Best Amazon Seller Tools for FBA Business
The beauty of Amazon businesses is that they’re highly automated. With the help of FBA, Amazon will do most of the work that you need to succeed as a seller.
Nevertheless, your Amazon business won’t run itself. It still has a lot of moving pieces and requires some management on your part.
But there’s a right way and a wrong way to do this management. A way that requires a lot of work on your part, and a second and better way that reduces how much effort you have to put in.
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There are a host of tools out there that can help you, as an Amazon seller, automate and outsource tasks that would otherwise require a ton of time and energy on your part.
In this article, we want to provide you with a list of what are, in our opinion, the very best tools out there, broken down by the different aspects of your Amazon business.
By signing up for and implementing these tools, you’ll find yourself that much closer to an Amazon business that requires very little day-to-day oversight on your part.
Amazon Product Research Tools
As we’ve discussed in other articles, the first and most important task you’ll face as an Amazon seller is finding the perfect product to sell. And if you’re not careful, this task can easily swamp and overtake you. Because while you can, for example, comb through lists of best-selling Amazon items, dig into Google trends, and see what’s popular on Instagram, it’s not much fun to spend all the time required to do so.
That’s why product research tools like AMZScout exist. Our goal is to leverage information about all the products in Amazon’s massive database in order to automate the product research process for you.
For instance, with the AMZScout extension, all you need to do is click a single button and we’ll generate, within seconds, a potential product niche that you may want to explore in further detail. You’ll see, at a glance, how many sellers are competing in the category, how many units they’re selling, and how sales in the category have been tracking over time.
Now, as you might know, we’re not the only Amazon product research platform around. But for the reasons we identified in this article, we think we’re the best one around, and we have tens of thousands of users to prove it.
Keyword Research Tools
A second category of tools that will be of benefit to your Amazon business are keyword research tools.
This kind of software will help you identify keywords in a myriad of ways. For one, they’ll show you what search terms customers are using to find similar products to yours. They’ll also reveal which words and phrases to include in your product description in order to match a customer’s search. Finally, they’ll make clear which search terms are likely to be well aligned with Amazon’s search algorithm, making it more likely that your product will appear on the first page of search results.
To help with this, we recently launched Keywords Tracker, a simple and free Chrome extension that tracks the keywords that are strong and popular matches for your product. But we’re not the only ones out there. There’s also SEMRush, which has proven to be a useful tool not only for Amazon sellers but for anyone who is conducting SEO research with Google. And Google also offers some tools that can get you started with your keyword research. For instance, Google’s Keyword Planner tool is a great way to brainstorm long tail keywords once you have an overall sense of your primary keywords.
Product Listing & Inventory Management
Of course, tools that help you identify compelling products and brainstorm keywords that align with them is only half the battle. From there, you actually have to list your product on Amazon and start selling!
Fortunately, there are a ton of tools out there to assist you with not only these pre-launch activities but post-launch as well.
The first of these categories is product listing and inventory management tools, which ensure that you’re creating great sales copy for your products and keeping close tabs on your inventory.
One way to go about creating an awesome product listing is to identify what your competitors are doing poorly. In other words, you can identify where comparable listings are falling short and where you might therefore improving on existing offerings. The AMZScout Pro extension tool offers a great way to do just that. When you’re evaluating a product niche within AMZScout, we’ll aggregate for you what we call a Listing Quality Score (LQS), which is our analysis of the quality of existing listings in that niche.
Another option to consider along these lines is Splitly. Among the host of functions that the Splitly software provides is an analysis of the product listings you have created, broken down in granular detail. For instance, Splitly will tell you if, according to its best estimates, your product title is too short or your product photographs aren’t up to snuff.
When it comes to inventory management, the sky’s the limit. One option we recommend to our subscribers is Shopkeeper, which uses historical sales data for your products to inform you exactly when you should rebuy a new tranche of inventory. And if you way to spy on how much inventory your competitors possess, you can also get your hands on AMZScout Stock Stats, yet another free tool from us that provides great analytics for your business.
Order & Shipping Management
So what about after the orders start coming in? What do you do then to make sure you’re not tearing your hair out trying to keep everything straight?
As you think about this, the most important consideration for you as a seller will be whether you want to enroll your business in Amazon FBA. As we have discussed elsewhere on the blog, if you sign up for Amazon FBA, Amazon will take a ton of the hassle associated with order fulfillment off your hands.
After Amazon checks in your inventory at its fulfillment centers, it will be “live” on Amazon, which means it will be available for customers to purchase through the site. Once a customer orders your product, Amazon will, behind the scenes, do all the work necessary to get the product to the customer. This is the real beauty and genius of the FBA program. Without you needing to lift a finger, Amazon will, once an order is placed, pick the item from the warehouse shelves, box it up, label it, send it to the customer, and notify the customer it’s on the way.
If you enroll in FBA, you won’t need to worry as much about leveraging order and shipping management tools. Indeed, you can think of Amazon FBA as a best-in-class order and shipping management service that you, as a seller, have the opportunity to leverage in order to build your Amazon business.
Of course, it’s not mandatory that you use Amazon FBA for your business. You can choose instead to fulfill orders for your products manually.
If you do so, however, you’ll definitely want and need to draw on an order management platform in order to keep everything straight. Of these, we’d recommend ShipStation, which makes managing your orders simple and hassle-free, or drawing on an all-in-one e-commerce platform like Shopify.
Tools for Repricing & Price Management
One of the great mysteries for any Amazon seller is figuring out how to price their products. Would it be better, you might wonder, for you to sell 10 units per day at a cost of $20 per item, or raise your prices slightly, sell fewer items per day, but achieve a higher gross profit overall?
