Key Points:

  • Multi-channel shipping is when eCommerce merchants sell their items on multiple online platforms, and Amazon takes care of the storage, packaging, and shipping
  • The main difference between Amazon's FBA and MCF programs is that FBA allows you to fulfill orders placed on Amazon.
  • MCF fulfills orders made on other sales channels besides Amazon

The eCommerce industry is fast expanding, and more people worldwide rely on online marketplaces to make purchases. And as such, eCommerce merchants need to distribute their products across multiple channels to reach a larger audience and boost their sales.

However, with more distribution of items across multiple marketplaces, managing inventories, fulfilling orders, and meeting customers' needs becomes difficult.

But, with the Amazon Multi-Channel Fulfillment program, merchants can swiftly and efficiently meet their buyers' expectations and fulfill their orders.

This article discusses Multi-Channel Shipping, Amazon Multi-Channel Fulfillment, and the difference between Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA) and Amazon Multi-Channel Fulfillment (MCF).

Table of Contents

What is Multi-Channel Shipping?

Multi-Channel shipping is when eCommerce merchants sell their items on multiple online platforms, and Amazon takes care of the storage, packaging, and shipping. This feature allows sellers to store and send products worldwide using Amazon's advantage and business experience.

What Are the Benefits of Multi-Channel Fulfillment?

Are you unsure whether Amazon Multi-Channel Fulfillment is right for you? We'll consider the benefits below so you can understand if Amazon MCF is for you.

Fast shipping

With Amazon MCF, your customers will receive their items in no time. Usually, the orders are delivered in 1 business day (Priority), two business days (Expedited), or 3-to 5 business days (Standard) from when they are shipped.

Competitive pricing

In addition, Amazon offers low and predictable pricing. You are only required to pay for fulfillment and storage. They also provide tiered discounts on multi-unit orders.

Excellent tracking

You can track your orders from the fulfillment center to your customers' destination for priority and expedited shipments.

What is Amazon Multi-Channel Fulfillment?

Multi-Channel Fulfillment (MCF) is a service Amazon runs for merchants who sell their items outside Amazon. Amazon allows them to store part or all of their products in the Amazon warehouse. And when a customer orders an item from the third-party sales channel, Amazon processes the order and sends the item to the customer.

The Amazon MCF program uses Amazon's vast fulfillment network, which includes over 200 fulfillment centers around the world, to fulfill eCommerce orders no matter where they're placed.

With MCF, businesses have access to:

  • Fast, trusted fulfillment: Your customers' orders are delivered with Prime-like delivery speeds, within 1 to 5 business days, depending on the shipping service
  • Low pricing: You only pay an affordable fee for picking, packing, and shipping your products. There are no hidden charges attached
  • Connect MCF with multiple eCommerce channels: With Amazon MCF, merchants have access to over 100 pre-built and developer-friendly eCommerce integrations like Shopify
  • Streamlined inventory: You have access to a single pool of inventory for all your marketplaces
  • Transparent delivery lead times: Your products are delivered to your customers on-time
  • Real-time tracking: Amazon provides tracking numbers within 24 hours of placing orders for priority and expedited shipping services so that items can be tracked in real-time

Merchants who sell their items on their websites or other sales channels like eBay and Walmart can benefit from Amazon's MCF effective fulfillment network, shipping options, and business expertise.

How Does Amazon Multi-Channel Fulfillment Work?

Similar to third-party logistics companies, the Amazon Multi-Channel Fulfillment allows you to store your products in Amazon's warehouse, and they manage the fulfillment process. The steps involved in the multi-channel fulfillment program are:

Store inventory at Amazon fulfillment centers

Amazon has several e-commerce warehouses worldwide, so you don't have to manage your warehouses. Instead, you send your items to Amazon, and they choose where to store the items for you.

Amazon receives orders placed on your online store

Next, you integrate your website with Amazon so that any order placed on your website is instantly sent to an Amazon warehouse.

Amazon picks, packs, ships, and delivers your orders

Finally, Amazon fulfills the order and delivers the items to your customer depending on the selected or available shipping options. However, you should note that Amazon prioritizes Fulfillment by Amazon orders over MCF orders, so there may be delays.

What's the Difference Between Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA) vs. Amazon Multi-Channel Fulfillment (MCF)?

The main difference between Amazon's FBA and MCF programs is that FBA allows you to fulfill orders placed on Amazon. In contrast, MCF fulfills orders made on other sales channels besides Amazon.

Let's make a quick comparison between the two programs:

Sales Channel Amazon Other online marketplaces like eBay, Etsy, or the sellers' website
Delivery Options 1-day and 2-day shipping Priority (1 business day), Expedited (2 business days), and standard (3-5 business days) shipping
Charges Amazon FBA fees include: Flat fee based on the item's size and weight, inventory storage fee, fulfillment fees, 15-18% referral fee on sales For Amazon Prime orders, you will be charged FBA fees. However, there are separate MCF fees based on order weight and size for orders placed on websites outside Amazon

However, there are separate MCF fees based on order weight and size for orders placed on websites outside Amazon.

How Much Does Amazon Multi-Channel Fulfillment Cost?

Amazon's Multi-Channel Fulfillment program requires two significant fees: storage and fulfillment fees. First, you have to pay the store for your items in the warehouse. Then, you also pay a fee for each order that is fulfilled. However, unlike the FBA program, you are not required to pay the referral fee on orders placed on your website.

Fulfillment fees

Each order that Amazon fulfills is charged to you. The fee is determined by the shipment speed, weight, and the number of ordered products.

Storage fees

You are also required to pay for inventory storage determined per cubic foot depending on the average daily volume of inventory. During busy holiday shopping and peak seasons, the storage fees for MCF will increase from $0.69 per cubic foot to $2.40 per cubic foot for standard-sized products.

How Multi-Channel Shipping with Amazon MCF Can Benefit You

Multi-Channel fulfillment is an excellent choice for eCommerce merchants with active websites who want to expand their reach and increase their sales. It allows them to store and send items globally using Amazon's experience as an advantage. This article discussed multi-channel shipping and answered the frequently asked questions about it.

Easyship is a third-party logistics company that offers you all the significant benefits of the Amazon MCF program and other shipping and logistics benefits not provided by Amazon. A few of them are:

  • Free Shipping Rates Calculator: Access high-volume discounts from major couriers. Plus, get instant access to delivery lead times from premium shipping couriers
  • Global Fulfillment: Easyship has warehouse partners on four continents to reach customers worldwide. Plus, Easyship helps scale up fulfillment capabilities without increasing overhead costs
  • Shipping Policy Generator: Our shipping policy generator helps merchants and crowdfunding campaigns generate their shipping policy by providing tracking and insurance options, plus other vital information for your shipping process

Ready to ship? Sign up for a FREE Easyship account and learn how you can save up to 91% off on shipping

Multi-Channel Shipping FAQ

What is an MCF order?

An MCF order is an item ordered on a third-party sales channel, but Amazon fulfills it.

What is Amazon multi-channel fulfillment (MCF)? \

Amazon Multi-Channel Fulfillment (MCF) is a part of Amazon's fulfillment services that allows sellers to fulfill orders from a non-Amazon marketplace with their Amazon inventory.

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