So, you want to turn your Amazon side hustle into a multimillion-dollar business? Great!
But if your inventory processes are causing poor cash flow, you could be facing an uphill battle.
Scaling an ecommerce company forces you to grapple with increasing demand for resources such as inventory, staff, and fulfillment infrastructures. And inaccurate forecast calculations, poor inventory visibility, or miscommunication can all cause your growing business to stumble.
Without a good inventory management system in place, you’ll be stuck dealing with these kinds of challenges just to keep your business afloat. By taking an inventory-minded marketing approach, you’ll be better equipped to bridge the gaps between your marketing and inventory teams to overcome the bumps in your road toward success.
Inventory-minded marketing is an inventory management strategy that focuses on optimizing your inventory levels to maximize profitability. Marketing teams work closely with inventory teams to ensure that the right products are available in the right quantities at the right times.
At its core, this approach is all about using data and analytics to make informed decisions about inventory management.
Marketers analyze data on customer buying behavior, market trends, and other factors to predict demand for specific products. They then partner with the inventory management team to ensure that enough stock is available to meet this demand.
The inventory team keeps an eye on your available products in fulfillment by Amazon (FBA) or third-party logistics (3PL) and lets the marketing team know about slow sellers or excess inventory. With this data, the marketing team can run a sales forecast report to determine whether to run a flash sale or Lightning Deal, which can help potentially recover some profit or improve your sell-through rate—ultimately boosting your Inventory Performance Index (IPI) score.
If they decide the slow-seller isn’t worth a flash sale, they’ll sell it to a liquidator or dispose of it to avoid incurring long-term storage fees that would be better served with best sellers.
Taking an inventory-minded approach to scaling your Amazon business enables you to:
Overall, inventory-minded marketing is an effective approach to managing inventory levels that can help you better serve your customers and improve your bottom line.
Image alt text: People sitting around a table collaborating on business processes.
Image description: People sitting around a table using laptops, reports, and notepads to collaborate on business practices.
Ready to take the inventory-minded marketing approach in your business?
Fortunately, SoStocked offers five core reports that are essential to a successful inventory-minded marketing strategy. Ensure your marketing and inventory teams have access to these reports to efficiently address stockouts or overstocking as they arise.
Because this report tells you which products are at risk of running out of stock, your marketing staff should review it weekly or monthly to avoid inadvertently driving your business into a stockout.
With this data, marketing teams can make informed decisions about their sales strategies. If they’re facing a short stockout period, the team may want to slow down sales by easing up on pay-per-click (PPC) ads or raising the product’s retail price until the replenishment units arrive at Amazon.
If they’re expecting a long stockout period, they might choose to temporarily close the listing and manage the impact this can have on that product’s ranking.
The most important thing?
Ensuring coordination among teams to avoid unnecessary marketing efforts or exacerbating stockouts. With communication and co-team planning, you can prevent these challenges and adapt to inventory needs efficiently.
This report highlights products with exceptionally slow sales rates. Depending on your business model, if you sell less than five units per day, you might want to liquidate the inventory through the FBA Liquidations Program or your preferred liquidator rather than restocking.
Leverage this report to identify and analyze your less-lucrative products — such as those that only sell between six and 20 units daily — before they start incurring holding costs.
The inventory team can send the slow sellers report to the marketing team, who can devise the best strategy to quickly boost sales. This, in turn, will enable you to generate more revenue, recover your investment, and channel it towards expansion.
Inventory teams should use this report to check the inventory days remaining for each product on Amazon and determine if that number exceeds your business’ chosen threshold. Then, they can relay this information to the marketing team.
Keeping more than three months’ worth of inventory can be excessive, for example. In such cases, it’s better for marketers to focus on selling those unsold units rather than paying monthly storage fees and aged inventory surcharges to Amazon.
Since you have little to lose with slow-moving products, your marketing team can more aggressively promote them by reducing the price, running more ads, and attempting to re-rank them to transform them from liabilities into assets.
The inventory team can also benefit from receiving information from the marketing team, which they can integrate into their business’ inventory plans using SoStocked’s Forecast page.
With this page, marketing can:
The inventory team can then plug marketing plans into tagged products to reflect a 30% sales boost in the inventory plan and facilitate appropriate reordering. And they can prevent stockouts by assessing whether the expected sales increase would result in product shortages and adjusting the plan accordingly.
By following this method, marketing can review all products considered for the campaign, and the inventory team can provide marketing with a list of products available or unavailable for promotion. Inventory, on the other hand, can include the products in the campaign later by increasing the next order.
If you plan to run a holiday campaign aimed at increasing sales by 70%, for example, you can use the Forecast page to determine if you have sufficient stock to meet that increased demand.
If you’re not ready to use SoStocked, no problem.
Consider downloading our Amazon Inventory-Minded Marketing Planner Template to facilitate smoother coordination and communication among your teams.
This template contains:
Your marketing team inputs sales and marketing data into the spreadsheet, and then your inventory team moves that data to your inventory planning software. With that information, they can accurately verify whether your current inventory levels can support proposed marketing plans.
The foundation of inventory-minded marketing is communication and collaboration.
Marketing must inform the inventory team of their plans before executing them. And inventory teams must effectively stock products, identify potential issues, and offer proactive, data-backed support.
By coordinating effectively, teams can proceed with confidence, avoiding cash or inventory shortages — and boosting business growth in the process. With an inventory-minded marketing strategy, scaling your business can be a breeze.