Now that Q4 is well underway, Amazon sellers have experienced increased inventory and fulfillment challenges. In July, Amazon started placing inventory limits on in-bound Fulfill By Amazon (FBA) shipments. This means you may not have enough FBA inventory on-hand to meet demand. You may also experience delays in your FBA inventory receipt by Amazon, due to the backlog at the Fulfillment Centers. Worse case, Amazon may even have lost your in-bound shipment!
We recommend the following steps to address these issues:
- Sellers should build a Fulfill By Merchant (FBM) “contingency plan” (particularly if your FBA inventory limits are less than your expected demand). To do this:
- Start by creating back-up FBM listings. You can create a conditional listing by replicating your FBA listing and editing it to be FBM.
- Make sure that you have enough inventory on hand to fulfill by FBM. Make sure you have safety stock to ensure you can meet demand and prevent cancellations.
- Ensure that you have the necessary fulfillment infrastructure and customer service staff. Remember that with FBM, you are responsible for fulfilling orders and handling returns.
- If you don’t have the resources to oversee FBM yourself, HINGE COMMERCE has a strategic partnership with DM Fulfillment, and they may be open to managing your fulfillment on your behalf.
- Make sure you have a process for tracking your outstanding in-bound inventory. Because of the delays in processing inventory in the Amazon Fulfillment Centers, your products may have shipped to the FCs but may not be recorded as being received. Open a case with Amazon, and escalate this if necessary.
- Be sure to file for reimbursements – don’t leave money on the table. You may be owed a reimbursement if your shipments were lost at the Amazon Fulfillment Center, if the inventory adjustments were incorrect, if the FBA calculations were incorrect, or you have product return reimbursements. HINGE COMMERCE has recovered tens of thousands of dollars for our clients!
- If you have enough stock, consider selling on other marketplace sites such as Walmart.com.
It does take experience and expertise to be effective on Amazon. Let us know how we can help you with any of these steps! Reach out to us to learn more.
“HINGE COMMERCE has helped us explore alternative fulfillment solutions, redirect promotions towards in-stock items, generate new variety bundles, pivot our marketing strategy, and taken numerous other actions. I also think they have a “bat phone” to Amazon, which is how they can resolve issues with the channel so quickly.”
-John Mittel, CEO, Clear/Cut Phocus