Ever wondered about how to automate your Fulfillment by Amazon process? We know, changes might be scary, but it’s definitely a chance for you, because… Hold on a second, we will tell you everything in a few moments. At first we want to show you what the Amazon fulfillment process is and which steps are important to get fully automated. Furthermore, we will present you more fulfillment types. So let’s get started!
What is Amazon FBA, and how does it work?
FBA is short for: fulfillment by Amazon. The Amazon fulfillment process is maybe the most forward in the whole world. And that means something. But how does it work? Merchants who are listed on Amazon, offer products and services, can either send them to the customer on their own or use the Amazon shipping service.
For this you first have to create a seller account to make use of the fulfillment by Amazon. The moment you sign up for the program, you get access to prime standard shipping as a merchant. And your customers will love that.
Translated, it means nothing else than processing by Amazon. Especially if you are still new and need help getting started, selling through Amazon is a good option. Because: the products are better placed within the overall search results.
After your registration, you have to send your products to an Amazon logistics center, and they will be stored there.
In the next step, the orders are processed and placed by the Amazon shipping network. You can manage and view the stock levels with your merchant account.
Amazon fulfillment is like a secret weapon for businesses. It is a helpful tool that takes the headache out of selling products on the internet.
Yet, Amazon fulfillment allows you to ship products in bulk or one by one to Amazon’s warehouses and fulfillment centers. Amazon takes care of the rest afterwards.
Advantages with Amazon fulfillment
Don’t worry because even if you are a small business, you can make use of Amazon fulfillment. Simply start with your own Amazon Account and create your business step by step.
Afterwards you can find out what works the best for you, your products and your brand before launching your own website. Additionally, you can test products on one of the biggest and most visited marketplaces of the whole world. By the way: Amazon is most trusted as well.
Further, the end customer support is professional and friendly. The customer always comes first. As a result, you can handle shipping of individuals better, so you don’t have to worry about shipping cutoffs or late shipments.
And the handling of returns will be easier. Therefore, you can focus on marketing your products and securing more sales or building your own brand.
Afraid of negative feedback? It will no longer be a problem because you won’t be in charge of fulfillment orders.
Before we will show you the automation steps in detail, here is a quick overview of all the advantages:
- shipping individual orders, you don’t have to go to the post office yourself
- easier returns
- feedback, Amazon takes the hit when it comes to fulfillment
- customer support: questions about order or shipment or arrival are taken care by Amazon
Automation is the key to easier work
The Amazon fulfillment process is one part, but more important for us right now, is the automation of the whole procedure. So, what is automation, and what does it do on Amazon, particularly?
Above all, this process accelerates fulfillment in logistic centers and enhances customer satisfaction.
Really neat, or?
But that’s not all, the automation process hands over some daily tasks and leads to more automated sales on the platform. This means you have more time for organizational tasks and no more worries.
Well we know, there is much work to do, and automation simply makes it easier for you to complete all of your tasks.
How automation can make things easier for you
So let’s dive deeper into the topic. For example let us look at inventory management. For this topic it’s important to analyze how much stock you have. The automation of the Amazon fulfillment procedure knows your current level at all times and can even predict when you have to restock. Furthermore, with the automated Amazon fulfillment, you can avoid being out of stock.
Therefore, the whole process is good for effective planning, ordering and optimized storage. It means, you have no more single lists. Just imagine: All information bundled in only one system.
With the help of the automation and the whole Amazon fulfillment system, you can easily switch suppliers and change your delivery time. Most of all, it is important to mention that you can oversee all physical inventory from one convenient location.
Because you will never ever miss a single thing with Amazon fulfillment and your automated processes. Moreover, you can enjoy automatic inventory updates.
For better understanding, imagine the following scenario: A customer wants to buy your product but can’t do that because you simply don’t have a single article left… That’s a bummer…
With automation, you always know what to order and when to order. Additionally, you can also create multiple pick locations, using barcoding to pick.
And last but not least you can compile bundles and kits and provide the flexibility to fulfill using pre-packaged inventory or components.
Fulfillment by Amazon and processing orders…
Important question: How can Amazon fulfillment and automation help with the processing of orders? For example, you can store and commission your products. It’s simply time-consuming if you do your own fulfillment without any help. So, let us explain how the process works without any automation:
At first, you need to find products in storage. Then you need to ship them because at some point you won’t have enough space… And overall, the organization consumes a lot of nerves and time as well.
For this reason you write a pick-list, so you know what to pick up from the warehouse and take a note, where the products are.
Then you sort your lists by location and work through all these lists to find the products. After that, you put them in a transport box, and you go to the packing table. Once arrived, you sort your goods according to your packing list because you have to know which order you are sending to whom.
But that’s not all yet, because you do your invoice and your shipping labels and your tracking number and so on…
Everything you just read is really time-consuming and hard for organizations to manage, especially if they are big in business. Furthermore, it can be dangerous because you could mix up goods or addresses…
Within your Amazon fulfillment automation process, you have the following options:
- get pick and pack lists generated automatically, so you don’t have to combine orders by hand
- tools using barcodes that provide all info when you scan it, incl address and package contents, so you just need to pack and print the automatically created matching labels
- create invoices automatically, save time, make sure it’s all correct
Automation of returns
Above all, it’s easier said than done to handle returns. Fact: returns can happen, they are unavoidable – especially on Amazon – and there has to be a solution for the customer.
Moreover, the more people get used to online-shopping and the option of easy returns, the more consumers will do it.
That is why you should have a return process and customer service. Provide a shipping label by PDF or email. And create an overview of current returns and shipping status as a seller. That will make it easier for you and your customers.
Now that we have also clarified this area, let’s move on to the fulfillment types.
There is not only the fulfillment by Amazon type. Two more should be mentioned and one of these is the fulfillment by Merchant (FBM). The main difference between the first fulfillment types – FBA and FBM – is that the merchant in the FBM process is responsible for the entire order process.
The advantage: lower fees because you are responsible for your orders and pay the shipping costs. As a result you can pass these costs on to the consumer. With this fulfillment type, you have full control of your products.
With the fulfillment by Amazon (FBA), products can cause negative impacts on your account if the article is defective. In contrast, with Fulfillment by Merchant, you don’t have the option to ship items with Prime. Therefore, some customers just keep scrolling because of the shipping costs.
The last one of the fulfillment types is the seller fulfilled Prime (SPF). With the help of this method, you gain the advantages of prime eligibility and can control your products as well. It seems like a mixture of the other two fulfillment types.
But there is always a negative side, as you know: The requirements are not easy to achieve for this Amazon fulfillment type.
In summary, you can see that these three fulfillment types are unique and fits each individual need. If you are new to all this, the first fulfillment type – FBA – might work the best for you.
Fulfillment by Amazon is a way to make the whole selling process easier for you. Especially if you are a new seller, want to experiment and try things out.
The automation process will simplify your returns, shipping procedure and many steps more. FBA allows you to offer prime shipping and many customers love that.
But, there are more fulfillment types and each method has its own advantages and disadvantages.