The Best Alternative to
Amazon FBA (2020)

Updated note: With COVID-19 (Coronavirus) situation accelerating, we want to help you maintain your current operations especially as Amazon is turning companies away. Here at ZhenHub, we have 5 of our US-based fulfillment centers open and operating at full capacity. If you need help with fulfillment fast, request a quote here.

 

Are you looking for alternatives to Amazon FBA right now?

 

During this pandemic, eCommerce sales have risen but Amazon FBA is filling up and not accepting new goods. Many eCommerce businesses have started their own fulfillment solutions or look for alternative solutions to Amazon FBA. As the situation gets direr, certain states like California may lock down and stop warehouse businesses from operating.

Ecommerce businesses now are looking for alternatives with the same continental USA presence with facilities in multiple states so that their operations can still move ahead even if a few states are affected. ZhenHub is one such option. Our fulfillment centers are located around the USA in California, Florida, Texas, Illinois, and New Jersey. By being able to diversify your inventory, you stand a better chance of maintaining your operations through this period of uncertainty.

If you are looking for an alternative, request a quote below and one of our fulfillment experts will get back to you within 24 hours so you can get your operations up and running quickly.

 

To read more about why it’s important to look for alternatives to Amazon FBA then keep reading…

 

Amazon generated about $280 billion in revenue, in 2019.

This is all thanks to the retail giant’s vast network of infrastructure and the top-notch customer service that has become associated with it. This is why today, about 197 million people around the world shop on Amazon for products of different varieties.

 

But you don’t have to be limited to Amazon’s FBA as a seller.

Many sellers are looking beyond Amazon FBA due to the high costs of Amazon’s fulfillment and storage expenses. More recently, Amazon said it will stop accepting certain FBA shipments due to the ravaging coronavirus pandemic, according to Business Insider. So, what’s next for your business?

Looking beyond Amazon FBA

If you’ve been fixated on Amazon FBA up till now, it’s high time you consider other alternatives.

This is because although there are a lot of perks and benefits that come with Amazon FBA, there are also some limitations for your business, despite the high costs of Amazon’s storage and fulfillment charges.

You’ll be better off working with a reliable 3PL provider to not just stay in business but to further spur business growth. Some of the benefits of working with an Amazon FBA alternative rather than Amazon FBA itself includes;

Better inventory management and control

Amazon FBA alternatives make it possible to manage and control your inventory.

This has always been a tricky thing for Amazon sellers since the platform is not designed to be favorable for long-term inventory storage. Sellers attract penalties with FBA whenever their products are still in inventory after certain periods. This is more common during busy periods such as holidays. With other FBA alternatives, this is not always the case and you’ll have more visibility and control of your inventory.

Custom branding and packaging

78% of consumers tend to trust companies with custom content than those with generic content.

Custom branding and packaging should, therefore, be a core part of your eCommerce business strategy for long-term success. But this is almost impossible with Amazon FBA. You’re limited to shipping out products in Amazon-branded packaging and you hardly get an opportunity to create a brand experience for your customers.

Lower inventory storage and fulfillment fees

Amazon FBA is one expensive way to fulfill customer orders.

You’ll be charged for both storage and fulfillment and you’ll have to pay more for long-term storage. These expenses may also be dependent on other factors such as the types of products you sell as well as the season. With a host of other alternatives to Amazon FBA, you may get an opportunity to avoid paying too much for different fees that end up eating deep into your profits.

Amazon FBA Alternatives

As said earlier, you have other options beyond Amazon FBA for order fulfillment.

Two of these other options include;

  1. Seller-Fulfilled Prime (SFP); and
  2. Fulfilled by Merchant (FBM)

1. Seller-Fulfilled Prime (SFP)

The SFP fulfillment method allows sellers to ship products directly to customers.

This method, must, however, be compliant with Amazon’s Prime shipping standards. With this, sellers are allowed to offer products listings with Prime shipping badges. These orders can be fulfilled using a 3PL provider or from the seller’s fulfillment facility. The SFP fulfillment method may require sellers to pay for 2-day shipping services to ensure they stay compliant with Prime shipping standards. This can be quite costly!

