From Chaos to Control: How to Manage Your Amazon Inventory Like a Pro
As an Amazon seller, one of the most crucial aspects of your business is inventory management. Without a solid strategy of doing it, you could find yourself in serious trouble.
One could lead to a loss of profit and dissatisfied customers, and another causing increased storage costs. Either way, not knowing how to efficiently manage inventory can hurt your bottom line — profitability.
This blog post will explore why inventory management is crucial for Amazon sellers and offer tips and best practices for managing your inventory effectively.
What is inventory management?
Inventory management refers to tracking and controlling your inventory levels to ensure you always have enough stock to meet customer demand.
It includes everything from ordering and receiving inventory to storing, tracking, and selling it.
Inventory management is crucial for Amazon sellers because it allows them to avoid stockouts and overstocks, which can be costly and negatively impact customer satisfaction.
Common inventory management challenges and how they impact your Amazon Business
Managing inventory is a crucial responsibility for Amazon sellers that demands careful planning and organization.
While it may seem simple, poor inventory management can negatively impact your Amazon business.
These are some of the most common inventory management challenges faced by Amazon sellers.
Stockouts: When sellers run out of a product, they can no longer sell it to customers. It can result in lost sales and revenue, as well as a negative impact on customer satisfaction.
As many customers tend to expect their items to arrive within 0-3 days from purchase, they are likely to be upset when their orders arrive late due to a lack of inventory.
Unhappy customers mean negative reviews and ultimately, decrease profitability.
You should also remember that if your products are consistently out of stock, it can negatively impact your Best Sellers Rank and organic keyword ranking on Amazon, which may take time to recover.
Overstocks: When sellers have too much inventory, they may struggle to sell them. It can lead to excess costs and tie up valuable capital.
Excess inventory can negatively impact your inventory performance index (IPI) score, an important metric used by Amazon to evaluate the efficiency of your inventory management.
If you have too much inventory stored in Amazon fulfillment centers, your inventory capacity limits may be reduced, and you may be charged monthly and long-term storage fees.
These fees can quickly add up, leading to significant financial losses.
Hence, it is crucial to regularly monitor and manage your inventory levels to avoid these costs and maintain a healthy IPI score.
Inaccurate inventory tracking: If a seller's inventory levels are not accurately tracked, they may fail to fulfill customer orders promptly or accidentally oversell a product.
It can occur due to human error, system glitches, or other issues. It can lead to canceled orders, negative reviews, and lost customers, implicating the seller’s reputation and sales.
Additionally, inaccurate inventory tracking can make it difficult for sellers to assess which products are selling well and which are not, making it harder to make informed decisions about their inventory and pricing strategies.
Poor forecasting: Poor forecasting can be caused by a lack of data analysis, outdated or incomplete information, or an inadequate understanding of market trends and customer behavior.
If sellers do not accurately forecast demand for their products, they may order too little or too much inventory, resulting in stockouts or overstocks.
As mentioned above, stockouts can lead to lost sales and dissatisfied customers, while overstocks can tie up valuable capital and result in excess costs.
Moreover, poor forecasting can make it difficult for sellers to anticipate trends and shifts in demand, making it harder to stay competitive in their market.
Best practices for inventory management on Amazon
With a well-managed inventory, sellers can avoid missed sales and costly storage fees.
Additionally, customers will be satisfied with their purchase experience and are more likely to return for future purchases.
To improve overall profitability and reputation on the Amazon marketplace, consider following these best practices for inventory management:
- Use inventory management tools: There are several inventory management tools available to Amazon sellers that can help automate the inventory tracking and replenishment process. Some popular options include Sellbrite, Veeqo, and Stitch Labs.
- Set up automatic replenishment: Many inventory management tools offer the ability to set up automatic replenishment, which can help ensure that sellers always have enough stock to meet customer demand.
- Analyze sales data and trends - Regularly review your sales data and identify trends to forecast demand accurately and adjust your inventory levels accordingly.
This way, sellers can identify slow-moving products and adjust pricing or promotions to increase sales to avoid overstocking certain items.
- Monitor inventory levels regularly: Sellers must consistently monitor their inventory levels to ensure they do not run out of stock or end up with too much inventory.
- Maintain accurate inventory records: Sellers must maintain updated inventory records to ensure they can fulfill customer orders on time and avoid overselling products.
- Plan and anticipate inventory needs for peak shopping events: Sellers should plan ahead for major events such as Black Friday, Cyber Monday, or Prime Day to make sure they have enough inventory to meet the surge in demand.
- Consider Fulfillment by Merchant (FBM) as a backup plan: With FBM, sellers can still fulfill orders directly from their own inventory in case they run out of stock in Amazon's fulfillment centers. This allows them to keep their listings active and continue making sales even if their FBA inventory runs out.
Effective inventory management is essential for the success of any Amazon seller. Failure to manage your inventory efficiently can lead to multiple problems, including lost sales, excess storage costs, and poor customer satisfaction.
By following the best practices outlined above, you can be sure that you always have enough stock to meet customer demand and avoid the negative consequences of poor inventory management.
If you find managing your inventory too challenging or time-consuming, you can always seek help from experts who specialize in optimizing inventory management for Amazon sellers.
At Seller Candy, we can set up efficient inventory management solutions tailored to your business needs.
Talk to us today to learn how we can help you achieve better inventory management and boost your Amazon sales.