Even if you sell on Amazon for additional income or as a side job, you still need to dedicate a chunk of your day to managing it — every day.
We talked to Salo Mizrachi, a real-life Amazon seller who sells packing cubes, and asked him to share some of the tasks he does on a daily basis to ensure his store is working efficiently and that customers are happy.
1. Check Your Buyer Messages
Just like you check your email when you first get to work, the first thing you should be doing for your Amazon store is checking your buyer messages. The buyer-seller messaging service is a way for your buyers to communicate directly with you (and you to communicate with them). If you have any messages there, you need to take care of those immediately.
Not only do your customers want a response as soon as possible, how quickly you reply also plays into your Amazon metrics. You have 24 hours to respond to their message. If you take any longer, you’ll receive a late response mark on your metrics. You’re allowed to respond late to 10% of your messages, but if you go above that, you risk being suspended.
If you were in the shopper’s shoes, you’d hate to hear nothing but static on the seller’s end. We recommend checking the message center at least once per day.
2. Check Your Inventory Levels
You should be checking inventory levels daily. If that isn’t possible, check them once a week at minimum. You need know how much inventory you have and if you’re prepared for a heavy selling day. If you sold more than expected the day before, you need to coordinate with your supplier to get re-supplied sooner than scheduled.
The absolute last thing you want is an out of stock message on Amazon. Nothing will frustrate your potential customers more than trying to purchase a product and not being able to. Losing that business will really hurt your bottom line. Especially as you approach peak sales events such as Black Friday or Prime Day, it’s critical to monitor your inventory.
3. Check for Suppressed Listings
Sometimes Amazon will suppress a listing if there’s a quality issue or complaint to protect customers from making bad purchases.
“We had one of our most popular listings, a TSA-approved toiletry bag, mislabeled as something else, and a customer flagged it with Amazon when we accidentally sent her the wrong packing cube,” explains Mizrachi.
It was the first time he’d ever had a suppressed listing, but he didn’t notice until his sales had dropped for a few days and he saw the “suppressed” label on that item.
To get the item live again, you need to fix whatever issue is causing the suppression, which usually can be resolved pretty quickly if it’s a simple issue like a mislabel.
If you’re having an unexpectedly low day of sales, check for suppressed listings. It just might be the reason behind your poor performance. Even if your sales are normal though, you should get in the habit of checking this every day to make sure things are running smoothly.
4. Check Your Sponsored Product Results
Sponsored products are a great way to get more eyes on your items using keywords and phrases. Amazon will automatically use whatever keyword-targeting strategy you decide on, but this means you should be checking your results every day.
The most important metric is pay-per-click, or PPC, which measures how much you’re spending on ads to get one click on your product listing. Decide how much you’re willing to spend and a targeting strategy before you break out of the gate and start throwing your money at ads.
When you decide how much you can afford to spend per click — based on unit cost, profit margins, etc. — you’ll be able to monitor your spending each day and know if you’re under or over targets.
5. Check Reviews and Reply
Reviews are what drive your business forward, and they’re one of the most important things your customers can do for you. You should be responding to all reviews, thanking customers for buying from you and taking the time to provide their feedback. Try to make each response personalized to the specific review, because while this does take more time, it will build an authentic connection with your customers. They will appreciate it!
Of course, there’s always the dreaded scenario of a negative review.
It’s tempting to ignore it or, worse, get defensive, but try to see negative reviews as an opportunity for your business. Yes, you have an unhappy customer, but now is your chance to make it right. Make it a priority to respond to negative reviews immediately in an empathetic and understanding way that will help your customer feel heard and turn their negative experience into a positive one.
6. Conduct a Search Operator Query
You should be making it a priority to look for related bloggers and influencers in your niche. You can do this by conducting a search operator query. This can provide great opportunities for outreach and collaboration (more on that below). Start developing a list of queries that relate to your business and get you relevant and useful connections in your field.
When your business is starting to grow and you’re getting a bit overwhelmed, this is something that can easily be delegated to an analyst. You should have a list of search operator queries for them, and they can conduct the search and put all the results in an organized spreadsheet so it’s easy for you to contact influencers and hopefully build a network.
You should make a daily goal of reaching out to at least one influencer via email, Facebook, Instagram or whatever the best medium is to start collaborating. This can be as simple as a win-win backlink swap, or something more involved like a guest blog post or a sponsored review of your product.
Figure out what the best fit is for that specific influencer and send them a concise but personalized message pitching your idea. Obviously not everyone is going to say yes — or even respond — but if you reach out to one person every day, you’re bound to find some winners and build authority within your ecommerce niche.
Bonus: Do NOT Stress about Order Fulfillment or Inventory Management
As soon as your business is big enough, you need to delegate these types of tasks to a Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA) or a third-party logistics center (3PL), along with an inventory management software.
At some point, outgrowing the hassle of storing your own inventory and sending it to customers just won’t be worth your time anymore. Hand these tasks off to the experts so you can focus on the other, more important stuff — like the six tasks above.
Running an Amazon ecommerce business might seem a little overwhelming at first, especially if you’re just starting out. The truth is, you’re going to put a lot more work at the beginning, especially on your own. However, once you get into the swing of things, you’ll hone this list and figure out what works for you. These tasks will just become part of your daily routine, and investing time in your business will keep it running efficiently and growing quickly.
Jake Rheude is the Director of Marketing for Red Stag Fulfillment, an ecommerce fulfillment warehouse that was born out of ecommerce. He has years of experience in ecommerce and business development. In his free time, Jake enjoys reading about business and sharing his own experience with others.