News & Insights
Streamline your Amazon Shipping with an FBA Partner
Selling on Amazon is complex, and fulfillment is just one of many challenges. Fortunately, the launch of Amazon’s Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA) services simplified this aspect of running an Amazon business. Seller Central brands now have the option of letting Amazon handle much of the packing, shipping and customer service duties necessary to meet shopper expectations.
While selling FBA products can be less costly and more streamlined than managing all the logistics independently, it’s not the only step brands can take to optimize their Amazon sales. Integrating Amazon FBA consulting into their operations can ensure a company has the support and expertise necessary to make the most of the FBA option.
Understanding Amazon’s FBA
One of the ways that Amazon sellers try to reach their full potential and land the coveted Buy Box is by opting to use Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA) rather than managing the process alone. The service outsources order fulfillment to the online retailer and puts your products inside an Amazon FBA warehouse where they can be picked, packed and shipped by an Amazon employee. Unlike a Vendor Central 1P relationship, the seller retains complete control over pricing and inventory management while relying on Amazon logistics for the rest.
Obviously, the decision to use Amazon’s FBA service comes with added costs. In addition to paying standard seller fees on orders, Amazon will also charge a fulfillment fee based on the type and size of the product. Storage fees for the space that inventory takes up in Amazon’s fulfillment centers are yet another cost that results from using an FBA model for sales. However, some of these costs would simply originate elsewhere, such as from in-house employees or a different logistics provider. By partnering with Amazon on fulfillment, sellers enjoy an easier path to Amazon Prime status for their products, reduced customer interactions and more streamlined processes for returns.
The strengths of an Amazon FBA partner
Amazon seller success hinges on a company’s ability to get its products to customers quickly. In many cases, the best way to accomplish this is via Fulfillment by Amazon. The most valuable Amazon agencies can provide FBA-optimized warehousing space that is often advantageously located near Amazon’s shipping hubs. Whether a brand is shipping to Amazon as a vendor, supplying FBA inventory, or fulfilling customer orders directly, the storage, packing, labeling and shipping of a product need to be expertly managed. It’s just one of the many services that an Amazon agency can offer to streamline a company’s operations.
In addition to the warehousing challenges an Amazon business faces, poorly-managed inventory can negatively affect a company’s bottom line. A reputable Amazon FBA consultant can provide cost-saving logistics solutions. These agencies have experience with Amazon’s FBA guidelines to ensure that products remain in stock for customer orders and that businesses can avoid the expensive aged-inventory fees that Amazon can charge for stagnant inventory. In addition, their technology and experience can keep the correct number of your items in stock at the right time by offering supply strategy, demand planning, tracking, storage monitoring and returns management.
As the dominant e-commerce platform, selling on Amazon is a high-stakes undertaking for any business. Getting started is relatively simple, but finding success and maintaining it is much harder. An experienced FBA partner can help establish and maintain a healthy Amazon seller account. They will also be able to set up your Amazon listings, protect your brand by monitoring and removing unauthorized sellers, and respond to customer inquiries or negative product reviews promptly and courteously. In other words, an agency can take the fundamental tasks accompanying selling on Amazon off your plate and likely complete them more efficiently.
Thriving Amazon businesses can rarely rely on content optimization alone. They also know combining the Amazon marketing service with a data-driven strategy can get products in front of their ideal online customers, even beyond the Amazon marketplace. Partnering with a qualified Amazon seller consultant can give brands access to more efficient advertising and media tactics, including sponsored brand ads, sponsored products, sponsored display advertising, social media and video. Integrating a paid digital marketing plan with Amazon optimization ensures the best possible return on investment. Companies that specialize in helping Amazon sellers are well-equipped to navigate the complexities of such an approach.
Whether from Amazon or elsewhere, one of the advantages of e-commerce is the incredible amount of data sellers can access. There’s often an overwhelming number of reports available regarding inventory, shoppers, advertising, buyers and more. The most effective FBA experts will be ready to help your brand identify growth potential and leverage the deepest data to increase brand awareness. Remember, it’s not just about monitoring this enormous cache of data. It must also be appropriately analyzed to reveal actionable insights that optimize and grow Amazon sales. In particular, Amazon sellers can benefit from a partner that utilizes the platform’s proprietary reports via Seller Central and supplements those metrics with outside data to create a fuller picture of a brand’s strengths and weaknesses.
Clearly, an FBA partner can strengthen a brand’s Amazon presence in several ways, but one of its most essential capabilities is an informed and well-defined strategy. The relationship between an Amazon agency and a seller can add an invaluable perspective when building a plan to reach their goals in the marketplace. An agency with extensive experience and a track record of success will know which tools to turn to first and how to stack efforts effectively to create synergy for its client. Even long-time business owners can struggle with the intricacies of selling on Amazon and benefit from a strategic plan aimed at growth on the platform.
