Note from the editor: The following is a guest post by ManageByStats.
ManageByStats is an Amazon seller tool suite for Amazon sellers that provides functions that are not commonly provided well by Amazon or by other services.
See graphs updated daily which show key metrics by Day / Week / Month / Year for your Business, for each Seller Account, each Brand, each Product Line, each Product and each SKU. Access and search all transactions and customers, by name, phone, email address, Order ID, product or any other key information. Easily manage your inventory restock with smart prediction and alerts that let you know when you need to order new inventory.
The following post is a feature of one of ManageByStats most unique features; Email & Phone Appends.
With customers emails, you can upload them to Facebook, do retargeting campaigns, and create look a like audiences to reach more of your target market. Definitely an interesting feature to explore in your Amazon FBA business.
When it comes to business assets, one of your most valuable is not your inventory, your office equipment, or even your company name. Possibly the most valuable asset you possess is your customer database. These are your buyers, the source of your income and, at the end of the day, your customers are how you would either rebuild your company, take it to a new level or, even, start a new one.
There’s no doubt customer info is worth its weight in gold.
Customers Are King
The completeness of that info, therefore, is important. Throughout the life of your business you’ll build your customer database, and the more info you have the more value it holds. For Amazon sellers the customer information you get is missing key data; namely the real email address and phone number. Amazon no longer gives the phone number, and they’ve never given the real email address. As you know Amazon cloaks the emails, replacing them with an Amazon email of their creation.
What this means is that, when selling on Amazon, the customer info you collect is less complete. In order to email your customers you have to do it through Amazon. As long as you’re selling on Amazon this may not be an issue, but if you go elsewhere the value of the customer info you take with you is reduced.
There Are Solutions
Fortunately there are solutions. Rounding out your customer info can be done with services like ManageByStats’ Email & Phone Appends. ManageByStats is a suite of management tools for Amazon sellers, that also provides a unique service called Appends. Appends employs multiple national databases to find real emails for your customers, as well as phone numbers if desired. Having these two bits of information, as noted, goes a long way toward completing your customer records.
You can learn more about the Appends Service at ManageByStats.
To Infinity And Beyond
Having real emails, and even to some degree phone numbers, opens up a far wider range of marketing opportunities. For the longest time having that info simply meant you could do direct email campaigns, or make direct calls. This is huge, of course, but it was once about the only use for real emails or phone numbers.
Not so any more. Direct campaigns are still huge, but with social media so many new opportunities have opened up.
Facebook in particular keeps refining their audience building, such that you can now upload customer info to create remarkably tailored audiences that share similar interest with your existing customers, thus giving you whole new groups to which to market and sell. With additional data such as real emails and phone numbers the match rate for these audiences rapidly approaches 100%, meaning the relevancy and size of your Facebook audiences can reach whole new levels.
And so the value of this additional data is clear. It’s a vital part of your customer info. As with most things there are ways to get it, and once you have it that data becomes part of your permanent record, ready to travel with you wherever you go.
Here’s to your selling success.
To learn more about ManageByStatsEmail & Phone Appends tool, check out ManageByStats.
If you’ve been selling for at least 6 months then you might have long-term storage fees for inventory sitting in the Amazon warehouse.
Yep…Amazon will charge you for having inventory sitting in their warehouse that’s not selling.
On February 15 and August 15 of every year, FBA conducts an inventory cleanup.
Why do they charge you for long-term storage?
Amazon says that slow moving inventory limits their ability to provide space for fast moving products customers want.
Which of my products will be charged the long-term storage fee, and how much will I be charged?
You can use the Inventory Age and Inventory Health report reports (sign-in required) to identify which ASINs in your inventory are subject to the long-term storage fee.
Products will incur a long-term storage fee of $11.25 per cubic foot of shelf space occupied if they have been in an FBA warehouse between six and 12 months. That number doubles to $22.50 if the product has been in storage longer than 12-months.
The fee is based on the date an item is received in the fulfillment center.
How to Find Out Which Items Are Going to be Charged LTSFs
- Log in to Seller Central.
- Hover over Inventory and click on Manage Inventory.
- Click on Inventory Dashboard.
- Scroll down until you see the FBA Inventory Age box. Then, click View Details.
1. Pricing Strategies
About a month before an Amazon long term storage fee date, aggressively price your inventory so you get items sold so you don’t have to pay an extra fee
2. Use Amazon Promotions & Sponsored Product Ads
Run promotions and ads or offering a discount to get them sold.
