If you’re an ecommerce seller, it’s critical that you have robust inventory management and fulfillment processes in place to ensure your customers are delighted every time they shop with your brand.
There are some great 3PL (third-party logistics) providers out there for merchants, but one that is at the forefront of the industry is Amazon Multi-Channel Fulfillment (MCF).
Veeqo provides fast, low-cost fulfillment, warehouse and inventory management, and speedy delivery options.
What is an ecommerce 3PL?
A 3PL provider is a company that helps ecommerce brands manage their logistics operations, including order fulfillment across multiple sales channels.
When you partner with a 3PL, they’ll take care of a range of repetitive and time-consuming processes for your business, which might include:
Receiving and storing stock
Picking, packing, and shipping
Customer service and support
3PLs essentially take all of your logistics operations off your plate, so you don’t need to worry about warehouse management, distribution, or fulfillment technology - which can save you hundreds of hours of admin (and headaches) over the course of a year.
What is Amazon Multi-Channel Fulfillment (MCF)?
MCF launched in 2007 as a competitive fulfillment option for online retailers who sell outside of Amazon.com.
Here’s how it works: You have your inventory shipped to the appropriate Amazon fulfillment centers for storage, and when orders come in from any of your sales channels, MCF will pick, pack, and ship your orders and send them to your customers.
This cuts down on multi-channel sales logistics for your business, and allows you to offer the Amazon fulfillment experience to your customers for their off-Amazon orders.
MCF can ship orders placed on any of your sales channels, including your:
Brand websites - e.g. Shopify, WooCommerce, BigCommerce
Ecommerce marketplaces - e.g. Etsy and eBay
Social media stores - e.g. Instagram and Facebook
MCF vs FBA - what’s the difference?
Even though they’re similar, MCF is different from its counterpart, FBA (Fulfillment by Amazon).
FBA fulfills orders placed on Amazon.com while MCF fulfills orders placed on off-Amazon sales channels. MCF is available to any ecommerce retailer, whether they sell on Amazon or not.
And if you use both FBA and MCF together, you can consolidate your inventory into a single pool that you can use to fulfill orders across all your channels – so that you can improve inventory turnover and reduce stockouts.
Let’s take a look at some of the key advantages of using MCF over other 3PL solutions.
Reasons to choose Amazon MCF over other 3PL Solutions
With MCF, you can access 100+ pre-built, developer-friendly integrations which enable you to quickly connect with ecommerce solutions like Shopify, WooCommerce, BigCommerce, and shipping management software like Veeqo.
You can also easily integrate many other back-end systems that you currently use.
MCF also offers robust APIs which allow you to build custom integrations for your ecommerce brand. You can also easily connect all of your sales channels directly to your FBA fulfillment channel.
This means fulfillment orders are created automatically when customers place orders through any of your sales channels outside of Amazon.
MCF allows you to deliver your products as quickly as one day after their ship date.
So, when you use MCF, you’ll get peace of mind that your brand can meet your customers’ expectations of fast, reliable delivery the moment they check out.
With MCF, you can benefit from Amazon’s fulfillment speeds, economy of scale, and global reach.
When you use MCF, you’ll get direct access to Amazon’s 200+ global fulfillment centers, 120,000 trucks, vans and planes, and the capacity to handle incredibly high order volumes with ease.
3. Streamlined storage & fulfillment
MCF gives you access to a global fulfillment network at your fingertips.
Ship your inventory to any of Amazon's fulfillment centers around the world and let their teams, resources, and infrastructure handle everything else, without you having to lift a finger.
Storing all your inventory in one place means you can save time and money and cut down on warehouse logistics — and your customers can enjoy a smoother, faster delivery process as a result.
4. Simple, transparent pricing
Amazon MCF fees give you a simple, predictable way to manage storage and fulfillment costs.
This means you can calculate your fulfillment costs accurately, and you won’t get hit with any unexpected hidden fees that are often tucked away in the fine print of other 3PL providers.
