also known as Fulfilment by Amazon was released by Amazon Inc. on September 19th 2006. FBA was set up to give small businesses access to Amazon.com’s own order fulfilment and customer service infrastructure. It also enables Amazon.com to now offer their Amazon Prime service, whereby members are eligible for free one- or two-day shipping on most items. Amazon fulfilment has developed into one of the world’s most advanced fulfilment networks for online retail. With Express, Tracked and even Same-day delivery, FBA is in many ways the benchmark for the order fulfilment industry.
Is Amazon Fulfilment the holy grail?
Fulfilment by Amazon is good, but it does come with a price-tag. Running your order fulfilment through Amazon FBA often comes at a cost that is higher than the available alternatives. The FBA service has pretty stringent procedures and often lacks flexibility to accommodate small business owners. In order to deliver smooth operations for thousands of merchants, Amazon’s rules with regard to how product is bar-coded and delivered into their warehouse are strict (but necessary). If an Online retailer’s bulk product needs to be reworked that obviously ads to the total cost of fulfilment.
Multi-channel retail and FBA
If you are an Amazon.com 3rd party seller and that’s your main business, than FBA probably makes most sense. If you are using multiple channels, i.e. you also operate on other marketplaces such as Groupon, Walmart, (French) CDiscount.com or (Dutch) Bol.com, then chances are that Amazon FBA either “doesn’t cut it” or isn’t even an option. Connecting multiple eCommerce platforms or market places to FBA, in order to use accurate stock positions across those channels, is virtually impossible without the help of multi-channel aggregators such as Channel Advisor or Volo Commerce. In the case of Walmart, a merchant is simply banned from using fulfilment by Amazon. Walmart simply cannot allow for goods sold on their platform to be delivered with their competitors smiley logo on the box.
Amazon Fulfilment Alternatives
There are Third Party Logistics providers that can meet the yardstick of Amazon regarding delivery, offer competitive pricing and seamlessly integrate multiple eCommerce platforms (Shopify, Magento, Woocommerce, etc.) and marketplaces (Amazon, Walmart, Groupon, etc.) into their Warehouse Management System. Contact Profulfilment for a no strings attached quotation.