7 Items You Need in Your FBA Toolkit
Building and maintaining a Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA) business is hard work. You have to conduct product research, source your products, create listings that convert, track your sales and inventory, and increase your customer reviews, all while managing any unhappy customers.
These tasks are time consuming, especially if you are a solopreneur and don’t have a virtual assistant or team to help you. And the more time you spend on these tasks, the less time you have for expanding and growing your business.
Don’t worry though, we’ve dug deep to find the most popular tools that will help you to focus on growing and scaling your business. Here is our list of the top seven tools you need in your FBA toolkit.
Jungle Scout – Product Research
Let’s start with product research. When people first decide to sell on Amazon, most of them have no idea what niche they want to sell in or how to find a good product. Coming up with product ideas can be hard work, and working out if a product or niche is a good choice is almost impossible by doing a search on Amazon alone.
I don’t know any serious Amazon seller who doesn’t use Jungle Scout for product research and niche selection. Jungle Scout boasts a team of data scientists who are constantly refining billions of data points from Amazon sales every month, providing highly accurate product information. When you add that they have a dedicated customer support team, 20 hours a day, seven days a week, plus tons of free resources on their site, it’s no wonder they are the industry standard for product research among Amazon sellers.
If you are serious about finding the best product for your store, then you need to check out Jungle Scout. Their product comes in two flavors: the Chrome Extension and the Web App.
Jungle Scout Chrome Extension
The Chrome plugin gives you insights into products directly from the Amazon listing as you are browsing it. There are two versions: a Lite version, which is ideal if you’re a complete beginner or if you are on a tight budget; and the Pro version for those of you who are needing more detailed information.
The extension is product specific, so you need to first view the Amazon listing to get the data. You start by navigating to Amazon’s website and searching for the product you have in mind, whether it’s your product or someone else’s. Then you click the Chrome extension icon in your browser to generate data about the product instantly. The extension pulls the data directly from the Amazon website as you browse listings.
The Lite version allows you to track any product’s monthly sales and revenue, category, and sellers rank as well as ratings and reviews. The Pro version does everything the Lite version does but it also includes a profit calculator, dimensions and weight data, FBA fees, tracks seasonal trends, and it also works with the web app if you have a subscription.
The only negative here is that you at least need to know what product you would like to sell, as it doesn’t make suggestions for potential products like the web app does.
- Great if you are just starting out and/or on a tight budget
- Lite version (has less info but is half the price)
- Pro version (includes FBA fees and product dimensions) can work with the web app
- Can export data to a CSV to conduct your own analysis
- Supports multiple marketplaces
- One-time purchase
Jungle Scout Web App
The Jungle Scout Web App is ideal if you have no idea what products you would like to sell and are researching possible niches, or you are growing your business and want to check out more niches.
Using the web app, sellers can see product ideas broken down by category, price, and sales. It can also track any competitor’s sales history over time using Jungle Scout’s Product Tracker.
The biggest difference between the web app and the extension is that the web app is a suite of three tools: an Amazon product database that is maintained on Jungle Scouts own servers, a product tracker so you can track a number of specific products over time, and the niche hunter to help you find profitable niches for your Amazon business.
The web app is the more premium of Jungle Scout’s two products because it gives you more in depth information. That being said, you can use the web app and Pro version of the extension together. For example, you can select products you are interested in and add them into the web app’s Product Tracker Tool directly from the extension, which saves you time trying to search for them and add them in manually.
- Faster product research using Jungle Scout’s extensive Product Database
- Generate product ideas using the Niche Hunter
- Track competitors’ products over time using their built-in Product Tracker
- Can work together with the Pro extension to give even deeper insights
- Three monthly membership tiers
- Supports multiple marketplaces
Camel Camel Camel – Product Price Tracking
Whether you sell your own private label product or sell Retail Arbitrage products, you’ll need a tool that helps you keep track of price changes on Amazon. Because those prices are constantly changing, having a way to keep an eye on the competition’s pricing strategy will give you an advantage when selling your own products.
Camel Camel Camel (CCC) is a price tracking tool, which can send you price drop alerts via email and Twitter. It can also give you the price history on over 18 million products. Best of all, it’s free!
