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How to Use Amazon Multi-Channel Fulfillment (MCF)

Wouldn’t it be amazing to fulfill your Amazon orders from other sales channels? And yes, by “other sales channels” we mean your own website, trade shows, social media, and more. Well, look no further, this is now possible thanks to Amazon Multi-Channel Fulfillment (MCF).

Amazon is currently one of the largest eCommerce platforms in the world and provides incredible opportunities for small sellers and large businesses alike to reach millions of potential customers. As an ever-growing platform, Amazon has to find ways to cater to its Vendor and Seller Central users’ needs and their customers’ shopping habits.

Read on to learn how Multi-Channel Fulfillment (MCF) is allowing businesses, in many parts of the world, to reach  Amazon customers from other sales channels much more easily.


What Is Amazon Multi-Channel Fulfillment?

Multi-Channel Fulfillment, as it is known, allows businesses to submit order fulfillment requests for sales that they have received on other platforms.

Orders for items you sell on Amazon are not eligible for MCF, but can be fulfilled by Amazon using FBA.

This service allows you to:

  • Improve your customer experience with faster delivery and simplified operations
  • Store your inventory in Amazon’s warehouses
  • Select standard, expedited, or next day shipping options
  • Specify if they want the order to be fulfilled in an Amazon box, or a plain box that does not have any branding
  • Handle all of the customer service and returns for orders fulfilled

What is the Difference Between MCF and FBA?

In a nutshell, Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA) is a cost-effective way to ship items. Amazon takes care of all things related to shipment and customer service; plus, it handles your orders, and sends out your products in an Amazon-branded package. Regular shoppers are eligible for free standard shipping (3 – 5 business days) and Prime shoppers get to enjoy the 2-day free shipping.

Multi-Channel Fulfillment (MCF) is a bit different. Sellers seek to fulfill orders from other channels outside Amazon; therefore, fees, service levels, and support come at different price than FBA. With this service, you can offer your Prime users 1-day, 2-day, or standard (3-5 business day) delivery options.

Tip: Click here to learn how to set up FBA.


How Does MCF Work?

With Multi-Channel Fulfillment, you’ll be able to fulfill your customers’ needs in 3 simple steps:

  1. Send your inventory directly to Amazon Fulfillment Center.
  2. Customers purchase your products from Amazon or any other 3P channels.
  3. Amazon receives the order. Then picks it, packs it, and ships it directly to your customers.
Diagram showing the way multi-channel fulfillment works and the steps that are followed before the package gets to the customer.
Source: https://services.amazon.com/fulfillment-by-amazon/multi-channel.html

MCF is available with or without the Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA) service. If you are an FBA user already, you can ship your inventory to both your Amazon customers and the ones from your other channels.

MCF is a program within Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA).

Here are some of the advantages of MCF:

  • You can choose to have returns sent back you or to fulfillment centers at any time.
  • Your FBA inventory can be fulfilled automatically 
  • With your Professional selling account, you can list your multi-channel fulfillment inventory without making it available for sale on Amazon

MCF is available with or without the Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA) service. If you are an FBA user already, you can ship your inventory to both your Amazon customers and the ones from your other channels.

You can also specify if you want the order to be fulfilled in an Amazon box, or a plain box that does not have any branding.



2020 US Multi-Channel Fulfillment (MCF) Fee Changes

On April 1, 2020, the following MCF fee changes will take effect:

  • Reduced rates for expedited 2-day shipping (up to 30%, depending on size tier)
  • Reduced rates for standard shipping
  • Introduction of new size tiers for standard and expedited shipping

As mentioned previously, MCF offers shoppers three shipping options to choose from, and the price is determined by the size and weight of each unit:

  1. Standard Shipping (Takes up to a week for delivery) – Shipping goes from $3.95 USD for a small package (1-unit order) to $143.30 + $0.92/lb (1-unit order, above first 90 lb) for a special oversized package.
  2. Expedited Two-day Shipping – Shipping goes from $5.69 USD for a small package (1-unit order) to $143.30 + $0.92/lb USD for a large package (1-unit order, above first 90 lb) for a special oversized package.
  3. Priority Next-day Shipping – Shipping goes from $12.80 USD for a small package (1-unit order) to $143.30 + $0.92 USD for a large package (1-unit order, above first 90 lb) for a special oversized package.

