What is fulfillment?
The right e-commerce fulfillment service can give your business a competitive edge. You have a lot to consider when choosing between in-house fulfillment, using a service like Fulfillment by Amazon, or another strategy. Fulfillment service can help you manage customer orders, send shipments on time, and obtain dated information on products available for restocking or promotions. One of the biggest merits of fulfillment services is that you no longer have to worry about returns. Customer satisfaction is one of the key factors of e-commerce success and easy returns are immensely crucial in that regard.
Fulfillment by Amazon
FBA allows Amazon sellers to ship your products to your customers at a competitive cost. When an order comes in, Amazon delivers the product to your customer.
You can take advantage of Amazon’s:
- distribution network,
- world-class delivery service,
- returns system,
- customer service process.
Amazon has more than 100 fulfillment centers in Europe ready to store and ship your products with FBA. The Amazon Fulfillment Center service has improved Amazon’s inventory management. The company collects your goods from the warehouse which goes through various stages, some might also undergo FC processing and FC transfer. What this Inventory Status entails, is a way for customers to comprehend the FC process better in relation to what you are selling.
What is FC in Amazon?
Amazon FC or fulfillment center means Amazon warehouse. Amazon sellers may have inventory stored for these FC warehouses through its product catalogue FBA system. Through an Amazon fulfillment service, a company collects stock and packages its products as sellers.
What is FC transfer?
Amazon FC Transfers means that products are being transferred from one fulfilment centre to another to place the inventory closer to customers. Amazon sellers can see in the Amazon seller central account all their products that are in FC transfer status. Units in FC Transfer status are available for customers to buy. Customers can see future delivery dates if no other units are available for immediate fulfillment. Typically, transfers take one to five days to complete.
What does FC processing mean and how long does it take?
FC Processing means that units have been side-lined at the fulfillment centre for additional processing, such as verification of items’ dimensions and weight, or pending investigations. Typically, Amazon FC processing can take from 5-7 business days. However, this duration may change depending on your inventory size and payment methods.
FC processing vs FC transfer
Reserved-processing – a process involving Fulfillment centre processes – means that your products have been thoroughly checked and therefore cannot be sold. A storage account for storage may be processed with FC processing for a product reversed: Fulfillment center transfer – reserve or FC transfer indicates that the unit or the quantity is being redistributed in one warehouse.
What is Amazon Reserved Inventory?
If you are sending goods to a fulfillment center in Amazon’s warehouses, you cannot get them to Amazon this morning. Once they’re ready, sorted and inspected, the package arrives on Reserved Processing. Amazon has the ability to sell items to other retailers at different outlets. While the shipment has being shifted to another warehouse, you can also sell your items on Amazon.com. They can be sold in-store once products reach Prime Members’. Amazon doesn’t give an accurate estimate of shipment time. It takes 3-5 days.
Inventory in the reserved status may be tied to customer’s order, in the process of being shipped between fulfillment centres, or side-lined at a fulfillment centre for additional processing. The report provides real-time data about the number of reserved units in your inventory.
What does “reserved” mean in Amazon inventory?
Inventory in reserved status means that products are ready or waiting to be shipped into Amazon Warehouse locations. A shipment to an alternative warehouse can be found when the product comes to us with instructions in the email message “In stock immediately”.
There are three possibilities why your Amazon inventory is in ‘Reserved’ status:
- Pending Orders – When a customer makes an order, Amazon ‘reserves’ your products so that another customer will not purchase them. Amazon keeps the units in ‘Reserved’ status until payment clears and your product ships to the customer.
- FC Transfers -Amazon redistributes inventory between fulfillment centers around the EU so no matter where a customer is, there is sure to be some stock not too far from them. Products that are in FC transfer status can be still purchased by the customer.
- FC Processing – these products are sidelined so Amazon has to check things like product measurements (length, width, height of the packaging), the weight of the product in its packaging, or to verify the product’s authenticity.
These units will be in ‘Reserved’ status until Amazon completes its validation process (which usually takes a couple of business days unless they find something that warrants additional investigation).
Get your inventory checked faster
Amazon usually requires 1-2 days from the purchase of a product to shipment via FBA. It can also be shipped to another warehouse and then assembled for distribution. Due to COVID, workers and warehouses face a substantial shortage, so expect a longer check-in process than anticipated. Customer orders can still go over the aforementioned timeframe. However, customers can find out in the message that they are back-ordering and they must have the product within 24 hours of receiving the order and a minimum order amount has the date for delivery”.
Managing Amazon Reserved Inventory Levels
Due to the coronavirus pandemic, Amazon warehouses are overwhelmed after massive growth in orders. Many suppliers can no longer develop an upgrade shipping strategy if there are still chances of returning them. Amazon may have a few reasons for calculating this amount. It is also common knowledge that affected suppliers must move their products into an FBA leased warehouse rather than to FD – storage centres and other suppliers. Using your reserve inventory is an important blocker that can inhibit future sales.
Newest changes and features of Amazon FBA
Fulfillment by Amazon is constantly changing and adapting to meet the needs of both: its customers and the Amazon sellers that are using the platform. Keeping up-to-date with the latest changes and additions can help brands meet consumer demand and stay at the top of their own game with the FBA service.
For example, one big change in 2020 was the added commingling of inventory, which is allowed if Amazon barcodes are used. What is commingling? It’s when Amazon stores every unit of a single product together, regardless of the seller, and ships any one of these to a buyer. It’s also called stickerless inventory.
This has its own pros and cons, but it can possibly end up in counterfeits being shipped to your customer instead of the high-quality unit you placed in Amazon’s warehouses (since the products are picked from any available stock — including stock provided by someone other than you) or create other issues. You rather keep an eye on things if you take advantage of this feature. There were cases where legitimate sellers using FBA have been banned from selling on Amazon due to negative reviews caused by damaged or fake products.
Another new change introduced in 2020 is the Inventory Performance Index, which measures a variety of elements to determine how your inventory is performing and helps improve that by getting rid of excess inventory, improving your sell-through rate, and more. You’ll want a score above 500, which is calculated based on factors like:
- In-stock inventory
- Excess inventory
- Stranded inventory
- Sell-through rates
If you would like us to dive deeper into some particular topics like customer returns, Amazon fulfillment centers, commingling etc. let us know in the comments below.