Making blunders is part and parcel of being a newcomer to the Amazon seller’s market. The Amazon inventory management is the logistical backbone of business and centre of operations which unfortunately means that errors made here can have some adverse effects on the business in terms of sales, reputation and profits. A lot of work goes on behind the scenes of Amazon’s online markets and the for individual sellers to become successful, they need to devote themselves to the job. It takes time, effort, and practice to master its use; however, by learning to avoid three common pitfalls, vendors should be able to minimize the negative effects.
Incorrect Inventory Quantities
One of the first steps in setting up an Amazon sellers account is to list inventory and prices, and it’s crucial to get this part right. All items must be accurately titled, priced, described, and stocked. Due to the live nature of the listing and the difficulty of making changes, inventory counts must be accurate. The item may need to be deleted and listed all over again.
Once the inventory and its quantities are listed, sales need to be monitored closely. The sales velocity, or the rate at which an item is moving off the shelves, is an important metric for retailers to monitor. This gives sellers a good understanding of when the item is likely to be depleted and how frequently they should be ordering more stock.
When ordering more stock there are many important aspects for sellers to consider. Firstly, the rate at which product manufacturers can produce new suppliers. This will have a knock-on effect to shipping and delivery times and the entire length of delivery process needs to be calculated so that the seller knows how many days before stock depletion that they should be ordering new stock. It’s also worth considering how different quantities of stock affect production and shipment times to work out the optimal balance of product quantities and speed of delivery. Sellers should also take into account any seasonal changes or special events that might affect their manufacturing times or sales velocities. If they are manufacturing in China, events like the Chinese New Year may delay production while the run up to Christmas will increase sales velocities. It’s important to keep on track of such events so that there is enough stock to keep inventory numbers steady.
Although sellers might not want leftover stock sitting for extended periods on shelves, a much worse alternative is to run out completely. “This is known as ‘stock out’ and can cause a decrease in sales as well as a drop-in rankings and listings, potentially losing out to a competitor. Avoiding stock out can be difficult to manage as sellers have to account for manufacturers, delivery times and sales fluctuations but it’s always best to be prepared and have a bit of back up stock to avoid zero quantities of inventory” says Beatrice Allen, a business writer at Paperfellows and Stateofwriting.
Inventories listed at nothing run the risk of getting ghosted by Amazon. After an extended period with nothing to sell, seller accounts will no longer be visible in listings and customers won’t be able to search them. Increased amounts of time with zero inventory will result in Amazon cancelling the seller account altogether.
Starting a sellers account involves on-the-ball management and great preparation. Running it successfully comes with practice which is why sellers should keep persevering with perfecting their quantity in Amazon inventory management.
First of all, prices must be listed exactly as intended when doing the inventory. Incorrect pricing can have disastrous financial consequences, such as when an item is listed for far less than it is worth, or when it is priced too high and therefore doesn’t sell. Prices should be reasonable given the market and the standing of the product in question:
Make sure the profit margin justifies the price you’re asking. All costs that are involved in its production must be accounted for. All costs associated with making, packaging, and delivering the product to the customer, as well as any applicable Amazon fees, are included in this total. These fees will increase for larger items and become more manageable when purchased in bulk. It’s up to the seller to do the math and figure out the right price that will still give them a decent profit.
Don’t undersell your wares. The value of the product must be reflected in the price. For instance, the value of a handcrafted ceramic mug should be significantly higher than that of a mass-produced imitation. Make sure the price you set is reasonable by including a detailed description of the product and some positive customer feedback.
It’s fantastic when businesses are able to carve out a special place in the market for their offerings, and it’s entirely up to the individual sellers to set their own prices for their distinctive wares. However, rivals are unavoidable, and at some point, vendors will have to face the prospect of competing with similar products that are lower in price or of higher quality. If a competitor’s product is of comparable quality but more affordable, the seller can expect a drop in sales and should respond by lowering prices. Businesses need to take the necessary steps to compete with rivals who may steal customers. Project manager at Australianhelp and Bigassignments, Jimmy Hardin, explains that while fewer sales would be preferable, maintaining smaller profits is preferable.
Amazon’s inventory management relies heavily on dynamic pricing. A seller’s pricing decisions should be directly related to the quantity of stock still available. Having no available inventory is, as we’ve established, the worst possible situation for an Amazon seller. Sellers should immediately arrange for the delivery of additional stock if they anticipate their current supply running low. On the other hand, synchronization isn’t always perfect and slip-ups are inevitable. This allows for a price increase on stock while still being profitable. This will reduce demand, allowing you to keep selling until more can be delivered. Some potential buyers may be put off by higher prices, but that’s better than losing credibility as a vendor and falling in search results.
The far-reaching arm of intelligent technology has a firm grasp on possibilities that make maintaining an Amazon-based retail business more straightforward and hassle-free. Sellers can use prediction software to stay on top of their accounts and the many moving parts of Amazon’s inventory management. Listing tools, FBA management, sale updates, low stock alerts, and shipment tracking are just some of the extras that can be activated as needed. A seller’s account is simplified in a way that is both user- and admin-friendly.
Software that automates the mundane but essential tasks involved in maintaining a seller’s account can be a huge time-saver. The Amazon Seller Central tracking tools allow vendors to set up alerts that inform them when it is time to restock, how much they should restock by, how much it will cost, and when it is best to do so. In addition, some of them can generate automatic purchase orders in response to stock replenishing recommendations, relieving sellers of the emotional labor involved in ensuring a steady supply of stock. These tools will help Amazon sellers avoid stock-outs, protect their rankings and sales, and establish a solid foundation for their online store.
In order to provide users with an estimate of how much they are likely to sell, the clever technology makes use of forecasts, trends, seasonality, and shifts in sales velocity. Predictive data backed by statistics is a great way to anticipate a product’s future popularity and adjust stock levels accordingly. The efficiency of stock management can be increased, and the likelihood of either having too much or too little stock can be reduced, by applying growth rates and expected product trends to individual sellers’ inventories.
There are e-commerce solutions tailored specifically to Amazon sellers, as well as general retail solutions. Businesses of all sizes can benefit from forecasting tools like software that allows for streamlined stock management across multiple products and multiple warehouse locations. To help vendors better understand product performance and identify future areas of focus, a detailed product analysis is also included. Although there is an upfront investment required to access the software, the benefits far outweigh the price.
Hard work and dedication are required to rise to the top of the Amazon sellers index and stay there. Avoiding the three key mistakes we’ve highlighted can help sellers keep their position and work on improving their reputation. Getting behind can result in months of trying to regain lost ground.
One of the most challenging aspects of using Amazon FBA to fulfill orders is ensuring that your packaging meets Amazon’s stringent Packaging Requirements. It can be a hassle if you have to source from China because there’s no guarantee that your manufacturer will label all of your packages correctly in accordance with regulations.