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Summer is a great time to do a DIY audit on your Amazon Seller Central account. This will help you assess your performance and identify areas where you can improve.

In my previous episode which I released last year, I talked about some general things you can do to keep your account in order over the summer. In this episode, I’ll be going into more detail about specific metrics you can look at, such as: account health, inventory performance, sales performance, and advertising performance. 

I’ll also be sharing some tips for doing a DIY audit on your Amazon Seller Central account, such as using the Seller Central reports and comparing your performance to your competitors.

Listen in to hear me share how to:

  • Check your account health (01:44)
  • Check your customer feedback (03:21)
  • Checking your IPI score (04:34)
  • Check your conversion rate or unit session percentage (06:25)
  • Review your listings (07:07)
  • Review your keyword rankings (09:03)
  • Review your fees (11:18)
  • Why you should run ads in the summer (12:48)
  • Tracking your metrics (14:54)
  • How I may be able to help you (15:55)

USEFUL RESOURCES:

Blog Post: How to audit your Amazon Seller Central account this summer

Podcast Episode 123 – Things to do with you Amazon Seller Central Account this summer

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Transcript
Vicki Weinberg:

Welcome to the Bring Your Product Idea To Life podcast. This is the podcast for you if you're getting started selling products or if you'd like to create your own product to sell. I'm Vicky Weinberg, a product creation coach and Amazon expert. Every week I share friendly practical advice as well as inspirational stories from small businesses. Let's get started. Hello. I hope you're well and having a lovely summer so far. So I'm actually recording this episode just a few days before my children break up for school, um, wondering how on earth I'm going to get through the summer months. Um, so if you're in the same boat, then I do empathize. So this is another solo episode, so it's just me. And I kind of want to talk a little bit about summer today, actually, because the summer months. I thought this would be a really good time to talk about how you can do a little DIY audit on your Amazon Seller Central account to get an idea of how you're doing and how you can improve going into Q4. So last summer I released an episode about some general things you can do to keep your Seller Central account in order over summer. And if you have time, it's definitely worth going back and listening or re listening to that one too. I will talk about some of the same things here because of course there are things that are always relevant. But really today, what I want to talk about is some of the metrics you can look at. Um, you might be tracking your metrics already, you might not. Um, but if you're not, this is actually a really good time to start. Um, because knowing how you're doing, whether it's regarding your account health, your inventory performance, all of these things, tracking them over time will, you know, really help you to ensure you're where you want to be. And if you're not where you want to be, you'll be able to spot that and think of some things you can do to improve. So the first thing I want to talk about is your account health. So to find your account health in Sales Central, you go to the performance tab and click on account health. And here you can see your customer service performance, your order defect rates, your product policy compliance, and your shipping performance. I would say for all of these metrics, really, if you're using MFN, i. e. you're doing your own fulfillment, They're even more important because if you're delivering orders late, which is your order defect rate or not delivering at all, or, or you're providing poor customer service, this can all result in poor account health, which can eventually result in suspension. I'm sure that's not going to happen to you, by the way, I'm pretty sure that's not going to, you're not going to get there, but worth keeping an eye on things because what you don't want is to see that perhaps. Orders have been consistently delivered late. Maybe your shipping partner isn't delivering things as quickly as they should be, so your order defect rate looks quite bad. You don't realize until the day you get a warning in your account. If you're keeping ahead of it and you're checking in on these things, you can go in and go, oh, this doesn't look quite right. I think, you know, I think I'm delivering a hundred percent of orders on time. Why does that say 95%? And that's something you can look into and, you know, get to the bottom of sooner than getting a warning, which obviously we don't want. So this is also a really good reminder to check your shipping settings and your handling times. So it might be that you, your products need a couple of days to prepare before you can send them out. And if you don't have that handling time built in, Amazon will automatically think you're delivering your orders late. So do take note of that. And also remember to put your account on holiday mode if you're going away over the summer and you can't fulfill any orders. If you're using FBA, do check the customer feedback and particularly see if there's any feedback related to Because if there is, and you're paying Amazon to deliver your products for you, this is their error and that feedback should be removed. If you don't ask them to remove it, it will remain in your performance score. So definitely this is something to check in every month and ask Amazon to remove any feedback that is down to them and not to you. And finally, when you're looking at your account health, I recommend checking the voice of the customer. So this is where customers give feedback on the actual product they've received versus what they were expecting. And this is a really good way to see if there are any improvements you can make to your listings. For example, could you make it clear what a customer is going to receive? Um, a good example of this would be if your product image shows your product next to a box, but actually your product doesn't come in a box. Really good idea to make that clear. That's probably a silly example, but you know what I mean? If customers are telling you that they're not happy and that's something you can address in your listing by making it clearer, of course you should do that. So the second thing to look at is your inventory performance. And this actually only applies if you're using FBA. And the thing you want to check is what's called your IPI score. This basically shows how well you're managing your FBA inventory and you want a high score as possible here. When you look at your score you'll see there's like a little slider and it'll go from red on the left for a low score, orange through to green. You really want