Multi-channel fulfillment by Amazon: The pros, cons, and alternatives

Multi-Channel Fulfillment
Logistics Technology
Shipping Solutions
Inventory Management

Table of Contents

Multi-channel fulfillment Amazon, often known as MCF, offers a complete package of fulfillment services. It's aimed at sellers who operate outside of the Amazon marketplace. Earlier, in 2006, Amazon launched Fulfillment by Amazon, wherein you can list your products while they'll take care of all the shipping, logistics, and customer care services. So now, even if you sell your products independently online, you can send your products to the right customers via MCF.

If you want to invest time in running your business operations, strategizing new methods, and continuing with exposure plans, MCF is a good choice. Choosing MCF for fulfillment means you don't have to worry about packaging, handling, or shipping your products to the right consumers.

The MCF comes in three different shipping options:

  • The Standard shipping takes 3-5 business days
  • The expedited shipping, which takes only 2 days
  • The priority shipping (where your product is shipped the following day)

But is the MCF all rainbows and sunshine? Here's the pros and cons list so you can ultimately decide if MCF is what your business needs.

The pros;

  1. Full transparency

    The whole shipping process is entirely transparent. Both you and your customer can know where the product is at any moment. Further, their customer care services are top-notch. If you have any concerns, you can contact one of the representatives, who will assist you.
  2. Your goods are in safe hands

    Your goods reach the final destination in proper condition. Yes, they make sure the product is well packed and won't get damaged on the way.
  3. Different shipping options to choose from

    As mentioned earlier, Amazon's MCF provides three different shipping options. You can choose from any of the three based on the nature of the product and how urgent the customer wants it.

    Priority shipping is a boon as it allows you to ship the goods to the customers who want them within the next two or three days. The product gets shipped as promised, and you get a tracking number that you can share with the customer.

    On the other hand, if the product isn't of urgent necessity, then you can avoid paying additional charges for priority shipping. The standard shipping is more than enough.
  4. You have complete control over the inventory

    As all your items are shipped from the warehouses, you can easily keep all the stock numbers up-to-date across all your sales channels. The inventory process becomes much more manageable. It also ensures your customer service is well maintained and your brand gets a good name when shipping the product and dealing with the customer orders.

The cons;

  1. The fees

    The first con has to be the fees. Even if you go for standard shipping, the price is still higher compared to the other available options. For all the exceptional services Amazon provides, they also charge exuberant fees, which might break your back if you are a small business owner.

    They also levy something called storage fees. That means if your product has been sitting idle in the Amazon storage facility for quite some time, they add the storage fees to your overall cost.
  2. The branding

    Since it's Amazon that handles all the logistics and shipping, they don't allow you to use separate braided packaging for your goods. The product inside the packaging may be entirely your brainchild. But the branding on the outside will always belong to Amazon. For this reason, online marketplaces such as Walmart and eBay don't allow you to deal with MCF for fulfillment needs. There are other fullfilment services might come in handy for that purpose like Shopify.

The alternatives

If you feel that Multichannel Amazon fulfillment isn't something that is suited for your business, below are some of the options you can opt for:

  • YouParcel Fulfillment
  • FedEX Fulfillment
  • Rakuten Super Logistics

Remember, all of these fulfillment services have their pros and shortcomings. So research well before settling on one. You can even go for multiple options, as some logistics may deal with something other than a particular item.

Best of luck with finding a solution that fits your business!

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