Drive Your Amazon Sales: 3 Reports Every Seller Should Master
By Tina Marie Bueno | March 16th, 2016
Navigating and exploring the plethora of Seller reports comes with a steep learning curve. A necessary price Merchants pay for making informed decisions to drive Amazon sales. Does anyone know exactly how many Amazon reports exist? Even Seller support had no idea when I asked. I counted 16 just in Inventory Reports! To say there are “a lot” is an understatement. And as a Merchant, you have an equal amount of questions requiring answers to run your business.
Do remember the first time you looked at the homepage Dashboard on your account? I do. I had a flashback to being a kid stepping through the magic Kingdom’s portal…an instant overwhelming excitement to know, see, do and try it all at once zapped every neuron in my brain. I was frozen by too many directions to explore.
Thankfully I had experienced people (a.k.a. my parents) to lead the way and fortunately, there are many professional Sellers sharing their know-how as way showers. That said, even the leading experts are a diverse group whose set of decision-making criteria may vary a little or substantially from yours. So many factors to consider; each valued differently by every business owner.
No matter how the data is interpreted and the degree to which it influences the direction a Seller takes on any given day; there are 3 Amazon reports every successful Merchant utilizes for maximizing sales and profitability:
- Account Health Metrics Report
- Inventory Report
- Sales Report
I have seen Sellers use these 3 reports from which data is gleaned and incorporated into their own company spreadsheets, while others as their core source of information. These are not the only 3 reports you will ever need of course, but they can provide the answers to questions of priority:
- How are we performing in Amazon’s eyes? According to a recent survey by Currencies Direct , 66% of million dollar Sellers say their biggest fear is being banished by Amazon.
- How can I best manage all aspects of my inventory?
- Are we earning any money to make this a worthwhile venture?
Account Health Metrics Report
Dan Burnham, ChannelAdvisor’s head of service for EMEA, says that merchants need to monitor performance on a daily basis, as a poor feedback rate of just
5% can cost you the Buy Box. Amazon also pays great attention to the order defect rate, returns process and buyer communications.
With a long to-do list of daily activities most Sellers have, it is easy to forget looking at your Account Health Metrics (accessed from the homepage dashboard); especially if you have not received a Buyer Message which would draw your attention to this area.
Clicking in that section takes you to the performance checklist stats used to calculate your:
1. order defect rate
2. cancellation rate
3. late shipment rate
These percentages literally red flag opportunities for improvement but they also get Amazon’s undesirable attention. Refining any of the above 3 elements is a major step toward getting better Ratings and Reviews. As we all know, customer ratings ultimately can make or break your Amazon business.
Take a Moment
One tab over is Customer Feedback. Spend time reading the comments then respond appropriately. Put your best customer service rep on this task. Buyers sometimes change low ratings to higher ones after a positive experience with you. Another potential sales booster.
On the homepage of your Seller account dashboard you can see if there are any inventory alerts under the Amazon Selling Coach section as seen here:
It usually provides details including Estimated Lost Sales, Estimated Days of Cover and Average Unit Sales per Week.
If you have not already done so, set up Replenishment Alerts in case you want an e-mail notification and are not looking at your computer screen 24/7.
If you are in the clear on alerts, then checkout a snapshot of your inventory for every listing by going to the Inventory tab then Manage Inventory from the drop down menu:
Although some Sellers have noticed a delay in calculating fluctuations for product sales, resellable returns, and unit count discrepancies in receiving FBA shipments; this is still one of those valuable reports to review on a regular basis especially for restocking purposes. In the Inventory tab drop down menu there is an option to run a variety of reports that can then be downloaded.
Knowing the replenishment frequency of ASINs also shows what is popular and what is messing with your profits. For the latter, manage inventory fees and deadweight products by setting up Automated Long-Term Storage Removals.
This may be an obvious choice but are you taking full advantage of the variations offered from the Sales Reports? It may feel like you are doing everything to keep your head above water, especially with those virtually endless “right here, right now” questions constantly hijacking your brain… How many did we sell today? How many orders are shipping out? What was our profitability on that ASIN? Can we find a faster, cheaper manufacturer?
However, if in one of those deep breath Zen moments, you could also run a Sales report for 6 months, a year or even a longer period of time; you would see a 20/20 hindsight gift called “trends”. Those patterns offer content for action plans where streamlining, growth, and profitability become reality.
Get familiar with all of the options under the Reports tab > Business Reports so that you can customize them in a myriad of ways that have meaning for you.
For example, by selecting the Sales Dashboard report on the top left panel, filling in dates, product category, and fulfillment channel, you will generate a snapshot of comparisons. From this visual aid, you can see how implemented strategies such as pricing, or ads, or reviews affected the sales in any given category and/or product.
Do the numbers demonstrate strategy effectiveness? Adjust accordingly.
A few years ago I discovered a company called Teikametrics via their webinars which are full of actionable tips that made my job easier. As I mentioned earlier, there are tons of Amazon reports available. But this company in particular simplifies the entire process with software specifically created for FBA Sellers. They take instant gratification to a whole other level.
I dubbed Teikametrics “Time Liberators” since they interface with all of your listings in near real-time, procuring empowering data such as repricing, product scouting, FBA inventory analytics, FBA restocking optimization, FBA purchase order and shipment management.
One Teikametrics client reported that the software has been essential in tripling his revenue over the course of a year.
“I’ve saved at least 50 hours per week. If I didn’t use this software, I would have to hire 2-3 more employees. I would have to hire another purchaser and maybe a couple people to manage my inventory for sure,” Matthew Giordano of Mission Nutrition said. Giordano regularly uses the restocking report to handle purchasing.
Make It So
For many Sellers, running an Amazon business is a plate spinning act that leaves little wiggle room for change. If you can stay on top of these 3 reports regularly whether on your own or with software support like Teikametrics; then that just may answer those key questions motivating your next moves to drive your Amazon sales.
Tina Marie Bueno is a global citizen with an MBA in Int’l Business plus over 20 years of content marketing experience both in the U.S. and overseas. As iLoveToReview’s Marketing Director, she strives to deliver relevant content to serve Amazon businesses of all sizes.