“55% of online product searches begin on Amazon” – Clickz
Is this a boon or bane? Boon, if you are a seller in Amazon and the other way round if you aren’t. However the exposure that your products garner when listed on Amazon comes with cons like competition and management challenges, mainly inventory.
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Managing inventory in Amazon is different from other sales channels as in Amazon, you never know which tide would accelerate your sales or irreversibly tarnish your image. So it’s mandatory to expect the unexpected and to do this you’ll have to get your inventory right.
As a seller in Amazon, you mostly don’t worry about anything apart from sales volume as Amazon has provisions to care of shipments and customer handling. Amazon inventory management system provides assistance for managing stocks as well but that’s just not enough!!
Here are a few tips on how to manage inventory on Amazon that could practically you stay on top of the inventory escapades that a globally preferred marketplace like Amazon could surprise you with anytime.
- Don’t Depend on Amazon
There isn’t time for you to react after Amazon sends you a low-stock notification alert because:
- a) Amazon assumes that you have stock supplies stored in your own warehouse
- b) Amazon assumes that your supplier is close enough for a quick order turnaround
Both these facts are fading away rapidly as most of the sellers have their purchase orders fulfilled by suppliers overseas and depend on Amazon for handling their shipment.
On the other hand, Amazon, as a part of its brand’s commitment to customers, focuses on express-fast order fulfillment. This situation can leave you stockless in no time creating a setback for your business.
A better understanding of your own sales velocity and supply cycle will never allow you to be a part of such troubling situation for which an Amazon inventory management software can be used.
Know the manufacturing and shipping time of your manufacturers and place purchase orders accordingly. Having done this, you will already be in a safe zone by the time when you receive a low stock notification alert from Amazon.
- Trick to Reserve Stock to Take on Uneven Sales Tide
Promotions can viralize your products, earn rankings and is the express route to improve business on Amazon. However, at times, promotions can take you by surprise especially if it becomes a runaway hit.
Such situation can deplete your inventory in no time and also affect profit margin due to volume sales happening.
Here is a trick to rescue yourself from getting into trouble.
- Place orders for products you run promotions for using Amazon Seller Central. After providing address and unit details, select the option “Hold this inventory for up to two weeks.”
- You now have a certain amount of inventory under your control. Now, move on with the promotional campaign, see how it is performing and if you sense the need of your reserved stock, cancel the order on hold so that the inventory will be back for grabs again for end-users. This will help you to manage for a while until your suppliers fulfill your orders.
- Service Level Priority
Maintaining a 100% service level looks good on paper or for a brand’s image from a wider outset but it shoots up your inventory holding costs. Providing 100% service levels for all product is a waste of your hard earned money as it could result in pumping up stock levels and funds being wasted on maintaining them.
It is better to know which products yield best profits or highly preferred by shoppers and classify the based on profit and preference scale. These kind of sales intelligence can be derived from Amazon warehouse management system.
This will help in determining the service levels you really should be maintaining so that the focus is not scattered on products which doesn’t deserve a 100% service level.
In general, a service level of 95% would be sufficient for any top performing product. Based on profit and preference-based product classifications, you can determine the replenishment priorities as well.
- Signs That Indicate an Inventory Management Software for Amazon Sellers
Apart from inventory management tips as such, we’d like you to know about some of the signs that indicate that your Amazon inventory needs some special attention and here they are.
Sales drop, product sales rank fluctuation, drop in pageviews, product complaints and lack of positive feedback are signs that shoppers aren’t interested in your product listing. No positive feedback also means something and should be looked after duly in order to avoid a future sales slump.
- Get Systematic and Well Informed
Every Amazon inventory management tip discussed above is some way or the other connected to finding the hidden details which most of the businesses fail to note or take into consideration. Knowing your performing products, seasonal demands, lead time and order turn around can be achieved by getting a Amazon inventory control software in place.
Contalog’s Amazon inventory management software can give the intelligence needed to stay away from either going stockless or over investing in stocks.
With Contalog, you can take the right inventory decision that suits current scenarios and plan way ahead based on future forecasts.