Amazon Automation – How To Run Your Ecommerce Business On Autopilot

In this post, you’ll learn how to apply Amazon automation, computers and software to systematize practically every aspect of your ecommerce business.

Running a successful Amazon business involves managing many moving parts.

For example, you must maintain your inventory levels, adjust your pricing, respond to customer inquiries, tweak your advertising and manage your reputation.

Meanwhile, there are malicious sellers constantly trying to hijack your listings and knock off your products. New competitors pop up daily and it’s a cutthroat environment.

To make things worse, you also have to worry about Amazon suspending your listings or outright copying and private labeling your products for sale.

With that in mind, how do successful Amazon entrepreneurs run 7 and 8 figure ecommerce businesses with a staff of only 2 or 3 people? How is this possible?

Successful sellers leverage Amazon automation and software to outsource the tedious selling tasks to a computer or a 3rd party provider.

In this article, you’ll learn the easiest and most cost effective way to automate and outsource the following tasks for your Amazon business.

  • Amazon Advertising
  • Feedback And Review Generation
  • Email And SMS List Generation
  • Listing Monitoring
  • Shipping And Fulfillment
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What Is Amazon Automation?

Amazon logo

Amazon automation is the act of using software and 3rd party services to run your Amazon business as smoothly as possible, reduce your workload and allow you to focus on your strengths.

Amazon automation comes in many different forms.

Some companies will build your entire Amazon business for you by finding profitable products to sell, finding suppliers, building your Amazon listing, setting up Amazon PPCEVERYTHING!

But for most Amazon sellers, you’re likely searching for inexpensive software solutions to automate repetitive tasks so you can focus on other areas of your business.

The remainder of this post will outline every service and software package that I personally use to automate my Amazon business.

Amazon Automation #1: Use Amazon FBA

Amazon FBA

Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA) is a program where Amazon stores and fulfills your orders directly from their warehouse every time you make a sale.

  • You don’t have to store inventory.
  • You don’t have to ship packages.
  • You don’t have to deal with customer service.

In fact, Amazon FBA is the closest business model to dropshipping that you can find online. And leveraging Amazon FBA is the easiest way to automate your ecommerce business.

Now if you look at the FBA fees that Amazon charges, you’ll notice that FBA is quite expensive compared to most 3rd party fulfillment centers. So why not just sell merchant fulfilled?

Amazon FBA gives you access to the “Prime” badge which will instantly boost the visibility of your products by up to 3X or more.

Whenever I shop on Amazon, I purposely exclude all “merchant fulfilled” listings from the search results and only look at the prime listings.

Amazon has trained all of us to focus on fast and cheap shipping which can only be obtained with prime shipping.

Editor’s Note: Amazon does offer a service called seller fulfilled prime but it’s been temporarily suspended until further notice.

Even though Amazon FBA will cost you another 10-15% of your revenue on top of Amazon’s 15% selling fee, it’s well worth the cost for the increased sales alone.

Plus, Amazon will handle all of your shipping and fulfillment and take responsibility for its own screwups.

All you have to do is file for a reimbursement on lost inventory and Amazon will refund you!

Amazon Automation #2: Use A Service That Automates Inventory Reimbursement

getida

When you use FBA, Amazon loses your inventory more often than you’d expect. And for our ecommerce business, Amazon misplaces our products at least a few times every month.

But the problem is that Amazon will never openly admit that it has lost your inventory nor will it automatically reimburse you for it.

Instead, you have to reach out to Amazon, show proof of the inventory discrepancy and only then will they refund you for the number of units lost.

As you can imagine, this process is extremely tedious and is not a good use of your time. As a result, most successful Amazon sellers use an inventory reconciliation service like GetIda.

GetIda uses software to keep track of your Amazon FBA inventory transactions, refunds and seller analytics and automatically files claims to Amazon on your behalf.

We’ve used GetIda for a while now and the best part is that you only pay a fee when they actually get you reimbursed.

