Amazon’s New Buy with Prime Feature Is a Tectonic Shift in the eCommerce Landscape. Here’s Why:
Amazon is Now Sharing One of the Biggest eCommerce Levers at Its Disposal. Here’s How You Can Put It to Work With Your Own Business!
DTC (Direct to Consumer) small business has had a love/hate relationship with Amazon. That’s because Amazon casts a very large shadow on the eCommerce landscape. Amazon’s sheer size and marketplace power allow them to shoulder themselves into smaller niche marketplaces in ways that can feel oppressive to smaller sellers.
Now, Amazon is using that massive eCommerce footprint to help entrepreneurs and small businesses that AREN’T EVEN SELLING ON AMAZON’S MARKETPLACE.
I’m sorry for shouting and yes, you heard that right!
With this recent disclosure, Amazon is indicating a willingness to share with DTC small businesses one of the biggest eCommerce levers at its disposal.
Just Released! – Amazon Buy with Prime
Amazon has just released Buy with Prime, which allows small businesses to sell merchandise on their own website, but take advantage of one of the principal benefits of Amazon’s fantastic fulfillment service.
With more than 150 million Prime subscribers, Amazon has now decided to take the power of Amazon Prime membership and do the one thing nobody ever thought they would do.
They’ve decided to expand Prime shipping to businesses selling OFF of Amazon’s marketplace.
The Benefits of Amazon Prime Shipping
Amazon’s decision to revolutionize the online shopping industry with Prime shipping raised the bar so far that the rest of the industry has had a hard time keeping pace.
There are several reasons that Amazon shot to the top of eCommerce mountain, but one element of their process stands out. Amazon’s Prime membership program began with a simple idea and just got better. It’s pretty simple: After charging you a membership fee, Amazon ships you stuff for free.
Before Amazon’s Prime shipping became the norm, waiting impatiently for days and weeks for products to arrive was one of the biggest barriers to buying things online. Today, a full 75% of customers now expect free shipping on all orders, and 63% say delivery speed is an important factor in their purchasing decisions.
So, what exactly is Amazon offering to DTC sellers? It’s a lot! As if Prime Next Day Shipping isn’t enough, here’s a full list of the shipping benefits of Amazon Prime members:
Free same-day (and one day) shipping – Available in over 10,000 cities and towns on millions of items. Free Same-Day Delivery is available on qualifying orders over $25. Place your order in the morning, typically before noon, to get it today by 9PM. Free One-Day shipping orders placed by the evening arrive the next day. Amazon Business customers can enable Same-Day delivery under their business settings. Learn more
Free two-day shipping – Over 100 million items that arrive two business days after they ship. Unlimited shipping, no minimum order threshold. Available in areas across the US. Look for the Prime logo as you shop and choose Two-Day Shipping at checkout.
Amazon Day – Receive all eligible business orders on the same day each week—you choose the day. Amazon Day is convenient, predictable, and helps reduce truck traffic and cardboard waste. Learn more
Discounted expedited shipping – Business Prime members pay less for expedited shipping on millions of items.
Free consolidated shipping – Available on millions of items shipped by Amazon in the continental US. Choose Consolidated Shipping on eligible large orders to receive all of your packages in the fewest deliveries. Business Prime members get their deliveries faster. Learn more
Free delivery on special items – Get free delivery on hundreds of thousands of items that are large, heavy, or require special handling.
What’s In It For Amazon?
Nearly 60% of all online retail purchases in the U.S. were done on Amazon last year. We can look at that statistic two different ways. Yes, that means that Amazon controls A LOT of online commerce. However, it also indicates that there’s a tremendous amount of selling going on that Amazon isn’t making a penny on.
With Buy with Prime, Amazon has just swung a door wide open allowing them to use an existing part of their business empire to do two important things.
- With an extensive Prime fulfillment system already in place, why not put it to use? Many eCommerce sellers don’t realize that Amazon makes more than HALF of its money selling cloud computing services to other companies. This offers Amazon a similar opportunity to pad their bottom line without SELLING a single product.
- As an Amazon seller yourself, it’s probably hard to imagine that there are small businesses out there that SIMPLY aren’t aware of what Amazon can do for them. This is a great way for Amazon to advertise their brand and possibly raise that number from 60%
Buy with Prime – Getting Started
The setup is easy and quick to accomplish. But, there’s a catch. For the moment, Buy with Prime is currently invite-only. Join Amazon’s interest list here.
