Welcome to the world of Amazon Seller Central! In this chapter, we will provide you with a comprehensive overview of the key reports and tools available to sellers like yourself. Additionally, we’ll shed light on some underutilized resources that can significantly enhance your selling experience.
Finding Help in Seller Central:
If you ever find yourself in need of assistance while navigating Seller Central, rest assured that help is readily available.
Help Button: Located in the top-right corner of the Seller Central home page, the Help button is your gateway to a wealth of knowledge and guidance. Simply click on it to access a comprehensive library of helpful materials.
Utilizing Help Resources: Amazon continually updates and improves its Help materials to ensure that sellers can easily find the information they need. However, it’s understandable that you may still encounter challenges in locating specific answers. In such cases, don’t hesitate to explore alternative support options.
Contacting Seller Support: If you’re unable to find the information you’re looking for, reaching out to the Seller Support team is a simple and effective solution. To contact them, click on the Help button, scroll down to the bottom right corner, and select “CONTACT US.” From there, you can submit an email, request a phone call, or initiate a chat session. For a more detailed guide on utilizing Seller Support, refer to our dedicated chapter on the topic.
By leveraging these support channels, you can overcome any obstacles and make the most of your Seller Central experience.
Exploring the Seller Central Navigation Menu: Unlocking the Power of Inventory Management
One of the essential components of Seller Central is the navigation menu, which grants you access to a range of tools and features. Let’s delve into each item in the menu and explore what you can accomplish with them.
- Inventory: The Inventory section serves as a central hub for managing your product listings, inventory levels, and generating insightful reports. Here are the key options available:
- Manage Inventory: Under this tab, you gain comprehensive control over your entire catalog of listings, both active and inactive. Regularly reviewing this section allows you to stay informed about your competitive pricing across different listings. You can analyze the “Low Price” column to identify whether you’re the lowest-priced seller and decide whether to match or beat the current lowest offer. Additionally, the “Inactive” option helps you identify items with no active inventory, aiding in reordering decisions or identifying listings to be removed from your catalog.
- Manage FBA Inventory: This tab is specifically tailored for sellers utilizing the Fulfilled by Amazon (FBA) service. It provides crucial insights into the status of your FBA inventory, including inbound shipments, fulfillable inventory, unfulfillable items, and reserved units. By understanding the state of your FBA inventory, you can make informed decisions regarding stock replenishment, managing unfulfillable inventory, and optimizing your inventory management processes. Pay special attention to the “Reserved” section, as it reveals which items are likely to be selling quickly, helping you streamline inventory management and reordering strategies.
- Add a Product: This feature enables you to expand your catalog by adding new products individually.
- Add Products Via Upload: For efficient catalog expansion, this option allows you to upload product data in bulk, saving you time and effort.
- Inventory Reports: Within this section, you’ll find various reports that provide valuable insights into your inventory. One notable report is the “Listing Quality and Suppressed Listing Report.” It helps identify data issues in your listings and ensures accuracy and completeness. Requesting this report regularly enables you to maintain high-quality listings and optimize your product data. Another essential report, not always visible, is the “Category Listings Report,” which requires contacting Seller Support to activate. This report provides detailed data about your listings, allowing you to identify missing or outdated information and make necessary updates.
- Manage FBA Shipments: This feature allows you to oversee and manage your FBA shipments to Amazon’s fulfillment centers. You can track the progress of your shipments, ensure accurate delivery, and create new shipments when necessary. Refer to the “Shipment Creation Workflow” for guidance on creating shipments effectively.
By leveraging the options in the Seller Central navigation menu, particularly the “Manage Inventory” and “Manage FBA Inventory” tabs, you gain precise control over your product listings, inventory levels, and shipping processes. This empowers you to optimize your operations and drive success on the Amazon marketplace.
The “Manage Inventory” tab is a powerful tool for sellers, providing a comprehensive view of all your listings, both active and inactive. Regularly reviewing this page and utilizing its features can significantly enhance your inventory management.
