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Fri Aug 21 2020 14:27:22

Sellers Disappoint Amazon by Not Working Weekends

By: Ina Steiner

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Amazon indicated some sellers are disappointing its Prime shoppers when it said fewer than 16% of Seller Fulfilled Prime orders (SFP) meet the Prime 2-day delivery promise. And that was the performance record before coronavirus-related delivery disruptions.

A major reason Amazon cited for the subpar performance: many sellers do not operate on weekends.

Amazon is cracking down on sellers who are enrolled in SFP but who are not meeting its fast-delivery requirements despite "good intentions." However, it's waiting until after the Christmas shopping season to implement the changes, giving sellers a surprisingly long time to shape up. 

Starting February 1, 2021, SFP sellers will be required to meet targets for one- and two-day delivery promises. And they will be required to use shipping methods that support Saturday delivery and pick-ups.

Some sellers told Bloomberg that as a result of the stricter requirements, they will be forced to switch to Fulfillment By Amazon (FBA) if they want to continue reach Prime shoppers.

That may explain in part why Amazon is not implementing the new requirements right away. If the changes to SFP push sellers to FBA, Amazon might not have the capacity to handle the influx of inventory from sellers.

Amazon revealed on July 30 that it has a fulfillment-network capacity problem due to higher pandemic-related demand from customers, and there are anecdotal reports that some of its fulfillment centers are taking a long time to process inbound shipments. 

Amazon expects to increase square footage of its network by 50% in 2020 - but with the majority of it coming online in the late third quarter and into Q4.

One reader who forwarded the Amazon message to SFP sellers called it "bad news." Read the following letter yourself and let us know what you think:

Important Updates to Seller Fulfilled Prime (US)

Dear seller,
We are always listening to our customers, and Prime members consistently tell us they want free and fast shipping. This is why Amazon is making significant investments in our fulfillment and transportation capabilities to make Prime faster, transitioning from a Two-Day to a One-Day delivery program. As we continue to improve the Amazon Prime experience for customers, we want to ensure Seller Fulfilled Prime (SFP) meets customers’ expectations of Prime.

We know that as a seller enrolled in SFP, you work hard to provide customers with a delightful shopping experience. Despite these good intentions, even before COVID-19, fewer than 16% of SFP orders in the US met the Prime Two-Day delivery promise customers expect, in large part because many sellers do not operate on weekends. As a result, we are making the following changes to this program in the US:

- Starting February 1, 2021, SFP sellers will be required to use shipping methods that support Saturday delivery and pick-ups to provide customers with a more consistent delivery experience throughout the week. View your Shipping Settings here and click ‘General Shipping Settings’.

- Starting February 1, 2021, SFP sellers will be required to meet targets for one- and two-day delivery promises. These delivery promise metrics measure the percentage of customer page views that displayed a one or two-day delivery promise when your SFP offer was the featured offer, regardless of whether a purchase was made. The delivery speed targets ensure that customers have a consistent experience regardless of who fulfills their Prime order.

- To help you meet the targets for one- and two-day delivery promises, we are launching a new dashboard that measures the quoted delivery speed of your SFP offers (please note dashboard may not be available to all sellers until later this afternoon). This dashboard monitors two new metrics: Percent of One-Day or less Detail Page Views and Percent of Two-Day or less Detail Page Views.

- Starting February 1, 2021, SFP sellers will be required to have nationwide delivery coverage for all standard size delivery products. You can see which of your products are standard size or oversize on the Manage SFP page.

We recognize these changes are meaningful. We want to make sure you have plenty of time to determine how these changes affect your business and to make any adjustments you may need, which is why these new requirements will not take effect for more than five months. While the current performance of the program is not meeting customer expectations, these changes will help deliver an experience our Prime customers expect, including fast delivery. We will continue innovating with tools and offerings that help make SFP more compelling to you and our shared customers. You and SFP are important to Amazon and our customers, and to help you navigate these changes, we have launched a guide in Seller Central with details, examples, and answers to your questions. We have also set up a dedicated support team that you can contact at sfp-performance@amazon.com. 

Regards,
The Seller Fulfilled Prime Team



Comments (12) | Permalink

Readers Comments

Perminate Link for Sellers Disappoint Amazon by Not Working Weekends   Sellers Disappoint Amazon by Not Working Weekends

by: lessthanthreerecords This user has validated their user name.

Fri Aug 21 15:08:33 2020

Pushing sellers into FBA?  Not with the types of items I sell (and buy) which require special handling, storage, and packaging.  I source inventory from a company that sells through their own website but has Amazon fulfill many orders.  I have been asking them if they could start filling all orders themselves because between 80 to 90% of orders from them that are filled by Amazon arrive damaged.  Rarely if ever do items arrive damaged when this seller packages items themselves.  Sure enough, the last order I placed was shipped partially by Amazon and partially by the seller directly and the Amazon portion was destroyed while the seller-fulfilled portion was about as close to mint condition as it gets.  I reminded them again that I would like them to handle all fulfillment themselves.  Sure enough, they got other complaints, and will not be shipping additional inventory to Amazon.  Amazon wants to handle my items?  When they cover the cost of claims, maybe I'll consider it!

