If you are planning to start your Amazon seller account with FBA, you might have heard about a program called MCF. It stands for Multi-Channel Fulfillment. This is one of the best programs you can use if you want easy fulfillment of all your products.
With the help of MCF, you can easily fulfill all your shipping and delivery needs with the help of Amazon. The program will help you in delivering all the products across multi-channel from the same warehouse.
Now, you might be thinking, how is this possible and some people might even be wondering what does Amazon mean when they are saying “Multi-channel”. We will go over everything here.
What is MCF?
MCF stands for Multi-channel Fulfillment. In simpler words, Amazon will allow you to use the inventor and warehouse to fulfill your orders. This will result in faster delivery and simplified operations.
You won’t have to pay high charges of inventory and you will get the same thing at affordable rates. The next great thing about MCF is that you can scale it with ease. Scaling your MCF is one of the easiest things. Amazon already has huge warehouse facilities in almost every single state. You can use the same thing.
They are also expanding their capacity to the fullest. Therefore, you will get a better space here. If you feel like you want more space, you can upgrade it with ease.
We will see more about MCF in this guide. Here, we will see all the things that you should know about MCF. So, let’s begin.
Before we get more into other things, let’s see the main question that people have.
Are MCF and FBA the same?
Did you have the same question? If yes, you are at the right place. Well, first of all, you should know that you are not alone here. There are many people out there who have the same doubt. SO, we will first get into these two things.
FBA stands for Fulfillment by Amazon and MCF stands for Multi-Channel Fulfilment.
FBA is a program by Amazon where the seller is selling the products on Amazon and Amazon will handle everything for you. On the other hand, MCF is different from FBA.
Here, Amazon will provide you the inventory and will ship the products for you regardless of where you are selling. In simpler words, if you have your eCommerce website and you are selling products there. Now, if you want to use Amazon inventory and shipping service, you can use that.
This is how you will get all the advantages. There are many people out there who are selling the products not only on Amazon but also on their website. In this way, you can use the Amazon service here.
Now, there are many questions that you might be having such as whether you should be using the Amazon MCF program or not. Don’t worry, we will answer all these questions here. With this, you will know whether you should be using this or not.
Connecting with your Store
There are many doubts you might be having. We will start with the most basic thing. People often think about how they will connect the store with MCF.
For that, they have APIs that you can use. You can easily use the API to connect with the store with MCF. Now, there are some other things that you need to know.
It allows you to connect with all the software. You can use Channel Advisor, Shipstation, etc. This will allow you to manage the shipping.
Many people are using one of the CMS to run their eCommerce website. If you are one of them, we have good news for you. You can easily integrate the MCF program with your website.
There is a plugin offered by Amazon. Currently, it’s available for Shopify, WooCommerce, 3dcart, and Magento. You can install the plugin and then add your MCF details to get started.
When you do so. You will start getting all the details directly in the dashboard. It will also add the shipping item and method to the checkout page. So, it will communicate with the MCF using API and show the exact delivery time to the users when they order. In this way, the user won’t have to wait till the order arrives. Instead, they can simply know when the order is going to be delivered.
You can send the order with just one click to MCF. It has order tracking email notifications. You will get the email when the shipment is created, when the order is shipping, etc. Even if it fails to ship, you will get the notification. It will also show you order tracking information.
Pricing and Cost
Now comes the part that all of you are waiting for. Many people will be thinking that they will go with the MCF if the charges are less. If that’s what you are thinking, you need to see this.
At first, you will have to pay the Amazon central fee. That is nothing but a seller fee. You will have to pay all of these costs. Along with these, it will cost you extra for using their service. The price of MCF is higher as compared to FBA.
So, if you ship the same product using FBA, it will cost you less. Along with this, there are many additional or extra fees that you will have to pay.
This is why people don’t like MCF when it comes to pricing. However, if you don’t have your inventory and you’re looking for an easy way using which you can use the service, you can surely try out MCF.
However, if you already have logistics and shipping partners who can all the care of shipping, you don’t need to use the MCF.
