If you're participating in Q4 sales events, you have until November 2nd to get your inventory to Amazon's fulfillment centers for Black Friday/Cyber Monday, and December 1st to restock for Christmas. This is stated in Amazon's recent announcement.
What complicates things, however, are Amazon's holiday restock limits. Since many sellers want to get their items into warehouses, Amazon manages this by tieing FBA restock storage limits to the Inventory Performance Index (IPI) metric.
The deadlines differ from last year's, wherein Black Friday and Cyber Monday stocks were due by November 15th and December 11th for Christmas orders. Now, the deadlines are set at a much earlier date to ensure enough inventory is available for sales.
🚨Once again, Amazon has revived its restock limits which control how much inventory sellers can send to its fulfillment centers before the holiday shopping season. This change happens ahead of the holiday inventory deadline, November 2.
Due to the limited warehouse space, Amazon correlates FBA restock storage limits to a seller's Inventory Performance Index (IPI). One seller with an IPI of 712 claimed their limit decreased from 120,000 to 40,000 units.
According to one of the commenters on this seller thread, Amazon updated the restock limits to allow all sellers to maintain a minimum of four months' worth of FBA inventory. And although sellers can already view their current limits, this new limit will restrict about 5% of FBA sellers from restocking additional products due to already high inventory levels.
Amazon informed the sellers that restock limits are determined according to the following:
To help address this issue, recommendations from others sellers include being ready to ship smaller shipments frequently since these restrictions might change depending on sales. Another suggestion included listing every item as FBA and FBM so that FBM can be used for out-of-stock FBA items.
Alternatively, sellers can also take advantage of third-party fulfillment centers or learn more about Amazon Warehousing & Distribution program, with details to be revealed at this month's Amazon Accelerate seller conference.
Shopify has finally warned its merchants not to use Amazon's Buy with Prime because installing this disables Shopify's ability to protect them against fraudulent orders and raises the risk of stolen customer data.
Since June, sellers have been testing Buy with Prime on their Shopify stores, and merchants who have signed up for it are adding HTML button codes to their product listings. Now, Shopify is warning those who use this feature that it is an "Unsupported external checkout script." Sellers can continue using this but must acknowledge that Shopify won't be held liable.
🚫 According to Shopify's Terms of Service, all transactions must occur on Shopify. By using Buy with Prime, a seller presumably violates the following conditions: "You agree to use Shopify Checkout for any sales associated with your online store" and "You agree not to work around, bypass, or circumvent any of the technical limitations of the Services, including to process orders outside Shopify's Checkout."
Because Buy with Prime is not a plugin but rather two lines of HTML code, sellers can easily add it to any website or e-commerce store. Therefore, Shopify and other platforms can only stop this by scanning the template code, which is what Shopify started doing.
In light of this warning, Shopify may make some merchants reconsider using Buy with Prime. And in the future, the company might take bolder steps, like using Shop Pay as the default.
From the Send/Replenish Inventory process workflow, Amazon now introduces Send to Amazon. Sellers can access this feature from the Shipping Queue, but starting September 1st, sellers must create new FBA shipments through Send to Amazon or via Amazon's API by a third party.
Helium 10's blog post outlined the steps for creating a new FBA shipment.
Here's how to use this new feature: