The Key to Amazon Success with Order Management

A Comprehensive Guide for Amazon Sellers
Posted by Amanda Stein | 12 minute read
In short,
Success as an Amazon seller lies not just in making sales, but in efficient order fulfillment and exceeding customer expectations.
Editor's Foreword

Greetings to all aspirational Amazon sellers! This journey you're embarking on is nothing short of a thrilling roller-coaster ride, filled with ups, downs, twists, and turns. But the destination? That is success, my friends!

Let's talk about the heart of this article, the essence that pulsates in the veins of every Amazon seller. It's a blend of persistence, adaptability, and a relentless pursuit of excellence. The game isn't just about making sales—it's about the art of mastering efficient order fulfillment and surpassing customer expectations.

Drawing from my own experiences, I can tell you that the challenges are just as important as the opportunities. They're like two sides of the same coin. Challenges mold you, they shape your business acumen, and they teach you invaluable lessons. Opportunities, on the other hand, are your reward for overcoming challenges. They're the doors that open up to new avenues of growth and success.

It's crucial to understand that your journey as an Amazon seller is a process of constant learning and adaptation. Change is the only constant in this ever-evolving marketplace. Embrace it, learn from it, adapt to it, and you will thrive.

In this cutthroat world of online retail, exceeding customer expectations isn't just a good practice—it's a survival strategy. It's what sets you apart from the crowd, it's what makes you memorable, and it's what keeps customers coming back for more.

So, gear up, brace yourself, and get ready to ride the wave of challenges and opportunities alike. It's going to be an exhilarating ride. The road to becoming a successful Amazon seller is paved with hard work, resilience, and an unwavering commitment to customer satisfaction.

Remember, the journey is as important as the destination. So, enjoy the ride!

The Key to Amazon Success with Order Management

Order management is the process that kicks in as soon as a customer places an order. It’s the nexus between you, the seller, and your customers, and encompasses everything from order capture, inventory management, order tracking, to delivery and post-delivery customer service.

In simpler terms, think of it as the behind-the-scenes operations that ensure your customer’s order is processed, packed, shipped, and delivered in a timely and satisfactory manner. It’s a complex process involving multiple steps and stakeholders, but when executed well, it can be the secret ingredient to stellar customer satisfaction.

What is Order Management?

In the realm of Amazon selling, effective order management is no less than a lifeline. Sure, getting your product noticed, winning the Buy Box, and racking up sales is crucial. But it’s the journey post-sale that makes a world of difference.

Poor order management can lead to stockouts, delayed deliveries, and miscommunications — all of which can tarnish your seller reputation. On the other hand, efficient order management can result in faster delivery times, better inventory control, happier customers, and ultimately, better reviews and higher rankings on Amazon.

In short, mastering order management can be the catalyst that propels your business from good to great.

What Order Management Means for You

The key to managing orders efficiently on Amazon lies in understanding the platform’s built-inorder management system and leveraging it effectively.

Amazon provides a plethora of tools and features designed to help sellers streamline their order management process. These range from inventory tracking tools, advanced analytics for forecasting demand, to integrations with third-party logistics (3PL) providers.

Mastering these tools, and complementing them with a well-thought-out strategy, is your ticket to effectively managing orders. And this is just the beginning. As we move further r into this guide, we’ll explore more ways to take control of your order management process, turning potential challenges into opportunities.

As an Amazon Seller, remember that you’re not just selling a product; you’re delivering an experience. And a well-managed order process plays a pivotal role in that experience. Let this guide be your compass as you navigate the often-overlooked world of order management and fulfillment, making it a pillar of your Amazon business success.

Efficiently Manage Orders as An Amazon Seller

Order management and fulfillment can be daunting, especially when you’re juggling multiple responsibilities as an Amazon seller. Fortunately, there’s a solution that Amazon offers – Fulfillment by Amazon, commonly known as Amazon FBA.

Basics of Amazon FBA

Amazon FBA is a service provided by Amazon that takes the burden of storage, packing, and shipping off your shoulders. When you sign up for Amazon FBA, you ship your products to Amazon’s fulfillment centers. Once a customer places an order, Amazon takes over. They pack your product, ship it to the customer, and even handle returns and customer service on your behalf.

