Amazon is one of the biggest eCommerce websites you’ll ever encounter on the internet. But still, the marketplace isn’t something “awe-inspiringly” unique. You can sell to customers with decent options, but don’t expect too many marketing layers.
However, Amazon’s fulfillment methods are the best in terms of providing you with various merchant-centric encouragements. You have two options: FBA (Fulfillment by Amazon) or the Merchant Fulfilled version. Remember, the latter program is a third-party one, so pick it if you have ample Amazon know-how as a seller and marketer.
Unquestionably, the FBA program is the most helpful for those new to Amazon. Choosing the Fulfilled by Amazon program means your entire merchandise stock, logistics, packaging, shipment, and aftersales service are safe.
On the other hand, Merchant fulfilled is more likely a third-party outsourcing company. It is solely your responsibility from stocking, packing, and transportation, to doorstep order delivery. However, it is connected to Amazon in some way but has fewer advantages than the customer-friendly FBA program. But remember, both programs have their perks and perils. So, choose wisely. Know that it depends upon the nature of your business as well as the online buyer-seller knowledge.
We recommend you hire an Amazon marketing company if you lack both of these merchant-oriented programs. But before you do, read below the positive sides and negative sides to help you decide better:
1. Fulfilled by Amazon (FBA)
If you choose FBA, you can waive the logistics of managing a warehouse, hiring a workforce, and shipping your products. Instead, the dedicated Amazon staff will handle every single process for you. Whether it’s product stocking, processing, packaging, and shipment to anything else in-between, Amazon will be on a roll!
Of course, you will have to pay for storage, logistics, and shipment services. Be prepared to expand your budget a little bit if you desire the FBA program for the long run. The duties, fees and other payments can be on the pricey side. But at the same time, you will get the utmost convenience and satisfaction. Now let’s head straight to the pros and cons of the Fulfillment by Amazon program:
Pro: Dedicated Amazon Prime support
There are over a hundred million Amazon prime members only in the US. Besides, who doesn’t want to subscribe to a multi-million company that sells 100% genuine products? It is the primary reason they go for the FBA-enabled products.
Moreover, these shoppers will be more likely to choose a product listing eligible for Prime shipping. The best part is that people using Amazon Prime enjoy reliable customer services and excellent aftersales assistance. The members of this program receive their products in less than three days. So, they have the upper hand when it comes to express shopping – and shipping products to their doorstep.
Pro: More Sales
When a shopper hits “Add to Cart,” Amazon chooses a seller based on several factors, including fulfillment. If your company uses the FBA fulfillment method, it’s more likely to win the sale.
Sometimes a product is connected to multiple sources. Therefore, if a buyer hits the “Add to Cart” button, Amazon picks a seller based on his experience, hard work, and reliability. But of course, there are higher chances for merchants that use the FBA program.
Pro: Multi-Channel Fulfillment
Selling products through more than one channel has many benefits. It is like the Omnichannel version that helps customers buy products online, at the outlets, or with a call. The FBA program runs multiple merchant channels correspondingly. You only have to play your role up front while Amazon handles the rest of the process. From product stocking to packaging to shipment, it handles every A-To-Z process in the pecking order.
Pro: 24/7 Customer Service
Undeniably, you can relax and enjoy your time with friends and family while Amazon takes care of everything. FBA gives you the benefit of not having to worry about customer service. It is a pretty attractive investment for startups looking to win more customers quickly. Thus, there is no need to build a customer service center or employ costly representatives. And the same applies to you. Got that?!
Additionally, Amazon has highly effective customer service. The company handles everything itself and ensures customers with a money-back guarantee for bogus and damaged products. Also, they provide instant responses to consumers and quick fixes to their problems. What else better you can ask for than this?! Indeed, FBA is an excellent program for merchants looking to pave the way for their brands.
Con: Higher Payments
Choosing the FBA program feels like hiring an Amazon marketing services agency. It is costly and has more deterrent consequences for your wallets and bank accounts.
Con: Limited Inventory Control
Once you lose control of your inventory, as Amazon puts it in their warehouse, the freedom is over. It means you have less access and control to handle your product(s). Remember, if you irritably put those products on different channels to sell them, you may have to pay fees to Amazon for their revival.
2. Merchant Fulfilled
This program works best for long-standing companies and enterprises with a dedicated fulfillment system. Amazon allows merchants to pick this third-party option at their own risk. It indicates that once anyone selects it, they’re responsible for stock, packaging, shipment, and doorstep delivery of products. But at the end of the day, the Amazon return policy is also applicable here!
Now let’s dive into the pros and cons:
Pro: You can still join Amazon’s Seller Fulfilled Prime SFP) Program
You can sign up for Amazon’s Seller Fulfilled Program (SFP) to acquire Amazon Prime benefits while using the Merchant-oriented program. Isn’t this amazing! You will receive the most sought-after Prime badge. But you must fulfill orders within two days to keep the honor intact.
Pro: More Inventory freedom and flexibility
Your stock remains under your belt, so you don’t need to worry about losing it in the long run. You’re in control here!
Pro: Dodging Amazon’s overtaxing charges
The Merchant Fulfillment Program (MFP) is best if you want to avoid spendthrift sales taxes and levy duties imposed by the ecommerce giant.
Con: Fewer sales with slowed Click-through rates (CTR)
Sadly, Amazon prefers FBA-enabled sellers more than their less esteemed counterparts. Thus, considerable damages to the sales count for the month. Sorry to break the bubble here, but it’s true.
Con: Relying on third-party Customer Service
Last but not least, you have to “reluctantly” trust a third-party program. Believe us, selling products on Amazon and outsourcing logistics and shipment is unforgivable.
Choosing between the two programs is a tough choice for merchants. Therefore, going through their plusses and negatives can certainly help them “and you” make a better decision. But we prefer you stick to the FBA program if you’re a newbie on Amazon. Otherwise, you can go with the third-party merchant version, but your risk and sweepstakes are at stake. Our last piece of advice to you will be to do insightful research and inspection before picking your best one. Good luck!