Amazon Seller Central Guide 2019

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Getting started on Amazon is one thing. Becoming an expert at navigating Amazon Seller Central is quite another!

It can be tricky to find and access what you’re looking for, especially if you’re new to the platform. And if you’re like me, you want to know how to do everything before jumping in. So consider this your complete guide to learning the system!

We’ll go over all of the important functions, like setting up and securing your Seller Central account, creating product listings and UPC codes, and figuring out where all of the important information lives on the main dashboard.

Let’s start at the very beginning…

How to set up your Amazon Seller Central account

Creating an Amazon seller account is just as easy as creating a regular Amazon account for shopping.

You can get started in just a few clicks, and the slideshow below will visually walk through every step with you. Prep all of the information you need, before you get started! 

The sign-up process includes the following:

  • Choose your plan
  • Seller agreement
  • Seller information
  • Billing / Deposit
  • Tax information

*You can click the links directly on some of the slides for further insights.

Now you’re locked and loaded! And when you log into your Seller Central account, you’ll have a main dashboard to manage all of your business actions.

How to set up your Amazon product listing, and get the necessary UPC codes

Assuming you’ve gotten this far, with your product in the manufacturing stage, you should be able to set up a listing with relative ease.

However, if you’re still in the product research phase, this is an excellent introduction to the next steps soon to be coming your way!

Don’t rush your product research, though. Have Jungle Scout at your side and take it one step at a time.

*View the speaker notes for the slideshow below by clicking on the gear icon to open. Full explanation for each slide included.


Navigating the Seller Central dashboard

When you first create your Amazon Seller Central account, you’re automatically given a default dashboard. The main navigation tabs at the top of the page are static.

But, you have the option to move around the various widgets on the side columns. That way you can see the information that matters the most to you.

Using our Jungle Scout seller account, Jungle Creations, as an example, I’ve laid out the main dashboard like a roadmap. You can easily reference each feature from A to Z (or, A to O in this case).

Don’t worry! We’ve blocked out all of our important data. 😉

Amazon Seller Central dashboard

Before we go through the alphabet, let’s take it from the top

You can see our seller account, Jungle Creations, listed at the top next to an American flag. This indicates we’re only viewing info for Amazon’s U.S. marketplace.

If you’ve created a seller account in other global marketplaces, toggle between them by using the dropdown box. You can also:

  1. Change the language (Chinese, German, Spanish, French, Italian, Japanese, and Korean);
  2. Use the search bar, or choose “Help”, if you can’t find what you’re looking for;
  3. Track messages from customers who are awaiting a reply;
  4. And use the Settings to manage your account, customize your preferences, and manage user permissions.

A. Main navigation tabs

This is the motherboard of your business operations. Simply click on each feature to be taken to a new dashboard, or hover over the feature to view a dropdown of all of the possible functions for each one.

Make sure you play around, take a tour through each feature, and get acclimated with Seller Central. 

Catalog

This is the home for all of your products. You can store drafts of your listings as you work on them, and add new products as necessary.

Inventory

Request and download inventory reports here, directly from Amazon, for all of your products. You can learn more about global expansion opportunities and explore the FBA Export program as well.

This tab also links to more resources to fully explain specific tax regulations and payment policies that pertain to global marketplaces.

Pricing

Here you can easily create rules to help automate the pricing strategy for your products.

Why is this helpful? Because you can quickly compete with competitor price changes by setting rules such as ‘match the buy box’ or ‘beat the lowest FBA price by $0.50’.

You get to control the price, along with when your rules are–and aren’t–in effect. 

Orders

Not only can you easily view pending, shipped, unshipped, and canceled orders at a glance, you can dig a lot deeper.

Use the search box to find a specific order, searching by the buyer’s email, order ID, or other types of criteria. 

If you need more tips on how to manage your orders, Amazon offers video tutorials linked right in this tab. 

Advertising

Create all of your PPC (pay per click) campaigns here–manual or automatic–and manage your spending and ACOS (Advertising Cost of Sales).

You can customize the metrics shown on the Advertising dashboard and easily request reports to track the progress of your targeted campaigns. 

Stores

This functionality is only possible if you have registered your brand with Amazon. This means having a government-approved, trademarked brand that you have applied and paid for.

