Managing your FBA inventory closely as an Amazon seller is paramount to ensure you don’t end up in trouble with the marketplace giant. Start selling out-of-stock inventory and you’ll miss shipping service level agreements, and that could keep you from being able to sell on the platform altogether.
A new program may change that a bit for those selling using Fulfillment By Amazon. Amazon’s In-Stock Head Start pilot program is a new service that sellers can opt-in to. It basically allows your customers to buy products from inbound stock so long as Amazon feels confident that the product will arrive at a fulfillment center in time for fulfillment.
Having items that are temporarily out of stock is no longer a complete killer of your ability to sell items. The caveat is that incoming inventory needs to be sent using one of Amazon’s services to ensure they have complete visibility into the delivery schedule. These services are:
Amazon lists some of the specific benefits of the program as:
- Discoverability: Your out-of-stock items will appear in search results, giving customers a wider selection and helping to increase traffic to your product detail pages
- Sales: Customers can buy temporarily out-of-stock items, which can result in improved sales
- Inventory productivity: Taking customer orders while your products are temporarily out-of-stock can reduce the time between shipment and sale
The program cannot be used solely for specific ASINs. This is a full-account or none at all enrollment. Sign up for the pilot program here (login required). Should you enroll and try out the program, only to find that it’s not right for you, you can exit the program by heading here (login required).
The best bet is still to avoid running out of stock
Though Amazon is offering this option to some sellers, it’s still a safer bet to just make sure you don’t let your inventory get so close that this becomes an issue. The best way to do that is with Velocity and Forecast reporting.
ShippingEasy’s Inventory Management solution offers this kind of robust reporting so you can ensure your inventory levels, including FBA inventory, are in stock at the right time. If you’re not familiar with Velocity and Forecasting reporting here’s a brief explanation.
- Velocity Reporting: Velocity is the rate at which you sell products through your various sales channels. This key report gives you a full breakdown of how fast each product is selling over a period of time. This metric also helps identify your fastest or slowest-selling products in order to make business decisions beyond reorder quantities.
- Forecast Reporting: Demand forecasting uses velocity data to project future sales and help you make smart decisions. Once you have an idea of how many of which products you sell, ShippingEasy recommends how many units to replenish. The platform takes into account stock you already have and purchase orders currently placed. This way you’re never out of stock and miss a sale.
Your relationship with suppliers and how quick you can get your orders to them can also help you maintain stock levels. If finding your supplier information and keeping it up to date is tedious, it’s costing you time. If creating purchase orders takes up a significant part of your day,
that’s time that could be spent elsewhere.
The above reports help feed into your purchase order management by quickly getting you the quantities you need to input into a PO. The lead-time information you get from your Velocity and Forecasting Replenishment reports also helps you ensure that you’re creating purchase orders when you need to.
The best part about using a solution like ShippingEasy’s Inventory Management is that it takes into account all of your multichannel inventory. It doesn’t matter if you use FBA inventory to fulfill orders from your other stores or have in-house inventory that you ship out beyond your FBA inventory. You can maintain all your inventory levels in an intuitive platform that includes an at-a-glance dashboard and robust reporting.
Ready to make inventory management easier than it’s ever been? Try our platform for free! Click below to get started!
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