This Isn’t Happening!
The dream is always the same. You’ve established your FBA sales on Amazon and they are climbing. You’re keeping FBA inventory stocked, and the checks are deposited into your account. The market conditions are right, demand is there, and you’re making all the right moves in line with the algorithm gods. You’re winning in the momentum game and your product is ranking well in the Best Sellers Rank (BSR) and in search results.
And then for some inexplicable reason, you forget to send inventory to Amazon. The words “Currently Out of Stock” or “Currently Unavailable” appear on your listing. Sales flatline. Competitors, who are keeping FBA inventory stocked, take the opportunity to undercut you and siphon off your customers by getting favorable reviews, optimizing their listings, and boosting their ranking and conversion rates. You scramble to send in your inventory but you must now rebuild momentum from scratch.
You missed one little obligation and you’ve seemingly lost the faith of your marketplace. The cream has soured; the dream has become a nightmare.
How to Recover from Not Keeping FBA Inventory Stocked
If the above stockout scenario is a reality for you (and not just a bad dream), know this: recovery is entirely possible but it may take time. How long it will take depends on the uniqueness of your product and how quickly you can reestablish a track record for doing all things well, especially keeping FBA inventory stocked. It will take patience.
If you find yourself in this situation, remember:
- you’ll have to deal with all of the usual processes that eat up time when stocking FBA: calculating, picking, labelling, prepping, packing, shipping, and waiting on Amazon processing
- each new sale is an opportunity to climb again in Amazon’s rankings; hopefully you haven’t lost your thirst of the momentum game (by keeping FBA inventory stocked)
- Amazon's Sponsored Products campaigns, or some similar promotion or discount can help you to recover more quickly from failure at keeping FBA inventory stocked
- you’re not the only one that ever experienced a hiccup in your efforts at keeping FBA inventory stocked on Amazon; it happens to almost all sellers eventually, and
- if nothing else, you’ll learn something about the true demand of your product based on how well your Amazon sales rebound after restocking (you can monitor your overall daily sessions and your “Unit Session Percentage” to see if you’ve lost ground to competitors in regard to rates of conversion) and re-establishing some record of consistency in keeping FBA inventory stocked.
And most importantly, you will have learned that keeping FBA inventory stocked is no “little obligation.”
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Avoid the Bad Dream by Keeping FBA Inventory Stocked
Ideally, you’ll never have to encounter this scenario. To maintain your Amazon sales mojo:
- be aware that things can turn on a dime; don’t slip into complacency
- understand that your customer base is never steady; know how to guard against losing them
- when forecasting proper inventory levels, anticipate and consider sales trends, fads and seasonal spikes, and create a hedge by sending in a few more items than you calculated the need for
- monitor, and monitor some more or, if you are able to, consider inventory management software to automate the process of keeping FBA inventory stocked
Some sellers believe that temporarily raising prices to slow sales until inventory can be replenished is a good stopgap measure to avoid an impending stockout. Do you think that is a viable strategy for keeping FBA inventory stocked? We have a few thoughts on this. Contact us before you do it.
Overall, the way to avoid the nightmare is by monitoring and being vigilant in keeping FBA inventory stocked on Amazon. But if you accidentally stockout, there may be ways to recover effectively.