When an ecommerce merchant uses Fulfilment By Amazon (FBA), having a professional FBA Prep services partner located in the right spot is key to being effective. In the U.S., a centrally located FBA Prep Services Fulfillment Center can serve sellers in many ways and can be the difference between success and failure.
Let’s examine the characteristics of FBA shipments in general:
- Shipments to replenish Amazon warehouses ship on Amazon’s account, so your fulfillment center’s shipping rates are moot.
- Replenishing Amazon’s 90-day supply means that you have a couple months for the shipment to arrive. A few days of additional shipping won’t affect a seller’s success.
- Often, shipments to replenish FBA inventories are complete cartons with multiple units in one shipment traveling to an Amazon warehousing hub.
With those characteristics in mind, consider these fulfillment center location strategies when choosing an FBA Prep services professional:
- Fulfillment centers located away from urban areas and coastlines have the ability to offer less expensive storage rates since real estate is typically cheaper in these areas.
- Finding a fulfillment center that can guarantee quick shipping times to either coast, to the south and Chicago is good for customers outside of Amazon.
- In recent years, merchants shipping inventory from manufacturing overseas to the U.S. have used many different ports, depending on which port is suffering the least amount of delays. Some logistics partners have freight programs and partners to help with cross-country shipping, allowing sellers more flexibility.
What to Look For in Your FBA Prep Center Partner Location …
Away From Expensive Coastlines
Real estate on coastlines is expensive, making storage expensive.
Outside Expensive Urban Areas
Cities and suburbs, too, are expensive real estate, upping storage costs.
Accessible From Ports on Both Coasts
Choose a center that is accessible from ports on either East or West coasts, for flexible shipping and manufacturing.
Reliable Labor Market for Peak Season
Centers in areas with summer tourism can take advantage of that labor during holiday peaks.
Balancing FBA Prep strategies with multichannel order fulfillment needs …
Amazon sellers who are also responding to orders from their own website or other online marketplaces like eBay, Etsy and Walmart, may feel they need multiple warehouse locations to be within two days of consumers. Earlier in ecommerce, being in multiple warehouses was advantageous in reaching customers quickly.
Now, the ecommerce two-day, online-order-delivery-deadline need has softened. Several trends are allowing internet retailers to fulfill online orders to arrive 3-4 days after the order is placed:
- Even Amazon has backed off two-day shipping on all products. While shipping is still free to Prime members, it’s available on eligible products, versus guaranteed on all Prime products. And Prime membership now includes the caveat: Some items aren’t available for Two-Day Shipping due to special shipping characteristics. Instead, we’ll use free standard shipping, and deliver in four to five business days.
- Amazon is no longer offering Seller Fulfilled Prime, in favor of pushing sellers into using Fulfillment by Amazon. With FBA, Amazon carries the infrastructure burden of reaching consumers in two days, so internet merchants don’t have to.
- Two years of pandemic and supply chain delays have taught consumers that they don’t need every online order in two days. And a March 2022 study by CI&T, a technology and software provider for retailers, concludes that maximum online order delivery speed isn’t what shoppers want, and the cost to internet retailers and entrepreneurs of making unnecessarily fast deliveries could be high. Instead, the Connected Retail Report indicates that consumers are looking for reliable expectations for online order delivery and will accept three to four days after an order.
Ecommerce Defninition: Online Marketplace:The definition of online marketplace, as it relates to ecommerce, has evolved to mean any web-based third-party platform providing sellers access to consumers. Amazon, eBay, Etsy, Walmart, are the most popular, with Handshake, Bonanza, Ruby Lane, Chairish, Swappa, Poshmark and DeCluttr gaining an online consumer audience. One might also include Craigslist, Facebook Marketplace and Nextdoor as online marketplaces for consumer to consumer sales.
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