We recently hosted a webinar with SkuVault Warehouse Management System that outlined why e-commerce sellers with a streamlined warehouse-to-marketplace solution are best positioned for success on Amazon.
We touched on competitive repricing, first-to-market listing, automated inventory syncing, streamlined picking and packing, and a range of other strategies can help take your Amazon business to the next level.
Want to check out the webinar for yourself? Here's a recording:
During the webinar, sellers wanted to know more about the SellerActive/SkuVault integration, listing on multiple marketplaces, and using warehouse management to pick, pack and ship.
We’ve compiled this handy Q&A to help sellers understand how to grow their Amazon business with warehouse management and multichannel listing software.
How do I know if it's time to implement a Warehouse Management Solution for my Amazon business?
SkuVault: A lot of the time our sellers start to understand when Amazon is slipping as their most efficient channels. Some of our customers have received warnings about their seller ratings or latency time. If your competition is consistently beating you and your seller ratings are dropping, or you just don't know what you have in your Amazon warehouse or what to send there, you're receiving some of the biggest indicators that it's time to move forward with a WMS.
What's the best picking method for my Prime orders?
Skuvault: The best picking method is to separate those Prime orders from the rest of your orders. Obviously Amazon is stringent on how quickly our sellers are able to fulfill those orders, so the best way is to extract those orders from the bunch, and then set up a specific dynamic picking route for Prime orders. A lot of our clients will choose to use our wave picking or hyper picking methods for Prime. We do have multiple different workflows and picking methods, and we recommend that our clients work with trainers to establish exactly what they need.
We have one SKU in multiple locations. Can your system ship in a first-in-first-out fashion for a warehouse associate to pull?
SkuVault: We can accommodate that. We have lots functionality, as well as FIFO (first-in-first-out) functionality. We also offer first-expiring-first-out, so our clients are able to go in, input any lot numbers that they have, list a receive date and an expiration date, and SkuVault can work against that to apply FIFO.
What are the features designed to increase seller ratings?
SkuVault: Picking and quality control features can help with this. When an order comes into SkuVault, we're generating a pick list for your user, which tells them where to pick a product and what quantity needs to be picked. We're checking this against every order. So our clients have the option to set up two different steps where SkuVault is checking the order against what the user is scanning to ensure that it's the correct product and quantity.
Outside of that we're also offering customized pick lists, so you can ensure that for Amazon orders for example are going out first; that they'll be the first to leave the warehouse in the morning.With the forecasting we offer, that allows our clients to always have the quantities that they need to sell through. For a seller, there's nothing worse than there being a sale of something that's not on hand in the warehouse, so being able to forecast and having the quantity in the warehouse to ship out, means that the end user can go in and provide a better seller rating for you.
SellerActive: With our repricing tools, offering the most competitive price on the marketplace will lead to happier customers and better feedback.
We currently have a warehouse in the Midwest and one on the West Coast. If we get an order in New York or California, will SkuVault know which warehouse to pull the inventory from?
SkuVault: Yes. Depending on the type of workflow option our clients choose. We either have the opportunity to toggle priority in warehouses, or elect for zip codes to provide warehouse routing rules. For example, you can say that any orders in your Midwest zip code range will map to this location, and any orders coming from your West Coast zip code range will come from your West Coast location.
How does SkuVault help to improve the picking process?
Wave picking is electronic pick-mapping. Our users have either a tablet or a laptop paired with a scanner. What you can do in SkuVault is go in and set up all different types of filtering methods for how orders are routed. You can set up different filters for the types of orders that you get. Once you get filters into SkuVault, we create batches and tell the picking user where to go, how many to pick, and then a spot or a bin on the cart in which to place those products. By the time they reach the quality control or shipping station, each bin is already organized by order. So although they're going in and picking everything within a wave batch, they're organizing that bin for optimal order sorting before it gets to quality control.
Comment: You should touch on how SkuVault easily creates FBA shipments to Amazon and instantly removes them from inventory feeds to other platforms. Also, reorder reports reflect all the inventory inbound to Amazon, and being transferred, and incoming PO inventory.
In SkuVault we do have a specific report that is meant to help our sellers with their replenishment to Amazon. You can go in and select which merchant warehouses you're choosing to fulfill your Amazon warehouse with. SkuVault gives the client a suggested client to send, which they can adjust. From that report, the very last step is to generate the Amazon shipping plan. You can either do that from within our interface and automatically generate the shipping plan from there. SkuVault will require you to select the conditions for the products, as with Amazon's rules. Alternatively, a lot of our clients like their process in Amazon for creating shipping plans and they don't want to change it, yet they still want to use the values that our reports are offering. You do have the option to create the shipping plan in Amazon and let it be synced into SkuVault. Once that shipping plan is created, we have the option to make it either fulfillable by your picking users, or just auto-remove the quantity from our system, and that's basically how we are deducting the quantity in reaction to those orders. Once the shipment's been created, we then display that as an inbound quantity to Amazon. The re-order reports are already showing all the inventory inbound already - anything being transferred in between multiple Amazon warehouses, as well as incoming inventory which has already been ordered on a purchase order.
