Understanding and Preventing Lost Sales on Amazon


You have invested time in finding the right product to sell, perfected your marketing campaigns, and you’ve received high account rankings through amazing customer feedback. Your efforts are finally paying off as you attract potential buyers to visit your Amazon business. However, at the point of purchase, the buyer encounters a roadblock — despite all of your efforts, you are not able to close the deal, because the item is out-of-stock!

After you’ve worked so hard to bait the customer and reel them in– the sale is still lost. Now, the buyer will probably navigate over to a competitor who is selling the same or a similar product, and make the purchase, which will translate into a lost sale for you.

Most Common Reason(s) for Lost Sales

By definition, a lost sale is a selling opportunity you miss out on for items that are out-of-stock. You can’t sell something that isn’t in your inventory. Other reasons may relate to this, like a customer clicking on your ad but not being able to buy the product from you because you’re out of stock. Everything comes back to inventory though.

Pro-Tip: When you use Payability, you always have cash-on-hand based on your Amazon sales—You’re never scrambling to fund your next inventory purchase to prevent lost sales. If you sell over $10,000 monthly average on Amazon, you qualify for daily working capital..

How Can I Reduce Lost Sales? Here Are 5 Ways…

If you’re going to maximize profits and scale your business efficiently, you’ll have to reduce lost sales and more adequately meet market demand. If you don’t go this route, you will unfortunately just keep watching opportunities pass you by.

Know Your Inventory Levels

The first step in effective inventory management is knowing what stock you have on hand. This means tracking not only the number of products you have in stock but also the condition and quality of those products. You should create a system for monitoring and recording these details regularly so that you are always aware of what needs replenishing or replacing. 

Staying organized is key when it comes to managing inventory levels. Make sure all of the data regarding your products—including pricing details, lead times from vendors, order numbers—is kept up-to-date so that everything related to shipping and fulfillment runs smoothly, minimizing the chances of lost sales due to inaccurate information or poor organization. 

Know Your Vendors

It is important to know who your vendors are and how reliable they are. Having reliable vendors will ensure that the items shipped to you will arrive on time and in good condition, which is essential for maintaining healthy inventory levels. It’s also important to stay informed about any changes or updates from vendors so that you can adjust accordingly if anything changes with their product offerings or lead times. This way, if there is ever a delay with an order from a vendor, you’ll be able to plan ahead and make sure that customers still receive their orders in a timely fashion. 

Analyze Your Lost Sales

It is essential to analyze your lost sales, learn from your past mistakes and replenish your stock to meet future demand. This seems so obvious, doesn’t it? But let’s be honest, it is nearly impossible to try to translate all this data on your own for hundreds, maybe thousands of SKUs. This is where you can utilize a third-party software to analyze potential lost sales and help you determine and prevent future lost sales while at the same time avoiding overstocking and paying exorbitant long-term storage fees.

How Do You Analyze Lost Sales?

  • A lost sales analysis tool is capable of analyzing past inventory records to determine out-of-stock items for a given period of time. In general, this tool looks at past lost sales by date, brands, categories and suppliers in order to produce a comprehensive past lost sales report.
  • Once past inventory trends and sales forecasts are analyzed, the tool can then determine potential future lost sales due to out-of-stock items by items, brands, categories and suppliers. It breaks down crucial data for each component, taking that cumbersome chore off your to-do list.
  • A lost sales analysis tool uses accurate and timely reports so it is easy for you to identify where you lost sales, and thus, avoid product shortage in the future. With its in-depth analytics, you are in a better position to restock at the right levels to meet customers’ demands.

Pro-Tip :SellerMobile offers a great tool that will provide you with a competitive edge so you can make the necessary adjustments to reduce inventory gaps, stock best-selling products and meet customer demand.

Utilize Automation Tools to Prevent Lost Sales

Finally, utilizing automation tools can help ensure healthy inventory levels at all times. Automation tools enable sellers to manage their entire supply chain from start to finish with ease. For example, at Payability, we automate payments for Amazon sales daily so you’re not waiting 28 days every time you run out of stock to buy more inventory.

Solutions like SoStocked or Deliverr can help streamline the process even further by automating certain aspects of order fulfillment such as tracking shipments or generating labels for packages headed out for delivery. Other tools like JungleScout help you predict future demand across a wide array of Amazon categories, and much more.

By automating certain processes, sellers can save time and money while eliminating any potential for human error or miscommunication with suppliers or customers—which could lead to lost sales due to incorrect product availability or delivery timelines.

There are tons of different tools out there to help sellers like you grow. Check out our guide below for more tools that can help you optimize your business. 

GUIDE: 18 Tools That Help Amazon Sellers Grow

Be Prepared for Unexpected Changes

Finally, you should always be prepared and have a little wiggle room for unexpected events— good, bad and ugly. Even if you have a solid forecast in place, unexpected events such as supply chain disruptions or a sudden influx of orders can throw off your plans. To prevent lost sales due to inadequately stocked inventory, it’s important to be prepared by having cash-on-hand—or at least extra inventory on hand—at all times. That way, if something unexpected does happen, you’ll be able to meet customer demands without delay. 

What Happens If I Reduce Lost Sales?

Cha-ching! It all comes down to two words “more money.” With the cash on hand to maintain the right inventory levels, you can increase your sales. Using lost sales analysis, you can restock without over-purchasing and hurting your cash flow. And daily Amazon payouts from Payability help you reinvest quickly so you can say goodbye to lost sales for good!

Hiba Weber
Hiba is the Director of Operations at SellerMobile. SellerMobile is full service software solution, created to help Amazon sellers gain a more competitive edge in the marketplace. With a SellerMobile account, sellers have access to comprehensive business analytics and automated tools available in both a mobile app and web platform.

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