Amazon is a universally beloved platform with 300 million registered users. This platform makes an excellent opportunity for business owners in the eCommerce space for product distribution, established customer loyalty, and brand visibility.
Early in your brand’s vision, there’s one big decision to consider – what fulfillment route should your company pursue? When juggling the options of FBA (Fulfilled by Amazon) or FBM (Fulfilled by Merchant), also referred to as MFN (Merchant Fulfilled Network), it’s common for brand owners may feel the conflict between the two:
- FBA is mainly self-explanatory. The brand supplies the product, and Amazon will deliver fulfillment services. While FBA sounds fantastic in theory and benefits smaller Amazon sellers with low quantity goods, there’s less flexibility, higher costs, and less shipping control.
- FBM puts the fulfillment responsibility solely on the seller. While pressure seems high, FBM merits medium and large brands with flexibility, room for growth, and savings.
Some brand owners are stuck in the toss-up, while other sellers begin with fulfillment by Amazon and want to advance to their shipping programs. Additionally, there are cases of omnichannel strategies between FBA, FBM, and 3PLs for certain distributions. This leaves us wondering how much fulfillment experience is enough when undertaking independent fulfillment?
First of all, What is “Fulfillment Experience”?
Fulfillment experience refers to knowledge in the storing and distribution of goods. For OceanX, we relate the fulfillment process to eCommerce products in the beauty and wellness space, but niches vary by company.
Secondly, fulfillment experience with a 3PL (third-party logistics) benefits the brand owners by less staffing, efficiency, and industry expertise. Nonetheless, no matter what fulfillment route the owner may take, it’s vital to understand the product life cycle – from manufacturing products to delivery at the customer’s doorstep.
Do We Need Fulfillment Experience for FBM?
The fulfillment industry is in high demand. Gaining a basic understanding of logistics and all moving parts of fulfillment enables brand owners to manage their supply chain through the Amazon platform.
What are the advantages of fulfillment experience?
- Talk the talk and walk the walk. Fulfillment experience will help with warehousing, inventory management, customer relationship management, time-saving methods, distributing operations, quality control, and sustainability initiatives.
- Put your ducks in a row. Amazon is a competitive market; experience will allow the brand owners to align clear objectives on their target audience and how to satisfy their needs.
- Increase consumer satisfaction. Nobody wants unhappy customers! Thankfully, fulfillment experience allows brand owners to reduce transit damage and increase the customers’ favor with tried and true methods.
What are the disadvantages of fulfillment experience?
- There’s never enough fulfillment knowledge. We can never cap our understanding of the fulfillment industry, but what we can do is believe we know it all. Reaching out for additional fulfillment knowledge is always the right thing, even with years of experience.
- Unexpected problems. Unforeseen dilemmas occur in the shipping and delivery process all the time. With fulfillment experience, we believe we prepare for the worst, but surprises are around the corner for every business.
Experience is great for every venture, but opportunities such as independent fulfillment with Amazon push pressure onto the seller. When venturing into FBM, brand owners don’t have to undergo the process alone; they can hire outside guidance through a third-party logistics partner.
Get Fulfillment Knowledge, Experience, and Confidence!
Amazon is the leading eCommerce platform in the world. Feeling anxious about stepping onto the platform with or without shipping knowledge is entirely normal. No matter your experience level, it’s best to pair with logistic experts for the best fulfillment outcome.
3PLs like OceanX has years of experience working with FBM and DTC (Direct-to-Customer) fulfillment. When brand owners integrate a 3PL into their fulfillment plan, it reduces stress and improves the chances of successful customer satisfaction.
What is your experience with the order fulfillment process? Do you feel comfortable with the level of expertise your fulfillment management brings? If you feel unsure about your approach or need areas of logistic help, contact our fulfillment professionals today!