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As an FBA seller, when you succeed, Amazon succeeds and vice versa. It is a relationship that can be defined as interreliant. But you can’t make decisions in a vacuum. So Amazon provides a lot of seller account information that you can use for decision making. If you learn how to use these 2 NEW tools and set time aside to check in with them regularly, you’re much more likely to achieve and maintain sales success on Amazon.
The 2 very helpful seller account information tools provided by Amazon are now accessible from your seller account and will be covered in this blog:
The Amazon Inventory Performance Dashboard
a hub of information helps you optimize your inventory at Amazon for better sales.
Amazon SKU Central
provides information about individual SKU’s - from detail through summary - to help you make sales-related decisions about individual SKUs.
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Seller Account Information Tool #1: Inventory Performance Dashboard
As a 3rd party FBA seller, you need to know how your inventory is performing. Is it well positioned for optimal sales opportunities? Is it checking all of Amazon’s boxes to avoid margin-eroding fees and perhaps to win the Buy Box? Most of what you need to know about the performance of your inventory is contained within a seller account information tool called the Inventory Performance Dashboard.
In particular, one seller account information statistic available through this dashboard, the Inventory Performance Index (IPI), gives you a valuable and quick indication of your overall performance status.
Inventory Performance Index (IPI)
Amazon uses this seller account information metric to gauge how appropriately you stock and manage your “on-hand” inventory (your inventory at their warehouses). Your IPI score reflects how well you strike the right inventory balance. An IPI above 400 is excellent. An IPI below 300 requires immediate action to improve the score.
Amazon uses 3 seller account information factors to determine the index:
- How well you increase sales by keeping your most popular items in stock (your “In-Stock Rate”).
- How well you increase profitability by avoiding excess inventory at Amazon warehouses (your “Excess Inventory Percentage”).
- How well you avoid having inventory on hand at Amazon that cannot be sold due to a problem with your listing (your “Stranded Inventory Percentage”).
Amazon provides a graphical performance metric for each of the above factors, or “categories” that compares your performance to that of other sellers. Within each factor, for example, you’ll see a bar rating that looks like one of these:
Excellent (dark green) = top 10% of sellers
Fair (yellow) = 10th – 60th percentile range of sellers
Good (light green) = 60 – 90th percentile range of sellers
Poor (red) = bottom 10% of sellers
Within each of the Inventory Performance Index factors, you can access further factor-specific details about about your performance. Links are also provided that lead to resources that show how to improve (see example graphic, below).
Some specifics about the 3 factors shown in the example IPI Dashboard graphic, below:
This inventory performance factor is a piece of seller account information that measures how well you stock your most popular products at Amazon. It is a percentage of the time your ASINs have been in stock during the last 30 days, weighted by the number of units sold for each SKU in the last 60 days.
In addition to the In-Stock Rate performance bar, additional related metrics are displayed under the In-Stock Rate percentage, including:
- Out of Stock SKUs - the number of your SKU’s that are flagged as being out of stock.
- Total Estimated Lost Sales - a formula that estimates how much revenue was lost due to items being out of stock.
- “Restock Today” Button - takes you to a page which provides a metric that signals which of your orders from you supplier may need to be expedited to avoid going out of stock (indicates the count of SKUs in which the days of supply is less than lead time).
Excess Inventory Percentage
This inventory performance factor is a piece of seller account information that reflects how much of your FBA inventory has been identified as excess. A percentage that is too high can decrease your profitability due to storage fees and holding costs.
In addition to the Excess Inventory Percentage performance bar, additional related metrics are displayed under the Excess Inventory Percentage, including:
- Excess Units - the number of units that are costing you more to store than it would cost you to do something about the excess, such as lowering the offering price or removing some from stock.
- Total Estimated Storage Costs - an estimate based on a formula of what it costs you to do nothing about excess inventory.
- “Manage Excess Inventory” Button - takes you to a page which shows you how many SKUs have recommended actions to sell through inventory more quickly.
