10 Best Amazon FBA Alternatives and Competitors for eCommerce Retailers to Fulfill Online Orders in 2023
The eCommerce industry is growing at a rapid rate, especially in a developing market like India, where more people are gaining access to the internet, and the conveniences offered by it, on a daily basis. Logically, the number of retailers striving to capitalize on all these new internet users is also expanding and with a plethora of eCommerce marketplaces, that cater to a variety of different budgets and product types, online sellers are spoiled for choice as to which one fits their requirements and audience the best. An opportunistic company would try to sell on as many of these platforms as possible, to gain as much visibility to potential customers as they can, and many of them do.
One of the biggest factors in the boom of eCommerce retail in India was the entry of Amazon, the world’s largest eCommerce selling platform, into the country in 2013. Since then, India has become one of the biggest markets for Amazon, especially after losing out on market share to local competitors in China. The company has committed itself to a vast expansion in every sector of the country, with landmarks such as the opening of the largest Amazon campus in the world in Hyderabad in 2019 and the then CEO and co-founder, Jeff Bezos, explicitly stating the company’s goals of making India its number one focus.
While this has had a positive impact on the entire eCommerce industry as a whole, there are many retailers who abstain from selling on Amazon and would rather focus their efforts on homegrown platforms such as Flipkart and Myntra. In addition, Amazon’s first-party fulfillment service, Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA) levies many restrictions and additional expenses on sellers such as some of the highest commission charges in the industry, rigid packaging guidelines and minimum monthly sales targets, among others. Read our blog on FBA Vs FBM to find out which one is right for your business.
Although it offers some of the best fulfillment services and use of technology in the country, this lack of flexibility can lead many retailers to search for Amazon FBA alternatives, some of which offer just as many services, cheaper pricing plans and more freedom to position their brand in the way that they want, while still taking advantage of selling on Amazon’s eCommerce platform. In this blog, we will take a look at the reasons companies search for alternatives to Amazon FBA, the 10 best Amazon FBA competitors in the country and how WareIQ can be of assistance. Read along.
- Top 5 Reasons Companies Search for Amazon FBA Alternatives
- 10 Best 3PL Alternatives to Amazon FBA in 2023
- Feature Comparison Table of Amazon FBA Competitors
- Conclusion: Why is WareIQ One of the Best Alternatives to Amazon FBA in India in 2023?
- Amazon FBA Alternatives: FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)
Top 5 Reasons Companies Search for Amazon FBA Alternatives
Reduced Branding Capabilities
If retailers use FBA to fulfill Amazon orders, they have to abide by Amazon’s packaging standardisation, which essentially means the first thing that customers will see when they unbox their order is Amazon branding, front and center. This is a conscious effort by Amazon to let the customer know where the product was ordered from and who fulfilled it, as opposed to highlighting the brand of the seller, who has done the hard work of researching and manufacturing the product, and who has generated a sale for Amazon. If a retailer wants to highlight their own brand instead of Amazon’s, which already has more than enough name recognition, they are better suited to find alternatives to Amazon FBA.
Complicated Payment Structure
Amazon FBA’s payment structure can be extremely complicated to figure out, especially for retailers who don’t have much experience with using the platform’s services. There are a vast variety of different expenses, some of which are fixed, variable or circumstantial. There are 3 main fees that Amazon imposes on its sellers – Seller fees which is a standard fee to use their services, fulfillment fees which encompass warehouse operations such as picking, packing and shipping for each order, and storage fees which is a based on the amount of storage space your inventory occupies.
Additionally, the charges can vary depending on different seasons, events, flash sales and other factors and Amazon is notorious for charging penalties for minor infractions. Sellers who want to have simple and transparent payment plans often seek to find Amazon FBA alternatives.
Merged Inventory With Similar Products
The large number of sellers that utilise FBA for storing multiple products and variations means that not every product will get access to its own, separate storage location in the warehouse. Similar products from different sellers are often clubbed together and assigned a single slot, from where they are picked and packed, whenever an item is ordered.