MCF is for people who are starting out and for people who don’t want to handle the inventory and shipping on their own.
Pros of MCF
You might be looking for some solid reasons why to join, right? If that’s the deal for you. Here are some of the pros that you can check out. With this, you can know whether you should be using the service or not. Don’t worry, we will also see the disadvantages of using MCF.
We will begin with the pros.
Great for Sellers using FBA
If you already are using FBA, this will cost you less. If you are paying the fee for the seller account and the inventory, you can leverage all the other channels and offer the shipping on them. In this case, you can use MCF.
As you are already paying for FBA, it will cost you less to use the MCF service along with it. You can get it at a good price here. You can increase the price of the product in all the other channels. In this way, you will easily adjust the cost and get the best possible pricing.
Many people are using FBA as a side income or part-time business. If you are one among them, you can consider MCF. MCF and FBA are great if you are running the entire eCommerce business part-time.
Amazon will handle all the shipping and delivery for you while you can keep counting the money. This is an easy way to get started here.
If you are planning to scale up your business or the inventory, you can easily scale up your business. Amazon has enough inventory capacity. So, it won’t be hard to scale up your business. You can easily ask for more space and pay for it. That’s it. You will get more space.
Therefore, there will never be an issue with the capacity of the inventory. It will also be easier to scale your business as you don’t need to focus on shipping and all the other things. Amazon will handle it from their end giving you the ultimate advantage of focusing on your business.
Cons of MCF
There are some of the disadvantages of using MCF. Just like there are pros of anything, there are also some disadvantages that you will have to keep in mind. If you don’t know the disadvantages, you will end up in a big issue.
Risk with Channels
Now, we have already mentioned that you can use it with all the other channels but what if other channels don’t allow you to use MCF? If you are planning to sell your product with eBay or even Walmart, they will discourage using the system.
Instead of using the MCF, they will ask you to use any other. After all, they are competitors and they won’t give the complete advantage to Amazon here. However, you can use it if you are using it on your website.
Like we have already mentioned, costs are a big issue for many people here. If you are running tight on budget, you can use other services instead of MCF. However, if you already are a seller with FBA, you can keep using MCF as it won’t cost you more in that case.
We have already discussed everything you need to know about the pricing and cost in the above section. Therefore, we won’t repeat everything here. Just remember, the cost is also a disadvantage that you will get.
You won’t keep the branding when you are selling using MCF. Many people already had an idea about it. We will say the same thing again. If you are running an Amazon store as a passive income business or part-time business, this won’t affect you. However, if this is your main business and you want to create a brand, you might want to consider other options.
Here, you won’t get any brand value. Amazon used to offer brand-neutral packaging. However, they have discontinued this. Therefore, all the packages will say Prime instead of your brand.
Therefore, you might lose some buyers. Some people will prefer to use Amazon directly instead of using your service. What’s the guarantee that they will buy from your Amazon store? Therefore, you will lose some sales here.
There are many limitations here. Let’s start with the main thing that is control over shipping. You will get limited access to the inventory and very minimum information about the shipping.
However, these are not the issues for most people. The real problem begins with the refund. If you are expecting that Amazon MCF will handle the refund for you, we are going to disappoint you here. Amazon won’t process the refund for you. You will have to do it by yourself.
Therefore, this is a big issue for many people. You will still have to find a shipping provider who will allow you to process the refund or you can simply remove the refund policy from your store.
Should you use Amazon MCF?
Well, this question will depend on your requirement.
For most people, the answer is NO. This will cost you more and there are no branding options. Therefore, this won’t be the best option for you.
However, if you are just starting and don’t want to get into all the shipping and packing stuff, you can use Amazon MCF. With this, you don’t even need to buy or rent any inventory. You can use Amazon MCF until you know that your business is doing well. Once it starts doing well, you can start focusing on getting another inventory.
Additionally, we would add one more thing. If you are confused about these small things and want to grow your eCommerce business, we suggest you take the consulting. ECommerce consulting will solve all your doubts and will give the right path to your business for success. You can contact us to know more. Our team will guide you with the best possible answers