Shopify is a brand that is known for partnering with other complementary apps and websites. It seamlessly integrates with other popular sites where e-commerce takes place, allowing vendors to maximize their ability to find customers.
One of these partnerships is with Amazon.com. Shopify vendors can import their products into Amazon’s marketplace, allowing them to extend their reach to new customers. Amazon also offers a service called Fulfilled by Amazon (FBA) to help vendors with product fulfillment and customer service.
Here is a look at how Shopify site owners can get the most out of integrating with Amazon.
Amazon & Shopify Integration
Shopify is a great platform for launching a new brand, however few of the features native to the platform will help you reach an audience. You’ll have to do your own marketing and brand building if you want to create a strong customer base.
That’s’ why integrations are so helpful. Shopify allows you to develop a store and creates partnerships that can be leveraged to find an audience.
For instance, if you have a store on Shopify you can sync it with Amazon (as long as the products your selling are eligible). Likewise, if you are already selling products on Amazon and need a home base to offer exclusive products or content, you can create a Shopify store.
Upload your products to Shopify then list them on Amazon (or vice versa). Sync your inventory between the two sites and fulfill orders on both platforms as they come in.
Integrating also gives sellers access to the variety of e-commerce services offered by Amazon. For instance, Fulfilled by Amazon is a service that helps vendors with product fulfillment and customer service.
Fulfilled by Amazon
The FBA program is designed to help e-commerce entrepreneurs who have built up a demand for their products but need some help with logistics.
As a brand owner, you send your products to an Amazon fulfillment center. When an order is placed, they will ship it for you. They will also process any returns and handle any customer service needs that arise.
This gives you the ability to operate as an independent store owner yet leverage the massive infrastructure of the world’s largest online store.
Another benefit of the FBA service is that your products become eligible for Prime benefits. This means Amazon Prime members can get 2-day free shipping on your products and non-prime members enjoy free standard shipping. This can be a major sales boost if you’re selling something that people often want right away – like toothpaste or shampoo.
Amazon also offers additional programs and plans for sellers. The FBA Subscribe and Save is another service that gives sellers discounts on products for subscribing to the program. You will also have access to data and analytical tools that can help you make decisions about inventory and operations.
Although Shopify and Amazon may seem like competing businesses, in reality, they both occupy a different sector of the e-com space, and vendors looking to succeed are wise to take advantage of both platforms.
Benefits & Drawbacks
The major benefit of integrating your Shopify store with Amazon is that it puts your products in front of millions of potential buyers. Many online shoppers instinctually go to Amazon because of the convenience it offers.
Shopify doesn’t have the same type of consumer search function, so any traffic you get must come from other sources. Listing your products on Amazon gives you the ability to generate traffic without constantly advertising and can serve as a reliable secondary sales channel.
Another benefit of Amazon is that customers may discover your products without specifically searching for what you sell.
Say you sell pillows. Everyone needs pillows, but not everyone is going to take the time to Google independent pillow brands and sift through search results to find your company.
However, if a shopper is already buying linens or a bathrobe and your pillows happen to show up in the home goods section, it’s more likely that they’ll take the time to view your product.
Using the FBA service has numerous perks as well. Outsourcing product fulfillment allows you to spend less time on tedious logistical tasks and focus more on big picture issues related to growth.
You’ll be able to leverage the infrastructure of one of the world’s largest brands, while still maintaining a unique position in the market.
Orders will likely go out quicker and more efficiently (depending on the system you already have in place). Plus, you won’t waste any time dealing with drawn-out customer service phone calls.
Fulfilled by Amazon is a great service for the right brands. It works for intermediate and large businesses looking to scale quickly. If you’re just getting started with Shopify, it may be wise to build your brand before taking it to the next level with FBA because there are drawbacks if the service is not right for you.
If you choose to list your products with FBA, Amazon will take a cut every time a sale is made to pay for storage and fulfillment costs. These fees vary depending on the costs associated with your product but start at about 15-18% of the sale price.
If Amazon is driving sales and saving you money on fulfilling orders than the fees may not be a drawback. But if you have yet to build up a strong enough demand it could hurt your business.
The other drawback of using FBA is that you are no longer fully in control of the product. Although Amazon does hold employees to strict standards, it’s a large company, and items do get lost or mishandled from time to time.
Depending on the nature of your product it may not make sense to utilize a massive corporate supply chain. Not to mention, Amazon has specific guidelines for products, and not every seller will qualify or be able to accommodate requirements.
Overall, Fulfilled by Amazon is a useful service for those looking to take their Shopify site to the next level. It opens your products to new markets and streamlines certain responsibilities that can help your business flourish. However, it may not be the best fit for every brand so it’s important to analyze your growth and business goals if you’re thinking of using the service.