Amazon broke the news today that they have chosen to retire Vendor Express to focus on their other selling platforms, Vendor and Seller Central.
Vendor Express, known as the pre-Vendor Central platform, has allowed sellers a way to offer their products wholesale to Amazon without receiving an invitation, contrary to Vendor Central, which is Amazon’s invite-only platform. Vendor Express was free for brands to use, provided the “ships & sold by Amazon.com” Prime designation on all product listings, placed the customer service function in the hands of Amazon, and provided up front product POs based on demand. Similar to Vendor Central, Vendor Express did not allow customers to control the pricing of their products. Vendor Express was a great in-between for brands who were not equipped to handle the hands-on model of Seller Central, but also did not have the sales traction or brand awareness to be invited to Vendor Central.
Amazon says that after “careful evaluation” they have decided to stop issuing purchase orders through Vendor Express starting on May 2, 2018. Current Vendor Express users will no longer be able to add, edit, or market products on the platform after that date.
What’s next for Vendor Express sellers?
All current Vendor Express sellers are encouraged to continue selling on the Amazon marketplace, and it seems as if Amazon is urging those accounts to switch over to using Seller Central.
If you are utilizing Vendor Express, your Amazon account contact should be reaching out to you to ease the transition of your account. But, in the meantime, VE brands should start learning the ins and outs of the Seller Central platform.
Check out our blog post on the four major benefits of using Seller Central: http://marketplacestrategy.com/blog/4-seller-central-advantages/
Should you be one of the lucky few to snag a Vendor Central invite out of the transition, your account profitability won’t look much different.
For many of our clients that utilize Vendor Express, we see this as an opportunity to expand on the new platform. While it may be an unexpected turn for many accounts, it’s only the beginning of maximizing their full potential on Amazon.