Perminate Link for Sellers Disappoint Amazon by Not Working Weekends   Sellers Disappoint Amazon by Not Working Weekends

by: postbuster This user has validated their user name.

Fri Aug 21 18:07:01 2020

Does Amazon assume that it's the sellers fault if the USPS has publicly decided to slow sown the mail?

If I were to get an order in the evening or weekends after UPS or Fed Ex has closed, how could I possibly guarantee 2-day shipping?  

At this point, there is WAY too much passing the buck burdening the sellers, while these companies just gouge us for more money and harass us for THEIR bad performance.
They better remember that we are not THEIR employees, and the usual tactic of trying to crack the whip is not doing anything but poorly looking like they are getting something done.

Management should correct something themselves for a change.
Otherwise their precious little market places will continue to fail until they shut down for good.

Honestly, there is no incentive anyway to make them rich while we struggle more and more every day.
They sure have a lot of nerve to ask us to do more while they do less.

Don't they have their own carrier service?
Where is their pickup courier?

Perminate Link for Sellers Disappoint Amazon by Not Working Weekends   Sellers Disappoint Amazon by Not Working Weekends

by: grumpwell This user has validated their user name.

Sun Aug 23 20:31:41 2020

The FBA items I have purchased have been outrageously slow. It has been more than 6 months since I have ordered an item and had it leave Amazon's  warehouse in less than 5 days. Most are taking 8-10 days. Then, who knows how long the actual in transit time might be. Without a doubt, Amazon has the worst service of any seller I purchase from.  There is no doubt when it comes time to renew my Prime membership in November there is no way I will do it.

Perminate Link for Sellers Disappoint Amazon by Not Working Weekends   Sellers Disappoint Amazon by Not Working Weekends

by: Chicago48 This user has validated their user name.

Mon Aug 24 04:47:15 2020

Prime shipping is now taking 2 days for me.  But AMZ lets me know if there is a delay.  This "get it faster" shipping mentality is going to destroy AMZ.  They're doing this because Walmart is promising quick(er) delivery and has a Prime program that rivals AMZ.  I watched part of Bezos testimony and honest to god, the man was asked questions he couldn't answer because he didn't know.   Seemed surprised that those complaints were lodged at AMZ.  So he's not running the business hands-on, he's letting other imbeciles run the business and he's playing with his space toys.

Perminate Link for Sellers Disappoint Amazon by Not Working Weekends   Sellers Disappoint Amazon by Not Working Weekends

by: ADJackson This user has validated their user name.

Mon Aug 24 06:56:02 2020

I am tired from jumping through Amazon's hoops. As soon as you think you have it all worked out, they move the goalposts. So, if they think that I am going to work on my precious weekends, the way Amazon think I should work, they can think again! Not whilst Bezos is playing with his big boy toys or sunning himself on his yacht with his mistress!

Funnily enough, the Amazon system has just informed me that I have lost the prime label. Didn't even know I had it. I will not be losing any sleep over it.

There was a time I sold 70% of my stock through Amazon and 30% through eBay. That has now changed and it is more like 50% each and eBay is increasing each month.

I once had a huge amount of my stock at their warehouses (at least 120 different lines). Now, there are just three lines (my best sellers). Everything else, I send myself. I hardly have any breakage or lost items. You can guarantee items going via Amazon to France, Italy, Spain, inevitably go missing and muggins has to pay for the loss. I have to fight for every penny to claim things back (and do not even talk to me about their abismal Seller Support as it is laughable).

I suspect that by 2021, eBay will have picked up 60-70% and Amazon will be dragging behind.

I work so damned hard most of the week and the Amazon system insists that I check my email every day (even when I am abroad on vacation). Ebay allows me to respond when I can. As it happens, I am very prompt responding and I have 100% positive feedback on both eBay and Amazon. However, I do not like jumping through Amazon's hoops as if I am some kind of animal, to be whipped into submission. It is just not worth the returns or the stress.

So, in a way, I am glad that my sales on Amazon are diminishing and eBay's are picking up.

Perminate Link for Sellers Disappoint Amazon by Not Working Weekends   Sellers Disappoint Amazon by Not Working Weekends

by: Chicago48 This user has validated their user name.

Mon Aug 24 08:43:07 2020

I am FBM, thank goodness I don't have to go through what FBA goes through.

Perminate Link for Sellers Disappoint Amazon by Not Working Weekends   Sellers Disappoint Amazon by Not Working Weekends

by: Disgusted This user has validated their user name.