2. Fulfilled by Merchant (FBM)

Unlike FBA, this method also allows merchants on Amazon to ship out products directly to customers after the orders have been placed on Amazon. Like SFP, FBM allows orders to be fulfilled by 3PL providers or through the seller’s in-house fulfillment facility.

Although this method does not allow sellers to display the Prime badge on their listings, they get a lot more control and input into the post-purchase experience to better improve and customize the customer experience.

Partnering with a 3PL provider vs Amazon FBA

As much as 74.58% of shopping carts end up abandoned, according to Statista.

While the most common reasons for cart abandonment have to do with shipping costs, delivery speed, and other similar things, even with those carts that end up converting, shipping and delivery will still go a long way to shape customer satisfaction and overall experience.

Your order fulfillment strategy should be top-notch. That’s why you need to weigh your options when comparing Amazon FBA and alternatives. But what can you expect if you choose a reliable 3PL provider like ZhenHub over Amazon FBA?

Benefits of a 3PL provider over Amazon FBA

The truth is; Amazon is doing a good job with FBA.

But there are quite a lot of other Amazon FBA alternatives with far more benefits and capabilities for improved customer experience. If considering a 3PL provider as an alternative to Amazon FBA, some of the benefits and capabilities may include;

 

ZhenHub, for instance, has multiple fulfillment centers so it makes it possible to distribute your inventory across different locations closer to your customers. This goes a long way to reduce shipping zones, reduce transit time, and shipping costs.

  • 2-day shipping

51% of consumers want a guaranteed delivery time.

And many of these consumers are now used to Amazon Prime’s 2-day shipping standards. It hardly makes any financial sense to offer 2-day shipping when fulfilling orders by Seller-Fulfilled Prime considering the huge shipping costs. But 3PL providers like ZhenHub with multiple fulfillment centers make this reasonably possible with distributed inventory opportunities.

3PL providers offer real-time visibility into your inventory for more insight and control. This means you can always avoid stockouts since you’ll always know what’s available in your inventory at any given time.

  • Order management

Amazon FBA makes order management quite possible.

But while the order management dashboard for the Amazon FBA is a tad complicated, the ZhenHub order management software and that of most great 3PL providers offer better ease of use and experience. This can play a role in helping retailers prevent stockouts and back ordered items to improve customer experience.

  • Multichannel integration

What if Amazon is just one of your sales channels?

Would you really have to navigate and juggle the Amazon FBA platform with other channels? But great 3PL providers like ZhenHub makes this easier since the platform can seamlessly integrate with a host of other marketplaces such as Shopify, Woocommerce, eBay, and more. While you get to view all of your inventory in one place, there is also greater ease with the streamlined multichannel sales.

  • Custom packaging

Up to 87% of marketers along with CX and analytics experts believe that customer experience is very important for their organization. What many people don’t understand, however, is that branding goes a long way to impact customer experience.

With Amazon FBA, there’s little to no room for custom packaging and branding as you’ll have to ship out products in Amazon-branded boxes. Partnering with a 3PL provider allows you to infuse your brand into the packaging and order fulfillment process. This can help you make an impression on your customers to shape their experience.

  • Lower costs and fees

Unlike Amazon FBA costs that are easily influenced by season, product type, category, and size, among other things, 3PL providers have pricing strategies that are often more consistent.

ZhenHub, for example, would charge fulfillment fees that take into account the costs of receiving, storage, implementation, and shipping. Other things such as the availability of distributed inventory and the partnership with multiple carriers mean you can benefit from lower costs compared to the often more expensive Amazon FBA fees.

Choosing ZhenHub for your Amazon fulfillment needs

Amazon has raised the bar for fast shipping and delivery with excellent customer service.

If you’re considering an alternative to Amazon FBA, you can’t afford to go low. So if you’re looking for a worthy 3PL provider to offer fast and affordable shipping for your customers, only the best 3PL providers like ZhenHub can fit the bill for these.

ZhenHub boasts multiple strategic fulfillment centers and warehouses across the US.

This provider also has a global reach with strategically located physical locations in multiple countries across four continents. ZhenHub offers fast, affordable, and hitch-free shipping and order fulfillment services that will fit your budget and needs. If you ever find yourself looking for a great alternative to Amazon FBA, you’ll never go wrong with ZhenHub!

Ready to get started with a 3PL? Request a quote from ZhenHub.

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