Amazon is the leading ecommerce retailer in the United States. In 2021, the company had an annual net sales of almost 480 billion dollars, and its e-retail sales generated the bulk of this income. There’s no doubt that sellers enjoy efficient warehousing and customer services through the Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA) program. But you have limited control over how they package and ship your products to customers.
But, with Amazon Seller Flex, sellers now have new and better opportunities. This program is a secret tool for sellers to achieve success, and it’s suitable for every qualified seller! Discover who can apply for Seller Flex, its advantages and disadvantages and how to register.
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What Is Amazon Flex?
Amazon Seller Flex is an innovative service that makes it easy for sellers to take charge of their FBA warehouse and business operations. Gone are the days when Amazon controlled almost every aspect of your FBA operations, such as inventory management, customer services and product shipping.
Now, with Seller Flex service, you have the freedom to manage your own warehouse, control your inventory, and oversee product packaging and orders. Amazon only handles the transportation of merchandise from warehouses to buyers’ homes.
Flex was first launched in India in 2015 and quickly gained traction across the U.S. However, many sellers need to be made aware of this excellent service. Don't be one of them!
Let’s take a closer look on how you can take advantage of Amazon Seller Flex and unlock a whole world of possibilities. With this service, you'll be able to control your FBA processes like never before - and make the most out of your business.
Who Can Apply for the Amazon Seller Flex Program?
Unlike other seller programs, Amazon Seller Flex is quite different. The difference lies in the freedom it offers sellers and who and what kind of businesses can apply for it. The Amazon Seller Flex is an invite-only service, meaning you can only enter and participate by invitation.
Although this service may be suitable for small and medium-sized businesses with multi-channel brands, Amazon sends invites to merchants based on some basic criteria. They include:
- A total of up to $0.6 million worth of sales each month
- An Amazon seller rating of 90% and above
- A total of up to 1000 units of merchandise per month
- Sellers that are geographically located in specific areas.
Whether you’re eligible for the Flex program or not, simply give your products the best chance to rank in search results. Here are some ways to do this and tools that can help:
- Get the perfect products to sell on Amazon with the Product Research for Amazon app by the Semrush App Center.
- Monitor your product listings for ranking issues with the Listing Alerts for Amazon app.
- Optimize your product listing using the Listing Quality Check for Amazon. This tool will help you check for incompleteness, alignment with guidelines, and content errors. It’ll also help you increase your visibility and conversion rates on the platform.
What Are the Requirements to Apply for Amazon Seller Flex?
The guidelines outline the specific requirements that sellers and warehouse owners must meet to be accepted into the program. These requirements are divided into three key categories:
Only sellers with well-drafted and solid business plans will be accepted into the Flex program. This is to ensure that sellers understand the potential of their new business venture and that they’re adequately prepared to make the most out of their opportunity.
The following requirements fall under this category:
- Two computers with a minimum of Windows 7 OS and 2 gigabytes of RAM
- Two barcode scanners
- Uninterrupted Power Supply (UPS), Inverter, or any backup power supply
- Two stable internet connections
- Three printers – one shipping label printer, one gift printer, and one PDF invoice file printer
- Prime packing supplies, which the company provides.
The following requirements fall under this category:
- A minimum of six employees operating the warehouse
- A labeled system of organizing products and merchandise
- A packing station area
- Parking space for transport vehicles.
How to Register for Amazon Seller Flex
Once you receive an invite to join the Amazon Flex program, you can proceed to complete your Seller Flex registration in the following order:
- Provide all relevant business information and requirements
- Send the corresponding documents to the platform for evaluation
- Go through the approval process. This involves a support staff contacting you to assist in installing the warehouse inventory management software and providing your Flex login details, instructions, and information regarding Flex procedures and functions.
However, if you don’t get an invite to participate in the service but believe that you meet all the Amazon Seller Flex requirements, you can contact the platform through the following channels:
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Phone: (+1) 88-281-6901 or (+1) 877-212-6150. Contacting through these phone numbers may attract additional charges in locations outside the United States, Canada, and the Caribbean.
You’ll receive an invite if you're eligible and can proceed through the steps above.
Amazon Seller Flex Benefits
The Amazon Flex program has many perks that make it worth applying to. You also gain access to the shipping network, making it easier and more efficient for you to ship products worldwide.
Here are some of the strongest benefits of using Flex:
If your application is successful, you’ll get an FBA tag. An FBA tag is a unique product identifier attached to a product, making it easy for Amazon to identify merchandise in warehouses across countries. The improved credibility these tags bring is perhaps one of the significant benefits sellers get from participating in the Amazon Flex program.
Improved Customer Satisfaction
Sellers who use the Amazon Seller Flex service experience customer satisfaction and all the benefits it provides. This is because the Amazon Flex program offers a quicker and more profitable way to deliver merchandise than any other seller program. This leads to happier customers, who will be willing to purchase from the seller again.
More Control Over Your Business
In the typical FBA fulfillment program, Amazon maintains control of the warehouse, customer service, shipping, and inventory. However, Amazon Seller Flex allows you to manage your inventory and package orders, giving you more control over certain business decisions.
Reduced Cost of Transportation
As an Amazon Seller Flex user, you don’t have to worry about transportation, as Amazon takes care of shipping products and merchandise directly from warehouses to your customers’ doorsteps.
Drawbacks of the Amazon Seller Flex Program
Despite its fantastic benefits, the Amazon Flex Program has some downsides to using it. While the program is great for flexibility in pricing and control, there are some drawbacks that every seller should consider before signing up for the service as it may not be compatible for every business.
Restricted Seller Access
In addition to the strict requirements needed to join the Amazon Seller Flex program, it’s only suitable for sellers who deal in either expensive products or a wide variety of products. So, if you sell affordable items or have a limited product range, you’ll not find this program beneficial.
Expensive Cost of Operations
To successfully benefit from the Sellers Flex program, you’d have to incur additional costs, such as extra equipment, larger warehousing spaces, and a minimum of six staff to run your operations efficiently. These costs may be expensive if you have insufficient capital.
Even after you’ve gained access to the Amazon Flex program, you must consistently meet a high standard of selling operations. If you fail to keep up with these standards, you may be taken off the program.
One key disadvantage of Amazon Seller Flex is its limited availability. Sellers outside certain locations will not be eligible to join the program. You can check on the Amazon Seller Flex platform to check if the service is available in your location.
Although Amazon Seller Flex may be a lot for several sellers, it offers excellent benefits and opportunities if you have the financial and structural strength to handle operations. However, before deciding to join the program, you must first draft a business plan and perform a proper evaluation of your business needs and financial ability. You should also seek professional assistance from financial and business experts to clarify things further.
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You may have the best Amazon Seller Flex program going, but your success will be limited without customer satisfaction. Learn all about ecommerce customer satisfaction and how to master it!