I started working for Amazon in October 2016 as a Vendor Contact Management associate. In most of the cases, I was dealing with simple requests of reopening or adjusting POs, updating catalog information, uploading images and videos, or simple Vendor Central troubleshooting. At that time, I couldn’t fully comprehend why someone would be needing help with such trivial issues regularly. After a year I switched roles and became a Financial Operations specialist within the same organization. Let’s face it, payment-related issues are quite a sensitive topic, therefore it was understandable we always had a ton of contacts requesting help with the shortage claims, unsuccessful payments, or post-audit claims. During that time, I basically forgot about the “minor” issues vendors were raising while I worked for VCM.
Another year has passed, and a Retail Account Management Associate position opened within the new Vendor Success Program team at Amazon. It was only natural that I applied in correspondence with my career development plans.
After successfully passing the interview loops, a whole new world opened in front of me.
I received a smaller portfolio of vendors, which I could spend much more time with as opposed to what I was used to within my previous support roles. My specialization at that time was Selection Expansion which essentially meant ensuring all the vendors had their full catalog of available products listed on Amazon with the highest possible Item Data Quality rating, while at the same time making sure the products were also available for purchase (there are sometimes internal blockers preventing the products from being bought by Amazon even though all seems well). Even though this all might seem straightforward, the completion of tasks associated with this campaign was not always the easiest.
As I was talking to my assigned vendors more, I found out the underlying issues are not strictly connected to the completion of the tasks they were given by a Retail Account Manager, such as myself, but that in most cases they relate to the actual day-to-day management of the account. The internal tool vendors use called Vendor Central is not always the easiest platform to navigate and if we consider the never-ending flood of automated emails received daily, it’s not a mystery why one could find himself overwhelmed. Unfortunately, there was not always time to guide the vendors through the basic operations and although there are quite a few very nicely composed trainings and e-learnings available, some vendors might have got the feeling Amazon is not doing enough to help them succeed.
When I was offered a job at Amerge, I felt like I could really make a change, helping “the little guy”.
I managed to identify the biggest pain points during my tenure at Amazon and those are:
- Shortage Claims and Chargebacks
- Catalog Accuracy
- Overall User Experience
Here at Amerge, every client collaboration begins with an account audit where we identify the most crucial issues and develop an improvement plan. In many cases, the latter consists of isolating the issues and researching the best possible course to achieve a previously established goal.
If we look into the above mentioned pain points, I will begin with identifying the most common shortage claim reasons and chargeback types, many of which can be easily disputed with correct documentation.
Now if we move into the second biggest pain point, we find ourselves in completely unknown waters of ever-changing attributes. The action here begins with identifying the most problematic catalog attributes. Once we have a clear idea of what we want the listing to look like, I start a rather simplistic, however (sometimes unnecessarily) time-consuming process of submitting the updates.
When we combine our 2 previous pain points, we come to the arguably most inconvenient one – overall user experience. In all cases, my work doesn’t end with the Vendor Central platform submission, however, a whole new chapter of endless correspondence begins. As I already pointed out, the finance-related issues, where both shortage claims and chargebacks belong, are probably the most sensitive ones. It is only natural that Amazon will not go about returning money too easily, otherwise, they might run out of business due to fraudulent claims, however, even I find it from time to time unreasonably difficult to successfully get my client’s money back. We can apply the same to the catalog attribute changes. What would it look like if a product’s title would be changing every day? I guess it would be very confusing to the customer as they would have a very hard time searching for the item. Therefore, Amazon requires a brand owner to register to Brand Registry to ensure they would be the only ones with the ability to change the title. Of course, it doesn’t always go according to the plan, and you find yourself again in need of raising multiple cases, providing different kinds of documents that prove you’re the manufacturer, brand owner, or an authorized reseller.
The bottom line, it is not always easy to deal with Amazon. Especially if you don’t have a retail/e-commerce background. You can find yourselves easily overwhelmed by all the requirements and specifics of the program or platform.
The Vendor/Seller management team at Amerge consists mainly of seasoned professionals, ex-Amazonians who know the Amazon policies and selling programs through and through. Having signed up for our services, you will find yourself with much more time to focus on the development of your business. Let us be the specialist you can rely on when it comes to dealing with Amazon and your day-to-day operations on Vendor and Seller Central. Need help? Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org