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Whether you sell sporting gear, houseware, food supplements, or apparel on Amazon, you need to have enough stock to keep up with demand. Since you can’t sell what you do not have, managing your amazon inventory well is important.
Inventory management refers to the process that your inventory goes through from procurement to shipment. With the right stock handling strategy, you can keep track of the items in your inventory, leverage your storage facility usage, and meet the demands of your customers without any issues.
Today, we’ll be talking about 7 tips that can make managing your amazon inventory much more efficient. Let’s get started.
The Benefits of Inventory Management
Proper inventory management is the cornerstone of every successful Amazon store. Taking control of your Amazon inventory management is important because it allows you to:
- Attract customers and continuously make sales. Proper inventory management is the key to having happy customers. If you are always able to meet the demands of your customers, they’ll keep coming back to your store. They’re also less likely to go to your competitors just to purchase a product that is similar to yours.
- Reduce some overhead costs. While your product stock is one of your most important assets as a business owner, it can also be a liability. Having too much inventory can incur added storage costs especially if you need to rent a storage facility.
- Improve inventory planning. When you know what products you have on hand, you can avoid overstocking on items that may not be selling well.
- Avoid spoilage. If you’re selling food products, supplements, cosmetics, and other products with a sell-by or an expiration day, proper inventory management can help you avoid product spoilage. Remember that if you don’t sell items like these before they expire, your initial investment will end up going to waste. By tracking the items you have on hand, you can easily run promotions or offer discounts that will help you dispatch stock that may be spoiling soon.
- Improve the accuracy of your order fulfillment. Inventory management is more than just about knowing what product stock you have on hand. It’s also about ensuring that you have an efficient organizational control strategy going on. By properly labeling your items or using SKUs, you can fulfill orders accurately and avoid unnecessary returns while keeping your customers happy.
Tips for Managing Your Amazon Inventory
Staying on top of your Amazon inventory requires careful planning. Here are some of the best ways to efficiently implement a stock handling strategy for your Amazon business:
1. Use an Inventory Management Software
Manually tracking your inventory can be prone to errors that are costly to rectify down the line. Instead of relying on spreadsheets and documents alone, use inventory management software to improve your efficiency and accuracy.
The easiest route you can take is to use Amazon’s inventory management system that’s accessible through Seller Central. Here, you can keep track of your inventory levels and purchasing needs. It can also track your sales and inventory trends. This can help you in making sound purchasing decisions for when you need to update your inventory.
Of course, you can also use other inventory management software. At the minimum, the tool you are going to use should be able to:
- Make recommendations on refilling stocks
- Integrate with all your online sales channels
- Track different product types, quantities, and dimensions
- Tell you the number of days your products have been stored in the warehouse
2. Set Inventory Minimums
An inventory minimum is the minimum quantity of a particular item of material that must be kept at all times. This is a safe level of inventory that you need to maintain to ensure that you don’t run out of stock while your supplier is preparing to send more product to you.
3. Maintain a Good Working Relationship with Your Suppliers
Reliable suppliers are essential to your business’s growth so when you find one that you trust, be sure to build a good working relationship with them.
When you build a rapport with suppliers, you can gain better value for the business by getting dedicated service, preferential pricing, and special terms. This can all come in handy when you need to restock items from your inventory ASAP or when you want to expand your product line.
4. Understand Your Inventory Turnover Rate
Your inventory turnover rate tells you how fast you sell your products on Amazon. With this knowledge, you can determine how much stock you need to maintain your inventory minimum in between inventory shipments.
You can use a forecasting tool like Amazon Seller Coach on the Seller Central dashboard. It can help you track sales against your available stock. It can also recommend the unit quantities you need to fill orders over a specific timeframe.
5. Understand Your Supplier Lead Time
Supplier lead time is another crucial aspect of inventory management that you need to fully understand. This is the amount of time that goes between the time your supplier receives your order, the time they ship it out, and the time you receive it in your warehouse.
By understanding the nuances involved in sourcing, receiving, and storing the products for your Amazon inventory, you can stay on top of your inventory levels, avoid ordering restocks too late, and prevent deadstock.
6. Be on the Lookout for Seasonal Sales Fluctuations Inventory Turnover Rate
Planning for seasonal demand can save you a lot of time when holiday shopping time rolls around. During certain times of the year, customer demand peaks along with supplier turn-around times. So it’s crucial to know when items in your inventory are fast-moving so you can keep up with demand during these periods while also giving your suppliers enough time to fulfill your orders.
7. Use Promos and Sales to Your Advantage
Running promotions and offering discounts is a great way to liquidate aging inventory, avoid spoilage, and prevent unnecessary storage fees. If some of your products haven’t sold in over three months, you may want to run a special promo to free up some warehouse space and to move inventory.
However, you should be strategic with your sales and promos too to avoid running into inventory issues. Set a threshold for a specific number of promoted items in your inventory. You can remove the promotion once you hit that number and then sell the remaining stock for the regular price so you don’t run out of stock completely.
On the other hand, if you plan to sell out a specific item completely, set a threshold amount that covers four hours of promotional sales. This gives you enough time to cover orders that come in as Amazon processes the removal of the promotion.
Managing your Amazon inventory well is crucial but it isn’t always easy. You need to have a clear understanding of the nuances involved in proper stock handling so you can keep up with demand and maintain a happy and loyal customer base.
Are you looking for more tips on managing your Amazon business? Check out the FreeUp blog regularly where we publish business tips and more.
About the Author
Anby Alcomendas is a writer, proofreader, editor, and researcher. She helps business owners target and convert the right customers through content creation and refinement. When she’s not busy creating content, she turns to art for solace.
FreeUp is the #1 solution to finding & hiring pre-vetted freelancers online, we recruit and interview hundreds of freelancers every week, only allowing the top 1% into the network.
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