Your Step-by-Step Guide to Amazon Direct Fulfillment
  • Melody Rong
April 08, 2024
Posted by Melody Rong

Picture this: it’s March 2020, COVID-19 numbers are spiking up everyday and N-95 face masks are now an everyday necessity. It’s getting to the point where Amazon fulfillment warehouses are running low on stock and the restocking process is not meeting the rate of product demands. That’s when Amazon’s Direct Fulfillment (DF) program became the solution to help get things back on track.

But what is Amazon Direct Fulfillment?

Amazon’s Direct Fulfillment (DF) program has similar qualities to Amazon Dropshipping, a service that allows vendors on Amazon to ship wholesale products directly to their customers. Traditionally, brands use another program known as Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA) where vendors directly sell their products to consumers through the Amazon platform, but ship their products to Amazon warehouses and Amazon handles the rest of the fulfillment process. With the DF program, vendors are able to directly handle product fulfillment if and when stock is running low in Amazon’s warehouses.

With Amazon Direct Fulfillment, as an Amazon Vendor Central seller, you can fulfill orders (made on Amazon by consumers) from your own warehouse (or 3PL) if Amazon itself runs out of stock of your products.  However, you must use Amazon Transportation Services (ATS) to ship your products directly to the consumer. ATS is fully integrated with ShipHawk, so you can use ShipHawk to book with Amazon Transportation, where the destination is the consumer.

As a ShipHawk-connected merchant, Amazon could invite you to use Amazon Direct Fulfillment (DF).

Pros of Amazon DF

  • Increased quality control

    Because you’re able to manage fulfillments first hand, Amazon DF allows you to have control over the quality of your shipments.

  • Simple onboarding process

    Enrolling in new programs can be overwhelming, but like the program itself, joining Amazon DF is smooth and simple. You can start fulfilling orders right away!

  • A wider selection of catalog products

    With direct access from merchant to consumer, DF vendors don’t have to worry about Amazon’s warehouse limitations or relying on available stock in the warehouses. A fuller catalog equals even bigger sales opportunities.

  • More inventory insight

    You can stay on top of the exact inventory amount of your products rather than having to navigate through Amazon’s warehouse systems. It’s important to keep your customers updated ASAP.

  • No shipping costs

    With the DF program, Amazon covers all shipping fees for its vendors.

Cons of Amazon DF

  • Lower search visibility

    Amazon prioritizes FBA listings, therefore products sold through the DF program may be listed lower when customers are scrolling through.

  • More work for sellers

    Amazon DF does call for more work on the vendors’ end with responsibilities such as but not limited to handling storage spaces, packing orders, and fulfilling shipments.

How to enroll in the program: 

As a ShipHawk-connected merchant, Amazon could invite you to use Amazon Direct Fulfillment.  You can then follow these simple steps to get started:

If you are an Amazon vendor:

  1. Send a request through the Vendor Portal for access to Dropship Central and Direct Fulfillment.
  2. Get access to the benefits of the Direct Fulfillment program.

If you are not an Amazon vendor:

  1. Opt for the Direct Fulfillment program checkbox when setting up your Vendor Central account.
  2. Make sure that you have received an invitation to enroll in Dropship Central.
  3. Once received, select your preference of shipping label and provide information about your business (warehouse information, carrier pick-up time window, hours of operation, etc.)
  4. Within the next 48 hours, Amazon will send out instructions on how to upload your inventory feed onto your Dropship Central portal.

Now that you know how Direct Fulfillment works… 

Does Amazon’s DF program sound like it’s the right fit for you? Assess whether your team can handle the responsibilities of the Amazon DF program. Though it does require a certain amount of work, joining DF may help enhance the efficiency and reputation of your business. Weigh out the pros and cons of the program and test it out for yourself to see if it’s the right fit for you. Get one step closer to your customers through Amazon Direct Fulfillment. 

To learn more about how ShipHawk can help your organization save time and money by implementing Amazon Direct Fulfillment Prime, contact us today.



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