SoStocked Review: A Must Have For Amazon Sellers?

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What is SoStocked and Why Should You Care?

As Amazon sellers, we eat, breathe, and sleep inventory. It’s not always fun. The sleepless nights worrying about that FBA order that’s not checking in. The nervous mornings when we realize we forgot to place that order with our supplier.

If we could find a way to reduce stress and automate and track a majority of these issues, it would make a world of difference.

From our research I’ve found that the most money Amazon sellers lose is from inventory management mistakes:

  • Ordering too much inventory they can’t sell,

  • Ordering too little inventory and losing sales, or

  • Failing to transfer inventory on time, again, losing sales.

Let’s get into this SoStocked review and have a look at their amazon inventory management software.

SoStocked – An Overview of its Features

Before digging deeper into the details, let’s take a quick overview of what SoStocked has to offer in terms of inventory forecasting and management:

  • The thing which really sets SoStocked apart from other inventory management tools is its ability to factor in sales spikes & stockouts. This prevents you from making mistakes such as under-ordering or over-ordering your inventory.
  • It also allows you to factor in seasonality and sales trends based on your past Amazon sales data or using custom sales spikes/dips, thus giving you accurate forecasts.
  • The fully customizable dashboards are really cool as you can reorganize columns, hide columns, filter etc… so you and your team see only your actional data at a glance for tracking, forecasting and inventory levels.
  • Gives you reorder alerts well in time, so you never run the risk of running out of inventory.
  • Provides excellent features for inventory tracking which allow you to always stay on top of your purchase orders, transfers, and payments.
  • Offers free data migration & 1-on-1 onboarding service to ensure that everything is set up correctly. Their team and support is top-notch.

Features and Benefits

Here’s a summary of our favorite features and the pain-points they have solved for their users:

  1. Amazing onboarding and customer service. Hands-down the most accessible and easy-to-work-with software company, I’ve ever used! They literally walk you through the onboarding process. Nobody else offers this. Of course, there are video-based and written tutorials as well.

  2. Unlike most inventory software, SoStocked has figured out a way to actually factor in Inventory Performance Index (IPI) limits. That essentially means that SoStocked will only tell you to place orders based on what Amazon allows you to send to FBA. This IPI calculation is factored into your forecast and order triggers. Very cool.

  3. They even give you the ability to create Purchase Orders for suppliers and Work Orders (transfers) for warehouses, as well as an easy-to-use dashboard to track all of it.

  4. How about an alert system that tells you when it’s time to reorder new inventory or transfer existing inventory? Yep, they have that too.

  5. Sales Spikes and seasonal changes. SoStocked has programmed a customized forecast where you can include upcoming expected sales spikes and also seasonal lows or highs.

  6. SoStocked even helps you to calculate future growth and add that calculation into your forecast.

Next, let’s take a look at who benefits the most from SoStocked’s amazon inventory management and forecasting software.?

Who Benefits Most from SoStocked?

At the agency level (PPC agencies and brand managers) SoStocked makes it useful for teams to manage and collaborate on Amazon inventory and marketing plans. At the seller level, there are a couple of different Amazon business models that benefit the most.

Private Label Sellers

Currently, SoStocked is geared towards the needs of private label sellers. It can really solve the problem of complicated lead times and long-term future order predictions.  Moreover, it provides features that Private Label sellers can use to see how their inventory would pair against their marketing strategies, thus preventing them from running into stockouts due to aggressive marketing campaigns.

Furthermore, SoStocked can also solve the issue of IPI limitations as it pulls data directly from Amazon API to calculate an FBA transfer schedule which allows you to stay within your Max Ship Quantity.

Private Labelers with seasonal products can also benefit a lot from the forecasting system of SoStocked which allows you to use last year’s sales data with great ease. With just a few more clicks, you can also add additional trends and growth factors to your past year’s sales data.

Wholesale Sellers

SoStocked can really solve the challenge of managing a high number of SKUs for wholesale Amazon sellers. You can review all your forecasts and initiate your purchase orders right from within the software. The fully customizable dashboards for inventory levels, inventory tracking, and forecasting also come in very handy to get 360 view into everything. This helps simplify the chaos and stress of managing so many moving parts.

We found that a majority of the users are either Private-Label sellers (meaning they sell their own brand of products on Amazon). Private Label sellers typically have issues with sourcing products from other countries and long production and shipping times.

If some or all of your products sell more during certain times of the year (i.e., pool toys in the summer or holiday gifts in the winter), SoStocked can help tremendously by allowing you to look at either last year’s sales or adjusted average sales.

This makes forecasting more accurate. SoStocked also has quite a few wholesale clients. These are sellers who source products from wholesalers and then resell them on Amazon. Typically these clients have many more products in their catalog, which brings its own tracking nightmares.

