As Amazon continues to spread their influence, more and more merchants have questions about Amazon shipping and selling best practices. Is it worth the time investment? How can you make the most of it and what will change? Let’s cover the top three Amazon shipping and selling tips you should know, including how you can streamline your overall practices and end up growing your business in the long run.
Optimize your Amazon shipping methods
We need to address shipping, of course. Not just because ShippingEasy is an Amazon shipping software platform, but also because shipping is one of the largest costs to Amazon sellers, and many sellers are not getting the best possible rates. We have a handy rates calculator can help you compare and contrast what you are and could be paying.
When thinking about which carrier’s services to use, keep one thing in mind: the majority of people still prefer home delivery. You’ll need to be able to quickly and easily compare any negotiated rates you have with FedEx and UPS (including residential service fees, which are often forgotten until they show up on the invoice) and USPS rates for comparable delivery timeframes.
More than just rates, automation is a key to Amazon shipping success. Shipping is a process of repetition, often packing up and shipping the same items over and over again. If you are doing this manually or calculating shipments one by one, you are losing a ton of time. Set up shipping preferences, also called shipping rules, which are series of IF/THEN statements. These let you automatically select the best packaging and shipping methods based on item weight, size, and destination. The time and money savings you will realize by investing a small amount of time in setting up this kind of automation is substantial.
Powerful automation is especially crucial when you have orders coming in from multiple stores and marketplaces, as many Amazon sellers do. We’ll talk a bit more about Fulfillment by Amazon and Multi-channel Fulfillment in a moment, but housing all your orders in one screen, with the ability to tag, prioritize, and manage orders seamlessly, removes a major headache from your daily Amazon shipping processes.
Managing your reputation is paramount
Any Amazon seller knows that the seller and product reviews they receive from customers are their lifeblood. Even though this is the case, Amazon does not make it an easy process to request this feedback from customers. The platform also maintains strict guidelines around contacting customers. A slip-up in this area could cost you selling privileges on Amazon.
A few key guidelines to note:
- You can not offer incentives in exchange for positive reviews from customers or encourage them to remove negative feedback
- You are not allowed to explicitly ask for positive reviews, and must request feedback in a neutral manner
- Be aware that if Amazon notices an unusually high number of reviews for a product posted in a short period of time, they may restrict the number of non-Amazon Verified Purchase reviews on that product
- Feedback request emails may not also contain marketing materials
As you can see, this can be a tricky situation to get right. This is one of the main reasons we developed Amazon Reputation—a way to send automated, Amazon-compliant feedback requests to customers at a time determined by you based on shipping date or delivery date—as part of our Amazon Seller Suite.
Equally important as receiving feedback is responding to it. Make sure you’re acknowledging the time customers are taking to provide input on your products, your performance as a seller, and their overall experience. Customers not only expect you to respond to their reviews, they expect to see responses to other people’s reviews. Responding not only gives you an opportunity to right the situation and possibly win back business from an unhappy customer, it shows other customers your service level and can even offset the impact of the negative review on their perception of your business.
Take advantage of FBA and Multi-channel Fulfillment
These two services can help Amazon sellers grow their business tremendously. If you’re not fully aware of what each of these are:
- Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA) means Amazon holds a certain amount (or all) of your inventory in one of their warehouses. When an order comes in, they pick, pack, and ship your orders, plus handle customer service. This allows you to offer faster turnaround times and 2-day shipping. It also means you need to juggle any inventory stock you store yourself, as well as what is housed by Amazon.
- Multi-channel Fulfillment (MCF) works in conjunction with or independent of FBA. When you have part of your inventory housed by Amazon, you can funnel sales from your website and other third-party sales channels through Amazon fulfillment. This again allows you to increase the speed of order turnaround. If you use both MCF and FBA, they’ll both deduct from your inventory housed by Amazon, so close monitoring is key.
There is a ton of convenience in using these two services, but also some challenges. Any time you’re managing orders from multiple locations, there’s added room for error. If you don’t have inventory software that helps you quickly maintain the quantities you have housed in an Amazon facility, you could end up in hot water for selling out-of-stock items.
The upside, however, is the potential for a massive increase in sales by reaching more audiences and offering the quick shipping customers have become accustomed to.
ShippingEasy helps you do all of your Amazon shipping and more in one place with our Amazon Seller Suite. No more jumping from browser tab to browser tab and paying for multiple apps. You can even try it FREE for 30 days!