If you are new to the eCommerce world, selling products on Amazon.com is a great place to start. Amazon averages 200 million unique visitors per month. This provides plenty of opportunity to get your business on the map. Not only does the product matter but also how you are going to get the products to your customers.
You have two choices for order fulfillment as an Amazon seller, Fulfilled by Amazon (FBA) or Fulfilled by Merchant (FBM).
Fulfilled by Amazon (FBA) is what Amazon’s answer is Fulfillment. Basically, you have the goods and Amazon will take care of everything else. All you really need to do is comply and follow their guidelines. Sounds pretty simple, am I right? Well, maybe not as simple as you think.
There are many pros to using Amazon for your fulfillment. For one, it’s a very hands-off process. All you really must do is provide your goods and then be able to relax and know your online business is pretty safe in their hands. Also, when fulfilling with amazon, you are automatically eligible for Amazon Prime.
There is just a few cons. For instance, you will need to do quite a bit of prep work to comply with their guidelines and make sure you are a fit for Amazon. Another con is having very little to zero branding for yourself.
Having your eCommerce fulfilled by Amazon will help you get things going for your company. They can do a few great things for you that ultimately but there are a few things that they lack.
If you aren’t really wanting to hand almost everything over to Amazon, FBM might help you go at your own speed. This allows you to be your own fulfillment center. You could do it from home, get a warehouse of your own and fulfill from there, or you can hire a 3PL (third-party logistics provider) to help you with your fulfillment.
One of the pros of FBM is that you are very hands on with your fulfillment. I know exactly what your customers will be getting and the state it should be in. With that another pro is that you can have better brand development. You have full control of branding and how you would like your brand to be perceived. You can enhance your unboxing experience and create a dedicated customer base.
Another pro is the SFP (Seller Fulfilled Prime). This means you can hold your own a little better against the immediate advantage that FBA sellers have. This allows FBM sellers to ship Prime from their own homes or warehouses. Amazon does have guidelines and requirements in order to qualify for SFP but it might be worth working it out.
The cons for FBM are few but might be enough to sway you the other direction. First one is that Amazon is a very competitive marketplace. If you don’t have SFP there are plenty of other companies that do. Customers are most likely to pick the item that has fast and cheep shipping.
FBM gives you so much control but with that comes a ton of responsibility. This option gives all of the fulfillment duties to you. From getting the packages out, to customer service to lost packages. This is all on you, while also marketing your product and keeping your online store in tip top shape.
FBM means a little more work by you, but this also means you can get help. Feel free to reach out to us to get a little more information on how a 3PL can help you with your fulfillment and get your product to Amazon. Launch Fulfillment is here to help you with all your fulfillment needs.