Are you ready for Amazon’s new Standards For Brands policy?

February 9, 2022

Amazon has announced its new Standards For Brands policy (SBSAS) that could force changes on how brands that sell via a Seller Central operate. Read on as we take a look at what this new policy entails and how it could impact your business.

What is the Amazon Standards for Brands (SBSAS) policy?

Already up and running in the US and soon expected to be rolled out in Europe, the Standards for Brands Selling in the Amazon Store policy (SBSAS) sets out rules on how brands can sell products on the marketplace. The policy was created in a bid to ensure brands are consistently providing high standards for customer experience and applies to brands selling as third-parties on Amazon.

Amazon measures customer experience several ways, including, but not exclusive to, product in-stock rates and selection, delivery proposition and price competitiveness. While there are many tools and services within Seller Central to ensure you meet these high standards, the Standards for Brands policy could pose a risk to brands who don’t sell their products directly to Amazon.

What are the implications of the SBSAS policy for brands selling on Amazon?

There are two parts of the Amazon Standards for Brands policy which could cause worry to brands selling as a third-party on the marketplace. The first being that Amazon can choose to source products solely from brands for sale by Amazon. This could affect third-party or Hybrid sellers whose products are highly ranked in categories dominated by Amazon’s inventory, posing the risk of products being de-listed from the platform in favour of products that Amazon sells under its own name.

Meanwhile, other brands can sell via Seller Central so long as they can consistently meet Amazon’s customer experience standards. However, if any of the brand’s products are sold by Amazon, they cannot also sell those products as a third-party on the Amazon platform.

Why is Amazon changing this policy?

According to Amazon, this policy change is about preserving its world-famous customer experience, whilst ensuring prices stay low. De-listing third-party sellers that don’t meet its standards allow Amazon to control its platform better.

Many brands have moved from Vendor Central to Seller Central in a bid to escape Amazon’s strict vendor negotiation terms and preserve their profit margins. The Standards for Brands policy change brings those brands trying to game the system back in line and allows Amazon to set its prices across categories and improve margins itself.

How to avoid being affected by the new policy

If you’re a third-party seller or Hybrid seller, you should focus on your customer service in the first instance. A customer-centric approach to selling on a 3P or Hybrid model will ensure your brand doesn’t run into any trouble.

We recommend that your brand’s activity on Seller Central is centred around customer experience whether that be by improving the availability of your stock on Amazon, re-introducing CRaP ASINs or by utilising the test and learn capabilities on the platform.

Molzi Retail is our 3P retail solution that allows you to sell your products on Amazon via our store, rather than your own direct account or through Vendor Central. Our team can handle all aspects of Amazon administration, fees, VAT and customer service so you don’t have to. You get the benefit of Molzi by Brainlabs’ global Amazon team and our experience with Amazon strategy, advertising, and content optimisation, but instead of paying us a fee, you give us a cost price.

Molzi Retail - Get in Touch

Laura Freeman, Head of Retail

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