International Multi-Channel Fulfillment Orders

MCF orders can now be exported to the following European countries supported by FBA. Just keep in mind that worldwide export orders, including Media, are not supported by Multi-Channel Fulfillment orders:

United Kingdom, France, Belgium, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Spain, Italy, Portugal, Ireland, Austria, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Greece, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, and Sweden.

As well as the following international countries: Argentina, Australia, Bahrain, Bermuda, Brazil, Canada, Chile, China, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Egypt, Guadeloupe, Hong Kong, Iceland, India, Indonesia, Israel, Japan, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Korea, Kuwait, Liechtenstein, Macao, Malaysia, Mexico New Zealand, Nigeria, Norway, Oman, Panama, Peru, Philippines, Saudi Arabia, Serbia, Singapore, South Africa, Switzerland, Taiwan, Thailand, Trinidad & Tobago, United Arab Emirates, United States, Uruguay, Venezuela.

Note: For international Multi-Channel Fulfillment orders, you must identify the destination country when you submit the order. 

The good news is that now you can enroll in the EU FBA Shipping program without dealing with cross-border selling difficulties at no extra charge.


International Returns for FBA Export

With FBA Export, Amazon provides fulfillment and customer service for your orders, including processing buyer returns. Amazon uses Amazon’s return policies to determine whether a unit is eligible to be returned. However, to ensure a good buying experience, Amazon will make case-by-case exceptions and accept returns for units fulfilled through FBA that may be past the stated return time frame. You do not pay any shipping costs for FBA Export buyer returns.

When a buyer returns a product, the standard Amazon returns policy will be followed. If the returned product is received in sellable condition, it will be returned to the original seller’s inventory. If the returned product is not in sellable condition, Amazon will determine who is at fault (Amazon or the buyer) and make reimbursement according to the FBA lost and damaged inventory reimbursement policy.

The buyer must pay the return shipping costs if there is no product defect. If there is a product defect, the buyer pays and ships the product back to Amazon’s warehouse. Amazon will compensate the buyer for the actual return shipping cost when the parcel is received and, therefore, you do not have to pay any shipping costs for FBA Export buyer returns.


Getting You Started

Creating fulfillment orders for Multi-Channel Fulfillment is very easy:

  1. Go to your Inventory page and find the product that needs to be fulfilled.
  2. Select “Create fulfillment order.”
  3. Populate the fields with the information of the customer who ordered the product.
  4. Order ID field can be populated or left blank and will be automatically created.
  5. You can update the number of items being shipped at the bottom of the page.
  6. Select “Continue” to advance to the shipping options.
  7. There are two options on this page to complete. The first option is the Fulfillment Action.
  8. Select “Ship this inventory” if the payment has already processed and is ready to go. You can select “Hold” if you want to create the order and wait for the payment to complete.
  9. Update the status to “Ship this inventory” once the payment is processed.
  10. Finally, select the shipping option that you want to use and click “Place Order.”

Some Things to Consider When Submitting Multi-Channel Fulfillment Orders

According to Amazon Seller Central, you can submit MCF orders in three ways:

  1. One-at-a-time
  2. In bulk
  3. Via API (Amazon’s Product Advertising)

Read the following recommendations posted on Seller Central and sign in to have access to a full guide on How to Submit or Cancel Multi-Channel Fulfillment Orders:


Orders

Submitting MCF Orders One-At-A-Time

  • Expedited and Priority Orders placed after 1:00 p.m. EST will ship on the following business day.
  • MCF orders for out-of-stock items or invalid addresses will appear as Unfulfillable on the Manage Orders page.
  • There is no charge for unfulfillable orders, but they will not be processed.
  • You must submit a new MCF order when the item is in stock, or when you have a valid delivery address.
  • The destination address cannot be changed once an order is placed.
  • Orders containing products identified as Dangerous goods may not be shipped to a P.O. box. These items can only be shipped via ground and only at standard speed.

