How To Outsource Your Amazon Operation

Amazon has come a long way since Jeff Bezos launched it in his garage in 1994. 25 years after that, it has become the world’s largest retailer and a household name when it comes to online shopping. Today, there are 119,928,851 million products available on Amazon as of April 2019. In addition, it ranks as the most popular shopping apps in the United States with 150.6 million mobile users.

Amazon is trusted by customers. In a recent survey involving more than 2,000 US customers, 89 percent of buyers say they are likely to buy products from Amazon rather than other ecommerce sites. Without a doubt, Amazon is the king of ecommerce shopping. Proof of this is the fact that there are an estimated 103 million US Amazon Prime subscribers. This is up from 95 million in June 2018.

However, as popular as it is, learning how to operate an Amazon business can be a little tricky. If you have an online store on Amazon’s platform, it involves more than just listing your products on the Marketplace. It involves other tasks like fulfilling orders, tracking inventory, coordinating with shipping companies, suppliers, and others.

These tasks are simple but it can take your focus away from what you need to do and that is to manage your business. It can become even tougher if you will also be assuming the role of accountant, marketing specialist, SEO, customer service, etc. You want to be “ON” the business instead of “IN” it.

With this in mind, you need to learn how to outsource your Amazon operations. In any business, the owner cannot be a “jack-of-all-trades.” You have to accept the fact that you may not have the technical skills or expertise to answer customer queries or editing images to suit Amazon’s standards for product pages. Bottom line is it may not be as simple as you thought it was.

Every business has its pain points which could hinder you from growing your business. The solution is to focus on business growth and outsource the tasks that stop you from becoming successful as an ecommerce retailer. This article will delve on the following topics:

  1. Why Outsource Your Amazon Business?
  2. Tasks You Can Delegate To A Provider
  3. Freelance or In-House Employees: Which to Choose?
  4. Steps In Outsourcing Amazon Operations
  5. How To Outsource Fulfillment: Questions To Ask When Looking For A Fulfillment Partner

Why Outsource Your Amazon Business?

You are just starting out on Amazon

By outsourcing, the agency will handle all the aspects of your operation. They can also come up with a distribution strategy and help with your distribution needs and implement a custom sales plan for your brand. You should choose a provider that knows the in’s and out’s of Amazon.

You’re just starting to build relationships with Amazon

With Amazon outsourcing, you don’t have to worry about it anymore. The outsourcing company may already have established a good relationship with the Amazon support team. Aside from that, they are always updated with any policy changes. They will keep you informed of these changes so you can make adjustments to your operations.

You’re losing money

Hiring a company that specializes in Amazon FBA outsourcing will help you find where the money drain is coming from. They are familiar with FBA fees, ad spending, and hidden costs. When they are able to trace the source of the money drain, the outsourcing agency will guide you on what to do next to prevent money drain.

You haven’t invested in branding or marketing yet

If you’re just learning the ropes of how to outsource your Amazon operations, you will need to invest in branding and/or marketing. The outsourcing agency will have a clear understanding of advertising, sales, and marketing. By outsourcing, your internal product listings can be optimized and will make your external marketing strategy more efficient.

You have no time for ads

When learning how to outsource your Amazon business, you should realize that most providers have the experience and expertise in managing advertising campaigns. They have a team that understands creative design, ad optimization, and SEO research and can integrate it into your campaign. With the help of the outsourcing company, you will become a better Amazon seller.

Tasks You Can Delegate To A Provider

There is an expression that goes “you have to spend money to make money” How you can make money if you are already drained with tasks you shouldn’t be doing in the first place? You need to rid yourself of tasks that keep you away from doing what you are supposed to be doing — managing your business. Here are some of the tasks that you can delegate to an outsourcing company.

Product Listing and Optimization

A virtual assistant can help you with listing and optimizing your product with the right title, description, product specifications, and images based on Amazon guidelines. They can also constantly monitor, tweak, or update the listing to improve results. The VA will have a better understanding of the constantly changing policies of Amazon and help improve visibility of your product in search engines. The VA can also create an impactful, high quality detail page/enhanced brand content which will further improve SEO and promote brand value.

Product Sourcing

Customers are always looking for new and interesting products. You need the help of someone who is not only keen for high-quality products but also has an understanding for the buying patterns of consumers and recent trends. A product sourcing expert has vast knowledge of what, where, and how to get products. They have a wide network of wholesalers and manufacturers. They can get good deals from sales managers.

Product Photography/Graphic Design

You don’t only need images in your product listings but also in your website, landing pages, and social media pages. A graphic designer can help ensure that you have a professional looking and appealing design for all these sales channels.

Amazon PPC Management

Customer Service

The outsourced customer service can help you with answering calls and emails promptly. They are knowledgeable with answering emails and possess good language skills. A customer service specialist is able to pacify negative emotions and can turn them into positive feedback.

