Everybody loves an exclusive and, Amazon is no different. As the e-commerce giant continues to dominate, its focus is turning more and more to offering exclusive product to its customers.
For sellers, this can be good news as there’s now the opportunity to gain benefits from Amazon by agreeing not to sell their products on any other platform.
In this article, we’ll take a look at how Amazon Exclusives works – and whether, for a seller, it’s worth signing up.
Launched in 2015, Amazon Exclusives allows sellers to become a direct partner with Amazon by offering their products for Amazon’s exclusive use. In return, Amazon rewards the seller with a number of benefits and opportunities. The program has been so successful that membership grew by a massive 250% within the very first year! Let’s take a look at some of the features and benefits of Amazon Exclusives:
Better product visibility
Products listed with Amazon Exclusives have the benefit of Amazon directly using its network to drive traffic as well as being listed in Amazon’s high-traffic product catalogue. For sellers, this means a huge boost in product visibility and, therefore, sales.
Amazon Exclusives sellers are also permitted to use A+ content which means that they are able to include more detail in the description as well as higher level images including video, charts and graphs.
Amazon Exclusives sellers enjoy enhanced protection against fake or counterfeit sellers due to the fact that the limited distribution allows sellers to quickly spot unauthorized activity. In addition, it’s in Amazon’s interests to help exclusive sellers to combat unauthorized selling and so it tends to be proactive in helping sellers to rectify any breaches and prevent from listing hijack.
As an Amazon Exclusives seller, members have access to a dedicated Brand Advocate, as well as an Amazon sponsored ads expert to help them optimize their Amazon business. Members also have access to a Video Manager Account which allows them full control over the video content that they wish to showcase.
Access to Promotions
Amazon Exclusives members are able to take advantage of Amazon on-site marketing which includes a ton of goodies such as giveaways, special offers and branded content. Membership also gives sellers the opportunity to take part in Lightning Deals and inclusion in the Exclusives storefront.
Amazon Exclusives sellers have the option to offer fast, two day delivery within Amazon Prime in order to be more competitive.
Amazon Exclusives Eligibility
To join Amazon Exclusives, you need to be a third party seller and to meet a strict set of criteria which includes:
Being a professional seller with a good track record – this includes:
- A cancellation rate of 2.5% or less
- An order defect rate of 1% or less
- A late shipment rate of 4% or less
Brand registration – you must hold brand ownership for the product that you are selling and display Enhanced Brand Content within your product listings.
Exclusivity promise – you must agree to use FBA exclusively, which means that you may not sell your product on other platforms.
Although these are the basic requirements, Amazon still reviews each application on its own merits in order to make a decision.
Once you’ve checked out the eligibility requirements and feel confident that you qualify, go to the request page on Amazon seller central and fill in the application form in order to tell Amazon about the product(s) you wish to sell with Exclusives. Competition is steep but you can increase your chances of success by following our guide to getting accepted.
Tips for being accepted for Amazon Exclusives
Honesty – it’s natural to want to make your product sound as great as possible but make sure that you don’t ‘bend the truth’ as Amazon does not look favorably on dishonesty.
Uniqueness – focus on the aspects of your product which are different or better than any other similar products out there.
It’s all in the detail – include as much detail about your product as possible as this will help to speed up Amazon’s decision making process.
The time that it takes for your application to be accepted or rejected very much depends on the product and your seller account but you should receive a decision from Amazon within six weeks.
Once accepted, your product(s) will automatically be listed as Amazon Exclusives. If your application is rejected, you usually won’t receive feedback from Amazon so it’s best to examine your application closely to see how you can improve on it when you re-apply.
Amazon Exclusives Fees
When you join Amazon Exclusives, a 5% point premium will be added to your referral fees – and will apply to all sales from your account. You will be allowed up to 10 deals within any month on which you won’t have to pay the $150 deal fee.
As mentioned, once you become an Amazon Exclusives member, you are no longer permitted to sell on any other platform. You are, however, still allowed to sell products through your own website.
Amazon doesn’t offer a whole lot of information on how to cancel your Amazon Exclusives account or, what the ramifications may be so, you may want to get in touch before opening your account to make sure that you won’t get stung by opting out, should you decide to do so.
Listing hijack prevention
There’s a common misconception that being an Amazon Exclusives member means that it’s impossible for somebody to hijack your products. In reality, although Amazon may work harder to protect products listed in Amazon Exclusives, it’s certainly not 100% foolproof so sellers still need to be diligent in this respect to prevent unauthorized activity.
