Setting up an Amazon seller account is the first part of starting an Amazon business. After setting up your account, you will have to carry out essential Amazon business processes like product research, keyword research, and listing optimization to ensure you make sales on Amazon. However, this is only half of the cycle. The other half entails shipping your orders and making sure they get to the customers on time and in good shape.
Amazon shipping is a challenge that most Amazon sellers face. There are several seller shipping methods available, and choosing one for your business can be a herculean task. We have untangled this complex business process, and provided you with the best seller shipping methods for 2021.
Here, we’ll show you every aspect of Amazon shipping that you need to know to scale your Amazon business and keep your customers coming back.
- Amazon fulfillment options
- Amazon seller shipping methods
- How should you charge for Amazon shipping?
- Amazon shipping carriers: What are they?
- Best Amazon shipping carriers
- Low-cost seller shipping methods
- How to cut down on Amazon shipping costs
Amazon Fulfillment Options
Order fulfillment is a core aspect of every Amazon business. Amazon offers two fulfillment options:
- Fulfillment by Amazon (Amazon FBA)
- Fulfillment by Merchant (FBM)
Fulfillment by Amazon
Fulfillment by Amazon is a fulfillment option where Amazon handles storage, packaging, shipping or order fulfillment, and customer service on behalf of its third-party sellers. Sellers who use Amazon FBA will not have to worry about warehousing and shipping orders. Amazon will take care of these processes and sellers can focus on other priorities.
This fulfillment option is best for beginners on Amazon and those who do not have the time and capital needed to execute these processes.
Fulfillment by Merchant
Sellers who opt for this fulfillment option will have to manage their inventory and storage, package orders, ship them, and provide customer service. In other words, the seller is solely responsible for order fulfillment.
This fulfillment option is best for sellers who have a large inventory and can afford the capital needed to store their products and ship them.
If you choose the Fulfillment by Merchant option, you will need a suitable Amazon shipping method to fulfill your orders. Here are a few for you to consider.
Amazon Seller Shipping Methods
There are Amazon shipping methods. Here are the six most popular ones:
- Same-Day Shipping:
This is the fastest seller shipping method and is usually considered to be the best Amazon shipping method. However, this shipping method depends on the proximity of the products to the customer’s location. It also involves a great deal of capital and organization.
- Overnight Shipping:
This shipping method is right next to same-day shipping because it ensures that customers get their orders the next day. It’s worth checking if overnight shipping is available for your company since most shipping carriers offer it.
- Two-Day Shipping:
This seller shipping method is often used by Amazon Prime sellers. Free same-day or two-day shipping is one of the benefits that Amazon Prime offers its subscribers, so if you are on the seller fulfilled prime plan, you will have to make use of this shipping method.
- Express Shipping:
An express shipping method is faster than the standard shipping method. The location of your products, as well as other factors, may make two-day shipping impossible. If your customers choose expedited shipping, they’ll still receive their order on time compared to standard shipping. With this shipping method, orders typically take 2-3 days to arrive at their destination.
- Standard Shipping:
Although the above options are great, they may be on the high side if you are on a budget. Standard shipping is a pocket-friendly option for customers who are not in a hurry to receive their orders. This seller shipping method usually takes about 3-7 business days.
- International Shipping:
This seller shipping method only comes into play when you have to ship others outside the country. International shipping is the most complex shipping method because it usually involves customs and duties. It is best to work with shipping carriers and freight forwarders who understand how international trade works.
How Should You Charge For Shipping?
Once you have chosen a seller shipping method or a combination of shipping methods that work best for your business, the next step is to decide your shipping charges.
Usually, sellers who use the Fulfillment by Merchant option are allowed to charge shipping fees, while those on the Seller Fulfilled Prime plan will have to provide free same-day or two-day delivery.
If you use the former, here are three ways to charge for Amazon shipping.
- Charge a flat rate:
Flat rates are fixed fees that do not change. If your product size is constant, you may consider charging a flat rate shipping fee for your order regardless of the shipping method and order location.
