When working with Amazon, managing inventory hour to hour is essential, you don’t want to run out of inventory and sell out of an item, in particular if you have a brick and mortar store AND you share inventory with your store and Amazon.
One of our customers, BicycleBuys.com , expanded their online presence by selling their bikes and cycling products on Amazon.com, but it took several hours each day to download orders, figure out how much inventory was left based on the store sales, and upload inventory. One of our Microsoft Access developers was able to automate the entire process, freeing up the store staff to focus on sales, customer service and growing the business.
Our client, a local bike shop with a website offering their products online and with a brick and mortar store decided to expand their virtual presence by selling their products on Amazon.com. What happened next blew all of their sales projections out of the water, but it also meant additional hours of daily work.
Sharing your inventory between your store and Amazon: Keeping everything in balance.
Amazon is a great way to expand your online presence; they offer an established market and a constant stream of customers. However, the technical challenges can be hard to overcome for any business. Our client soon realized they needed a technological solution for inventory management, order processing, and automating Amazon order uploads. Some merchants avoid the hassle by shipping inventory to the Amazon warehouse and not worry about running out when its sold online, but our customer avoided the expense by shipping orders out of the brick and mortar store.
Thou shall not sell stuff not on hand: Telling Amazon your inventory numbers on a timely basis to avoid order cancellation
When selling on Amazon merchants need to be careful and not sell something that has no inventory on hand and thus require an order cancellation, which would impact your Amazon standing. Too many cancellations and your Amazon account could be suspended. Our client would therefore use Amazon’s website to view orders sold, compare that with his store inventory, then update Amazon to make sure something is not sold that can’t be shipped. Doing this manually several times a day would take hours of time, there had to be a better way.
Our Custom Solution
Automate the whole process
Using Microsoft Access and SQL Server, our Amazon API Developer was able to design a custom SQL Server script to automate the entire process using Amazon API integration. Where it used to take hours per day, now takes only minutes to download orders and upload inventory.
Not only is the process much faster, the application runs in the background and updates once an hour by communicating with Amazon’s service, allowing our client to easily have the latest information on orders. We also incorporated auto-updates to keep their existing website and store system on the same page.
Using MS Access, SQL Server, and the web, we were able to reduce processing time, improve customer service and eliminate the many hours of manual labor it took to perform daily tasks.