Amazon Program Lets Retailers Offer Prime Delivery

Amazon Logistics Prime truck feature

Amazon is taking another step to build its ecommerce fulfillment domination by allowing its 200 million-plus Prime members to purchase products from other retailers, who will be charged fees to offer Prime-like services like free two-day and next-day delivery.

The program, which lets retailers list products with a Prime badge, is initially by invite only to users of Fulfillment By Amazon who already have inventory stored in the company’s hundreds of facilities, but will soon expand beyond FBA. Other Prime services offered through the program include free returns and seamless checkout.

No major retailers were referenced in the launch; the president of MaryRuth Organics is quoted in the release.

For the program, Amazon charges a service fee, a payment processing fee and fulfillment and storage fees that are calculated per unit. In addition to retailers’ own websites, Buy With Prime can also connect with “most online stores” including ecommerce platforms like BigCommerce. Amazon competitor Shopify, which has been stepping up its own logistics game through acquisition, is not mentioned.

Merchants sign up by linking their Amazon Seller Central account, and use Amazon’s Multi-Channel Fulfillment to offer one pool of inventory, and can link their Amazon Pay account for checkout. Use of a JavaScript widget enables them to list products on Buy with Prime.

“We always aim to exceed Prime members’ expectations by offering more selection, exclusive deals, quality content, and convenient features,” said Jamil Ghani, vice president of Amazon Prime in the release. “With the introduction of Buy with Prime, we’re expanding where members can enjoy trusted and convenient Prime shopping benefits beyond Amazon, adding even more value to their membership.”

While customer purchase data flows through the retailers’ websites and tools when using Buy With Prime, Amazon will be able to tap it as well to continually refine its processes, product listings, advertising, etc. and increase the stickiness of its subscription program.

Earlier this month, Walmart began offering new 3P sellers a 50% discount on commissions for 90 days, while also extending savings on Walmart’s version of FBA to new signups, in an attempt to gain ground on its main rival.