Stranded Inventory Percentage
This inventory performance factor is a piece of seller account information that reflects how much of your FBA inventory is currently not available for purchase on Amazon due to a listing problem. This information is important because inventory that is not available for purchase not only results in lost sales but also still incurs storage costs.
In addition to the Stranded Inventory Percentage performance bar, additional related metrics are displayed under the Stranded Inventory Percentage, including:
- Stranded Units - the total count of your units sitting in a fulfillment center without an active offer to the marketplace (i.e., a proper listing by you) presenting them for sale.
- “Fix Listings” Button - takes you to a page which shows you how many of your SKUs have units in a fulfillment center but do not have an active offer.
Example IPI Dashboard:
A couple of caveats in regard to this particular tool for seller account information:
- As you monitor the IPI, keep in mind that it is a trailing measure of your average inventory performance. That means the index changes slowly because it is a metric based on historical performance. Keep up good inventory management practices and and your IPI will improve over time.
- Amazon stipulates that the recommendations they provide in regard to your inventory performance “are subject to many factors that influence actual demand for your products, including price changes, consumer demand shifts, and changes in competing offers for those products. Recommendations are not a guarantee of future results.”
While it would be ideal to simply free yourself from all inventory management issues simply by becoming an FBA seller, you still have some responsibility to monitor your inventory and make decisions to optimize your margins. Amazon provides you that essential seller account information that enables you to have those controls through their Inventory Performance Dashboard.
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Seller Account Information Tool #2: SKU Central
Where the Inventory Performance Dashboard, described above, provides FBA seller account information for good decision making related to “on hand” inventory at Amazon, SKU Central provides a summary, detailed information, and means for quick actions to help you address sales, pricing and inventory matters relative to a specific SKU. It’s a one-stop-shop of seller account information that helps you to understand what is going on with your individual products, and take action if you deem it necessary.
Amazon is promoting it with this ad:
You can find SKU Central by logging into your account. Here an example of what the SKU Central screen looks like:
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The Sales card displays up-to-date sales statistics and sales comparisons for your business (including both FBA and self-fulfilled), and allows you to filter results based on date, sales amount, and sales units.
Example Sales card:
These important seller account information statistics, defined below, are featured on the Sales card and provide insights about the sales performance of your SKU:
- Units ordered - the total number of units ordered within the specified time frame.
- Avg units per order - the number of units divided by the total orders that include this item.
- Sales - your sales total for that SKU: the item price multiplied by the number of units sold.
- Sales rank - your sales rank relative to all sales of this ASIN or SKU, with more weight being given to recent sales.
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The Pricing card provides seller account information that consists of the current sales price you have set for your SKU. It allows you to review data and update prices on your SKUs.
Example Sales card:
Update the price of a product
You can access and update these settings related to your pricing via this card:
- To update the price of a product, locate the “Your price” field and click either of these
- “Update” - allows you to manually enter your new price.
“Match low price” - sets the price to the low price as shown in the “Low price” field.
Click “Save” to update your price.
Set minimum and maximum price limits
You can set safeguards on the minimum and maximum prices of your SKU. If you price your SKU above or below the thresholds you set, Amazon will suppress (not display) the offer, which helps protect your business from pricing mistakes. Establish your pricing range thresholds in the “Your min price” and “Your max price” fields.
These important seller account information statistics, defined below, are featured on the Price card and provide avenues for establishing pricing for your SKU:
- Your price - the amount payable by a customer. This includes pricing adjustments such as shipping, discounts, and rebates.
- Your min price - the minimum price threshold for your SKU. If you accidently set your price below this threshold, your offer will not be displayed to customers.
- Your max price - the maximum price threshold for your SKU. If you accidently set your price above this threshold, your offer will not be displayed to customers.
- Your Buy Box % - the percentage of pageviews where your product was shown in the Buy Box with the “Add to Cart” link.
- Buy Box price - the Buy Box price is displayed on a product page with the “Add to Cart” button.
