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EcommerceBytes-NewsFlash, Number 2808 - May 21, 2012 - ISSN 1539-5065    3 of 4

Amazon's Jeff Moore Touts FBA Benefits, Prime on Your Site

By Julia Wilkinson
EcommerceBytes.com
May 21, 2012




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Amazon.com's Jeff Moore explained the many benefits to merchants of using Amazon's Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA) service in a session titled "The ABCs of Fulfillment by Amazon" Sunday morning at the Monsoon Commerce conference in Philadelphia. He also talked about other Amazon initiatives, some of which not many merchants in the audience were aware of, including "Amazon Prime on Your Site."

If anyone had any doubt that selling items via Amazon's FBA service gets your products more visibility and therefore more sales, Moore's stats hit this home: in a survey, 57% saw an increase of 20%; and 91% said their sales increased in general since joining FBA.

Moore showed a diagram of the various ways sellers could use the Amazon model, a wheel with "Third Party Sellers" in the middle and the spokes coming out as "Sell on Amazon," "Amazon Webstore," "Amazon Product Ads," "Amazon Payments," "Amazon Prime on Your Site," and "Fulfillment by Amazon."

One of the benefits to using FBA is to build a layer of trust between seller and customer, said Moore. When he asked who in the audience had heard of "Amazon Prime on Your Site," only a few people raised their hands. "We're going to have to do better," he commented.

Moore explained that with Amazon Prime on Your Site, sellers could put a "fun widget" on their web site that Prime customers could then use. However, your items do need to be in the FBA system to qualify for it, he said.

He showed a sketch that had been drawn by Jeff Bezos to illustrate their growth cycle:

"I want to start with the customer experience," said Moore. "If you have a really good customer experience, more customers will come, and it will drive traffic. More traffic, then we'll attract more sellers. If we have more sellers, you're going to bring increased selection, which is going to make the customer experience better, which will bring more traffic," and so on.

How FBA works: "you send inventory to us, we store it, customers go online to buy it," explained Moore.

Because FBA-based inventory qualifies for Amazon's "Prime" and "Super Saver" shipping, Amazon Prime members are more likely to buy an FBA item so they can enjoy those benefits with its purchase. And those benefits have grown to include free two-day shipping, instant streaming movies, and instant access to thousands of books on Kindle. They are also extending the Prime program, which Moore said in February reached its seventh anniversary, to "Amazon Student" and "Amazon Mom."

An FBA product's better visibility on the site can include on the landing page (this is the most visible), and on top of the list of available merchants.

Moore used the example of a product; a DVD of the BBC's "Planet Earth." Prime members can check a box that filters results to display Prime-eligible offers, and only Amazon-fulfilled and FBA products show up there. In the case of the "Planet Earth" DVD, the FBA-fulfilled product was the only one available to Prime members with this filter.

Moore suggested one way sellers can "price for success" on FBA is to look at the calculator on Amazon.com, and put in your cost of fulfillment.

Other FBA benefits for sellers include:

  • extend your reach to Prime and Super Saver members, get Amazon's customer service;
  • your FBA product is eligible to win the "Buy Box";
  • helps increase your profit margins with a lower total fulfillment cost;
  • access to last-minute holiday shoppers;
  • more easily access international customers.

In terms of more easily accessing international customers, a couple of statistics Moore gave drove that point home: Amazon has 17.7 million square feet of storage internationally, and 26.4 million square feet of storage in the U.S.

"Sellers from anywhere in the world can sell products to anywhere in the world," he said. For these international marketplaces, options for seller include Amazon's European Marketplaces, EFN - European Fulfillment Network; media exports for the U.S., and FBA exports for the U.S.

Multi-Channel Fulfillment
As with many places these days in the online retail world, "multi-channel fulfillment" is the buzzword. Moore showed an illustration that shows how FBA works with multi-channel fulfillment; a vendor can sell on Amazon, an Amazon Web Store, "Amazon Prime on Your Site," your own ecommerce website, or with an integrator to various marketplaces.

You can sell on any website and ship it using FBA, said Moore. But even with all the benefits touted during the presentation, Moore said the number one reason a lot of sellers join FBA is to have Amazon's customer service take care of their orders.

Merchant Questions
In the Q & A session, questions varied from international issues to concerns about Amazon's "stickerless" program where sellers' products are "commingled" with others.

One attendee asked about Canada not being a country with Amazon Prime, and if there were any plans to add it? Moore replied that he was "not at liberty to talk about that."

A question about "commingled" or stickerless products was from an attendee concerned that a seller's product would get mingled in with something another seller sent in that was "not as described." Moore said you "always have the option of a sticker" to keep your pool separated."

Another attendee wanted to know if there were any plans to have products that were in FBA in the U.S. to be seen on others of Amazon's international sites?

An Amazon representative said, "If you want to be seen on other marketplaces, you would need to have an account on those marketplaces," for example on one of the Amazon European sites.

EcommerceBytes was the media sponsor for Monsoon's MonCon Conference in Philadelphia over the weekend, see additional coverage at:

Catalog CEO Shares Marketing Successes at Monsoon Keynote

Randy Smythe Discusses Buy.com's New Fulfillment Service

About the Author
Julia Wilkinson is the author of "The eBay Price Guide" (No Starch Press, 2006) and "eBay Top 100 Simplified Tips & Tricks" (Wiley, 2004-6). Her free "Yard Salers" newsletter is at available at YardSalers.net where you will also find her latest ebook, Flip It Again.

About the author:

Julia Wilkinson is the author of "The eBay Price Guide" (No Starch Press, 2006) and "eBay Top 100 Simplified Tips & Tricks" (Wiley, 2004-6). Her free "Yard Salers" newsletter is at available at YardSalers.net where you will also find her latest ebook, Flip It Again.

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