All you have to do is determine the average shipping cost for all orders and set that as your flat rate. The rates can also be different based on different factors, such as the order size, weight, or distance.
- Use real-time shipping rates:
In cases where your shipping rates vary greatly, you might want to use different rates for different orders.
Using your shipping carrier’s real-time rates for each order, you can pull up the shipping rate at customer checkout. This way, customers know how much their shipping payment will be.
- Free Shipping:
You can offer free shipping as an added benefit for customers who shop from you. To do this, you can include shipping expenses in the overall cost of the item. It is also possible to set a threshold for shoppers to be eligible for free shipping. For instance, if someone orders items over $300 they will not be charged for shipping. Ensure you set a price mark that will not affect your profit margin.
Everyone loves a free offer, so you are more likely to get sales and returning customers with this delivery method.
Amazon Shipping Carriers: What Are They?
Shipping carriers are logistic companies that pick up products from sellers and deliver them to the customer. They could be a postal service or an independent firm. You may need to make use of more than one Amazon shipping carrier to ensure smooth and timely delivery of your products.
Sellers usually experience issues with Amazon shipping carriers. These issues range from missing items and damaged goods to late delivery. The only way to prevent these issues is to choose a reliable shipping carrier for your orders. Here are a few factors to help you choose right.
- Speed of service
- Available service options
- Customer reviews
- Capacity for order fulfillment
- Excellent customer service
Best Amazon Shipping Carriers
There is a wide range of Amazon shipping carriers available. Here are a few of them:
This is a Netherlands-based shipping carrier and will work great for Amazon sellers whose business is located in Europe. These shipping carriers only do express shipping, so if you will be using the Express shipping method, this is an excellent choice for your business.
- .USPS – United States Postal Service
While many independent shipping carriers have emerged over the past few years, many eCommerce sellers still rely on the United States Postal Service for shipping. They are limited to shipping within the United States.
FedEx is a shipping carrier that ships by air. When it comes to shipping, few companies have better brand recognition than FedEx. FedEx can deliver shipments anywhere in the world. FedEx is one of the most recognized shipping companies in the world.
DHL is a reputable shipping company. With over 500,000 employees worldwide, they have considerable experience with both local and international shipping.
- UPS – United Parcel Service
The majority of Amazon sellers use UPS for their shipping needs. The company has a large fleet of trucks and 200 aircraft to swiftly and safely deliver your orders, whether by land or by air.
Low-Cost Seller Shipping Methods
The shorter the shipping time, the more expensive the shipping method is likely to be. For sellers who are on a budget, low-cost shipping options work best. Here are a couple of low-cost shipping methods depending on the carrier and type of item.
- Lightweight or relatively small items: USPS offers the cheapest shipping option for small items such as jewelry, pins, and socks. The starting price for small items is $3.80 and $7.50. If your products belong to any of these categories, USPS may just be your best bet.
- Packages of medium to large size: For items weighing 30 – 40 lbs, the USPS offers Priority Mail for as little as $15.
- Large items: USPS does not ship anything over 70 lbs, so once you reach that weight, you’re better off using carriers like UPS, DHL, and FedEx. Shipping costs vary according to size, weight, and destination. There are times when UPS is the most affordable, and there are times when DHL or FedEx is the most affordable. To determine the most appropriate carrier, perform your research.
Prices are bound to fluctuate, so compare prices to find the best deal.
How To Cut Down On Amazon Shipping Costs
Are you looking for ways to reduce your shipping costs? Consider these tips:
- Use sea or ground freight options in place of air freight for international deliveries as they tend to be less expensive.
- Request for flat rate shipping. Check with your shipping carrier to see if you are eligible.
- Ship same location orders at once
- Provide EMS tracking
- Add shipping costs to your product prices
Running a successful eCommerce business relies heavily on shipping. Do your research and look into all of your shipping options to find the one that suits you best and also fits into your budget.