Amazon brings Prime power to other websites
Amazon Prime members who have wished that their perks would extend to e-commerce experiences beyond Amazon’s website are now in luck.
On Thursday, Amazon announced the launch of its Buy With Prime functionality, which will allow retailers that sell on Amazon’s third-party marketplace to implement Amazon Prime on their own websites. Customers shopping merchant websites with the Prime logo will be able to take advantage of free delivery and free returns, check out using their Amazon Prime payment and shipping information, and receive shipping details as if shopping through Amazon Prime.
Jamil Ghani, VP of Amazon Prime, said in a press release, “Members will have the flexibility to shop from merchants directly, all while enjoying the fast, free delivery, seamless checkout, and easy returns they’ve come to know and love from Amazon.”
To begin, Buy With Prime will be available to merchants using the Fulfilled By Amazon service on an invite-only basis.
Peter Larsen, VP of Buy with Prime, said, “With shoppers purchasing directly from merchants’ online stores, Buy with Prime will allow merchants to build customer relationships and brand loyalty while offering conversion-driving benefits like fast, free shipping.”
Amazon’s expanding logistics’ infrastructure has long been seen as a threat to major carriers like UPS, FedEx and USPS, but many regard the move as a shot against Shopify. An analysis from Simply Wall Street News reported on Yahoo! Finance sees Amazon’s move as possibly inducing individual merchants to switch their fulfillment, if not their entire operations, to Amazon.
Recently, some large Amazon Marketplace sellers, like Packable and Anker, have built enough success on the Amazon platform to become publicly traded companies in their own right.
But the idea of Amazon Prime having such an active hand in retailers’ non-Amazon, direct-to-consumer websites raises perennial questions about the risks to third parties of relying too heavily on Amazon. Critics have accused Amazon of knocking off third-party seller products and manipulating search results to prioritize Amazon private brands, although Amazon has long denied the charges.
- Amazon Unveils Buy with Prime, Expanding Prime Shopping Benefits Beyond Amazon.com – Amazon
- Amazon Takes Aim at UPS, FedEx, Offering Delivery Service to Rival Retailers – Barron’s
- Amazon opens up Prime delivery service to other retailers in its latest move to compete with FedEx and UPS – CNBC
- How Shopify’s (NYSE:SHOP) Clients May be Acquired by Amazon’s “Buy With Prime” Service – Yahoo! Finance
- Amazon Marketplace sellers are becoming retail giants – RetailWire
- Special Report: Amazon copied products and rigged search results to promote its own brands, documents show – Reuters
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: Do you see Amazon’s new Buy With Prime service providing the right kind of benefits to merchants and holding strong appeal to consumers? Does the move hold risks for Amazon?