From the Taylor Talk podcast vault: Transitioning to eCommerce fulfillment with Grant Taylor, while this episode initially aired months ago, it seems more relevant now than ever.
Our operations, IT, and superuser teams have been working vigorously to transition five distribution centers into eCommerce centers. This was a massive undertaking for our team because; eCommerce granted customers can break open cases, which was an entirely different process for Taylor.
Raise your hand if you have an Amazon Prime account? Oh wow, 150 million hands raised? In the 25 years since Amazon was launched, it has become a household name, and is the biggest eCommerce site in the world. Having your products sold on Amazon immensely increases your audience. Amazon allows sellers to fulfill orders themselves or let Amazon handle fulfillment. Let’s dive into your options as an Amazon seller.
Lot’s of Acronyms to Digest When Talking Amazon Shipping; Let’s Break it Down:
Fulfilled by Amazon (FBA)
Self-fulfilled order processing route, like Fulfilled by Merchant (FBM)
Seller Fulfilled Prime (SFP)
What is Fulfilled by Amazon (FBA)?
FBA means Fulfilled by Amazon, you sell it and Amazon ships it.
The seller sends bulk products in Amazon’s fulfillment centers for Amazon to pick, pack, and ship products once sold.
What is Amazon Fulfilled by Merchant (FBM)?
Amazon Fulfilled by Merchant is a fulfillment method in which an Amazon seller is responsible for fulfilling its products purchased on Amazon.
FBM can be more cost-effective if you can ship orders for a more sensible price compared to what FBA will charge by using your delivery partners and network, or your 3PL’s network.
FBM is a great Amazon seller shipping option it allows you the freedom to run your business as you like in terms of scalability, fulfillment methods, and inventory level control.
What is Seller Fulfilled Prime (SFP)?
Similar to FBM, you store, pick, pack, and ship your products to the customers yourself and handle all communications with the customer.
However, this shipping option also allows you access to prime customers, competing with businesses that pay the enormous fees for FBA.
SFP is ideal for sellers who have warehouse space and staff that can handle the order fulfillment or companies with a 3PL that can offer scalability and flexibility. To be successful as an SFP seller, you need to make sure that it would be more profitable for you than FBA or FBM.
Becoming an SFP seller streamlines your fulfillment process as you only need to manage inventory in your warehouses, instead of managing that inventory as well as additional inventory in Amazon’s warehouses.
Partnering With A 3PL | Amazon Fulfillment
Have experience with the program. Dealing with SFP requirements can be difficult.
Your 3PL should have advanced software that integrates directly with Amazon and gives you real-time visibility into order status and metrics.
You need a 3PL who is focused on customer service. Putting your SFP reputation into someone else’s hands is a leap of faith. Make sure you pick a partner who’s on your side, 100%.
Amazon Solutions Experts
Our team knows that all of the Amazon seller shipping options can be complicated and overwhelming. It can be challenging to decide which option is best for your business, especially when one option doesn’t fit all. It depends on the product you are selling, fulfillment capabilities, profit margins, and more. Our team knows how to meet Amazon’s stringent requirements for whichever option you choose. We have the solutions to help you scale your business, and we have the technology to execute the specifications for any Amazon shipment.
Talk With Taylor
Remember, the holiday season is around the corner. If you don’t have your fulfillment partner in place soon, you could be left out in the cold. Contact us today, and leave Black Friday and Cyber Monday to us. Fill out the form below and we will be in touch ASAP!
Are you thinking about partnering with a third-party logistics (3PL) company? If you are new to outsourcing fulfillment, what goes on in warehouses and fulfillment centers may seem daunting. But the fulfillment process doesn’t have to be such a mystery! Our team is taking a look at the journey of an order through 3PL fulfillment.
Your 3PL can’t ship orders if they don’t have your inventory! The receiving of your product is one of the top warehousing operations that must happen before your 3PL can start fulfilling orders for your online store. Receiving refers to the acceptance of incoming inventory, followed by its storage. Once your 3PL receives the products, they store your items in warehouses and fulfillment centers. Each SKU has a separate dedicated storage location, either on a racking shelf, in a bin, or on a pallet.
The fulfillment process begins once your customer places an order. As soon as an order is sent to your 3PL through their WMS, it is assigned to the picking team. Using the most efficient picking pattern, the picker receives a picking list of items, quantities, and storage locations at the facility to collect the order products from their respective areas. 3PLs understand that your goal is to minimize cost per order for fulfillment services. The picked items for each order are scanned and set aside for packaging.
After the picker has collected all the products for the order, it’s time to get them securely packed up and ready for shipping. Items are compiled and placed – along with dunnage and any other extra materials – into the appropriate box or bag. The printed shipping label is then affixed. Take place at this stage to ensure what was ordered is what was picked. Checks include order accuracy, packaging appropriateness, and labeling accuracy.
You may rely on your 3PL to manage parcel shipping on your behalf; if your volumes are modest, there could be a significant cost advantage to shipping under your 3PLs negotiated agreements with carriers. The 3PL will negotiate rates based on its aggregate volume across many different clients.
While these are the primary functions of online order fulfillment, just about every aspect of the process is customizable. Many 3PLs offer additional value-added services such as kitting and packaging.
Your 3PL Provider
Learn more about how partnering with Taylor can help your business scale and how their non-siloed operation system, which is comprised of top-of-the-line logistics services, can help your supply chain.