From fairly humble beginnings, Amazon has become the biggest ecommerce site in the world. It is a tool that online vendors cannot ignore, and attracts around 3,700 new sellers every day.
Amazon started life as an online bookseller in 1995, by 2020 it had a revenue of $386 billion and become just the 4th tech company to reach a market cap of $1 trillion.
Anyone can sell on Amazon, and many people do this as a side-gig, while others have made alternative careers this way. The majority of sellers on Amazon can make $1,000 every month minimum. However, there are a select group of sellers who can reach sales of more than $100,000 per month.
Finding the right niche can make a huge difference in reaching high sales figures, but there are other challenges to face. Operating as an FBA seller can be time-consuming, but fortunately, some processes can be automated.
What is an FBA seller?
FBA stands for fulfillment by Amazon. This refers to sellers who use the Amazon platform to sell their products but don’t want to concern themselves with inventory management or stock.
An FBA seller can send all their stock to an Amazon storage facility and have it kept there. Once an order comes through, Amazon will manage the packing and shipping of the goods to the customer.
This is useful for anyone who cannot store volumes of goods, and doesn’t want to spend time packaging and sending out items. This is especially useful to sole traders who operate on their own. In fact, 96% of third-party sellers use fulfillment by Amazon to trade this way.
What are the difficulties facing FBA sellers?
Nearly 2 million SMEs are using Amazon worldwide, and in the US 4,000 items are sold every single minute. The platform is ideal for reaching a huge audience, and it makes life simple for anyone interested in creating their own ecommerce business.
Amazon provides guidance on how to start an online business. There are also forums and customer support for any questions new vendors may have. Customers also trust Amazon so there is less need to be involved in marketing and advertising.
Around 89% of online shoppers say they prefer to visit Amazon over any other ecommerce site. However, FBA sellers still face other challenges, especially in a competitive market.
There are fees for inventory storage as you may expect, other fees for long-term storage, and fulfillment fees also.
- Cash flow restrictions
- Inventory restrictions
- Fees and penalties
- Inventory packaging restrictions
- Customer reviews
Cash flow restrictions
Amazon only pays out every two weeks. This can be restricting when payments need to go out to suppliers and fees need to be paid. Inventory restrictions can also hinder cash flow.
Inventory restrictions & fees
Inventory must be kept at certain levels set by Amazon. Too little stock can lead to sales being lost, and too much stock can lead to long-term storage penalties and fees. Both of which impact cash flow. Too much money tied up in stock will also hinder liquidity. General storage and fulfillment fees eat into profits too.
If you want to become more efficient working from home, you are in luck because there are many automation tools for FBA sellers today to help with challenges such as inventory management.
Inventory packaging restrictions
If goods aren’t sent to the warehouse in the correct type and sized packaging, they may be sent back to the vendor. This damages profits, wastes time, and is frustrating.
82% of Amazon shoppers cite price as a major factor in their purchasing decisions. It is no secret that many sellers on Amazon undercut their competition by large margins.
Online reviews are excellent for helping a trader to establish an online reputation. They are also useful for consumers to gauge whether a product or service is worth purchasing.
However, they can be damaging too. Failure to uphold standards can see poor reviews and a drop in sales that may be hard to reverse.
What are the top 7 automation tools for FBA sellers in 2022 ?
Many new sellers on Amazon are looking for ways to automate different processes. To be able to export sales data, and handle inventories more effectively. There are plenty of sellers who use multiple sales channels also and would like to link them.
Here are ten of the best automation tools for FBA sellers operating today.
This new automation tool was designed by three experienced 8-figure sellers. The purpose of this tool is to synchronize your Amazon data to Google Sheets and inventory management and help with profit & loss tracking.
Up-to-date inventory counts can be pumped automatically into Google Sheets from Amazon to help make informed purchasing decisions.
Simple commands will push up-to-date FBA inventory levels into the spreadsheet. The seller can use custom Google Sheets functions to link together multiple sales-channels, and help to determine P&L from Facebook ad spend at a glance.
If you want more information about syncing Amazon data to Google Sheets you can follow this guide.
Designed to drive more traffic to a store and increase brand awareness. Teikametrics was built to help with PPC campaigns and to assist with customizing ads. It can optimize keywords and automate campaigns.
This tool is free for anyone making less than $10,000 per month making it a risk-free option for small traders.
Inventory management is a major area for FBA automation tools. This one takes FBA seller data and uses this to make intelligent business insights. The app will make suggestions on what should be restocked, and will also alert sellers to low inventory levels.
This app is now available for Amazon users and helps to centralize all messages and order information. The tool brings together information on orders plus all relevant communications. Zendesk can help personalize replies in just two clicks, and automate time-consuming and trivial tasks.
This tool is used by over 30,000 FBA sellers currently and is packed with useful features. It can forecast future trends to help with ordering for inventory, and it can monitor all the key metrics for product performance such as ROI, fees, and profit.
It brings automation to repricing, restocking, and reporting. It also has a free trial available, but fees afterward start at $59.99 a month.
This automation tool only works in certain marketplaces, but they do include North America, Australia, and Europe. This app is useful for new sellers or anyone who wishes to diversify. The tool can help to locate new products to sell, and then create optimized listings for maximizing sales.
This is a full inventory management program that covers all aspects of this area. This includes seasonality and spikes, under and over stocking, and forecasting.
There are automatic alerts for restocking and payments. There is currently no free trial but for anyone looking for a full inventory management system, this may be it.
FBA sellers are blessed with numerous tools that can help them automate a number of processes. Optimization of advertising, tracking of P&L in Facebook campaigns, and inventory management, are just three areas that these tools can help in.
Sellers can use some of these tools to streamline the way they operate and increase sales and profits. By making smart restocking decisions, some of the Amazon fees can be lowered, and penalties avoided.