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7 Best FBA Prep Services for Amazon Sellers in 2020

Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA) can simplify your life a great deal with Amazon taking the reins on many steps in the fulfillment process. But just because you’re handing off most of the work to them, you’re not totally free of tasks.

FBA

The next time you’re prepping your inventory for FBA, think about using one of the best FBA prep services for Amazon sellers hand-picked to make life easier for yourself.

1. Shapiro

Shapiro’s slogan is simple and straight to the point: “We Deliver. Problem Solved.” And they do so by asking as little of you as possible, with detailed information on their site and a customer service team ready to walk you through any questions you might have.

Amazon can get quite technical in their requirements sometimes, so Shapiro has Amazon links on their page that tell you what you need to know before getting started — even before getting a quote for their services. And if you need help with currency exchange or VAT issues, they can advise you on that, too.

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2. McKenzie Services

Locally and family-owned, McKenzie Services was started by Jim McKenzie Smith in 2004 and has since grown to include 16 employees and 21,265 square feet of storage space. But with all the growth, they’ve kept things really simple for users. All you have to do is create an account, ship your items to them with unique address identifiers, wait for the UPS/FBA labels to be sent to your Seller Central account, and let them handle the rest.

Prices are reasonable and include a list of services to help you out with just about everything you can think of.

3. eFulfillment Service

Another family-owned company, eFulfillment Service was by John Lindberg in 2001 and has been kept in the family since then. They pride themselves on flexibility, friendliness and top-notch quality, as well as keeping abreast on technological advancements by retaining an in-house IT team.

If you need further proof that this company has its act together, it’s recognized by organizations like the Better Business Bureau (A+ rating), Inc. 5000 list (last two out of three years) and Multichannel Merchant (Top 3PL Provider).

4. FBA Inspection

If you’re googling FBA prep services on your own, some of them might only take care with the exterior of the product. But FBA Inspection offers services for both. Their General Processing & Handling service takes care of the packaging exterior, while their Detailed Product Inspection goes in deeper by opening the package to actually inspect the contents and/or verifying the contents inside.

They’re also really upfront about what’s included in their prep service, with things like import tax management, 24-hour video surveillance, theft/fire/flood insurance, volume discounts, professional photography and more part of what they do.

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5. FBA Express

When speed is one of your top priorities, check out FBA Express for one of the fastest operating times. Their services are set so that you get only what you need, nothing extra or superfluous, so you can save both time and money.

You can sign up for the monthly FBA plan at $375/month (with individual fees for various services, like bubble wrap, package inspection, sticker removal, etc.) or opt for the Pay As You Go plan at $99/biannually (with individual fees for prep service, additional boxes and kitting). Or, if you’re a high-volume seller, check out their FBA Express plan.

6. Minatus

For UK-based sellers, Minatus is the FBA prep service you’ll want to be bookmarking. They’ll take care you of every step of the way, starting with inspecting your packages when they arrive (to protect you from potential Amazon penalties) to bagging, wrapping, labelling, kitting and sending your items off to the FBA centre.

Their prices are listed right on their website so you can get a decent idea of what to budget for. But they’ll also give you a quote based on your complete profile so there are no surprises, and have customer support available by phone and email if you have more questions.

7. FBA Ops

China is rapidly becoming the world leader in all things commerce, and FBA Ops is a shining example of that. They have an array of services to help you get your products from your place to Amazon, including sourcing, procuring and inspection.

Plus, as a neat gesture of faith during the pandemic, they’re waiving their fees on all COVID-19 products like surgical masks, medical gloves, PPE and more.

Final Thoughts

Although they cost money, using a top-quality FBA prep service can help you save money in the long run by ensuring your products get sent to an Amazon fulfillment centre in requirement-ready condition (instead of facing Amazon penalties and having to start the process over again). And you know what else can help you earn more money?

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6 Tips for Retailers Battling the ‘Amazon Effect’

The “Amazon effect” refers to the ongoing disruption in retail and rising consumer expectations driven by e-commerce. Some of the most significant changes that Amazon.com has had on consumer expectations are related to one-click ordering, free shipping, faster delivery, and extraordinary customer service. The online retail giant has also driven physical retailers to make in-store shopping a more compelling experience for consumers. If a retailer can’t meet these standards, both online and offline, it’s harder for it to convert consumers into customers.

RetailersHowever, Amazon’s continued growth doesn’t mean other brands don’t stand a chance of succeeding against the retail giant. Here are six tips for winning in the age of Amazon:

1. Be digitally smart.

Consumers expect to find retailers online and to have a good experience shopping their websites, whether they’re using their phone or computer. Slow page load times and frustrating user experiences can be costly as shoppers simply click away to a competitor’s site. Retailers should make sure their site pages load quickly, are user friendly, and are mobile responsive. Clearly displayed products, enticing product descriptions, and easy-to-navigate customer service are key details that shouldn’t be overlooked.

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2. Focus on the store and staff.

As the saying goes, “don’t judge a book by its cover” — yet everyone does. A storefront is no different. Retail locations should be clean, welcoming and inviting, making shoppers want to explore and discover things they’d like to buy. Popular products should be placed in strategic locations to encourage visitors to venture further inside. Digital technology, such as virtual fitting rooms, digital price tags, automated checkout, and more can also help reinvent the in-store experience while increasing convenience for shoppers.

While appearance, product placement and in-store technology can go a long way, retailers shouldn’t lose sight of the fact that their employees are the most important creators of the in-store experience. Investing in knowledgeable and friendly sales staff is key. Sales associates with a deep understanding of customer needs and the products they sell create a more personalized experience that entice shoppers to buy.

3. Bridge the generation gap.

The shopping habits and expectations of baby boomers, millennials, Gen X, and Gen Z shoppers vary greatly. Some generations may prefer the convenience of online shopping, while others favor brick-and-mortar stores. To build lasting relationships, retailers must adapt their brand experience in a way that accommodates their customers unique purchasing preferences.

4. Be social.

It’s no secret that social media has shifted the power from brands to consumers, giving shoppers the freedom to voice their opinions about a product or company in a very public way. Even when shopping in-store, consumers can browse various social platforms to see what other people think about a product or brand. Maintaining an active presence on social media enables retailers to engage consumers in authentic, two-way dialog while getting a better understanding of their needs, preferences and passions in the process.

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5. Post and promote reviews.

Retailers should never underestimate the power of reviews. Today’s shoppers depend on online reviews the way their parents depended on a friend’s recommendation. Ask for and incentivize customers to leave online reviews post-purchase. By posting honest reviews, not just positive ones, retailers can win the trust of potential customers, allowing them to come to their own conclusions.

6. Measure and optimize marketing.

Retailers can no longer assume the customer journey started where the transaction took place. Consumers may navigate across multiple channels and touchpoints — both digital and physical — just to make a single purchase. Retailers need a holistic view of the customer journey so they can understand and optimize the interactions that led to a sale. By embracing sophisticated measurement approaches, such as multitouch attribution, retailers can ensure credit is accurately assigned to all the marketing touchpoints that influenced a digital or offline sale. Retailers can then use these insights to allocate spend to the best-performing channels and tactics, and better optimize the omnichannel customer experience.

Amazon remains a looming threat for many retailers, but the situation isn’t all gloom and doom. With the right know-how and tools, retailers can keep their doors open, and shoppers coming back for more.