As usual, Amazon is rocking the boat! Over the last week, there have been two core developments you should be following in ecommerce. We’ll give you the quick version as the Digiday article linked here (paywall) provides more of the details. If you are directly impacted by these Amazon changes, reach out if you need help.

Summary of Changes:

  1. Amazon’s Vendor Central wholesale program cut thousands of merchants. Affected merchants woke up to the termination of purchase orders that they had come to rely on. Amazon ended up reactivating orders for many of these merchants, in most cases with the stipulation that they have 60 days to enroll in Amazon’s Brand Registry. Merchants that haven’t been reactivated can instead sell directly to consumers on Amazon Seller Central, but they will lose some of the benefits from the Vendor Central wholesale system.
  2. Merchants on Amazon Seller Central are now allowed to set higher prices on Amazon than off of Amazon! This is a huge change for Amazon, who previously required merchants to make sure that their products listed on Amazon were never priced more than they were elsewhere. Although this has potentially powerful revenue implications, you should still give significant consideration to your pricing strategy – after all, Amazon can still influence Buy Box access and other visibility factors to encourage competitive pricing. But for savvy sellers, this will open up a new testing avenue that wasn’t available before this change.

Certainly with moves like these, and the looming changeover to the long-rumored Amazon One Vendor system, the ecommerce world will need to stay on its toes in the coming months.