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Three Key Steps to Automate Your Amazon Business 

By Ian Drogin
| Reading Time: 9 minutes

What if you could step away from your FBA business and watch it grow? With the right strategies, it’s easier than you might think to automate your Amazon business and remove yourself from day-to-day operations. To be effective, however, it’s important to have a clear plan that enables both you and your business to thrive.

In this article, we discuss the three key steps to automating your Amazon business. We also address how to leverage automation strategies to accelerate growth, as well as one automation pitfall you’ll want to avoid.

Three Key Steps to Automate Your Amazon Business

How Amazon Automation Works

In essence, Amazon automation is the process by which you remove yourself from the day-to-day operations of your business in order to free up your time and energy. As an integral element of this process, Amazon automation requires systems and processes that effectively carry out all of the key activities necessary to run your FBA business.

While this definition is pretty straightforward, there are several different ways in which Amazon automation can take place. 

Amazon automation services

For many sellers, Amazon automation specifically refers to third-party services that charge a fee in order to manage your Amazon FBA seller account. In many cases, these services will even launch your business for you. This allows you to skip the start-up grind and avoid almost all management responsibilities. While such services have their appeal, they often require a steep financial investment as well as a profit-sharing arrangement that generates recurring revenue for the automation partner. We’ll address this more in a later section.

“Amazon automation is the process by which you remove yourself from the day-to-day operations of your business in order to free up your time and energy.”

Automate Your Amazon Business

Automation software

In today’s ecommerce environment, there are numerous software services that allow you to automate key activities in your Amazon FBA activities. You can purchase bookkeeping software, Amazon PPC management tools, and inventory management software, to name just a few.

While software adds another expense to your business, the right tools can more than justify their monthly service fees. In many cases, in fact, software can often perform activities better than its human counterparts. For this reason, many believe the future of automation and machine learning looks so promising that many jobs will no longer be necessary.  

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Three Steps to Automate Your Amazon Business

If you don’t want to invest the (significant!) funds to hire an Amazon automation agency, you can still offload most of your management responsibilities. Here are the three key steps to follow to automate your Amazon business while maintaining control.

1. Implement software automation tools

The first step to automating your FBA business is to implement software tools that can carry out routine tasks. In addition to moving responsibilities off your plate, many tools can also improve your business’s performance in various areas. Areas in which software can help automate and improve your FBA business include:

  • Inventory management
  • Bookkeeping
  • PPC management
  • Reviews and feedback management
  • Email campaigns
  • Product pricing

Automate your Amazon business

Inventory management

Inventory management is one of the key activities every FBA seller wants to get right. Unfortunately, many sellers rely on their own gut instinct to determine how much inventory they need rather than looking at the data. Not only does it take more effort to make inventory purchase decisions yourself, but it also is typically less effective than using automated inventory management solutions to forecast customer demand and maintain adequate inventory levels.

Bookkeeping

Similar to inventory management, bookkeeping is an activity software can often perform better than humans. Of course, you still need a skilled professional to oversee your books, but providers such as A2X Accounting can typically take the vast majority of bookkeeping activities off of your plate. This allows you to enjoy the benefits of sound bookkeeping without spending hours pouring over spreadsheets each month. 

PPC management

PPC management is yet another activity that automation tools can often perform better than people. By using advanced algorithms, PPC management solutions can optimize your bidding strategies to reduce your ACOS and increase sales. Just as Amazon uses automated robots to package orders, PPC automation solutions remove one more responsibility from your plate.

Feedback and review management

Feedback and review-management tools can offer a variety of features that simplify the process of managing feedback and product reviews. For example, such tools can provide you with feedback notifications, feedback response templates, and tailored recommendations to better address negative feedback. In turn, these artificial intelligence tools can improve overall customer satisfaction.

Automate your Amazon business

Email campaigns

Automated email campaigns can be a great way to increase repeat purchases, generate more reviews, and build a deeper relationship with your customers. This is especially true if you own a brand with a presence off of Amazon. 

Product pricing

Automated pricing can be a great way to remove the guesswork from pricing and make data-informed pricing decisions. By quickly responding to changes in competitors’ pricing, many sellers can increase sales and improve profitability.

2. Create detailed SOPs

Once you’ve implemented the appropriate software tools in Seller Central to automate your Amazon store, the next step is to create standard operating procedures (SOPs) that detail how those tools are managed. Additionally, your SOPs should clearly explain how all other activities in your online business are carried out. 

When creating your SOPs, you may find that some management activities can be improved or consolidated. This is a good thing, as it allows you to reduce inefficiencies and optimize operations in your business. 

Try to create your SOPs in a way that others will find easy to follow. Don’t assume the person reading your SOPs has extensive experience or knowledge when it comes to running your ecommerce business. The clearer and more comprehensive your SOPs are, the easier it will be to hand over key activities to employees or contractors. This step applies regardless of your business model.

