Amazon Order Management: A Comprehensive Guide
Amazon has set the standards for modern order management. Its own fulfillment centres are the driving force behind Amazon Prime, which sees orders picked, packed, shipped and delivered within two days.
It holds other sellers to extremely high standards too. There are lots of rules and metrics that must be adhered too – and they vary depending on what kind of seller you are.
For this reason, organisation, automation and oversight are key for any eCommerce brands that have a presence on the marketplace. Implementing superfast order processing may seem daunting, but an Amazon order management system can help your business adhere to the platform’s soaring standards.
Amazon order management is the process of dealing with incoming orders and providing the best experience possible to customers.
This can be achieved with Amazon’s in-platform tools, but many eCommerce merchants enlist the help of Amazon order management software – particularly if they attract lots of sales or have multiple eCommerce channels.
There are tools to support all stages of the order management process, including inventory management, order processing, fulfillment and tracking.
Strategic fulfillment planning is wise whatever eCommerce channels you use to sell your products. However, on Amazon, it comes with some perks that are unique to the platform.
Using Amazon order management software and tools can help reduce order errors, shorten delivery times and prevent stockouts. This also leads to greater customer satisfaction. And all of these things can affect your visibility on Amazon.
That’s because both its Buy Box and SEO algorithms take relevant metrics into account when choosing which Amazon product listings should rank highest.
Amazon order management isn’t just about meeting Amazon’s standards, it’s also about providing the best possible experience for customers.
When products arrive quickly and effortlessly, shoppers are more likely to leave positive feedback, share your listing with friends and order from your Amazon store again in the future.
Handling large order volumes and unanticipated spikes in demand can be time-consuming and stressful for staff.
Without the right system in place, these surges can become an eCommerce curse – especially when Amazon can potentially penalise your business for performing below par. This pressure can also lead to an increase in order errors.
However, putting in place an effective Amazon order management system will help ensure that rising sales are always a welcome occurrence for your team.
As mentioned above, your Amazon order management needs will depend on what kind of seller you are.
Brands using Fulfillment By Amazon don’t need to worry too much. Their main concerns are estimating how many units of stock they need to send to Amazon’s fulfillment centres and ensuring they get there on time.
On the other hand, Seller-Fulfilled Prime merchants need to put in place an Amazon order management process to ensure they meet the necessary criteria to protect their Prime status. For example, they need to adhere to Amazon’s returns policies, cancel less than 0.5% of orders and fulfill and ship 99% of their orders on the same day – even on weekends.
Other Amazon sellers need to maintain certain standards too. For example, all sellers need to keep their Order Defect Rate below 1%. This means negative feedback must be kept to a minimum – and your Amazon order management process can hugely impact this. Late shipment levels will also affect any brand that wants to compete for Amazon’s Buy Box position.
There are two ways to maintain these high standards. You can use the tools available within your Amazon account and ensure you have staff overseeing orders around the clock. Alternatively, your brand can put in place Amazon order management software to automate and streamline the process as much as possible.
Amazon provides several in-platform tools to help sellers manage their orders. These include:
Available in your Amazon seller account, this provides users with an overview of their current orders and all the information you need to fulfill each one.
From here, you can update orders – to confirm shipment, for example. You can also print packing slips, issue refunds and perform Amazon order tracking within your internal system.
It’s just as important to update your orders as it is to ship them. Because, even if you ship an order, if you haven’t updated its status, this will bring down your Amazon performance metrics. And if you don’t confirm shipment within 30 days, you won’t get paid for the order at all.
This provides brands on Amazon with fulfillment information for all their orders in a single report. Within Amazon Seller Central, you can schedule reports to be created automatically or generate them as required.
Amazon’s API provides sellers with programmatic access to their Amazon Seller Central account. In other words, it allows sellers to sync information from their account with their own IT systems.
This means your in-house developers can build applications for use with your account – if they are registered with Amazon. This empowers brands to import order data automatically and create their own custom Amazon order management system.
This API also allows third-party developers to build reliable tools that directly connect with your Amazon account.
Third-party tools are often the simplest way to automate the processes involved in Amazon order management. They are particularly useful for sellers who have a presence across multiple sales channels, have high volumes of orders or have countless SKUs to manage.
That’s because ensuring all these orders are fulfilled correctly can become difficult. Managing and maintaining sufficient inventory levels can also be a big challenge. Here’s some of the best Amazon order management software for addressing these issues:
Scout’s TopShelf inventory management system offers brands convenient solutions for Amazon order tracking and fulfillment. It features a range of helpful features for use in warehouses, which facilitate the efficient picking, packing and shipping of orders.
It also provides complete oversight of each order and is suitable for Amazon FBA users.
There are tons of alternatives available too. The likes of Skubana, Brightpearl, Veeqo and Sellbrite also offer synchronised data, Amazon order tracking and shipping integrations.
Digital Shelf software provides sellers with real-time multichannel inventory monitoring. This helps brands increase conversions and improve their Amazon search rankings by ensuring products are constantly available to customers on Amazon.
ChannelSight’s in-depth reports can also help identify and manage frequently out-of-stock products. This tool allows you to monitor your pricing, feedback, search placements and content compliance across all sales channels too.
QuickBooks allows sellers to connect up their Amazon order management with their accounting system. This is a great way to keep your books up-to-date as each order comes in. It automatically keeps track of all Amazon FBA and seller-fulfilled fees too.
As well as providing insights into the value of your inventory and fluctuations in your cash flow, linking Quickbooks with your Amazon seller account will faciliate one-click reconciliation, inventory tracking and the availability of new financial data.
When choosing Amazon order management software, the key is to choose a solution that will integrate with all the channels you sell on – as well as your other eCommerce tools.
While they are certain to require some investment, these tools will pay for themselves quickly by increasing efficiencies, reducing manual tasks and improving your Amazon metrics.