This results in the increased possibility of the wrong products being selected and shipped, resulting in customer dissatisfaction, a negative impression of the brand and the hassle of dealing with product returns for the seller. If a retailer wants their own designated storage space for the entirety of their product line-up, it would benefit them to look for Amazon FBA competitors.
Limited Inventory Control
Retailers who require strategic control over their inventory would be better off finding alternatives to Amazon FBA, due to the increased difficulty of adding and removing products that are stored in FBA warehouses. Continuing with the theme of penalizing retailers for minor offences, Amazon imposes a penalty fee if inventory is stored for a longer period than the predetermined date, which limits the ability of retailers to effectively forecast market demand and order and store products accordingly since they have no room to make the necessary changes and additions to their inventory.
Partnering with FBA requires retailers to order and store all their inventory in one go, which makes it difficult to achieve the right product quantities and can result in wastage and losses, which sellers will have to incur.
Rigid FBA Prep Guidelines
Amazon’s ultra-strict guidelines can be a benefit for consumers but a challenge for retailers to follow extensively, as there are many regulations to follow in order to get their products prepared to be fulfilled by FBA. FBA prep refers to the rigid instructions set by Amazon in regard to packaging, labelling and safety standards. One example is the need to follow the Amazon Standard Identification Number System (ASIN) where each product has to be labelled separately and split into multiple different shipments before being dispatched to an FBA warehouse.
This ultimately increases the expenses and storage costs for retailers as one product is effectively split into multiple shipments, taking up more storage space in the process. If retailers do not want to be subject to harsh requirements and penalties, they can opt to find Amazon FBA competitors.
Related Article: Amazon Pricing Strategy
10 Best 3PL Alternatives to Amazon FBA in 2023
WareIQ is a rapidly expanding eCommerce fulfillment company that was founded in 2019 and is currently headquartered in Bangalore. Making good use of the advanced technology services it has at its disposal, the company offers a comprehensive tech stack that includes a state-of-the-art WMS which can integrate with more than 20 of the biggest eCommerce marketplaces including Amazon, an app store that consists of a variety of easily downloadable apps that functions in a similar way to conventional mobile app stores such as the Google Play Store and Apple App Store, branded order tracking that can be fully customized and much more.
Additionally, the company has partnered with more than 20 of the biggest shipping aggregators in the country to provide ultra-fast same-day and next-day delivery to most pin codes across India. Some of the features of WareIQ that make it one of the best Amazon FBA alternatives are:
- Offers a pan-India network of Fulfillment centers and dark stores, enabling eCommerce sellers to store inventory closer to customer
- Has 20+ shipping partners enabling same/next day delivery
- Provides easy integrations with 20+ eCommerce marketplaces & online platforms
- Offers a fulfillment platform with a unified OMS & WMS view
- Has an inventory planner for smart inventory placement to reduce overstocking & avoid stockout situations
- Provides a shipping recommendation engine to choose the most cost-effective last-mile delivery partner
- Provides packaging facilities that are highly customizable
- Offers branded tracking facilities that can be tailored to every retailer’s requirements
- Provides industry-leading pricing plans
- Does not impose any minimum order requirements
- Highly capable customer success team for 24×7 customer support
- Pan India Fulfillment & Darkstore Network: Plug-and-play fulfillment infrastructure with no minimums, which is compliant with Amazon Seller Flex, Flipkart Assured, Myntra and other marketplaces
- Inventory & Network Planning Excellence: Best-in-class AI models for sales forecasting, product segmentation, and inventory management to reduce inventory by 40% and increase revenue by 10%.
- Vertically Integrated Fulfillment Tech Stack: Our Fulfillment Tech Solution supports integrations with 20+ top marketplaces & D2C platforms, and prominent national, regional and hyperlocal couriers, enhancing reach by covering deliveries for 27,000+ pin codes
- Supply Chain Productivity Applications: Integrate a host of supply chain productivity apps with a single-click to your existing CRMs, ERPs & accounting software to manage your logistics workflows from one command center. Use Apps like RTO Shield to get 100% RTO protection, Branded Tracking to turn your order tracking page into a profitable marketing channel, and many more.
