What is Amazon Automation and Why You Should Automate Your FBA Business
What is Amazon Automation and Why You Should Automate Your FBA Business
A lot of people dream about having their own business, but most simply don’t have the time to make it happen. Between their day job, family, and other responsibilities it’s often difficult to start a successful side hustle.
This is why so many people are creating businesses that can be automated, and one of those is Amazon FBA. While it takes some time and effort to set up, once it’s running there are a number of ways to automate a lot of the tasks.
Table of contents
Keep reading to learn how to start your own automated FBA business.
What is Amazon FBA?
Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA) is a program to automate eCommerce businesses and allows you to send all your inventory to Amazon. They’ll store it for you and fulfill your orders every time you make a sale. In this way, it’s similar to dropshipping.
Signing up for FBA is the first step towards creating an Amazon automation business because you no longer have to worry about fulfilling orders. Packing products and mailing them to customers is one of the most time-consuming parts of running an eCommerce business, but with this program Amazon takes care of all that for you.
Using FBA also means you don’t have to worry about storing your own inventory, which is great for people with limited space.
How Amazon FBA Works
Here’s a rundown of how selling products with FBA works:
Send Your Inventory to Amazon: Once you receive your inventory from your supplier simply ship it to Amazon. Or if you trust your wholesale supplier to pack your products correctly you can have them send it straight to your supplier so you don’t have to deal with it.
Amazon Stores Your Inventory: Once Amazon receives your items they’ll store them in one or more of their warehouses.
Amazon Fulfills Your Orders: When someone buys one of your products Amazon will pick, pack, and ship them to the customer for you.
Amazon Handles Returns, Refunds, and Customer Service: Amazon handles all returns and refunds for your items. They also deal with any inquiries and complaints regarding shipping.
You Pay Amazon a Fee: In return for these services you pay Amazon both a storage fee and a fulfillment fee. These fees fluctuate based on the size and weight of your products.
With FBA it’s possible that you’ll never have to even see your inventory. While there are extra fees involved the time, effort, and resources you’ll save will almost certainly make up for it.
Why You Should Automate Your FBA Business
As you can imagine, there are a number of advantages to automating Amazon FBA. Here are a few reasons why starting an automated business is a good idea:
It Gives You the Time to Run a Business: If you still have a day job it can be tough to also run a side business. When you add in family commitments and other responsibilities creating an automated business might be the only way you have time to actually start Amazon FBA.
It Makes it Easier to Grow Your Business: Automation systems take care of the day-to-day tasks so you can focus on finding new products and growing your business.
Make Money While You’re Not Working: Running an automated business means you have more time to spend with your family. Plus, with you’re business on autopilot you’ll make money when you’re visiting friends, enjoying your hobbies, and even sleeping.
Essentially, the more your business is automated the more time you have to research new products and spend time doing the things you love.
How to Automate Your Amazon FBA Business
We already discussed how utilizing Amazon FBA is a great way to automate your business, but there are a number of other strategies you can use to increase your level of automation.
Steps to automate your Amazon FBA business:
Understand how Amazon FBA works.
Hire photographers and copywriters to create listings for your products.
Use PPC management software to adjust your bids for different keywords.
Use inventory management software to estimate how many units you should order and when.
Use bookkeeping software to automate your finances.
Use software to control your payouts.
We’ll go into greater detail about each of these points below so you can implement these tactics into your own business.
1. Listing Optimization and Creation
Creating optimized Amazon listings is extremely important for two reasons:
Including the right keywords is the number one way to get your products ranked for important search terms.
Your listing is where people decide whether or not they actually want to buy your item, so it needs to be convincing.
To find the right keywords it is more effective to use dedicated tools like AMZScout Keyword Search. Here’s how to use it to find relevant keywords for your products:
1. Go to the AMZScout Amazon Keyword Search tool. If you are new, you’ll see a sign-up form. Enter your details to start a free trial.
2. Add criteria to the search fields. Write a specific word or phrase to see a list of search phrases that contain that word or phrase, as well as the search volume for each phrase.
3. Refine the list if it’s too long or if you want to only see some of the suitable words:
Set a min. and max. number of words
Set a min. and max. search volume
4. Look at the results. Click Find Keywords to see a list of keywords including their estimated monthly search volume.
If you can't create the listing yourself, then many sellers reach out to freelancers to help them with optimizing their Amazon listing. Not only does it automate the listing process, but it also results in higher quality listings that rank higher in searches and convert better.
In order to produce high-quality listings, you’ll need excellent photography and compelling copy. So, you’ll want to hire a photographer to take photos of your product and a copywriter to craft your description. Look for professionals who have experience with Amazon listings. You might even find people who specialize in this niche.
There are a number of different places where you can find freelancers, but two of the best sites are Upwork and FreeUp. Post your job on one of these sites and interview a few candidates to find the best ones.
2. PPC Management
Besides organic search traffic, the other source you’re most likely to get traffic from is Amazon ads. These are paid advertisements that appear in search results, Amazon listings, and other sites.
Amazon ads are a great way to boost your traffic. They’re also the perfect way to drive customers to new product listings that aren’t ranking in Amazon’s organic search results yet.
If you’d like to automate this part of your business, or you’re not comfortable managing ads yourself, consider using Amazon PPC software. These tools manage your bid amounts and optimize your spending to ensure your ads are seen as much as possible for the best price.
You can also take it one step further by hiring an Amazon ads management agency. These companies can provide you with tips for buying ads, or take care of everything for you, including ad creation, management, and reporting.
3. Inventory Management
Managing your inventory is critical for your success. If you run out of products before your next inventory reorder:
You’ll miss out on potential sales.
Your Amazon search rank will decrease.
You won’t be eligible for the buy box.
Because of this, you need to keep an eye on your inventory and order more products before you run out. Of course, if you’re busy with life or other parts of your business this isn’t always easy. Luckily, there’s software available to automate this task for you.
These tools will:
Alert you when your inventory is running low.
Forecast how much inventory you’ll need based on past sales and the time of year.
Help you optimize your pricing.
There are a number of inventory management solutions available, so do your research and find one with the features and options that are right for your business.
If you’re running any kind of business you should be keeping track of your finances. This is because:
You need to know your revenue and expenses to determine your profits.
You’ll need a record of all your finances to properly file your taxes.
Not many people enjoy plunking numbers into a spreadsheet. Plus, this task can be extremely tedious and time-consuming. Thankfully, there’s a great solution that will help you automate your bookkeeping and drastically reduce the amount of time you spend staring at a spreadsheet.
First, you’ll need a Google account, which you’ll use to set up a Google Sheet to track all your invoices. Next, you’ll have to get the bookkeeping software Xero. This is a good investment anyway as it has a number of awesome tools to help you effectively manage your finances.
Once you have both of these in place you can set it up where every time you get an email invoice from Amazon it will automatically be logged in your Google Sheet. To learn how to put this in place check out this blog post: How to Automate Your Finances.
As your business grows and you start making more sales you might want to consider hiring an assistant to help you with your bookkeeping.
Getting paid is likely the primary reason for starting your business, so you want to make it as easy as possible.
Without any automation, it can take upwards of 19 business days before you have access to your money. And if you want to transfer your funds before your scheduled pay date you’ll have to manually log in and request a transfer.
Finally, a lot of your money will often be unavailable to you. This is what’s known as an unavailable balance and it’s caused by things like order delays, chargebacks, or poor feedback.
If you want to avoid all this and automate the entire payout process, we recommend using Payability. With this service, you can have access to up to 80% of the money from your sales the very next day. This means you’ll get paid automatically each day, ensuring your business always has ample cash flow.
If you’re looking for a business that will mostly run itself, then Amazon FBA might be for you. Once you get everything set up you can earn a steady income without having to manage most of the day-to-day activities.
So now the automation is up to you. Are there any other processes you would like to automate in your Amazon FBA business?