According to the Cleveland Research Company, an estimated 79% of brands have reported inaccurate forecasting from Amazon. A common challenge Amazon vendors are facing is the growing disconnect between the forecast within Vendor Central and the purchase orders that Amazon ends up placing. Furthermore, 67% of brands consider Amazon’s forecast accuracy to vary more than others, while 63% have seen order variability increase since the onset of COVID-19.
As a result, 71% of brands have decided to find their own ways to forecast the business, only referencing Amazon’s forecasts rather than relying on them heavily. Adding to this growing challenge, 90% of brands are very rarely or never being notified by Amazon when changes are made that impact orders. If you have order variability, this can affect your business in a variety of ways, including depleting stock and potential future fill rates, increasing the risk of on-time and chargebacks, impacting warehousing operational efficiency, and more.
Many vendors have come up with their own ways to manage the order variability with Amazon. For purchase order tactics, they’ve found success with minimizing small and irregular POs through minimum order sizes, bulk buys, the cross-dock program, and through moving more business to Vendor Flex.
Internal planning has likely been the most efficient solution to order variability. Brands have increased their Amazon-specific safety stock, worked on the automation of orders and order cancellations, increased their domestic production, conducted weekly reports on acceptance rates and what’s causing the order cuts, dedicated more time for forecasting sessions, and so much more.
Reach out to us at Highlands for more information on how we can help you work through order variability with Amazon.
Congress has set aside approximately $13.2 billion dollars for the Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Fund, also known as the ESSER Fund. This decision was made to help schools deal with the impact of COVID-19, including making learning more accessible to students with disabilities, at-risk populations, and language barriers amongst other challenges. The ESSER fund can be used for any activities authorized by the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965, including purchasing updated educational technology, PPE equipment, cleaning, and sanitizing materials, and other necessary supplies to make classrooms safe during and after the COVID-19 pandemic. This has caused a significant spark in online PPE purchases as kids and education staff across the country are going back to the classroom. This is a great opportunity to target online sales within a number of categories, including education, office supplies, and more. Thanks to this insight, one strategy is to make sure your online marketing efforts align with products that relate to education. Some great tactics to consider are to focus on promotions, sponsored advertising, enhanced content, product reviews, keyword research, and lifestyle imagery of education verticals. For more information on how Highlands can help, contact us.
Way Day April 28-29th
Wayfair’s Way Day occurs on April 28-29th this year and while the promotional deadline for vendors has already passed for submission, there are still ways to prepare your catalog for this major event! Highlands was able to help clients prepare for the event. The preparations include everything from reviewing historic sales trends of the brand’s current Wayfair catalog to identifying strong items based on sales within the site in order to place them into the event at a strong promotional price that will also align with your sponsored ad plan. In addition, preparations also include reviewing the full catalog to make sure all products are enriched with Waymore content, ensuring that the Tried and True program has been utilized for all items with low reviews, and confirming that your inventory is at a strong stocking position as Wayday is the highest-trafficked event of the year for Wayfair.
Reach out to us to hear more about how we helped clients prepare this year and how we can aid in your strategy for 2022.