As a result, using GetIda is risk free. Right now, they are offering $400 in free reimbursements when you sign up below.

Click Here To Sign Up For GetIda For Free

Amazon Automation #3: Review Generation

Getting Amazon reviews is an important aspect of ranking your products in Amazon search. And if you don’t actively ask a buyer for a review, you won’t get one.

Right now, Amazon has a button in Seller Central which allows you to manually request a review, but who has time to do that?

Amazon Review

Instead, you should use a service like Feedback Genius which will automate this process for you.

Feedback Genius

Jungle Scout also offers a similar service where you can ask for bulk feedback across all of your most recent orders.

Jungle Scout Reviews

It doesn’t matter what service you use, but review generation should always be automated.

Click Here To Sign Up For Feedback Genius

Amazon Automation #4: Listing Monitoring

Feedback Whiz

Amazon is a competitive marketplace and evil sellers are constantly trying to sabotage your Amazon listings.

Probably the most subtle form of sabotage is when a competitor takes control of your listing and changes the titles and details.

Sometimes, evil sellers will intentionally leave negative reviews to damage your reputation. Other unscrupulous business owners will purposely buy and return your merchandise and mark it as “not as described”.

If you manage many Amazon listings, it’s impossible to manually monitor them all. Instead, you should leverage Amazon automation and alerts to stay informed about everything.

Personally, I use a service called FeedbackWhiz to monitor all of my listings. This service tells me…

Whenever I Get A Negative Review

Negative Review

Whenever Someone Returns An Order

Amazon Return

Whenever Any Of My Listings Change

Listings Change

Whenever I Lose The Buy Box

buy box

Basically, whenever anything bad happens with any listing, I’m immediately alerted via email and I put out the fire right away.

Without a tool, this would be impossible to manage.

Amazon Automation #5 – Amazon PPC Automation

Amazon PPC

Running profitable Amazon PPC ads involves bidding on targeted keywords and carefully managing your bids to obtain a positive return on ad spend.

As a successful Amazon seller, you are likely bidding on tens or even hundreds of keywords per product. In addition, you must monitor your keyword performance and constantly add to your negative keyword list and manage your bids across a variety of phrases.

Amazon advertising complexity adds up quickly and can easily turn into a full time job in itself.

There are 2 basic ways to automate your Amazon PPC advertising.

  • You can outsource your advertising completely
  • You can use software to help automate your keyword bidding

Personally, I have tried both methods with varying degrees of success.

If you want to completely outsource your Amazon advertising, I recommend Seller Labs. Last year, I hired Seller Labs to manage my Amazon PPC entirely and they produced excellent results.

Click here to read my case study where I reveal all of my sales and revenue numbers from this experiment.

The second way to automate your PPC is by using a tool like Ignite.

Ignite is Amazon advertising software that allows you to quickly evaluate the performance of your campaigns and receive customized recommendations for you to take action.

It’s completely integrated with Amazon and you can manage all of your campaigns from within Ignite.

Instead of sorting through spreadsheets and manually adjusting bids, Ignite uses machine learning algorithms to make intelligent suggestions about your bids and campaigns.

Here’s a sample screenshot of Ignite’s latest recommendations for my advertising campaigns.

Ignite Example

According to Ignite, I should mark the keyword “servilletas para tortillas” as an exact match negative keyword because it is not performing well.

With a single click of the “approve” button, Ignite will automatically make that a negative keyword in my campaign.

By using a tool like Ignite, you can semi-automate your Amazon PPC campaigns by outsourcing your keyword management to software. All you have to do is approve the suggestions and over time, your ROI will improve.

Click Here To Sign Up For Ignite

Amazon Automation #6: Automate Email And SMS Collection

It’s no secret that Amazon hides all of your customer information from you. In fact, Amazon now removes the customer’s name from all orders!

In order to get your customer’s email address and phone number, you have to resort to other means and this is where a tool like ManyChat comes in.