Rather than trying to manage all of your products from a spreadsheet or on Seller Central, all Purchase Orders and Transfers can be done from within the SoStocked platform.

Agencies & Brand Managers

Another huge benefit is that SoStocked works with companies that manage many Amazon accounts or handle online advertising for Amazon sellers. Typically these companies (agencies) have access to many Amazon Seller accounts and it can get overwhelming to keep track of them all. SoStocked makes accessing these accounts easier and more efficient.

SoStocked not only makes the Agencies’ lives easier but also gives them an additional value add to their clients. Now Agents can work out marketing campaigns based on their inventory needs as forecasted by SoStocked.

Why Wouldn’t You Use SoStocked?

We believe that SoStocked is not suitable for sellers who are using the retail arbitrage model. This is because the overall framework of the software is not designed for this particular business model. However, there are sellers who have found workarounds to using it for this purpose, but not on a grander scale.

Moreover, bundlers should also stay away from this software as of now, but we’ve heard that the company is soon going to roll out a new set of features which is going to make SoStocked much more suitable for bundlers as well.

Also, SoStocked currently does not offer forecasting for FBM. So pure FBM sellers should also wait for the company to roll out its FBM forecasting integration.

Finally, if you are looking for an entire Amazon ecommerce marketing suite, then SoStocked is not the right choice for you.

We found that although it’s an awesome solution for many sellers, it is not a one-size-fits-all software. Certain types of Amazon business models seem to work less effectively with SoStocked.

Online-Arbitrage or Retail-Arbitrage is a model where sellers seek out deals online or in stores. They buy these name-brand products and sell them for a profit on Amazon. Since these deals typically have no sales history and they are not restocking these as standard inventory, the software might not work best for one-time sales.

That said, some arbitrage sellers create packaged or “bundled” products and have had great success using SoStocked.

If you sell off of Amazon on another platform or marketplace, SoStock might not be right for you…yet. Currently, we have found that they only integrate with Amazon in multiple continents. But not on Walmart or Shopify or others.

We would like to see a cash-flow/profitability planning section in the suite of tools. SoStocked employees tell me they are working on that very thing for the future.

And unlike some of the other Amazon seller tool platforms, which try to cram every possible tool under the sun into one software, SoStocked is no “jack of all trades, master of none” suite of tools. They are sticking to what they have mastered: Inventory Management and logistics.

Onboarding & Learning

Ok, let’s be honest, learning a new software is never fun. It’s often time-consuming, clunky and you never get the help you need. Instead they typically link you to some circular help article database or support “community” which is usually frustrating to say the least. SoStocked has finally solved this!

They have videos for everything and even a step-by-step onboarding mini course so you can easily glide through the setup process.

And if at any point you feel stuck, you can schedule a free one-on-one call with their tech support who will walk you through any confusions. Tell me, who else offers this? Nobody.

Customizable Dashboards

One thing that drives me crazy about some software platforms is the assumption that they know what you want to view when you look at your dashboard. SoStocked must have crowd-sourced their customers for feedback (another thing most other inventory management softwares apparently don’t do) and they built out a fully customizable dashboard platform. This allows you to login and set up views for various columns data and features.

Customer Support

In terms of customer support, we’ve found the SoStocked support team to be very responsive to our queries, concerns and feedback.

Their support team really helps during every step of the setup process and after. They make the whole process of transitioning from the spreadsheets to the SoStocked software quite a breeze. They also have personalized training videos that can thoroughly address most of the questions that pop up.

The average response time during the business hours was a little under 2 hours and for off business hours, it was around 7 hours.

User-friendliness

We believe it ramps up quite high in terms of its ease of usability. SoStocked provides you line by line breakdown of all its calculations, making the whole process completely transparent.

The intuitive step by step procedures with instructions available at just a hover of the mouse can make it very easy for anyone to quickly learn and understand the whole process.

You can give multiple level access to different users using the Team Roles and keep an eye on all their actions using the Activity Logs. Just walkthrough the mini-course and you and your team will be all set to get on top of your inventory game.

You can also connect multiple Amazon stores to a single SoStocked account and switch between them with just a few clicks.

SoStocked also provides two simultaneous forecasts for your FBA and 3rd party warehousing, thus simplifying the complexity of the workflows.

Pricing & Value

On top of all this, I found that SoStocked was MUCH more cost-effective than the other popular inventory softwares. In my experience those other softwares are built for huge eComm sellers, not Amazon sellers.

Honestly, they should be charging 2 to 3 times more for this software. If you sign up for SoStocked now, you’ll be enrolled in the Early Adopter Program which will cost you just $59/month, no matter the number of orders or SKUs you bring in.

