Most online merchants have heard of Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA). But the program continues to expand and accelerate. Here is a quick refresher on FBA and a look at how it can improve your seller reputation, along with a few possible exceptions.
Amazon launched the FBA program six years ago with a simple pitch to its seller partners: Move inventory out of your space and pay us to warehouse, pack and ship your orders. The offer has proved popular. It is expanding internationally and growing very rapidly, according to the company. But FBA is not just a way for sellers to outsource. It also benefits the buyer.
How FBA Can Help Your Reputation
Because FBA is customer facing, it influences seller reputations. Here are several reasons why FBA is likely to have a positive impact and possibly boost your feedback score:
Amazon is expert at online order fulfillment—which is the point of FBA.
In a multi-channel selling environment, FBA can reduce the risk of out-of-stock orders (which can be significant cause of negative feedback, especially during busy season).
Under certain conditions, FBA allows negative feedback to be stricken
As the number of Amazon regional warehouses expands, FBA can turn free Prime two-day shipping into one-day shipping.
FBA allows for gift wrapping and detailed tracking of one-day shipments.
In select markets, FBA would give buyers the convenience of locker delivery.
Amazon's 24/7 customer service backs you up. This could bolster your reputation—especially if it's in need of improvement.
Any Downsides to FBA?
That's a long list of benefits. But is there another side to the equation? Of course, the fee structure has to make sense. Certain adjustments and increases that Amazon made earlier this year upset some FBA sellers, but as noted, the program continues to grow. It's also possible that very low-cost items or merchandise that requires "special prep" under Amazon rules could prove expensive. Apart from cost, savvy sellers may also opt out of FBA for certain high-touch or higher-priced items than can benefit from personalized customer care.
Successful Amazon sellers, whether using FBA or not, strive to deliver exceptional customer service in any case. To build on your strengths, FeedbackFive's feedback management tool allows you to follow-up on product delivery, connect directly with your customer and strengthen that relationship, which is key to any favorable business reputation.
Originally published on December 22, 2012, updated May 9, 2019
This post is accurate as of the date of publication. Some features and information may have changed due to product updates or Amazon policy changes.