The novel coronavirus (COVID-19), which started in China, has affected not only human health but also the economic growth of nations across the globe. If you are an Amazon seller and rely on Chinese suppliers, odds are you have already felt the impacts of the Novel coronavirus outbreak on your supply chain, marketplace ranking, and bottom line. eComengine goes into details about the effects of coronavirus on eCommerce.
In the meantime, it is important to keep a watchful eye on Amazon’s latest news and policies so you can protect your Amazon seller account health and lessen the damage it may have on your business.
Last month, Amazon posted the following notice on the Amazon Seller Central portal:
Important notification regarding impacts of the Novel Coronavirus
We are aware that the Novel Coronavirus and related actions are impacting millions of individuals around the world.
If your business operations may be impacted, we recommend taking precautions to protect your Amazon seller account health. These precautions may include canceling previously placed orders that you are no longer able to fulfill, placing your account in vacation status, or taking additional steps to manage your inventory. You can learn more on relevant Help pages in Seller Central:
- Order cancellations
- Listing status for vacations, holidays, and other absences
- Update your listings from the Manage Inventory page
If your performance metrics have been impacted by this event, please include a brief description of how your business was impacted when you respond to the relevant performance notification in Seller Central. We will consider this unforeseen event when we evaluate your account’s recent performance.
Amazon Removing Fake Products “Killing” Coronavirus
With a goal to reduce misinformation and protect consumers on its platform, Amazon is pulling listings that claim to treat or cure the coronavirus as CNBC reports. Amazon met with the World Health Organization to discuss how to stop the spread of false information on its platform. Amazon’s immediate action involves removing all listings that target fearful consumers through deceptive language. The marketplace invests heavily to prevent the sale of counterfeits and has zero tolerance for sellers who violate its policies.
If you discover a fake product claiming to treat or cure the coronavirus, ignore them and consider filing a report to Amazon.
At SellerMobile, we value the health and safety of your seller account. We put together some of the best steps you can take so you can maintain your Amazon business in great shape despite the impacts of the novel coronavirus outbreak.
Devise an emergency management plan
If you have been sourcing items from China, you probably have felt shipment delays and product shortages by now. There is no assurance when factories will reopen and resume normal production. With that said, start looking for alternate suppliers so you have a backup ready in case things spiral downwards. While China offers the lowest prices and most efficient production, there are also plenty of good manufacturing factories outside of China – like in India, Cambodia, Malaysia and Turkey.
Additionally, stay in touch with your suppliers in China and encourage them to be upfront with you about their limitations. An honest, open communication will help you determine which items and parts you need to source outside China.
Slashed advertising spending on items that face low inventory
Advertising products that are running low or out of stock could have a negative effect on your seller metric. Amazon will not display your listing at the top of the search results or anywhere else, and may even blacklist you. Furthermore, Amazon advertising does not link ads to product availability, which means your ad will continue to run even when your product is about to sell out. When a customer clicks on your out-of-stock item, the platform will suggest an in-stock item instead. In worst case scenario, it will show your competitor’s product.
If you are currently running Amazon advertising or using external ads to drive traffic to your Amazon business, reducing or completely cutting your ad spend will decrease the number of customer visits to your product detail pages. While this could surely hurt your search results and organic ranking, it is better to fall off 20 to 30% instead of 100%.
Use an advanced inventory management tool
Having strong inventory management system in place will help you keep track of products in stock and monitor your products as they are transported from your garage to the warehouse and then from the warehouse to the customer. So when an order is placed, you can deliver it to the customer straight away, thus providing a great shopping experience every time. A good inventory management tool will also provide you with daily performance reports in terms of sales and profit, allowing you to get a clear view and better understanding of your business, which will then help you in making better decisions in the future.
Take advantage of SellerMobile’s Inventory Manager so you can easily monitor your suppliers and stock levels. Our tool will also integrate your listings, sales orders and shipping data so you can streamline your business processes in one place.
Be in the loop of the latest updates about COVID-19
Stay informed on the developments of coronavirus and take proactive steps in maintaining a safe and healthy environment within your household, workplace and community. Understand the symptoms and risks relating to coronavirus, and the best practices you can do everyday to stay healthy and protect yourself from the flu.
Symptoms of coronavirus include a cough, possibly with a fever and shortness of breath or other respiratory issues, which usually appear within 2 to 14 days. One of the best protective measures against coronavirus is washing your hands with soap and water thoroughly and regularly. If that is not possible, clean your hands with an alcohol-based hand rub. More information about the coronavirus can be found on the CDC website.
We have no idea what’s going to happen but we are really hoping that the impacts of the Novel coronavirus will only be a temporary disruption that will slow down in the coming weeks. Stay tuned for more updates.