The Internet is an endless sea of information, opinions, and sales–especially sales.
Emerging as the grand ship that can navigate all waters is, of course, Amazon.
Amazon has grown so vast that it is now the largest e-commerce retailer.
Try typing anything into Google.
“Tamagotchi,” for example. Or “video games” or “guitar.”
If it’s a sellable good, you’re going to see an Amazon link on the first page of results.
Amazon’s just that powerful.
Luckily, it offers multi-channel fulfillment to the companies that use it to sell their wares.
Nowadays, exposure on Amazon is extremely valuable, and it’s no wonder why.
As such, companies need to take advantage of the opportunities that the marketplace site offers.
How to make the most of Amazon’s multi-channel fulfillment opportunity
First, you need to understand Amazon’s FBA policy.
“FBA? What’s that?” you’re probably asking yourself.
“FBA” is short for “Fulfilled by Amazon.”
Essentially, it’s a status given to a company selling on Amazon.
That status guarantees customers that buying from you will be like buying from Amazon.
An item from you counts towards their “buy X amount of items and get free shipping” policy.
The perks of being Prime
And more importantly, an item from you is eligible for their Prime program.
Amazon Prime acts as a kind of “subscription.”
Customers pay an up-front fee but then get a bunch of benefits regular customers don’t.
For example: free two-day shipping.
That’s something only someone who participates in their Prime program gets.
Imagine a customer seeing one of your items listed as “Prime.”
Imagine how tempted they’d be to buy it.
Ah, the beauty of multi-channel fulfillment!
Reduced shipping and handling costs
When you partner with Amazon, you stop being rivals with it.
You stop fighting it for pageviews and sales.
You learn to use it to grow your business.
And here’s how to start:
Save up some money
Multi-channel fulfillment selling through Amazon may be cost-efficient, but it still costs!
Goods, shipping supplies, account fees–these are all things you’ll need to spend money on.
It’s a good idea to save a little bit of money ($500.00 should do) before diving right into any e-commerce.
Sign up for a Professional account
Professional accounts on Amazon are targeted at businesses.
They’re $39.99 a month, but with a Professional account, you don’t have to pay a listing fee.
Meanwhile, people with regular accounts are charged a buck per listing.
So if you sell 40 items a month, you’re breaking even with the cost of regular listings.
And if you sell over 40, you’re actually saving money.
So is the Professional account worth it?
Determine what you’ll list on Amazon
Go through what you have and pick out what you feel would sell the best.
Once you’ve settled on your items, send Amazon the item information and suggested price.
(It’s a good idea to set the price somewhere around the price Amazon is selling it for.)
Make sure Amazon accepts the goods that you want to sell through it.
Choose what’s on sale to sell
Otherwise, a good of thumb is “choose what’s on sale to sell.”
Your local mall might be selling Larry’s Lazy Leather Loafers for $4.00 to get rid of them.
Meanwhile, Amazon might be selling the same pair of loafers for $30.00.
If you buy the loafers for $4.00, sell them for around $30.00, and account for shipping fees to Amazon…
Well, that’s about $24.00 that you just made off of $4.00 loafers!
Also: it’s best to try only a few items at a time–to make sure you get the process.
Multi-channel fulfillments involve navigating, well, multiple channels, so it can be a bit confusing at first.
But don’t worry: you’ll get this multi-channel fulfillment thing down in no time!
Ship the items to Amazon
A huge advantage to multi-channel fulfillment through Amazon is shipping and storage.
If Amazon is storing your items, they’ll ship them, too.
Which means you don’t have to deal with the hassle of shipping the items yourself!
Amazon’s multi-channel fulfillment will take care of them for you!
One downside to storing via Amazon, though, is that your items need to sell, and sell quickly.
If not, they end up waiting in Amazon’s warehouse.
If that happens and they set there for too long, Amazon will charge you a fee for the storage space.
Either that, or you’ll end up storing the items yourself.
That’s not too bad, as long as the items are small and you have the space.
The good news is, whether or not you store at Amazon doesn’t affect whether or not you sell through it.
You can store your items and ship them yourself and still get all the perks of selling through Amazon.
Buy shipping supplies
Regardless of where you store items, you’ll need to buy shipping supplies.
If you’re not storing through Amazon, you’ll be spending quite a bit more on them.
Keep that in mind when creating your business’s budget.
Talk with others who’ve participated in Amazon’s multi-channel fulfillment program
Taking part in a multi-channel fulfillment can seem daunting and challenging at first.
But there’s no need to worry! Loads of companies have done it!
Google forums. Chat up your fellow businessmen and -women.
Find people who’ve also partaken in Amazon’s FBA.
They can provide you with advice and tips for making the most of your selling experience on Amazon.
They can also give suggestions when you’re not sure of something or have a question.
Plus, talking with other professionals opens the flood gates and lets in the networking.
And we all know how important networking is nowadays!
The Bottom Line
Now you have all the basic tips and tricks you need to get started in Amazon’s multi-channel fulfillment program.
Get out there and sell, sell, sell! Your business can only gain from a partnership with Amazon!