Managing ecommerce fulfillment across various online sales channels is no simple task for growing businesses. Whether an order is placed on Amazon.com, another ecommerce marketplace, a brand website, or a social media store, customer expectations for fast and reliable order fulfillment remain the same.
Once fulfilling orders gets to be too complicated to handle by themselves, many companies opt to outsource their ecommerce fulfillment operations to a third-party logistics (3PL) provider.
Amazon provides two 3PL services for ecommerce fulfillment:
- Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA) is a 3PL service that businesses that sell on Amazon.com can use to fulfill their Amazon.com orders.
- Amazon Multi-Channel Fulfillment (MCF) is a 3PL service that businesses (regardless of whether they sell on Amazon or not) can use to fulfill their orders on any off-Amazon sales channel including their own website.
Many companies have found that utilizing both FBA and MCF can have a positive impact on their ecommerce business. In this blog, we highlight seven benefits that MCF can provide for Amazon sellers.
1. Best-in-class delivery performance
As an Amazon seller who uses FBA, you already leverage Amazon’s fulfillment network to pick, pack, ship, and deliver Amazon.com orders to your customers. Amazon strategically distributes your inventory across the Amazon Fulfillment Network (AFN) to get your products as close as possible to your customers. MCF enables you to power your off-Amazon order fulfillment by using the same global fulfillment network – which has more than 200 Fulfillment Centers with over 200MM square feet of warehouse space – so that your customers can enjoy deliveries 7 days a week, rain or shine, for their off-Amazon orders.
By offering fast fulfillment across all your channels with MCF, you can consistently maintain a first-class customer experience with a 97% on-time delivery rate. Additionally, small- and medium-sized businesses like yours can rely on MCF – which has a 99.98% undamaged package delivery rate* – to deliver their orders without damages.
Additionally, you can offer your customers Amazon Prime shopping benefits – like fast, free delivery and a seamless checkout experience – on your brand website by utilizing Buy with Prime, which is powered by MCF.
*Based on claims data from small- and medium-sized businesses
2. Fast order fulfillment
With MCF, you get the speed you need to meet customer delivery expectations. You can pick the ship speed that’s right for your business with a choice of 1 business day (Priority), 2 business days (Expedited), or 3 business days (Standard). Many sellers like you have noted a significant improvement in the delivery speeds of their off-Amazon orders after starting to use MCF. For example, the Amazon seller Dragon Glassware, who has been using MCF for five years, was able to improve their delivery speeds by 50% with MCF.
3. Reduced operating costs
Calculating 3PL fulfillment costs can be challenging. MCF makes it easy with simple, transparent pricing with no hidden fees – you only pay for fulfillment and storage. Different from traditional 3PL pricing, our fulfillment fees are inclusive of pick, pack, and ship, and you can enjoy up to 50% discounts on multi-unit orders. For Amazon retailers Poppi and Pet Wellbeing, MCF has positively impacted their bottom line, with savings on their fulfillment costs reaching 30% and 60% respectively.
4. Inventory optimization
Inventory management can make or break your ecommerce business. By using MCF, you can consolidate your inventory into one pool that you can use to fulfill both on-Amazon orders (with FBA) and off-Amazon orders (with MCF). This enables you to:
- Streamline your logistics operations and gain operational efficiencies. With inventory already in Amazon Fulfillment Centers, there is no sign up required to start using MCF, simply just place an order (login required) to get started. In addition, you can also leverage MCF to expand onto other channels easily, without having to manage an additional stock pool.
- Optimize the utilization of your inventory by exposing it to multiple sales channels. In fact, Amazon sellers who use MCF in combination with FBA have seen 24% higher inventory turns and 13% lower out-of-stock rates. Avoiding stockouts becomes especially important during peak periods, like the holidays or Amazon Prime Day, where it’s crucial to have your most in-demand products in stock and available for your customers to purchase.
5. Integrations for automatic fulfillment
Tens of thousands of businesses save time and boost efficiency by using an integration with MCF. With over 100 integrations to choose from, you can seamlessly connect your back-end systems to MCF and automate the order fulfillment process across all your sales channels. Decide which integration is right for you, like one of our prebuilt applications such as BigCommerce or Shopify, or create your own custom integrations with our developer-friendly APIs. Scale up your business and let MCF handle your fulfillment so you can focus on other essential functions of your business, like sales, marketing, or product development.
6. Unbranded packaging
MCF orders are automatically sent out in unbranded packaging, at no additional fee. The packaging materials we use (like boxes, tape, and polybags) do not contain any Amazon branding – so that you can maintain a consistent brand experience across all your sales channels.
It’s important to note that – as of December 2022 – MCF’s unbranded packaging feature does not include non-sortable inventory that exceeds 18 x 14 x 8 in and/or 20 lb.
7. Real-time order tracking
Online consumers today expect to be able to track the progress of their orders from online checkout to delivery. With MCF’s fully trackable orders, you can keep customers constantly informed about the location and delivery date of their packages. MCF shares tracking numbers with you within 24 hours of order placement, and can automatically email these tracking numbers as well your customers as well so that they can monitor the status of their orders in real time.
Over 450,000 Amazon sellers have used MCF to handle the fulfillment of their off-Amazon orders – and this number continues to grow. If you are an Amazon seller who already sells or is planning to sell on channels besides Amazon.com, you should take the time to learn more about MCF and discover how this 3PL fulfillment solution can power your business growth.