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Amazon is the world's largest online marketplace that has transformed India's ecommerce landscape. According to research, Amazon achieved a stellar growth rate of 82% in the year 2020.
From large enterprises to small and medium-sized businesses, local sellers fuel Amazon's growth while growing themselves. Amazon welcomes sellers of all kinds and sizes to thrive and reach the crores of customers with easy onboarding and pave a successful path.
In this blog, you'll have an in-depth analysis of how Amazon profiles its sellers through the STEP program and how sellers can improve their performance and become a premium seller on Amazon.
With the number of sellers rising exponentially on Amazon, it became really difficult for them to treat all sellers equally and incentivise their performance. This made them launch the STEP program on December 1st 2020, aiming to help over 700,000 sellers accelerate their growth on the marketplace.
Amazon STEP is a performance-based benefits program to empower sellers of all sizes and tenure to drive their growth on Amazon India by focusing on their performance.
The program simplifies the seller experience by providing customised and actionable recommendations. It has multiple levels, including Basic, Standard, Advanced and Premium. The sellers can unlock these benefits by improving their performance. Moreover, the consistent performers at “Premium’ are considered for ‘Premium Plus’ and ‘Premium Pro’.
These benefits include fee waivers (weight handling fees and lightning deal fees), faster disbursement cycles, online and offline training, priority seller support and world-class free account management.
Note: You don't have to register for Amazon STEP; you are automatically enrolled into the benefits program. If you are a new seller, then you will start at the 'Standard' level and enjoy 'Standard' benefits.
The benefits get progressively better as you move from standard to premium. Also, the coveted premium tier has some unique benefits, such as fee waivers, a dedicated account manager, and quick payments.
Amazon STEP measures the performance of a seller based on seven inspection criteria standardised by them:
Amazon expects minimum order cancellations from its sellers. So, this performance metric includes:
However, the cancellations requested by the customers are not included in total cancellation rate.
Amazon expects speedy order fulfilment from its sellers. To ensure that, Amazon has implemented stringent guidelines that sellers need to adhere to or pay penalties for any breaches. The late dispatch rates include all orders that are not marked as ready-to-dispatch on time.
Amazon expects minimum order returns. For this, Amazon considers all orders which were returned (or refunded) by the customer that could be controlled by the seller, such as—customer receiving a defective or damaged product, customer facing size issues, quality of product, or product not being as it was described on the product page.
Amazon wants its sellers to ensure that their products are in stock at all time. To ensure that Amazon considers how many customers visited your product page where you were out of stock (OOS) on that product. As it amounts to a loss of sale opportunity, Amazon considers it as a fault.
Amazon expects maximum views on prime listings. For that, Amazon considers the number of customers views on your products with a prime badge as a percentage of total customer views on your products.
Amazon wants to fulfil more orders as local and zonal to offer speedy delivery of orders to their customers via the same-day or next-day delivery. To evaluate that, Amazon compares customers views on your Buy Box (BB) product listings in which you have stored inventory in the same customer location and the total number of customer views on your BB listings.
Amazon strives to achieve maximum sales. For that, Amazon considers the total value of products that a seller sells to the customers, excluding returns and cancelled products.
To become an Amazon premium seller, you need to meet the following performance criteria:
Amazon STEP program follows a quarterly evaluation cycle. This means, you can move to a new level (or continue at the same level) based on your performance in the last quarter.
Let's take an example, based on your performance for the time period January 1, 2021 to March 31, 2021, you will either move to ‘Basic’, ‘Advanced’ or ‘Premium’ level, which is effective from April 5, 2021, or continue at ‘Standard’ level. This means, you will stay at this level until the next evaluation. Most importnatly, Amazon will conduct the evaluation only if you have fulfiled at least 30 orders and have at least 5 different ASINs in the evaluation period. Else, you will remain be at the ‘Standard’ level.
Working with a tech-enabled 3PL like Eshopbox can help you on your journey to becoming a premium seller. Let's see how:
Eshopbox’s SLA-driven and streamlined pick and pack service allows you to pack every order and mark it as 'ready to dispatch' on-time, without fail.
How does it help? By meticulously processing orders with the SLA in mind, sellers can avoid late dispatch and cancellations initiated by Amazon.
Eshopbox syncs your inventory across all sales channels every 5 minutes, this enables you to relay accurate inventory levels to each marketplace and avoid out of stock (overselling) and self-cancellations.
How does it help? By relaying accurate inventory levels, you only receive orders for inventory you have.
With Eshopbox, you can use powerful merchandising techniques like product kitting to combine multiple products together. This helps you maximise product exposure and offer exciting deals to the customers.
How does it help? It helps you boost sales by increasing the average order value (AOV) of a purchase.
Eshopbox handles the exponential surges in order volumes by combining its extensive fulfilment infrastructure with organised workflows to manage flash sales effectively. All you need to do is notify Eshopbox about the time and duration of the flash sale and the Eshopbox will take care of the rest —from increasing your daily pick capacity to allocating adequate manpower.
How does it help? It helps you accelerate your sales, boost additional revenue and ensure uninterrupted order fulfilment.
Eshopbox conducts quality checks at the time of receiving inventory and order processing to make sure your customers get the correct products in their hands. If you have unique products which need to be specially examined, Eshopbox allows you to customise the inspection criteria as per your specific needs.
How does it help? It helps you deliver the right products with incredible order accuracy and prevent seller controllable returns.
Eshopbox has a powerful network of fulfilment centres spread across India. You can split your inventory with Eshopbox based on your most demanding zones and improve your regional in stock. Moreover, with speedy order fulfilment, you'll able to win prime badges. Thus, it will increase prime listings on your products which can help you gain more views.
How does it help? It helps you improve your regional in stock by storing your products closer to your customers in multiple locations, win prime badges and more views on prime listings.
Eshopbox helped Plixlife and many more brands to build a stronger presence on Amazon by helping them win prime badge, meet delivery timelines, and comply with all the policies and guidelines.
"Our collaboration with Eshopbox has allowed us to serve our customers on Amazon in the best way possible. Owing to the Amazon Prime badge, we receive a lot of orders with stringent processing and delivery timelines. However, the Eshopbox team has been able to seamlessly manage Amazon's compliance requirements. We have seen a drastic improvement in customer satisfaction leading to a stronger presence on Amazon."
-Rishubh Satiya, Co-founder, Plixlife
Now that you've understood the journey from a standard seller to a premium seller on Amazon, you can start working towards it with actionable steps. It will help you grow your online business with outstanding performance and reap the exclusive benefits of Amazon's most rewarding bracket. Thus, empowering your brand on India's unrivalled marketplace leader.