Trusted by 300+ top Indian brands, we are helping them accelerate online sales and expedite their growth through a synergistic combination of advanced technology, robust fulfillment infrastructure & seller enablement services!WareIQ is backed by leading global investors including Y Combinator, Funders Club, Flexport, Pioneer Fund, Soma Capital, and Emles Venture Partner.
FedEx is a multinational eCommerce giant that offers eCommerce fulfillment solutions, supply chain services and shipping facilities across many different industries such as healthcare, electronics, retail and much more. The company was founded over 50 years ago, in 1971, in Little Rock, Arkansas, United States and currently has its headquarters in Memphis, Tennessee.
The company operates in upwards of 220 countries globally and offers features to eCommerce retailers such as being able to sync their order details and inventory lists across multiple selling platforms, in a single location. The company is one of the most experienced in the field of eCommerce fulfillment and will be sure to handle any task with ease. Some of the features of FedEx that make it one of the best Amazon FBA alternatives are:
- Offers ultra-fast delivery and returns management facilities
- Provides a vast fulfillment network for delivery
- Provides users with a simple and intuitive technology platform
- Provides integrations with a variety of eCommerce marketplaces
- Offers a worldwide network of services
ShipMonk is an eCommerce fulfillment company whose primary focus is to make tech-based eCommerce services readily available to a wide audience of retailers, across industries. The company’s headquarters are located in Fort Lauderdale, Florida and since its inception in 2014, its services and operations have expanded rapidly.
ShipMonk offers a wide variety of services ranging from packing services, pick and pack operations, and warehouse management to customer support and much more. It currently has 100 plus digital stores and assigns dedicated account managers to every customer for onboarding assistance. Some of the features of ShipMonk that make it one of the best Amazon FBA alternatives are:
- Offers a digital billing portal to customers
- Helps with the automation of warehouse operations
- Has a wide variety of branding and customisation services
- Provides decreased pricing for bulk orders and tax benefits
- Does not impose a setup or inventory receiving fee
Dalsey, Hillblom, and Lynn, abbreviated as DHL, is a global eCommerce juggernaut in the eCommerce fulfillment industry. Founded in 1969 in San Francisco, California, and currently headquartered in Bonn, Germany, the company has grown immensely and provides courier and shipping services in India and to more than 220 countries across the globe.
While the company is split into many sectors, its distribution branch offers door-to-door delivery and transportation of freight through air and sea. A significant advantage for retailers who ship internationally and use DHL for their requirements is the company’s ability to clear customs without any hassle and seamlessly tackle any other challenges that could arise, while also offering insurance on every package. Some of the features of DHL that make it one of the best Amazon FBA alternatives are:
- Offers integrations and inventory optimisation across multiple eCommerce marketplaces
- Provides effective logistics management
- Provides a wide range of B2B and B2C fulfillment services
- Offers next-day delivery in 80-plus cities and towns in India
- Provides a central tech platform for inventory management, order fulfillment and other procedures
Rakuten is a world-renowned fulfillment company that offers various eCommerce-related services such as packaging, shipping, kitting and returns management, among many others. Founded in 1997 in Tokyo, Japan, it also maintains its global headquarters there. It has provisions to enable retailers to track shipping metrics to be able to streamline and enhance their shipping operations to reduce expenses and increase delivery speeds.
Additionally, the company offers a service called XParcel, which is targeted at small and medium-sized companies, to make their fulfillment requirements easier and cheaper. Some of the features of Rakuten that make it one of the best Amazon FBA alternatives are:
- Offers specifically-tailored services for eCommerce retailers
- Provides integrated marketing solutions
- Offers same-day and next-day delivery in the US
- Runs specialised fulfillment centers
- Offers subscription box and kitting services
BlueDart is an Indian logistics and courier operations company that was founded in 1983 and is currently headquartered in Mumbai, Maharashtra. The company is one of the largest and longest-operating Indian eCommerce fulfillment providers that also offers global operations in more than 220 countries in addition to the more than 35,000 serviceable pin codes within India.