to be in the green, because if you have a low score, this can actually prevent you from sending in more stock, which can be a bit of a problem. So let's say you have excess inventory of one SKU that could actually prevent you from sending in your best selling lines, because Amazon is going to say, well, actually, you've got too much inventory. We're not gonna let you send anything more. So this is something worth keeping an eye on. If you see excess inventory building up for a certain SKU, I think you need to make a plan for how you're going to sell it, or you need to create a removal request to avoid large storage fees. Ideally, and you've probably heard me say this before, the best way to keep a good FBA IPI score is to not send in too much inventory if you can help it. If you're able to drip feed your stock into Amazon, that generally works better and will keep your score a bit healthier. Also, while we are talking about FBA stock, make sure you do keep replenishing stock for SKUs that sell out quickly. As I say, dripping. The stock in is better if you can, and I know this is going to sound crazy because you'll probably listen to this in August. Remember to leave extra time for stock to get booked in during quarter four when for lots of us, that's a super busy time and it does take longer for things to get booked in. Can you actually plan now when you're going to be sending your q4 stock shipments, I would recommend if you can get in all your stock in October at the latest, if that's possible for you. Um, if not think about what works for you, but definitely something to think about and plan this summer, because what you don't want to do is leave it too late and then miss out on some key dates because you don't have the stock in the warehouse. The third thing to have a look at is your conversion rate. This is a really important metric to view and track, but it is actually not a very easy one to find. So this is one you can find in your business reports under detail, page sales and traffic by child item. That's a mouthful, isn't it? Um, and Amazon don't actually call it conversion rate, they call it unit session percentage. So that's a bit confusing too, but hopefully now you know. I think it's really useful to know how well each of your SKUs is converting and obviously you're looking for the higher the better. If your conversion rate is low or starts to go down, this could be an indication that something needs to change. And the majority of the time that something is to do with your listings. So the fourth thing I want to talk about is your listings and about reviewing them. This isn't actually a metric, um, but if any of the metrics we have spoken about, so for example, conversion rates, inventory sell through, indicate that something isn't quite right and maybe something needs to change, your listings is always a really good place to start. I think really practical things you can do is review your text and images, ensure they're as good as possible and they describe your product as accurately as possible. Updating your images, perhaps even just swapping out the main image for another one or adding some more lifestyle images or perhaps adding some graphics to explain more about your product can be a really great way to refresh your listing. Think about whether everything a customer needs is there. What could be preventing a customer from buying from you? For example, I was speaking with a clothing brand this morning about how I felt it was really important for them to have an image to explain their sizing because their products come in lots of different sizes but actually there's nothing on the listing currently that tells a customer what that actually means in. Sent to me just in this, you know, in this example, um, you know, and that was really important. And I think just by adding that information will hopefully really help with their conversions. And could you be doing more to your lift for your listing? So for example, um, do you have Amazon brand registry yet? I'm not going to talk about that in detail because I've talked about that on other episodes, but if you have. A registered trademark. You can have Amazon brand registry, which means you can add a store page on Amazon. And if you sell a range of products, this is a good idea. But the first thing really is a plus content. So if you don't have any a plus content, if you don't know what this is, this is extra product description, images, graphics, comparison tables, basically lots of content you can add to really sell your product. If you have a registered trademark and you don't have brand registry, this is something to do this summer. You can get the brand registry in place. You can set up some extra content to really help sell your listings. The fifth thing to look at, I think we're on five anyway, is your keyword rankings. So I think it's always a good idea to regularly review your keywords and possibly to even track your keyword rankings. So this basically means how high your products are ranked in Amazon search results when a customer searches for a particular keyword, um, in really simple terms, if you sell, um, let's say you sell. Do you sell duvets? That's not a very good one. We want something more specific. Let's say you sell, um, partner duvets, you know, duvets that are, that are adjustable for different people. If you, if you type partner duvets or his and her duvets or any kind of relevant keyword, where do you rank for that keyword? Do you come up in first place? Do you come up in 20th place? Do you not show up at all? Because a high keyword ranking means that potential customers are more likely to see your products. That's obviously you'll be close to the top of the search results. And as I've said many times before, people really don't want to scroll. You know that far and that can obviously lead to more sales if you're converting well as we've already covered So you can keep track of this using a tool like jungle scouts rank tracker I love jungle scout. There are often really good offers on jungle scout There will be a link in the show notes. Um, or I can tell you the url is get.junglescout/v icki. That's Vicki with an I. But as I say, that'll be in the show notes too. If you want to check out jungle scout and see if it works for you, you can usually sign up for just a month or sometimes they have a three month deal. So you could actually just do this for a short amount of time and see if you think it's worth signing up for a longer package or not. Um, but especially if you're. New to Amazon and you're working hard on ranking, knowing where you're ranking and what keywords you need to be focusing on can be really, really helpful. Um, and as I say, the summer can be really good time to do this. Also, this is sort of anecdotally, but you often find that less people are advertising to their listings over the summer because lots of people go on holiday and switch their ads off. I