In order to participate in Amazon Prime shipping, merchants must send their goods to the marketplace’s warehouses under the Fulfillment By Amazon program. In June, the Wall Street Journal said Amazon was testing a program with about 10 merchants to let them bypass that requirement.
The Wall Street Journal has more information about the program, which according to the newspaper is nicknamed Ship By Region.
Participating sellers designate where they’re willing to ship particular goods in two days or less to Prime members – merchants may limit the geographic range of large-screen televisions that they wish to offer with the two-day guarantee under Prime, for example. Merchants would then only receive orders from Prime customers who are located close to the merchant’s warehouse.
Presumably shoppers outside the region would see the same products offered for sale by the merchants, just not offered as Prime-eligible.
Merchants allowed into the program benefit enormously since nearby shoppers who filter their product searches on Amazon.com by Prime eligibility will see items that would normally be filtered out because they aren’t FBA and are shipped instead from the sellers’ own warehouses.
The appeal of two-day shipping via an Amazon Prime membership demonstrated its power during the company’s self-promoted “Prime Day” shopping event in July. Amazon said in a press release after the July 15, 2015, promotion that they “had more new members try Prime worldwide than any single day in Amazon history.”