With Fed Ex Getting into the Fulfillment Business, What is the Best Fulfillment Service Option Now?
Some sellers maybe asking, what will the best fulfillment service be going forward now that Fed Ex this week announced the launch of Fed Ex Fulfillment? Already a platform that integrates selling channels and manages inventory, FE is targeting small and medium size retailers with warehousing, fulfillment, packaging, transportation and reverse logistics services.
This would seem to be a nice option retail sellers, AS WELL AS wholesalers. There are lots of third party logistics businesses that provide these services, but never one this large. So now what's the best fulfillment service?
In deciding the best fulfillment service for online sellers, consider these points:
- The Fed Ex option assumes you already have a sales channel, since Fed Ex is strictly warehousing and logistics. You would need to sell through your own web site or Amazon or through other channels.
- The Fed Ex option might be advantageous if you self-fulfill or if you have multiple channels. If that's the case, it may be your best fulfillment service option.
- Unlike Amazon, Fed Ex will brand you packaging for you with your brand, as opposed to Amazon where all packaging shipped in Amazon branded packaging.
- The Fed Ex option might be a good option for sellers using the Amazon Seller Fulfilled Prime platform, or for sellers of perishable items who might benefit more from Fed Ex processes versus Amazon's.
- For the a more turn key operation that not only sells and markets your items, but also fulfills orders, Amazon Prime might be your best fulfillment service option.
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Can ANY Amazon Sellers Get Their Products into an Amazon's Category Sample Box?
Currently only available to Amazon Vendors, for now, and only by invitation. Prime customers purchase the box and receive credit toward future brand purchases. Requires a significant number of units for the sample program. As of now, categories include Household, Every Day Essentials, Sports Nutrition, Vitamins, and there is even a "Suds" sample box.
Amazon charges sellers for the unit and then charges a 50 cent service fee for all included merchandise.
Similar to other sample boxes like Birch Box and other subscription boxes.
Although exclusive to Vendors, Amazon has been opening up many of the previously exclusive vendor programs to those on the Seller side. Awesome Dynamic will keep an eyes on this and report back if the program opens up or any other beneficial developments come out of the program.
The Facebook Marketplace - Opportunity or Threat to Amazon Sellers?
When an online behemoth like Facebook dabbles in any kind of online selling, sellers take note.
Per a recent blog on the subject, Facebook now has an online marketplace which allows a a third party partner to sell on its site while Facebook takes a commission on the sale. This is nothing new, well established retailers like Walmart and Sears do it, as do independent marketplaces like Esty and NewEgg. What is different about Facebook's entry into the online marketplace is it's size. A large audience is essential for a successful Marketplace, and Facebook certainly has that.
Right now, the Facebook model seems to favor the sellers of one-off items and less than inventoried and replenished retail items.
Are the 3 Myths of Amazon Actually True?
A recent blog article poses the question. It identifies 3 myths:
1) Myth #1: Selling on Amazon is your business
This gets at the marketing principle of channel diversification. You should never put all your eggs in one basket. While Amazon can generate incredible profits for sellers and is, as of now, the best fulfillment service, it has stringent rules and can shut down your account if you are not paying attention to their regulations and restrictions.
2) Myth #2: When Amazon offers new programs, you must participate
No. But some are beneficial, depending on your category and other consideration.
3) Myth #3: The lowest price always wins the Buy Box
Although price is certainly a consideration, there are a lot of other factors that go into winning the Buy Box. See our "Amazon Buy Box - Everything You Need to Know" webinar for more information.
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Rapid Fire Topics:
Amazon Cargo Hubs at Airports - a big investment underscoring Amazon's commitment to assuring speedy, reliable delivery.
Amazon Prime now has more than 50 million items, dwarfing Walmart’s new competitor - Prime inventory is up 73 percent since 2015. Walmart has only 2 million items - a fraction of Prime's inventory. Does Walmart plan to catch up? What are the differences for sellers? Not unless Walmart's strict controls over its supply chain loosen up enough to enable it to get out of its own way.
Amazon has at least 66 million Prime members but subscriber growth may be slowing - Are they reaching the saturation point?
Many of the topics discussed today are the subject of in depth webinars on Awesome Dynamic's blog site. Be sure to visit it for great information on all things related to Amazon selling and SEO.