This article was sponsored by ManageByStats.
Most Amazon private label sellers have the same needs, and follow the same process. It starts with detailed market research, so the products you source will have the best possible chance of succeeding.
Even with great products, success doesn’t just happen by accident. Building sales momentum usually takes a lot of advertising, and asking customers for product reviews.
But how do you know if all your marketing efforts are working? You’ll need to monitor your search ranking, sales and profitability to find out. Once orders are flowing, you’ll need to plan when to restock and how many units to buy, or sales will come to a dead stop.
Market research. PPC ads. Review requests. Search rank. Reporting. Restocking. It’s a lot to think about. Many sellers use software to manage and automate each of these tasks, and end up using 5-10 separate apps, each with their own monthly subscription to pay.
ManageByStats, or MBS, takes a different approach. It’s one system which covers just about everything an Amazon private label seller needs.
Why the all-in-one approach?
Many popular tools for Amazon sellers are “point solutions” – they address just one need or problem, such as market research or automating feedback requests. Sellers get used to the idea that every time they discover a new challenge, they need to go looking for another piece of software.
MBS started as a point solution too. Philip Jepsen, the company’s CEO, is a private label seller himself, and in 2014 he was selling on Amazon for other businesses as well. Philip found that Amazon’s standard reports didn’t tie all expense types (fees, refunds, promo discounts, ad costs etc.) back to individual products. Reporting on the profitability of specific products would have been very useful for his own private label, and was crucial for separating out the orders he was handling for other sellers.
To find a solution, Philip tested a lot of third-party software, but there was no tool available that addressed this key problem. Instead, he fell back to manual spreadsheet work to properly reconcile all of his Amazon account transactions. It took several hours to complete every week.
The benefits of developing an automated tool to address this problem were clear: accurate reporting on a daily basis and saving countless hours of manual effort. That tool was created and it became the first version of MBS: a system which reconciled Amazon transaction data to accurately show the profit on every sale, product and brand.
From there, it just took off. Each time Philip encountered a new challenge in his private label business, the solution was added to MBS. In some cases, it was a no-brainer to extend the system straight away. Other times, such as with email automation, he used third-party tools until he reached the limits of what they could do. Then, the solution would be built into MBS.
So, the growth of MBS into an all-in-one tool for Amazon sellers was an organic process that happened over time. The needs of genuine Amazon sellers have always come first in shaping the system, rather than a marketing machine carving out separate tools to maximize subscription fees.
Here’s a breakdown of the main modules in MBS.
Stats and Graphs
Stats cover sales activity and settled financials. The stats can be sorted by several criteria, including monthly, yearly and weekly periods, and you can view them by product, brand, SKU or ASIN.
Graphs are divided into sales performance, where users can identify sales trends, and marketing performance, where users can see how their advertising is doing.
Under sales performance, users can view charts including:
- Quantities ordered and shipped
- Sales revenue before and after discounts
- Net payment after fees
- Cost of goods sold
- Buy box ownership and conversion rate
- Number of reviews and average review rating
Marketing performance graphs look at crucial data like:
- Sponsored Products Ads cost
- Impressions and clicks
- Click through rate and average cost per click
Like the other MBS modules, Customers provides a level of detail that isn’t easily accessible in Amazon Seller Central. You’ll find details of past transactions and buyer history, allowing you to identify trends and repeat buyers.
Customers can be searched and filtered by variables including:
- Order number
- Buyer name
- Phone number
- Geographical location (city, state, country)
Users can generate their own customized reports and use a repeat buyers report showing the number of orders each customer placed, number of different SKUs purchased, total value of all orders and more.
Transactions contains all items ordered by your customers on Amazon. It includes the ability to:
- View order costs and the volume of orders made
- See promotional codes used
- View shipment tracking information
- Find the amount of sales tax incurred
- Generate customized reports
An optional Chrome plugin can retrieve product reviews and seller feedback from Amazon.
MBS’s Advertising module, available at an additional cost, provides a full Sponsored Product Ads management tool. It can be used as a complete replacement for Seller Central and will also work alongside it.
MBS advertising features allow you to:
- View Campaigns, pause them, set them active, and create custom views.
- Set default bids for Ad Groups, compare date ranges, and view historical bid changes.
- View individual Ads by SKU and ASIN.
- See keywords and bids, and keyword performance. Sellers can set bids, compare date ranges, and view historical bid changes.
- Add and adjust Negative Keywords.
MBS also has an ad scheduling feature, allowing sellers to pause ads or boost bids during selected hours, helping them manage their ad spend more effectively.