- Low price - the current lowest price on Amazon for the product. The current lowest price is based on your Low Price Comparison preferences in “Manage Inventory”.
- Fee estimate - estimated fees for Selling on Amazon and Fulfillment by Amazon for this product. This is an estimate only and excludes fees for inventory storage and any optional services you use.
You may notice some badge alerts on your Pricing card:
- High price error - displays when Amazon detects a potential high pricing error in your listing.
- Low price error - displays when Amazon detects potential low pricing errors in your listing.
- Buy Box eligible - displays if the seller and item are eligible for the Buy Box.
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The Inventory card provides seller account information that reflects your current inventory levels and helps you to plan your future inventory shipments to Amazon.
Example Inventory card:
These important seller account information statistics, defined below, are featured on the Inventory card and provide insights about the inventory performance of your SKU:
- Days of supply - the estimated number of days your current inventory supply will last based on the projected demand for your product.
- Excess inventory - the estimated number of units for which the cost of holding your inventory without taking any action is more than the cost of taking action (such as reducing prices to increase sell through or removing excess units).
- Restock - the recommendation for the number of units that should be sent to Amazon in your next inventory shipment.
- Total inventory - Inventory in sellable condition and at an Amazon fulfillment center or in transit to an Amazon fulfillment center (available + inbound + FC transfer inventory).
- Available - the number of units you have for a SKU in Amazon fulfillment centers that can be picked, packed, and shipped.
- Inbound - the number of units you have for a SKU that are in transit to an Amazon fulfillment center or are currently being processed.
- FC transfer - the number of units being transferred from one fulfillment center to another.
- Other - inventory not included in total inventory. This includes inventory that is not buyable.
- Unfulfillable - inventory that is currently in fulfillment centers, but not in a condition that can be sold.
- Customer order - the number of units reserved for customer orders.
- FC processing - the number of units that have been sidelined at a fulfillment center for additional processing.
- FBA inventory age - the number of days a unit is in our fulfillment center. FBA accounts for inventory on a first-in-first-out basis across our entire fulfillment network. This means that each sale or removal will be applied to the inventory that has been in our fulfillment network the longest, regardless of which physical unit was actually shipped or removed.
- Long-Term Storage Fees (LTSF) - twice a year, FBA conducts an inventory assessment at which time inventory units that have been in Amazon fulfillment centers between six and 12 months are subject to a long-term storage fee. For more information about FBA long-term storage fees, please see our FBA Long-Term Storage help page.
- 6-month LTSF - shows the estimated 6 month long-term storage fee amount that will be incurred on the next charge date and the number of units subject to the fee, assuming no further sales or removals of the item.
- 12-month LTSF - shows the estimated 12 month long-term storage fee amount that will be incurred on the next charge date and the number of units subject to the fee, assuming no further sales or removals of the item.
- Supplier - the name or nickname of your supplier.
- Supplier lead time - The amount of time needed for your supplier to deliver a product to your facility.
- Reorder frequency - the interval at which you typically reorder the specified product from your supplier. For example, a setting of 8 weeks indicates that you prefer to order every 8 weeks, and that you typically order 8 weeks of supply.
You may notice some badge alerts on your Inventory card:
- Low stock - identifies items wherein the days of supply are less than lead time, which indicates that orders from your supplier may need to be expedited in order to avoid going out of stock.
- Out of stock - shown for items that are no longer in inventory.
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As a seller account information tool, Amazon’s SKU Central provides the above 3 cards with data for good decision making relative to your SKU’s, as well as buttons that accommodate and expedite actions you can take relative to your decisions concerning sales, pricing and inventory.
Example screenshot of the Quick Actions page:
Seller Account Information Plus Your Experience = Informed Decision Making
Economist Emily Oster once said “The key to good decision making is evaluating the available information - the data - and combining it with your own estimates of pluses and minuses.”
Amazon knows that no one knows your business better than you. They provide these tools so you can readily combine data about your inventory and your SKU’s with your own experienced-based logic to arrive at the best decisions for you and Amazon’s customers.