The retail giant jumped into the analytics game with Amazon Retail Analytics (ARA). This tool could revolutionize eCommerce for Amazon vendors.
ARA offers comprehensive seller data which showcases both sales volume and the driving force behind those sales. The services can also help to streamline procurement, revenue, and inventory operations.
But that is only a snippet of what you can do. In today’s post, we review how vendors can use Amazon Retail Analytics to drive conversion rates, and improve their store operations.
Let’s dive in.
What is Amazon Retail Analytics?
Amazon Retail Analytics, or ARA, collects thorough sales data so brands can get a good grasp of sales volume and conversions.
Think of it as an add-on feature to Vendor Central. It provides Amazon vendors with over 20 reports detailing the merchant’s performance metrics. Such insights can be a great aid to improve your sales and marketing strategies.
Understanding Amazon Retail Analytics
ARA Premium and Basic use different terminology than many brands may be accustomed to. Let’s look at the key examples:
- Shipped Cost of Goods Sold (COGS). This is how Vendor Central measures sales. Shipped COGS refers to the profit that a Vendor earns from the products Amazon sells to customers.
- Shipped units. These are the number of product units that Amazon has shipped to customers.
- Net Received. This is an overall measure of the units a Vendor sends to Amazon.
- Out-of-Stock (OOS). Rates your efficiency at maintaining supply on Vendor Central. It can essentially show you how much money you are losing by not having enough inventory.
Amazon Retail Analytics also features 2 views that vendors can look at the reports from:
- Sourcing. Displays sales and inventory for each specific vendor. It does not aggregate the data for each product across the total units sold.
- Manufacturing. Displays aggregate sales data for vendors. So, they can see what each product in their catalog sold in total.
ARA Basic and ARA Premium
Amazon’s analytics machine includes 2 tools: ARA Basic and ARA Premium. Let’s review each in detail.
This is the primary reporting tool for Amazon vendors. It’s accessible to merchants upon creating a Vendor Central account.
ARA Basic reports are not as robust as the options offered to Third-Party Sellers. But they still offer some valuable data to vendors. For example:
- Amazon Search Terms. Finds and tests new keywords that you can use in paid ads. It also analyzes trending search terms by season and location. The report also compares the current terms in your paid search portfolio against user searches to rate their effectiveness.
- Customer Reviews. Compares user reviews per item over time with average ratings. The report also compares lifetime data to report-specific periods.
- Page Views and Conversion. Tracks customer awareness generation and conversion rates for each product. It also compares your listing content against competing vendors.
- Inbound Receipt Defects. Shows defects in products that arrive at the fulfillment center.
- Lead-Time Details. Tracks the time it takes to fulfill a purchase order (PO) from Amazon. Lead time is measured from the ordering of the product to its arrival at a fulfillment center.
- Demand Forecast. Calculates the POs that you’ll receive for the next 26 weeks, along with your replenishment needs.
- PO Details and PO Item Details. The first provides an overview of your purchasing data. The latter breaks down POs data on an item-by-item basis.
- Sales and Inventory Dashboard. Provides an overview of your Shipped COGS and on-hand inventory at Amazon.
- Sales and Inventory Monthly Summary Report. Reflects month-to-month data going back 25 periods. It lets you view your Shipped COGS, on-hand inventory values and quantities, and open purchase order quantities.
- Sales and Inventory Product Details. Allows you to view sales and inventory data on a product-by-product basis.
Amazon Retail Analytics Premium blows ARA Basic out of the water when it comes to the amount of collected data.
ARA Premium users can filter data by weekly, monthly and yearly time periods. You can also review the results by category and brand.
This add-on is available to Vendors for an additional fee. You’ll have access to the regular ARA Basic reports, featuring more detailed information.
You’ll also access a new set of reports, which can be helpful to get more granular in your sales analyses.
These are some of the reports you’ll have access to:
- Sales Performance Trends. Presents an overview of weekly and monthly metrics and compares them against the prior time period.
- Net Pure Margin (PPM). Analyzes and identifies the most profitable products by viewing PPM percentages of the prior period and the previous year.
