What Exactly is Amazon Automation Anyway
Amazon automation can mean two different things:
- A set of processes or technologies that automatically perform routine business functions, such as order fulfillment and customer service chatbots, to achieve higher operational efficiency and reduce costs.
- An agency often called an Automation Store, offers to build and manage your Amazon business for you.
Let’s break down the two meanings of Amazon automation, which of the two is actually controversial and which is probably better to run your Amazon business, well, automatically.
This post covers:
- Amazon automation of specific business tasks
- Amazon automation turnkey stores
- Amazon automation is a potential scam
- How to use Amazon automation to scale your business
- How to ensure you get reimbursed for Amazon automation errors, almost automatically
Amazon Automation of Specific Business Tasks
While the term “Amazon automation” implies some kind of robots, such as a chatbot or inventory management software, it isn’t always.
Simply put, automation performs certain routine tasks without requiring your direct involvement. Examples include third-party software tools that automate various business processes, such as email campaign management, accounting, and inventory management tools. It also includes actual robots, though of a software variety rather than metallic. Chatbots are a type of software automation that can answer customer service queries in natural language as if a real human were responding.
Amazon automation refers to third-party fulfillment. Essentially you are outsourcing warehousing and order fulfillment to another business that charges you for providing this service. Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA) is such a service whereby you send products to Amazon fulfillment centers to pack and ship customer orders, as well as handle returns and manage inventories.
Amazon Automation Turnkey Stores
Another type of automation claims to take the FBA model to an even higher level, to actually run your entire Amazon business for you. This encompasses everything from finding your products, setting up your Amazon account, listing, and advertising products, fulfilling orders. And then they share profits with you.
So what’s the catch? They ask for an upfront investment that typically isn’t small. And there’s no guaranteed return on investment, other than marketing hyperbole.
There’s considerable discussion, pro or con, about whether an automated store is a worthwhile investment. While there are reputable companies that perform this kind of Amazon automation, caution is advised.
When is Amazon Automation a Scam?
It’s no news that the Internet is full of questionable counsel and scams. While there are certainly reputable Amazon automation stores that do deliver on their promises, there are just as many, if not more, that don’t. Hence the controversy about automation, which is not to be confused with the tools you can use to perform routine business processes.
Be careful of those who want an inordinately high upfront fee to get started, or that ask for a high percentage cut of your profits. It takes a certain amount of trust to expect a third party to run your business on your dime without any direct participation or control on your part.
So tread carefully, particularly of those that require an inordinately high upfront fee and/or ask for a high percentage cut of your profits. If something is too good to believe, you probably shouldn’t.
If all you had to do to run an Amazon business is hand it off to some turnkey third-party, you’d expect most Amazon sellers to do that. Most don’t.
How to use Amazon Automation to Scale Your Business
What many Amazon sellers are doing is automating routine processes that free up their limited time and resources to focus on growing and scaling their business. To quickly review, these types of automation include:
- Order fulfillment process, either through third-party logistics (3PL) providers or FBA
- Virtual assistants and/or freelancers to perform certain tasks such as customer service or product listing optimization
- Software that automates such activities as sales and profit tracking, review requests, and email campaign creation and management, customer service inquiries
There’s no controversy about these automation tools. They demonstrably result in lower operating costs and better customer experiences. You can then reinvest your time from performing tedious tasks into marketing your business, boosting your sales, broadening and enhancing your product lines, and possibly positioning your business for a future profitable sale.
FBA, in particular, is a great option for new and smaller Amazon sellers to automate the “grunt work” of starting a business. Your products also qualify for Prime free 2-day shipping and closer alignment with the Amazon brand.
Of course, FBA isn’t free. There are fulfillment fees and storage costs, as well as fees for returns processing, oversized items, and long-term inventory storage, among others.
Ensure Reimbursement for Amazon Automation Errors
Also, be aware that automation of order fulfillment and inventory management is not without mistakes. While Amazon does reimburse you for these, it doesn’t always do so automatically.
Fortunately, there is an Amazon automation that ensures you are properly compensated for when Amazon errors do occur in mishandling inventories and order fulfillment.
GETIDA performs a full Amazon audit of the past 18 months of all your transactions to identify discrepancies eligible for Amazon FBA reimbursement. An easy-to-read online dashboard displays all open cases, case status, and received reimbursements, as well as FBA inventory transactions, refunds, and seller data analytics.
There’s no cost for this analysis. With your approval, a GETIDA team of former Amazon FBA reimbursement employees presents and follows up on your claims to the appropriate Amazon departments. Also at no charge. You only pay a percentage of whatever claims are successful. Which could be considerable.
It’s also free to sign up for GETIDA. Even better, you can get $400 in free FBA Reimbursements to try them out.