Are you one of the thousands of Amazon sellers that are struggling since the online giant announced that it was placing restrictions on sellers shipping in ‘non-essential’ items to its fulfilment centres during the coronavirus outbreak?
If you feel Amazon are turning their back on merchants in their hour of need and you’ve been relying heavily on their platform to sell products and using their Amazon FBA service to fulfil your goods, then you may have been left thinking ‘what do I do now?’
Small businesses have already been hit hard by the effect of the pandemic on consumer confidence and the disruption to the global supply chain. The announcement that Amazon would only be prioritising ‘essential and high demand items’ for the foreseeable future has left many sellers feeling like there is nowhere to turn.
The list of essential items must fall into one of these six categories:
- Baby products
- Health and household
- Beauty and personal care
- Groceries industrial and scientific
- Industrial and scientific
- Pet supplies
If your products don’t fall into any of these six categories, then all is not lost. There is another way that you can continue to sell your goods on Amazon and fulfil your customer orders.
Now is the ideal time for you to choose Amazon Fulfilled by Merchant or Amazon FBM as its more commonly known.
What is Amazon FBM
Rather sending your products into an Amazon Fulfilment centre and letting them ship the product for you, Using Amazon FBM, the merchant is responsible for the storage of the products and the fulfilment process for any orders they take via the platform.
This means that once a sale has been made, it is your responsibility to pick, pack and ship the orders directly to your customer. This means you will also be responsible for late deliveries or damaged products (and any poor reviews this may cause)
As an FBM seller is you create the product listings, and then, after a sale is made, you own the process of picking, packing and shipping the order directly to your customer. You will own the full customer experience. (many brands relish the opportunity to do this themselves)
The Main Advantages of Using Amazon FBM
More Control of the Fulfilment Process
Amazon FBM gives you back full control of your fulfilment process and the chance to own the unboxing experience. You can choose the delivery partners you want to use and your product’s packaging (Amazon does provide preferred packaging guidelines for sellers)
By fulfilling your own products, you can also look to increase the profit margins yourself as you aren’t paying Amazon the fees to do the job for you.
Faster Product Listings
Right now, the coronavirus lockdown is ravaging eCommerce businesses, this makes speed to market everything. You don’t have to wait around for Amazon to approve your product listings, you can swing straight into action and list them for sale as soon as you are ready to ship.
Faster Shipping Times
Usually, merchants fulfilling by themselves wouldn’t be able to get anywhere near the speed of a power player like Amazon. But right now, it’s anything but ‘business as usual’ and fulfilling your products will make sure your products get to your customers as quickly as possible.
You Can Still Use a Third Party to Fulfil Your Orders
If you lack the space needed to store your products or you now find yourself light on resources because you have had to furlough employees or have had to take the difficult decision to make members of your team redundant then you all is not lost. You can still get all of the benefits Amazon FBM by partnering with a third-party logistics partner.
Outsourcing Amazon order fulfilment to third party logistics specialists like 3PL is becoming a better option for many marketplace sellers during the current economic situation that we have all unexpectedly found ourselves in.
Many logistics providers have been granted keyworker status because of the vital role they provide in supporting the supply chain and this has enabled them to continue to operate and fulfil thousands of online orders every day. You can leverage their technology, in-house teams and flexible overheads at a time when every little advantage helps.
At a time when Amazon is making life harder for merchants, Fulfilled by Merchant is proving to be a better and more sustainable and cost-effective alternative for many businesses.
PS, need help getting started with Fulfilment by Merchant? Contact 3PL today for a chat about how Amazon FBM could benefit you.
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