Along with the conventional array of eCommerce services, they also offer some unique facilities such as allowing customers to choose their preferred delivery date and time by selecting schedules and time-slots. It also offers an API that can provide specialised services such as weather-proof packaging, automated proof-of-delivery updates and much more. Some of the features of BlueDart that make it one of the best Amazon FBA alternatives are:
- Provides local as well as global operations
- Provides most major payment options
- Offers specialised services such as weather-proof packaging
- Allows scheduled delivery at specific dates and times
- Has a vast amount of experience in the industry
Ekart was originally founded in 2009 as a subsidiary of Flipkart but has since changed ownership and has expanded its range of services to offer fulfillment to a wide variety of other eCommerce marketplaces, including Amazon. Headquartered in Bangalore, Karnataka, the company has garnered popularity due to its relatively low prices and provision of ultra-fast delivery.
They currently offer same-day delivery in 13 cities and next-day delivery in 50. The company also offers a tracking API that provides status updates on orders, the printing of labels, and much more. Some of the features of Ekart that make it one of the best Amazon FBA alternatives are:
- Provides reverse logistics services
- Has an API that gives real-time order and inventory updates
- Offers some of the lowest rates in the industry
- Includes most major payment options
- Has a pin code coverage of around 4,000
Founded in 2012 and currently headquartered in Gurugram, Haryana, Ecom Express is a logistics and courier services company that offers eCommerce fulfillment services. One of their unique selling points is their ability to successfully ship high-value commodities such as jewellery and electronics, by providing additional security and safety features.
The company operates 7 days a week and on public holidays, while also offering guaranteed delivery within 72 hours of the order being confirmed. Similarly, they also provide a 72-hour guarantee for returns. Some of the features of Ecom Express that make it one of the best Amazon FBA alternatives are:
- Provides enhanced security features for all orders
- Operates 24/7 and on public holidays
- Provides 72-hour guarantees for every order
- Provides reverse logistics services
- Services more than 27,000 pin codes
Founded in 2015 and currently headquartered in Bangalore, Karnataka, Shadowfax is an eCommerce fulfillment and logistics company that offers both domestic and international operations. The company provides a variety of delivery options including marketplace pickups, warehouse pickups, and first-mile and last-mile delivery, in addition to hyperlocal and ultra-fast delivery.
The company also provides value-added services such as in-transit storage and on-demand pickup, and has gained recognition for its fast delivery services. Some of the features of Shadowfax that make it one of the best Amazon FBA alternatives are:
- Services more than 7000 pin codes in India
- Provides facilities like in-transit storage and on-demand pickup
- Accepts most major payment methods
- Offers a variety of delivery options
- Provides both first-mile and last-mile delivery
DTDC is one of the earliest eCommerce logistics providers. Since its founding in Bangalore in 1990, the company still operates its headquarters there. It has a customer base of more than 10,000, 75% of which consists of eCommerce businesses. It services more than 17,500 pin codes in India and provides additional facilities such as warehousing and a tracking API that can provide order updates and issue non-delivery reports, and much more.
