Selling on Amazon’s Vendor Central, where you sell your products directly to Amazon, has always been a coveted option for brands and manufacturers wanting their products on Amazon.com.
One of the downsides of the Vendor Central platform has been how little data you can access as a Vendor.
Getting access to information about sell-through and customer demographics was available but at a steep price.
Up until last week as a Vendor, you had two choices:
- Live with the small amount of data Amazon Retail Analytics Basic (ARA) provided.
- Or pay $30,000 a year or more for Amazon Retail Analytics Premium (ARA Premium).
Amazon Is Renaming ARA Premium & Giving Access to the Program for Free to Brand Registered Vendors
This week, Amazon seems to have made Amazon Retail Analytics Premium data available to everyone on Vendor Central free as well.
We have verified this over multiple accounts.
There has been no official Amazon announcement about how widespread this roll-out is.
We were able to contact one service provider, Akshay Chatlani, that works on an account that does not have Brand Registry and that account did not have access to the ARA Premium data at this time.
“Currently the company I represent distributes product with brand licenses. The company is unable to register these under brand registry, as they are not the brand owner, however, they have exclusive licenses from the National brand to distribute using their name. I am waiting for Amazon to tackle this issue.”
So if you don’t have access to ARA Premium in your Vendor Central account, not having an associated Brand Registry account could be why.
There is an announcement that Amazon is renaming ARA Premium Brand Analytics, and it indicates that to be eligible for Brand Analytics, you need to register for Brand Registry by March 31.
This mimics what Amazon has done on the Seller Central side of the platform.
Last year, they quietly made Brand Analytics and a Brand Dashboard available to sellers who participate in the Brand Registry Program.
We are excited about this increased visibility into customer behavior; as in our agency, we use this data with brands to:
- Share with their off-Amazon marketing efforts.
- Develop potential new products.
- Strategize for our own Amazon advertising campaigns.
In this article, we are going to show you where to find ARA data in your Vendor Central account and highlight some of the data now available to Vendors.
How Do I Keep Access After March 31?
If this roll-out works the same as the roll-out of Brand Analytics on Seller Central, only those participating in the Brand Registry program with Amazon will be able to access the data.
Amazon says in their FAQ that:
“Vendors who are not Brand Owners or are brand owners not enrolled in Brand Registry will retain access to Amazon Retail Analytics Basic (ARA Basic) for their data and reporting needs.”
If you are a brand selling on Vendor Central, your first step in gaining or maintaining access to this additional data is to make sure that you have enrolled in Brand Registry.
Brand Registry is like the Abracadabra of the Amazon world.
It opens up reporting, advertising options, and listing control not available to Non-Brand Registered sellers.
Since many of the benefits of Brand Registry are already available to Vendors, it looks like Amazon is trying to incentivize Vendors to register their brand with Amazon.
To become a part of the Brand Registry Program, you will have to have a live trademark, and that mark will also need to be on at least your product or product packaging.
If you are a brand and don’t have a live trademark, don’t worry, you can still participate.
Amazon announced another new program last year called the Amazon IP Accelerator program.
In this program, you can use one of Amazon’s approved trademark attorneys, and you can get access to Brand Registry while you are in the trademark process.
Some of our clients have gotten access to Brand Registry in as little as 4-6 weeks.
This is significantly shorter than the traditional 6+ months for a trademark to be finalized.
The cost for the trademark through the IP Accelerator can be slightly more than going through a non-Amazon approved attorney for the trademark process.
Once you have Brand Registry, access to the following reports and tools appear automatically:
- Brand Analytics
- Brand Dashboard (Seller Central only)
- Sponsored Brand Ads
- In-Search Video Ads (Beta not yet in all accounts)
- Ability to add Videos to Listings
- Ability to create and edit A+ Content
Many of these features are already available to Vendors at no cost without Brand Registry participation.
What Data Is Available to Me with This New Program?
ARA Premium has a lot of reports you may have never seen before if you have only had access to ARA Basic.
If you have sold on Seller Central and you are familiar with Brand Analytics, then most of this data has been available to you already.
If we compare ARA Basic vs. Premium, you can see that with ARA basic, you only got some reporting to help you understand the inventory flow and sell-through rate of your product.
The expanded ARA Premium (soon to be Brand Analytics) provides detailed insights into sales, traffic, and even where your orders are coming from in the country.
The bottom section of the ARA Premium Dashboard is Consumer Behavior Dashboards.
These reports can give you specific insight into your competitors, how customers are buying your products and the demographics of your customers.
There is also detailed information on search terms that allows you to identify additional keywords to target in your listing optimization and advertising.
It also tells you what the top three clicks for a particular search term is. This allows you to get more visibility than there ever has been before on how customers are behaving and what products they are clicking on.
What If I Sell on Seller Central?
If you sell on Seller Central, this update mostly doesn’t apply to you.
If you are enrolled in Brand Registry, you already have access to most of the same data.
The information under Sales and Traffic in ARA Premium (soon to be Brand Analytics) is available under the Fulfillment, Inventory, and Business Reports.
The items in the consumer behavior dashboards are available under Brand Analytics.
You can find Brand Analytics under Reports, Brand Analytics.
Amazon Continues to Favor Brands
Overall this move is consistent with Amazon’s recent movements to make selling most palatable for brand owners.
Last March, Amazon sent out emails to many Vendors inferring that to be able to stay on the platform, they need to register for Brand Registry.
This newest update aligns with many of the changes that happened in the last two years with advertising products on Amazon. Programs were all renamed to provide consistency between Vendor and Seller Central.
If you are a brand or manufacturer that has been putting off getting your trademark, you should consider the Amazon IP accelerator program.
More and more, the most powerful tools for optimizing and increasing sales on Amazon are only available to Brand Registry Participants.
All screenshots taken by author, February 2020