Over the past month Fulfillment by Amazon sellers in America have been in reaction to wild swings of a chaotic ecommerce market coupled with surprise policy shifts enacted by Amazon to adjust to the new reality foisted upon the world by the coronavirus.
FBA Demand Shock
With most of the USA stuck at home, ecommerce has become the one place where the economy is booming. But with the boom comes challenges.
Many products for many FBA have picked up in sales...
Until the stocks of items sold out.
Since the Amazon algorithm demotes products in its search that are out of stock, winning the buy box and maintaining inventory became a balancing act for many.
Then Amazon policy updated. Not accepting many shipments to warehouses creating a dilemma for many FBA sellers with incoming cargo.
FBA Supply Shock and Air Freight Add More Pressure
Adding to the challenges for sellers with popular products and manufacturers in China is the fact that supply chains were already in a tailspin from the country wide lockdown in China that is just starting to be lifted.
And to make matters more difficult, air freight capacity was disappearing for those sellers lucky enough to source their products.
So, as I write this - the tale still has an uncertain ending for sellers, supply chains and consumers worldwide.
The Amazon Crisis Opportunity
Business survival and business opportunity for ecommerce merchants throughout the world are intertwined like never before.
Ecommerce as a purchase point has surged beyond anyone's previous imaginations. Keeping stock, delivering the goods and doing it all in a safe way - so the coronavirus does not spread - are the strategic challenges today's savvy sellers must navigate for success.
Relying only on FBA to sell your products on Amazon is causing many pre-coronavirus-pure-FBA-sellers to rethink their resiliency and change their distribution strategy. Enter FBM.
Amazon Fulfillment by Merchant (FBM) - Getting Antifragile
"Some things benefit from shocks; they thrive and grow when exposed to volatility, randomness, disorder, and stressors and love adventure, risk, and uncertainty. Yet, in spite of the ubiquity of the phenomenon, there is no word for the exact opposite of fragile. According to Taleb, the opposite of fragile is antifragile. Antifragility is beyond resilience or robustness. The resilient resists shocks and stays the same; the antifragile gets better
Nassim Taleb | Antifragile: Thing that Gain From Disorder
For today's world of uncertainty improving your business systems and processes - making them more resilient and flexible at once - may prove to the be the prime factors that separate the sellers who survive and thrive compared to those who close shop.
One way Fulfillment Bridge has seen FBA sellers adapt to the rapid changes in the past months is a trend in FBA sellers adding a Fulfillment by Merchant option to their listings.
Some have done this because they had no other choice based on Amazon policy changes, while others are adding FBM to their supply chain repertoire out of measured caution: they do not want to lose the Amazon buy box.
For a quick catch up on the difference between FBA and FBM, Jungle Scout's primer is worth a read: How to Sell & Ship Your Own Products with Amazon FBM
Fulfillment by Merchant to the Rescue
Whether you are looking into Amazon FBM as an offensive move in an uncertain world or you've been forced to find a new way to keep selling on Amazon in reaction to unforeseen Amazon policy changes, there's no better time than now to make your Amazon business antifragile.
Structuring all, or even just part, of your Amazon business to take advantage of FBM will give you more options to maintain sales when the world changes and ensure that you remain the driver of your Amazon business success.
Get Started With Fulfillment by Merchant
Fulfillment Bridge integrates seamlessly with Amazon. Sell your products on Amazon exactly how you do today but maintain control over your inventory.
With warehouses on four continents and warehouse teams experienced working with Amazon sellers, you can sell via FBM in Europe, the UK, the USA, Canda and Asia.