DataHawk Guide: Amazon Multi-Channel Fulfillment (MCF)
- Who Benefits from Amazon MCF?
- The overall cost of MCF
- How do MCF Returns work?
- Last Words
2. Who Benefits from Amazon MCF?
3. Pros and Cons of using Multi-Channel Fulfillment
4. The overall cost of MCF
5. How do MCF Returns work?
“Send all or some of your inventory directly to an Amazon fulfillment center. When customers purchase products on your website or another third-party sales channel, we receive your orders and pick, pack, and ship them directly to your customers.”
“MCF is available with or without Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA). If you use FBA to sell on Amazon, your existing inventory will serve both Amazon customers and customers from your other sales channels.”
The recently launched Amazon multi-channel fulfillment (MCF) is a segment of the Amazon FBA program that omits the need for the sellers to stock units for other sales channels by allowing them to fulfill their orders via Amazon.
Amazon MCF offers similar services to FBA with the additional integration of other platforms. This means that even if you are selling through platforms like eBay, Shopify, and other platforms, Amazon will still provide a storage facility, packing, and shipping your inventory.
Here’s the list of platforms that you can integrate to use MCF:
Who Benefits from Amazon MCF?
The most benefited are, of course, those who are selling through multiple platforms. MCF also makes management easier with dozens of different SKUs. Planning to handle different SKUs at the same time is as it is a very complicated and tedious task. This can be rather challenging if you have to plan your orders separately for your multiple sales channels. MCF is subject to supply chain problems. Be sure to read up about Amazon Supply Chain Management Challenges for 2022.
Amazon MCF resolves this issue by letting you stock all your products in one place for easy fulfillment.
When Amazon takes care of fulfillment of your orders, there are also other benefits that come with it.
For instance, scalability.
With Amazon MCF, a standard fee is applicable for every cubic footage space that you utilize for your products. Therefore, scaling volumes up and down during peak and off-season is quite straightforward. This enables you to predict product pricing easily and efficiently.
Additionally, Amazon’s one-and-two-day shipping options that you can offer to your consumers, gives you an opportunity to increase customer retention and satisfaction.
Here’s a list of pros for using MCF:
1. Multiple Shipping Options:
Just like FBA, MCF provides three shipping options.
These options include: 1-day priority shipping
2-day expedited shipping
3-day standard (3 to 5 business days) shipping
Therefore, now you can be more flexible with your delivery options and organize it all through a single platform.
2. Full Control of Inventory:
Even though it’s Amazon’s responsibility to manage the logistics, sellers have the ability to control inventory. It gives you complete freedom to request a return of inventory, whenever you want.
3. Branding and Customization:
Amazon allows you to customize the packaging with your brand’s custom messages and packing slips. You can choose to ship the products in plain brown boxes rather than the boxes with the Amazon logo.
4. Basic Returns Processing:
It is exactly like FB, you have a tracking number, and you can manage the returns as per your choice.
5. Exclusive Multi-Channel Listing for Pro Merchants:
Having a Pro-Merchant Account enables you to list your products exclusively for MCF, even if you have not listed your products on Amazon for selling.
6. Managing Spikes in Orders During Peak Season:
With Amazon taking care of bulk shipping of your products during the peak season, you don’t need to worry about managing your orders.
1. Amazon has strict restrictions on products that can be sold. Therefore, there are many products Amazon will not allow selling(for example, perishable products, Spray deodorants, Powerbanks and more)
2. Fulfillment fee when using MCF is a little higher than FBA.
3. The fulfillment fee does not change in different seasons, whereas, in FBA the commission is slightly lower in the Holiday season, for instance, October-December.
4. If you are a seller who has lower margins, MCF is something you might not wanna go for.
5. It is important to note that if you are importing products from abroad, it will take around 2-4 days for shipping, excluding delivery days. You may have to consider this too to calculate the shipping duration.
The overall cost of MCF
- Storage Fee
- Fulfillment Fees The storage fee is a monthly cover charged by Amazon to stock your products in their warehouse. The fee is calculated as per the cubic footage volume occupied by your products. The fee that Amazon charges is the same as in FBA.
The fulfillment fee charged to a seller is dependent on the following:
- The number of units you ship,
- The shipping duration, and
- The product volume combined with its weight. For example, a standard fulfillment of a small product weighing less than one pound costs $5.95 when one unit is shipped, down to $2.95 when more than five units are shipped. This cost increases to $6.99 and $3.29, respectively, when you opt for two-day shipping—the fee increases for oversized items.
It is also possible for sellers to fulfill international orders from the Amazon warehouse. Shipments, in this case, cost around $13.65 for most parts of the world with additional costs for dunnage.
“Total shipment weight is calculated by adding a dunnage factor of 10 percent to the combined total of the individual Unit weight of each Unit in the shipment, then rounding up to the nearest pound.”
How do MCF Returns work?
MCF enables the sellers to choose the return address. It could either be the Amazon FBA address or the seller’s address. Ideally, the first option is much more suitable for a lot of cases where Amazon can assist the sellers in repacking and stocking the products for sale.
However, if a seller is selling perishable goods or products that have a shorter shelf life, it is always better to have the products returned to the sellers themselves. This will save the additional charges of removing the product.