Virtual Leadership Summit

Virtual Leadership Summit

De-Invest to Re-Invest: DE-INVEST TO RE-INVEST:

A Leadership Summit of Change and Opportunity

  • Wednesday, May 27, 2020
  • 11:00AM PST – 3:00PM PST
  • Complimentary Access

We will be hosting a live and dynamic discussion event with industry leaders sharing strategies and insights for a time of dramatic change.

Ideoclick, Replenium, and Accenture Interactive have joined forces to bring you straight to the source of information on how leaders from multiple industries are addressing both risk and opportunity during this changing landscape.

Featuring interactive discussions on leading through turbulence, “scrappiness” and agility, capital sourcing and allocation, retail and e-commerce experience innovation, new product strategies, demand fulfillment imperatives and more with industry leaders and in-house experts. The full agenda and speaker lineup can be viewed here. Registration is complimentary.

Is Hybrid Selling Right for Your Brand?

Is Hybrid Selling Right for Your Brand?

Our latest video covers the important questions brand manufacturers need to ask, as well as benefits to consider before adopting a hybrid (1P/3P) selling model on Amazon. Andrea Leigh, Ideoclick’s VP of Strategy, discusses the four elements to consider and the three main benefits brands can realize when adopting a hybrid approach to selling on Amazon.

Tune in here.

Amazon hybrid selling model
Sharing Some Good News on Current Consumer Behavior During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Sharing Some Good News on Current Consumer Behavior During the COVID-19 Pandemic

As a search marketer on Amazon I have had a front row seat to the changes in consumer behavior through COVID-19. Watching the changes in search volume and ranking is always interesting but watching items like “N95 mask” and “toilet paper” become the top searches on Amazon has brought more of a foreboding than the usual curiosity.

Well, yesterday I got to see something positive begin to trend in Amazon search ranking. As of Saturday 4/4 “Sewing machines” have become the 27th most searched term on Amazon. Back in January it was 591 and as recently as March 19th it was 597. The initial rise in ranking seems to be tied to DIY instructional posts and videos like this tutorial from Erica Arndt –

The most recent surge in search rank can be matched with calls for supply donations to hospitals and first responders. America’s new favorite news source, SGN (Some Good News) highlighted how companies and people are answering the call

This virus has brought so much harm and negativity that I feel it is more important than ever to show these bright spots when they appear.

Post by David Quesenberry, a marketing director at Ideoclick and specifically an Amazon marketing expert working to help clients strategically plan their marketing efforts.

Four Ways Coronavirus Impacts your Amazon Business; How to React Quickly

Four Ways Coronavirus Impacts your Amazon Business; How to React Quickly

People around the world are responding to the threat of coronavirus/COVID-19 in a multitude of ways, and as a seller on Amazon, it’s likely Coronavirus is creating an impact to your Amazon business. In business, those that plan ahead and react quickly are more likely to be in a position to get vital items to customers during this time.

Remaining vigilant with your own health as well as the health of your employees and business is the best course of action. For brands selling on Amazon, it’s critical to stay constantly informed and strategize for the changing marketplace landscape.

Based on our work with clients in many different CPG categories, we have seen swift and significant changes, including major order increases from Amazon, huge supply chain shifts, and wildly fluctuating consumer search and conversion behaviors.

We’ve compiled four ways your Amazon business is likely impacted by the coronavirus/ COVID-19 pandemic, and strategies for how you can best plan for them (click here). The paper includes initial operational changes, speculation on continued buyer behavior, and covers the many Q&As we’ve already faced. The advice within has proven to be useful to our clients and we hope you can leverage them as well. 

With best wishes for continued good health!

Understanding Provisions for Receivables

Understanding Provisions for Receivables

Many Vendor Central (1P) clients have recently noticed lower or missing payments from Amazon. If you’re seeing the same thing, you’re not losing your mind… you are likely noticing the result of Amazon’s “Provision for Receivables” deductions.

Here, we’ll walk through what this means, how to understand it, and how to recover any erroneous deductions.

What are Provisions for Receivables?

“Provisions for Receivables” (PVRs) are temporary credit memos (or a “temporary hold”) that Amazon may place on your account due to forecasted payables that are due to Amazon. Payables to Amazon could include the following:

1. Co-op or Contra-Cogs: Subscribe & Save, MDF, Damage Allowances, Freight Allowances, CRaP Allowances, Margin Guarantees. Basically, anything you’ve ever signed a co-op agreement for.

2. Chargeback and/or Shortages

3. Returns

4. Marketing: Amazon Advertising costs and balances

The purpose of these provisions is to prevent these items from creating a debit balance on your vendor account. Basically, Amazon wants to make sure they get paid for the cost of doing business with you – before they pay you.

How does Amazon determine the PVR amount?

Amazon factors the following four categories into their calculation:

  • Accrued but not billed (ABNB tab): this is for promotions/agreements that have accrued but have yet to be billed
  • Booking preview: A grouping of all promotions/agreements that Amazon has deducted in approximately the last year (including co-op, promotions, Subscribe & Save, damage allowance, sales, brand store fees, etc.)
  • Sellout: A sales forecast for the coming six weeks for all active promotions and what Amazon forecasts the you will owe for their programs
  • AP Forecast (APAGING tab): Expected upcoming payments to the vendor in the next month 
What if Amazon’s calculations are wrong? 

