If sales and lead nurturing are part of your business model, then you know the value in selling online — specifically on Amazon.
Amazon is the leading eRetailer in the United States with close to $232 billion in 2018 net sales. At last check, there were an estimated 95 million Amazon Prime subscribers in the U.S., with Amazon Prime members spending over $1,500 per year on the eRetail platform.
There are various account management programs designed to help users maximize their selling experience, and now there is one more to add to the list — the Amazon Marketplace Growth Program. This program was recently rolled out in response to sellers sending Amazon requests for an internal contact to help them manage their Amazon accounts.
The Amazon Marketplace Growth Program was created to help Amazon sellers grow their online business in the most effective way possible. According to Amazon, you can “get a business plan specifically crafted for your business, personalized coaching and training, and insight from an assigned Account Manager that can help grow your sales on Amazon.”
The Amazon Marketplace Growth Program essentially serves as a way for Amazon to merge and consolidate previous fee-for-service programs such as the Seller Support Plus and Strategic Account Manager, creating a more comprehensive solution for their sellers.
The program includes:
- An account manager — This manager will have a breadth of knowledge about products, features, and teams within Amazon and can connect you with available opportunities. He or she will review your business to give you recommendations to help grow on Amazon, and recommend account health best practices.
- A business plan — Users receive a business plan crafted especially for their business, with monthly calls discussing the next best actions for your business.
- Account health — The health of your business is paramount, and you will receive dedicated support and performance consultation that can help you troubleshoot and resolve issues.
- Merchandising — You have access to merchandising opportunities and events to help drive discoverability of products, such as Lightning Deals, Best Deals, and Deals of the Day.
- Discoverability and keyword optimization — Account managers help guide users on their overall advertising strategy for Sponsored Products and Headlines Search Ads, along with helping to invest in high converting keywords that may help increase sales.
What Is the Goal of The Amazon Marketplace Growth Program?
The primary goals of the Marketplace Growth Program are something every eSeller relates to — increased sales and growth. eSellers that already have an Amazon account manager will eventually be integrated into this fee-for-service model.
Even if you’ve worked with an Amazon account manager in the past, you’ll probably hear from a new Marketplace Growth manager more frequently than you did from a grandfathered-in strategic account manager. Sellers will have the direct email of their account manager, and access to Premium Seller Support, which the account manager walks users through during the initial call, making the relationship much stronger.
How Much Does It Cost?
The difference with this program is that instead of tiered fees for different types of service, there’s one flat monthly fee. The cost depends on your level of sales over the past 12 months, and it’s not cheap. You have to have an active Professional Selling Account in good standing on Amazon.com, and they suggest a 12-month commitment, with a six-month minimum commitment.
The stated fees range from $2,500 a month for sellers with less than $1 million in revenue, to $3,500 for sellers with sales between $1 million and $10 million, to $5,000 a month for those with over $10 million in revenue.
Will My Manager Help Me with Other Amazon Teams?
Many users are wondering what happens now when it comes to dealing with other internal Amazon teams, such as Seller Performance, Product Quality, and Notice teams. The truth is, time will tell, as the Marketplace Growth Program is still in the early stages, but all signs point to account managers doing what they can to help get users answers to pertinent questions.
Keep in mind that they’re each dealing with multiple accounts and that it can take time for the teams they contact to reply to their questions.
What Kind of Merchandising Assistance Do You Receive?
An integral part of a successful selling program is the merchandising, and the account manager can help users there, too. Account Managers can provide advice on all Amazon deal types, including Coupons, Lightning Deals, Best Deals, and Deal of the Day.
While account managers can advise you on these topics for growth purposes, Amazon Account managers cannot guarantee deals as part of your participation in the program. If you do participate in such promotions, there may be additional fees. There are no free or discounted merchandising for deals and promotions as part of your participation in the Amazon Marketplace Growth Program.
How to Get the Most Out of Marketplace Growth
So how can you get the most out of the money you’re putting into the program? There’s no cut-and-dry answer, but there are some steps you can take to foster a positive relationship with your Marketplace Growth manager.
- A good relationship starts with a solid introduction. Remember your account manager is first and foremostly a person; be kind and polite and come prepared with questions and issues to present when you have their time. Have a reason for each interaction — top selling items, favorite categories, challenges, etc.
- Both of you have a mutual goal of increasing growth and sales. Share your growth strategy with your account manager as well as your goals as they pertain to Amazon, such as what you would like to contribute to the overall growth of the category. By making sure you focus on building a mutually beneficial relationship, you will be able to get the most out of the Amazon Marketplace Growth program.
- When you have questions about notifications you receive, give them time to identify the right person and the right path, and they will assist you with quick escalations. Do not expect immediate answers to your questions.
- Keep in mind that your Amazon Account Manager sees your notices and may take longer to reply because they are busy or are looking for additional information to help you.
- If you’re dealing with an account suspension, they can help, but it might take some time — usually a few days or up to a week, with the rare instance taking a month or more. Be sure that together you have a solid plan of action and that you can quickly provide them what they need.
Should You Invest in Amazon’s Marketplace Growth Program?
That will depend on each individual seller and their situation, but given there’s only a six-month commitment, you’re not locked in long-term if you find that you’re not getting the results — and the growth — that you desire.
While many people are upset that they will now have to pay for a service that many believe should be free, it’s an investment in your brand and your business. A Marketplace Growth manager can help you identify potential trouble spots before they occur, and having additional contact with internal teams could mean a better business relationship and a stronger path for long-run success.
As with most things, you hope you get what you pay for.