Let's be honest: Running an Amazon business can feel like riding a rollercoaster—thrilling highs followed by gut-wrenching lows. And nothing sucks the joy out of the ride faster than the looming shadow of Amazon stockouts.
Imagine your customers—buzzing with anticipation to snag your product—only to hit a wall of disappointment with a big, glaring "Out of Stock" message.
It's not just a missed sale. The ripple effects are felt in your sales, your Amazon ranking, and yes, even your overall brand reputation. Ouch.
But hey, chin up! The good news is that this picture can shift dramatically. There's a way to dodge the stockout black hole. This article is your roadmap to never having to say "sorry, we're out of stock" again.
What Makes Amazon Stockouts So Devastating?
Let's dive into the soul-crushing aspects of stockouts a bit, shall we?
Lost Sales: This one's a no-brainer. A stockout literally puts up a "Closed for Business" sign on your Amazon listing, sending eager customers straight into the arms of your competitors.
Search Ranking Plummet: When your product's out of stock, Amazon's algorithm reads this as "unreliable seller," demoting you in search rankings. Think of it as a popularity contest you're losing.
Bad Reviews: Your disappointed customers may be more than eager to vent their frustrations in the review section, casting a dark cloud over your brand's reputation.
Crazy Storage Fees: Think you’re safe with excess inventory? Think again! Stockouts can lead to overcompensation, stuffing Amazon's warehouses and hiking up your storage fees.
Now that we feel the pain of why stockouts matter, let's talk about how to prevent them in the first place.
The Key to Preventing Stockouts: Smart Inventory Management
If keeping your products in stock feels like trying to predict whether it will rain on your birthday next year, we get it. Luckily, it's not as hard as you think.
Here's how to fine-tune your inventory game and make sure you never experience an unexpected stockout:
Balancing Act: Keeping your products in stock is all about managing your current inventory. This involves using your existing sales data to adjust and maintain the right amount of stock on hand. Respond to current demand based on recent sales trends. Supply must meet demand without over- or under-stocking. If you know how much, on average, customers are buying daily, you can stay at the slightly high end of that number and never run out.
Forecast Like Nostradamus: If you're sending shipments to Amazon, you'll need to predict further into the future. This can make you feel a bit like Nostradamus. Look back at what items sold a lot in the past, and then estimate what's popular these days. Then, make an educated guess about what will sell in the future. By doing this, you can be ready with the right items before everyone starts asking for them. It's like planning ahead so you're always prepared.
Watchful Eyes: Use Amazon's inventory tools and third-party software to keep an unwavering eye on your stock levels. Think of it as your business's vital signs. Amazon offers a range of inventory management tools within its Seller Central platform, or you could use a third party software, such as Jungle Scout, Helium 10, or InventoryLab.
Auto-Pilot Engaged: Use automated reordering systems that ping you or even reorder stock when levels get dicey. It's like having a guardian elf who's always got your back. A few platforms that offer this are RestockPro, Forecastly, Jungle Scout, Seller Labs, and Helium 10.
Safety Net: Maintain a safety stock to cushion against those unexpected ‘WTH’ moments. It’s your Plan B when Plan A goes for a toss. The above tools can help you estimate the right amount of buffer stock to keep on hand.
Harness Amazon Magic: Leverage Amazon's inventory management tools in Seller Central and Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA) to optimize your stock levels, much like Iron Man using J.A.R.V.I.S., ensuring efficient handling of inventory, demand forecasting, and automated restocking recommendations.
How's that feeling? If you saw a few examples here that you feel could help you have more peace of mind around inventory, let us know in the comments.
Your Next Move
No one likes stockouts. Not you, not Amazon, and not your customer. Luckily, inventory management is just about having the right inventory management practices, and using the right tools.
So, stop worrying and start acting. Put stockouts in the rearview and let your Amazon business soar. You've got this.
And now, go seize the day with the peace of mind that your inventory is handled, well into the future.
Feel stressed trying to implement these steps? Our experts have put in the 10,000 hours needed to keep your listings at an A+ rating, prevent counterfeiters, get negative reviews removed, and more. The best part is, you can hire them free.