Therefore, we recommend you get your hands early on this amazing software before the company decides to close their Early Adopter Program and roll out the tiered pricing structure. The tiered pricing (based on orders/SKUS) will start at $97/month and will go all the way up to $397/month.

As of now, SoStocked doesn’t provide any free trial because of the early adopter program. The company has announced that they’ll start providing free trials after rolling out their tiered pricing structure.

Wishlist

There are a couple of things I wish they had so let’s get that out of the way:

  1. I wish you could create FBA shipments from within the software. As of right now you still have to login to Seller Central, create your shipment, then log into SoStocked and match up the shipments. No biggie. They promise that feature is coming.

  2. I wish the system would alert you when product actually arrives at the warehouse from China, or wherever your supplier is.

  3. Profitability and Cash Flow. I wish the system would somehow track my sales minus costs, including shipping, etc. and tell me which products are making the most and which are costing me. Again, this is coming from what I hear.

Pros

Let’s look at the features which set apart SoStocked from its competitors.

  • IPI Integration: With IPI Integration, SoStocked pulls data directly from Amazon API to create FBA transfer schedules and quantities in line with the Max Ship Quantity allowed by Amazon IPI, thus preventing you from over-ordering your inventory. We haven’t come across any other inventory management software which offers this particular feature.
  • Warehouse Transfers and Tracking: In addition to your FBA stock, SoStocked also creates simultaneous transfers and tracking for your warehouse stock, a feature that is so useful but still absent from many of the renowned inventory tracking tools.
  • Fully Customizable Forecasting: With SoStocked, you have the option to add or remove different variables from your forecasting calculations such as deep discounts, sales spikes, stockouts, seasonality, growth trends, and planned sales events such as email sales campaigns and lightning deals.
  • Advanced Calculations for Stockouts: SoStocked also incorporates sales patterns into its stockout calculations to determine increases or decreases in your average sales velocity.
  • Compatibility with NARF and PAN-EU: SoStocked allows you to combine velocities and inventory levels by grouping your marketplaces by regions, thereby streamlining the calculations for your inventory.
  • Forecast Modeling for the Entire Year: With SoStocked, you can visualize your inventory demand for the whole year as it provides forecasting for 12 full months in advance. This is something which we haven’t found in other inventory management solutions.
  • Express Shipping Calculation: In addition to forecasting the transfers and orders, SoStocked can also provide a third forecast for predicting Express shipping. This helps in making sure that you never run out of stock, even in emergency situations.
  • Creating and Tracking Purchase Orders (POs): Creating purchase orders is just a click away when you are using SoStocked. Once they are created, you can easily track them using the Order Tracker dashboard.
  • Splitting Shipments:  With SoStocked, you can easily split your shipments on the basis of locations or time with just a few clicks of the mouse.
  • Specialized Reporting: SoStocked allows you to develop custom dashboards with features such as grouping, filtering, and column organizing, which greatly promotes its ease of use. Moreover, all the inventory reports are at your fingertips with just a few clicks away.

Cons

Although SoStocked is a great inventory management tool that can cover most of your needs, here are a few drawbacks that we found:

  • Spreadsheet Export and Bulk Uploading of Purchase Orders: One important feature missing in SoStocked is exporting a spreadsheet of all your data and importing/exporting POs in bulk.
  • Automatic FBA Shipment Creation: At the moment, you have to create an FBA shipment yourself in SoStocked. It would have been a great plus point if the software allowed you to create automatic FBA shipments.
  • FBM Forecasting and Tracking: SoStocked is great when it comes to FBA. However, it doesn’t have the forecasting and tracking features for products that are shipped from sources other than FBA at the moment.
  • Warehouse Receiving: Another limitation that we found in SoStocked is the absence of an efficient system for indicating any defective or missing SKUs received and making adjustments for them on a Purchase Order level.
  • Sales Reporting and Cash Flow Projections: Unfortunately, SoStocked doesn’t include profitability and sales reporting, and cash flow projections. However, we have heard from SoStocked officials that they are going to roll out these features very soon.

Final Verdict

As private label and wholesalers, SoStocked is rock solid. If you have a different Amazon business model, you might want to hold tight until they expand their features in 2021.

There is no doubt that managing and forecasting Amazon inventory can be a huge burden, especially as you scale up your business. Therefore, automating it and getting it done correctly right from the beginning can save you a lot of hassle in the long run.

We believe SoStocked has all the right Amazon inventory management and tracking features when it comes to selling on Amazon. The software can account for factors like seasonality, sale spikes, product discounting, growth trends, and much more. If you’re tired of emergency restock orders and making Inventory management a full-time job, we highly recommend you give SoStocked a try.

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