What is the Amazon Marketplace 360 Program?
For a long time, Amazon has been making a clear line through sales support for its B2B customers. While vendors (assuming an “attractive” turnover for Amazon ) had a “Vendor Manager” at their side to assist them with all aspects of ordering processes, changes to product data and general questions, sellers have been fobbed off with general seller support to date. The perfidy of this is that some sellers are often much larger in terms of sales than vendors with direct support. However, until now, when it came to problems and questions, only the general Amazon seller support in combination with an opened case was the only point of contact to the marketplace. This gap is now apparently closed by the program “Amazon Marketplace 360”. The program started at the beginning of 2018 in the USA and exists since 01.05.2019 also for German sellers on Amazon.de.
What advantages does the Amazon Marketplace 360 offer?
According to its statements, Amazon’s “Marketplace 360 program” provides “direct access to knowledge and expertise for all Amazon marketplace programs” for larger and high-revenue sellers. It is no longer the general seller support who is responsible for participating in the Marketplace 360 program, but a dedicated “Amazon Expert” or “Marketplace Specialist,” as it is called internally. Amazon lists here four essential advantages of the program:
Amazon Marketplace 360 “Specialist”
An assigned Marketplace Specialist acts as a personal and direct contact person for the seller and takes care of all his economic and strategic goals. According to Amazon, this specialist primarily helps to achieve a targeted increase in revenue. Also, the Amazon employee should have a broad knowledge of all features of SellerCentral and be able to help here directly.
Amazon Marketplace 360 “Business Plan”
Together with the seller, the Amazon Specialist prepares a dedicated business plan to follow the future sales development for the account and the corporate strategies of the seller in detail. Within the program of the Amazon Marketplace 360 program, “sales promotion measures” should also be discussed.
Amazon Marketplace 360 “Premium Seller Service”
No more ticket system and impersonal support: The Amazon employee in charge takes care of all problems that may arise on Amazon, like sales and the reports or advertising measures within the scope of the program. This means that on the seller’s side, the specialist virtually assumes the role of a vendor manager. The Marketplace Specialist will also be able to provide operational support in the future.
Amazon Marketplace 360 “Sales Promotion”
To increase the visibility of the products on the Amazon marketplace, the Marketplace Specialist will manage sales and the sales promotion measures together with the seller. The Market Place 360 program is now also intended to provide direct assistance in the optimization of existing PPC campaigns and the optimal use of the advertising budget.
Who Can Participate in the Amazon Marketplace 360 Program?
Like the Vendor Program, the Marketplace 360 only works with an invitation. Sellers who are strong enough in revenue (approx. from 30,000 EUR gross revenue per month) and have an excellent sales performance are invited to the program by the so-called “Marketplace Specialist.”
After the access to Amazon Marketplace 360 is granted, a joint business plan between Amazon and the seller is developed and used for further cooperation and development of both sales and the seller account. Regular coordination rounds ensure that the business plan can be followed. Amazon’s in-house Marketplace Specialist will also be responsible for any operative problems and questions relating to PPC and sales.
What Does Amazon Marketplace 360 Cost?
In general, Amazon uses a two-stage fee model for its new Marketplace 360 program. In addition to a monthly fixed fee of EUR 1,600.00 (net), Amazon charges a variable cost of 0.3% of the previous monthly turnover. If the Sellers monthly gross turnover is 60.000 EUR, Amazon charges a fee of 1.780,00 EUR: 1.600,00 EUR monthly fee + 0,3% of the turnover (corresponds here to 180,00 EUR). Currently (as of May 2019) there is a cost cap of 5,000.00 EUR of total costs, which can arise at the Marketplace 360 program.
Conclusion on Amazon Marketplace 360
Currently, it is still unclear whether and what exactly Amazon with its “Marketplace 360” program is suited to achieve. Until now, the official and general seller support was rather poor and not very helpful. This new program seems to be a response from Amazon due to the high demand for professional help and the many seller complaints regarding the poor service. In general, the idea for this program could work well if the so-called “Marketplace Specialist” has real know-how and expertise concerning the SellerCentral, PPC, and marketplace strategy. Be careful to get too excited, especially since the history of the “Vendor Program” (i.e., the counterpart for brands and suppliers) has proven that, as always, it depends on the individual employee if and how much help can be provided. In conclusion, it remains a strong presumption that “Amazon Marketplace 360” will mainly serve to connect the seller and its products closer to Amazon increasing in the process the sales for the company.
In any case, it is advisable to include the opinion of an “independent” third party (e.g., an external Amazon consultant or a professional Amazon agency) regarding operational and strategic planning. The goal should never blindly rely on the statements of an internal Amazon employee.