What to Do When You’re About to Stockout
By Victoria Sullivan
If you’ve ever experienced an Amazon stockout, you know the consequences are detrimental to the growth of your business. Not only do you lose sales, Buy Box ownership, and SEO rank, Amazon could also pause or even suspend your selling privileges. Needless to say, you don’t want to be in this position.
So if you find yourself approaching a stockout, make sure you do these five things:
- Order More Inventory
Step one is a no-brainer: order inventory. Crunch some numbers to get an idea for how long your remaining supply will last then talk to your supplier about whether or not they can get you more product before you run out. Depending on the timeline, you may have to pay a rush fee.
- Slow Your Own Sales
To avoid the consequences of a stockout, consider slowing your sales. That way, you won’t run out of stock but will still have active listings. To do this, increase the listing price and/or stop running any promotions or marketing campaigns that are encouraging sales.
- Re-evaluate Your Inventory Management Strategy
You are clearly starting to turn inventory more quickly than usual, which means you need to adjust your inventory management strategy — in particular, your minimum viable stock level (how much, at a minimum, to have on hand at a given time) and reorder point (when and how much to re-order). Take a look at your inventory reports in Seller Central and/or consult third-party inventory management software to get a better idea of each of these numbers.
- Invest in Buffer Stock
Buffer stock functions as a bridge between inventory orders so you can prevent a stockout and still fulfill sales while you wait for new product. Once you’ve figured out your minimum viable stock level and reorder point, consider placing an extra order of buffer stock “just in case”. Keep in mind this will likely not be a recurring order because you now have a solid (and updated) inventory management strategy in place.
- Increase Cash Flow
It goes without saying that you need cash to buy more inventory and pay any associated rush fees. But as an Amazon seller, cash can be hard to come by. To compensate (literally!) for Amazon’s two-week payment delay, consider a service like Payability.
Payability is a financing company designed to help marketplace sellers maximize cash flow and grow their businesses. Whether you’re looking for a large payment upfront or daily cash access, they offer simple solutions depending on your needs:
- Instant Advance: Payability buys a certain amount of your future receivables (usually 3-4 weeks) at a discount, giving you a large lump sum of cash so you can buy inventory in bulk and take advantage of big opportunities.
- Instant Access: Payability pays you your Amazon income one business day after making a sale, giving you daily access to your cash so you can turn more inventory faster.
- Seller Card: Available to Instant Access customers, the Seller Card gives you even faster access to your income (even on weekends and holidays) and comes with other benefits like up to 2% cash back on purchases.
Since 2016, Payability has solved the cash flow issues of over 2,500 marketplace sellers, allowing them to grow their businesses 2.5 times faster than their competitors. Elizabeth Whitcomb’s Amazon business has grown x3 since using Payability — check out her story here then visit http://go.payability.com/AMSmailer to see how Payability can help you avoid stocking out and take your business to the next level. You’ll receive a $250 sign on bonus and reduced fees just for being referred by AMSmailer. Want to hear more? Search for Payability on Trustpilot, Fit Small Business and Web Retailer.