As a seller, this can amount to serious cost reductions which have a measurable impact on your bottom line.
There are no sign-up fees with MCF for US sellers, and you’ll only pay for inventory storage and fulfillment. Every time you make a sale, there’s just one fee for picking, packing, and shipping the order.
If you have multi-unit orders, you’re also eligible for up to 50% discounts.
Your MCF fulfillment fees are calculated based on the shipping speed, the weight of the package, and the category of the item. Storage fees are based on the cubic feet of space you need in the Amazon warehouse.
Unlike other 3PL providers, MCF doesn’t lock you into any long-term contracts. You can use MCF’s storage and fulfillment services on demand – during peak shopping season or whenever you need support handling your orders throughout the year.
It goes without saying that Amazon MCF is infinitely scalable for your ecommerce business needs.
So, whether you’re scaling rapidly, or you’re already a global brand shipping thousands of parcels a day, you can rest assured that everything will be taken care of by Amazon’s fulfillment teams and technology.
6. Fast delivery
Despite the best efforts of other 3PLs, Amazon’s lightning-fast fulfillment performance is unmatched in the ecommerce marketplace, with an average “click to door” speed for your customers of 1.9 days.
This is up to 50% faster than other providers.
MCF offers a variety of click-to-delivery speeds, so you can select from three options the speeds that best fit your business needs:
Priority: Delivered in two business days
Expedited: Delivered in three business days
Standard: Delivered in five business days
Your customers can enjoy a fantastic >97% on-time delivery rate, no matter where they live, and regardless of any supply chain issues or seasonal delays.
7. Real-time tracking
Many 3PLs don’t offer real-time tracking options, but for MCF users, you can track orders from any of your sales channels from online checkout to your customers’ doors.
Your customers will also be emailed a shipment confirmation email with a link to their parcel, so they can check on delivery progress and get excited about receiving their order.
8. Unbranded packaging
A huge advantage for your brand is that MCF delivers your customers orders in unbranded packages.
This means there’s no Amazon branding on the packaging — so you can offer your customers a cohesive brand experience and ensure you adhere to any ecommerce marketplace guidelines that prohibit the use of branded packaging.
As MCF uses a wide range of carriers to get their parcels from A to B around the world, you can also elect to opt out of Amazon Logistics as a shipping carrier.
There’s a small fee for this, but your parcels will show up in a delivery vehicle other than Amazon Logistics, which will ensure you preserve your brand identity and meet ecommerce marketplace guidelines.
9. Seamless integration with Veeqo
Veeqo is completely free to use, and enables MCF users to manage everything in one place, with unlimited orders, unlimited users, and no shipping label limits.
This lets you easily organize all of your orders, automate repetitive tasks, and track your sales data and analytics in one place - whether you’re selling on Amazon, eBay, Shopify, Etsy, or any other sales channels.
With Veeqo, your inventory updates across all of your sales channels in real-time For example, if a customer buys an item on Amazon, your stock level of that item will be adjusted in real time across Amazon as well as eBay, Shopify, and any other channels you’re selling on.
Whether you’re storing your inventory with Amazon or in other places, Veeqo helps you transfer and track all of your stock across multiple locations, saving you time and ensuring your business runs smoothly — no matter how fast you grow.
Scale Fast and Smart with Amazon MCF
You don’t need to be an Amazon seller to get access to the huge range of benefits and services offered by Amazon’s global ecommerce infrastructure.
With MCF, you can store inventory in Amazon’s global network of fulfillment centers, have MCF teams pick, pack, and ship orders, and deliver those orders on time to your customers’ doorsteps.
So, if you’re scaling fast and looking for a smart, cost-effective 3PL solution to help you manage end-to-end fulfillment, MCF is definitely worth your time.
Veeqo’s integration with Amazon MCF makes it a breeze to track and manage all of your multi-channel sales, inventory, and fulfillment. Simply create your free Veeqo account, connect your stores, and start saving from your very first shipment.