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How vendors can unlock real-time sales and inventory data on Amazon

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Inventory vs Ordered

Just ahead of Prime Day, Amazon is now offering a real-time view of retail data like sales, traffic, and inventory reports. 

This powerful new data stream, called rapid retail analytics, can help vendors in particular build a feed of their sales and inventory stats throughout the day. Intentwise was one of the early API partners in the beta program, and we are excited that it’s now available to the public. 

Vendor Central usually takes around 48 hours to update retail data. 

For vendors that want instant retail data, especially during a high-stakes sales event like Prime Day, rapid retail analytics is now the answer. (Amazon offered a version of this data stream once before, but it was expensive.)

Rapid retail analytics pulls in a real-time stream of the following categories of data: 

Sales data, broken down by: 

  • Ordered units
  • Ordered revenue
  • ASINs

Traffic data, broken down by: 

  • PDP views
  • ASIN views

Inventory data, broken down by: 

  • Highly available units
  • ASINs

How does this differ from Amazon Marketing Stream? 

On the surface, rapid retail analytics has a lot in common with Amazon Marketing Stream

Both data streams relay Amazon data on an hourly basis, via API, to give sophisticated brands and agencies a fine-tuned understanding of their marketing campaigns. 

But Amazon Marketing Stream primarily includes advertising metrics like ad traffic, ad conversions and spend on an hourly basis. By contrast, Amazon’s rapid retail analytics offers retail information, like sales and views. 

What are the use cases of rapid retail analytics? 

With rapid retail analytics, brands and agencies can analyze hyper-specific trends based on day of the week and hour of the day. They can also use the sales data to inform dayparting tactics, by changing bids in response to sales and inventory numbers.

Here are some of the ways we imagine brands and agencies leveraging this new data: 

Optimize performance on big sales days. Rapid retail analytics is especially useful for vendors during a sales event like Prime Day, when every hour of data counts. 

On Prime Day or Black Friday, you don’t want to wait a full 48 hours to find out how your sales numbers or inventory levels are faring. You want immediate access to those insights, so you can adjust your tactics accordingly. Based on your real-time sales and inventory data, you might consider media allocation by product.  

Re-allocate ad spend as inventory shifts. If vendors see a sudden drop in inventory in real time, they can move their ad dollars away from those products to avoid running out of stock. This wouldn’t have been possible with a 48-hour delay in Vendor Central. 

Unlock real-time views of TACOS. Combined with ad data from Amazon Marketing Stream, rapid retail analytics can give you a real-time view of key metrics like your Total Advertising Cost of Sales (TACOS). 

What are the challenges of integrating real-time data streams? 

Rapid retail analytics is an exciting new offering from Amazon, but being able to ingest that wealth of hourly retail data comes with its own challenges. 

As we have discussed before, some companies are tempted to forge their own API connections in order to bring in hourly data streams like rapid retail analytics and Amazon Marketing Stream.  

But building API connections with Amazon is a time-intensive process. Moreover, just creating the API connection itself is not enough. You also have to be able to organize that data into insights that will be usable for your business. 

Not to mention, data errors are an inevitable part of the process. And when you bring in a firehose of data, you need to have a built-in system of checks to make sure your data is as accurate as possible. 

If you want to explore rapid retail analytics or Amazon Marketing Stream, it makes sense to collaborate with a sophisticated API partner like Intentwise. 

At Intentwise, we organize all of your data for you and make it actionable, automatically. 

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