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Buyers Might Like Offsite Prime. Will Merchants?

Buyers Might Like Offsite Prime, But Will Merchants?

The only way to reach Amazon Prime members is on Amazon, but that’s changing with the launch of Buy with Prime. “Prime members will see the Prime logo and delivery promise on eligible products in merchants’ online stores, which signals the item is available for free delivery, as fast as next day, with free returns,” Amazon said of the new program.

Buy with Prime will initially be available by invitation only for merchants using Amazon’s FBA fulfillment service. Eventually Amazon plans to invite merchants without requiring them to sell on its platform or use FBA.

Amazon explained how it works for merchants in this excerpt – sellers should take special note of the fact they must have an Amazon Pay account:

“For merchants already using FBA, Buy with Prime can be added to their online store within minutes because their inventory is already stored in Amazon fulfillment centers. To get started, merchants sign up for Buy with Prime, link an Amazon Seller Central account, use Multi-Channel Fulfillment to offer one pool of inventory for multiple channels, and link an Amazon Pay account to offer a seamless checkout experience for Prime members.

“Then, by installing a JavaScript widget in their online store, merchants can easily add Buy with Prime to one or more products.

“With Buy with Prime, merchants will receive shopper order information, including email addresses for customer orders, which they can use to provide customer service and build direct relationships with shoppers.

“Using Buy with Prime, merchants simply pay for what they use. Pricing is based on a service fee, a payment processing fee, and fulfillment and storage fees that are calculated per unit. With no fixed subscription fee or long-term contract required, merchants can expand selection or cancel at any time.”

Buy with Prime is designed to work with most online stores, including ecommerce service providers such as BigCommerce – more information is available in Thursday’s press release on AboutAmazon.com.

Amazon also blogged about the program, telling shoppers, “Prime members can start shopping from participating merchants when Buy with Prime rolls out this year.”

Sellers can learn more in the FAQs on the Buy with Prime landing page on Amazon.com, where it included more information on the cost of using the program:

“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.”

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Ina Steiner
Ina Steiner
Ina Steiner is co-founder and Editor of EcommerceBytes and has been reporting on ecommerce since 1999. She's a widely cited authority on marketplace selling and is author of "Turn eBay Data Into Dollars" (McGraw-Hill 2006). Her blog was featured in the book, "Blogging Heroes" (Wiley 2008). She is a member of the Online News Association (Sep 2005 - present) and Investigative Reporters and Editors (Mar 2006 - present). Follow her on Twitter at @ecommercebytes and send news tips to ina@ecommercebytes.com. See disclosure at EcommerceBytes.com/disclosure/.

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