What goes into an Amazon seller's pick, packing, and shipping of a product? It all depends on the shipping plan. This may seem common sense to you, but many businesses still fail to do it.
Whether it's a lack of time or a series of incorrect processes, businesses should realize that many issues could happen in just a few seconds during shipments. No matter how small, these problems can cause huge financial losses and a negative reputation.
As an aspiring FBA account manager, it's necessary to know how to set up an Amazon shipping plan. This lets Amazon know what, where, and how much of your client's products will ship. Moreover, it minimizes the risk of delays and unexpected fees.
This quick Amazon FBA business training spills the details on how to help a client create their first shipping plan!
When should you create a shipping plan for your client? It may come as a surprise, but this isn't the first step in the fulfillment process. Rather, it's the fourth procedure, right before Amazon reviews the products and sets their availability for buyers.
This is the next step after your client's Amazon seller account has been set for FBA, a product listing for the FBA inventory has been created, and the items are ready to ship. Here's a quick guide on shipping plan creation from our Amazon business course.
First, check the Manage Inventory option from your client's Amazon Seller Central account to select the products they want to ship. Ensure that these are FBA SKUs to be eligible for the shipping program. Otherwise, you need to edit the listing.
Find the drop-down menu and select Send/Replenish Inventory. This page gives you two options: create a brand new shipping plan or modify an existing one. Naturally, we'll focus on a new one for beginners.
Next, you need to establish the ship-from address. It could be the client's home, business, or warehouse address. This tells Amazon which fulfillment center to ship the products to and where to return items they couldn't deliver.
Another thing to confirm is the packing type. Is your client shipping case-packed or individual products?
After establishing the products to be shipped, it's time to set how much of each item will be sent. Select Set Quantity under the Send/Replenish Inventory board and enter the quantity in the Units box.
The quantity page can also help you add products to the inventory, update incomplete offers (missing prices or conditions), add or remove products from the shipping plan, and delete or make a copy of the current plan.
Next, check Amazon's Prepare Products section to comply with Amazon's shipping requirements. This also ensures they will arrive at the fulfillment centers in their best condition. To start, choose who will prepare the products: the merchant or Amazon.
Pro Tip: Many sellers pick Merchant over Amazon because it doesn't come with an extra fee. Additionally, you can advise your client to have the product manufacturer prepare the products in their place to save more time and money.
Below are the types of preparation Amazon offers for safe and secure shipment.
Amazon keeps track of your client's products using a barcode system. For this reason, all FBA products (except stickerless items or those without a specific FBA seller ID) must undergo proper labeling to meet the platform's standards.
There are three options to label your client's products with Amazon FBA.
You may check Amazon's further instructions for proper print labels and label placement. These features guarantee an accurate and high-quality production of barcodes.
Amazon may divide the products in your client's shipping plan into multiple warehouses to make the fulfillment process manageable. It aims to optimize the delivery speed to minimize delays. For this reason, you must review the shipment details before approving them.
Check the shipment name and ID, number of MSKUs, units, and the code and location of the target fulfillment center. Modify changes when necessary. When everything's in place, click Approve Shipments.
You're almost done with the shipping prep! In this step, you have to establish the shipping carrier and method, set the quantity of the boxes, schedule and pay for the shipping, and print box labels.
Here are the available shipping methods, including the number of boxes allowed.
Check Amazon's guidelines for further details on each shipment method. Click Complete Shipment to confirm and finalize the details.
The shipping plan's summary page contains an overview of the shipment details and tools you'll use to track its progress. Moreover, it will notify you if there are any issues with the shipment.
To be more specific, there are four tabs on this page.
We hope you got a good grasp of the shipping plan from our discussion! Meanwhile, here are some helpful tips to help your client plan cost-effective and time-saving shipments.
You may have the best shipping plan on hand, but that doesn't guarantee complete prevention from disruptions. At some point, shipping issues can be inevitable. As an FBA account manager, you should picture such events and plan solutions.
Maximize your preparation with troubleshooting plans. What can we do to avoid over-the-road issues? What's the backup plan if the service hours change? How can we improve the lead times of the shipments and avoid extra charges?
Your client may consider product insurance if they find Amazon's shipment protection systems lacking. Suggest negotiating with their freight forwarder or suppliers to add protection to the items.
Does your client prefer making the most of Amazon's shipment programs? Then, they might like to try the Inventory Placement Service. It's a program where FBA sellers can send shipments to one warehouse instead of multiple fulfillment centers.
This makes the shipment faster and less confusing. Ultimately, it minimizes the risk of errors because everything is in one place. However, note that this comes with a per-unit fee; it can be especially expensive if your client sells large or oversized goods.
Amazon FBA is undoubtedly convenient for many sellers. However, given that it typically costs money like storage costs, some would still look for other cost-cutting alternatives. Luckily, your client can still choose from several shipping methods.
One of them is using a third-party warehouse to fulfill orders. At this point, the products will then be listed as FBM instead of FBA. It can be a little complicated initially, so more experienced sellers can benefit from this option.
Lastly, let's not forget about effective communication. As an account manager, it's your responsibility to ensure that your client understands the reasons behind any decisions.
Ask if they need further explanation or confirm some details you're struggling with to ensure that you're making the correct preparations. That way, you can reduce the risk of problems occurring during the shipment process.
Shipping plays a significant role in the growth of an Amazon business. It can make or break the chances of success, so sellers must take it seriously and plan the shipment to ensure everything works out fine.
Of course, we know it’s easier said than done. This is why many sellers look for FBA account managers. This person is well-versed in the Amazon marketplace and can help them with almost everything, from setting up an account to building an effective shipping plan. You can be that person soon!
Are you looking for a business coach for Amazon account management training? Perhaps someone who shares the same expertise like Kevin King, Jason Tay, Tim Sanders, Greg Mercer, or Jim Cockrum.
Maybe you've read excerpts from some of their works, such as the FBA masterclass, Amazon Boot Camp, Marketplace Superhero, Seller University, Amazon FBA Private Label, Amazon Selling Machine, Blue Sky Amazon, or Selling Family. If you want to take an Amazon FBA training course focusing on account management, Digital Academy is the key!
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