Knowing what you are going to sell is not an easy task. Making use of Amazon’s recommendations sometimes leads you on the best path.
Not selling on Amazon is a problem but falling short many times almost tastes worse. Realizing that you could have sold more but you have not planned well and consequently you are not reducing what you could be reducing limits your growth possibilities.
Amazon makes recommendations to replenish inventory. The algorithm used today is not smart enough and does not take into account what I am going to tell you next.
Historical sales dates
The historical sales data is taken into account by Amazon but it falls short. It only looks at the short term, so the huge rise we see at Christmas does not take them sufficiently into account. My recommendation therefore is basic. You have to analyze the data of an entire year. It is exactly what we are doing right now. We want to know everything we have to have in Amazon warehouses so as not to fall short at the product level. This also allows us to buy product now that it is available from our suppliers but will not be available when we are really going to need it: around Christmas. We buy much more than we are going to need in the short term to be prepared.
Holidays and special days beyond Christmas
Last year at this time we had spectacular sales. The country that stood out was Germany. My explanation at the time was Easter together with the Covid effect that blew up billing. This year we have prepared packs of Pokémon to the beast. With more than 600 units in stock, it is possible to decide that we are well prepared and more so considering that with our sale price we are not being competitive. My intuition told me that the other vendors were going to run out of stock and that was going to be our moment of glory. Nor is it still happening as I expected. After selling almost nothing yesterday there were 44 sales. These days, 100-200 more packs could still come out. I’d rather be overstocked than understocked.
This part is the most complicated and it is the one where you will possibly catch your fingers. I do not dare much to bet on trends. Arriving early allows you to win the biggest prize but as always if there is much to win there is also much to lose. That is why my growth strategy is not so aggressive. We follow trends when they have already become obvious and there is room for manoeuvre. It was the case of Pokémon. In this case we are also talking less about detailed inventory planning but rather about expanding the catalogue.
In summary: Calculating demand correctly is a complex and almost impossible task. You will never be completely right because taking into account past data will never allow you to predict the future well. We make the attempt. It is nonetheless the best you can do.