Amazon’s Vendor Setup Process is a bit long and can be somewhat confusing, particularly in the areas of New Items Setup (NIS) and Commitment Plans. Below we are going to take you through the initial account setup to make sure that no steps were missed, then go through the particulars of getting your NIS optimized, and adding your products to a Commitment Plan.
Setting Up Your Vendor Account
The first thing to do is to make sure that you have properly completed the first steps to set up your vendor account to begin doing business with Amazon. Review the steps below to see if there is anything you may have missed or need to update.
- If you have not received confirmation regarding your account within the prescribed timeframe, contact Amazon to follow up.
- If you have not yet completed the setup process, sign in to Vendor Central as a new vendor and begin setting up your account.
- If you already have access with the email and password that you entered during the setup process, you should be able to log in to Vendor Central.
- Locate the Show Your Progresstable on the Setup Process Welcome Check in what stage you are for each module and the steps that you need to take to move forward:
- Incomplete – Enter the required information. Some of this concerns Accepting terms and agreements, Adding banking information, Adding contacts, Adding return addresses, and Adding warehouse addresses.
- Pending Amazon Action – Waiting on Amazon, no action required. Check back at a later date to verify that the module is Completed, and enter any required information if it is Incomplete.
- Completed – Access this module to review your information and make any necessary updates.
- When all your modules are complete, make sure that you have submitted them for final approval. Locate the Submit for Final Approval button to do this. Once approved, your ordering relationship with Amazon is established and you can proceed to do business.
- Update your contact information, credentials, warehouse addresses, new users and user permissions underthe Settings
Optimize Your New Items Setup
As a new Amazon Vendor, you can manage most areas of your account and orders from your account home page. One of the first steps at this point is to add your products to the Amazon catalog by creating ASINs to display your items. Before you do so, however, there are a few steps to ensure that your items are optimized. Taking the time to do your NIS correctly is vitally important to avoid customer dissatisfaction, barcode and delivery errors, item unavailability, and grave pricing mishaps.
Note here that all your product information should be saved in a spreadsheet, whether it is an offline document or in Google Drive, or in a database that you have prepared for this purpose.
Optimize Your Items
- Check your UPCs/EANs/GTINs to make sure that each of your products has a unique barcode at the consumer packaging level and not just the master carton identifier. Check also that the proper consumer barcode is labeled on the packaging according to Amazon standards.
- Download and review the Amazon Setup Form to familiarize yourself with how different product titles are created. Some forms will combine information from different columns while others will permit you to enter your desired product title or suggest an alternate product title. In some cases, strict compliance with the <Brand><Model Number><Product Title>, <Size>, <Color> format is observed. Maximize the available flexibility in your product title for readability and to get your relevant keywords indexed in Amazon’s search engine.
- Take some time to compose compelling bullet points for each product. These key features and benefits of your product are what will entice a shopper to read more about your product. Use the third person voice and speak plainly about your product without exaggerations. Explain why the product is good and what value it has.
- Add a description in the same manner, putting in more keywords that will help shoppers find your listing, whether they search on Amazon or Compose your sentences in a positive and matter-of-fact tone, avoiding the sales pitch.
- Have professional images done, and optimize them for mobile. Most shoppers are using the Amazon app, so they need to be able to see your product clearly on their mobile devices. Keep your images in online storage to prevent artifacts and name them by UPC code.
Process Your Items
Now you are ready to begin the New Items Setup (NIS) proper.
- Check your template to make sure that it is ready for upload.
- Navigate to the Items tab to begin adding your products and uploading your images. Each product should have at least one image.
- If you get errors from Vendor Central, check the mandatory fields again and re-upload.
- Request variations of styles such as color or size on a single page. This will aggregate reviews and improve the search relevance of your listing and the shopping experience of your customers. Check the attributes that you select so that bullet points and images will change as shoppers click or use drop-downs to see the different choices. Download and browse the Variation template from the Resource Center to become familiar with how it works.
- Review what you have so far to make sure that it comes out the way you intended. Sometimes, what shows up on Amazon does not follow as you entered it on the NIS form. Make sure your product information, variation sets, and images are correct and render nicely.
- Build your Amazon ASINs in Vendor Central to retain control over the content. If you allow third party sellers to build ASINs, you will not have much control over its content, including bullet points and descriptions. To ensure that you maintain control, don’t release your setup information to any channels until you have assigned ASINs from Amazon. When third party sellers do this setup, they will likely use your UPC and part number, and Amazon will assign that ASIN to your Vendor code. Third party sellers may use a different UPC, and this will create a separate page and ASIN. This means more trouble for you as you will have to create a ticket to get this manually merged into your page and your ASIN.
- Amazon will process your submission, troubleshoot errors, and create your ASINs. When the process is complete, you will receive a notification.
When you are done uploading your new items, give Amazon three to five days before you check if they are live. Within another few days, Amazon should place an order. Note that Amazon prefers Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) integration for exchanging order-related information. If your company is or might soon be integrated, visit the Technical tab of the Resource Center to get familiar with EDI. One benefit of EDI is that you will no longer need to provide warehouse address information to send the EDI 856 document. Note also that with EDI, your freight terms are set to Prepaid.
Add Products to a Commitment Plan
You can add products to the Amazon catalog for an existing commitment plan. You may also be eligible to add product details for an existing commitment plan. Below are the steps.
- Navigate to Items and Add Products in Vendor Central, and select what action you want to process: Add commitment plan products, or Add details for commitment plan products.
- Select a Template to work with and navigate to the Commitment Plans. Choose the commitment plan that you want. Alternatively, click the box in the header row to select all commitment plans listed in the table. Select the version of Microsoft Office that you are using and download the template, or click Import products from Inovis.
- Save your downloaded Excel template. Do not change the default file extension. Open the template and add any missing product details. When you are done making additions, click the Amazon menu and Validate Template. Review once more for errors and save the template.
- Go back to vendor Central and navigate to the Add Products Click Browse, select the template file, and Submit file.
Once you have submitted your file, all you need to do is wait for Amazon to confirm and you are all set.