand. Furthermore, as a Fulfilled by Amazon merchant, it’s your responsibility to ensure orders are fulfilled and delivered in a timely manner. If you fail to fulfill your orders in a timely manner, then you can face hefty fees from Amazon.  

An integration via an iPaaS (integration platform as a service) can save you time by eliminating the need for manual data entry, ensure data integrity, and update order/inventory information almost instantaneously between Amazon and your ERP of choice. Integration allows you to fulfill orders faster and focus on shipping vs entering data/orders manually between Amazon and your ERP. If you’re looking to optimize your label printing process, then we highly recommend checking out ShipStation too. We have a pre-built connector for them!   

We also have a pre-built Amazon connector! That means that we can get your integration up and running quickly. In addition, we are hosted on Microsoft Azure, therefore ensuring an almost 99.99% uptime and industry leading security. With an integration solution, you can rest easy knowing your commerce network is connected and communicating data bi-directionally. If Fulfilled by Amazon seems like a better solution for you, learn all about it here.   

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