Amazon FBA vs Amazon SFP:
What's the difference?

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On January 05, 2023 by Dylan Rowsell
Explore more: Experiences & Industry Insights | Case Studies | Testimonials

Understanding FBA & SFP -
Simple fulfilment solutions by Amazon

Amazon FBA (Fulfilment by Amazon) and Amazon SFP (Seller Fulfilled Prime) are the key Fulfilment service offerings provided by Amazon in the online retail and fulfilment sector, which in 2023 is now serving over 300 million customer accounts all over the world.

Given the uncertain economic climate that the UK currently finds itself in, which has been heavily impacted by COVID-19, ambiguous and incomplete Brexit deals (which has caused significant financial and supply chain implications), international conflicts, Royal Mail striking, and not to mention the current cost-of-living crisis, it is evident that the UK fulfilment industry, amongst many others, has been severely disrupted. Therefore, thousands of UK eCommerce businesses are now facing great challenges in ensuring their products reach their consumers on time.

As a result of the above, progressively more UK eCommerce businesses are selecting either Amazon FBA or Amazon SFP as their preferred product fulfilment method. If understanding and/or identifying the right Amazon fulfilment solution is something that you are currently seeking, this article could be just for you.

But what are the differences between Amazon FBA & SFP? What are the processes? And why should you be using FBA or SFP as a solution for your eCommerce business’ fulfilment requirements?

Discover everything you need to know within these 5 key topics, detailing vital information on Amazon FBA & SFP fulfilment solutions in 2023.

Fulfilment by Amazon (FBA) is a service for third-party sellers to automate their general order fulfilment and shipping processes. Anyone who is enrolled onto FBA can have Amazon manage and handle all fulfilment operations, from storage, pick & pack, distribution, and even returns management solutions for their customers. To be eligible for Amazon FBAs fulfilment services, sellers must first ensure that all products are compliant with Amazon’s strict guidelines and regulations. Finishing Line offer FBA Prep services that ensures your products are correctly prepared and fully Amazon compliant, with a guaranteed seal of approval when products arrive at Amazon’s fulfilment centre, where the remaining fulfilment process is carried out. This cycle is then repeated each time an order is made.

Seller Fulfilled Prime (SFP) on the other hand is much more suited to those who want to utilise the valuable Prime customer base, but equally don’t want to pay the occasional fluctuating and unpredictable fees of the FBA program. This option would involve creating an SFP account, allowing you to sell and fulfil your own products on your own terms, while obtaining the Amazon Prime badge and shipping guidelines. However, this requires you to manage your entire eCommerce fulfilment operation, thus outsourcing storage, pick & pack, distribution, and returns management of your products to a fulfilment warehouse is the preferred choice for many businesses.

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Enrolling with FBA can be done in just a few simple steps:

Step 1 – Set up FBA: Create your Amazon selling account, and login to Seller Central to set up FBA.
Step 2 – Create product listings: Once you add products to Amazon’s catalogue, detail FBA inventory.
Step 3 – Prepare products: Prepare the products for safe transportation to a fulfilment house.
Step 4 – Ship products to Amazon: Create a shipping plan and send stock to an Amazon FBA centre.

To get onboard with SFP, there are five critical steps that must be completed to enrol:

Step 1: Qualify for SFP and complete the mandatory trial period.
Step 2: Store and manage all inventory in your own warehouse.
Step 3: Process and prepare your orders and buy shipping labels from approved carriers.
Step 4: Pick, pack, and ship your orders same-day, with Amazon Prime’s speedy delivery service.
Step 5: SFP carriers collect and deliver your orders to your customers.

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FBA Prep is one of Finishing Line’s key service offerings that enables eCommerce businesses that fulfil their online orders with Amazon, to have their stock correctly prepared and quality checked at our specialist warehouse, ensuring that all orders are compliant in preparation for Amazon’s fulfilment operations to take over, completing all remaining aspects of fulfilment each time a customer makes a purchase. FBA will cover all bases in terms of providing suitable storage, as well as completing all pick & pack, distribution, and final delivery requests for each of your orders. FBA also provides excellent customer service and will process returns for all your online orders.

There are also tempting incentives for highly established eCommerce businesses to enrol onto Amazon’s SFP service. For example, having the ability to deliver directly to domestic Prime customers from your own warehouse is game changing. Additionally, being able to display the Prime badge on all your online listings, means that all existing Prime customers can receive Prime Next-Day Delivery from approved Prime carriers on all your business’ products for free.

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What Amazon FBA Offers:

Complete Fulfilment: FBA handles all product warehousing and storage, pick & pack, distribution, and returns management solutions.
Carrier Reliability: Amazon’s vast fleet of vehicles and 3rd party carrier partnerships ensures its Prime Badge guarantee, which certifies that your products will reach your customers wherever they are.
Value For Money: FBA charges its customers a competitive fee, which includes 24/7 customer service and all fulfilment and shipping costs.

Check out Finishing Line’s dedicated Amazon FBA Prep services to see how we can assist your fulfilment operations.

What Amazon SFP Offers:

Customer Reach: SFP enables you to reach a wider network of Prime customers, by offering products as Prime listings and allowing buyers to find your items easier.
Enhanced Communication: By enrolling onto SFP, each time your Amazon Prime customers make a purchase, they will receive a message addressing their Free Prime Delivery.
Prime Badge Verification: SFP allows you to sell and fulfil your own products and orders, using the Amazon Prime badge and reliable shipping services.

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Finishing Line are an experienced and reliable fulfilment partner that handles all your Amazon FBA Prep, as well as your Amazon SFP needs. We are a supply chain provider that you can trust when growing your business and successfully meeting your company’s biggest goals.

We at Finishing Line also understand the stringent requirements that are involved when preparing and dispatching your products, ready for Amazon’s FBA fulfilment process to do the rest, which is why our highly regarded Amazon FBA Preparation service can guarantee that your products will be completely FBA compliant. We ensure that your products adhere to Amazon’s strict guidelines prior to being packed, and once they are ready to be dispatched, we send them directly to Amazon’s warehouse.

The diagram below illustrates our reliable, tried and tested process, and how partnering with Finishing Line can make your Amazon FBA & SFP Preparation & Fulfilment even simpler.

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Here at Finishing Line, we always want to provide a comprehensive insight into the most prevalent and current trends surrounding the fulfilment industry in 2023, giving you a new perspective of the market, while sharing the best fulfilment practices that other eCommerce companies are now exploiting that you too should be taking advantage of and applying within your own business.

If this article has been an insightful read with regards to finding all the right answers surrounding Amazon FBA & SFP, feel free to sign up to our email newsletter below to gain more industry insights that we at Finishing Line can provide you, with 35+ years of experience. Check out our services; ecommerce fulfilmentreturns managementcontract packingwarehouse management.

Please get in touch with us, send a live chat message, or call +44 (0)1268 498 950

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Dylan Rowsell

Author, Digital Marketer

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