Multi-channel Fulfillment Fee Updates and Program Changes
It’s no secret that Amazon is the clear leader in the eCommerce sector, and the term “multi-channel fulfillment” has been coined with the retail giant in mind. Amazon sellers have no doubt heard the term tossed around, but what exactly does it mean?
What is Multi-Channel Fulfillment (MCF)? How does it work?
MCF is a program where Amazon handles the storage, fulfillment, and shipping of products on behalf of the Amazon seller, regardless of where that seller sold the product. In other words, a seller can list their products not only on Amazon, but on several other eCommerce sites and platforms, and Amazon will take care of fulfilling those orders.
It allows a seller to centralize their inventory while at the same time getting more exposure by selling on multiple eCommerce markets. This is an attractive solution for many sellers as it alleviates much of the hassle that a multi-channel eCommerce business poses.
Amazon Multi-Channel Fulfillment vs. Amazon FBA
The two are related in that Amazon takes the reins with regards to the storage, fulfillment, and shipping for both. One main difference is that Amazon MCF is open to products sold on sites outside of Amazon, whereas FBA is intended only for items sold through Amazon directly.
The biggest advantage of the MCF program is the convenience of consolidating resources by having just one destination for monitoring sales, inventory, and fulfillment. Those sellers who already use FBA can join the MCF program without the need to send separate shipments for each. Having said that, you don’t need to first be an FBA seller before signing up for MCF; the program is available with or without the FBA service.
Sellers Can Go International with MCF
If you already sell internationally (or planning to), the Amazon MCF program can be a huge ally and a powerful resource for your business. Currently, Amazon MCF orders can be exported to the following countries supported by FBA:
France, Belgium, United Kingdom, Netherlands, Luxembourg, Italy, Spain, Portugal, Ireland, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Austria, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Greece, Finland, Latvia, Hungary, Lithuania, Poland, Romania, Malta, Slovakia, Slovenia, Sweden, Argentina, Bahrain, Australia, Bermuda, Brazil, Chile, Canada, China, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Guadeloupe, Egypt, Hong Kong, Iceland, India, Indonesia, Japan, Israel, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kuwait, Korea, Liechtenstein, Malaysia, Macao, Mexico, New Zealand, Norway, Oman, Nigeria, Panama, Philippines, Peru, Saudi Arabia, Serbia, Singapore, Switzerland, South Africa, Thailand, Taiwan, Trinidad & Tobago, United Arab Emirates, Uruguay, and Venezuela.
However, through the MCF program, sellers are limited to only selling media items such as books, movies, video, and DVDs internationally. But sellers can sign up for a waitlist via Seller Central for a beta test of the unbranded packaging and international shipping features. Unbranded packaging allows shipments to be sent out in unbranded packaging, whereas international packaging allows sellers to ship media and non-media orders to over 100 countries.
Note: export orders have separate fulfillment fees.
Updates to Amazon MCF Fees and Program Changes
Back in December 2020, Amazon postponed its annual fee adjustments and absorbed those costs in the wake of a challenging pandemic winter. However, beginning June 1, 2021, Amazon’s US Multi-Channel Fulfillment (MCF) fee adjustments began anew, with more changes for 2022.
Visit Amazon’s US fulfillment fee changes page which outlines changes for 2022, which include the following:
Amazon will incorporate moderate fee increases (about 2-3%) to reflect increased costs in fulfillment, transportation, and storage. This increase is in line with the industry average for fulfillment services.
Amazon has the option to block orders from being shipped by Amazon logistics for a 5% surcharge. Certain sales channels, such as WalMart and eBay, prohibit the use of Amazon Logistics, so you will be able to block this shipping method within your FBA settings, or for individual orders.
Most MCF product size tiers align with FBA tiers and have added a new small standard size tier of 2 oz or less.
Amazon Recently Relaunched Many of the Top-requested MCF Features
Over the last year (2021), customer orders have been improved for on-time shipping, with standard-speed orders for in-stock products going out within two business days. Priority and expedited orders are shipped out within one business day.
In addition, Amazon has added the ability to track shipments through AfterShip to make sure Amazon logistics are trackable on mainstream channels such as Wish and Etsy. The tracking numbers can be accessed on the Seller Central order details page. Sellers have the option of sending the tracking number to the customer automatically as long as the customer provides a valid email address when they submit their order.
Amazon will use a seller’s MCF volume to calculate their Inventory Performance Index (IPI) score. This will help a seller qualify for unlimited storage. The score can be viewed in the seller’s Inventory Performance dashboard.
If you as an Amazon seller are ready to explore these options (and more) for selling on and beyond the Amazon platform, let our experts lead the way as you expand your selling network by using Multi-Channel fulfillment.