Amazon is the largest online marketplace, and the platform continues to grow. It provides amazing opportunities for online retail businesses to get their products in front of millions of shoppers.
If you are selling on Amazon, you’re definitely moving in the right direction. But if you’re only selling on Amazon, you could be missing out on scores of sales. It may seem like a daunting task to expand to eBay, Etsy, Shopify, or another platform, but when you’re already selling on Amazon and using Fulfilment By Amazon (FBA), it couldn’t be easier.
Amazon offers a Multi Channel Fulfilment (MCF) option that will help you expand to more sales channels with very little added work.
What is Amazon Multi Channel Fulfillment?
The FBA service from Amazon fulfills your Amazon orders, while the MCF option fulfills orders from other platforms. You can outsource all fulfillment to Amazon. Whether you sell products on eBay, Shopify, or another platform, Amazon will pick, package, and ship products to your customers. You only have to pay shipping and handling.
Multi Channel Fulfillment allows you to select standard, two-day, or next-day shipping, and it calculates shipping costs based on the weight and size of the product along with the selected shipping method.
If you want to use Amazon MCF, there are a couple of requirements. First, you need to be registered for FBA, which means you have a credit card on file with Amazon. That card will be billed for fulfillment costs, unless your seller account has a positive balance, then MCF fees will be deducted from the balance.
You must also have a Pro Merchant account with Amazon to use MCF which costs $39.99 per month, but you don’t pay individual product listing fees.
The last requirement is that you don’t ship internationally, unless your products are considered media items, as only those can be shipped out of country.
Make the Most of Amazon’s MCF with These Tips
Amazon’s MCF is a great option for online retailers as long as you already use FBA and can adhere to the above requirements. But there are a few things that can make it even better – for you and your customers.
#1 – Use Special Messaging on Packing Slips
With Amazon MCF, branding and personalization is limited. You can’t include customized inserts or packing slips, but you can have special messages printed on the packing slip. Take advantage of this special messaging to include a note to customers to show that you appreciate their business and value them as customers.
#2 – Modify Pricing Based on the Platform
One great thing about multichannel selling is that you can strategize pricing to increase your revenue. For example, if you are selling a product on Amazon, it may require a lower price to be competitive. That same product on another platform that isn’t as competitive can sell for a higher price.
#3 – Set Aside Some Profits
This tip makes good business sense no matter where you sell products. You never know when unexpected expenses may come up. With MCF, even though the pricing is cost effective, you will have fees such as shipping and handling, supplies, and account fees. Even if you pass these charges on to customers, it’s always a good idea to have money set aside for when you find a great product and need to list it to other sales channels quickly.
#4 – Engage with Other MCF Sellers
You can read pages and pages on Amazon’s Seller Central, but might be able to find the answers to questions much more quickly and practically if you ask another MCF seller. There are forums, Reddit threads, and many other ways to engage with other MCF sellers. You can also find useful strategies and suggestions for any challenges that you face.
#5 – Use the Right Tools
While MCF makes it more efficient for sellers to utilize various platforms, there are also a few software solutions that can make your job easier. Using a multichannel inventory management solution will help you keep track of stock across all channels. You can also find mobile applications for just about any business function. Don’t spend all of your time reconciling inventory or analyzing reports manually. Spend time on sourcing more products, marketing your products, and making more sales. Take advantage of the technology out there.
Selling on multiple platforms ensures that your products are seen by a larger audience. Amazon MCF makes it quick and easy for you to do it. Now that you know how it works and know a few tricks of the trade, get out there and sell!
About the author:
Nick Maglosky is the CEO of Ecomdash. Ecomdash is a smart, multichannel inventory, order, listing and shipping software for online retailers. Nick is passionate about small to mid-sized businesses and all things ecommerce, and enjoys researching innovative ways retailers can compete online in an increasingly diverse market.