Selling on Amazon just makes sense for many DTC brands; last year, Amazon’s ecommerce market share grew to over 37% in the United States, and it feels like there’s no end in sight for their growth!
But when you’re in the weeds week in, week out, trying to grow your Amazon business, you’ll know that it’s not all sunshine and rainbows. ⛈️ It’s an immense challenge knowing who your Amazon customers are and what they need.
And let’s face it, Amazon Seller Central data doesn’t exactly give you the perfect view into your customer behavior. You have to know where to look to get the data you need from Amazon.
We’re going to cover the 3 ways you can get your data from Amazon Seller Central, what to watch out for, and how you might upgrade the process. 👀
Measure Your Amazon Prime Day Performance
🛑 Stop here for a sec! Prime Day is upon us and we know it’s a busy time. And if it’s not Prime Day specifically, then there’s always the need to continually analyze your Amazon store.
If you want to learn more about data sources available to you through Amazon, by all means read on! But if you want to automate your Amazon Seller Central data analysis, you can get a free 14-day trial of Peel and connect your store right now.
That’ll give you a taste of the analysis Peel brings to your Amazon store and equip you with everything you need to analyze your Prime Day performance and beyond. ⚡
…and action 🎬 (back to your regularly scheduled Amazon data article)
First Data Source: Amazon Seller Central Dashboard
Seller Central Dashboard Overview
The Amazon Seller Central Dashboard allows you to effectively manage the essentials of your online business. The dashboard gives you an overview of your sales performance and provides access to basic data on your orders, units sold, and revenue generated. This all helps you monitor the success of your products and can aid in decisions around pricing, inventory management, and marketing strategies.
It’s not incredibly granular data or anything you can dig into with too much depth, but analyzing your sales metrics provided in the dashboard will give you an overarching idea of trends and performance. 📈📉
What can you do with it?
The Seller Central Dashboard enables you to efficiently manage your inventory. It provides information on stock levels, allowing you to track inventory movements and effectively plan replenishments. You can set up alerts to notify you when inventory reaches certain thresholds, ensuring that you never run out of stock.
The dashboard also allows you to easily create and manage product listings, making it simple to add new products or update existing ones. Plus, you get access to some basic performance metrics like number of page views and conversion rates; with that, you can at least get a high-level picture of how listings perform.
TL;DR: The Seller Central Dashboard in Amazon is great for the nuts and bolts of your business basics.
The Amazon seller dashboard also acts as a centralized hub for you to monitor customer ratings and reviews, enabling you to promptly address any negative feedback or concerns. Addressing customer questions or negative feedback is always good for building trust and loyalty in your customer base.
What are the issues with using the Seller Central Dashboard as your main data source?
While the Amazon Seller Central Dashboard is a good tool for managing your online business, it's important to approach the data it provides with a critical mindset and be aware of potential issues with data accuracy and reliability.
One common issue is that the dashboard may experience delays or glitches, leading to discrepancies between the real-time data and the actual state of your business. “Real time” is a promise made by many data platforms that almost always needs qualification. You’re rarely getting “real time” in the truest sense of the phrase. But the delay with the Seller Central Dashboard can often feel more than just “delayed” and borderline inhibiting.
Additionally, the dashboard's metrics and algorithms may not always align perfectly with your business objectives or specific market conditions, resulting in skewed insights or recommendations.
✅ Monitor and maintain high-level business needs.
❌ Deep-dive the nitty-gritty of your data.
At the end of the day, it’s all pretty high-level in the Amazon dashboard. And because of that, the dashboard's data may not provide a complete picture of your business performance. It’s crucial to complement the dashboard’s data with additional analytics tools, perform regular data validations, and apply your own business knowledge and intuition to interpret and act upon the information it provides.
Second Data Source: Exported Data Reports
Exported Data Reports Overview
Amazon Seller Central's exported data reports provide you access to more detailed data across a few areas of your business, such as sales reports, inventory reports, and advertising reports. Each report offers specific information and helps you zoom in on things like orders, inventory levels, returns, units sold, order frequency, etc. 🔍
What can you do with them?
Once you’ve downloaded your data reports, the next step is to analyze and interpret the information. Start by organizing and filtering the data to focus on key metrics and areas of interest. For example, you can evaluate sales performance by analyzing revenue, units sold, and order frequency. Identify trends, such as peak sales periods or declining product performance, and use these insights to adjust your inventory, marketing strategies, and pricing.
Exporting data reports allows you to conduct more in-depth analyses using external tools. You can import the reports into spreadsheet programs like Excel or Google Sheets and leverage their features to create customized charts, graphs, and pivot tables. These visual representations help you identify patterns, correlations, and anomalies within your data.
It’s a manual lift 💪 but if you don’t have other analytics tools on your side, it’s somewhere to start. By integrating additional data sources or performing advanced analytics, such as calculating profitability or customer lifetime value (LTV), you can gain deeper insights into what’s making your business tick.
