Late last year, Amazon Advantage (see my Amazon Advantage videos) changed its main page and several other features to look more like Amazon Seller Central. I’ve speculated before that Amazon will eventually merge Advantage into Seller Central. Could the latest updates be a sign that Advantage users will be switched over to Amazon Seller Central?
First, here’s the new home page of Amazon Advantage, the currently closed program for certain types of media sellers on Amazon, including publishers:
It now looks almost exactly like Seller Central, the program used by millions of third-party sellers on Amazon to sell everything from ant farms to xylophones. Since Advantage closed its doors to new publishers in 2017 or 2018, I’ve speculated that Advantage may be merged with Seller Central in the future so Amazon doesn’t have to deal with publishers and media sellers through this small program. Copying the look and feel of Amazon Seller Central is one way to prep Amazon Advantage users for the change.
But there would be some major issues still to be worked out in such a merger. It includes the Amazon FBA fee structure not working that well for publishers of low cost titles currently using the Advantage 55% rate. Another issue would Amazon would have to extend cheap shipping rates to Advantage users (currently Advantage users have to arrange for their own shipping, using expensive USPS or UPS rates).
But what if the change to the home page has nothing to do with a merger? For instance, the similar appearance of Advantage and Seller Central could merely be an easier way to manage style sheets, scripts and other elements if both programs are operating off the same codebase.
Note that you cannot revert back to the old Amazon Advantage homepage, and it’s mandatory to switch over to the new Amazon Advantage.
Other changes to Amazon Advantage
Once you click through the purchase order section of Amazon Advantage, it looks just like the old Amazon Advantage. PO approval and advance shipping notices (ASN) appear to be the same as before without any similarity to Seller Central’s system for managing inbound FBA shipments to Amazon fulfillment centers.
The menu bar at the top of the new Amazon Advantage looks just like Amazon Seller Central, and some of the menu subitems appear to be copied from Seller Central. Others are completely new and unique to Amazon Advantage. Here’s a rundown:
- The Merchandising tab is unique (not available through Amazon Seller Central) but Advertising is not.
- Merchandising > Merchandising Recommendations: This is unique to Amazon Advantage and appears to be aimed at encouraging media sellers to set up Prime Day deals or other special promos.
- Merchandising > Coupons: This popular Amazon Seller Central feature leads to a 404 page on Amazon Advantage (at least for me).
- Merchandising > A+: This feature is available in Amazon Seller Central, but only for registered brands. Not sure if non-registered book brands can use A+ pages in Amazon Advantage.
- Reports > Operational Reports: This appears to be new in Advantage (I don’t recall seeing it before) and there is similar functionality in Amazon Seller Central to show whether or not you are not getting bad PO metrics.
- Reports > Analytics: This is the same as old Amazon Advantage, and it still is very lacking, the clunky UI especially. The equivalent in Amazon Seller Central, Business Reports, has its own issues including a circa 2006 design but it is easier to use.
Here are some screenshots of the new things I spotted in Amazon Advantage: