When working as a Fulfillment By Amazon, or FBA, seller, inventory management takes on a whole new dimension. Though your inventory is remote and shipping is handled directly by Amazon, maintaining and monitoring those levels is strictly up to you. What’s more, your level of monitoring and maintenance directly impacts your ratings on Amazon and your likelihood of future sales.
During the holidays, inventory management can be especially difficult. As companies balance their budgets with what their customers need, establishing reorder points can feel a bit like supernatural divination. But taking a few simple steps can help you stay ahead of the game and in Amazon’s good ratings.
Clean Up Your Listings — Make it a point to routinely check your FBA listings to ensure they are accurate. Many Amazon listings can be changed and quite often a seller will make a change to an existing AISN that can impact your own inventory. Someone may list an item as only being available in blue, for example, while you have four different colors in stock.
Check Your Metrics — Amazon bases a lot of its ratings on customer returns. Check your company metrics with the global retailer by running a “Customer Concessions — Returns” report.
Monitor Inventory Closely — Throughout the holiday season, keep an eye on inventory levels and be ready to purchase more stock if needed. This may result in some overstock that goes beyond the holiday so be sure you’re considering the inventory’s true cost.
Adjust Pricing Quickly — Be ready to adjust pricing on the fly throughout the holiday season. That means special sales in the run up to your final shipping days and post-Christmas sales to move overstock quickly.
Using an ecommerce inventory management app can make inventory management and sales forecasting quick and easy, allowing you to adjust and remain flexible. These simple steps will give you the foundation you need to have a successful holiday season without risking your Amazon ratings or running out of stock.