There is a seemingly endless amount of information available about how to be a successful Amazon seller, and let’s be honest — it can be difficult to know where to start, what to prioritize, or whose expertise to trust. But at the end of the day, the goal is to learn how to scale your Amazon business and be profitable.
To make things easier for you, we’ve distilled the best Amazon tips and tricks into three key categories that have the same end result: high growth. So, if you want to experience rapid growth as an Amazon seller, make sure you’ve mastered inventory management, Buy Box ownership, and cash flow control.
With this in mind, here are 3 things every Amazon seller should know:
- Inventory Management Is A Must
Without a solid inventory management strategy, your Amazon business is at risk. On one hand, you could order too much at one time, thereby tying up cash in product that just sits on your shelves (or, in some cases, even losing cash if you end up having to liquidate for less than you paid for it). On the other, you could order too little and run out before you’re able to buy more — and running out means losing the Buy Box, giving your competitors an advantage, even putting your account at risk of suspension.
To prevent this from happening, and to ensure you can turn more product and grow your business faster, here are five simple inventory management tips:
- Optimize Price: Negotiate with your suppliers to make sure you’re getting the best price on product, then consult a repricer tool for help setting the selling price so you maximize your margins.
- Know Your Sales Velocity: Figure out when your busy and slow seasons are so you can plan accordingly — this means understanding how much inventory, at a minimum, to have on hand at a given time, plus when and how much to re-order.
- Communicate with Your Suppliers: Make sure you’re on the same page when it comes to things like order lead times, production times and shipping times. You should know how long an order takes to be fulfilled just as much as your suppliers should know when to expect orders from you (plus what the orders are for).
- Consult Inventory Management Software: Get piece of mind with Seller Central’s inventory reports and alerts or by consulting a tool like Teikametrics.
- Cash Flow: To ensure your inventory management strategy runs smoothly, you’ll need a reliable source of cash. Smart use of credit cards, like the Amazon rewards card, can also make sense – but should be used with caution. We’ll talk about another option down in step #3.
- You’ll Scale Faster by Winning (& Keeping) the Buy Box
It’s a no brainer: sellers in the Buy Box get the lionshare of sales for a given product, so you’re obviously going to want to win it — and keep it. For those new to selling on Amazon, the Buy Box essentially prioritizes your listing when multiple sellers offer the same thing. So when a customer adds it to their cart, you get the credit.
So how do you earn this coveted spot? Here are a few key eligibility requirements:
- Low Order Defect Rate (ODR): ODR is basically a measurement of how many issues your customers have had with your storefront, so keeping this rate low is critical. It’s based on customer feedback, A-to-z Guarantee claims, and chargebacks.
- Your Customer Shopping Experience: Amazon is all about customer service, so your chances of winning the Buy Box increase if you offer a stellar shopping experience. This means having the best price, offering multiple shipping options (including Prime free 2-day shipping), and more.
- Your Amazon History & Status: Your time and experience as an Amazon seller definitely comes into play, as does your status as a Professional seller.
For a full list of Amazon’s Buy Box eligibility requirements, click here. After meeting all of these, be sure to also keep an eye on your competition as well as the minimum selling price you can set for your product(s). That way you can more efficiently price match with competing listings to make sure you always have the best offer.
- Having Daily Access to Cash Is Vital for Long-Term Growth
We said it earlier: cash flow is key for inventory management. But that’s not all you’ll need it for.
As they say, you’ve got to spend money to make money — which couldn’t be more true for Amazon sellers. Or more difficult. After all, Amazon’s two-week payment delay can cause cash flow issues that can hinder growth. So how can you overcome these cash flow issues? With Payability, of course.
Payability provides high growth Amazon sellers with 80% of their Amazon income one business day after making a sale. The remaining 20% stays in a reserve to cover returns and chargebacks and is released to the seller on Amazon’s regular two week payment terms minus Payability’s 2% flat fee on gross sales.
They recently launched a Loyalty Pricing Program that rewards customers with lower fees and higher advance rates the longer they remain with Payability. Having this consistent, daily source of cash means you can buy more inventory more quickly, take advantage of last-minute opportunities and/or inventory deals, or cover the occasional unexpected expense. Above all, you’ll be able to turn product and grow your business faster than you can imagine.