Selling products on Amazon has made it easy for people to start ecommerce businesses or extend their brick-and-mortar presence online. However, managing Amazon inventory can be one of the more difficult tasks to tackle when selling products online. We’ve outlined a few tips for managing Amazon inventory to help you launch (and keep) a successful online business.
Ensure Pricing, Inventory Amounts, and Descriptions are Correct
One useful tip for keeping track of your Amazon inventory is to make sure all information regarding your product is correct online. Information listed on Amazon is live almost instantly, so if you make a pricing mistake (say listing a $100 item for $10), there is a likely chance a buyer will snag your item before you have time to change your listing.
Ensuring the descriptions on your items are correct is one way to avoid unhappy customers and returns. If descriptions aren’t thorough enough, consumers may think they purchased something different than what they receive, leading them to return your product.
Entering the correct inventory amount when listing on Amazon is also vital. Otherwise you may receive too many customer orders for a product you don’t have enough of – and overselling can result in your customers going elsewhere to make purchases or a suspension on Amazon.
Focus on Inventory Forecasting
Understanding the demand for your product is one good way to work on predicting how many products you need. The demand customers have for a certain product can depend on different factors including seasonality (some products are more desirable during certain parts of the year) and trends in sales (do your sales have a history of monthly increases or have sales plateaued?).
Looking at sales from the past year can give you a wealth of information when it comes to forecasting your inventory needs. Trends within your business will clue you in on when it may be a good idea to stock up on inventory for future sales.
Ensure Your Return Policy is Clear
Every time a customer returns a product it affects your business. To reduce the number of returns, make sure your product descriptions are accurate and up-to-date. You also want to ensure your return policy can be easily found. Otherwise you risk a potential back-and-forth between yourself and an unhappy customer that didn’t know about the policy, which can affect your rating as a seller.
Clear and concise return policies on product and checkout pages will help ensure the customer knows what to expect when making a purchase.
Use Amazon FBA, But Have a Backup
Fulfillment By Amazon, often shortened to FBA, offers 3rd-party Amazon sellers a hassle-free way to fulfill their customer’s order. When using Fulfillment By Amazon, a seller sends a supply of inventory to Amazon’s warehouses. This program includes also covers customer service issues like returns. The best part, your products will get the “Prime” badge, increasing its visibility among Amazon Prime members.
While FBA is great for helping you manage your Amazon inventory, you still need to keep a close eye on your product quantities. Amazon’s low inventory alerts can sometimes come in too late for new merchandise to be ordered. For this reason, it’s important to take other measures to ensure inventory is managed and available. Use an inventory management software solution that is compatible with FBA and allows you to set your own alerts and reminders. That way you’ll know when you need to reorder more stock.
Choose the Right Inventory Management Tools
When it comes to listing and inventory management solutions, there is no shortage of options for ecommerce sellers. While having options is a good thing, it can be hard to figure out which one is right for your business. To narrow down your search, consider the following:
- Does the inventory management solution integrate seamlessly with Amazon and FBA?
- Does it allow for scalability as the business grows?
- Will it integrate with other sales channels that you currently have or may have in the future?
- How often are inventory quantities updated?
- What is the budget you’re working with for the software solution?
An Amazon inventory management software that integrates with Amazon, FBA, and other sales channels in real or near real-time is your best option. It centralizes the whole inventory process across all channels, allowing for unlimited business growth. Looking for a solution that has tiered pricing will help keep the cost proportionate to your sales volume, which will help you stay within your budget.
Amazon is the top online retailer of this modern age. Millions of companies have made the choice to sell their merchandise on Amazon. For sellers, having accurate and efficient inventory management skills is important, and can lead to the overall success or failure of a business. Luckily, there are various ways to make inventory management a much easier process. The five tips above are a great place to start.
Once you’ve accomplished the basics of managing your Amazon inventory, check out the daily schedule of an Amazon seller to make sure you’re tackling the most important tasks for a successful Amazon business.