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You should have a brand presence on Amazon, even if you’re not selling direct to consumers , ,

Before we begin, here’s a quick summary of your options for your presence on Amazon:

You’re a Vendor if you own your own brand (or you’re the exclusive distributor of a brand). You sell your product to Amazon, which sets pricing and sells your product to consumers out of their warehouse.

You’re a Seller if you resell your product (even if it’s your own). You’re selling directly to consumers, and you set your own pricing. You can have Amazon hold your inventory (through Fulfillment by Amazon), use a third-party fulfillment company, or even ship it yourself.

If you’re own brand, you may want to adopt a hybrid model where you’re both a vendor and a seller. This has a number of advantages, including better control of your product’s pricing.

If you own a brand but you prefer to have resellers offer your products on Amazon, that’s great. But, you still want to have a brand presence on Amazon, and we’ll explain why.

This is the approach taken by our client U-Turn Audio. Their products are offered by a number of authorized resellers on Amazon. Resellers are responsible for inventory management and running their own ad campaigns.

Although they don’t sell directly to consumers, U-Turn Audio still has a Vendor account on Amazon so that they remain in control of their brand presence.

If you own your own brand but you’d prefer to let resellers sell your products on Amazon, here’s why you’ll still want to create a Vendor Central account:

You can protect your trademarks

Signing up for the Amazon Brand Registry allows you to take action if anybody else tries to sell a product using your trademarked brand or product names. This can include counterfeits, or just poor-quality products offered by unscrupulous sellers who use your trade name in the product description to get search results.

Note that the Brand Registry doesn’t protect you from unauthorized sellers of your genuine products. That’s something that Amazon just doesn’t want to get involved with.

You can set up your own products

By adding your own products to Amazon’s database, you can ensure that the product name is written correctly, and that vital specifications like weight, ingredients or colors are accurate. If the first reseller who happens to sell your product on Amazon sets up your product, they’re liable to get things wrong, and getting those details changed may be a challenge.

You can tell your product’s story best

Resellers probably don’t have the same resources you do for creating product imagery and supporting carousel images, and they probably won’t craft bullet points with the care that only you can.

U-Turn Audio sets up their own product detail pages, including carousel images, bullets, and A+ content (which we helped build). This way, customers get the best possible impression of the brand, no matter who’s reselling it.

You can create an Amazon Store

Amazon Stores have grown from a novelty to a must-have over the past few years, and now it’s rare to find a brand of any size that doesn’t have an Amazon store.

While some Sellers can create Amazon Stores, only you can create an Amazon Store for your brand. Establishing an Amazon Store footprint puts you in control and helps all your resellers.

Here’s the store we created for U-Turn Audio. It’s not particularly complex — just attractive product photography with proper branding and clear, accurate descriptions. But, it’s of invaluable help for their resellers.

You have the option of running advertising campaigns

Owning your brand on Amazon gives you the choice of running ad campaigns if you see fit. You’re in charge of the creative, and you can understand how your ads perform. Or, you can leave it in the hands of your resellers to advertise your products.

What if you don’t own your brand on Amazon?

This does happen. Some consumer brands are sold only by resellers on Amazon, with the results you’d expect:

  • The brand isn’t in control of their merchandising, and assets like product imagery and carousels are of varying quality depending on the time and effort taken by sellers when they perform the product setup.
  • Product details and specifications aren’t authoritative. If a third party enters a product’s details, there’s more of a chance that they’ll get things wrong.
  • There’s no place on Amazon where customers can learn about the brand and see their full catalog of products. This puts them at a disadvantage against competing brands who have an official presence on Amazon.

The good news is that setting up your brand on Amazon is a straightforward process, and there are no recurring costs. If you want to be on the same playing field as your competitors, and you don’t want to put the quality of your brand presence into the hands of resellers you might not know, you should do it yourself.