If recent experience is any guide, it’s probably a good idea to get your name on this list as soon as possible.
Once you’ve been accepted, it’s as simple as following the steps outlined in the following infographic:
Buy with Prime – Frequently Asked Questions
(Courtesy of Amazon)
Is there anything I need before I use Buy with Prime for my direct-to-consumer (DTC) site?
For merchants with inventory in Amazon fulfillment centers, you simply need to authorize Amazon to use your inventory stored in Amazon fulfillment centers to fulfill Buy with Prime orders and offer the same fast, FREE delivery as Amazon.com. You’ll also link your Amazon Pay account to give millions of Prime members a seamless checkout experience by using the shipping and payment information stored in their Amazon account. Merchants not yet using Amazon Pay on their DTC site will be directed to register for Amazon Pay while configuring Buy with Prime.
What is Amazon fulfillment?
Amazon fulfillment (which includes Multi-Channel Fulfillment) leverages the world’s largest fulfillment network with more than 200 fulfillment centers globally to provide a fast, low-cost, and reliable solution for fulfilling orders. You can ship your inventory to Amazon fulfillment centers and Amazon handles the rest—product storage, delivery, order tracking, and returns. With Amazon fulfillment, you can fulfill both Amazon.com and Buy with Prime orders with one pool of inventory.
What is Amazon Pay?
Amazon Pay offers millions of shoppers a fast, familiar way to check out from your site using the shipping and payment information from their Amazon account. Amazon Pay also helps verify a shopper’s Prime status so that they can check out using Buy with Prime.
How much does it cost to use Buy with Prime?
Buy with Prime’s cost per unit will depend on multiple factors, including product dimensions and weight, average selling price and number of units per Buy with Prime order. The cost includes fulfillment, storage, payment processing, and service fees that are calculated per unit. The cost of returns is included in the fulfillment fee. Merchants pay for what they use, and all fees, except for those incurred for storage, are charged only after merchants make a sale. Upon being invited to the program, our sales team will explain the pricing in detail.
Can I build direct relationships with my shoppers with Buy with Prime?
Yes. With Buy with Prime, you will receive shopper order information, including email addresses for customer orders, which you can use to provide customer service and build direct relationships with shoppers.
Can I use Buy with Prime if I do not sell on Amazon.com?
Yes. You do not need to be selling on Amazon.com to use Buy with Prime. While Buy with Prime will initially be available by invitation-only to merchants already using Fulfillment by Amazon, it will be rolled out more broadly over time.
Am I required to have price and selection parity with my Amazon.com listings to use Buy with Prime?
No. Buy with Prime gives you the freedom to choose how and where to sell your products. You do not need to sell on Amazon.com to use Buy with Prime. Merchants that do sell on Amazon.com are not required to have price and selection parity with their Amazon.com listings.
Does Buy with Prime replace my existing checkout?
Buy with Prime does not replace your native checkout; it offers an additional way for Prime members to quickly check out. When shoppers click on the Buy with Prime button, they are directed to the Buy with Prime hosted checkout. After the Buy with Prime purchase is complete, shoppers are redirected back to your site.
How CANOPY Management Can Help
That maturity of Amazon’s marketplace has made it a little harder for eCommerce sellers to be successful. If you listen to eCommerce podcasts, you’ll often hear the phrase, “treat selling on Amazon like a real business.” Everything from your Amazon listing optimization to your fulfillment require an increased level of sophistication to scale past a certain level.
That’s the main reason why there’s been such a big increase in the number of Amazon sellers taking a closer look at Amazon brand management.
CANOPY Management is a “full service” Amazon marketing agency, and our team consists of former Amazon executives, multi-million dollar sellers, and award-winning experts. When you consider the ways in which CANOPY Management is able to help you grow your Amazon business, you’ll know why.
- Strategic Growth Planning
- Listing Copywriting Optimization
- Listing Photography
- Product Videography
- Amazon Advertising Management
- Customer Service
- Demand Side Platform (Amazon DSP)
- Amazon Posts
- Full Service Amazon Management
- Amazon Review Aggregation
Are you looking to expand your income stream, or transition away from your primary career? It’s a new year and with the growth of eCommerce, now is a great time to reap some benefits yourself!