The impact of an Amazon FBA partner
It’s not uncommon for retailers to find success in traditional sales or via a direct-to-consumer website before attempting to add Amazon to their sales mix. If, however, a brand finds its performance on the leading online marketplace to be lackluster compared with its other channels, that could signal a problem with the strategy or execution on the platform rather than a product weakness.
These circumstances may be a good reason to ask for help from an experienced Amazon FBA partner. Although Amazon FBA sellers can expect some support from the global retailer when it comes to getting started on the site, it won’t match the service that an agency can provide. In some cases, brands can even see their ability to get help from Amazon decline as they become more established sellers, and Amazon’s resources shift toward new businesses that will impact their own growth more. With an Amazon FBA expert, you know exactly who to contact about your account and can be confident that issues will be resolved with urgency.
Are you making a move from seller fulfillment to FBA? Or is your business considering an even more significant leap from Vendor Central to Seller Central? Any such transition can be a challenge for Amazon sellers and a practical reason to consider adding an FBA agency to your team. Most likely, the agency you choose will have gone through the process before and can guide you through a less stressful changeover. Before beginning any significant Amazon-related transition that is on the horizon for your company, speak to several Amazon agencies about how they could reduce risks and maximize the benefits.
Remember, Amazon is constantly evolving, so staying informed about the latest policy changes, newest tools and fluctuating costs without help is nearly impossible for most businesses. The ones that try a do-it-yourself approach can struggle to develop a strategy that works consistently for their brand. This can lead to unpredictable sales rather than steady growth. Since experienced FBA agencies are plugged into Amazon’s current trends and deeply understand the status quo, they can make your brand’s experience on the site much less volatile.
Unsurprisingly, few of the brands selling on Amazon take advantage of all the tools on the platform. It could be hurting your company’s bottom line, whether it’s due to a lack of time, missing expertise or a focus on other priorities. Brand Registry, A+ Content, Amazon Storefronts, listing optimization, Multi-Channel Fulfillment, Amazon SEO service and Amazon PPC ads are just some of the options available. And all of them are proven to increase conversions when implemented effectively. Sellers that haven’t been able to capitalize on these, and other tactics, regardless of the reason, should certainly explore whether an Amazon FBA consultant can transform this severe deficiency into a strength.
Find the right Amazon FBA Partner
One of the first things a brand should investigate when considering an Amazon consultant is the experience the partner brings to the table. It’s typically best to find an agency that can provide vast and deep expertise. Leadership or team members considered Amazon experts can be valuable, but be sure to inquire about how that type of resume matches your company’s goals. If it was in an irrelevant role, it might not be as attractive of a feature. Similarly, an agency with direct experience in your product category may seem ideal, but sellers are often better served by matching an agency’s strengths with the brand’s goals.
You should also know who will be responsible for your account at the agency. The last thing your brand needs is to find out after closing the deal that you’ve never actually met the person leading your Amazon plan. Seek clarity on how accounts are managed, how responsibilities are shared among your account team, and who your company’s primary point of contact will be.
In addition, It’s essential to determine how progress toward your goals will be measured. Remember, immediate success on Amazon is rare and instead requires commitment and determination. That’s why both the FBA seller and its Amazon FBA service need to be on the same page regarding the milestones that matter.
Another factor worth considering is that Amazon agencies may have proprietary technology supporting their claims to help a brand optimize for FBA. When considering an Amazon consulting service with its own technology, take the time to understand how they use these tools and what data they rely on to power them. In addition, different agencies may focus on their analysis of various functions of an Amazon business, which may vary in alignment with your goals. Also, brands should avoid agencies that position any technologies as the singular solution for a company. Instead, finding a provider that offers a productive mix of tech and hands-on oversight is best.
It may seem obvious, but don’t forget to pay close attention to an agency’s previous results and current clients. Reviewing case studies, especially those with parallels to your company’s challenges, can reveal insight into the agency’s fit as an Amazon partner. It’s also helpful to examine Amazon accomplishments over time. For example, have they been successful as Amazon’s logistics offerings have evolved, or is it limited to a smaller window that raises questions about their current or future effectiveness?
Amify can help with FBA
Since 2011, Amazon sellers have trusted Amify to help them rise above marketplace competition. We can give your business the tools to navigate the platform’s extensive landscape of options and find the techniques and relationships that will lead to growth. So start a conversation today, and learn how we can connect you to an Amazon expert with experience in logistics, marketing or strategy to fill the gaps holding back your brand’s growth on Amazon.