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04/22/2022

Buy With Prime: Free, Expedited Delivery Expands Beyond Amazon.com

Liz Dominguez
Managing Editor
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Amazon Prime box

Amazon Prime benefits but without actually shopping on Amazon.com?

Amazon has unveiled Buy With Prime, a new benefit that will allow Prime members to receive free, expedited delivery of products from online brands beyond Amazon.com. Additionally, they’ll be able to return items at no cost while experiencing an Amazon-style checkout. Participating stores will have a Prime logo next to eligible products. 

While consumers will receive expanded benefits for their Prime membership, this could prove beneficial for online brands looking for incremental and ancillary revenue streams, and who can now benefit from access to Prime members, which totaled 172 million-plus as of last month.

[Related: 10 Hottest Retail Loyalty Plans in 2022]

There’s also the added advantage of accessing valuable consumer data. Amazon stated that participating brands will receive shopper order information, including email addresses for customer orders.

Becoming a Partner

The company announced that Buy With Prime will be invitation-only for now, with eligibility dependent on a brands' use of Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA). The Prime program will roll out throughout 2022, ultimately expanding to companies not selling on Amazon or using FBA.

Companies already using FBA can add the benefit to their online stores within minutes by signing up for Buy With Prime and linking an Amazon Seller Central account. They must use multi-channel fulfillment to offer a single pool of inventory for multiple channels as well as link an Amazon Pay account to set-up the checkout process, which uses Prime members’ stored payment and shipping information to close out purchases and sends out shipping and delivery notifications. 

Following those steps, companies then install a JavaScript widget to their online store to signal which products are eligible for Buy With Prime. 

What’s the cost? According to Amazon, brands only pay for what they use, with pricing based on a service, payment processing, and fulfillment and storage fees that are calculated per unit. There is no single, fixed subscription fee and the company doesn’t require long-term contracts. Brands are free to offer as little or as many products as they’d like within the program. 

Amazon stated the benefit will work with most online stores, including e-commerce and providers like BigCommerce. Troy Cox, senior vice president of product at BigCommerce, said the extended benefits will help elevate online shopping experiences, build brand loyalty, and power brands to help them grow and scale.

A Long-Term View

Who wins out in this type of partnership? While the opportunity certainly allows consumers to step away from Amazon while still receiving Prime membership benefits, the company can now tap into new markets and form relationships with brands that don’t currently sell on Amazon. Additionally, it will highlight the benefits of becoming a Prime member, perhaps enticing consumers who are not yet participants. 

Neil Saunders, managing director of GlobalData, said in an emailed statement that Amazon may also benefit from gaining deeper insights into consumer behavior, giving it access to data from orders fulfilled by new companies it is working with.

“Of course, this aspect may deter some brands from doing business with Amazon,” added Saunders. “That said, the benefits of being able to offer a Prime guarantee on things like delivery will outweigh the concerns for many as Amazon’s service levels will help traffic and conversion rates.”

Prime By the Numbers

  • Number of people in the program: 172 million-plus, according to Consumer Intelligence Research Partners
  • Type of program: Paid subscription
  • Cost to join: $139 annually if paid upfront, $180 if paid monthly

MaryRuth Organics is one company looking to benefit from the partnership. President David Ghiyam stated that Buy With Prime will be a game changer for the brand.

Prime members will enjoy the trust and familiarity they have with shopping on Amazon while connecting with our business directly on our own site,” Ghiyam added. “Using Buy with Prime, we will be able to drive the conversion we’ve experienced with Fulfillment by Amazon while running our business on our own site.”

Jamil Ghani, vice president of Amazon Prime, said the company is expanding where its members can enjoy “trusted and convenient Prime shopping benefits beyond Amazon. 

“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,” said Ghani.

This article first appeared on the site of sister publication RIS News.

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