Quick Hack: Peel allows you to get your Amazon data (along with Shopify and Subscription data) in Google Sheets and Excel with daily data syncs to eliminate the constant need for manual extraction and cleaning of your data. Probably the upgrade you’re looking for here. 😉
What are the issues with using exported data reports as your main data source?
As mentioned, it’s all very manual and time consuming ⏱️. If you’re not exporting that data and uploading it to an analytics tool, you’re really stuck in spreadsheets. So, if you’re not a spreadsheet wizard 🪄 you may be limited on the types of analyses you can perform.
Another issue with exported data reports is that they aren’t always going to provide the level of detailed information you may need to fuel serious retention campaigns. Customer data is often limited when extracting it from Amazon. Without enriched customer profiles, effective retargeting all comes down to your ability to manipulate your exported data in spreadsheets.
The final issue is that discrepancies and inconsistencies are relatively common. This mostly occurs because the data is, once again, not up-to-date. It’s 48 hours behind. When you think about weekends, it becomes pretty disruptive to analysis. You’ll be in the middle of your work week with data that’s only updated to Sunday. ⏰🚨
Third Data Source: The Amazon Selling Partner API (SP-API)
The Amazon Selling Partner API (SP-API) provides developers and sellers with direct access to Amazon's data and functionality, allowing for efficient integration and utilization of data in various applications. This is not an out-of-the-box solution for the average Amazon seller. 📦 This is for those who are tech savvy with a team to support this type of integration.
What can you do with it?
Getting started is quite a process to say the least. You need to authenticate and obtain access credentials to use the SP-API. This involves creating an Amazon Developer Account, registering your application, and generating API keys. Once authenticated, you can use the API to retrieve data such as orders, inventory, pricing, and product information.
☕ Hot tip: Leverage the documentation provided by Amazon to understand the available endpoints, request structures, and response formats. From there you have to implement the necessary API calls in your application to retrieve the desired data.
Once you’re all set up, you need to determine the specific data you need from Amazon's platform.
For example, you may want to retrieve order details to manage fulfillment or track sales performance. Customize your API calls and parameters accordingly to extract the relevant data. It's important to optimize your queries and be mindful of any rate limits or restrictions imposed by Amazon to ensure smooth and efficient data retrieval. Additionally, consider implementing data caching mechanisms to minimize API calls and improve overall performance.
Once you’ve obtained the data you need from the SP-API, you can integrate it into your own systems or applications for further analysis and automation. You can store the data in a database, apply data transformations, or combine it with data from other sources for comprehensive insights. Use the obtained data to generate reports, monitor KPIs, make informed business decisions, or create customized solutions tailored to your specific needs.
What are the issues with using the Amazon Selling Partner API as your main data source?
Oh you aren’t a data and engineering wizard? 🧙 Don’t worry, neither are most ecommerce operators, and even those who may “own” the data picture for their teams would likely find this route to be too technical. But if you are considering building something with the SP-API, here are the potential pitfalls.
While the Amazon Selling Partner API provides direct access to Amazon's data, it's another situation where you’ll want to approach the data with caution and beware of potential issues with data accuracy and reliability.
The API's performance and reliability can vary, leading to potential delays or interruptions in data retrieval. This can result in discrepancies between real-time data on Amazon's platform (which we’ve already identified as not actually “real-time”) and the data obtained through the API.
One of the biggest issues is that there’s a serious learning curve associated with correctly implementing and configuring API calls, which can introduce errors or inconsistencies in your data. If you’re new to it, it’s best to learn from those with experience or even work with an expert who can get you set up.
The final thing here is that it's important to note that the data provided by the SP-API may not always capture all relevant information or account for external factors that can impact business performance. It's highly advisable to cross-validate the SP-API data with other sources, perform data integrity checks, and use the data as a reference point rather than relying solely on it for critical decision-making.
Upgrading & Automating Your Amazon Seller Central Data Insights with Peel
We did our best to give you a fair assessment of each of your 3 main data sources within Amazon Seller Central. They all certainly have their strengths and conveniences, but as you notice, the themes of lacking accuracy, reliability, and timeliness are threads of continuity throughout.
Peel whisks all that away by centralizing your Amazon data and providing you deeper insights into your Amazon customer behavior. Selling on Amazon can often feel like your customers are anonymous, faceless figures in the distance of a bustling marketplace. And as we’ve covered, Amazon doesn’t really equip you with much to bring them and their needs into focus.
Peel solves this by providing deeper analysis and insights than just understanding the high level picture of sales and orders. Peel shows you how often your Amazon customers are purchasing with metrics like Repurchase Rate along with better benchmarking and tracking metrics like Pacing Sales to visually compare your current period to the previous (monthly, quarterly, or yearly).
You can work off of a pre-constructed Amazon Dashboard template that you can install with a single click or build your own custom Amazon Dashboard to zoom in on the reports and analyses that matter most.
Peel offers a free 14-day trial to get you started. To get a quick product tour from our team and kick off that trial, hit the button on the right or schedule a demo here!