Amazon fulfillment experiment called Seller Flex may be underway in USA

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Details are scant and reports hazy, but it sounds like Amazon is experimenting with a new service when it comes to fulfilment and it’s apparently called Seller Flex.

Here’s what we know about Seller Flex. If you’re a retailer or seller, you have your goods in your own storage facility or warehouse. Amazon wants to provide shoppers with the broadest possible choice of options when it comes to products.

So now, if you don’t want to get involved with FBA, it looks like they’ll come to you. Amazon Seller Flex means that they will send out vehicles to come and collect your wares and then fulfil them with their network. It’s apparently under trial right now as a pilot in limited areas of the American West Coast.

Needless to say, this brings Amazon very much into the same landscape as any postal services, as this report from Reuters suggests.

It’s further evidence, if any where needed, that Amazon is willing to explore new horizons in fulfilment and experiment with interesting new approaches. But it is also an obvious choice. With the increasing ubiquity of Amazon fulfilment , it could well become a delivery partner of choice for a great many retailers in due course.

And Amazon is seeking to increase the product ranges they have available and that could sometimes mean going to them. If a retailer isn’t willing to store the goods in an FBA facility then the next obvious move is to go to them and pick up.

Increasingly, obviously, Amazon’s particular strength lies in having its own formidable delivery network that they can utilise. They do, after all, have at their disposal much more than warehouses. They have planes and boats, an army of delivery drivers too, and perhaps most vitally, a keen eye on efficiency and analytics to inform it.

4 Responses

  1. At least you would have control over your own stock.

    The major, major issue with FBA as it stands at present, is that you have a successful range and then – overnight – you notice that all the titles have been altered slightly, you look at the listings and find that Amazon has decided to stock the entire range and as a result your 10 a day FBA item shrinks to “only sells if Amazon themselves run out”. Prices are driven down, Amazon always stays just below yours to block your sales whilst at the same time collecting storage fees and then return fees when the stuff doesn’t move.

    At least if it’s in your own warehouse you can drag the stock elsewhere if this happens – the clever response might be “Why don’t you use Amazon to fulfil the orders when selling elsewhere?”, but Amazon’s own charges for that are so eye watering that it’s cheaper to call the stock back and send it out yourself.

    Whole system needs an overhaul in many many ways.

  2. Great idea it’s a pitty royal mail could not be innovative like this if this takes off other major players will have to adapt or go under

  3. As above isn’t this seller fulfilled prime? If so we are on it. My feeling is Amazon is about to launch logistics for not just its own orders!!!

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