In 2018, the Amazon rumor mill was abuzz with talk about a new system that was going to consolidate Vendor Central and Seller Central into a single platform.
Talk about this potential power move could be found everywhere, from news outlets to reddit, but Amazon always vehemently denied the existence of such a program. Sellers and smaller vendors feared the implications of a consolidated platform, prompting more than a few eCommerce companies to publish blog posts like, "Amazon One Vendor: What to Expect, and How to Prepare," or “Amazon One Vendor: Everything Brands and Resellers Need to Know.”
Over a year later, that buzz has fizzled out and nothing new about the rumored program has surfaced in quite some time. Pattern’s Amazon experts took a step back to analyze how this all started, key moments in the One Vendor rumor development, where it's at now, and what’s likely to happen in the future.
Garret Bluhm, Pattern’s Former VP of eCommerce, pointed out some key changes that occurred in Amazon's Standards for Brands Selling in the Amazon Store or (SFBSitAS Policy). These may have been the starting point for concerns about a consolidated selling platform on Amazon.
Bluhm singled out some key phrases in the policy and noted what they mean for brands:
“We may choose to source products from some Brands for sale by Amazon only.”
Amazon is going to select certain brands to be 1P only.
“Other Brands can operate as sellers in the Amazon store if they can consistently maintain our standards for customer experience.”
Amazon is going to select certain brands to be 3P only.
Recode brought more credence to the rumor with their exposé on Popsockets' breakup with Amazon. Popsockets were the victims of Amazon applying an existing policy that, according to the article, had previously not been consistently enforced.
“For years, Amazon has had a policy that says if a brand sells its goods to retailers outside of Amazon and wants to also sell on Amazon, the company ‘expects’ the brand ‘to give Amazon Retail the option to source those products at competitive terms for sale as Retail items only,’” the article read in part.
Rather than allow Popsockets to choose how they sell, Amazon's policy would force them into a 1P relationship—one Popsockets did not want due to their poor experiences with price erosion on the platform. Popsockets was not the only brand to experience this, and Edgewater Research's Eamon Kelly was quoted as saying, “I don’t think Amazon understands how close they are to blowing themselves up.”
Digiday's article specifically revolved around the One Vendor program's timeline and its impending changes.
“It’s set to roll out in the next six months, according to sources who work with brand clients selling on Amazon,” the article stated.
A former third-party seller on Amazon echoed the concerns of many other brands with the One Vendor program.
“It feels like Amazon is bullying its brands by saying, ‘The only way is our way, and we get to choose what’s better for us, regardless of how you want to run your business.’ If we were to be forced into a [wholesale] relationship, that would lead to price slashing, and that’s not something we’re comfortable with as a brand,” the seller said in the article.
In early March, a number of vendors were informed they would not be receiving additional purchase orders for their products.
"Please be informed that at this time, we are not placing any purchase orders on your products. To preserve the customer experience, the featured offer will be disabled when the product is out of stock. We will notify you if we choose to place any purchase orders," the Amazon message read.
Kiri Masters of Bobsled Marketing suggested this was another move toward the One Vendor program and Amazon exerting greater control over who can sell on which platform.
We recently reached out to Eamon Kelly of Edgewater Research who was quoted on the original Recode article for his opinion on what’s currently going on with the One Vendor program.
He felt that, while One Vendor hasn't actually come out at this point, Amazon accomplished much of what they wanted to accomplish with the simple rumor of the program. Namely, pushing brands into compliance with policy and cutting less profitable 1P brands from the marketplace.
Despite the One Vendor rumors, Kelly said it doesn’t look like Amazon will actually implement One Vendor.
“Amazon's recent actions show that they're moving away from the One Vendor program. Top line revenue slowed as a result of their actions in the last year, so they're starting to un-CRaP a lot of items. It looks like they've backed off for now,” Kelly said.
It seems that for now, Seller and Vendor central will remain separate, and Amazon's One Vendor program will remain a rumor. Contact Pattern below to stay up to date on One Vendor and other Amazon news and analysis.
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If you’re in the global ecommerce space, you are most likely aware of Amazon, and probably selling your products on the marketplace. With over $470 billion in sales in 2021 alone, Amazon stands as the third largest company in the world based on revenue. The ecommerce giant is a household name in the U.S. and working hard to grow its market share across five continents worldwide.
Having your products available on Amazon and being competitive there, though, are definitely two different things. If you want to really succeed on Amazon, you’ll need specialized insight into how Amazon works and how to make it work for you. So, for many brands, it’s a great idea to work with an Amazon Search Engine Optimization (SEO) agency.
At Pattern, Amazon SEO optimization service is one of our key competencies. We understand that technology, data-driven insights and expertise are the most important tools brands can leverage to win top listing spots on digital marketplaces. With expert teams and years of experience, we help brands conquer the Profitability Death Spiral as they compete with other products and sellers online. We offer Amazon SEO agency services as a core solution to brands that need more resources to get ahead.
An Amazon SEO agency serves brands by improving their products’ rank and listing performance on Amazon. They make strategic decisions about ad spending and placement that lead to higher traffic, conversions, and revenue for ecommerce brands.
A great Amazon SEO Agency partner will:
Unfortunately, many Amazon SEO agencies profit in unfair ways from your brands’ perceived success based on the ROAS numbers they provide. This is done through including branded search terms in ROAS reports, which naturally skew listing performance.