FBA Management

Processing Orders

Feedback and Metrics Management

Bookkeeping

Analyzing Amazon Reports

Freelance or In-House Employees: Which to Choose?

A freelancer will work at a slightly higher hourly rate but won’t do 40 hours of work per week. Aside from that, they may have one or two more Amazon clients and are handling several accounts. The biggest benefit of hiring a freelancer is that you can bring in an expert for a certain period of time without making a long-term commitment.

A freelancer specializes in specific tasks and focuses on those tasks. They gain more practical knowledge by working with several clients. Fulfillment, for example, is a specialized skill that is often outsourced because it often requires efficient management of large inventory of products.

However, there are several drawbacks of outsourcing to a freelancer. First, it may take time for you to find a high-quality freelancer. Second, if you do find one, the provider may tend to be very busy. Third, they generally have a higher hourly rate compared to an in-house employee.

In-house employees, on the other hand, will likely remain in your company for a longer period of time and may eventually seek higher positions. The good thing about in-house employees is that you control their time, activity, and quality.

When it comes to Amazon FBA outsourcing, you need to create Standard Operational Procedures to alleviate interactions between staff and the business owner and also to reduce the length of your on-boarding process for future employees.

How to effectively hire the right professional

Hiring means we failed to execute and need help

The first thing you need to ask yourself when hiring staff is “What don’t I do well?” There is a misconception that hiring or outsourcing is an outcome of success but it isn’t. It is a result of the inability to create enough leverage to grow on your own. It means you need outside help.

Figure out what tasks are the most important for your time

Have a plan for hiring the right staff for the Amazon tasks you will outsource. It is best that you retain the best part for yourself. Potential freelancers that will help scale your business will mostly come from Upwork and other freelance websites so make sure to validate their past experience.

So when is the best time to hire? It is when you are already using just about all of the time that you have allotted to your business.

Steps In Outsourcing Amazon Operations

Check your business scalability

If you have a limited budget, start with simple tasks or hire lower-level freelancers whom you can train. If you have a larger budget, you can hire experienced freelancers who are ready to get to work. You can then save time and money and focus on growing your business.

Put value on your time

Once you have determined your value as an Amazon business owner, the next step in Amazon outsourcing is to start prioritizing the tasks that you need to delegate to a provider. What should you be doing? What gives you the best value for your time? What can you not afford to pass off? This is what you should keep and outsource the rest.

Create Task Descriptions

Find the Freelancer

Interview, Hire, And Onboard

Does your task require specific deadlines? If so, ensure that the freelancer can promptly deliver. The freelancer may be perfect for the job but isn’t available when you need the task to be done. Working in different time zones can be beneficial in customer service but could prove disastrous in other business areas.

During the interview, you should also determine the level of onboarding you require. Some tasks may need instructions and onboarding for company-specific goals. During the onboarding, you need to establish with the freelancer the method of communication and frequency. This is key in establishing a good working relationship.

How To Outsource Fulfillment: Questions To Ask When Looking For A Fulfillment Partner

Outsourcing fulfillment can be complex because it requires building relationships with carriers, process orders, pick and pack and making sure that goods are properly labeled and shipped to the customer within a reasonable time.

As your sales grow, making timely and efficient fulfillment can become overwhelming. Eventually, costs will go up and sales velocity will fluctuate. Maintaining an appropriate number of warehouse employees becomes a challenge and order volume can quickly exceed your capacity to cope up with the demands.

When learning how to outsource your Amazon business, you realize that outsourcing fulfillment makes sense. The provider will store products in their own warehouses, use their own software and machinery, and hire the pick and pack employees. However, not all fulfillment providers are equal. Some are designed to work with smaller retailers while others are more effective with larger businesses.

In order to make Amazon outsourcing easier, asking the right questions will help you make the best decision for your e-commerce store.

Why Should I Outsource?

Faster delivery times

Raise conversion rates by leveraging fast shipping tags

Fast shipping tags can help your store stand out in search results and raise your conversion rate. With Amazon Marketplace becoming a competitive arena, it can be hard to stand out. Fast shipping tags can give you a leg up on the competition.

You want to avoid Amazon’s long-term storage rates

You want to diversify beyond Amazon

You want to focus on growth

Questions to ask when choosing a fulfillment provider

Pricing

  • Receive
  • Storage
  • Box
  • Pick and Pack
  • Label Printing
  • Shipping
  • Workorders
  • Long Zone Fees
  • Account Fees

Supported fast tags

Supported integrations

What products can you take?

Capacity constraints

Warehouse locations

FBA prep

Reimbursement policy

How quickly can you start?

airisX provides business services: from onshore, nearshore, and offshore services to contract manufacturing to warehousing and fulfillment.

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