Amazon: multi-channel fulfillment (MCF) [beta]
About this article
This article describes ChannelEngine’s support for Amazon multi-channel fulfillment (MCF), how to enable it, how to configure it, and how to make use of it.
Table of contents
Amazon offers a storage and fulfillment service known as Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA). This can be complemented by their MCF service, which allows you to also fulfill orders from marketplaces other than Amazon – even if you do not sell on Amazon.
Once FBA and MCF are set up on Amazon, you can add the MCF plugin to your environment on ChannelEngine and start selling on various channels using Amazon as your third-party logistics provider (3PL).
The following limitations apply:
- MCF is not available in every country where Amazon operates. Presently, the list of countries where MCF is supported includes Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Egypt, France, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Netherlands, Poland, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Turkey, United Arab Emirates, United States of America, and United Kingdom.
- Certain marketplaces forbid merchants from using MCF. Before adding the MCF plugin to your environment, make sure the marketplace you are working with allows Amazon to fulfill orders made on their marketplace. Note that you may need to meet certain requirements even when the marketplace allows the use of MCF. E.g.: the marketplace might require that your products are sent in unbranded packaging.
- Certain types of products cannot be fulfilled by MCF. These include perishables, aerosols, flammable substances, batteries, etc.
For information on the fees Amazon charges for use of its MCF service, visit the Pricing page on the Amazon Supply Chain website.
To enable MCF, go to Amazon’s MCF page and create an account. Once you set up MCF and FBA services on Amazon, you can add the MCF plugin to your tenant on ChannelEngine.
NB: if you are an existing Amazon seller and have a Seller Central account, there is no signup required.
To add the MCF plugin to your tenant on ChannelEngine:
- In the left-hand side menu, go to Plugins. Locate Amazon Multi-Channel Fulfillment plugin and click + Add.
- Go to the Setup tab. In the General settings, enter a suitable name for your plugin.
- In the Authorize ChannelEngine settings, select an appropriate authorization option – depending on the region where fulfillment services need to be enabled. Options are Authorize America, Authorize Europe, and Authorize Far East.
- In the Amazon sign-in window that pops up, enter your credentials and click Sign in. Upon a successful sign-in, the corresponding Authorize [region] button changes to green on ChannelEngine.
- In the Connection settings, the appropriate connection fields (i.e.: Seller ID, Refresh token, and Access token) should be filled out automatically.
- In the Plugin-specific settings, configure the following settings according to your preferences and marketplace-specific requirements:
- Block Amazon Logistics as a carrier for this order - the last mile of the delivery is not done by Amazon Logistics, which certain marketplaces forbid. Note that blocking Amazon Logistics incurs an additional fee of 5%.
- Shipment service level - set a desirable shipping time frame. You can choose between Standard (3-5 business days), Expedited (2 business days), and Priority (1 business day). Keep in mind that the shipment service level directly affects the fee charged by Amazon.
- In Settings, set the Stock location name prefix, which is the unique prefix you add to a stock location name. The prefix helps you distinguish between different stock locations at a later stage – when configuring the order routing.
- Save your settings and proceed to the Activation tab. Toggle the Activate synchronization for Amazon Multi-channel Fulfillment setting. Once the synchronization process is completed, you can see the label next to the Amazon logo change to ‘active’. As a result, the plugin creates new stock locations based on the region and prefix you provided on the Setup page.
When working with different stock locations, you can use predefined business rules that assign incoming orders to specific stock locations.
To add an order routing on ChannelEngine:
- Enable the stock locations feature on ChannelEngine. For that, reach out to ChannelEngine's Support team to activate the Use order routing with multiple stock locations setting.
- In the left-hand side menu, click Orders, Routing. Then, click the Add button.
- In the Add: Order routing dialog box, enter information in the following fields:
- Name - the order routing’s name.
Select channels - click the dropdown box to select the marketplaces that apply to this routing. Note that you can only select marketplaces that are not already active in other routings. Marketplaces are grouped according to how they handle order lines:
- Support for shipments - the whole order must be shipped together.
- Support for split orders - different order lines can be split into separate shipments.
- Order lines can be referenced by multiple shipments - order lines can be split when the order line quantity must be shared across multiple warehouses.
- Select stock locations - the stock locations you want to use. The combined stock of the selected locations, minus the reserved stock, is then exported. If your MCF account is Amazon US or Amazon CA, you can select a stock location with a 'blank box' indication, which ensures that your orders are fulfilled in unbranded packaging.
- Prioritize shipping multiple items from one stock location - if enabled, it checks if a whole order can be shipped from one stock location. This way, you can override the conditional rules and prevent the order from being fulfilled from two or more separate stock locations, which incurs extra shipping costs.
- Click Next.
- You can now set up the conditional rules for your routing, following a structure similar to ChannelEngine’s Product selection page. These rules are applied when orders are imported into ChannelEngine. You can filter on fields from order fields (e.g.: Shipment region, Delivery country, EAN, etc.), as well as ChannelEngine’s default product data and custom fields. Make sure you set up conditional rules for all stock locations previously selected.
- Click Add to save the order routing. Order routing rules are now applied to new orders.
How often does ChannelEngine import stock levels from Amazon?
ChannelEngine runs an import stock task every hour. If you need ChannelEngine to import stock levels more frequently, contact ChannelEngine’s Support team.
How can I see if my synchronization tasks were successful?
When the AmazonMCF plugin is activated, the Dashboard page displays a list of tasks scheduled by ChannelEngine – as well as their statuses. E.g.: ‘Export orders to merchant’ task and its status ‘Finished at: 5 minutes ago’.
Do I need to change order routing once my product listings on the marketplace change?
Yes. Once the Amazon MCF plugin is enabled for a marketplace, you need to adjust the conditional rules for order routing whenever you introduce changes to your product listing on the marketplace (e.g.: remove or add products).
How can I see my Amazon MCF orders on ChannelEngine?
Orders fulfilled by Amazon MCF can be found by going to Orders, Orders on ChannelEngine, and are indicated by the Amazon MCF label. ChannelEngine imports order status updates from Amazon once they become available. When the order has the status Shipped, you can find order extra information – such as the fee charged by Amazon and the shipment date.
Can I sell bundles via Amazon MCF?
No, product bundles are not supported on Amazon MCF. Orders related to bundles must be fulfilled directly by you.