Active Listings: Start by clicking on the “Active” button on the left-hand navigational bar. This allows you to assess whether you hold the lowest-priced offer across your listings. Check the “Low Price” column to compare your prices with the current lowest competitive offer. If your prices are not the lowest, you can consider adjusting them to match or beat the competition. However, keep in mind that the lowest-priced offer may not always be the most visible to customers, as even offers from non-featured merchants are included. Carefully evaluate whether matching the lowest price is necessary for listings that are unlikely to attract significant customer attention.
Inactive Listings: Click on the “Inactive” option on the left-hand side to identify listings with no active inventory. This quick review helps you identify items that may require reordering, assuming that competitive pricing remains profitable for you. Additionally, the “Inactive” listings option serves as a useful tool to identify listings that should be deleted from your catalog if you no longer intend to sell those items. Remember, Amazon holds sellers responsible for their listings, even if they are inactive.
By regularly utilizing the “Manage Inventory” tab and its features, you can stay informed about the competitive pricing landscape across your listings and make strategic decisions regarding pricing adjustments. Moreover, the ability to identify inactive listings helps streamline your inventory management process, ensuring that you maintain an up-to-date and relevant catalog on Amazon.
Manage FBA Inventory
The “Manage FBA Inventory” page in Seller Central provides valuable insights and tools for FBA sellers. Regularly reviewing this page allows you to stay on top of your FBA inventory and make informed decisions. Here’s how you can effectively utilize the features available:
State of FBA Inventory: On the “Manage FBA Inventory” page, you can assess the status of each unit in your FBA inventory. It provides information on whether the inventory is inbound, available for sale (labeled as “Fulfillable”), unfulfillable (defective or customer returns), or reserved for sale or transshipment between fulfillment centers.
Sorting by “Reserved”: Clicking on the “Reserved” button allows you to sort your entire FBA inventory based on reserved items. This sorting option is particularly helpful in identifying products that are selling quickly. However, exercise caution when it comes to transshipment, as it may impact inventory availability. Sorting by “reserved” helps streamline your inventory management and facilitates better decision-making for inventory reordering.
“Fulfillable” Quantity: If you maintain minimum quantities of FBA for specific ASINs, you can easily check the “Fulfillable” numbers to ensure you’re not falling below those minimum thresholds. To receive automatic notifications when falling below specific thresholds, select the specific ASIN, go to the “Apply to Selected Items” drop-down menu, and set replenishment alerts based on the desired number of weeks or coverage of minimum fulfillable quantities.
Guided Actions for FBA Inventory: The “Manage FBA Inventory” view provides valuable guidance for taking small but important actions regarding your FBA inventory. These actions include:
- Checking and maintaining sufficient FBA inventory levels.
- Evaluating the need to send in additional FBA inventory.
- Identifying and handling unfulfillable inventory to avoid unnecessary storage fees.
- Ensuring there are no “No Listing” errors where listings are not appearing. Inactive FBA inventory can occur due to various reasons, including seller-driven changes or Amazon glitches. If you encounter this issue, file a ticket under “Fulfillment by Amazon” -> “Other FBA Issue.” It may take 1-2 days for the inventory to be reactivated.
By utilizing the “Manage FBA Inventory” page effectively, you can optimize your FBA operations, maintain adequate inventory levels, and resolve any issues promptly. Regularly reviewing this page and taking the necessary actions will help ensure smooth and efficient FBA inventory management on Amazon.
Within the Inventory section of Seller Central, you have access to a range of reports that offer valuable insights into different aspects of your catalog. While each report serves its purpose, two reports stand out as particularly helpful: the “Listing Quality and Suppressed Listing Report” and the lesser-known “Category Listings Report.”
