And its unprecedented growth has proven impactful offline—in the real (estate) world. By the end of 2018, Amazon had amassed 288 million square feet of warehouse space for its growing inventory, brick-and-mortar retail stores, data-processing centers, and corporate offices. Over 5 million ecommerce merchants employ Amazon as a sales channel across 12 national marketplaces, including the US, Spain, and China.
With literally millions of sellers vying for a share of their discretionary dollars, ecommerce consumers (of which 90% price check products on Amazon) have almost infinite options for a wide range of products. From household items to pre-made meals to the latest technology, Amazon offers consumers a convenient, one-stop shop for both their routine needs and grandiose desires.
On the other side of the coin, however, are the 5 million ecommerce merchants fighting it out for these consumers’ purchases, loyalty, and—if they’re lucky—positive reviews published on their accounts. To attract new customers, keep them coming back, and achieve a robust reputation for consistency and reliability, Amazon sellers must start by designing and promoting a high-quality, useful product.
But that’s only the beginning. Amazon sellers cannot underestimate the importance of managing their inventory across channels. Maintaining an accurate, up-to-date account of inventory between bookkeeping apps and digital sales channels enables growth, scalability, and customer loyalty by preventing costly problems ecommerce merchants encounter daily—most notably, stockouts.
Stockouts: A Slippery Slope
Amazon sellers are constantly thinking ahead. Staying in their customers’ good graces depends on it. But thinking ahead, when it comes to keeping inventory levels current for high-growth ecommerce businesses, only becomes more difficult and less effective as scaling ramps up. Amazon sellers (who are often present in multiple other online or brick-and-mortar sales channels as a part of their strategies) struggle to maintain up-to-date inventory manually as sales or product offerings increase, leading to overselling.
And when products are oversold, stockouts become the gift that keeps on giving. Problems in and of themselves, stockouts only lead to more trouble. Amazon sellers who oversell their products often encounter lost sales, extra expenses, risk of suspension, and—perhaps the most complicated to overcome—customer dissatisfaction. Unhappy online consumers need exert little effort to find acceptable alternatives after even one negative Amazon buying experience, causing their first choice brand to, little by little, lose its edge to the competition.
Stockouts quickly land Amazon merchants at the bottom of a deep pit. Clawing their way out requires time, money, and other valuable resources better used for revenue-generating activities. To clear these resource-sucking obstacles out of their paths ahead of time, many Amazon sellers invest in inventory management software.
Automation Designed for Amazon
Multichannel retail management software enables ecommerce sellers to keep inventory levels current, significantly decreasing risk of stockouts and the multitude of problems that follow. Taking advantage of the audience of 310 million annual users who rely on the platform to fulfill a broad variety of their diverse needs, Amazon sellers often dream of scaling quickly and unexpectedly.
Amazon has made this aspiration possible for millions of entrepreneurs. But getting caught off guard with success has its own consequences. Ecommerce merchants unprepared for their own growth risk mismanaging their inventory, overselling, and losing happy customers quickly. Without the right automation in place to keep their inventory levels current, multichannel ecommerce merchants are their own worst enemy.
The most successful ecommerce sellers understand that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Flying by the seat of their pants, they know, only works for so long and often leads to endless fire drills. Investing in Amazon inventory management software before manual operational practices become impossible leads to faster growth and fewer growth-stunting human errors.
Webgility for Amazon Sellers
Over 5,000 high-growth ecommerce brands with multichannel sales strategies centered trust Webgility to automate their ecommerce operations. With solutions designed specifically for Amazon merchants, many high-growth businesses with Amazon-centric sales strategies have experienced great operational success with Webgility, leading immediate ROI and positive impact on other KPIs.
When Nathan Day, owner of LugBug, a baby-gear company selling ergonomic baby carrier handles, found himself struggling to manually enter data between his Amazon, Shopify, eBay, and Quickbooks accounts, he turned to Webgility. A successful serial entrepreneur, Day understood the importance of investing in inventory management solutions for Amazon sellers early.
“Using the right software from the beginning ends up being a lot more cost effective in the long run,” Day remarked. “Webgility will quickly pay for itself many times over, versus having all of our business data manually recreated later for the proper system . . . With Webgility, it’s done right the first time, and I never have to worry about it.”
Since implementing Webgility inventory management software, Day and LugBug have not only prevented stockouts, but decreased their order processing time—from placement, to packaging, to shipping—to under 23 minutes. The LugBug team, armed with extra time, fewer administrative headaches, and “the most amazing customer support [they’ve] ever had,” have launched new sales channels and advertisements, gaining momentum, growth, and new customers.
To prevent and combat stockouts, savvy Amazon sellers rely on Webgility for multichannel retail management solutions. Instead of dealing with the litany of costly, time-consuming issues caused by inventory mismanagement, Amazon merchants with Webgility connecting their customer-facing sales channels and internal business tools can focus on refining their products, promotions, and differentiators.
Amazon sellers with more time to focus on brand development, product improvement, and customer relationships achieve consistent growth in revenue and customer base faster. Online consumers who regularly experience reliable customer service, timely delivery, and rarely encounter stock-outs devote more of their money and loyalty to particular sellers over time. When inventory levels remain accurate and consistent, everyone wins.