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Amazon fulfillment is the process of picking, packing, and shipping products ordered on Amazon.com. Amazon is known for cheap same-day shipping and free two-day shipping for Prime customers. Merchants that sell through Amazon’s platform must conform to Amazon’s standards for packing and shipping products.
Amazon fulfillment options
Amazon fulfillment falls into three categories: self-fulfillment, fulfillment by Amazon (FBA), Seller Fulfilled Prime (SFP), and third-party fulfillment.
1. Amazon Fulfilled by Merchant
Amazon Fulfilled by Merchant (FBM) is when the merchant directly completes the ecommerce fulfillment process. This is typically only used by small businesses, such as those working out of a house with little customer service. Self-fulfillment is very time-consuming, especially as volume increases, but requires little to no upfront investment. This method is most ideal for merchants who sell a few high-profit products a month.
Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA) is when a merchant ships its products directly to Amazon warehouses across the country for fulfillment. FBA products can sell quicker, but it’s the most expensive order fulfillment option. Different fees such as long-term storage fees, warehousing fees, and fulfillment fees add up quickly for FBA sellers. Merchants lose control over the process and are not allowed to use their own packaging or documentation, as FBA packages are shipped in Amazon boxes, appearing that they are sold by Amazon.
Seller Fulfilled Prime (SFP) is an order fulfillment program offered through Amazon that enables a third-party seller to ship Prime orders directly to customers in 2 days — in accordance with the Amazon Seller Fulfilled Prime requirements — from their own warehouse. Enrolling in the SFP program can help a seller’s listings through increased discoverability and by displaying the Prime badge.
4. Third-party fulfillment
Third-party fulfillment is when a logistics provider, like ShipBob picks, packs, and ships orders on behalf of the merchant who is selling items on Amazon. Many merchants chose a third-party fulfillment service because of the great value.
ShipBob, for example, has hundreds of thousands of square feet in warehouse space in various warehouses across the country. Because fulfillment logistics providers work with large volumes, carrying out hundreds of thousands of orders a month, they negotiate large discounts with carriers for the best shipping rates, as well as packaging and overall logistics costs.
A third-party logistics provider can reduce fulfillment and shipping costs without the merchant losing control over the process.
Why choose ShipBob for Amazon fulfillment?
ShipBob offers Fulfillment by Merchant (FBM) and if you utilize Amazon fulfillment today, we highly recommend diversifying your fulfillment options (e.g., use both FBA and FBM) to maximize sales. Learn why sellers have moved off of Amazon to ShipBob for FBM here.
While ShipBob cannot fulfill Amazon Prime orders, ShipBob does offer fulfillment services for Amazon FBM orders, including:
With ShipBob’s fulfillment network of warehouses across the country, your inventory can be strategically split to be closer to your end customers, just like with FBA. The less distance they have to travel, the less you’ll pay for shipping. With distributed inventory, you can offer affordable, 2-day shipping via ground to more customers.
With ShipBob, you can use your own packaging at no additional cost. Unboxing an order is central to the customer and brand experience, so ShipBob makes it easy. Their name will never appear on your packages, and your customers don’t even have to know they exist.
ShipBob quickly processes returns and gets products back into your supply line, simplifying your inventory management on refunds.
Free packing supplies
ShipBob customers who don’t want to use custom branded packages can take advantage of their free plain brown boxes, as well as free packing supplies, including tape, inserts, and more.
ShipBob’s proprietary software fully integrates with Amazon’s platform (among many others), so that when an order rolls in, ShipBob takes care of it. This eliminates any need to manually track ecommerce orders or communicate orders.
Discounted shipping rates
ShipBob has negotiated reduced shipping rates with the four major U.S. carriers and automatically passes those savings onto you. ShipBob will save you the most money possible for each order that gets fulfilled.
ShipBob is trusted by thousands of merchants across the country. Whether you’re selling through Amazon or another online ecommerce site, ShipBob is a partner of choice. Sign up below to learn more.
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