In essence, FBA is your ticket to leveraging Amazon’s world-class logistics network, freeing up your time and resources to focus on growing your business.

Understanding Amazon FBA and How it Works

Like any business decision, using FBA comes with its pros and cons.


  • Saves time and effort:
    With Amazon handling storage, packing, shipping, and returns, you save considerable time and resources.
  • Prime Eligibility:
    FBA products are eligible for Amazon Prime. This opens your product to a wider audience and can significantly boost sales.
  • Increased customer trust:
    Products fulfilled by Amazon often instill greater trust in customers due to the reliable customer service and delivery.


  • Costs:
    Amazon charges for FBA services. Depending on your product size and storage time, these costs can add up.
  • Inventory control:
    Since your products are stored in Amazon’s warehouses, it might be difficult to keep track of inventory, especially if there are errors or damages.

Pros and Cons of Using FBA for Sellers

Embarking on your Amazon FBA journey involves a series of steps:

1 . Create product listings: List your products and select “Fulfilled by Amazon.”

  • Set up FBA:
    Start by adding FBA to your seller account. You can do this through the “Fulfillment by Amazon” option in your account settings.
  • Prepare products:
    Prepare your products as per Amazon’s packaging and prep requirements and ship them to Amazon’s fulfillment centers.
  • Ship products:
    Create a shipment, pack your products, and send them off to Amazon.

It’s a learning curve, but once you’ve got the hang of it, Amazon FBA can be a game-changer.

Getting Started with Amazon FBA

While FBA does simplify the fulfillment process, to reap its full benefits, you need to optimize your business operations to align with Amazon’s systems. Let’s take a look at how you can prepare your items for FBA, manage your inventory effectively, minimize FBA costs, and handle returns and refunds.

Optimizing Your Business for FBA

The first step in your FBA journey involves preparing and packaging your items. Remember, Amazon has specific packaging and prep requirements, failing to adhere to which could lead to your shipment being rejected, or additional prep fees.

Here’s what you need to know:

  • Packaging:
    Products should be individually packaged unless they’re a set. Use poly bags, bubble wrap, or boxes as needed.
  • Labeling:
    Each item needs a unique FNSKU label unless you opt for the stickerless, commingled inventory.
  • Safety:
    For safety and compliance, follow Amazon’s guidelines for products with potential hazards.

Mastering these steps is your key to a smooth, hassle-free FBA experience.

Packaging and Preparing Items for FBA

Inventory management is a crucial aspect of your FBA strategy. Amazon has established inventory restrictions that are contingent on a brand’s age – whether it’s newly launched or established. The tenure of the brand is gauged by its sales rate. As such, brands with a higher volume of sales, which typically correlates with their longevity in the market, are afforded more leeway in terms of the inventory they are allowed to sell.

Here’s how to strike the right balance:

  • Forecast demand:
    Use historical sales data and market trends to forecast future demand.
  • Regularly review inventory:
    Keep a regular check on your FBA inventory levels and restock proactively.
  • Leverage Amazon’s tools:
    Use Amazon’s Inventory Performance Index (IPI) and inventory management tools to optimize your inventory levels.

Effective FBA Inventory Management

While FBA does incur costs, with a strategic approach, you can minimize them:

  • Efficient packaging:
    Optimize your packaging to fit Amazon’s size tiers. Smaller, lighter packages cost less to store and ship.
  • Monitor your inventory:
    Avoid long-term storage fees by keeping a close eye on your inventory and removing slow-moving products.
  • Understand the fee structure:
    Take the time to fully understand Amazon’s FBA fee structure. This will help you price your products appropriately and factor in all costs.

How to Minimize FBA Costs

With FBA, Amazon handles customer returns and refunds for you. However, it’s crucial to understand the process:

  • Returns:
    Amazon follows the Amazon return policy for FBA orders. As a seller, you can view the reason for return in your account.
  • Reimbursements:
    If a returned product is damaged or lost by Amazon, you are eligible for a reimbursement.
  • Unsellable inventory:
    Keep track of your unsellable inventory. You can choose to have it returned to you or disposed of.

By understanding these aspects of FBA, you’re well on your way to optimizing your business for Amazon’s fulfillment services.

