Streamlining the shipping process is an essential aspect of every eCommerce business. Suppose you are considering being a merchant on the giant eCommerce platform Amazon. In that case, you should know what Amazon seller shipping options are accessible to fulfill your customer orders quickly.
The correct shipping method would lead to efficient inventory management and satisfied customers. Choosing the proper shipping method would impact the speed of your sales cycle, reduce your overall shipping costs, simplify inventory management, and boost customers' reliability on your product deliveries.
Amazon offers some attractive shipping options depending on the seller program you use to conduct business on the platform. Each business program entitles sellers to utilize different shipping methods. Hence, sellers should acquaint themselves with various business dimensions of Amazon to increase their sales points. If you want to familiarize yourself with various seller shipping options on Amazon, you have come to the right place. Please read this guide to learn about Amazon's all shipping options for sellers to streamline customer order fulfillment.
A Brief Overview Of Amazon Shipping Options Available For Sellers
Amazon supports several shipping methods for sellers. But most merchants only think FBA and FBM are the two shipping options available to sell their products on Amazon. However, to empower its merchants and retain customers, Amazon provides sellers with more shipping options to help them manage their sale cycle and inventory. Here are the six Amazon shipping options for sellers you need to know about:
1. Fulfilled By Amazon (FBA)
FBA is one of the most known Amazon shipping methods available for sellers, which avail tremendous advantages of Prime shipping. In this option, Amazon is responsible for product storage, packing, and shipping to the customers. The seller must send the inventory to Amazon, and the platform will store the products in their warehouse. Additionally, Amazon will be responsible for order returns and answering customer queries. It's a great shipping option for Amazon sellers who want to outsource their order fulfillment process to Amazon.
- Fulfilled by Amazon shipping option makes the seller's product eligible for Amazon Prime. This means the product will have free two days of shipping for Prime members, which can lead to increased sales and more exposure to your products.
- It would be much easier to handle product shipping and product returns and get access to Amazon Prime customers.
- Sellers must pay additional fees for storage, order fulfillment, and other Amazon services.
- There is an increased possibility of product damage, and sellers need more control over the shipping process.
2. Fulfilled By Merchant (FBM)
FBM stands for Fulfilled by Merchant, where the seller takes charge of the overall product selling process. This is one of the popular shipping options Amazon provides, so sellers can enjoy the privilege of controlling their inventory level, shipping scalability, choosing fulfillment methods, etc. Amazon enables its FBM seller to list their products on its e-commerce platform. However, the seller is responsible for storing their inventory.
The seller would handle the delivery process independently, see order returns, and solve customer issues. This Amazon shipping method is suitable for sellers who want to do business with Amazon as an additional marketing channel for their eCommerce business.
If the seller has fewer products and receives lower revenue, using the FBM shipping options will help you save money without paying additional Amazon fees associated with the shipping fees. It is also relevant for a seller to use FBM if they can ship their products for much less money than Amazon through their delivery partner network or a third-party logistics network.
- The seller would have more control over the entire order fulfillment process by choosing their shipping carrier and packaging system and scaling their delivery speed.
- No need to worry about complying with Amazon's requirements for shipping services it offers or unexpected costs due to changes in Amazon's fee structure or order fulfillment policy.
- FBM would not allow you to take advantage of prime shipping Amazon offers.
- Potential customers may stop doing business with you as you don't offer prime delivery options. About 103 million Prime users are buying from Amazon for faster shipping time, and they may prefer another brand that offers better delivery policies.
- Sellers would face more competition to win the Buy Box on Amazon, which means shoppers would be less likely to see your product listing to purchase them.
3. Seller Fulfilled Price (SFP)
Seller Fulfilled Price is another seller's shipping method devised by the Amazon program for sellers with a warehouse to store their inventory. The sellers should be selling with Amazon for a while. The SFP sellers should demonstrate their ability to consistently deliver their products on time to be eligible for this shipping program and stay committed to this requirement to ship through this program. This is a suitable shipping service for sellers who don't want to pay Amazon for product storage fees but want to have Prime features.
Merchants wishing to engage in the SFP program must go through a 300 orders trial period. Access to adequate warehouse solutions, but the seller must have qualified staff to handle a large influx of orders if they must ship on the same day. It's an intelligent method for some sellers to keep more in-house while keeping the valuable Prime badge on their listings.
- SFP would be a very affordable and profitable option allowing sellers to use their order fulfillment services and third-party logistics companies to sell their products through Amazon.
- No need to pay hefty FBA fulfillment fees and get a prime badge on their products.
- Sellers can manage their inventory size in Amazon warehouses remotely.
- The SFP shipping method by Amazon is relevant for sellers who save significantly by storing the inventory themselves.
- Sellers must meet strict performance metrics like a 99% on-time shipping rate, 4.5-star seller rating, etc.