3. Hire staff

After you create your SOPs, it’s time to hire employees or contractors who can take over the majority of your business’s operations. This may sound scary, but it’s a necessary step if you truly want to automate your Amazon business.

Some sellers choose to hire staff directly, including a CEO-type role who manages the rest of their staff. If you go this route, you may have a more hands-on role in your business until you’ve put the right person in place. The upside is it provides you with maximum control and allows you to hand-pick skilled professionals to run your business.

Other sellers choose to hire an agency to handle almost everything. With this option, you can skip the HR element of building a team and let someone else do that for you. This might be the simplest way to outsource staffing in your FBA business, but it may also cut into your margins more than hiring staff directly.  

“After you create your SOPs, it’s time to hire employees or contractors who can take over the majority of your business’s operations.”

How to Use Amazon Automation Services to Scale Your Business

When used wisely, Amazon automation services can lead to accelerated growth in your Amazon FBA business. It does this by helping you in a few key ways.

Reduce human error and improve efficiency

When you leverage automation tools, you can reduce the incidence of human errors. In turn, this improves your business’s performance.
 
For example, inventory management software can typically do a better job than humans when it comes to predicting inventory requirements for a given period of time. This enables you to order the right quantities of inventory at the appropriate time. This reduces the risk of running out of stock and missing sales.

Automate your Amazon business

Similarly, PPC automation tools can often do a better job than most individuals when it comes to optimizing Amazon ads. Of course, more-effective campaigns allow you to generate more sales and higher margins. These are just two examples, but the possible improvements are many.

“When you leverage automation tools, you can reduce the incidence of human errors and improve your business’s performance.”

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Focus your efforts on high-growth activities

If all of your energy is spent running the day-to-day operations of your business, it can be difficult to find time for activities that truly drive growth. In fact, it’s not uncommon for Amazon sellers to feel “trapped” in their business, unable to truly step away at times. After all, it’s hard to ignore a PPC campaign that’s heading south or customer support messages that require a fast response. 

When you automate your Amazon store, however, you’re able to remove yourself from many of the day-to-day activities. Instead of spending all your time doing routine tasks, you can step away and direct your energy elsewhere. Sometimes, this might mean shutting down your laptop and taking a trip. At other times, it might mean testing out new growth strategies to scale your brand. 

As a business owner, your business’s success depends on your ability to focus on high-leverage activities. With Amazon automation, you’re able to do exactly that. 

“When you automate your Amazon store, you’re able to remove yourself from many of the day-to-day activities.”

Work “on” your business, not “in” your business

Another way of thinking about Amazon automation is through the shift from working “in” to working “on” your business. In the former situation, you are the person responsible for making your business run. In the latter, your business runs itself, allowing you to focus on launching new products, exploring a new ad platform, or expanding to a new Amazon marketplace. All of these are activities that can substantially change your business for the better.

How to Spot an Amazon Automation Scam

If you choose to find an Amazon automation solution to run your FBA business, it’s important to know how to discern between legitimate services and those you want to avoid. There are a few red flags to be aware of when evaluating your options.

Excessive up-front fees

Most Amazon automation services aren’t cheap, but some cost more than others. Specifically, some may ask for exorbitant up-front fees that don’t justify the value they provide.

Before committing to using an Amazon automation service, be sure to explore the market. Try to avoid signing up with one Amazon automation service until you know what your options are. Doing your research can go a long way to helping you understand the market so you don’t overpay for a service that ends up being a scam. Try to approach this as you would for product research.

“Before committing to using an Amazon automation service, be sure to explore the market.”

Minimal online presence

Any reputable Amazon automation agency should have an established online presence. Therefore, if you encounter one that claims to manage a thousand Amazon storefronts but only has a bare-bones website, you should be very wary.

This step may sound like common sense, but it’s worth mentioning. In general, a significant portion of scams can be avoided simply by doing your research online. Of course, just because they do have an online presence doesn’t mean they’re legitimate, but if they don’t have a website it means they probably aren’t.

Lack of credible references

In addition to verifying the business’s online presence, be sure to ask for references. Reading quotes on their references page might be a fine place to start, but you certainly don’t want to stop there. Any scammer can write their own references and throw them up on their website.

Ask to speak with past and present clients. If they aren’t able to provide solid references, that should be a huge red flag.

If they do provide references, ask them questions about the strengths and weaknesses of the Amazon automation service. Have they been able to successfully manage all aspects of the business? Do they understand the nuances of PPC, storage fees, and product development? Try to get a clear understanding of whether or not the business is actually fulfilling its commitments and promises. 

Do your due diligence

As with any significant transaction or deal, be sure to do thorough research before choosing to use an Amazon automation service. Before investing your money, you have a right to thoroughly examine the business in question. Speak with their account managers, look at third-party reviews and forums, and talk to the business’s clients. By doing your research and taking action, you’ll be in a great position to automate your Amazon business and accelerate growth. 

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