5 FBA Alternatives That Amazon Sellers Should Consider

Approximately  55% of consumers begin their online shopping searches on Amazon over Google.  9 out of 10 consumers check product prices on Amazon before they decide to purchase.

If you don’t already sell on Amazon as an eCommerce merchant, you miss 150.6 million Amazon mobile users in the U.S alone as for September 2019 statistics.

However, selling on Amazon is not always a smooth sail, more so when you have to fulfill orders coming in from customers. Fulfillment By Amazon (FBA) is an excellent method, but the requirements and set guidelines can discourage you from using it.

Again, Amazon limited products that come to their FBA centers due to high demand and limited space opting for essential products only.

 This resulted in Amazon sellers to look for alternative ways to fulfill orders. Some of these methods include;

1.Fulfilled By Merchant

Amazon FBM  allows sellers to fulfill their orders from Amazon customers using their means of order fulfillment.

It’s the best method for Amazon sellers with products that have very low margins that would otherwise be even smaller from Amazon FBA fees.

How does Amazon FBM work?

Your store or products’ account gets set up on Amazon, and you select FBM to fulfill customer orders. When an order comes in, you get the product from the warehouse location you have put them, packaged, and ship directly to the customer’s address.

Also, you handle returns and customer service. But you don’t have to do this whole process by yourself. You can get delivery partners to help ease the process.

Other reasons that make FBM  better are;

  • When your seller low-frequency sale products.
  • Where your unit volume of the products is low.
  • Your products are heavy.
  • Commingling is a risk for you.
  • You need cheaper warehousing and handling.

2.Seller- Fulfillment Prime.

Amazon Prime service has over 100  million users globally.

When you fulfill orders of  Amazon Prime Members, the speed of delivery is critical. Same-Day or 2-Day delivery is the norm.

Amazon sellers who qualify for a Prime badge after meeting all the requirements can sometimes make it hard to meet the delivery timeline.

Seller-Fulfillment Prime was introduced in 2015 to help solve this hurdle.  SFP allows Amazon Prime sellers to partner with fulfillment partners who can fulfill orders within the prime timeline.

Partnering with a qualified third party partner for your SFP is ideal for heavy products which cost more when stored and fulfilled by FBA.

Other benefits of SFP are;

  • It enables you to transport oversized products since FBA has restrictions on product size they deliver.
  • Your inventory is kept in order by your fulfillment partner.
  • You get to build your brand with ease with custom packaging.

3.Do-It-Yourself Fulfillment

You can deliver orders with direct Fulfillment. Almost every business starts with this method. All you need is enough space to store your products, printed packaging labels as and a means of getting the packages to the post office for delivery.

However, this works well if your core customers are local and deliver small unit volumes.

Also, for perishable products like groceries from your farm, you can deliver them directly to your customers and minimize delivery costs if you use a logistics company.

But the main challenge with this fulfillment method is the scalability of both storage space and labor as you grow your business.

 You can solve by outsourcing to a fulfillment partner when you reach a point where your staff cannot handle a growing business’s complexity.

4. 3PL Fulfillment

Third-party Fulfillment’s forecast is USD 1.3 trillion by 2024. This means online sellers are moving their order fulfillments to 3PL fulfillment partners.

Amazon sellers, too, can use third-party partners to fulfill their orders.  FBA rates rise every day, making the sellers look for alternative ways to fulfill customers’ orders at a relatively lower price.

Again Amazon sellers are facing several other challenges with the FBA program;

Lack of inventory control 

Amazon requires you to send a large portion of your inventory to their FBA fulfillment centers.

 From that point, the inventory in their warehouse is under control and stays there even if it’s already dead stock and to get it back is a lengthy procedure.

No-personal touch with your customers

Customer service in Amazon is not personalized, considering the considerable number of customers and merchants. So, if your customer needs a fast solution to your product usage or replacement, it gets hard to do it.

No product customization

  It’s hard to build a brand when you use FBA to fulfill orders because you can’t customize according to your customers ‘ needs and differentiate your product from the competition.

However, 3PL fulfillment companies help you resolve all these challenges with ease with FBA prep services. One, they have dedicated staff to handle any customer service questions.

They offer custom packaging labels for their partners, and lastly, reliable 3PLs have built advanced inventory management systems to keep track of your stock.

5.Dropshipping Fulfillment

Dropshipping with Amazon FBA  is expensive and has more stringent requirements. Like you pay up to 6 months of storage fees in advance. It’s discouraged due to long delivery periods.

But still, their some Amazon sellers who use this method. Those sellers already on Amazon and want to use dropshipping will need a 3PL fulfillment partner to do the heavy lifting for them like;

  • Source the products they sell from their suppliers
  • Store the inventory in their 3PL warehouses
  • Pick, pack, and ship packages when orders come in.

Over To You

You are an Amazon seller, or you want to open an account on Amazon; fulfilling customer orders must be top of mind. Selling on Amazon requires a speed in delivery.

The fulfillment method you decide to go with must meet the Amazon requirements, and most  3PL fulfillment partners already offer these alternatives to FBA.

Choose an FBA fulfillment alternative that fits your eCommerce store stage of operation on Amazon and let it fulfill orders for you seamlessly.

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