In the corporate world, taking a vacation means filling out a few forms and going on a guilt-free break. However, when running an e-commerce business, taking a vacation means coordinating your online business while you may not be online 24/7. With so much competition in the Amazon space, it can seem daunting to disappear for a few weeks in the summer or anytime throughout the year. But vacations are needed to maintain a healthy balance in your personal and professional life.
Thanks to the Amazon seller account vacation mode, you don't need to feel tied to your laptop and unable to go on that getaway. Keep reading to discover how to put your Amazon seller account on vacation mode for a much-needed, stress-free holiday this summer.
What Does Amazon Seller Account Vacation Mode Mean?
The Amazon seller account vacation mode is how Amazon sellers get to take a break from the everyday stress of running an online business.
Vacation mode allows you to put your seller account on hold for periods instead of closing it down. It lets you inactivate your listings for a while, so you can also avoid negative feedback due to unresponsiveness while you are away.
How Can An SOP Help Your Business While You're On Vacation?
Your buyers won't know you are on vacation, but they will notice if you miss fulfilling their orders. That's why you need to plan ahead of time. Believe it or not, top Amazon sellers don't live and breathe work 24/7. At a certain point in business, top Amazon sellers understand the value of delegation as they begin to scale on and off the world's largest online marketplace. Top Amazon sellers create an Amazon vacation process depending on the type of business; Fulfilled by Merchant (FBM) or Fulfilled by Amazon (FBA).
Orders fulfilled by merchant (FBM): Amazon seller vacation mode allows you to deactivate your listings by yourself. Deactivation isn't immediate, so you must plan up to 36 to 48 hours. Ensure that you only go on vacation once the listings are removed since you risk receiving orders you must fulfill.
Orders fulfilled by Amazon (FBA): If you're an Amazon FBA seller, it means that Amazon handles much of the legwork in your business. Because Amazon essentially holds the keys to your selling kingdom, your listings can continue being active even when you are on vacation. Sales keep coming no matter how long you are away.
Ensure that you or someone else checks your seller and buyer messages so that customers are tended to and that you aren't stressed while on your summer holiday.
For your online business to run successfully and avoid falling apart at the seams, your team members or staff need to be on the same page – whether you are there or not. And that's where creating an Amazon seller vacation SOP or standard operating procedure comes into play.
A vacation SOP is a standard document that provides clear-cut instructions and directions on how your employees manage your Amazon business when you're not there. You'll want to list important account management details in a comprehensive step-by-step approach. The goal is to provide this document to your supervising virtual assistant or manager so that they can follow the SOP and stay on top of managing your team.
While creating an SOP may be a little time-consuming, it will help ensure consistency in business operations while you are temporarily unavailable or not online for regular hours.
SOPs evolve with your business; it's only the initial document that can be time-consuming to create. Once you have a vacation SOP, your summer getaway should be smooth sailing!
3 Steps to Complete Before Putting Your Seller Account on Vacation Mode
Before you turn your Amazon seller account to vacation mode, here are three things you must do first to enjoy a stress-free holiday.
1. Fulfill All Pending Orders
The Amazon seller account vacation mode allows you to deactivate your listings when you are away. However, that doesn't cancel pending orders. In an age of instant gratification, buyers want their orders, and they won't find it acceptable to wait until you get back. Before setting your listings to inactive, ensure you fulfill all pending orders.
2. Automate Your Customer Messages
Amazon has regulations and policies that sellers must follow, one of which is responding to customers' questions. Not doing so will end up destroying your seller metrics. For that reason, ensure that you have set up an automated response that lets your customers know how long you'll be away and when you plan to resume operations. The message doesn't have to be too long or too detailed.
3. Inactivate Your Listings In Advance
The last step is changing your listings to inactive so customers can't place new orders. But here's the thing; listing deactivation doesn't happen automatically. Because of that, you need to give yourself a two day-window period to do this.
Remember, Amazon expects you to fulfill all pending orders before turning on the vacation mode setting. If you deactivate your listings within less than 48 hours, you risk getting orders you need to fulfill, thereby cutting your vacation time. Likewise, if you inactivate your listings too early, you might lose out on orders you could quickly fulfill before your vacation.
How to put your Amazon seller account on vacation mode
After ensuring everything is in order and all pending orders have been fulfilled, it's time to set your account inactive. You can do this by visiting the Vacation Settings Page on your account and following these three simple steps:
- Step 1 – Go to the settings tab on the top right corner, and from the Options Segment, click on "Account Info."
- Step 2 - On the Listings Status menu, click "Going on vacation?"
- Step 3 - Choose the market places you want to suspend and set them to "Inactive."
When you are ready to activate your listings after your vacation, select the Active button on the vacation setting page and click "Save" to add your seller listings. All listings will become active and will be visible within an hour.
How To Ensure That Your Amazon Business Continues Running When on Vacation
Your business requires supervision even after fulfilling pending orders, automating customer messages, and inactivating your listings. Remember, you will only have deactivated the listings but not the account.
You will have to check your Amazon seller account while you are away or assign someone reliable and trustworthy. (Remember you've already created a vacation SOP, so now you're assigning the work and doing your best to check in when you can.)
Running an Amazon business means working with different people like a full-service Amazon agency, lead VA, or project manager. To keep your business running efficiently on summer holiday, you should:
- Ensure that trusted team members know your vacation status and bring them up to speed on what they need to do during the vacation period.
- Provide them with the necessary tools to manage the account on your behalf. (SOP document)
- Provide emergency contacts and information about how to reach you if things go haywire while you are away.
How Else Can You Stop Orders While On Vacation Mode?
Sometimes you might need to step away for a few days. You don't need to change your Amazon account vacation settings in such a case. So how do you ensure that orders don't come in while you are away?
1. Change The Handling Time
On the General Shipping settings, you can change the handling time depending on the time you set earlier. This means checking the listings one by one and uploading them again. If you used an Excel file to upload your listings the first time, you only need to update that file and upload it again.
Changing the handling time lets you manage the delivery time of all your listings. This setting is perfect when you plan to keep your vacation mode for a shorter time. As an Amazon seller, making these changes can help you avoid negative feedback since you will have extended the handling time per product category.
2. Change Your Inventory Settings
Another way you can reduce tension while on a break is by changing your inventory setting by setting the inventory to zero. It's simple;
- Go to "Inventory"
- Click on "Manage Inventory"
- Set available inventory to "0"
Why is this important? Changing your inventory to zero makes it impossible for customers to place orders when you are on vacation. Once you are back, you only need to change the inventory status to one or above.
Amazon vacation mode is necessary for small and top Amazon sellers. The setting allows you to enjoy some of your hard-earned personal time and maintain a balance between your business and personal life. By activating vacation mode, you get to keep your business on track as you take that much-needed break.
Remember that you must keep your Amazon seller ranking, so ensure you create and follow a vacation SOP and consistently meet your SOP parameters. Finding a balance in your Amazon business paramount to avoiding burnout; you should be able to enjoy your summer holiday or vacation without too much stress and worry.
What do you think? Are you ready to take a little break this summer? Let us know in the comments if you've tried the Amazon seller vacation mode setting and how it worked for you!
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