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.
Here’s a summary of our favorite features and the pain-points they have solved for their users:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
There are a couple of things I wish they had so let’s get that out of the way:
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.
I wish the system would alert you when product actually arrives at the warehouse from China, or wherever your supplier is.
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.
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.