The “Listing Quality and Suppressed Listing Report” is a powerful tool for identifying data problems within your listings. It allows you to pull down the actual listing data used on your products, enabling you to spot any missing or outdated information. By regularly reviewing this report, you can ensure that your listings are accurate and optimized for maximum visibility and performance.
However, it’s important to note that the “Category Listings Report” is not readily available in the inventory reports section. To access this report, you need to file a ticket with Seller Support and request its activation. Once activated, it remains accessible for only 7 days. This report provides valuable information about your listings within specific categories, allowing you to analyze their performance and make informed decisions.
We strongly recommend requesting the “Listing Quality and Suppressed Listing Report” at least quarterly to conduct a comprehensive review of your listings’ data. By doing so, you can identify and rectify any issues promptly, ensuring the accuracy and effectiveness of your product information.
Make the most of these inventory reports to maintain high listing quality, enhance your product visibility, and improve your overall selling performance on Amazon.
Streamlining Your FBA Shipments
The “Manage FBA Shipments” report is your go-to resource for tracking and managing FBA shipments to Amazon’s Fulfillment Centers. To access this report and create shipments, follow these steps:
Navigate to the main “INVENTORY” heading in Seller Central.
Click on “MANAGE FBA SHIPMENTS” to access the report and view your ongoing shipments as well as create new ones destined for Amazon’s FBA facilities.
If you’re new to creating FBA shipments or need a refresher, you can find helpful videos on the process by typing “Shipment Creation Workflow” into Seller Central’s HELP bar. These videos will guide you through the steps of creating actual shipments, ensuring a smooth and efficient process.
By utilizing the “Manage FBA Shipments” report and familiarizing yourself with the shipment creation workflow, you can effectively track and manage your FBA shipments, optimizing your inventory management and ensuring timely delivery to Amazon’s Fulfillment Centers.
The “Orders” section, prominently displayed on the Seller Central home page navigation bar, focuses on managing both your orders and customer returns. It comprises four key areas:
Manage Orders: In the “Manage Orders” section, you can handle the fulfillment of customer orders that you’re managing yourself. This includes tasks like printing shipping labels and confirming shipment. To ensure a smooth order fulfillment process, we recommend watching the Seller Central videos that provide step-by-step guidance. This section also serves as a valuable reference tool to determine whether inventory appearing in your “Manage FBA Inventory” tab is earmarked for customer sales or temporarily unavailable due to trans-shipment between Amazon fulfillment centers. Avoid the mistake of re-ordering FBA inventory based on the “Reserved” status, as it may indicate inventory being trans-shipped rather than ready for sale.
Order Reports: If you’re self-fulfilling orders, “Order Reports” become highly valuable. We suggest pulling these reports at least once a day to gather essential information on the orders that require your attention. However, if you’re a 100% FBA seller, these reports won’t be as relevant to your operations.
Upload Order Related Files: The “Upload Order Related Files” feature is specifically designed for sellers utilizing Amazon’s Multi-Channel Fulfillment Service. If you receive orders from platforms outside of Amazon and use your FBA inventory to fulfill them, this feature allows you to upload the necessary order-related files.
Manage Returns: The “Manage Returns” section comes into play if you handle some order fulfillments yourself and receive return requests from Amazon customers. It is essential to utilize this section to submit relevant information to prevent potential abuse of the refund process by customers. By actively managing returns, you can avoid situations where customers seek refunds directly from you and then falsely claim they did not receive a refund from Amazon.
The “Advertising” section within Seller Central offers valuable opportunities to boost the visibility of your products and potentially drive additional sales. By leveraging advertising campaigns, you can effectively increase the exposure of your products within the Amazon ecosystem.
Within this section, you have the ability to set up advertising promotions tailored to your specific goals. You can define your budget and establish advertising criteria to ensure that your budget is allocated optimally.
To delve deeper into the intricacies of setting up successful advertising campaigns, we recommend conducting a search within Seller Central’s help resources. This will provide you with comprehensive information and specific guidelines on how to create and manage your advertising campaigns effectively.