It is NOT necessary to trademark a brand when you first start selling. But, it will unlock certain upgrades like creating a storefront to provide customers with a more robust multi-page shopping experience.

Consider enrolling your product in Amazon’s Brand Registry for added benefits and protection. 

Reports

This is where the money is! You can:

  • View all of your statements, transactions, and invoice history, and payment transfer information from Amazon;
  • See the exact breakdown of your order totals, minus Amazon’s fees, advertising, promotions, and any related customer refunds or rebates;
  • Access ‘Business Reports’ to bring up an extremely detailed dashboard of all sales analytics by product;
  • Look at Amazon Fulfillment reports, which provide an in-depth look at the status of your stocked products, storage fees, removal requests. Real-time data allows you to restock quickly;
  • Also check out tax documents, invoices, and exemption certificates here.

You can download any of these reports as a CSV and manipulate your data in any way you want.

But don’t skip over the Brand Analytics feature listed under Reports. This has a boatload of customer behavior and demographic insights:

  • You can discover what products are winning the most clicks and conversions and monitor those trends;
  • Identify cross-selling and bundling opportunities by gaining insight into products being purchased together by your customers;
  • Find out which products are most frequently viewed together, with yours, in addition to the customers’ final choice after viewing your product;
  • And connect with your target audience more effectively, or identify customization opportunities with customer demographics insights.

Performance

Amazon has specific performance targets and policies that all sellers must abide b, and this tab will track the health of your brand to make sure you’re in compliance with these policies.

You can track any negative feedback, order defect rate, customer experience, shipping performance, and more here. Plus, if Amazon has your contact information (make sure you give that to them!) and any critical event affects your account, you’ll be able to stay on top of any and all emergencies.

B. At a glance

This bar summarizes key data from your business, across all the Amazon marketplaces where you sell.

Here, we can quickly see the number of pending and unshipped orders, sales from the last week, buyer responses awaiting a reply, and your Buy Box* percentage. Buy Box Wins shows the average time your listings were in customer views featured in the Buy Box.

*The Buy Box is the box on a product detail page where customers can begin the purchasing process by adding items to their shopping carts.

Dashboard Widgets

Your Amazon Seller Central account homepage has an automatic default layout, which you are free to change. This allows you to choose and adjust the widgets displayed, customizing it so that only the information you find most useful for your business is shown. 

The middle column is static, but columns 1 and 3 can easily be reorganized. Simply left click on the widget and drag it where you want it! In the bottom left corner of this page, click “Reset to default view” if you’d like to go back to the layout Amazon first gives you. 

Currently, there are 13 individual widgets on your homepage. You have the ability to collapse a widget and reorder them, but you cannot add/delete widgets at this time. 

*Hack: if you click the three dots that appear in the upper right corner of each widget, you can instantly refresh the data!

C. Your Orders

This snapshot shows you all types of order statuses for the previous day, as well as the last seven days. It’s broken down by Seller Fulfilled and Fulfilled by Amazon so, as FBA sellers, we won’t be seeing any orders listed as Seller Fulfilled.

Click on ‘View your orders’ for a more in-depth look. 

D. Brand Health

This widget is pulled from the Performance tab. Now, as soon as you log into your account, you’ll have any urgent alerts (like an out-of-stock product) right in front of your eyes. It helps prioritize your actions for the day!

Click on ‘View Brand Dashboard’ to manage the metrics affecting your customer’s shopping experience. 

E. Performance

If your customers are trying to get in touch for any reason, or are filing claims, this widget will show how many are waiting on a reply. You want to shoot for replying to all messages in under 24 hours, as your response time (which is also tracked here) affects the stars displayed for your Customer Feedback.

Click on ‘Account Health’ to review all of the critical compliance policies mentioned above, under the Performance tab.

F. Seller Forums

There will always be questions about Seller Central that we might not be able to answer. The forums, however, provide a place for sellers to tackle common issues and questions together.

If you can’t find an answer on your dashboard, or with the Help feature, run it by the Seller Forums community.

G. News

All of the latest Amazon news will pop up here. It may or may not pertain to your business, but it’s worth staying on top of the ever-changing Amazon landscape. 