- Real-Time Sales. Targets a specific time frame for a Lightning Deal.
- Inventory Health. Tracks the stock’s health over a 30- or 90-day timeframe through weekly updates. It also calculates potential oversupply in a Fulfillment Center.
- Demographics. Displays key factors such as sales data by age, household income, education, and gender.
- Repeat Purchase Behavior. Shows your high-recurring purchase rate. This report is a great tool to determine which products attract more repeat purchases.
- Market Basket Analysis. Provides insight into the products bought by customers, and allows you to control the pricing to enhance your profitability.
Some Disadvantages of Note
While ARA does provide a lot of data for Vendors, the reports have downsides. For example:
- Privacy. Amazon uses third-party data providers to set up all the reports This can be an issue for some, especially with regard to data privacy.
- Availability. The tool is not capable of providing data on specific instances. For example, traffic sources and visitor paths.
- Search terms. While ARA premium details the top 100 search terms for each category, it does not display sessions or page views.
How do I Find the New Amazon Retail Analytics?
Now, is Amazon Retail Analytics free? The Basic version is. Vendors can access ARA Basic as soon as they log in to Vendor Central.
You can find ARA under the Reports tab. This is also where you can select between ARA Basic and ARA Premium.
The latter option is a slightly different story when it comes to pricing. Premium subscription requires you to sign up for the Vendor Premium Services package. The annual payment for this package runs from a minimum of about $30,000.
Here’s how you can upgrade:
- Log in to Vendor Central and navigate to Support.
- Enter your Business group and select the topic Reports
- Now go to Amazon Retail Analytics and select the Specific issue.
- Finally, Upgrade to ARA Premium.
Once you can access to Amazon Retail Analytics, you can view the reports or download them as .csv files. This is a very useful feature, since it can take some time and research before you can make important business decisions.
Note that reporting access depends on a vendor’s permissions and the terms of their vendor agreement with Amazon.
Amazon Store Analytics
Amazon launched Store Analytics in mid-2022. Like ARA, this new feature offers insights into product performance in the US. However, it’s designed for physical stores like Amazon Store and Amazon Fresh, which use Dash Cart and Just Walk Out tech.
The service collects data about how users discover, consider and buy products in retail stores. Sellers can then use this information to improve product selection and availability. It’s also great to create relevant promos for customers.
It’s important to note that Amazon Store Analytics only shares anonymized data. Brands can only consult product totals, percentages, averages, and ad campaign performances. Such data is presented as groupings, without any personal info about customers.
Plus, shoppers also have the option to protect their data by opting out of the program. They can do so by logging into the Store Analytics website, and following the instructions on the screen.
Amazon Retail Analytics has its pros and cons. It may not be a perfect tool for measuring your business performance. However, ARA can still be a keen way of analyzing Amazon itself.
Both ARA Basic and Premium can offer an inside look at what the marketplace expects. They can also show where you can make adjustments to raise your sales rank.
Store Analytics applies Amazon’s technology to physical sales. You can use the collected data to improve the customer’s shopping experience.
Now, if you want access to the best of everything, we recommend using a hybrid approach to selling on Amazon. Combining the analytics of Seller Central with that of ARA can offer a deeper insight into how your brand performs on the platform.
You can also rely on Amazon consultants like AMZ Advisers to make your analytics process much easier.
No matter your choice, what’s important is to take advantage of Amazon’s tools to improve your operations and drive sales. After all, learning all that you can about selling on Amazon is what will spell success for your business.
Julia Valdez is a professional teacher and long-time lover of the art of words on paper and the stage. She has an entrepreneurial heart and spends most of her time doing marketing and management, freelance content writing, volunteer work, and sharing lots of laughs over little crazy things.
Esteban Muñoz is a content writer at AMZ Advisers, with several years’ experience in digital marketing and e-commerce. Esteban and the AMZ Advisers team have been able to achieve incredible growth on Amazon for their clients by optimizing and managing their accounts, and creating in-depth content marketing strategies.