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The term ‘Amazon automation’ is often used in the same vein as ‘passive income’ and ‘automated online business’, but not a lot of people know what it means. 

Granted, considering the complexity of setting up and scaling an online business, all of us could use extra assistance in managing our Amazon stores. However, for many sellers, the risk of falling prey to scam artists is reason enough to avoid seeking Amazon automation services.

So what is Amazon automation? And is it worth hiring automation service providers? In this blog, we’re going to explain what Amazon automation is, its types, and whether you should automate your Amazon business at all!

What is Amazon Automation?

Simply put, Amazon automation refers to outsourcing a part or the entirety of your Amazon business to a third-party service provider or seller tools. You can also delegate—and by virtue, automate—specific tasks to Amazon like shipping products to customers, managing returns, and handling customer support via FBA (Fulfillment by Amazon)

To summarize, Automating your Amazon store using credible seller tools is a good idea; it’s an inexpensive way of streamlining your business and freeing up time to do other things, as you’ll learn by going through the rest of this blog.

Are Amazon Automation Services a Scam?

That’s tough to answer; there’s no concrete data to go by to make a definitive claim whether Amazon automation services providers are mostly scam artists. Sellers have shared positive experiences when outsourcing the management of their Amazon stores whereas others claim to have been robbed of their capital. 

Sometimes, the service providers aren’t out there to scam sellers outright by soliciting account information—some just charge ridiculous sums for their services or an unreasonable percentage cut of the profits. 

Of course, the presence of a few bad eggs shouldn’t cause us to think poorly of all Amazon automation service providers. If you find yourself sitting on the fence, here’s some advice that will help you make the right decision:

  • Amazon’s services: Think FBA, sponsored ads, report generation—business automation services/tools offered by Amazon itself that are trustworthy and should be relied on to grow your business.
  • Third-party service providers: Spend your time researching and reading up on reviews. The best case scenario is getting live feedback from friends or people you trust before hiring an agency or a virtual assistant. 
  • Seller toolkits: Second only to Amazon’s services. Reputable Amazon seller tools partly—and in some cases fully—automate various aspects of an Amazon business. In some cases, a subscription to holistic seller tools costs significantly less than hiring Amazon automation service providers.

Now that you understand what Amazon automation means, let’s go over the ‘why’—why should you invest your hard earned money into automating your Amazon business?

Benefits of Amazon Automation

Here are some benefits of automating your online business:

Free up your time 

Time is money, and no matter how much people like to promote Amazon as a ‘side-hustle’, unless you’re willing to commit serious hours, creating a successful Amazon store will remain a distant dream. Fortunately, expert service providers and powerful software automate the more mundane tasks and enable sellers to focus on what really matters: growing their business.

Create a passive income stream 

Business is all about return on investment. You incur subscription fees for seller tools and pay fixed salaries to automation service providers, sure. But in return, your Amazon business switches to auto-pilot mode and in some instances, ends up creating a passive income stream. 

Hire expertise 

Mastering all aspects of Amazon selling is really hard which is why there are so few industry experts around. It takes years of learning coupled with practical experience to gain a holistic understanding of seller policies, ranking strategies, product research methodologies, and whatever else it takes to build successful brands. 

By hiring the services of automation experts, you’re bypassing all of that hard work and setting yourself up to create a truly self-sustaining Amazon business.

To better understand Amazon automation, let’s discuss a bit about the different types of selling models on Amazon and how automation applies to each model. 

Amazon Automation and Selling Models on Amazon

Amazon automation is popular with three selling models on Amazon namely:

  • Wholesale
  • Dropshipping
  • Private label

Let’s go over and study each one.

Amazon Wholesale

The wholesale model involves purchasing products in bulk at discounted prices and listing them on Amazon for sale. What makes this model viable is the discounted price you get from purchasing large inventories. It’s cheaper to start a wholesale business than private label but it also has its own fair share of challenges.

The pitfalls associated with wholesaling include having to purchase enormous quantities or ‘buy in’ amounts to win a contract with manufacturers. Secondly, your ability to do business hinges on buyer demand, should the demand decrease for whatever reason, you’re left with thousands of dollars’ worth of inventory that’s also incurring Amazon inventory storage fee.

Unless you have tons of free space, storing goods at your residence may not be a good idea.

So how does all that relate to Automation? Well, you might come across Amazon wholesale automation providers who secure contracts and then sell products on your behalf. In essence, such individuals or companies automate your Amazon wholesale business without you having to lift a finger. 

Even if you’re availing A-Z Amazon wholesale services, always keep an eye on your seller metrics and hold your service providers accountable based on agreed-upon milestones.

Amazon Dropshipping

Amazon Dropshipping is when a manufacturer or third-party supplies, stores, and ships products to customers while you take care of the marketing and customer support side of the business. 

Dropshipping on Amazon is legal but there are plenty of rules and regulations you must follow at all times. Step out of line and a suspension might soon follow. Amazon dropshipping is perhaps the riskiest selling model to automate. That’s because you’re at the mercy of your supplier—if they fail to deliver or live up to expectations you’ll be the one to suffer and that too, at no fault of your own.

Another drawback of dropshipping is the competition and margins involved. To win the buy box (i.e. all orders redirect to you instead of your competitors), sellers will fight on price which may mean low profits or even selling at a loss. Plus, you’re not creating or adding any sort of value to your business which is also true for wholesale.

To make Amazon dropshipping worthwhile, automation service providers usually manage hundreds of product listings on your seller central account. However, according to Amazon’s drop shipping policy, if another seller is found sourcing a product from the same supplier you or your service provider are sourcing from, then not only is that counter-intuitive, but also opens up the possibility of getting banned indefinitely.

If you really want to reap the fruits of Amazon automation, go for private label selling. The risks are far fewer and there’s every bit of opportunity to create a self-sustaining business and inch closer to financial freedom, which conveniently brings us to the next segment.

Amazon Private Label

Automating an Amazon FBA business makes the most sense; it’s simultaneously the most complex and rewarding selling model. The seller central dashboard provides access to tools and services (both paid and free) that enable you to automate your eCommerce business without any fear of going against Amazon’s Seller Code of Conduct.

In private label, virtually every aspect of selling can be automated via a tool or a service provider. Yet nowhere are the benefits of Amazon automation more clear than FBA: the ability to outsource both shipping and customer support to Amazon for a per unit sale percentage-based fee.

The majority of private label sellers use FBA and considering the advantages of this automation method (which we’ll go over soon), it’s not difficult to see why.

Aside from shipping, you can also choose to automate:

  • Product, niche, and keyword research
  • Identifying and sourcing suppliers
  • Inventory management
  • Advertising 
  • Listing optimization
  • Refund handling
  • Customer support
  • Soliciting customer reviews (while remaining within Amazon’s Terms of Service)
  • Order processing
  • Bookkeeping
  • Email campaigns

Some automation options are part and parcel of the professional selling plan whereas others require extra fees. Let's discuss some automation strategies with the potential to elevate your eCommerce business to the next stage!

Automating an Amazon FBA Business the Right Way

The following information is a 101 guide on how Amazon automation works for the different areas of FBA selling.

Automate the Shipping Process via Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA)

Fulfillment by Amazon is a service available to every seller irrespective of marketplace. Through this program, you’re able to leverage Amazon’s massive logistics network and automate the entire shipping process. 

Once your product exits the manufacturer’s warehouse, all you have to do is ship them to an Amazon fulfillment center. From that point on, Amazon will handle the receiving, product packing, shipping, returns, and customer service. And considering how 84% of US shoppers consider free delivery the single most important factor when ordering online, FBA is just the competitive edge you need to succeed in the digital realm.

To automate the fulfillment process, you must first find out whether your product is prohibited for sale via FBA or not. Once that clears out, create a new product listing and select Fulfillment by Amazon over Fulfillment by Merchant (FBM). If you already have a listing created and want to switch from FBM to FBA:

  1. Hover over the Inventory tab in seller central
  2. Select Manage Inventory
  3. On the right-hand side of the product listing, click on the Edit button
  4. From the drop-down menu, select Change to Fulfilled by Amazon
You can fulfill orders via FBA and FBM simultaneously!

Remember, you can also automate Amazon shipping without opting for FBA by choosing a third-party logistics service provider or someone recommended by Amazon. In most cases, however, FBA proves to be the most economical order fulfillment method.

Email Automation

Email marketing is an underutilized and powerful tool. Just how powerful you ask? For every $1 spent on email marketing, businesses can expect to make $36—that’s an astounding 3,600% ROI. The more personalized an email is, the more likely it is that the customer initiates the desired response. By running email marketing campaigns, you can expect:

  • To improve your brand image and increase the likelihood of repeated purchases
  • Analyze the data from these campaigns to continually improve your marketing efforts 
  • Increase customer loyalty

In light of these benefits, it makes all the sense in the world to automate your email marketing efforts. Hiring a VA or email marketing expert can prove to be costly. A financially viable option is to use a reputable Email Automator software which acts as a convenient set-it-and-forget-it solution for your email marketing needs.

Review Automation

Customer reviews are an important metric used by Amazon to judge how well-received a product is and assign a BSR (Best Seller Rank) accordingly. Sometimes, buyers might purchase your product, like it, but forget to leave behind a review. 