Let’s say, for instance, your brand is called “Annie’s” and you sell lollipops. Your brand has a very high likelihood of winning the top listing spots on Amazon for lollipop search terms that are paired with “Annie’s,” your brand name. So, SEO agencies will spend your ad money on those terms and report a very high ROAS.
To avoid scenarios like these, it’s best to look for an agency that either calculates their profits on metrics other than your ROAS scores or weighs branded search terms differently in the performance metrics reports. Regardless of your Amazon SEO agency’s cost structure, you should align onbranded search terms before committing to a scope of work.
A great indicator of a high-quality Amazon SEO agency is the level of insight they can provide into your competitors’ listing positioning and how it compares to yours. Data fanaticism is so important at Pattern that we’ve developed proprietary technology to display this exact information with precise detail for every brand we work with. In fact, you can find our free version here to see how you compare to some of your top competitors based on ASIN.
It’s certainly possible to improve your Amazon search performance with blind spending strategies. But a truly great solution will help you to know where your dollars are at their most powerful and competitive.
Amazon’s A10 algorithm prioritizes customer satisfaction—it wants to show consumers the best products that align with their search intent to improve conversions and sales. So, the best way to gain momentum on Amazon is to work on incremental wins.
Improving your performance on more obscure search terms that align with your customers’ search intent is a great way to increase ROAS for the long term. A10 will reward your success with better rankings on higher-volume search terms and the virtuous cycle can help you conquer your most-coveted listing spots. And the best part? This process of gaining momentum, if done right, will naturally decrease your ad spend over time as Amazon recognizes your value and works with you to keep your products at the top of consumers’ search results.
As an Amazon SEO specialist, Pattern knows how to help your brand win better success for long-term profitability on Amazon. With our data-driven tools and brilliant teams of ecommerce experts, we help brands with listing management, content optimization, Amazon ad strategies, and more.
Contact us to learn more about our SEO optimization services.
Entering the ecommerce landscape is a huge undertaking for any brand—it usually requires a large investment in resources and expertise to really be successful. Any brand can quickly get in over their heads trying to navigate the nuances of SEO, fulfillment and logistics, distribution control, listing optimization, and meeting the numerous other requirements and administrative tasks to show up well on marketplaces.
Unfortunately, because it’s so easy for third party, gray market, and unauthorized sellers to obtain and sell products online, many brands find themselves pressured to execute an ecommerce plan without the right resources to succeed on marketplaces and their other channels.
So, for brands looking to enter the ecommerce space or improve their current and future performance, it makes sense to partner with an ecommerce consultant.
Pattern’s global presence and proven success with hundreds of brands has allowed us to develop highly effective ecommerce consulting services. We can guide your brand to navigate issues both large and small in marketplaces worldwide. To maximize your ecommerce efforts, you’ll need to understand what an ecommerce consultant does and how to select one who drives the right value for your brand and products.
An ecommerce consultant is a specialist in the ecommerce space who can give you personalized guidance on how to market your products and grow their presence on digital marketplaces.
An ecommerce consultant should be able to analyze your brand, audience, category, opportunity, and current roadblocks and help you understand how to utilize your resources (or what resources are missing) to be most effective in capturing your opportunities in the ecommerce space.
Not sure how to evaluate a consultant? Here are 4 key attributes to look for as you make your choice.
At Pattern, we prioritize brand obsession for a reason—we know that a brand-centered mindset makes a crucial difference in the outcomes and results our partners achieve. So in our experience, when you begin your search for an ecommerce consultant, it’s important to look for a partner who is specialized in ecommerce, invested in the product, and passionate about helping brands build and improve their strategies. Typically, this means finding someone that consults exclusively for ecommerce marketplaces, rather than choosing a consultant who offers many different services.
It’s also important to avoid choosing a consulting partner who can’t deliver the right experience for your brand. The best indication of whether your potential consultant can do that is to review their history, data, and results with other brands. Ask if they’ve helped others in your selling category, if they’ve solved specific issues your brand is facing, and why they feel you are a good fit. The key is to leave the conversation feeling confident that you understand your consultants’ capabilities and whether or not they match up with your needs.
It’s best to pick a consultant who knows how to guide a brand onto and through multiple marketplaces worldwide. You’ll want to take a look at your long-term strategy and think about the regions and platforms you’re currently on and where you might want to take your brand in the future. If your consultant is truly great at what they do, they’ll be able to help you perform well enough with your current product roadmap that it’ll be a no-brainer to expand your presence at the right time.
The most effective partnership with an ecommerce consultant will be able to give you both recommendations and point you to solutions for making those changes in your planning, processes, and execution. Your time and money is valuable, so you want to make sure that you’re spending it as efficiently as possible as you follow your consultant’s advice. So, before you commit to an ecommerce consultant, ask about the resources and concrete solutions they typically recommend to the brands they work with.
Finding an ecommerce consultant that checks the boxes can be a difficult task. At Pattern, our entire focus and drive centers around giving brands the tools and resources they need to succeed on domestic and international ecommerce marketplaces.
With over 100 global ecommerce consultants across 10 global offices, we have the right tools to partner with brands across the world to achieve better ecommerce success. We give specialized advice, then make sure our partners have all the adequate SEO, social media, CRM, Amazon multi-channel fulfillment services, and ecommerce outsourcing services they need.
Interested in ecommerce consulting services? Set up a call here to learn what Pattern can do for your brand on global marketplaces.