By leveraging the advertising features available to you, you can strategically enhance the visibility of your products, reach a wider customer base, and ultimately maximize your sales potential on Amazon’s platform.
The “Reports” section is a valuable resource that you’ll frequently utilize to gain crucial insights into various aspects of your business. It’s important to note, however, that the reports provided by Amazon are not exhaustive and may not cover all the data you require to effectively run your business.
Amazon is renowned for its guarded approach to data sharing. While the platform prioritizes sharing the seller’s own data in various formats, it is relatively restrictive in disclosing additional information beyond the seller’s listed products.
Exceptions to this rule exist when Amazon deems it advantageous for sellers to act upon specific information to benefit the platform. For instance, Amazon may share data to encourage sellers to expand their product selection in line with Amazon’s catalog requirements.
Outlined below are the reports available to you within this section. These reports serve as valuable tools for understanding your business performance, refining strategies, and making informed decisions:
[Specify the available reports and their respective purposes]
While these reports offer valuable insights, it’s important to consider supplementing them with additional data sources and analytics tools to gain a comprehensive understanding of your business performance and drive growth effectively.
The “Payments” section provides valuable reports that allow you to examine the fees associated with selling, shipping, and refunding items on Amazon, including various other fees that may require further clarification. Within these reports, you have access to two useful views:
Every settlement view (Statement View): These views, typically updated every two weeks, provide a comprehensive overview of your settlements. They offer a consolidated summary of the payments received and the associated fees.
Transaction-by-transaction view (Transaction View): While these reports contain extensive data, they are immensely helpful for identifying discrepancies and analyzing the profitability of individual SKUs. To make the most of this view, it is advisable to use accounting software or have a good command of Microsoft Excel.
We particularly recommend utilizing the Transaction View as it offers a granular breakdown of cost data at the SKU level. This enables you to analyze data from multiple perspectives, such as across orders, SKUs, timeframes, and channels. By leveraging this detailed information, you can gain valuable insights to optimize your financial performance.
To enhance your payment analysis, it is advisable to supplement these reports with accounting software or utilize Excel to effectively organize and analyze the data. This will empower you to make informed decisions and better manage your finances on the platform.
Amazon Selling Coach
The Amazon Selling Coach feature allows you to customize the reports displayed on the home page of Seller Central according to your preferences. These reports offer valuable insights and recommendations that can assist you in optimizing your selling strategy. However, it’s important to note that Amazon’s suggestions are based on their perspective and goals, without considering your individual cost data or financial circumstances.
While the Amazon Selling Coach reports can provide useful information, it is crucial to exercise your own judgment and evaluate whether the suggested actions align with your specific business objectives. As Amazon lacks access to your cost data for accurate calculations, it’s essential to independently assess the financial implications of any recommended strategies.
By leveraging the Amazon Selling Coach feature, you can benefit from additional guidance and insights to enhance your selling performance. However, always remember to critically evaluate the recommendations, taking into account your unique business considerations and financial goals. By combining Amazon’s suggestions with your own knowledge and analysis, you can make informed decisions that align with your overall business strategy.
The Fulfillment section offers a range of insightful reports that can provide valuable information about your overall business, including self-fulfilled orders. We recommend paying particular attention to the following reports:
Inventory Health Report: The Inventory Health report allows you to assess the status of your inventory, including identifying any old inventory that may require attention. By reviewing this report, you can make informed decisions about adjusting prices or implementing strategies to move stagnant inventory effectively.
Inbound Performance: Inbound Performance is a crucial metric that measures how accurately you send items to Amazon’s Fulfillment Centers. It tracks your adherence to the planned shipments and ensures you are sending the correct quantity and items. Maintaining a high level of accuracy is essential, as frequent mistakes can lead to consequences such as restrictions on your FBA privileges. For sellers who heavily rely on FBA, such restrictions can significantly impact their operations.