Is there a way to set the bins used for wave picking to a specific size? We range from small parts to full-sized kits.
Our hyper picking method accommodates this. Go into SkuVault and define the current bins that you have, as well as their bin size. Then you set up a specific amount of quantity that each bin can hold. That's the 100,000-foot level view of how that works. For more information, contact email@example.com.
How important is it to implement a WMS and channel management solution before I decide to go multichannel?
SellerActive: You can set it up after the fact, but at that point, it might be too late. Your warehouse might already be a mess, you might already be overselling products. If you want to go multichannel, the best way to do that is to use a tool like SellerActive that will make it easy to list on multiple marketplaces. It's like building a house - you want to have your framework in place before you add onto it. I always suggest that if you can afford a WMS and channel management solution, I would recommend putting it in place so that while you scale you have the infrastructure to get set up for success. We have a lot of different options for people to make that an easy transition and not make it too much of an upfront investment for you. Our goal is to grow with you.
Do you have reports that will show 7-day, 14-day, 30-day and 60-day sales reports? If so, can you read the re-order point data from SkuVault so in one report I can see and modify re-order point? I use Channel Advisor and this feature would be a game changer.
SellerActive: We do have sales reports within our platform. Our profit/loss reports will grab costs, site fees and different data like that from within the marketplaces, and you can see all of that within our platform. Right now, SkuVault and SellerActive's reports aren't talking with each other. All of our information will go to SkuVault, but we don't have much that is showing re-order points from them in particular. However, the fact you're using Channel Advisor leads me to believe that this isn't something that they offer. We're always looking to tap into that space, and so our teams are working very closely with each other and share product roadmap ideas. This is a great product request we can put forward. The advantage of working with SkuVault and SellerActive is that we're super dynamic and nimble in what we can set up.
Can you handle reporting when a seller has 50k+ SKUs? The only platform we have tried that worked after 10-20k SKUs well is Channel Advisor. However, I also don't like paying $4k+ month?
SellerActive: A lot of people don't like paying $4k+ a month, and that's why people come to SellerActive! We're more affordable, we don't lock people into contracts, we don't take a percentage of your sales, and we have a lot more responsive customer support. Most importantly, we can handle more than 50,000 SKUs for reporting.
My company is in the vehicle industry, which means we manage a lot of fitment data. With SellerActive, can we add fitment data into our products?
SellerActive: We don't handle fitment directly from within SellerActive, but we've partnered with www.myfitment.com. You can work with them and our platform together.
Can I run a report of all the Amazon MAP violators with time stamps and seller name with their price?
We're looking at setting up customized map reports, but you can't do that right now. What you can do is see when people are violating your MAP price, and if you click on that data, you can see the sellers that way.
If I list products directly from SellerActive, how customizable is it? For example: keywords, descriptions etc.
If you're listing products through SellerActive, it's very customizable for Amazon, eBay and Walmart, and we're looking to add more marketplaces shortly. You can adjust descriptions, keywords, titles and condition by marketplace; including returned items on eBay. If you want to learn more about that, request a demo.
You say SellerActive reprices each SKU every 2-3 minutes, however what about Amazon’s API throttles?
SellerActive: We can send up to 30 prices an hour, so that's where the 2-3 minutes comes into play.
As far as repricing goes, what private label services do you provide? For example, ASINS where we are the only seller.
SellerActive: We currently offer velocity repricing, which involves setting up sales goals for yourself. Let's say you're selling your own computer keyboard, you can set up a repricing strategy that says "I want to sell 30 by the end of the week. If I don't sell by a certain date, drop me prices. If I sell more than 30, raise my prices." It's really valuable if you're trying to test price elasticity or you're trying to blow out on items and really figure out the sweet spot for your pricing on the marketplaces. A lot of private label sellers have been amazed by how high their prices can go and still sell. We'll also be adding onto our private label tools in future.
You mentioned that there are many different e-commerce systems that require lots of extra fields when needing to update prices. We run into this issue with BigCommerce. Would SellerActive help with this?
SellerActive: Yes. We have a lot of different ways for you to price. We can update prices for you on BigCommerce. Alternatively, what a lot of people like to do is mirror an Amazon competitive price to their BigCommerce store. If you're pricing your item against a lot of competitors on Amazon, you can take that price and mark down a certain percentage for your website. If someone goes to Google and looks for your product, they'll find it on your BigCommerce site cheaper than they would on Amazon.
Can you expand further on the rules and variables of the repricing tool? Does the repricing tool consider shipping costs for seller-fulfilled orders?
SellerActive: This functionality is very customizable. I recommend reaching out to firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more about how this tool works. We will soon be adding functionality to add shipping costs into minimum price.
To see how SellerActive works, schedule a demo now, or call us at 1-800-545-7385.