When tracking products, whether they are your own or a competitor’s listing, CCC will alert you immediately if a price drop occurs. This tool is great if you are keeping an eye on your listing to protect it from would-be hijackers.
You can also use the price history charts to look at a product’s historical data, and work out what the pricing trends are at different times of the year.
If you are into Retail Arbitrage, keeping track of the bargains on Amazon as they appear can help you find products that you can resell. (And, you know, CCC is also handy if you are just shopping, too.)
- Amazon price drop alerts via email and Twitter
- Price history charts
- Browser add-ons to add price history charts directly to your browser
Cash Cow Pro – Rank Tracking
While tracking your sales and profits is important, you aren’t going to make many sales if customers can’t find your products on Amazon.
How well your product ranks will determine how many customers see your products when they do a search. Think about SEO for Google: how important is it for you to optimize your website in order to show up higher in search results? Amazon is no different — customers search for products the same way. So it’s important to know which keywords you are ranking for and what your product rank is in your category.
Cash Cow Pro (CCP) is a web based suite of tools for FBA sellers. For our purposes, we’re specifically going to focus on their rank tracking tool.
CCP allows you to track up to 100 keywords per product listing, which means you can check if your product listing is ranking for a particular keyword. If not, the “search optimized” column will have a big red NO, making it easy to see where you need to optimize your listing.
Another great feature is being able to track product page views and sessions directly from Amazon, which gives you an idea about how many customer eyeballs are landing on your listings. It also has a keyword suggestion tool, which gives you suggestions for other keywords to optimize your listing based on the keywords you are tracking.
- Track up to 100 keywords per product
- Monitor your performance
- Provides keyword suggestion tool
- Check keyword competitiveness
- Has listing analyzer and optimizer
Splitly – A/B Split Testing and Listing Optimization
Once you have your Amazon listings set up, you want to make sure they are optimized for conversions.
You may have heard of A/B split testing before. If you haven’t, it’s where you test variations of an advertisement or sales page against the original (the control) to see what gets more sales. Marketers use split testing to continually improve their ads and make sure they get the maximum amount of sales.
As an FBA seller, your product listing is an advertisement for your product. Split testing manually takes a ton of time and can be inaccurate due to human error.
Splitly, on the other hand, removes the human error component by automating the process by using its own set of algorithms to run tests and give you easy to read results. This web app allows you to make quick and informed decisions about how to optimize your listings.
Whether it is testing different product titles, descriptions, feature bullets, or even keywords and images, Splitly allows you to test different variations so that you can maximise your sales.
- Amazon approved to allow split testing
- Can test every element on your listing
- Test pricing, images, titles, features, descriptions, and keywords
- AI powered optimization with “Profit Peak”
- Automated repricing for your products
- Keyword rank tracking and historical data over time
- Best Seller Rank tracking
- Reports on how your listing performs over time
Feedback Genius – Autoresponder
Handling customer feedback is a massive part of running your own FBA business. Reviews have a direct impact on your conversions, which can indirectly impact your ranking on Amazon. It’s important to generate as many positive reviews as possible, while minimizing or even eliminating negative ones.
However, if you are selling large volumes of product, it can be really tough to stay on top of customer feedback and reviews manually. That’s where Feedback Genius comes in.
Wait a minute, aren’t feedback and reviews the same thing? Not exactly.
Feedback is about you as a seller, your service and the buyer’s experience dealing with you. Reviews are specifically about your product (the quality, any problems, etc.). Both can affect how your products sell, but in different ways.
For example, feedback shows up when you click on a seller link (the one just above the title of your product). It’s much like the eBay seller ranking system; it shows a star rating and a percentage. A poor feedback score can affect your sales indirectly by giving customers less confidence in your service and affect their decision to buy from you.
Reviews, on the other hand, are directly related to the product. Customers use reviews to discuss things like the fit and color (if it is apparel) or the overall quality, either by sharing their experience or by reading before deciding whether or not to buy. Reviews have a more direct impact on your sales: positive reviews will help improve your conversion rates, while negative reviews will make customers shy away from your product.
