Today many Amazon vendors have awaken to find out their orders no longer include a phone number. While this one small change seems insignificant, if you call your customers to verify orders (and keep returns to a minimum), this one small change can be devastating.
At first glance, I see this to be a move to squeeze 3rd party sellers towards Fulfillment by Amazon – aka FBA. Most people know this as Amazon Prime.
Amazon wants vendors to use their distribution system to sell product nationwide. That way they’ll control more of the product flow. They’ll package it (with their labelled box, of course), they’ll ship it and they’ll track it the entire way.
And think about this – if they can control your entire process, and the only thing left you have to do is buy it and ship it to them, what do you think their next move could be? Buy it themselves, ship it to their warehouses, and cut you out? Don’t think this is far-fetched. They’ve already done this with batteries, SIM cards and several other industries.
Google has done similar things, taking away keyword reports from Analytics, unless you pay to play. And they can do this, no problem. It’s their platform, they can do whatever they like.
As if you didn’t already know this, putting all your eggs in one basket can kill your business. Posting your products on Amazon is like sleeping with the devil. Sure, it’s good for a while, but eventually it will probably come back to bite you in the ass.
What other options are there? My recommendation is just what I’ve done for businesses for years. SEO. Yeah, it sounds like I’m using this as a way to scare you into SEO, and that’s not the case. But the only way to beat the system is to go around it. Flank the enemy. Go around them and hit them in the traffic heart. Start finding keywords that you can rank for, and get that traffic.