This entry comes from our friends over at A2X Accounting. We constantly talk about trends in the marketplace and new ideas for apps! This is a superb summary of many other SaaS products out there that can change the face of your ecommerce company for the better!
E-Commerce applications and integrations make life easier for Amazon FBA merchants. With a bit of clever design, it is possible to create a tech stack that automates away most of the workload involved with successfully running the business, and also makes it much easier to scale for growth.
In this article, we discuss some of our favourite apps and integrations, and how they can be strategically used as part of a comprehensive tech stack for an FBA business. We discuss this topic in more detail in our latest eBook, ‘how to sell your Amazon FBA business’.
Forget traditional desktop bookkeeping software, and excel spreadsheets - use cloud accounting software instead. It will make your life much easier. Xero has developed a highly compatible platform that plugs into many online marketplaces, inventory systems and other apps.
Despite cloud accounting providers such as Xero and QuickBooks being great at integrating with other technologies, they aren’t particularly good at communicating directly with Amazon’s Seller Central. This is where A2X is extremely useful. A2X acts as an information bridge between Seller Central and Xero/QuickBooks.
“A2X will automatically fetch your latest Amazon settlement transactions, and post summarized transactions to your accounting system. Reconcile Amazon settlements down to the cent every time you get paid”
In markets where there are multiple tax authorities such as the United States and Europe, it is important to stay on top of your sales tax obligations. Apps like TaxJar help by automating sales tax calculations, reporting and filing.
At the moment, nexus is a big issue for Amazon FBA sellers in the United States. A recent supreme court ruling has given states much more power to chase merchants for sales tax. As tax collectors begin clamping down on unpaid debts, it is going to become more important than ever to include a sales tax integration in your tech stack.
Inventory management and analytics:
“An accounting system is a 50,000 foot view. It helps you see your whole business, all of the land and you can kinda see some little features here and there. But if you wanna zoom in and look at a very narrow part of your business and try to get detail, granular detail, then that’s where analytics come into it. So they are really complementary. They’re never meant to replace each other, and if you try to get accounting to do analytics or analytics to do accounting, you’re gonna drive yourself insane.”
There are a range of analytics tools that have been developed specifically for Amazon marketplace sellers. ManageByStats and HelloProfit are easy to use, provide a comprehensive overview of where your Amazon business is at, and have deep functionality built in which makes it easy to create a wide range of reports to get a better understanding what’s going on.
If your products are being stored solely in FBA warehouses and only sold through Amazon, then you will probably be able to survive without needing an inventory management system. However, if you are storing merchandise with more than one warehousing provider, and selling through multiple channels (eBay, website, wholesale etc.), an inventory system can be very useful for managing stock levels and communicating this information to each platform. Systems like DEAR and Cin7 plug directly into Seller Central, Xero, Shopify and other platforms - updating inventory levels in realtime and feeding the required information to each component through the use of APIs.
CRM and customer service:
For Amazon FBA businesses, apps like FeedbackGenius make it easy to automatically follow up with customers post-purchase and request feedback and reviews.
“By increasing the amount of reviews that your products receive (as long as they are mainly positive), you can create a self-reinforcing cycle: more positive reviews = more sales; more sales = more positive reviews; more sales = business growth = higher valuation.”
- ‘How to sell your Amazon FBA business’ eBook
As far as customer service is concerned, getting in touch with shoppers post-purchase provides a great way to build trust and credibility, and increases the likelihood of gaining repeat business. If the customer does have a negative experience, apps like FeedbackGenius help to discover what’s wrong, resolve the problem quickly and leave a lasting positive impression with shoppers.
Finance and International Payments:
The costs of currency conversion for international sellers can add up very fast. Modern low-cost remittance services such as WorldFirst are great for keeping exchange fees and commissions down. They provide local receiving accounts in a range of major currencies, and use a simple online interface to streamline the entire process in a cost-efficient manner.
Some eCommerce businesses are beginning to use cryptocurrencies for moving money around the world. However, the payment infrastructure for decentralized ledgers isn’t quite ready for mainstream adoption yet. Over the next 5-10 years, we will see a range of new and innovative apps being built on blockchains that are set to revolutionize international payments.
Balancing cashflows can be a challenge for FBA businesses that sell highly seasonal products. Payability is a cashflow lending integration that provides an elegant solution to the problem of keeping warehouses stocked and suppliers paid during busy periods.
“Payability provides friction-free financing for e-Commerce Sellers so they can buy more inventory, stay in stock, and get the best deals from suppliers.”
Amazon pays merchants their sales revenue (less fees) once every two weeks. Payability provides sellers with cash advances within 24 hours on any sales so that FBA businesses can grow without needing to worry as much about financing constraints.
Learn more with our free guide
“Anything that can be outsourced or automated, should be outsourced or automated. By removing yourself from the driver’s seat wherever possible, you are creating a self-managing asset that is more attractive to potential buyers.”
Buyers want to purchase an income stream, not a full time job. Implementing a comprehensive tech stack allows you to automate away much of the workload involved with operating an FBA business. In our eBook, we discuss the following topics in more detail:
How much is my Amazon FBA business worth, and how do I value it properly?
What can you do to increase the value of your Amazon FBA business?
What are the types of buyers of Amazon FBA businesses?
When is the best time to sell my Amazon FBA business?
Ways of selling an Amazon FBA business.
How to properly handle the sale process - our steps to success.
Practical things to consider when selling your FBA business.
Get your free copy here.