However, if someone—for whatever reason—does not like your product, they’ll be sure to leave behind a negative review and let potential buyers know what they think. It's unfortunate, but that’s just how things work. Soliciting positive customer reviews isn’t easy—especially when Amazon limits seller-buyer interactions and heavily penalizes those who directly ask for positive feedback. 

An average review rating of 4.5+ is considered really good!

For these reasons (and more), Automating customer reviews while remaining within Amazon’s guidelines is something all sellers wish for. One way of achieving safe review automation is by using Zonguru’s Review Automator tool. 

This tool leverages Amazon’s review request system and reminds buyers to submit a review to let others know what they think about your product. Using the review automator, you can expect an influx of customer reviews without worrying about creating customized templates, going against Amazon’s seller policies, or manually sending out review requests. 

Just incorporate your seller central account with the Review automator tool and you’re good to good.

Product Listing Optimization

A product listing (also referred to as a product detail page) acts as a visual representation of your storefront. Along with buyer reviews, customers set product expectations based on how well-optimized your listings are. Create an attractive and optimized product detail page by:

Selecting the right keywords

Using the right keywords in both the front and back-end sections of your product listing is an art form. It provides information to buyers about your product but even more than that, guides Amazon’s algorithm on how to categorize and rank your product. 

Keywords can’t be used haphazardly but have to be systematically placed within the title, bullet points, product description, and at the back-end as well. The better you are at positioning relevant and high search volume keywords, the more Amazon will favor your listing over those belonging to your competitors.

Visit our guide and learn how to perfect the sweet science of Amazon listing optimization.

Using High-Quality Images and Copy

Low-resolution imagery coupled with poor content are reasons enough for potential buyers to avoid viewing your listing altogether. Make sure your product detail page has zero grammatical mistakes, poorly structured content, and low-res images that cause visitors to squint just to see what your product looks like. Investing in both these things pays off big dividends.

So the main question is: how to automate Amazon product listing optimization? You have two options here:

  1. Hire a qualified product listing optimization expert from any freelancing platform like Fiverr and Upwork, or 
  2. Use a seller software that can uncover relevant and high-volume keywords and also provide cues on how to optimize your product listing.

If you’re still uncertain how to proceed forward, we recommend visiting the top sellers within your niche, see how they’ve optimized their listings, and try to emulate what niche leaders are doing. 

Automate Advertising via Amazon PPC (Pay-Per-Click) 

Running and managing PPC ad campaigns is a must for any automated Amazon business. It’s the main method of advertising your products to potential customers based on a pay-per-click model. 

PPC ads are of three main types: Sponsored products, Sponsored brands, and Sponsored Display, and all three are automated i.e. you just have to set up and launch your ad campaign and let Amazon handle the rest.

An example of a Sponsored product ad found at the top of the first page

After your product listing goes live, the first step in generating organic sales is by bringing in paid traffic via sponsored ads. Like listing optimization, there’s a lot of thought and research that needs to go into creating and managing ad campaigns. If you’re new to online selling and need extra help with Amazon advertising, here’s a comprehensive Amazon PPC strategy and training guide!

Hire a Virtual Assistant or an Agency

Getting extra help in the form of a virtual assistant (VA) or an agency is becoming an increasingly popular way to automate an online business and save time. You’ve already read up on the challenges faced when hiring automation service providers, so here are some tips to ensure you bring the right people on board:

  1. Hire people or agencies off freelancing platforms like Upwork, LinkedIn, and Fiverr. You can view peoples’ profiles to gain a fair understanding of their experience and skill level. 
  2. Ask people you know if they’ve worked alongside reliable agencies or virtual assistants; live recommendations are generally more reliable than online reviews
  3. Read the terms and conditions carefully when agreeing to work with agencies. Set clear expectations and hold your employees accountable.

In our opinion, automating your Amazon business with the help of seller software is easier and risk-free, you get what you paid for. Plus, most SaaS (software as a service) providers offer round the clock customer support along with supplementary training material. 

Conclusion – Automate Your Amazon Business Today

Congratulations! You’ve covered almost everything there is to know about Amazon automation; however, the learning never stops. The ‘world’ of Amazon is enormous and ever changing—new policies and tools are introduced, selling strategies are updated, and the slightest of changes to the online landscape forces sellers to rethink the way they run their businesses.

Operating under the tutelage of successful and well-established sellers is one of the most effective ways to compete against big players and come out on top. To ensure you—the reader—are equipped with all the theoretical and practical tools needed to thrive in a competitive marketplace like Amazon, we conduct weekly live training sessions to share the knowledge and insights that have already helped numerous sellers dominate their niche!

Get free Amazon FBA training from the experts!

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