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Amazon’s Seller Flex Programme: Helping Sellers to Scale Business!

vijay

Vijay Kumar

Senior Specialist - Marketing @ Shiprocket

January 8, 2024

7 min read

As sellers try to leverage the eCommerce giant Amazon’s platform, they are bound to enter the Amazon market with a stack of inbuilt inventory. Amazon’s Seller Flex initiative assists sellers in tracking the inventory resting in their warehouses. The constructive programme is an incentive providing sellers finer control over their FBA warehouses and order fulfillment. The leading USA-based aggregator claims the Seller Flex programme is no less than its Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA) model

seller flex

We are diving straight into the workings and features of the Seller Flex programme to help you understand it better. 

Amazon’s Seller Flex Programme

Amazon already has its prominent Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA) facility, where sellers can effectively store their stock in the FBA warehouses. In addition to this service, the eCommerce giant offers the Seller Flex programme as a fulfillment incentive to provide sellers with shipping benefits and better inventory control. It’s a phenomenal service for sellers to manage their FBA warehouse. This assistance gives you complete autonomy over your warehouse, inventory, orders, and packaging operations. 

The Seller Flex programme began in India in 2015 and is relatively new. Hence, only a handful fully know about its capabilities. The sellers subscribing to this programme get the advantage of having products shipped to their customers by Amazon within one to two days.   

Amazon Seller Flex: Attributes

Some of the significant attributes of Amazon’s Seller Flex programme entail the following:

  • Comprehensive Control: The programme allows sellers to gain enhanced control over their warehouses, packaging, shipping, and overall inventory management.
  • Value-added Services: Sellers may also become eligible for Amazon Prime delivery. They can get customised solutions, an improved customer experience, and save costs.
  • Invitation-only Access: The only way sellers can join the programme is by receiving an invite from the Amazon Marketplace.
  • Business Location Requirements: Amazon requires the sellers to operate within specific locations to avail of the Seller Flex service.

Eligibility to Join the Programme

As the entry into Amazon’s marketplace is solely on an invite-only basis, sellers can’t apply directly for the Seller Flex programme. Nonetheless, Amazon has set specific criteria for sellers’s eligibility for the service.

Amazon considers the following attributes in sellers for receiving their Seller Flex service:

  • The seller’s monthly sales should be over USD 6,00,000 
  • The seller must have a 90% or above Amazon seller rating
  • The seller must have 1000 monthly sales units, approximately.

However, these are not the only eligibility criteria and are subject to change at any time. Approaching the Amazon Flex administrators can give you the best insight into details. 


How to be a Part of the Amazon Seller Flex Programme?

On meeting the eligibility criteria, a seller can register with the Seller Flex programme by taking the following steps:  

  • Fill out the registration form with information relating to your company’s needs
  • Submit the required additional documents for review
  • Get the application approved by the concerned authorities
  • A support team member of Amazon will assist you with setting up the Seller Flex software
  • Amazon will then provide documentation summarising the product’s features and technicalities.

However, if you have not received an invitation for the Seller Flex programme, even after satisfying the eligibility criteria, consider contacting Amazon representatives. You can reach out to them on their designated phone number or send a mail to their support team’s email address.

Prerequisites for Launching Amazon Seller Flex

As per Amazon specifications, a seller must procure the following materials to get approval for a Seller Flex site:

  • At the bare minimum, a scanner to scan barcode labels.
  • Two desktops or laptops having 2GB+ RAM and Windows 7 or above.
  • Three printers, including one for shipping labels, another for PDF invoices, and one for gift labels.
  • Two stable Internet connections
  • A power backup or UPS Inverter
  • A packaging station.
  • Parking space for Amazon transit vehicles
  • Amazon Prime packing supplies procured from authorised sellers
  • Labeled racks for shelving the products according to order range and volume.
  • A warehouse manpower of a minimum of six people

Advantages of Joining Amazon Seller Flex Programme

The Seller Flex programme by Amazon comes with a bunch of advantages to benefit the seller. Some of the most prominent ones include:

  • More trustworthiness and credibility as a seller

Seller Flex members get an FBA tag, a unique product identifier attached to a product. Amazon can quickly identify merchandise in warehouses across countries with these tags. The seller benefits mainly from the enhanced credibility of using the potent FBA tags.

  • Elevated Customer Satisfaction

The Amazon Seller Flex service gives sellers using the programme heightened customer satisfaction. Amazon offers Seller Flex members the facility of shipping products to their customers within one to two days, delighting them and their customers. It’s a quicker and more profitable way to deliver merchandise compared to other seller programmes.

  • Better Control Over Business Operations and Inventory

Usually, in the FBA fulfillment programme, Amazon takes charge of the warehouse, customer service, shipping, and inventory. With Amazon Flex service, sellers can oversee their inventory and package orders, having greater control over some business decisions.

  • Curtailed Transportation Cost

One of the fascinating advantages of this programme is that a Seller Flex user doesn’t need to fret about transportation. Amazon ships products and merchandise directly from warehouses to the customers’ doorsteps.

The Downsides of the Amazon Seller Flex Programme

There are always two sides to a coin! One side of Amazon’s unique Seller Flex programme  provides more agility and improved inventory control for sellers. In contrast, the flipside illustrates a few issues:

  • Suppose you have a limited portfolio and sell products under a private label with limited SKUs. In that case, this programme might not benefit you, as it has more resources to manage.
  • The additional warehouse space with the Seller Flex membership comes at a cost. So, if you require extra inventory space to stack up all your products, you’ll have to pay the additional price.
  • There might be an issue with deciding the appropriate pricing for your product as a Flex member. Double-check the product price tag before applying for this service. Evaluate if the programme can help you save money with the added costs.

Conclusion

The Amazon Seller Flex programme is like a candy that tastes sweet but may have an aftertaste laced with bitter notes. The programme might pose challenges for some sellers who may lack resources. However, it offers excellent benefits and opportunities for sellers with the financial and structural soundness to handle operations. Great innovation comes with greater responsibility! So, sellers must act per the specific programme guidelines laid out by Amazon to avoid any negative consequences. It’s best to gain a deeper insight into the Amazon Seller Flex to make an informed decision.  

Can sellers use Amazon warehouses as a Seller Flex member?

Yes, sellers have the option to store their inventory in Amazon fulfillment centers or their own warehouses. This gives them more flexibility in managing their supply chain.

How does the Seller Flex programme work for order fulfillment?

The Seller Flex programme allows sellers to use their local delivery networks or third-party carriers for order fulfillment. It improves the speed and quality of delivery.

Can sellers switch between Seller Flex and other fulfillment programmes?

Sellers may have the flexibility to choose specific products for fulfillment through Seller Flex and tailor their strategy based on business needs.

Where can sellers find more information or register in the Seller Flex Programme?

Sellers can visit Amazon Seller Central for the latest information on Seller Flex, including eligibility requirements and registration details. Additionally, contacting Amazon Seller Support can provide further assistance.

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