Amazon Exclusives – The Pros and Cons
Before committing to any seller program, it’s important to make sure that it’s the right one for you and your products. We take a look at what’s fab – and not so fab – about Amazon Exclusives to help you make your decision:
What’s the FAB
Let’s see what is the features, advantages and benefits of Amazon Exclusives Program:
Video – Being an Amazon Exclusives seller allows you to include high-quality video content with your listings which can include comparison style charts and graphs. Studies show that listings which feature video content are much more successful than those which don’t and so this is an extremely valuable tool for serious sellers.
Deal Fee Exemption – a huge number of shoppers flock to Amazon’s Deal Of The Day and so, for a seller to be able to take part in this without paying the $150 deal fee can be extremely lucrative.
Display ads – Amazon Exclusives sellers can take advantage of display ads in order to piggyback sales from a handful of similar or related products. This is a great way of attracting customers – and therefore sales.
Brand Manager – For a seller, having access to a dedicated Brand Manager can be really helpful; the Brand Manager can help guide sellers through the processes in order to save time and optimize results.
What’s not so FAB
Commission – Amazon takes a slightly larger commission from sellers in exchange for being part of Amazon Exclusives so, this will need to be taken into account.
Limitation – The word ‘exclusive’ means just that. Once you’re signed up to Amazon Exclusives, you’re no longer able to sell on other channels – this can be quite limiting for a seller and, breach of this; even accidentally, carries some quite hefty penalties.
Display ads – Amazon very much uses the display ads feature as a benefit, however, there’s little to suggest that this is, in fact, so great for sellers.
Busy Brand Manager – Although Amazon promises Exclusives sellers their own ‘Dedicated Brand Manager’, in reality, there’s really only so much to go round. These Brand Managers tend to be extremely busy and so, getting the help you need – when you need it – can often be time-consuming and frustrating.
So, should I join Amazon Exclusives?
There’s little doubt that there are a few good reasons for joining Amazon Exclusives, in particular, the opportunity to take advantage of high-traffic events such as Deal Of The Day.
Amazon Exclusives can be great for niche sellers who are looking to reach a concentrated high-value customer base. For more casual sellers, the sacrifices which are necessary for membership may well outweigh the benefits.
As we’ve mentioned earlier in this article, in order to qualify for Amazon Exclusives, your product will need to be registered with the Amazon Brand Registry and will need to fulfilled exclusively using Amazon’s fulfillment service.
If your brand meets the correct requirements, you can access an application form for Amazon Exclusives through the Brand Registry.
First, click onto the ‘Request Approval’ button.
Next, you’ll be presented with a series of questions which seek to acquire details of where you are currently selling your product. Don’t forget that, when selling with Amazon Exclusives, you are not permitted to sell on other platforms so, if accepted, you will need to cease trading on other outlets.
Now, you’ll need to confirm that, should you be accepted by Amazon Exclusives, you will choose FBA as your fulfillment options.
Next, Amazon will ask for confirmation that you are the brand owner of the products that you intend to sell on Amazon Exclusives – you may be asked for proof of this.
The next stage is all about your product(s) – Amazon will ask for some more detail about your products including the category as well as three links to your product – preferably from your own website. If you’re unable to provide links, you do have the option to supply images and descriptions but, as we stated at the beginning of this article, Amazon does tend to favor those sellers with their own website.
Once you’ve entered all of this information – and double-checked that it’s all honest and correct, you’ll be asked for your contact information. You’ll also be given the opportunity to tell Amazon more about your brand and product in the box ‘What makes your company and your product awesome?’ This is your time to shine so, take the time to include everything that’s great and unique about your product in order to help your chances of success.
Now click onto ‘Submit’ and, you’re done!
Depending on your product, Amazon will normally take between two and four weeks to reach a decision and, you’ll be not notified if you fail to get the approval.
Although we’re not disputing that there are some great reasons for joining Amazon Exclusives, there is quite a bit of risk involved. By cutting out other selling channels, sellers are very much limiting their customer base and can often end up losing sales – and revenue.
Before signing up to Amazon Exclusives, sellers should take the time to consider the pros and cons and to take a look at the competition within Amazon Exclusives. This program works best for sellers who have a genuinely unique product and who are confident that they only need Amazon’s customers to make their business a success.
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