Here's our easy and quick guide that will sum up MCF for you:
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?
Amazon explains how MCF works on this help page on the Amazon website:
“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 with 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 very complicated and a tedious task. This can be rather challenging if you have to plan your orders separately for your multiple sales channels.
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, while scaling volumes up and down during peak and off-season is quite straightforward. This enables you to predict product pricing easily and efficiently.
Additionally, through Amazon’s one-and-two-day shipping options that you can offer to your consumers, this gives you an opportunity to increase customer retention and satisfaction.
Multi-Channel Fulfillment (MCF) is becoming very popular amongst the sellers. With its wave of creating more sales and opportunities, it has quickly attracted a lot of people on the platform. You have an easier stock management option and control over shipping demands.
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.
Here’s a list of Cons for using MCF:
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.
It could also interest you to know that if you are selling in the US without a residency, MCF could be super helpful as would not need to have a warehouse or a shipping address as you would directly route your orders through MCF. But, overall, you can experience exciting advantages.
The overall cost of MCF
The Fee structure of Amazon MCF includes two significant fees.
- 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?
Processing returns can be super tedious, especially if there are hundreds and hundreds of orders to roll out, given that they have respective deadlines.
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.
Growing your business, especially when you are operating on multiple platforms, can be challenging. Amazon Multi-Channel Fulfillment (MCF) could help you grow and explore new opportunities on more than one e-Commerce platforms while also fulfilling the delivery expectations of your customers. The best way to keep your consumer happy is definitely quicker deliveries. With MCF, you can spend more time focusing on other business aspects, including product sourcing, marketing, and growing your brand without worrying about fulfillment.