3. Take Advantage of Free Removals
Checkout the Amazon liquidation program and you might recover some money. But you may have restrictions selling that product for several months. Note there is a deadline that needs to expire before you can send the item back to FBA warehouses. Typically this is 3 to 6 months in the future.
Try to use popular discounts sites where you can sell excess inventory. One platform, Honeysaver, is free. Other popular sites include Vipon.com, Snagshout, and Jumpsend.
4. Manage In Stock Levels from the start
One of the best ways to avoid long term storage fees is to manage the amount of inventory that you send in to FBA warehouses in the first place. If you only send in quantities that are likely to sell in 6 months or less then you should have minimal long term storage fees to worry about.
5. Time When You Send in Inventory
One other thing that can be done is timing when you send in your inventory to FBA warehouses. For example, on August 15th you will be charged a long term storage fee for items that have been in stock for exactly 6 months. However, you will not be charged for items that have been in stock for 5 months and 29 days. So if you have items hit the warehouse on say August 20th, you have nearly a full year before you will be charged LTS fees. This is as opposed to having an item hit the warehouse on August 14th, then you will only have 6 months and a day before a LTS fee will be charged.
The referenced article is here
Other resource: Seller Forums: Tips to avoid FBA long storage fees thread
During the busiest time of the year for anybody in the world, the last thing you want to worry about is difficulties involving order fulfillments. November and December are just around the corner, and so are the changes to the 2016 FBA fees. Here are some reminders of the things you should keep in mind so you can enjoy your holiday season:
- Customer service is crucial during a time when everyone is trying to find the perfect gift for each of their loved ones. Cliche, I know, but customer service is something that is easily overlooked, especially when there’s pressure, or you’re in a stressful time of the year. Go the extra mile and acknowledge them with the simplest thing as a ‘thank-you’ note on their purchased goods. FBA have policies in place that protect consumers from bad service but doing your part will help you establish your personal customer base.
- In continuation of having fantastic customer service, respond to returns, a to z guarantees and refunds quickly. Making sure that each transaction is efficiently dealt with, assists in maintaining good customer relations in the process. To policies that protect FBA users are found here.
- Holiday season calls for fast shipping and delivery of goods to customers. FBA lists the shipping costs allowing the consumer to the delivery method and how promptly they wish their purchased goods to be delivered to them.
- Fulfilling orders and shipping products off as soon as possible will prevent anything being missed or delayed, and keep consumers happy and satisfied. Fulfillment by Amazon promises the shipping of goods to arrive at their door two days after placing the order so to stay true to this you should manage your orders well!
- Ensuring that you get the payment for your goods is the bottom line for anybody in the business. FBA allows the customisation of payment to go into your account from 24hours up to 14 days.
- There is always room for improvement in any business practice, and customer feedback may not always be constructive or positive. Communicating and resolving issues in a professional manner is vital to retain customers. See what other vendors have frequently been asking already here.
- Making the descriptions of the products being sold specific and full of detail will make customers more willing to trust the item for sale and vendor. There is a certain degree of trust needed by the consumer behind the screen as they are taking a risk when buying online. Being honest about the condition of the product, especially if it isn’t in tip-top shape means less negative feedback and more positive ratings! Getting to the nitty-gritty stuff reinforces trustworthiness, thus creating the loyal customer base desired by firms and sellers alike. FBA provides a tutorial video and condition guidelines for new vendors making it easy to set up a detailed description page.
- Taking advantage of fast-selling popular products will help you increase your profit levels. Depending on the type of FBA vendor you are, you may be sent notifications of goods that have been sold out during the year which may be a good idea to re-list during the peak consumption period.
- As an FBA vendor, it is important to make sure the product name, product description and the inventory being held is accurate in the system. By managing inventory, the popular goods can be sold off quickly and to generate as much income as possible, it makes sense to be able to provide that for customers!
- Even online there is business competition! FBA compares your customer satisfaction data to their performance targets to ensure that operations occur at a high standard on their site.
- Selling online can be risky business and as a vendor, keeping safe is in your best interest.To avoid people from not paying up, using Amazon Payments will ensure that the goods ordered are being paid for as you ship them off to the provided address. Making sure that the recipient’s address and delivery details are accurate will ensure that the goods are being shipped to the correct person. If you’re unsure, request the buyer to re-order or give the correct details to avoid any confusion.
Maintaining high standards for yourself or your business is valuable for future relations and customer interaction. Although times may start to become tiresome and make you fatigued, remembering the basics and consummating them will ensure a smooth business period during the Holiday season!
This post was guest written by Mina Kouch from Cin7 (www.cin7.com).