From our perspective, the only way to to know for sure is to experiment and test rigorously. And Splitly, the software we mentioned above, is designed primarily to achieve that. What Splitly will do is run what are known as “split tests” or “A/B tests” to help you determine the optimal price for your product. In essence, what this means is that the software will test a particular price point for an item, see how it sells, and then try another price point for the item, and see how that sells in comparison. Sure, it’s possible to do this manually, but it’s awfully tedious, and Splitly removes a ton of the guesswork and legwork for you.
Of course, maximizing profit may not be the only reason why you need to reprice your products. You also might find that another seller is competing with you for the Buy Box, which basically means that you’re selling the exact same product as another seller, and Amazon has to determine which seller earns the opportunity to sell to customers. In that case, it’s often advantageous to sell at a lower price than your competitors.
To do so, Amazon itself offers some tools for sellers. To access these, navigate to Amazon Seller Central, click on the Inventory vertical, and then the “Automate Pricing” link. Once you do so, you’ll see an array of options that allow you to automatically adjust your product prices without having to lift a finger.
Accounting & Expense Management
Once your Amazon business is selling products like crazy, you’re going to need to get a handle on how things are going at a macro level. In other words, it’s one thing to be generating a lot of topline revenue. But it’s imperative that you dig beneath the surface and determine, at the end of the day, how much profit your Amazon business is netting. You need to know both the top line and the bottom line for your business.
The tools available to accomplish this task take a variety of forms. At the micro level, we at AMZScout offer the FBA Calculator, which will help you figure out how profitable a product will be after the fees that Amazon charges for referral and fulfillment. (This analysis--known as figuring out the unit economics of your products-- should be the starting point, by the way, of any product research you do on Amazon).
Zooming out further, there are also tools available to help you determine the profitability of your Amazon business before various miscellaneous non-Amazon expenses. Shopkeeper, the software we mentioned above, rolls up all of this information into a slick and easy-to-read dashboard that calculates your business’s performance across any time frame you might see fit.
Finally, there are cloud-based do-it-yourself accounting services that you’ll need to calculate how your business is performing at the most macro level. The old standby that’s been around for decades now -and that you may have heard of already - is Quickbooks. While you can’t go wrong with an Intuit product, many Amazon sellers have also seen good success using Xero, which is a bit cheaper and more user-friendly than the alternatives.
Tools for Legal, Tax, & Insurance Needs
Unfortunately, accounting tools are not the only compliance software that you’ll need to run your Amazon business.
To make sure you’re doing everything above board and by the book, you’re also going to need tools related to legal services, tax collection, and insurance.
When it comes to legal tools, unless you’re a super high-volume seller, you can keep things pretty simple. There’s no need to retain a high-priced lawyer or a fancy law firm. One good option that will get you what you need on this front is LegalZoom, which offers the basic legal documents you need to get your business off the ground. They’ll incorporate your business, send you a copy of your bylaws and corporate charter, and remind you of relevant filing deadlines for taxes or other registration paperwork.
On the tax collection side, things are a bit more complex. As we have mentioned in other articles, under Amazon’s guidelines, a seller is technically required to collect any and all applicable sales tax. It is not the case that sellers have no sales tax obligations, or that Amazon will somehow just take of this for you, without you thinking about it.
There is no shortage of different companies that can help you with this sort of compliance work. At the one end of the spectrum, there are companies like TaxJar, which provide software that will automate a lot of the reporting and filing for you, but still require some time and effort on your end. At the other end of the spectrum, you can enlist the help of an accounting or tax professional and outsource all of the work to them. In the end, the approach that makes sense for you will probably be determined by what kind of sales volume you’re doing.
When it comes to insurance, the first thing you need to do is educate yourself on what you’re required to do as an e-commerce seller. Your obligations will depend in part on which markets you’re operating in and what kind of products you’re selling. At a bare minimum, however, you’re required to hold a general liability insurance policy of at least $1 million to ensure you’re covered if something goes haywire with one of your products.
Review & Feedback Management
Last but certainly not least, there are the tools you’ll need to generate reviews for your product after it launches and manage feedback as buyers purchase your goods.
The first set of tools along these lines will help you generate reviews for your product in order to drive more traffic and higher conversion rates. The tried-and-true way to go about this is to send buyers a series of “post-purchase” messages via Amazon asking them how they like the product and encouraging them to leave a review for you.
You can do this work manually, but it’s pretty cumbersome to do, so we recommend automating the process using some software tools that are out there for Amazon sellers. Two pieces of software that work great for this are Salesbacker and Seller Labs Pro Communication Center powered by Feedback Genius.
One thing these pieces of software won’t do is notify you when new product reviews or seller feedback come in. And this information is critical to have, because it will allow you to respond to and resolve, in the immediate term, a complaint a customer might have about your product. Approaching things in this way may help you head off a negative product review or change a review from negative to positive. To assist with this feedback monitoring function, we’d strongly recommend ReviewSender, which sends alerts directly to your inbox when new reviews come in.
Running an Amazon business is one of the most straightforward businesses around. You identify some great and popular products, get them to Amazon, and watch the money start coming in. That’s why we love it so much and why we’re so eager to help Amazon sellers out.
Nevertheless, there are some aspects of running your Amazon business that require some extra time and effort, such as researching products, monitoring feedback, and complying with sales taxes.
In those situations, we recommend you get you hands on some of the great software we’ve identified here. They may cost you a few extra bucks, but the benefit in terms of time and effort saved will more than compensate.
Your future self- and your Amazon business-will thank you for it.