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This article applies to selling in: United States

How to Prepare for the Holiday Season

During the holidays, more Customers are purchasing from Sellers. As a Seller Fulfilled Prime merchant, it is important to be aware of holiday dates and deadlines from Amazon, your suppliers, and carrier partners; to allow ample time for supplier and carrier lead times and to stock up on inventory. Please review our recommendations and best practices for having a successful holiday season.

Important Reminders

Note: Note that selling requirements will be implemented in Toys & Games this holiday season to maintain a positive customer experience on Amazon. Sellers must meet certain performance criteria to be eligible to sell in Toys & Games through seller fulfillment, see here. If you do not maintain the criteria, you will not be able to fulfill orders directly this holiday season.

Track your Performance

You must meet or exceed the following requirements to maintain your Seller Fulfilled Prime eligibility.

  • On-Time Shipment rate of at least 99% on Prime orders
  • Use of Buy Shipping Services for at least 99% of Prime orders
  • Cancellation rate of no more than 0.5% on Prime orders
  • On-Time Delivery rate of at least 97% on Prime orders where shipping was purchased outside of Buy Shipping Services
You can check your performance metrics on the Seller Fulfilled Prime Dashboard.

Control your Seller Fulfilled Prime order volume

  • Set your daily order limit to what you can reliably ship, and protect yourself from a possible surge in Prime orders. By setting an order limit, you can prevent becoming overwhelmed by a surge in order volumes.
  • Disable the Prime badge to avoid delays and defects that will negatively impact the customer experience and your metrics. For example, if forecasted weather will impact you or your carriers’ ability to pick up and deliver, or if you experience an adverse event such as equipment malfunction that impedes overall operations, the Prime badge can be paused.
Note: Changes to Prime status are immediate. Changes to order limits will be reflected the next shipping day. Changes are not permanent and may be adjusted later.

Watch this video to learn more

Use Buy Shipping for your Seller Fulfilled Prime orders

  • Use Buy Shipping through Seller Central or the Merchant Fulfillment API to fulfill your Prime orders and Amazon will automatically upload tracking for all orders.

Watch this video to learn more

Streamline your Shipping and Fulfillment

  • Review your shipping templates.

    When Prime regions are manually assigned, ensure that all Prime-enabled regions are accurate and serviceable. By doing so, you will prevent delivery delays, as well as confirm that templates for your ASINs are economical.

    When using Shipping Region Automation, regions are determined by Amazon based on the coverage of your preferred shipping services.

  • Ship orders on or before the expected ship date.
  • Hand over packages the same day you buy shipping labels and ensure the carriers provide first scans the same day. Same Day handling time allows you to show the customer a faster delivery promise that reflects your ability to pick, pack, and ship a product the same day of receiving an order.
  • If you pack and ship orders on Saturday for orders received over the weekend, ensure the carriers can pick up and provide a first scan on Saturday.
  • Ensure you have enough inventory to fulfill your Prime sales and avoid order cancellations due to inventory shortage.
  • Work with your local carrier account reps to ensure they have the right capacity to pick up the increased volume of shipments and provide first scans the same day, and deliver them on time.

Staffing

  • Review your staffing plans to ensure you have enough capacity to ship on the same day. If you experience staff shortages, review your order limits, and disable your Prime badge if necessary.

Holiday Readiness Checklist

Best Internal Practices:

  • Set a daily order maximum for SFP.
  • Plan to deactivate your Prime badge as soon as you notice customer experience may be negatively impacted by operational performance or other unforeseeable issues, such as inclement weather or power outage.
  • Implement inventory level controls.
  • Have enough staff to process, pack, and ship orders the same day.
  • Train your staff to handle the increased sales volume.
  • Have a process in place to address missed, late, or early carrier pickups.
  • Have systems in place to ensure same-day shipments.
  • Prepare any anticipated high-velocity SKUs in advance for faster order processing.
  • Have sufficient processing materials, such as boxes, labels, printers, etc.
  • Review your Shipping Templates and verify that your selected Prime regions are accurate and serviceable.

Best external practices:

  • Confirm that your carriers will have enough capacity to handle the increased shipment volume.
  • Confirm existing pick up times and add any additional times if necessary.
  • Confirm that your carriers will provide same-day pickup scans for all days that you hand over packages.

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