Mon Aug 24 10:45:34 2020

I am dropping Prime when year is up.  Way too slow delivery.  I have been getting items faster from non prime sellers. Usually same price.  Made a purchase from ''prime'' on the 16th, shipped on 18th (label printed on the 18th)  Shipping from Ill to Michigan via DHL Global Mail ????. Per tracking nobody has the package yet - now being the 24th.  Order another item same day -actually on the same order.  Rec'd that one last week.
Amazon is blaming the virus for slow delivery,  pathetic.

Perminate Link for Sellers Disappoint Amazon by Not Working Weekends   Sellers Disappoint Amazon by Not Working Weekends

by: Chicago48 This user has validated their user name.

Mon Aug 24 15:11:19 2020

I'm with Prime for the other goodies, not just shipping.  I watch AMZ movies and stream music.  Love it!

Perminate Link for Sellers Disappoint Amazon by Not Working Weekends   Sellers Disappoint Amazon by Not Working Weekends

by: postbuster This user has validated their user name.

Mon Aug 24 17:09:52 2020

@ADJackson

''I suspect that by 2021, eBay will have picked up 60-70% and Amazon will be dragging behind.''


Interesting input as most people I have heard from (including myself) have nothing good to say about ebay.  
If your projections are correct, then ebay will in fact be mimicking it's own competitor into THAT kind of failure.
It's like changing lanes on a highway thinking it will be faster, until it backs up further behind than the one they just left.

Basically what I'm saying is that ebay would have been so much better off staying the way it used to be some 5-10 years ago.
Something a whole lot of us have been saying for a long, long time.

I can see the possibility in what you said, because right now, we have all of these commerce sites fighting to sell us the same thing.  That kind of business wears out on consumers very quickly.  Most buyers end up going to whatever site they are mostly used to.  (Unless that site doesn't have it)

We don't need more Starbucks or a different version of Starbucks, because we have plenty of them.

Perminate Link for Sellers Disappoint Amazon by Not Working Weekends   Sellers Disappoint Amazon by Not Working Weekends

by: ecomoptimizer This user has validated their user name.

Wed Aug 26 19:27:04 2020

Im amazed that no media outlet has the courage to call them out on this.   Sellers hit the 2 day delivery mark 16% of the time prior to COVID?    I call absolute bs.   Any seller can tell you that Amazon is very harsh when you are not hitting their stipulated metrics.  

Two day delivery is a cornerstone of prime.   If less then 16% of packages hit the 2 day mark, that would be false advertising.  Who do they think they are kidding?  Prime members would not have accepted over 80% of their packages not arriving within 2 days.   Amazon would not have accepted sellers not hitting this mark and would have pulled the prime badge without care if this is the case.   Why would they not pull the prime badge when they have so many prime sellers.   If they pull yours, some other prime seller would fill your spot.  

Where are all of the prime members complaining about this?   Where are Amazons competitors pointing out this major flaw as false advertising on Amazons part?  Show me any of that.  You cannot because it is all a lie.  

Jeff Bezos needs to get real as does Amazon.   This is just a marketing ploy.   They knew there would be plenty of blow back telling sellers they need to operate on weekends for them.      Any reasonable person doesn't have to stretch their imagination to know that pulling violating sellers prime badge would only mean some other seller listed as prime would have the buy box.   It's not like they have a shortage of prime sellers in any category.  

I have personal experience with Amazon vendor management lying flat out to get their way.   I was in vendor negotiations several years back and they were trying to bump up our fees by over 75k a year.    They were quoting metrics and %'s that did not match their own published reports within vendorcentral.   When I called them on it, they could care less.   We went above them to higher management and they refused to believe their own emails as proof.  

Amazon is a data mining company first and foremost.   All other activities revolve around that except their 2nd biggest activity, propaganda.   All anyone has to do is listen to Bezos' congress testimony or read any of his representatives responses to those inquiries and they have many half truths, answer avoidance and outright lies riddled throughout!

Perminate Link for Sellers Disappoint Amazon by Not Working Weekends   Sellers Disappoint Amazon by Not Working Weekends

by: cookiepuss This user has validated their user name.

Wed Aug 26 21:18:42 2020

I don't sell on Amazon but I've been shopping there regularly for years. I love my Prime, I've had very few complaints about sellers or shipping. The two or three times I've had to contact customer service my issues have been handled quickly. Even during the corona crush and the USPS mess, Amazon is the most reliable shopping site I use. Pushing sellers to work weekends isn't necessary for me to be happy with the site.  

Perminate Link for Sellers Disappoint Amazon by Not Working Weekends   Sellers Disappoint Amazon by Not Working Weekends

by: Picky Chicky This user has validated their user name.

Tue Sep 22 13:26:11 2020

Okay, how ridiculous can you get? Small business owners do not have warehouses full of people to fill orders 24/7/365. We have lives, thank you.



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