Amazon fulfillment is the process of picking, packing, and shipping products ordered on Amazon.com. Amazon is known for quick shipping times and fast service. Merchants that sell through Amazon’s platform must conform to Amazon’s standards for packing and shipping products. Amazon fulfillment falls into three categories: self-fulfillment, third-party fulfillment, and fulfillment by Amazon (FBA).
Amazon self-fulfillment is when the merchant directly completes the order fulfillment process. This is typically only used by small businesses, such as those working out of a house. Self-fulfillment is very time-consuming, especially as volume increases, but requires little to no upfront investment. This method is most ideal for merchants who sell a few high-profit products a month.
Third-party fulfillment is when a logistics provider, like ShipBob picks, packs, and ships orders on behalf of the merchant who is selling items on Amazon. Many merchants chose a third-party fulfillment service because of the great value. ShipBob, for example, has more than 300,000 square feet of warehouse space in various warehouses across the country. Because logistics providers work with large volumes, carrying out hundreds of thousands of orders a month, they negotiate large discounts with carriers for the best shipping rates, as well as packaging costs.
The final option, fulfillment by Amazon (FBA), is when a merchant ships its products directly to Amazon warehouses across the country for fulfillment. FBA products can sell quicker, but it’s the most expensive fulfillment option. Merchants lose control over the process and are not allowed to use their own packaging or documentation, as FBA packages are shipped in Amazon boxes, appearing that they are sold by Amazon.
A third-party logistics provider can reduce fulfillment costs without the merchant losing control over the process.
While ShipBob cannot fulfill Amazon Prime or FBA orders, ShipBob does offer services that are on par with Amazon fulfillment including:
- Two-day shipping. ShipBob offers two-day shipping to its clients. Orders that come in before 2:00 PM are shipped the same day, allowing e-commerce merchants to compete at the same level as Amazon Prime.
- Branded packaging. With ShipBob, you can use your own packaging at no additional cost. Unboxing an order is central to the customer and brand experience, so ShipBob makes it easy. Their name will never appear on your packages, and your customers don’t even have to know they exist.
- Free packing supplies. ShipBob customers who don’t want to use custom branded packages can take advantage of their free plain brown boxes, as well as free packing supplies, including tape, inserts, and more.
- Easy and free returns management. ShipBob quickly processes returns and gets products back into your supply line.
- Distributed inventory. With ShipBob’s network of warehouses across the country, your products can be strategically split to be closer to your end customers, just like with FBA. The less distance they have to travel, the less you’ll pay for shipping.
- Cloud-based fulfillment software. ShipBob’s proprietary software fully integrates with Amazon’s platform (among many others), so that when an order rolls in, ShipBob takes care of it. This eliminates any need to manually track or communicate orders.
- Discounted shipping rates. ShipBob has negotiated reduced shipping rates with the four major U.S. carriers and automatically passes those savings onto you. You will save you the most money possible for each order that gets fulfilled.
ShipBob is trusted by 1,000+ merchants across the country. Whether you’re selling through Amazon or another online e-commerce site, ShipBob is a partner of choice.
Want to see for yourself? ShipBob offers a free trial for new clients. Contact us today!