Handling Returns and Refunds in FBA

While FBA is a popular choice, it’s not the only fulfillment option for Amazon sellers. Fulfillment by Merchant (FBM) is another alternative where you, as the seller, handle storage, packaging, shipping, and customer service.

Below are the steps to mastering FBM.

Mastering FBM: Storage, Packaging, Shipping, Tracking, and Fees

In FBM, you are in control of your entire order fulfillment process. When a customer places an order, Amazon notifies you, and you’re responsible for packing and shipping the product to the customer. You also handle customer inquiries, returns, and refunds.

FBM can be a suitable option if you have an efficient logistics setup, or for products that are large, heavy, or have a lower sales velocity, as it can save you from high FBA fees.

Overview of FBM (Fulfillment by Merchant)

FBM requires an organized storage and packaging system. Here’s how to optimize it:

  • Storage:
    Implement an efficient inventory management system. Use storage solutions that maximize space and ensure easy access to your products.
  • Packaging:
    Invest in quality packaging that protects your products during transit. Remember, customer satisfaction depends heavily on receiving products in excellent condition.
  • Shipping:
    Use reliable shipping services and ensure products are shipped in a timely manner. Consider offering free or discounted shipping to compete with FBA’s free Prime shipping.
  • Customer service:
    Since you handle customer queries, returns, and refunds, ensure prompt and professional customer service.

Efficient Storage & Packaging Management via FBM

  • Automate:
    Use order management software to automate the process of tracking orders, updating inventory, and communicating with customers.
  • Stay competitive:
    FBM sellers need to compete with FBA’s fast shipping. Consider offering expedited shipping options to keep up with customer expectations.
  • Leverage Seller Fulfilled Prime:
    If you meet the criteria, consider joining Seller Fulfilled Prime to get the Prime badge on your listings and attract more customers.

While FBM may involve more hands-on work, it offers more control and can be a cost-effective solution if managed efficiently. Whether you choose FBA, FBM, or a mix of both, staying on top of order management and fulfillment strategies is key to your success as an Amazon seller.

As we continue this guide, we’ll explore more advanced strategies, shedding light on how to overcome challenges and transform them into opportunities for growth.

Best Practices & Tips

FBM brings a unique set of challenges and rewards, with shipping and tracking being major components. Efficient handling of these aspects can not only enhance customer satisfaction but also boost your seller reputation.

As an FBM seller, you are responsible for shipping products to the customers. Here’s how to do it right:

  • Choose reliable carriers:
    Partner with reliable shipping carriers that provide timely and safe delivery. The big players like UPS, FedEx, and USPS are usually a safe bet.
  • Offer multiple shipping options:
    Offering different shipping speeds – standard, expedited, or same-day delivery – can help cater to different customer needs and expectations.
  • Consider shipping costs:
    Shipping can be a significant expense. Determine whether you’ll absorb these costs or pass them on to the customer. Remember, free shipping can be a significant draw for customers.

Handling Shipping in FBM

With FBM, you also need to manage tracking for your shipments:

  • Provide tracking numbers:
    Once you ship a product, update the order with the tracking number. This allows the customer to track their shipment and also helps in case of delivery disputes.
  • Communicate with customers:
    Keep your customers informed about their order status. Send them an email when their order is shipped and include the tracking number.

Managing Tracking in FBM

Despite your best efforts, you may encounter shipping and tracking issues. Here’s how to handle them:

  • Delayed deliveries:
    If a delay occurs, communicate proactively with the customer. Apologize for the delay and provide a new estimated delivery date.
  • Lost packages:
    If a package gets lost in transit, you may need to send a replacement or issue a refund.
  • Incorrect tracking information:
    Sometimes, tracking information might not update correctly. In such cases, reassure the customer and contact the shipping carrier to resolve the issue.

Shipping and tracking are crucial in the FBM model, and dealing with them efficiently can dramatically enhance your customer service and overall reputation as a seller. In the next section, you’ll discover more ways to optimize these processes and thrive in the Amazon marketplace.

Dealing with Shipping and Tracking Issues

Navigating Amazon’s fee structure is necessary for sellers aiming to maximize profits. This can seem daunting given the many variables involved in both FBA and FBM. Let’s break down these fees and explore strategies to minimize costs and increase your profit margins.