By regularly reviewing and leveraging these reports within the Fulfillment section, you can gain insights into the health of your inventory and optimize your inbound shipping processes. This proactive approach will help you maintain smooth operations and ensure a positive experience for both you and your customers.
Sales All Orders: The Sales All Orders report is an invaluable resource for analyzing your SKU performance and gaining insights into which products are selling the most units. By reviewing this report, you can identify top-performing SKUs, allowing you to allocate resources effectively and optimize your inventory. Additionally, you can use this report to generate profitability reports, providing a comprehensive view of your overall business performance.
Long-Term Storage Fees: Monitoring the Long-Term Storage Fees report is crucial to avoid unnecessary costs. If you come across any items listed here, it indicates that they have been stored in Amazon’s fulfillment centers for an extended period, resulting in higher storage fees. In such cases, it is advisable to assess whether it would be more cost-effective to retrieve these items from FBA. You can then choose to either resend them to FBA promptly or consider fulfilling them yourself. Alternatively, you may opt to apply significant discounts to facilitate quick sales and reduce storage costs.
Customer Concessions Returns: For sellers who heavily rely on FBA, it’s essential to stay informed about customer returns. The Customer Concessions Returns report sheds light on the number of units returned by customers, including those that are put back into your fulfillable inventory. This information is particularly valuable as returned items still incur Amazon sales fees. By analyzing this report alongside your Sales All Orders data, you can identify items with a higher likelihood of being returned. This insight enables you to make informed decisions about whether to continue offering these items in your catalog. Being aware of the frequency and specific items being returned helps you effectively manage your inventory, minimize costs, and optimize customer satisfaction.
Advertising Reports: If you’re currently running advertising campaigns, the Advertising Reports section provides valuable insights into the performance of your campaigns. These reports offer metrics and data that allow you to assess the effectiveness of your advertising efforts. By analyzing these metrics, such as click-through rates, conversion rates, and advertising costs, you can make informed decisions to optimize your advertising strategies and maximize your return on investment.
Tax Document Library: The Tax Document Library is a resource you may not need frequently but becomes essential during specific times, such as when filing your annual business taxes or more regular state taxes. This library stores important tax-related documents and records that are relevant to your Amazon business. When the time comes to complete your tax obligations, you can rely on this library to access the necessary documents, such as sales tax reports, transaction details, and financial statements. Staying organized and having easy access to these records simplifies the tax filing process and ensures compliance with tax regulations.
The Performance section provides valuable insights into how your business is performing. While the main page of Seller Central offers a summary, this section allows you to delve deeper into the specifics to identify and address any issues affecting your business.
Feedback: This report provides a comprehensive view of customer feedback, allowing you to assess both the quality and quantity of feedback received. As we discussed earlier, soliciting feedback from customers is important, and this report helps you gauge customer satisfaction. It also offers valuable insights that can inspire improvements to your catalog selection and overall performance.
A-to-Z Guarantee Claims: While it’s ideal to have minimal claims in this section, it’s important to review any claims that arise. This report provides a detailed overview of all A-to-Z claims, allowing you to understand the situations that led to the claims and take appropriate action if necessary.
Chargeback Claims: Similar to A-to-Z claims, this report may not be frequently needed, but it’s essential when dealing with chargebacks. It provides valuable information regarding any chargeback claims and allows you to address them accordingly.
Performance Notifications: Amazon periodically sends emails containing performance notifications. It’s crucial to read these notifications promptly as they may include important information about policy changes. These notifications can inform you about regulatory updates that may impact your items or changes in packaging and shipping requirements. Staying informed about performance notifications is vital, even if some of them may not directly relate to your current performance.
Other Key Sections of the Seller Central Home Page
Let’s explore the remaining sections on the Seller Central home page in more detail.
Messages: This section provides two ways to access customer messages. However, it’s more convenient to review “buyer messages” under the “Performance” section on the left-hand side of the Seller Central homepage. This allows you to prioritize time-sensitive messages that require your attention.
