Amazon FBA Fulfilment Services: Is this an option for your eCommerce business?
Fulfilment by Amazon is a service offered by you guessed it, Amazon. FBA centres allow sellers to automate their order fulfilment and shipping services for their business. There are more than 40 Amazon fulfilment centres in Europe, located in the United Kingdom, Germany, Italy, France, Spain, Czech Republic and Poland.
Amazon FBA centres situated within EU territory, give sellers the opportunity to fulfil goods to customers seamlessly, by utilising its prime capabilities.
So, how does it work?
To put it simply Amazon will ship products to customers on behalf of sellers using their extensive logistical capabilities. This service provides businesses with shipping services (including returns and refunds) and warehousing provision (including picking and packing).
What is required from the seller?
It’s simple, sellers are to provide a product to the EU market and generate sales through their Amazon storefront. It is important for a seller to keep up to date with the continuously changing FBA requirements. Amazon adapt their services to meet the needs of both customers and sellers. Therefore, sellers need to have the ability to meet the conditions to maintain their ranking within the marketplace and provide a high-quality service for customers.
How can I use FBA to increase my Amazon Ranking?
Before sending your inventory to Amazon there are EU compliance standards that need to be met for them to be accepted in their centres. If you fail to comply with the standards and safety requirements set down by Amazon, then your inventory may not be accepted by the fulfilment centres.
Once compliant, it is important to have your Seller Central Account set up, show every listing immaculately to drive traffic to your store. Prior to selling your products to customers, it is important to consider that your listings have; optimisation, inventory overview, a competitive pricing strategy, advertising campaigns, promotional content, and enhanced Brand Content (EBC). Brands that fail to take the SEO of their Amazon listings seriously will experience a greater difference in their sales rates and redirect sales to their competition.
Global E-commerce Experts growth department can help you identify how to create a competitive store by carrying out an Amazon Account Health Check. This report will identify the areas of improvement and encourage sellers to rectify the issues found through various methods.
The final step is simple. It is time for you to send your inventory into Amazon FBA centres, clearly labelled with the shipping labels provided within your seller central account. From there, Amazon will complete your orders directly to customers from their centres, providing shipping (including returns and refunds) and warehousing provision services for your business.
As long as you handle the sales and make sure Amazon stays stocked with your products, the rest is done for you.
Amazon stock requirements and what that means for your online store
To you, it may be a great sign that your inventory is running low on stock, it means you have done your market research well and your Amazon store is fully optimized to the market.
However, it is important to take into consideration Amazon’s ranking system and the impact it can have on your overall performance on the marketplace. This system ranks your Amazon storefront on daily sales velocity, BSR (Best Seller Rank) and IPI.
In August 2020 they introduced the Inventory Performance Index (IPI), which determines how your inventory is performing. For Amazon sellers the aim is to gain a score of 500 or more based on the following factors:
- In-stock inventory
- Excess inventory
- Stranded inventory
- Sell-through rates
Amazon put ASIN level quantity limits in place to help ensure that sellers can easily track their inventory activity and keep an eye on their IPI score.
It is important to drip feed your inventory into Amazon FBA sites to maintain your ranking and work with Amazon’s algorithm! Running out of stock can in fact, cause more harm than good. Although Amazon’s technology has the ability to hold a products previous performance for a short period, failing to restock could lead to a decrease ranking if left too long. Additionally, Amazon dislikes keeping supplies on hand. Therefore, it is important to have a balanced stock hold in FBA centres to avoid long-term storage costs charged by Amazon.
By taking advantage of Amazon’s FBA warehousing services (if done correctly), can provide a positive impact on your product ranking; it’s that simple. A higher ranking for your listings translates directly into confidence in you as a seller, sales growth and ultimately, income growth. The Amazon platform has over 300 million active customer accounts around the world but bear in mind that FBA might not be ideal for low-value items, large dimension products or other circumstances. While it offers a lot, it’s not a guaranteed solution for every seller.
If not FBA, what else?
Although Amazon FBA poses as a fantastic network to use when expanding your business into EU markets, there are some positives to using a 3PL like Global E-commerce Experts to help fulfil your inventory and drip feed stock into Amazon FBA sites EU wide. Furthermore, GEE has fulfilment solutions for direct to your customers (B2C) fulfilment across the whole of the UK and EU, both options are available dependent on what a sellers business requires!
What are the positives to using third party warehousing solutions?
Firstly, you will save money on shipping. It’s cheaper to ship larger quantities at one time, therefore, sending are larger shipment to a 3PL that is located near to the FBA you want to fulfil to will save you more in the long run. This service will still allow you to take the back seat when it comes to fulfilling your goods. 3PL warehouses, like ours, have the capacity to drip feed your stock into Amazon and maintain a high ranking IPI score. Keeping the momentum when selling on Amazon is very important. With the number of uncontrollable variables around the logistics world, you’ll minimise the chances of your IPI score dropping and losing sales. 3PL can help you keep ‘back-up’ stock in multiple regions around Europe.
The FBA programme is continuously alternating in response to the eCommerce market; therefore, it is the seller’s responsibility to keep up to date with the changes made and what they need to do to meet the demands of Amazon FBA centre. However, our inhouse warehouse can help our warehouse team keep an eye on your stock levels and act, when necessary, on your behalf.
Global E-commerce Experts 3PL service provides businesses a leverage when it comes to a hands-on approach. With two warehouses strategically located in Southampton (South of England) and the Netherlands, GEE can maintain your stock levels, meet the compliance demands of Amazon, guarantee your online store will achieve a high ranking IPI score, and the business will see increased sales. It is important to recognise that your Amazon storefront and fulfilment capabilities work simultaneously. A SEO optimized store front, alongside a brand who can fulfil to customers effortlessly, is the key to your brands success on Amazon, the marketplace giant!
To get in contact: https://calendly.com/eu-expansion-team/dc