As most Sellers are now aware, on Tuesday amazon announced sweeping measures to prioritize a number of goods in light of the global COVID-19 outbreak. For those who have not read the statement, you can find the full announcement here.
This announcement will undoubtedly have an impact on a majority of amazon Sellers across Germany, who rely on FBA to ship their goods to customers without disruption. As the team here at fulfin always works to support our amazon customers, we are putting together this article in an effort to help those who may be affected to get through this period.
What exactly did amazon announce?
In summary, amazon announced that due to increased demand for household staples, it will immediately begin prioritizing these goods over others to be sold via amazon FBA. The full list of goods which amazon has prioritized, includes:
- Baby Products
- Health & Household
- Beauty & Personal Care (including personal care appliances)
- Industrial & Scientific
- Pet Supplies
As a result, amazon will temporarily disable shipment creation for any goods it deems as non-essential. This announcement will take effect immediately, and will last until at least the 5th of April. Unfortunately, these measures not only affect the German amazon marketplace, but all marketplaces across the EU and the US.
Additionally, amazon clearly warns that Sellers should not list their products inaccurately in an attempt to circumnavigate these measures. Any Seller attempting to do so will be in breach of amazon’s listing policies, and may as a result have their account suspended with immediate effect.
Finding an alternative solution to amazon FBA
fulfin understands that these are extremely challenging times for some German FBA Sellers who may begin losing out on customers, sales and most importantly income throughout this period. Most Sellers still rely fully on FBA and by default have no independent logistic provider to rely on, preventing them from switching to the FBM model during this period and at short notice. fulfin customers, who work with our trusted network of logistics partners, benefit from holding additional stock outside of amazon FBA, which they can now sell via the FBM model.
Unfortunately very few third-party logistics providers (3PL) are capable of meeting the strict requirements of ‘Seller Fulfilled Prime’. This means that your products will not be ranked as highly, or generate as many sales as if they were to be stored with amazon. FBA is still the most appropriate fulfillment solution for a merchant who sells exclusively via the amazon marketplace. However, it is always worth considering to keep a small strategic supply with an independent fulfillment partner, which can have great benefits for many sellers in times like we are experiencing now.
To help all German amazon Sellers, we have curated a short list of reliable alternative fulfillment providers, which can prevent disruption to a Seller’s business by replacing amazon FBA in the shortest time possible. The following companies are well positioned to help amazon Sellers keep their businesses operating and selling in the short-term:
It is important to ensure that you find the right fulfillment partner for you and your business. Make sure to ask plenty of questions to ensure a perfect fit.
Also remember that a majority of German amazon Sellers are also currently looking for alternative fulfillment partners to replace amazon FBA. This could mean that many fulfillment companies themselves are being inundated with new customer requests. So it is important to act quickly, but by no means irrationally.
Short-term liquidity solutions for amazon FBA Sellers
fulfin understands that some Sellers may be concerned with short-term liquidity, which may be a result of lower sales during the period amazon prioritizes household staples. You may also be one of the lucky few, whose products are being prioritized by amazon, and therefore need additional financing to purchase new stock to meet demand from online sales.
In both cases, fulfin is able to help with providing Sellers with much needed liquidity. As we offer tailor-made financing solutions to ecommerce Sellers, we know which financing solution works best, and for which situation. For example, fulfin has a flexible ‘payment holiday’ feature, which allows Sellers to delay repayment of financing for up to three months. This would be an ideal solution for the current situation, offering flexibility to Sellers as they need it.
To further support the amazon Seller ecosystem, of which fulfin is a key player, we will be temporarily offering customers the opportunity to take advantage of this payment holiday at no extra cost. This will allow Sellers to access the liquidity that they need to keep their businesses running smoothly and growing throughout this period.
Article summary and key takeaways
In summary, we believe that there are a few key takeaways to consider. As an amazon FBA Seller you will want to prevent as much disruption to your business as possible. These key takeaways are:
- Identify if your product is not included on amazon’s prioritized goods list
- Do not incorrectly categorize your product in an attempt to circumnavigate listing rules
- Assess which fulfillment provider best suits your business and needs
- Identify additional fulfillment companies in case they also see increased demand
- Act sooner rather than later as to ensure business continuity
- Assess your liquidity needs to ensure your business can continue throughout this period
- Hold some inventory with a provider who can offer a high quality fulfillment service
We wish all amazon Sellers the best of luck, and hope that all of our partners who sell via amazon are able to resume business as usual, as quickly as possible. Also, don’t forget to wash your hands!