University - Shipping Items
Seller Fulfilled Prime (SFP)
Stay on top of the latest e-commerce and marketplace trends.
Seller Fulfilled Prime (SFP) is a fulfillment method that allows qualified Amazon sellers with Professional seller accounts to display the Amazon Prime badge on orders fulfilled via their own warehouse or third-party logistics providers.
In order to become eligible and maintain eligibility for SFP, the seller must always be eligible for the Premium Shipping program. The 30-day eligibility requirements for an item to qualify are:
- An on-time delivery rate of at least 92% for Premium Shipping orders
- A valid tracking ID for at least 94% of Premium Shipping orders
- A cancellation rate of less than 1.5% for Premium Shipping orders
The trial period lasts between five and 90 days depending on when the seller satisfies the performance requirements on a minimum of 200 Prime trial orders. If you fail to fulfill the requirements for 200 eligible Prime trial orders within 90 days, the trial period will reset automatically and you will be able to try again.
Considerations When Deciding to Use SFP
- Know who is buying your items. Identify and drill down which geographic regions your customers are in to help you decide where you will benefit from selling via SFP. This will be dependent on where your warehouse is located and what the local shipping rates are.
- Identify your competitors that are selling via SFP and know where they are located.
- Pay close attention to Amazon’s FBA fees, as they tend to change frequently without notice.
How to Join and Shorten Your Trial Period
There are a few easy ways to join Seller Fulfilled Prime, a process that should only take about 15 minutes according to Amazon SFP expert Skyler Fancher. You can visit amazon.com/sfp or visit the firstname.lastname@example.org page in Seller Central.
In order to qualify and be accepted, you need to demonstrate your capabilities of Prime fulfillment excellence and customer satisfaction throughout the trial. How can you expedite your trial period so you are prepared for Q4? Amazon recommends assigning Prime templates to your fastest moving SKUs so you can reach 50 orders in a timely manner.
You can also add a majority of your ASINs, or as many as possible without increasing your shipping cost. Be sure to link your carrier accounts such as UPS or FedEx so you can still leverage your volume discounts with SFP. Lastly, monitor your SFP-specific performance metrics daily to ensure that you are adhering to the program requirements.
When you are deciding where to be regional for SFP, the decision will be largely impacted by your business model and size of your business. However, one recommendation that Amazon has is to put your high margin SKUs on a national Prime template (you can mix ground and air shipping to cover the entire country) and put your low margin items on a regional Prime template.
In Seller Central, there’s a regional Prime assignment workflow where you can go in and select the regions, states, or even subsections of states in order to maximize your Prime exposure and ensure that you are covering major metropolitan areas. You can drill down your region according to one-day and two-day delivery to maximize your coverage.
If you check your SFP performance metrics daily throughout the trial period and adhere to the requirements, you should be on track to diversify your fulfillment model by the holiday season. With SFP in the mix and research to show that Prime shoppers buy more frequently than non-Prime customers, you are opening the door to incremental profits in time for Q4.
Advantages of SFP
There are several reasons that sellers are transitioning specific ASINs to be fulfilled via Seller-Fulfilled Prime:
- To receive access to the Prime customer base. More exposure and product discoverability on the marketplace will lead to more sales conversions.
- To gain complete control over your inventory, which eliminates the need to send stock to Amazon.
- To experience the same Buy Box privileges as Fulfillment By Amazon (FBA) sellers.
- To eliminate FBA shipping and handling fees.
- To avoid FBA long-term storage fees, which are being evaluated on a monthly basis beginning in September 2018 and will be scrutinized more meticulously.
- To increase profits on bulky, heavy merchandise that are subject to high FBA fees and FBA-ineligible items (typically those deemed as hazardous).
- Sell certain products that are ineligible for FBA.
- To instill a more seamless returns process. With SFP, sellers can directly handle returns on Prime purchases, which will help them track and identify product returns.
Which Products Have Seen Results With SFP?
70% of sellers have reported a 20+% sales increase with Prime. 60 million units were delivered to customers via SFP in the first half of 2018, revealing the impactful, end-to-end capabilities of the program. SFP is best suited for a wide range of products, typically those that are not good for FBA or where you have significant investment in fulfillment already, such as the following types of items:
- Appliances and furniture items that are heavy and bulky (FBA fees are determined by an item’s size and weight)
- High value or fragile items that sellers don’t want a lot of touchpoints on
- Seasonal/perishable items that will only sell for part of the year, have a low shelf life, or have specific storage restrictions
- Items with uncertain demand and variation
- Fast fashion items
- Items that don’t sell quickly
- Personalized/customized items
- Products shipped in multiple boxes
- Items with serial numbers
To apply for SFP, sellers should navigate to ‘Seller Fulfilled Prime’ in Seller Central and create Prime shipping templates based off if they will be shipping regionally or nationally. Next, they should select the products that they want to add to Prime and ship orders with Buy Shipping. If sellers have carrier discounts, those can be passed on using the Buy Shipping tool.
Sellers need to complete the Seller Fulfilled Prime trial according to the performance metrics outlined above. If a seller graduates the trial, Amazon will notify you two days prior so that you can prepare to engage in SFP.
SFP Tips, Tricks, and New Features
In Feedvisor’s SFP webinar co-hosted with Amazon, Skyler Fancher provided a slew of recommendations for sellers to help them take advantage of SFP with speed and accuracy:
- Shorten your trial period by using your top ten fastest moving SKUs. Stay on top of your reviews to make sure customers aren’t hindered by anything on your listings. The trial does not require you to ship free two-day delivery; standard shipping is permitted unless the customer purchased two-day or faster shipping.
- Set up Ship by Region to reduce the cost of shipping. This will allow you to drill down to the sections of states that you want to offer SFP in, assigning specific parts of states to SKUs of your choice.
- Link your own shipping accounts to access your rates through Buy Shipping.
- Monitor your performance. Track all three SFP-eligibility metrics carefully in order to better enhance the Prime experience for customers. You can also pull a defect report from Seller Central to find the root source of where you are underperforming. Amazon has a specific team for SFP metrics issues that can be helpful if issues arise.
- Use the Prime order throttling feature to limit your order volume. For example, if you are starting to ramp up and expand your business and only want to do 100 Prime orders a day, it will revert back to a standard 3-5 day template once you’ve hit 100 Prime orders.
- Hit the little red button when necessary. If you need to suspend your SFP program for any reason, this is a quick way to do so.
The Ultimate Guide to Amazon Seller Fulfilled Prime
To aid sellers interested in SFP, Feedvisor has created The Ultimate Guide to Amazon Seller Fulfilled Prime. Whether you are considering the program, just starting out with SFP, or want new strategies for optimizing your SFP operations, this guide will help. It’s compact, easy-to-navigate, and includes everything that you need to know in order to maximize results with Seller Fulfilled Prime.
From qualification criteria and performance requirements to the advantages of the program and Amazon repricing software that is SFP-compatible, the guide drills into specifics on how to begin, maintain, and accelerate a Seller Fulfilled Prime operation.
Sellers can learn which product categories have seen success with the program, uncover insider tactics to adhere to Amazon’s rigorous performance standards, and discover how SFP is fully customizable and can be leveraged for a competitive advantage in the marketplace.