It also offers a variety of different delivery options including ultra-fast delivery, hyperlocal delivery, scheduled delivery and slot-based delivery, in addition to the conventional options of same-day and next-day delivery. The company also differentiates itself from the competition by being able to fulfill orders for a wide variety of commodities including high-value goods, bulky goods and even hazardous goods. Some of the features of DTDC that make it one of the best Amazon FBA alternatives are:
- Accepts all major payment options
- Provides specialised delivery for high-value, bulky and hazardous goods
- Offers a tracking API with real-time tracking facilities
- Services more than 17,500 pin codes
- Provides express delivery
Feature Comparison Table of Amazon FBA Competitors
|Amazon Alternatives ➡️|
|Core Business||eCommerce Fulfillment|
- Fulfillment Centers & Full - Stack Fulfillment Platform
- Inventory Management & Network Design
|eCommerce shipping and courier services||eCommerce shipping and fulfillment services||eCommerce shipping and courier services||eCommerce fulfillment services||eCommerce logistics and courier services||eCommerce fulfillment services||eCommerce logistics and courier services||eCommerce fulfillment and logistics services||eCommerce logistics and courier services|
|Unified OMS & WMS (Fulfillment Tech Stack)||Yes||No||Yes||No||Yes||No||No||No||No||No|
|Smart Inventory Placement||Yes, enables same/next-day delivery and prevents inventory bloat||Yes||No||Yes||No||Yes||No||No||No||No|
|AI-based Inventory Forecast & Replenishment||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||No||No||No||No||No||No|
|Periodic Reports for Inventory Planning & Management||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||No||No||No||No||No||No|
|Fulfillment Centers||Yes, managed in-house||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Integration with Top Courier Partners (Last Mile Delivery)||Yes||No||Yes||No||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|RTO Prediction & Insurance||Yes, with insurance claims managed internally||No, but RTO management available||No, but RTO management available||No, but RTO management available||No, but RTO management available||No||No, but RTO management available||No, but RTO management available||No, but RTO management available||No, but RTO management available|
|Branded Tracking||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||No||No||Yes, through 3rd party apps||Yes, through 3rd party apps||Yes, through 3rd party apps||Yes, through 3rd party apps|
|Notifications/Alerts (Post Ship Experience)||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Key Account Manager Allocation||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||No||No||No||No||No||No|
|Troubleshooting Support (Customer-Success Led Seller Enablement Services)||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|SPF Claims Filing||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||No||Yes||No||No||No||No|
Suggested Read: Amazon vs Flipkart Sales During Festive Season
Conclusion: Why is WareIQ One of the Best Alternatives to Amazon FBA in India in 2023?
The eCommerce retail industry is extremely competitive and a competent fulfillment service can mean the difference between a retailer acquiring success or failure. Order fulfillment is one of the most important aspects of online selling as it determines the kind of experience a customer will have and the impression they will carry about the company that they ordered from.
Most retailers are required to sell their products on Amazon, simply because it is one of the largest, most recognised and technologically advanced fulfillment platforms in the world. It opens up a vast amount of opportunities and access to customers that they simply couldn’t get otherwise. Retailers, especially those who aren’t well-versed with the order fulfillment process, often opt to fulfill their Amazon orders with FBA, mainly out of convenience and because they perceive it as the best option. However, partnering with a 3PL fulfillment company like WareIQ, can often grant them access to even more facilities, better service, fewer restrictions and cost-effective pricing.
WareIQ is one of India’s emerging eCommerce fulfillment providers that use advanced technology to tackle the multiple challenges associated with the order fulfillment process. We ensure that we provide the best experience to our users, by providing enhanced and flexible services, that are easy on the pocket. Some of our industry-revered services include:
Country-Wide Network of Dark Stores and Warehouses
- Offers an intuitive plug n’ play setup
- Has integrations with Flipkart Assured, Amazon Seller Flex, Myntra, and other online marketplaces
- Offers local sourcing hubs to lower first-mile costs
- Offers in-house inventory management
Efficient Warehouse Management and Network Planning
- Offers industry-leading AI models for demand forecasting and triggers for automatic replenishment
- Provides bundling of commodities based on type (regular, non-regular, seasonal etc.) to improve the generation of sales
Vertically-Integrated Fulfillment Tech Stack
- Provides integrations with more than 20 top-selling platforms and D2C channels
- Provides integrations with hyperlocal, regional and national shipping aggregators, covering more than 27,000 pin codes
- Provides an individual unified technology stack for WMS and OMS
App Store With Easy-to-Install Apps to Enhance Productivity
- Uses an RTO Shield which offers 100% protection from returns
- Amplifies post-purchase satisfaction through custom branded tracking pages
- Sends notifications on order updates to customers through Whatsapp, SMS and Email
- Helps in customer feedback generation
Super-Fast Delivery Through WareIQ Rush
- Offers same-day delivery with no minimum order requirements
- Increases revenue conversion rates by 30%
- Offers near-zero RTO%
- Provides NDR & COD verification through Whatsapp
- Decreases Cost per Shipment (CPS)