H. Amazon Selling Coach

If you need a little extra motivation, the Amazon Selling Coach provides you with insider recommendations and strategic moves.

However, it’s important to mention that these are general suggestions. They are not hard guidelines you must follow.

I. Grow Your Business

This widget pulls out some of the best features sprinkled around the main navigation tabs. It’s a great reminder that there are certain functions available to help automate and grow your business.

They are on standby until you’re ready to start scaling your business!

J. Payments Summary

Think of this as a visual IOU from Amazon. You’ll be able to track your account balance, when you can expect your next payment, and when the last payment was disbursed. 

Click on ‘View Payments Summary’ for the full breakdown, and to access historical statements.

K. Manage Your Case Log

You’ll be able to view the number of current cases you’re working on with Amazon. This includes all communication with the Amazon FBA customer service team when you’re making requests or filing any issues you’re having with your account and/or products.

Click on ‘View your case log’ to address recent communications, or look back at resolved issues.

L. Sales Summary

This summarizes all product sales for your selected marketplace over the course of four different time frames. The time and date of when this data was pulled is displayed, and you can quickly refresh by clicking the dots in the upper right corner.

Click on ‘View more of your sales statistics’ to get into the Business Reports, do an in-depth analysis, and to select a specific date range.

M. Inventory Planning

The performance index offers a quick glance at your product inventory; the closer the score is to 1000, the better.

Each data point displayed is clickable, allowing you to see a full spread of stock information for each of your products. And you’ll know how many days your stock has been sitting in the warehouse, your estimated storage type and fees, price, and more. 

Clicking on ‘View Inventory Dashboard’ leads back to the full setup under the Inventory main navigation tab. Managing inventory here will help minimize your costs, increase your sales, and improve your overall performance.

N. List globally

An overview of all marketplaces where your products are listed, with the option to expand and sell globally.

Click on ‘Enable more listings’ to learn more about building international listings. 

O. Seller Poll

Question of the day! This is how Amazon interacts with sellers in order to understand their needs and implement features and services to improve the seller experience. Poll responses are confidential.

Wrap-up

At this point, we’ve gone through a TON of information:

  • Amazon Seller Central account setup 
  • Product listing creation 
  • UPC code/GTIN setup from GS1 (in the ‘How to Create a Listing’ slideshow)
  • Seller Central dashboard overview

And you never know when Amazon is going to switch things up and change the user interface, add new features and categories etc.

But, by laying out the general structure of the Seller Central platform, we’ve given you the best preview of all of the currently available resources before you get started!

Remember, you can customize your Seller Central homepage to your own liking, and you can’t really break anything. As outlined above, the main navigation tabs and widgets are all interconnected, and there are multiple ways to reach (and display) the information you’re looking for.

Hopefully this guide has helped you learn to navigate and use Seller Central effectively. However, if you have your own tips or tricks to using the Amazon Seller Central platform, please drop them in the comments below. We’d love to hear from you!

 

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4 coments on “Amazon Seller Central Guide 2019

  1. Good morning,
    I have a question to ask, if possible: For those who start out, are they supposed to have sales of less than 40 units a month, do they need to have barcode labels? I ask because if I understand well, they cost a lot … !!! 2) If I have the supplier send the bar code labeling directly to the logistics !?
    Thank you in advance.

    1. Hi Maurizio,

      If you are selling a private label product, with a supplier that is manufacturing your product and shipping it to Amazon, then it needs to have a barcode no matter how many units you sell per month. Once you have the barcode you can easily send that image file directly to your supplier to have it labeled during the manufacturing process.

      The only way around purchasing a barcode is if you go the retail arbitrage route and resell products that already have a listing and barcode. The slideshow will show that when you’re adding a new product, you can search for an existing listing and add your product to it.

      I hope that helps!
      Melissa

  2. Please clarify how to add widgets. Dragging and dropping a topic from within any main navigation tab doesn’t add a widget.

    1. Hi Barry,

      Sorry for the confusion. New widgets appeared on the dash for us, but we realized they were not pulled from the main navigation tabs. You can only collapse the widgets, not add/delete them, and I made sure to reflect that in this post. Thanks for pointing this out! Amazon changes quickly, you never know when a new feature or function will pop up on your homepage!

      Melissa

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