I want a comparison of selling direct to consumer using moulton order fullfillment versus Amazon FBA (on your own website not amazon). Key areas to consider: Speed and ease of set-up, service quality, integration with web platforms like shopify and magento, and ease of use. Assume this is for an existing company with large plants selling to retailers.
Amazon is a platform for selling goods that is widely known and used. For selling, Amazon is a behemoth that more or less dominates an industry. Unsurprisingly, using Amazon’s services as a backend for order fulfillment is quite easy to set up and use. For services that you mentioned, such as Shopify or Magento, Amazon has pages on both its site as well as the services’ sites to help set up Amazon to play nicely. Amazon offers Multi-Channel Fulfillment to allow sellers to easily use their platform without much work setting up. The major cons are expense. On top of FBA fees, Amazon charges MCF fees. Likewise, if warehouses are far from where the products must be shipped, Amazon’s fees escalate.
To directly answer your request, for a pilot, Amazon can be easily set up and work with the platforms mentioned, however the price may be expensive for just a test run.
Speed and Ease of Set Up
Setting up both Moulton and Amazon FBA are relatively simple procedures. For Amazon, you upload your listings and then ship the products to Amazon using either their shipping service or a service of your choice which is similar to Moulton. Using Amazon’s MCF service, however, adds more work for your business as Amazon doesn’t provide return support nor provides tracking numbers to clients et cetera. The business must send that information or handle returns themselves.
Services is where Amazon and Moulton have some differences. Moulton handles customer service as well as all of the logistics about your order, including returns. Amazon only handles customer service if they’re controlling the order. In other words, using Amazon FBA and selling from Amazon will result in Amazon providing customer service and return support. As you wish to sell using your own site with Amazon as a backend, you will not get these benefits. However, one pro of Amazon is access to Amazon Prime customers. Amazon Prime customers are loyal and buy 1.5 times more than the average Amazon customers. Amazon is also a well known name which inspires “confidence” in customers that orders from the service will be handled properly.
However, Amazon is also a massive company. Signing up for both FBA and MCF is easy but may be costly. Fees can escalate for products that cost more to store, such as heavier items. Amazon also has restrictions on what may be kept in their warehouse. A blog post notes that fulfilling multiple orders through Amazon’s service may be “a real chore” (that is, tedious) and recommends purchasing a third party tool to speed up the system. That is yet another cost added on to Amazon coupled with whatever services you intend to use.
For a pilot or switching services, an area where Amazon truly shines is compatibility. Amazon can be compared to Microsoft’s Windows operating system; it’s widely used and thus products are often extremely compatible with it. Magento has an entire page and extension to its service dedicated to Amazon. On the other hand, Moulton simply lists that the service is supported on their web page. Likewise, Shopify has an entire page outlining how to set up Amazon to work with its service whereas Moulton, again, just notes that it’s compatible.
The fact that services directly list how to get their products working with Amazon means that switching to or testing Amazon as a pilot would be an easy process.
To conclude and reiterate the answer to your question, setting up Amazon as a test pilot for your business will be easy albeit possibly expensive. Service is similar to Moulton with the added benefit of name recognition and Amazon Prime but minus customer service support. Amazon’s compatibility is equal to or higher than Moulton. Furthermore, setting up services to work with Amazon is likely to be easier than it is with Moulton due to the vast repertoire of information available.