Again for this year, Amazon is putting Alexa on the front and center in the on-going Consumer Electronics Show (CES). But, behind the curtains, it is trying to develop its business. It is meeting potential sellers to make a good deal of the Amazon’s newest premium support service which may cost up to $60000 a year.
As the company is now facing challenges like alleged unfair suspensions and counterfeit products, the meetings are arranged to engage directly with the third-party sellers and help them improve the overall selling experience for them.
Half of Amazon’s e-commerce volume consists of Amazon’s market place now, and it is continuously growing. Amazon has given millions of third-party sellers the access to Amazon’s global fulfillment center, logistics system, and shipping relationships as well as its huge customer base. Amazon has more than 5 million third-party sellers as of now, according to a report.
Meetings in the big events like CES is cost efficient than privately meeting individual sellers and let them know about the new product. CES is the world’s largest consumer electronic event, and many of the Amazon’s sellers visit CES as it provides an opportunity to see the latest gadgets and technologies. For the sellers as well, it is a great opportunity to meet other brands and distributors, and Amazon is also following the same techniques.
Will Land, CEO of Marketplace Valet, a company that consults and sells for other brands on Amazon, is invited to meet with Amazon staff to be aware of the new service support. Market Place Growth Program, which was introduced last year, provides hand holding to the sellers. Amazon will appoint a specialized manager for this to one individual seller. The program includes personalized coaching and training, as well as guidance on fixing issues that may arise in Amazon’s marketplace. It will cost around $2500 to $5000 a month.
Land could meet Amazon’s representatives and could know how the $5000 can help his business to grow. The meeting of 30 minutes helped him to know the product and get convinced about the product. Though it has been there for the last year, he only got to know about the product this year at CES only.
He said anytime Amazon calls a meeting, he attends without fail. Direct contact with Amazon for any seller is much of worth. And he said that he was excited about this opportunity.
This is not the first time Amazon is holding a meeting with the sellers this way. Last year, at the CES also Amazon discussed newest ad products. As per seller, Amazon always looks forward to meeting with the sellers individually at the shows and conferences.
Judah Bergman, an Amazon seller, said he once met with Amazon’s representatives at a Kids Expo. They gave the updates of their newest hazardous materials policy and how it was going to affect the sales of some particular products sold at the site. These meetings, as per Judah, help the sellers to know the best policy and the way to extract high profits.
Abe Chomali, the founder of XP Strategy, a marketplace consulting agency, said it is indeed good to have direct interaction with the sellers. It helps the company to establish a relationship with the seller, and the seller no more feels reluctant about the new product. And the expos and meetings are kind of the best places to meet the sellers in large numbers face-to-face.
But, these meetings are not meant for everyone. Andrew Arnott, CEO of SellerSEO.com, a consultant for Amazon sellers said he did not go to the meeting as he was skeptical of the pricing. He was unsure whether $5000 a month can really be worthy of the services they are offering. And as per some sellers, they were not even aware of the product let alone the meeting.
Arnott said the program would be affordable and worth the price only for large sellers. Big brands with a higher range of products need this kind of hand-holding. Smaller sellers with limited resources cannot afford it.