- Sellers need to print packing slips through Amazon. So sellers need to log into their Amazon shippers account to create and print shipping labels. This can be time-consuming if the seller's system can't combine with Amazon's API. Sellers may need to develop applications that can be directly integrated with the Merchant Fulfillment API to solve this issue.
4. Amazon Seller Central
Merchants manufacturing their brand products can use Amazon's Invitation-only Seller Central program. This lucrative seller shipping method in Amazon enables merchants to become a supplier to Amazon wholesale, and the platform handles the rest of the fulfillment process. The seller needs to take care of the products delivered to the Amazon warehouse on time. Amazon offers this program to resell products.
- Bring a higher number of sales to the brand.
- Seller Central cuts down on the whole order fulfillment process for the manufacturing merchants.
- Sellers will have to sell their inventory at a reduced price.
- If a seller sells a product in other channels, Amazon can be a big competitor for the brand.
5. FBA Onsite
As an e-commerce giant, Amazon has revolutionized the way businesses operate online. It enables sellers to use the FBA Onsite program for a hassle-free fulfillment process. This program is a combined feature of FBA and SFP. It allows sellers to apply for the Prime shipping and store inventory process in their warehouse. Moreover, sellers can use FBA Onsite programs to manipulate Amazon's software and shipping network. This enables sellers to still have essential control over their order fulfillment process while saving money on the software requirements.
- The FBA Onsite service is designed to be a more cost-effective alternative to Amazon's traditional FBA service.
- Sellers have more control over their inventory, whereas Amazon views the sellers' warehouse as Amazon's warehouse.
- Sellers can save money on delivery costs and other associative fees for order fulfillment.
- Only a few sellers have access to the FBA Onsite program. It is an invite-only program from 2018.
6. Shipping With Amazon (SWA)
The Shipping with Amazon option for sellers is a newly launched program by Amazon that is still not accessible to many Amazon sellers. It is only available to sellers in selected locations. In this program, sellers can continue to do business through their inventory, and Amazon would take responsibility for their shipping jobs when the orders are placed on the site. This means Amazon would work as a shipping company for the seller, like FedEx, UPS, etc., to deliver the seller's product.
- Seller brands that want to use the Prime badge for their products sell but want to avoid paying for the overall fulfillment costs.
- Brands can obtain Amazon's stringent delivery requirements.
- This option is available for sellers who don't qualify for warehouses for SFP or FBA Onsite shipping.
- Limited geographic coverage of the program is available to only a few sellers in selected cities.
Related: Shipping for Small Business Solutions: Practical Guide
Other Shipping Options Available To Amazon Customers
Online buyers on Amazon can access various shipping options that sellers should know about, as their Amazon shipping requirements may get affected by buyer shipping options. Other than the standard shipping process, some customers and sellers are prime members or subscribe to faster shipping options. Here is what to know:
Amazon Premium Shipping
Amazon Premium Shipping is one of the popular options for customers to enjoy Amazon seller free shipping. This is a premium membership shipping on the Amazon platform, which includes same-day shipping, one-day shipping, and two-day shipping. Sellers selling on Amazon for over 90 days can use this premium shipping option advantage.
Merchants can set the type of premium Amazon shipping options and prices per the expenses they expect to incur. The seller has to follow through on delivering those orders on time, or they may lose their eligibility to continue offering Premium Shipping.
Amazon Subscribe and Save
Since products like toiletries or wellness products are ordered regularly, buyers can schedule their repeat shipments rather than calling them each time with the Amazon Subscribe and Save option. They can get 5% to 15% off and free delivery for monthly orders.
This way, Amazon sellers can gain loyal and regular customers. Even though you sell slightly lower, you get higher order numbers and repeated purchases. It would help sellers to get faster revenue sources. But the seller must keep their products stocked in the inventory by about 85% to participate in this Amazon shipping program.
Amazon Prime Shipping
More than 60% of Amazon buyers now have Prime memberships to get fast and free shipping options on their purchases. Any seller who wants to use the Prime shipping options has to give the whole order fulfillment process to Amazon, which might also include additional fees.
Various Prime shipping options are available to sellers, each with different requirements. Sellers need to maintain high-performance metrics for order fulfillment to join Prime shipping and have their products eligible for Prime Products. Stay updated with the Prime Shipping requirements to take advantage of this option.
So, there you have it: all the details on Amazon’s Six Shipping Services and how they work. With this knowledge, you can decide which option is best for your store and business needs. If you’re ready to take the next step on becoming a successful eCommerce seller, come up with a shipping strategy that minimizes costs while providing quality service to your customers - and make sure to use FBA shipping whenever possible! No matter what route you choose, just remember that any investment in smart packing and secure shipping can lead to long-term success. And if you ever find yourself in need of help reducing shipping costs for eCommerce orders, get in touch with Simpl—we can provide easy solutions based on your needs.
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