5 Ways to Protect Your Amazon FBA Profit
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Managing the moving parts of your Amazon business can require a lot of effort and coordination. Add in the operational challenges associated with COVID-19, and it’s clear that automating some essential tasks would help you and your team.
Let’s explore ways to keep your business running smoothly and protect profits despite any challenges that come your way.
1 – Restructure Your Processes
Staying in stock, preparing shipments, and communicating with your suppliers are tasks that keep you and your team busy throughout the year. But if you’re operating with limited staff or working remotely as much as possible, it can be a challenge to stay connected.
Not only that, implementing new warehouse protocols to keep your employees safe takes time. Simply providing hand sanitizer and face masks for everyone to use in the warehouse takes a lot of effort. In addition to making sure your business doesn’t run out of stock, you’re now faced with the challenges of getting the supplies you need to continue operating safely.
Disinfecting shared spaces more frequently is important, but it presents even more time management hurdles. You may be cleaning or quarantining boxes as they arrive, which also slows your normal processes.
It’s a good time to take a mental step back and reconsider which business tasks are actually essential for your bottom line. Adding new safety steps to protect your employees is important. However, the time required to execute these steps means that you need to automate tasks now more than ever before to meet your business goals.
2 – Skip the Amazon Profit Spreadsheets for Better Profit
Many sellers turn to spreadsheets to manage FBA inventory. Spreadsheets are easy to create and share, but are they the best way to manage your FBA business?
The manual effort that comes with maintaining inventory spreadsheets creates a tangible cost for your business, especially if you’re operating with limited staff.
Tasks such as checking the fulfillable levels for each SKU in your Seller Central account and keying in net inventory data are time-consuming. Processes like creating and distributing purchase orders require several steps, such as:
- Generating a copy of your standard PO template
- Adding the supplier’s details to the document
- Entering order details
- Exporting the PO as a PDF
- Locating the supplier’s email address
- Drafting an email containing the PO as an attachment to send to the vendor
- Following up with the supplier
That’s just one example, but you and your employees likely manage several processes with a series of spreadsheets. Not only is managing all of these steps tedious, but it can also become quite costly.
After all, stressed employees are more likely to make errors and oversights that can do serious damage to your bottom line. A single miscalculation can cost your Amazon business thousands of dollars in lost profits.
Spreadsheets don’t always provide an accurate picture of real-time data. This is especially true when there are many data points needed to make an effective decision, such as whether to source a new product.
Spreadsheets are great for some purposes, but they just aren’t conducive to the fast-paced world of selling on Amazon. After all, spreadsheets don’t tell you what to do next – they simply store and process data. You need to have the latest information at your fingertips to make smart decisions that will result in FBA profit for your business.
Taxomate is a great tool to determine your FBA profit without the stress of using spreadsheets. It allows you to easily connect Amazon Seller Central to QuickBooks or Xero. Not only does it give you
more accurate profit and loss reports but will save you countless hours with its automatic sync.
3 – Prepare for the Unpredictable
For better or worse, your business has probably experienced significant changes due to COVID-19. Effective inventory forecasting can be difficult enough under normal circumstances, but at the moment, it feels downright impossible. Your sales for the past few weeks are likely much different than your sales from the same time period last year.
For example, a brand that sells hair color recently saw a significant uptick in sales due to salons being closed. The company found itself scrambling to keep up with demand, working around the clock.
There was no way they could have predicted the sudden surge a few months ago. Sales for online grocery and household items has also experienced a marked increase as individuals stay home. Items like puzzles and toys that saw steady sales prior to COVID-19 are now barely staying in stock.
We anticipate that demand and profits for e-commerce items will continue to remain high for the next several months. As even more individuals embrace online shopping, the future for many brick and mortar locations is murky.
Supply chains that typically operate like well-oiled machines are straining under increased demand. Not only that, but sellers who source products from China are also facing additional challenges due to factory closures and paused operations. US manufacturers who source molds or materials from China are also struggling to operate normally.
Staying organized is key when it comes to communicating with your suppliers. Keeping track of all of the changes and delays that may impact your inventory can be a full-time job these days, especially if you work with multiple suppliers.
4 – Be Aware of FBA Shipment Limitations
On top of the challenges associated with supplier delays, Amazon froze shipments of non-essential items to FBA fulfillment centers in March. Now sellers can once again send inbound shipments of items outside of the essential categories, but Amazon is limiting the amount in these shipments.
However, checking Seller Central every day to see which of your ASINs is currently eligible to be shipped to Amazon is another manual task that your team wasn’t managing a few months ago.
Keeping up with this data in spreadsheets is not realistic since the information is constantly changing.
5 – Automate Your FBA Inventory Management
RestockPro by eComEngine was built to manage your FBA inventory management tasks. This flexible software integrates with your Seller Central account to help you manage your inventory more effectively. Automate essential tasks such as purchase order management, track inbound shipments, print labels, and even manage your supplier database right in RestockPro.
We’re here to help you navigate the challenges presented by COVID-19. For example, a new feature was recently introduced to help sellers check for inventory that is eligible for inbound shipments to FBA due to the COVID-19 restrictions. This type of innovation saves you time so you can focus on getting orders out the door.
About the Autor
As the Managing Content Editor for eComEngine, Becky Trowbridge works to bring you the latest eCommerce industry news as well as tips for running a successful Amazon business. When she’s not writing or managing content, she enjoys spending time outdoors, trying new recipes and reading.
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