Ship via FBA – Multi-Channel Fulfillment Overview

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Shipping via FBA

Amazon FBA not only fulfills FBA orders automatically, but you can also instruct Amazon to fulfill orders originating at other channels, like Website orders etc.. Amazon refers to this as Multi-Channel Fulfillment; we call it – Ship via FBA.

Note: Ship via FBA should not be used to fulfill eBay orders. This is because Amazon will often use carriers not recognized by eBay. It should also not be used for Walmart Marketplace or Rakuten orders in adherence with policies of those marketplaces.

Understanding FBA shipdate and time

When an order is shipped via FBA, SellerCloud will retrieve that time and date of the shipping and time stamp that on the order history. It’s important to realize that Amazon time stamps it’s own files with GMT, meaning whatever the time and date it is at the prime meridian in Greenwich, England.For example, US Eastern Standard Time is 5 hours after Greenwich (during ST, 4 hours during DST). Therefore if the Amazon warehouse is located in the US in an Eastern Standard Time zone, SellerCloud will show a ship time of 3/18/2014 at 7:00 pm local time, for example, while Amazon’s own files will set the ship time to 3/19/2014 at 1:00 AM Greenwich Time.

Shipping internationally

FBA Global Export program allows you to ship eligible items to supported international destinations.When signing  the SLA (service level agreement) you need to identify your international shipping destinations.

Key points for Ship via FBA

  • Ship via FBA will only work if the FBA warehouse is Sellable.
    Inventory quantities from FBA are not updated to SellerCloud in real time, so inventory may not always be 100 percent accurate. Because of this, it is highly recommended to use the Safety Qty feature on any product using FBA inventory for other channels to lessen the risk of overselling.
  • Any item can be substituted for the order item by inserting the Amazon Merchant SKU in the Amazon Merchant SKU text box. For example, products sent to FBA are often a Shadow SKU. This allows SellerCloud users  to sell the same item on Amazon as Merchant Fulfilled and as Amazon Fulfilled. Nevertheless, the shadow sku at FBA can be used to fulfill the order of the regular SKU. By default, the Shadow SKU will be populated in the SKU field as the product you will ship from FBA.
  • If you have a product listed under multiple Amazon accounts, you can ship the order from any Account A even if the order was placed on an item listed under Account B. Simply choose a company from the dropdown configured with the desired Amazon account.
  • When inventory of a given product is stored at an onsite warehouse and FBA, orders that come in for that item will reserve inventory in your regular warehouse. As soon as the Ship via FBA action is initiated, the reserve is lifted and the aggregate quantity in your regular warehouse will revert back to its previous level.
  • While the initial request is sent to Amazon in real time, getting the updated shipping status and sending it to eBay are done using schedulers, so there is a time delay. Amazon doesn’t push shipping information into SellerCloud; rather, SellerCloud keeps requesting it and pulls information in. Similarly, we update the status on eBay on a scheduler, although there is an option in SellerCloud to manually initiate the sending of the tracking number immediately, using the Export Orders action on the Action Menu.
  • Shipping expenses that FBA charges the seller are recorded on the order under the Shipping and P&L tabs. These costs are imported with the Amazon settlement report.
  • Shipping via FBA can be restricted to non-client admin users. Under the Employees tab, select the user. Open the Security tab and locate the Ship via FBA checkbox to allow or restrict users from shipping via FBA.
  • SellerCloud Support can create plugins to automatically send orders for shipping via FBA based on provided rules.
  • You can ship a multi-item order via FBA. However, if there are items in the order that are not in your FBA inventory, you must split the order.
  • When inventory in FBA has been sent as individual components – not as a kit – and the order item is a kit, you can increase the units to ship in the Ship via FBA console so that FBA will ship to the customer the correct amount. For example, if FBA has 6 individual water bottles and an order for a 1 kit pack of 6 comes in, the amount of units to ship will be 1. However, you can increase the unit to ship from 1 to 6 so that FBA will ship 6 units to the customer.
  • Default shipping comment can be set from Settings >  Client Settings > FBA Shipping Default Comments.

Ship a single order via FBA from an order detail page

  1. To initiate an outbound shipment from Amazon’s fulfillment center, click ActionsShip via FBA.
  2. Complete the fields indicated below.
    Sellercloud order details ship via fba
  3. Select a Fulfillment Policy from the dropdown field:
         Policy       Description
         FillAll       All fulfillable items in the fulfillment order are shipped. The fulfillment order remains in a processing state until all items are either shipped by Amazon or cancelled by  the seller.
        FillOrKill       If an item in a fulfillment order is determined to be unfulfillable before any shipment in the order moves to the Pending status (the process of picking units from  inventory has begun), then the entire order is considered unfulfillable. However, if an item in a fulfillment order is determined to be unfulfillable after a shipment in the order moves to the Pending status, Amazon cancels as much of the ulfillment order as possible. See the FulfillmentShipment data type for shipment status definitions.
        FillAllAvailable       All fulfillable items in the fulfillment order are shipped. All unfulfillable items in the order are cancelled by Amazon.
  4. You can enable an email alert to send to the customer that the order has been shipped.
  5. Click Verify SKU to confirm that the Amazon Merchant SKU is in your Amazon catalog. This also checks that quantity is available to ship by looking at the “In Stock Supply quantity” on the Inventory Supply list. Input a quantity to be shipped.
    sellercloud order details ship via fba products
  6. By default, the Ship From Address will be the customers shipping address. Read here about transshipping the item to your own warehouse.
  7. Click Ship Order to ship the order via FBA. The order is marked with a Dropship Requested status. This enables the order to be filtered out of the shipping queue and prevent it from exporting to ShipBridge.

As Amazon processes the shipment, the status will be updated in Sellercloud, including the tracking number. After Sellercloud knows the shipping status, it will update the respective originating channel.

The Trans Shipment option should be enabled when the Ship To address is international and the item is not approved by FBA to ship internationally. Read more here.
If necessary, you can replace the SKU with a different SKU recognized by FBA. Read about kits and components below.

Ship via FBA and kits

If the ordered item is a kit, but its components had been sent to FBA as individual items (not as an assembled independent kit), check the Ship Kit components instead option. This will break the ship request into its FBA recognized SKU components.

Ship multiple orders via FBA  from the Manage Orders page

  1. Select multiple orders.
  2. Click Action Menu > Ship via FBA  > Go.
  3. On the following page, you can verify that the Amazon Merchant SKU is in your Amazon catalog by selecting the products and clicking Check SKU from the Action Menu.
  4. Select products and click Continue to process the Shipment to FBA.
  5. By default, the Ship To address will be the customers shipping address. Read here about transshipping the item to your own warehouse.
  6. The process continues as above.

Automating FBA shipments

Using a Post Order plugin, Sellercloud can ship via FBA automatically when the item has no inventory in a default warehouse: 

  • For every item in each order, it checks if there is quantity for it in the default warehouse. If there is no quantity, it checks if that SKU has an AFN counterpart (shadow, parent) that has quantity in the FBA WH. If it does, it splits that item into a new order to be shipped via FBA.
  • If there are multiple items in an order that need shipping via FBA, those items are split into the same new order (not separate ones).
  • If all the items in the whole order need shipping via FBA, the whole order is shipped via FBA.
  • The plugin adds order notes to show what happened to the order (or what did not happen), so if there is confusion, check the order notes.

To set up:

  1. Go to Company Settings > Toolbox > Product Defaults.
  2. In the Order Post Action Plugin dropdown, choose FBA Format.

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