Selling on eCommerce platforms is a great way to escalate your business revenue, especially on platforms like Amazon that attracts over 300 million users. However, managing your own brand and taking care of an online business simultaneously can be exhausting. If you want to profit from your online store without having to spend hours on it, Amazon automation is for you.
Amazon FBA and automation are often used interchangeably, but there is a stark difference between the two. In this ultimate guide, we will talk in-depth about Amazon FBA and Amazon automation to help you choose a service that works best for you.
Why Do You Need an Amazon Automation Service?
Before we head over to discuss Amazon FBA and Amazon Automation in detail, let’s take a look at how they can help your business grow.
Running a full-fledged business includes product management, marketing and promotion, sales management, customer service, finance management, and a lot more.
A small team (let alone an individual) cannot look after all these departments by any stretch of the imagination. Amazon automation services can help you accelerate your brand’s growth by sharing a few of these responsibilities, if not all.
If you plan to arrange for the products’ shipping yourself, know this – finding the right courier service and negotiating a deal will be nothing short of hectic.
However, with an automated service, all that you have to worry about is listing trending products and procuring the goods on time. All the other duties will be fulfilled by your service provider.
One of the most important factors that can make or break your business is how you respond to analytic reports. These numbers tell you what works for your target audience and what doesn’t. Plus, it highlights the areas that need focus or improvisation.
These numbers will help you work on your business’ shortcomings and attract more customers. A third-party service will give you a detailed report with an interpretation for each data and the preferred course of action.
Customer support benefits only sellers that work with Amazon automation service providers. Once you automate your business, it takes away your responsibility of tackling your customers’ issues – all their questions and concerns are dealt with by your automation service provider.
Running a business with a large team invites substantial labor costs. In addition to their upfront salary, you also have to look after your employees’ benefits, overtime bonuses, and other incentives.
On the other hand, an automated service helps you cut back on all these extra expenses without compromising the quality and efficiency of your business operations. In fact, many automation services require you to pay them from your profits, i.e., after the business is up and running.
Amazon FBA stands for Fulfillment By Amazon, under which Amazon takes care of the shipping and order fulfillment on your behalf, and all you have to do is list more and new products.
Once a product under Amazon FBA is ordered, Amazon’s representatives will pick it up, pack it in their signature packaging, and ship it to your customer. Amazon FBA lets you use Amazon’s warehouses to store your products.
Amazon Automation follows the dropshipping model where you don’t have to set up an inventory to store your products. You simply run your research and see what products are trending, list them on your store, and request it from the supplier once a customer orders from your store.
Amazon Automation is beneficial in that you don’t have to do any of this yourself. You can simply hire a quality Amazon Automation service and let them take care of it. With only a small percentage as commission, you get a fully-scaled business of your own with an affordable upfront investment and zero effort on your part.
Both Amazon FBA and Amazon Automation offer a certain degree of automation in your Amazon sales operation. But as mentioned earlier, they are not the same!
Here’s a comparative study on Amazon FBA and Amazon Automation to help you zero in on the one that’ll work best for you:
Under Amazon FBA, the store owner buys and stores the product in their inventory – a customer can directly order from them. The timeline they choose for ordering the product is up to them, but the inventory is entirely their responsibility.
On the other hand, Amazon Automation lets you list the products available with your product supplier. You then source the products from the supplier once you receive an order.
Amazon automation is the winner as far as product listing and inventory management are concerned. With Amazon FBA, you run the risk of clogging your inventory with products that did not sell. These unsold products can then lead to financial losses, not to forget the unnecessary work you put in loading and managing them.
With Amazon Automation, you don’t have to worry about managing an inventory, loading your product, or unsold products clogging your storage. You buy after an order is received, so the product is guaranteed to sell.
Once the order is placed, you need to choose a medium to ship it. If you go with Amazon FBA, order fulfillment will be taken care of by Amazon. The company has an impressive catalog of shipping services and collaborations with third-party delivery associates.
On the other hand, you have a lot more options to choose from if you go with Amazon automation. You can either use Amazon’s default shipping services to deliver your customer orders or pack and ship the order to your customers yourself.
The second option will be apt for you if you are using Amazon only as a marketing channel to gain exposure and plan to retain maximum control over your business dealings. Feel free to discuss your ideal shipping option with your Amazon store automation partner.
There is no clear winner of this criteria. If you want more control over your product shipments, go for Amazon Automation. But, if you want to avoid the nuances involved in selecting a shipping partner and then ensuring that it complies with Amazon’s policies, go for Amazon FBA.
Order returns and refunds are an essential part of order fulfillment. If any of your customers request a refund/replacement under your Amazon FBA account, it will be taken care of by Amazon itself.
On the other hand, you don’t need to worry about order returns at all if you are using an Amazon Automation service. Whichever plan the service provider chooses, be it fulfillment by Amazon or fulfillment by seller, the responsibility to manage your business, including returns and refund requests, is theirs.
Amazon FBA is definitely a better choice as far as returns and refunds are concerned. It’s a part of their FBA program, meaning you don’t have to pay anything extra, and you get all the requests processed without having to deal with the customers yourself.
On the other hand, Amazon Automation services will have you pay another company to do something Amazon already provides in their FBA program.
Both Amazon FBA and Amazon Automation come with their unique perks and drawbacks; you need to choose the one that satiates your needs.
Choose Amazon FBA if you:
- Do not want a third-party intrusion
- Want more control over your business
- Need help with specific business operations
- Want to avail of extra benefits by working with Amazon itself
- Want to keep your business within the safe ecosystem of Amazon
Another benefit of choosing Amazon FBA is its default upgrade to Amazon Prime status. Once you enroll your store in the Amazon FBA program, your products will have the Amazon Prime badge and enjoy all the benefits that tag along with it. This will help you attract more customers.
Choose Amazon Automation if you:
- Are new to selling online
- Want a passive income source
- Want guaranteed returns and profits
- Need someone to scale your business
- Have no time for a full-fledged business
Scaling a business is not a one-person job. That said, you might not be able to hire extra help due to financial constraints when you are just starting out. Automating a few of your business operations, if not all, will take a chunk of the burden off your shoulders and give you more time to focus on your brand’s growth aspects.
Both Amazon FBA and Amazon Automation are competent services that can fetch you lucrative profits with minimal effort. It all boils down to which of these services meet your business objectives.