Help: We discussed this section earlier in the chapter.
Settings: The Settings section is crucial for setting up your account preferences. It covers various aspects such as communication preferences, tax collection and payment preferences, shipping settings, and user settings. The user settings feature is particularly useful as it allows you to assign viewing and editing permissions to other users of your Seller Central account.
Amazon Selling Coach: We mentioned this earlier, but it’s important to remember that Amazon’s recommendations may not always align with your business’s best interests. While these reports can offer insights, it’s essential to customize them based on your strategic decisions regarding specific brands or products.
Headlines: This section displays general announcements from Amazon to sellers. While it provides useful background information, for critical updates related to your business, pay closer attention to emails sent directly by Amazon rather than relying solely on the Headlines section.
More Selling Tools: This section promotes additional seller tools offered by Amazon. It typically doesn’t require immediate attention as the tools are not time-critical or frequently changing.
Performance: The Performance mini-window located on the upper left of the home page displays various metrics that you should regularly monitor. Clicking on any of the subpoints takes you to specific details and actions for each metric. These metrics are crucial for achieving featured merchant status, which is essential for your products’ eligibility for the buy box.
Seller Rating: Maintaining a strong seller rating above 96.5 indicates that you are running a solid business. Falling below this threshold may indicate significant operational issues that require attention.
Account Health: The Account Health section provides a composite view of six metrics used to evaluate your overall performance. Aim to maintain a “Good” status, indicating that your account is in good health.
Customer Feedback: Having a feedback rating of 4.5 or higher is desirable, and you should strive to increase the number of feedback ratings to represent at least 2% of all orders fulfilled in the past 12 months.
Claims Requiring Actions: Take immediate action on any claims that require your attention.
Buyer Messages: This section shows the number of buyer emails that require a response within 24 hours. It is crucial to log in to your Seller Central account at least once every 24 hours to address customer inquiries promptly.
Your Orders (Amazon.com): This widget provides a snapshot of recent non-FBA orders. Sudden changes in these numbers warrant investigation. If you use FBA exclusively, consider collapsing this widget.
Other Amazon Links: This section offers background information on other aspects of your Amazon relationship. It may not be a priority for most sellers and can be ignored.
Site Map: The Site Map serves as a general reference to tools within Seller Central. It is not critical and can be collapsed if desired.
Seller Forums: If you wish to participate in forums with other Amazon sellers, this section provides access to those forums. While some sellers find these forums helpful, keep in mind that the information shared may not always be reliable, as it is not verified by Amazon.
Promotions: This widget, viewable under the “Advertising” tab, displays a list of your active promotions. If you are not currently running any promotions, you can collapse this widget.
Payments Summary: This section offers a helpful overview of the revenue paid to you in the last settlement. It also indicates the date of the last settlement. Monitoring this section is important as it allows you to identify any delays in settlements and take appropriate action if necessary.
Manage Your Case Log: This section provides an easy way to view the progress of your tickets filed with Seller Support.
Sales Summary: The Sales Summary section provides a helpful overview of your accumulated revenue, excluding the fees you pay to Amazon. This growing revenue amount will be reimbursed to you at the end of the current settlement period. By monitoring the trends in the 7-, 15-, or 30-day periods for both units and ordered product sales, you can detect any changes and initiate investigations to understand what might be happening. These insights can help you adjust your inventory sourcing patterns accordingly. It’s important to note that the ordered product sales numbers represent overall revenue and do not account for Amazon fees. Therefore, do not expect to receive these amounts as payment. Instead, refer to the “balance” in the “Payments Summary” section for accurate payment information.
Unshipped Orders: The Unshipped Orders section displays all non-FBA orders, including those from other selling relationships you may have with Amazon outside of this seller account. Here, you can easily identify the orders that still require shipment. If you are a 100% FBA seller without any other selling accounts on Amazon, you can collapse this widget as it may not be relevant to your business.