ManyChat allows you to create a Facebook Messenger bot to automate customer info collection. Here’s how it works.

First, you create an enticing Facebook ad to attract customers to your product. In this example, I’m giving away my Amazon product for free with a rebate.

When they click on the ad, they are taken to Facebook Messenger where they are presented with the offer.

Rebate 1

After they click “Yes”, I provide them with full directions on how to buy my product on Amazon.

Amazon Rebate 2

After they make a full price purchase, they return to the bot to file for the reimbursement.

Amazon Reimbursement

What’s cool about ManyChat is that the user’s email address and phone number are prepopulated in the form based on information that Facebook already has about the user.

As a result, there’s no typing required and the conversion rates are fantastic!

If you implement the rebate flow correctly, here’s what you stand to gain.

  • An email address
  • A SMS phone number
  • A Facebook Messenger subscriber
  • A full priced Amazon sale
  • An Amazon review

Click Here To Sign Up For ManyChat

Amazon Automation #7: Automate Pricing To Obtain The Buy Box

amazon repricers

If you sell other people’s products on Amazon, your ability to win the buy box will be almost entirely price driven.

As a result, if you are NOT selling private label products on Amazon and your business model is wholesale, retail arbitrage or online arbitrage, you will need to use a repricer.

An Amazon repricer is software that automatically updates the pricing of your products so that you win the buy box. After all, if you don’t have the buy box, you can’t generate any sales.

Here’s how it works.

  • Sign up for a repricing tool and connect it up to your seller central account.
  • Choose to include or exclude which sellers to reprice against.
  • Set your minimum and maximum price thresholds.
  • Apply a strategy based on your desired profit margins and inventory levels.

Once you’ve set up your repricing rules, the software tool will automatically adjust your prices to make sure you get the buy box while still making an acceptable profit.

Please note that Amazon repricing software is only required if you don’t own your own brand.

When you sell your own private label products, you will always have the buy box 100% of the time because you are the only seller.

Is Amazon Automation Required?

When it comes to Amazon automation, I always prefer outsourcing to a machine over a human:) But not all software will have the features that you need.

If you find that the software solutions mentioned in this post don’t meet your needs, there are a number of ways to outsource your Amazon tasks to contractors that specialize in Amazon.

For example, you can use a service like 2ndOffice to find a full time Filipino VA to manage your Amazon listings. Every VA at 2ndOffice is specifically trained in ecommerce.

In addition, 2ndOffice provides an office and the necessary infrastructure such as a computer, Internet access and backup power.

However, if all you need are temporary Amazon contractors, then a firm like Urtasker offers trained workers who will manage your Amazon operations on your behalf.

The contractors at Urtasker can be hired on a per project basis and are a very cost effective way to outsource your Amazon operations.

Whether you decide to use software or human capital is up to you, but you should automate your Amazon operation as much as you can so you can focus on the aspects of your business that matter.

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About Steve Chou

Steve Chou is a highly recognized influencer in the ecommerce space and has taught thousands of students how to effectively sell physical products online over at ProfitableOnlineStore.com

His blog, MyWifeQuitHerJob.com, has been featured in Forbes, Inc, The New York Times,  Entrepreneur and MSNBC.  

He's also a contributing author for BigCommerce, Klaviyo, ManyChat, Printful, Privy, CXL, Ecommerce Fuel, GlockApps, Privy, Social Media Examiner, Web Designer Depot, Sumo and other leading business publications.

In addition, he runs a popular ecommerce podcast, My Wife Quit Her Job, which is a top 25 marketing show on all of Apple Podcasts

To stay up to date with all of the latest ecommerce trends, Steve runs a 7 figure ecommerce store, BumblebeeLinens.com, with his wife and puts on an annual ecommerce conference called The Sellers Summit.  

Steve carries both a bachelors and a masters degree in electrical engineering from Stanford University. Despite majoring in electrical engineering, he spent a good portion of his graduate education studying entrepreneurship and the mechanics of running small businesses.