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Why Seller Central’s Reporting SUCKS when Selling on Amazon Globally

amazon seller central reporting sucks kenji roi

Running an e-commerce business through Amazon is no piece of cake – especially when you’re selling globally. You’re always juggling consumer requests, managing a busy warehouse, and attempting to appease Amazon. But you’re aware of the difficulties and accept them as part of the game. Accessing seller data through Amazon, on the other hand, is a stumbling block that many sellers do not anticipate – especially when they just started.

Seller Central is the nerve center of every Amazon seller’s operation. It enables them to carry out critical tasks such as listing and managing products, monitoring orders, creating ad campaigns, and downloading important sales reports. However, it can be a source of great frustration because some reports are either too complex to navigate or just don’t perform well at all.

So what type of reports on Seller Central is too complex to understand? Here is the list.

Bad Seller Central Report 1 – Total Sales

If you’re an Amazon seller, you’re probably already familiar with Amazon’s Sales Dashboard. When you need to know how many total sales you made in a specific period, this is the place to go.

At a glance, you can see a lot of widgets and graphs. Seller Central claims that the dashboard is meant to offer a snapshot of your overall sales performance. But in reality, the numbers shown on the dashboard are oftentimes inaccurate for the following reasons:

  • The data represent all orders that have been placed, not orders that have been shipped.
  • Returns, Amazon commissions, and shipping costs are not included in these figures.
  • The figures do not take Pending Orders into account. Depending on the issues, orders can remain in “pending” status for days. When an order is in the “Pending” status, the funds are not credited to your account until the item is sent or the problem is resolved.

Total sales can be evaluated when sellers have a clear view of their overall business – compared with other channels in a single dashboard. However. Seller Central does not offer an online view of this report. Their system leaves you having to request all orders report and download a few separate PDF documents just to get the accurate number of gross sales for the period you are looking for.

Inadequate Report 2 – Business Sales Reports

Amazon Business Reports is the heart of Seller Central. These reports allow you to see how your business is performing in all areas so you can make informed decisions about how to proceed. You may view information like how many units you’ve ordered, how many people have visited your listings, monthly inventory, conversion rates, total sales and many more.

This section has a variety of reports organized by date or by ASIN. You may also adjust the display of reports by SKU performance under the ‘by Date’ tab.

While Amazon offers a variety of reports in this section, one major drawback is that they don’t have a central location where all of this information can be easily accessed. Moreover, many sellers (even experienced ones) are overwhelmed with a large amount of entries Seller Central provide, just to monitor 5 products. Not to mention the inaccuracy of the data it provides often makes sellers’ brains curled up in a fetal position.

At the end of the day, putting the wider picture together and trying to make sense of these business reports might take time and years of skill.

Poor Amazon Report 3 – Buy Box Performance

82% of all of Amazon’s sales made go through Buy Box. Sellers who own the Buy Box on Amazon, receive up to 90% of the sales or conversions for that item, making the Buy Box a highly sought-after position. In the Amazon Advertising reporting console, you can see which of your SKUs are eligible for the Buy Box. You can also see what percentage of your total product inventory has a Buy Box slot.

Reports on your Buy Box performance can be found in Amazon’s Seller Central Business Reports. You can do so by choosing whether to display data by date or by ASIN. You should look at each particular ASIN rather than all of your ASINs for a given day when using Buy Box Percentage to make price decisions.

However, the only way to know if you’ve won the Buy Box for a specific product is if Amazon notifies you. In Amazon’s Advertising console, there is no Buy Box report. You won’t know whether you won or lost a Buy Box unless you check the search results pages for each of the products you sell. As a result, the more products you sell, the less realistic that becomes. Chasing the elusive Buy Box without knowing more than your eligibility is time-consuming, if not impossible.

Report 4 – Profitability by Channel

According to Junglescout, 13% of Amazon sellers are either unsure of their profit margins or are losing money. There could be a variety of reasons why they aren’t profitable, but this is one group of Amazon sellers you don’t want to be a part of. To accurately assess your profitability on Amazon, you must examine all aspects of your inventory to determine its overall health.

Calculate your profitability selling on Amazon can get complicated considering you have to take all Amazon Selling Fees into account. To make things worse, calculating your profitability based on Seller Central reporting can be unreliable because

  • Calculation is difficult (there is no predefined export in Seller Central).
  • When it comes to determining profit, there is no one-size-fits-all solution (each Amazon Seller is different).
  • There are numerous inputs required to accurately calculate the profit measure, and most of the time, things are overlooked.

Of course, if you’re just getting started, you shouldn’t expect to generate money right away, but it’s something you should be aware of as an Amazon seller.

Report 5 – Amazon Advertising Reports

In a heavily saturated market, the only thing that distinguishes you from competitors is the quality of your listing and how visible it is to customers. You’re probably familiar with Amazon’s ad reports if you run Sponsored Ads on the marketplace platform.

For each campaign type, Amazon provides a variety of Amazon PPC reports. Sponsored Products (SP), Sponsored Brands (SB), Sponsored Brand Videos (SBV), and Sponsored Display (SD) are the four campaign types. For your chosen period, each of these campaign types has a different set of reports available. Some of these reports are incredibly helpful.

When it comes to managing your Amazon PPC account, utilizing these reports can make all the difference. However, due to the huge variety of advertising reports, sellers are often overwhelmed by how they should interpret all the numbers. While there are many reports available, not all of them are useful. For example, the Performance Over Time report is a one-line summary that provides you with the total number of clicks, CPC, and cost for all of your ads.

In addition, you are also aware that access to advertising reports data will not be available indefinitely. These reports typically allow you to go back 60 or 90 days (depending on their type).

Final Thoughts

Learning how to use Amazon seller reports is an investment in your business that will pay off in the long run. This information is already available to you and can keep you in the know. However, due to the complexity of seller central reporting and the underperforming reports, tracking your business performance may become harder or ineffective.

If you’re looking for software to help, MerchantSpring Marketplace Manager™ has exactly the right tools to show you which reports you should pay attention to. The software provides you with an accurate report of your business globally no matter where you sell on Amazon. If you think that MerchantSpring Marketplace Manager™ is for you, don’t hesitate to get in touch.

James Dihardjo

James Dihardjo is co-founder of MerchantSpring and has been part of the e-commerce space in Australia since the early days. James is responsible for customer success and is obsessed with providing industry leading e-commerce analytics to sellers all over the world.