The Products module provides ASIN-level metrics and inventory management features, and the ability to change a product’s Maximum Order Quantity.
Product metrics include:
- Buy Box ownership, over the most recent day and over the last 30 days.
- Unit Session Percentage – the number of product units sold per buyer session – for the most recent day and over the last 30 days.
Access to a product’s Maximum Order Quantity can be a valuable feature, as this is not available through Amazon Seller Central. This limits the number of units that can be purchased in a single order, which you might want to restrict when running special discounts to avoid situations like:
- Competitors clearing out all of your inventory.
- Repeat customers stocking up for a whole year.
Moving on, inventory management is a powerful feature, focused on stock replenishment. It shows the stock status of all products, covering the number of units available at Amazon and the number inbound to FBA.
Sellers can also see:
- The total value of products, whether in stock or on route to FBA.
- The number of units shipped in the last 30 days.
- The lead time to buy more inventory.
- How long the current stock will last, and when to reorder.
Restock alerts can also be set up to receive a notification when more stock should be purchased.
Finder is MBS’s own marketplace research tool, launched in September 2018.
It provides data on over 300,000 best-selling products, updated every day. The results can be filtered by:
- Best seller rank
- Size and weight
- Number of reviews and average rating
- Estimated monthly units sold and revenue
Finder is valuable for all Amazon sellers looking to expand their product catalog. It’s still very new but is already a solid market research tool and and has a lot of potential for the future.
The MBS Keywords Tool is used to monitor where your products rank for specific buyer search terms. Sellers just enter the ASIN and keywords to track, then the system will check the rank on a daily basis and build a record of the search position over time.
By tracking search ranking, sellers can assess the results of their listing optimization and marketing efforts. Most importantly, they can decide what to do next: make changes, switch their efforts to different keywords or start a new promotion, for example.
SellerMail sends automated follow-up emails to customers who have bought your products on Amazon. It is customizable and among other functions allows sellers to:
- Choose how often to contact buyers
- Offer product support
- Ask for product reviews or seller feedback
Before SellerMail can be used effectively, sellers must set up rules to determine when emails will be sent out. These rules can be adapted after they’ve been tested to maximize results.
Templates are included to use as-is or as a starting point for customized messages. Statistics on emails sent and opened can be reviewed on a daily and monthly time scale.
SellerMail is included in the MBS starter package for up to 1,000 emails per month. Higher quotas are available at an additional cost.
SellerBlast is also an email marketing tool, but instead of sending follow-up emails after orders, it can be used to create individual email marketing campaigns.
Here’s how the process works:
- Create a list of recipients by searching for past buyers of specific products. These can be filtered by criteria including whether they have ever been refunded, if they are repeat customers, date of purchase and more. Lists can be used multiple times once set up.
- Create a message template by entering an email subject line, and writing the main email body using the built-in HTML editor. Templates can also be reused.
- Optionally, create a coupon code to include in the email.
- Finally, select the customer list and message template to use, along with your chosen send date and time.
The reporting shows the number of emails sent and opened:
SellerBlast messages are sent through Amazon’s email system. Sellers must be aware of Amazon’s terms and conditions on messaging customers, and make sure they offer additional value based on the buyer’s past purchases.
How much does MBS cost?
ManageByStats offers a 14-day trial period, with no credit card required.
After that, plans start at $59.97 a month which includes all features described above, except the Advertising (PPC management) tool. It includes up to 1,000 SellerMail messages per month, up to 10 keywords tracked in the Keywords Tool, and up to two Amazon selling accounts.
Higher-level plans include the Advertising tool, and increased limits for SellerMail and the Keywords Tool, with support for up to five seller accounts.
After signing up, sellers will need to provide their MWS access token to MBS so it can access the Amazon API on their behalf. MBS also requires limited Seller Central user access so it can generate additional transaction reports that are not yet available through Amazon’s API.
What’s next for MBS?
As sellers themselves, the team at MBS are always adding new features based on their own needs as well as feedback from users.
Their latest project is a complete refresh of the overall look and feel, creating a more modern design and enhancing usability. All the existing features will remain in place, and users will be able to customize the UI to suit their own working preferences.
Upgrades to the Advertising tool are also planned, as well as a more sophisticated inventory system that will allow sellers to track stock levels at multiple locations.
From its beginnings as a purely financial tool, MBS has grown into a real all-in-one system for Amazon sellers. It has particularly rich and sophisticated marketing features, and is showing a lot of potential for product research with the new Finder module.
By providing an all-in-one suite of tools, MBS is a unique and cost effective solution, bringing together many of the components needed to build a successful Amazon private label business.
This post was sponsored by ManageByStats.