The original intent of Jeff Bezos, founder of Amazon, may have been to choose a name that started with an “A” to rank first in alphabetical listings. That’s pretty smart. But, to choose a name like Amazon that would later so appropriately fit the company, that’s genius. Not only is the Amazon the longest river in the world, it also carries the largest volume of water. The parallel is fascinating. It goes without saying, Amazon.com truly is a giant in the world of eCommerce and only a select few are large enough to take up head-to-head battle while the rest of us must buckle on our best lifejackets, jump in and hope we survive…and thrive.
As Amazon Sellers, you have choices in your fulfillment strategy. You can choose to fulfill on your own or via FBA. You can make your decisions based on how much control you want over your packaging, pricing, inventory, and shipping costs. Does your inventory turn enough to avoid fees? Is Prime status your number one priority? Can your margins handle published freight rates? In the end, it’s a unique path to success for each seller, which is why finding a fulfillment partner that understands it’s not a one-size-fits-all adventure is so important.
Three questions to ask yourself when deciding if a 3PF could help you optimize your fulfillment and sell more on Amazon:
Are you a control freak?
So maybe being a control freak isn’t always welcomed in your personal life. But, in business, it’s sometimes necessary. It may be the reason you are currently fulfilling your own Amazon orders versus using FBA. It may also be the reason you’ve been hesitant to expand your reach through a fulfillment partner. The truth is, the right 3PF will appreciate, even embrace, your need to control your packaging, freight costs and inventory levels. They’ll help you maintain your brand experience and even bring additional value-added services to the table.
Is Prime important but your freight costs are killing you?
Achieving Prime status can look very different among sellers, but with over 90 million* Prime members in the U.S. alone, it’s worth your time and energy to figure out how to get there. Fulfillment by Amazon definitely has its advantages with Prime status being one of them, but it’s not an ideal solution for every seller. If you prefer to remain a seller-fulfilled partner to Amazon but you haven’t achieved Prime eligibility or you’re struggling to control freight expenses, your best ally is a 3PF that has experience with Amazon performance metrics. When doing your research, look for a 3PF with a national fulfillment footprint, discounted freight rates, the ability to offer regional and national Prime status, and experience in performing live testing with Amazon in order to award you with the Prime tag.
Do you crave the elusive Buy Box?
There’s no magic formula for achieving the Buy Box. Well, actually there is. It’s an algorithmic code so complex only the Amazon gods and the great Wizard of Oz can crack it. A good fulfillment partner won’t be able to guarantee the Buy Box, but they can absolutely help you achieve the performance-based requirements to become Buy Box eligible. This at least gets you in the game. From there, it’s a matter of finding competitive advantages, so look for a fulfillment partner that can offer Seller Fulfilled Prime, virtual bundling with unique ASN capabilities, and a track record of accuracy to increase your chances of winning.
Still wearing that lifejacket? Take a look at your current selling strategy and fulfillment model with Amazon and decide if you’re merely surviving or truly thriving. A 3rd party fulfillment partner might be the answer to give you that extra edge, gain more control over your brand, help you effectively manage your freight costs and ultimately sell more on Amazon.
About DM Fulfillment: We understand Amazon represents a huge opportunity and have invested in technology-driven fulfillment solutions to allow sellers to capitalize on that opportunity. Our five strategically located and highly-automated fulfillment centers provide cost-effective shipping solutions, national reach within 1-2 days via ground and expertise in direct-to-consumer fulfillment. We offer product marketers and manufacturers seamless integration with Amazon and today’s omni-channel world. Visit www.dmfulfillment.com or call us today to learn more 855.710.8685.
*Source: Consumer Intelligence Research Partners (CIRP)