Understanding Amazon Fees for FBA and FBM

Amazon charges sellers a series of fees based on the selling plan, category, and fulfillment method chosen. The two major types of fees are:

  • Selling plan fees:
    Amazon charges a referral fee on each item sold. This fee is a percentage of the total sales price and varies by category.
  • Fulfillment fees:
    These vary depending on whether you choose FBA or FBM. FBA fees cover storage and fulfillment, while FBM sellers incur shipping and packaging costs.

Overview of Amazon’s Fee Structure

FBA fees consist of:

  • Fulfillment fees:
    These are based on the size and weight of the item and cover picking, packing, and shipping your orders.
  • Storage fees:
    Amazon charges for the storage space your inventory occupies in their warehouses. These fees can increase during peak seasons.
  • Additional fees:
    There may be extra fees for long-term storage, removals, returns, and other special handling.

Breakdown of FBA Fees

With FBM, while you save on FBA fees, you take on:

  • Shipping fees:
    These are costs you incur to ship products to customers.
  • Packaging costs:
    You need to cover the costs of packaging materials.
  • Storage costs:
    If you store your inventory in a warehouse, you will need to factor in these costs.

Understanding FBM Fees

Regardless of the fulfillment method, there are ways to reduce costs:

  • Optimize packaging:
    In FBA, smaller and lighter items cost less to store and fulfill. In FBM, efficient packaging can reduce shipping costs.
  • Manage inventory:
    Avoid long-term storage fees in FBA by managing inventory effectively. In FBM, efficient inventory management can minimize storage costs.
  • Price products appropriately:
    Factor all costs into your product pricing. This includes Amazon fees, cost of goods, and other operational costs.

Understanding the fee structures for FBA and FBM is critical to your bottom line. As we continue, we’ll dive deeper into the strategies and tools you can employ to streamline your order management, optimize your fulfillment processes, and ultimately, maximize your profitability in the Amazon marketplace.

Strategies to Minimize Fees and Maximize Profit

Now, let’s turn our attention to one of the most pivotal decisions you’ll make as an Amazon seller: choosing the right fulfillment option. This decision impacts not just your costs, but also your customers’ satisfaction and the growth of your business.

Conclusion: Choosing the Right Fulfillment Option

The choice between FBA and FBM isn’t black and white. It depends on multiple factors like your business model, product type, volume of sales, and your capacity to manage fulfillment.

FBA offers convenience and scalability but comes with higher fees. It’s often the best choice for high-volume sellers and those who prefer to delegate logistics.

FBM, on the other hand, gives you control over the fulfillment process and can be cost-effective for certain types of products or sellers with an efficient fulfillment system in place.

FBA vs FBM: Choosing the Right Option

Your fulfillment method directly affects your customers’ experience. Timely delivery, professional packaging, and effective handling of returns and customer inquiries are crucial to maintaining high customer satisfaction levels. Whether you choose FBA or FBM, ensure you maintain high standards to keep your customers happy and earn positive reviews.

Impact of Fulfillment on Customer Satisfaction

Your choice of fulfillment method isn’t set in stone. As your business grows, you might find it beneficial to switch from FBM to FBA, or vice versa. Some sellers even use a mix of both, known as a hybrid fulfillment strategy.

Always assess your strategy as your business evolves to ensure it continues to serve your best interests.

Adapting Your Fulfillment Strategy as Your Business Grows

In the ever-evolving Amazon marketplace, continuous learning, adaptation, and improvement are keys to success. Stay updated with changes in Amazon’s policies, consumer behavior, and industry trends. Take advantage of educational resources, seller forums, and tools to keep optimizing your order management and fulfillment strategies.

Hopefully, this guide has given you a thorough understanding of order management and fulfillment strategies on Amazon.

The journey doesn’t end here, though!

It’s a process of constant learning and adaptation. As you continue to grow and evolve as an Amazon seller, remember, success lies not just in making sales, but in efficient order fulfillment and exceeding customer expectations.

Embrace the challenges and opportunities alike, and you’ll be on your way to becoming a successful Amazon seller!

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