can't promise that will happen, but in subsequent years it has been something that I've seen happen. And usually the cost of Amazon advertising goes down as well. I'll talk about Amazon. Um, ads a bit more in a moment, but just to say that sometimes it can be easier to rank, particularly if you're planning on using ads to do so at this time. So something to think about. Next thing I want to talk about is fees. So while this isn't really, again, it's not a metric. I guess I just wanted to highlight to you that you will always pay Amazon fees. So whether you are fulfilling orders yourself or Amazon fulfilling them for you, you are always going to pay fees. But I think it's a really good idea to check these from time to time to ensure that you're actually not paying too much or more than you should be. So I have a client, for example, who sells a range of products, and one of their products is sold. It's exactly the same product in multiple colors, and we noticed looking at the seller account that for some of the colors that Amazon fee was set at one. And for other colors, it was a different amount and this was an identical product. Same dimensions, same weight, same everything. Therefore it should have actually been the same price. So something that you may or may not know you can do is ask Amazon to measure. This is for FBA. I should say, you can ask Amazon to measure your products. You can tell them which ones you want them to look at and they will measure and weigh your products and then revise the fee if possible, if necessary, this is really worth doing. So first of all, check that you think the fees look correct. You know, if you've noticed, if you've noticed, if they've gone up, for example, and especially if you're selling multiples of the same product as in the example I just gave you, do check that all of them have the same fees, and if not, definitely question why. Definitely get them re measured and re looked at because that's really important. Now I alluded a moment ago that I'm going to talk about ads. Um, I do really like to talk about ads because I see all the time people just setting them and off they go and look at them every once in a while. And I really don't think you should do that with ads. So if you are running any Amazon ads, it's really important to keep track of the metrics. And there are two things to consider. So one is ROAS, which is Return On Advertising Spend, and this basically measures how much revenue you've made in sales for each pound that you've spent on ads. You want this number to be as high as possible. You can also look at ACOS, which is Advertising Cost Of Sales, and this one you want to be low. Um, I can't give you ideal numbers for each because, let's face it, that depends on you, it depends on. What you're selling, what your margins are and actually what you're comfortable with. Um, if you want to know what I think would be good for you, you can always contact me and ask, um, but it won't be the same for everyone. And you will probably have an idea of where you, you know, what numbers you're happy with. You don't need to track both of these metrics. You can track just one. Um, a long time ago, I say a long time ago, a couple of years ago, every client that I worked with was really keen on. Tracking ACOS, and now people tend to want to track the ROAS, but you, you track whichever one is most meaningful for you. But, I would say it's really good to keep track of them. As I say, some people do say that the ads do better in summer. Um, but then some people also see that their ads drop off a little bit because while there were less people running ads, which could bring costs down, sometimes there were less people shopping in general because people are going on holiday. So unless you're selling something seasonal, you might see a drop off and add sales over the summer. However, you won't know any of this unless you're tracking it. So my advice would be to keep track of this. And in fact, all the metrics that we've spoken about. If you are inclined to do so, you could have a really simple spreadsheet that just tracks your key metrics. So the things that I've spoken about today, or perhaps you've got some others, perhaps there's some other things you want to look at. But you could set up a really simple spreadsheet that just keeps track of your key metrics. You'd only have to update it once a month. Just so you've got an idea, is your inventory performance declining? If so, why? Is your ROAS going down? Why is that? Is it that you're... Spending more money? Is it that you're not converting as well? Again, is your conversion rate going down? Why could that be? All of this is really important. And I guess the whole reason I've recorded this episode and I, and actually recorded this episode now, is that I'm hoping that over the summer you're gonna have a little bit of downtime and you can take a look at this, but I guess what's really key is to know if there are any issues. And of course I hope that you're gonna do all of this and go, actually, you know, all my numbers are really healthy. That's what I want for you. But if they're not, It's better to know about it so you can then consider, okay, what am I going to do to improve? And the final thing I'll say is that if you are in a position where you want things to improve, maybe your sales need to get where you'd like them to be, maybe you need to optimize your profit. Um, if you've listened to this episode and you're still thinking, I don't know what to look at. I don't have time. Um, you can actually get me to do this for you. So I offer an Amazon audit. I give you a really comprehensive. review of your Amazon account. I cover everything we've just spoken about and more in fact. And I end up giving you a really comprehensive list that tells you what you need to improve and importantly how to do it. So you literally end up with a checklist of things that you can go away and do that will make real difference to your sales and to your profitability on Amazon. So if that's something you're interested in, there's a link to that in the show notes, or of course you can contact me at any time and ask more information. So I really hope that's been helpful. As I said, that was a little, um, mini episode. Mine do tend to be, there's only so long I can be here talking to myself if I'm honest. We're not talking to myself, you know what I mean. Um, but I really hope it was useful. I would love to know if you do any of this. I'd love to know. What you find out. And of course, if you need any help at all, you know where to find me. Thank you so much for listening right to the end of this episode. Do you remember that you can get the full back catalogue and lots of free resources on my website, VickiWeinberg. com. Please do remember to rate and review this episode if you've enjoyed it and also share it with a friend who you think might find it useful. Thank you again and see you next week.