Tip: For branded packing slip options, see Branding options for Multi-Channel Fulfillment.


Submitting MCF Orders In Bulk

Download the Fulfillment Request template to create your order request. There are 4 tabs in the template:

  • Instructions. Provides template directions.
  • Data Definitions. Provides an explanation of the columns in the template.
  • Example. Shows how to fill out the spreadsheet.
  • Fulfillment Request. Provides a blank spreadsheet for creating your order request.
Image of the fulfillment request template available at Amazon MCF

Multi-Channel Fulfillment Customer Returns

Your customers can return items directly to a fulfillment center via a Returns Merchandise Authorization (RMA). You will be able to maintain the relationship with your customer by managing:

  • all refund authorizations;
  • exchanges;
  • and customer service

Note: This option is currently available on Amazon.com, Amazon.com.mx, Amazon.in, Amazon.co.uk, Amazon.de, Amazon.es, Amazon.fr, Amazon.it, Amazon.co.jp, and Amazon.cn, and Amazon.com.au.


According to Seller Central, this is how you can Create an MCF Return:

  1. In Seller Central, on the Orders menu, click Manage Orders.
  2. On the Manage Orders page, click Advanced Search.
  3. In the Search drop-down list, make sure Order ID is selected. In the Search Order ID text box, enter the order ID for the item to be returned. Click Search.
  4. On the Manage Orders page click the order ID.
  5. On the Order Details page, click the Create Customer Return tab.
  6. For each item in the order to be returned, select Return quantity and Return Reason.
  7. Click Submit to generate the RMA and return shipping label.
  8. Send the RMA and shipping label to your customer so they can prepare the return package.

Note: We allow a maximum period of 45 days for this return to be completed and returned to the fulfillment center. You can track when an order arrives back to our fulfillment center via your FBA Returns Report. If the order is not returned within this 45-day period, please contact Seller Support to pursue reimbursement.


Strategies for Using Amazon Multi-Channel Fulfillment

Now that we’ve discussed what Amazon Multi-Channel Fulfillment is and how to use it, let’s talk about some of the strategies you can employ to take advantage of this:

  1. Create an Amazon Storefront. Amazon Storefronts enables you to utilize the available content features of your products to explain why your brand does what it does, how it solves the shoppers’ problem, and what the solutions are. Therefore, this strategy is powerful since you can create feature-product pages that will help you increase your conversion rates while positioning organically in the rankings.
  2. Install a Blog on Your Store. SEO is a complicated process, but the easiest way to start getting traffic is to install a blog on your store and create social media accounts. Create content for your blog and build a following by connecting with customers who may be interested in your product. Use these customers to create targeted advertising campaigns and drive more potential sales to your page.

MCF Pros and Cons

Although MCF is a reliable option for many sellers out there trying to make their business available to shoppers from different channels, there are some things that must be considered carefully prior to making any decision.

Pros

  • Allows you to fulfill both Amazon and other channels orders at the same time
  • Your operations could become more efficient and organized by letting Amazon do the hard work
  • You can track all your orders in Seller Central

Cons

  • MCF is not allowed by some marketplaces like Walmart, Jet.com, and eBay due to the Amazon-branded boxes
  • If your inventory remains unsold for longer than 181 days, you will have to cover a long-term storage fee
  • MCF is more expensive than FBA

Using Amazon Multi-Channel Fulfillment is a powerful tool to drive additional sales. We believe it is important to diversify your sales channels and have more sources of revenue than just Amazon. The simple strategies that we’re highlighted above will be discussed in greater length in the future. Think about how your business would improve through creating new sales channels and start taking advantage of Multi-Channel Fulfillment from Amazon.

Contact AMZ Advisers if you are interested in growing your business’ sales with Amazon Multi-Channel Fulfillment or any other strategy.

MikeHow to Use Amazon Multi-Channel Fulfillment (MCF)
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