Well, they might be, but if they are, they’ll likely reverse them. Some of these costs figured into a PVR amount are estimates, not actuals. Line-items that are estimated are likely based on some trailing average. If calculations are wrong or over-stated, Amazon will post a reversal once the actual costs come in.

Why do my Provisions for Receivables seem to be Increasing?

Amazon’s PVR practice is not new. However, they are more impactful to vendors after highly promotional periods such as Prime Day. With increased ad and promotion spend for Prime Day, Amazon “provisions” an increased amount from their payment to you.

How can I determine if I’ve been impacted?

Go to Vendor Central — Payments — Financial Dashboard. Look for the “Adjustments” section in the middle of the page and click on “View Details.” From there, you can set your date range and download all holdbacks. You can also see any reversals Amazon has credited due to the actuals coming in lower than expected.

How will I know if they still owe me money?

We recommend that you run the math to see if you are owed monies. To do this, download the transactions for the time period about which you have concerns. Pivot or filter the spreadsheet by Transaction Type to collect the holdbacks together. From there, you can see all holdbacks and reversals. If the net of the holdbacks and reversals seems out of line, you should file a claim with Amazon.

Here are a few “watch-outs”:

-Beware of the timelines – Provisions for receivables are based on a set timeline – a timeline which may not match up with your specific payment terms. For example, if you look at your Amazon financial dashboard on the wrong day, it may look as though you owe Amazon more than they owe you (eek!).

-It may be difficult to identify and map to your internal cost center – Amazon consolidates all related fees and expenses into one remittance amount, which can present challenges for vendors who typically pay Amazon from different internal “funds.”

-Beware of seasonality or one-off issues – During heavy promotion times such as Prime Day or Holiday, your costs of doing business with Amazon tend to run higher. Similarly, if you have an issue that drives your chargebacks way up, for example, you may indeed owe Amazon more money than they owe you. 

How can I understand my total cost to serve Amazon?

First, familiarize yourself with Amazon’s financial dashboard to reduce the mysteries that are factored into the provisional amount. It’s a best practice to understand, and control, your cost to serve Amazon. Following are some areas where we’ve seen clients’ costs begin to rise:

CHARGEBACKS – If your chargebacks are high or increasing, you may have some root-cause issues that need to be discovered and addressed. In many cases, chargebacks can be recovered. We offer this – as well as corresponding reporting and an Operational Health Dashboard – as a service to clients, so please reach out if you need help.

PAYMENT TERMS – If your payment terms are too tight, Amazon may still be waiting to receive your inventory after their payment to you is due. So, they’ll make an estimate of what they’ll owe you, and pay you only that amount. In addition, if you have a quick-pay discount in place, Amazon often takes the pay discount on a portion of the goods, applies a shortage to the remainder, and reconciles it later. Consider whether it makes sense to re-negotiate your payment terms.

INVENTORY LEVELS – keep an eye on your inventory levels. Remember, Amazon will only pay for what they believe they’ve received. If you believe you’ve sent more, check your shipments to Amazon. If that looks in order, check your item set up, including the casepack, inner, and each configuration and quantities. Amazon could be receiving a case as an each, for example, which would lead them to significantly understate what they owe you (and send the shopper too much!) 

AUDIT YOUR CO-OP AGREEMENTS – Make sure you don’t have any duplicate agreements, and make sure you’re not signed up for auto-renew programs unless you intend to be. If you’ve signed two co-op agreements for the same item, Amazon certainly isn’t going to point it out – it’s up to you to identify the duplication.

AMAZON ADVERTISING – do the costs of advertising align with your expectations? If not, check with us or double-check your budgets, etc. in the advertising portal.

CUSTOMER RETURNS – do you have a high customer return rate for your products? Customer reviews are a great place to look for answers. What complaints to customers have about your products? Are your product detail pages (PDPs) potentially creating points of confusion that could be clarified?

DAMAGES AND REPLACEMENTS – Are your products arriving to customers damaged? If so, place some test buys and consider your packaging. Perhaps it’s time for some minor changes to prevent damages and leakages, or possibly a packaging overhaul.

Calculate the value of each of these costs – based on your cost of goods sold (COGS) – to estimate your total amount owed to Amazon and compare it with their payments to you.

What if I find discrepancies?

If any of the agreements or deductions contained within the report or calculation are found to be invalid, there is a dispute process available to you under “Dispute Management” in Vendor Central. However, wait a week or two to see if any of the amounts are reversed first.

What if I still can’t figure this out?

We’re here to help! If you are already an Ideoclick client, please contact your Client Success Manager for assistance. If you need help disputing claims, Ideoclick offers an Operational Compliance service with ongoing Chargeback, Shortage, and Provision for Receivables support, claims management, and robust reporting. Contact us for more information.


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