As a seller, if you want to improve your feedback and boost the number of positive reviews on your products, you need to keep an eye on Seller Central to constantly monitor sales. When a sale is made, you then use the opportunity to send a communication to your customers, asking for feedback or reviews. This activity takes a lot of time and energy.
Feedback Genius automates this process — it integrates with your Amazon account and uses the Amazon email system to send communications to your customers. You can automate sending emails based a number of triggers, such as when the product leaves the warehouse, when it arrives at the customer’s door, and following up to see if people are happy with the product after the purchase. You can request that customers leave feedback or a product review, which can help you boost your sales.
Another great function of Feedback Genius is the ability to get notifications via email if you receive any negative feedback or reviews, so you can respond quickly and minimize the impact.
Key benefits are:
- Integrated with Amazon’s email system
- Supports international as well as U.S. based marketplaces
- Helps you generate product reviews
- Increases your seller feedback
- Notifies you when someone leaves positive or negative feedback so you can quickly respond
Fetcher – Sales Data and Analytics
When running an FBA business, you need some way to track your numbers. Most sellers start out using spreadsheets, by exporting the data from their seller central backend.
However, the seller central interface can be confusing and hard to use. And spreadsheets can quickly get complicated and out of control when you are dealing with more than a handful of products. Collecting and managing all this data turns into yet another time consuming process.
Fetcher is accounting software designed for Amazon sellers. It integrates with your Amazon account and pulls all your data into their app directly from seller central’s backend. Fetcher calculates all your mission critical metrics such as profit, refunds, Pay Per Click Ad spend (PPC), and fees, and keeps your data constantly updated every minute.
Your data is then displayed on one simple, clear, and easy to use dashboard. You can customize the dashboard so you can see the data you want at a glance. It also does all the calculations for you (so you don’t have to spend hours setting up a spreadsheet).
The best part is that it can generate custom reports. Want to track your refund rates compared to other products in your lineup? Sure. Need to conduct a sales analysis and work out how much your PPC is costing you? No worries. Need to generate a professional profit and loss (P&L) statement? Fetcher has you covered. No more staring at Excel spreadsheets! You’ll have more time to focus on growing your business.
- Fully customisable dashboard
- Track profit margins, ad spend, inventory levels, storage fees, and more
- Dive deep into individual products using the product breakdown feature and find out what your Pay Per Click is costing you on a per product basis
- Built in P&L where you can see how well your business is doing at any time
TaxJar – Sales Tax Management
If you sell products in more than one marketplace, or even in more than one state in the U.S., you know that dealing with sales tax is a major pain in the butt! Not to mention the process of filing your taxes in the relevant states and/or jurisdictions. Failing to file can lead to massive penalties, which can greatly affect the profitability of your business.
TaxJar is a tool that takes the headache out of sales tax calculations and can simplify the tracking of what you owe and in which state you owe it. It integrates directly into your Amazon seller account to access the relevant information and generates the reports for filing your state sales taxes. It even provides the ability to auto-file your U.S. state taxes for an additional fee.
If you sell in multiple marketplaces outside of the U.S., TaxJar can run the reports you need to file for these markets, too. This ability is especially useful when dealing with all the different sales taxes in the EU, for example, making your life as an FBA seller much simpler.
- Easily connects to Amazon
- Also connects to Shopify if you have your own brand store with Amazon integration
- Create file-able reports in minutes or automate the process using Autofile
- Various monthly plans available based on the number of transactions you make per month
A Final Word
Running an Amazon FBA business doesn’t have to be a confusing and time consuming process. It can be easy if you have the right tools at your disposal.
You don’t need all of these tools right away, but knowing what these tools can do for you and your business can help you to decide on what you need right now, and identify ways you can simplify, streamline, and improve your business.
If you are new to FBA, start with Jungle Scout for product research and Fetcher to track your sales, and perhaps even TaxJar to simplify your taxes. If you are already established, consider adding Splitly to split test and optimize your listings, or Cash Cow Pro to keep an eye on your rankings. Try Camel Camel Camel to stay on top of price drop alerts and add Feedback Genius to improve your feedback and reviews.
Now get out there and grow your online FBA empire.
Photo credit: Mactrunk