Yes, the title is right – from now on, Freshly Forged will cover all the latest from the worlds of Amazon Seller and Vendor alike!
And Vendors, we’ve got something extra for you next month too, with an expert webinar on Amazon Vendor Mastery featuring a whole panel of Vendor specialists at 10am on 29 February 2024.
Is this the “Year of the Hybrid Strategy” on Amazon?
Early in January, we pulled together a panel of marketplace experts to mull over all things Amazon in 2024 – and hybrid was one of the hottest topics on the webinar table…
3P or not to 3P (that is the question)
The “Vendor vs Seller vs Hybrid” debate is nothing new, but there’s no doubt that the evolution of the Amazon landscape means it’s at the forefront of many brands’ minds in 2024 – even when those brands have had their strategies fixed on one model for years.
In the webinar, we looked at both sides, with Venture Forge’s own Becca Woollin batting for the Seller model and Vendor Rocket’s Ant Finch championing Vendor.
And we expected a bit of a battle!
But actually, they agreed on the most important point – which is that there’s no blanket “right answer” to apply to all brands.
Weighing the Pros and Cons
After a year where Net PPM (Pure Profit Margin) reigned supreme for our clients, Becca thinks hybrid is the future of the marketplace, “especially for brands with a history of B2B with Amazon”.
And, having experienced and managed both sides himself, Ant urges brands to fully understand all their routes to market from a profitability perspective.
It all comes down to strategy
Doesn’t it always!
The panel’s conclusion was that, whether you choose one model or a hybrid of both depends wholly on your brand’s overall strategy.
Sellers looking to improve profits might find a partial or full Vendor relationship unlocks the door to better margins.
Vendors could find that a partial or full transition to Seller Central relieves operational or financial constraints, offers better control and/or presents cost savings that boost profitability.
And those operating a hybrid model already might need to revisit whether certain of their brands, products or scenarios would be better switching models following changes to their fees or relationship.
Read all about it…
For those who missed the webinar, two bits of good news!
- We’ve pulled a blog summary together (15 min read), which includes an entire section on the Hybrid conversation – read here
- And/or you can watch the whole thing on catch-up (60 min view) – click here
And if you’d like some expert help from any of our panel, just drop us a line!
Our CEO shares his 2024 Vendor Strategy Insights with Channel X
As Amazon shifts more and more towards a priority on profits, the understanding that Vendors need to adapt and survive becomes deeper and deeper. Our CEO Andy Banks caught up with Channel X to share his best strategy insights for Vendors in 2024…
The new Vendor reality
Amazon’s story has always been one of relentless innovation and change.
But for Vendors, recent times have seen a marked shift in the retail giant’s overall strategy – a pivot that’s seeing margins squeezed like never before.
Because this current marketplace model is based on their growth driven by volume growth, not the inflationary price increases that Amazon have enjoyed for the last year or more.
For Vendor brands, this means they need to adapt to a new reality, one where profits are pressured and adaptation is non-negotiable.
Finding the Vendor potential
Luckily for Vendor brands of all shapes and sizes, Andy’s written a guest post for Channel X that’s all about the opportunities that lie amidst the challenges!
From innovations designed to set your brand apart from the crowd to strategy alignment, P&L deep dives to hybrid and AVS audits, this quick read is full of thought-provoking points sure to channel your strategic planning in the right direction.
Read more here – and remember, harnessing specialist support from Amazon experts like our award-winning team puts everything you need to succeed at your fingertips in one easy move.
If you’d like to discover how you can leverage our know-how to drive your Amazon growth to new heights, get in touch.
Why aren’t you going global with Amazon Ads?
If you’ve not considered dipping your brand toes into multi-country sponsored Amazon Ads yet, here’s why you should…
Why you should be pondering multi-country Sponsored Ads
We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again – Amazon offers one of the easiest and best ways around for your brand to test the waters of international markets.
It’s low risk, you don’t need specialist in-market knowledge or expertise, you don’t have to commit, fulfilment is simple (especially with FBA) and there’s lots of Amazon help available, not to mention award-winning experts like our very own Venture Forge team.
Europe alone has Germany, France, Italy and Spain to target – Germany being the 2nd grossing marketplace worldwide in 2023 behind the US, and France and Italy reporting 200 million monthly visitors each.
And of course, Amazon Ads are a brilliant way to increase visibility and put your products in front of new eyes, no matter where in the world those eyes may be.
Love a stat?
Amazon says that advertisers see an on-average ROAS (return on ad spend) of 2.4, just four months after launching Sponsored Products campaigns in a country that’s not their brand’s own.
Multi-country ads are easier than ever
If you’re wondering why this is suddenly topical, it’s because a new Amazon Ads update has just made multi-country advertising a breeze.
Now you can:
- Manage your multi-country ads through a single sponsored ads account
- View and manage your campaigns in one place
- Create a single campaign report that covers all the countries you advertise in
Totally new to Amazon Ads?
It’s easier for you too!
New advertisers only need to create one account – and then they can register for sponsored ads in all eligible countries.
Want to explore more?
Our award-winning Amazon Ads experts are on hand to help with your queries, strategy planning, implementation, management and more.
Buy Box changes from May 2024 – an explanation
We knew change was coming to the Buy Box, and it’ll apply from May 2024. But how will the new Featured Offer criteria work?
A Fairer Fight
In their efforts to ensure a fair fight for all Amazon sellers – and the best deal for consumers – the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) secured Amazon’s agreement to new competition terms in November.
Those terms will directly affect the way that Amazon presents Featured Offers (the Buy Box) to shoppers, with the retail giant committing to use criteria that is “non-discriminatory” and treat “sellers and Amazon retail equally”.
The biggest change is to Prime…
The most interesting thing to come out of the agreement?
It’s that the Buy Box won’t rely on Prime eligibility and/or the Prime badge anymore.
That means that, in theory, MFN (Merchant Fulfilled Network) sellers offering fast and free delivery should be competing on a level playing field with FBA and SFP sellers.
Note the words “offering fast and free delivery” though – Amazon has flagged that these will still be crucial criteria in awarding the Buy Box, so MFN sellers will need to make sure their logistics are running at an A++ standard to stay competitive.
The changes in full
Amazon has committed to…
- Not using its competitors’ Marketplace data to give Amazon’s own retail business an unfair advantage.
- Guarantee that all product offers are treated equally when it comes to the Featured Offer in the Buy Box.
- Let third-party brands on Marketplace negotiate their own rates with independent Prime delivery services, benefitting buyers with lower delivery charges where relevant.
- Collaborate with the CMA on the appointment of an independent trustee whose remit will be to monitor Amazon’s ongoing compliance with these commitments.
Want to discover how your brand might profit from these changes? Speak to our experts today
Looking to maximise any of these opportunities for your marketplace business?