Are your inventory levels so low that you’re worried about stocking out? If so, you have every right to be concerned. After all, Amazon is not forgiving if you run out of inventory and can’t fulfill any orders. Aside from losing sales, you risk losing the Buy Box and your Amazon SEO rank, and your account could be put on hold or completely suspended.
To prevent all of this from happening, here are five things to do when you’re about to stockout:
Order More Inventory
First things first: you need more inventory. If you haven’t already placed a new order, you should initiate one ASAP so get on the phone with your suppliers stat. Be sure to ask them how long it will take for you (or the fulfillment center) to receive the inventory — that way you’ll know if you need to rush it.
Slow Your Own Sales
It’s better to slow your sales to avoid a stockout than it is to let things continue as they are until you run out. Two common ways to slow your sales include increasing the price of your listing and pausing any advertising or marketing campaigns you may be running. Your listings will remain active, but you won’t necessarily be doing the same high-volume sales that have put you this close to a stockout.
Re-evaluate Your Inventory Management Strategy
If you’re approaching a stockout unexpectedly, you may need to tweak (or establish) your inventory management strategy. That way, you’ll always have the optimal amount of stock to sell and won’t find yourself in this position again.
By factoring in your sales history, sales velocity, seasonality and other trends, your inventory management strategy will tell you how much product, at a minimum, to have on hand at a given time. Not only that, it will help you determine when you need to place a new order based on how much inventory you have left.
To get started, look at your inventory reports in Seller Central or consult a third-party inventory management tool.
Invest in Buffer Stock
Now that you know how much inventory you need at a given time, you may want to consider ordering extra. Commonly referred to as buffer stock, this is a supply of inventory that you can tap into should there be a sudden increase in sales. To figure out how big your buffer stock order should be, consider how long it takes for your supplier to get you new product, then see how many units you typically sell in that period of time.
Once you have a supply of buffer stock, make sure you keep tabs on it and place a new inventory order when you notice that you’re actually using the buffer supply. That way, you’ll stay in stock and keep the buffer for future impending stockouts.
Increase Cash Flow
To cover the cost of your inventory order and any rush fees associated with it, you’ll need cash. But as an Amazon seller, cash is tight. That’s why you need a solution like Payability, which helps marketplace sellers overcome payment delays and maximize daily cash flow. Payability offers flexible financing solutions depending on your needs:
- Daily Payments with Instant Access: Payability pays you your Amazon income one business day after making a sale. So if you make $1,000 on Monday, you’ll see $800 of it on Tuesday (the rest is kept on temporary hold to cover returns/chargebacks and released to you on Amazon’s regular two week schedule).
- Large Lump Sum of Cash with Instant Advance: Payability buys a certain amount of your future receivables up front and at a discount giving you 3-4 weeks of payouts in one lump sum.
- Payability Seller Card: An actual card that gives Instant Access customers even faster access to their payouts, up to 2% cash back on purchases, and more.
Since 2016, Payability has helped more than 2,500 marketplace sellers maximize cash flow to stay in stock and grow their businesses. See how this Amazon seller has tripled the size of her business with Payability then visit go.payability.com/SatiSupp to learn how you can have the same success and claim your $250 sign on bonus.
Victoria Sullivan is a Marketing Manager at Payability. She has over eight years of social media, copywriting and marketing experience. Prior to joining the Payability team, Victoria developed social media content and strategies for top technology brands such as Skype and Samsung. She can often be found in a yoga class or working on her fashion blog.