Manage and Automate Amazon Multi-Channel Fulfillment
The largest pain point for FBA sellers is that they are solely dependent on Amazon’s marketplace. The solution is to diversify their ecommerce channels but sellers don’t know where to start. As a feature within FBA, Amazon offers Amazon multi-channel fulfillment, which provides the option to utilize Amazon’s shipping and fulfillment for any non-FBA orders.
The answer seems simple right: utilize Amazon multi-channel fulfillment to fulfill orders for other channels. You can go through the steps of setting up your new sales channels by signing up for the account and creating the new listings however several key issues arise:
How will you update real-time FBA inventory on the new sales channels?
You will need to consistently update the sales channels when inventory quantities change. When a product is ordered on one channel, what will tell the other channels to deduct the inventory? By adding more sales channels to the equation, this process isn’t as sustainable manually and increases the risk of overselling and backorders.
How will you create the fulfillment order within Amazon for orders from the other sales channels?
Most will attempt to create fulfillment orders within Amazon manually, the process documented below. However the process is extremely tedious and leaves room for mistakes when transferring information from the order to the fulfillment order request. As your order volume increases on the other sales channels, the manual process will no longer be sustainable.
How will you update the order with its respective tracking number and status?
After you submit the order, the process is not over yet. Although you’ve submitted the order, fulfillable inventory quantity discrepancies can occur where the item may be found to be in an unsellable condition, or the original count was incorrect. The order could also be conventionally processed and shipped. However, it requires you to hover over the order to ensure you update the order’s actual sales channel within the time restraints. Again, as your Amazon multi-channel fulfillment orders increase, this tedious process is not sustainable.
Without a software that enables Amazon marketplace automation, most customers will attempt to manage their Amazon multi-channel fulfillment orders manually.
Manually Amazon Multi-channel Fulfillment Process
- Login to Amazon Seller Central > Inventory > Manage FBA Inventory
- Select or Search for the SKU that you want to create a fulfillment order for.
- Next to where it says, select “Apply to 0 Selected Item(s):” > Select Send/replenish inventory > Go
- On the next page, input the essential details. (You can also choose to upload the order with a flat file) > Continue
- On the next page, select your fulfillment methods, confirm the estimated fees and additional information > Place Order
- On the next page, you should receive a Success confirmation.
As you can see above, manually entering multi-channel fulfillment orders is a tedious process. But as manually entering orders is only a piece of the puzzle, you have to remember the other questions posed above including but not limited to inventory updates, order statuses, and tracking. You need to work on growing your business, not in your business doing the day-to-day tedious activities to simply sustain the business.
Skubana can help you automate the process. By housing all of your orders, inventory, and products into one platform, Skubana can:
Aggregate orders from all sales channels into one platform.
You can manage all of your orders from one location and decide how to auto or manually multi-channel fulfillment the order. If you decide that the order is to be fulfilled in-house, or drop shipped, you can choose to forgo multi-channel fulfillment.
Pull in your real-time FBA inventory and intelligently calculate available inventory quantities for each core product and their bundles and kits.
As Skubana understands how your products are build, Skubana can calculate how many available quantities you have whether it is inventory shared from one core product or it’s own pre-packaged inventory. Here’s an example of a sunglass company. Lets say they do not prepackage any Amazon virtual bundles or kits as they are all packaged on the fly. The inventory quantity for each core product, bundle and kit is as follows:
|Master SKU||Bundle/Kit||Available Inventory|
|SUNGLASSKIT||1 x SUNGLASS + 1 x CLOTH||50|
|CLOTHX2||2 x CLOTH||25|
Automatically multi-channel fulfills orders.
Any multi-channel fulfillment orders that sit in “Awaiting MC Fulfillment” with their required fulfillment methods selected will automatically be pushed to Amazon to create a fulfillment order for the FNSKU.
Create qualitative rules based on filters to specify unique fulfillment methods for orders.
Ordersbots® within Skubana allow you to create if/then statements to automate repetitive tasks. As all multi-channel fulfillment orders require fulfillment methods to be selected, ordebots® can be utilized to pre-set shipping services and fulfillment policies. Skubana even allows you to specify which FNSKU you prefer to utilize for the order, on a manual per order basis or automatically through an orderbot.
|Shipping Service||Fulfillment Policy|
|Standard: 3-5 Business Days||Fill or Kill|
|Expedited: 2 Business Days||Fill All|
|Priority: 1 Business Day||Fill All Available|
Update listings on all channels with real-time inventory with their respective calculated inventory.
After allocating and utilizing inventory quantities, Skubana recalculate your inventory quantities for each master SKU affected, including core products, and its bundles and kits, and then push new inventory quantities to the sales channels.
Grab order updates from Amazon and ship, cancel or leave the order in pending.
In line with the fulfillment policy selected on the order, Amazon will ship the order, cancel the order, or leave the order pending. Skubana will pull order updates and update the order in Skubana. *If the order is canceled, Skubana will not cancel the order on the respective channel but will move the order into an unresolved status in Skubana for further action.
Update the order with its tracking number within Skubana and the sales channel.
If the order is marked as shipped, Skubana will update the order status and tracking number on the respective sales channel.
Build by sellers for sellers, Skubana was born from pain points from a top Amazon seller. Optimize your cross channel selling by automating the end-to-end processes for multi-channels fulfillment orders.
If you have any questions, feel free to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call us at 855-812-2732 or start your free 14-day trial, no credit card required.
Chad Rubin is the co-founder and chief executive officer of Skubana, a multichannel e-commerce software the enables brands to unlock growth by unifying their back-office operations.