With the continuous increase of shopping activity online, Amazon has introduced an FBA feature that helps Amazon FBA sellers make temporarily out-of-stock products for sale. Dubbed as In-Stock Head Start, this latest Amazon program aims to benefit both third-party merchants and customers alike.
Amazon FBA sellers experiencing issues involving suppliers, logistics, or business operations in general, will benefit from this program.
With this recently added FBA feature, Amazon stores can now offer customers temporarily out-of-stock products. However, items on offer should have already been shipped to Amazon’s fulfillment centers via specific logistic partners.
This means that even if inventory items are yet to reach the FBA warehouse, FBA sellers may experience higher and more consistent sales. From a customer standpoint, a wider selection of products is expected.
Mechanics of Amazon In-Stock Head Start
Understanding how In-Stock Head Start works is quite simple. By simply sending your inventory items to Amazon’s fulfillment center, your out-of-stock listings will be eligible for the In-Stock Head Start program.
Additionally, Amazon also advises FBA sellers to use Amazon Global Logistic, Amazon Carrier Central, or Partnered Carrier Program for eligibility. Using such carrier options helps facilitate the increased probability of out-of-stock products to be buyable for customers.
Being eligible for the program means that your out-of-stock ASINs will be available for customers to find and the ASINs will still appear on Amazon’s search engine result pages. To enroll your FBA account to the program, you may CLICK HERE.
Reasons FBA Sellers Should Take Advantage of In-Stock Head Start
Since Amazon is very focused on customer service, they usually hide out of stock products from the search engine result pages. The main purpose of hiding out-of-stock items is to avoid customers from being frustrated.
For that matter, enrolling your out-of-stock items to In-Stock Head Start benefits from the DISCOVERABILITY of the items on search engine result pages. Items that are on the way to the fulfillment centers will not be hidden from customers’ search results. Thus, resulting in wider selection and increased traffic to your Amazon store.
As well as discoverability, sellers will also benefit from a potential increase in sales. Out-of-stock items that are normally hidden from search results will now be temporarily available for customers to see and purchase. Hence, resulting in IMPROVED SALES PERFORMANCE.
With In-Stock Head Start, orders are taken from customers while products are in transit, creating a more streamlined and efficient process.
To avoid mistakes with inventory reports, Amazon has categorized In-Stock Head Start in the following way…
The quantity of a SKU that is already in the Amazon fulfillment center and is ready for picking, packing, and shipping will be reflected in “Available Quantity”, while those items on their way to the fulfillment centers will be reflected in “Inbound Quantity” on the Manage Inventory page.
To access the Manage FBA Inventory report and see details about In-Stock Head Start units, you may CLICK HERE.
In-Stock Head Start, Frequently Asked Questions
- About Program Enrolment
Enrolling in the In-Stock Head Start is easy. You should first be an enrolled FBA seller and click this enrollment page HERE for program activation.
- About Incoming Product Eligibility
There are two main criteria for In-Stock Head Start eligibility. First, products should already be in transit to the Amazon fulfillment centers. Secondly, the shipment method should be via the aforementioned carrier partners.
- About Delivery Period
To avoid late deliveries and disappointments to customers, the delivery date assigned for the out-of-stock products will be based on the supposed in-stock date. If a delay does occur, Amazon will simply adjust the in-stock date.
- Putting In-Stock Head Start Feature on Hold
FBA sellers can also pause the In-Stock Head Start feature of Amazon. To put the program on hold, CLICK HERE.
- About Inventory Replenishment
Amazon FBA sellers should not confuse the In-Stock Head Start program with the regular inventory replenishment schedule. The In-Stock Head Start feature is developed for products that infrequently go out of stock, and not for regular inventory replenishment cycles.
The Bottom Line
The main point of this FBA feature is to eliminate disappointment on the part of Amazon shoppers while giving sellers an opportunity to have consistent sales and improved store engagement.
Alternatively, to avoid experiencing an out-of-stock situation, using an inventory management tool will also be helpful. With the help of inventory management tools along with other Amazon seller tools, like Amazon repricers, you can surely provide the best customer service to your Amazon store visitors.