Online sellers can reap the benefits of Amazon’s FBA fulfillment service even when they don’t sell on its marketplace thanks to its Multi-Channel Fulfillment service (MCF). This week, Amazon announced it has integrated with BigCommerce to make it easier for merchants on that platform to take advantage of Amazon’s order fulfillment services.
MFC works similarly to how FBA works – sellers send their inventory to Amazon fulfillment centers, and Amazon fulfills the orders. The main difference is that MFC orders come from the seller’s own website or other marketplace, not from the Amazon marketplace.
Amazon MCF’s new “easy-to-configure” app seamlessly integrates with BigCommerce stores, according to Gopal Pillai, Vice President of Amazon Fulfilment and Distribution Solutions.
One of the biggest value propositions of MFC is the ability for sellers to offer fast delivery – Amazon fulfills orders 7 days a week and offers 1-day, 2-day and 3-5 business day delivery.
Pillai said Amazon MCF also “strategically places merchant products close to customers to provide faster and more affordable delivery.”
Since MFC orders are made off-Amazon, they aren’t “Prime”-eligible, even if they may come with Prime-like speed. It’s up to merchants to set the shipping costs customers pay. BigCommerce said merchants will be able to replace the Amazon rate with flat rate or free shipping options (e.g., Free shipping on orders over $49).
A key benefit described in Wednesday’s announcement: “To improve sales conversion, merchants can display delivery promises at checkout providing customers with insight into when they will receive their order.”
Among the challenges heard from sellers using FBA: Amazon limits how much inventory they can ship to its fulfillment centers. A BigCommerce spokesperson said the limits are the same for their merchants using Amazon MCF as they are for sellers using FBA.
Another challenge: Amazon doesn’t want slow movers lingering in its fulfillment centers, so FBA and MCF cater to fast-selling products.
In fact, given how precious space is in Amazon fulfillment centers, merchants who sell on its platform and use FBA may resent Amazon making it easier for BigCommerce sellers to use its fulfillment service.
Sharon Gee, general manager of Omnichannel, BigCommerce, said, “Convenience and fast shipping expectations have become the holy grail of the online shopper with demand forecasting becoming harder to control. Amazon MCF will help our merchants to better plan, purchase and fulfill in a much more efficient way than they’ve ever been able to do before.”
It’s interesting to note that Walmart partnered with BigCommerce’s rival Shopify; the retailer said it had onboarded thousands of Shopify sellers to the Walmart Marketplace platform, “a number far above our original goal of bringing on just 1,200 sellers by the end of 2020.”
More information about the Amazon BigCommerce integration is available on the BigCommerce website.