Amazon.com Inc. debuted new features for its Buy with Prime service at its annual seller conference. The tool gives Amazon Prime members access to Amazon’s fulfillment network when they shop on other websites.
The online marketplace announced two new features, Buy with Prime Assist, and Buy with Prime Cart.
Buy with Prime Assist allows sellers to offer Amazon customer support for no additional charge. The service gives customers access to a chat feature with Amazon customer service representatives who can answer questions about shipping, current orders and returns.
Buy with Prime Cart is another feature designed to make off-site purchasing experiences more like the experience on Amazon.com. Previously, Buy with Prime functioned similarly to Amazon’s Buy Now feature, Peter Larsen, Amazon vice president of Buy with Prime and multi-channel fulfillment, said in a blog post. Now, customers can buy multiple items at once, like a traditional online cart, he said.
What is Buy with Prime?
Amazon first launched the tool in April 2022. It allowed retailers to sell products also listed on Amazon from their own websites. Customers checked out using Amazon’s payment system and received orders using the ecommerce giant’s fulfillment network.
Retailers pay Amazon a fee to use the service, which Amazon has not disclosed.
There were about 167 million Prime Members who were eligible to check out using Buy with Prime as of March 2023, according to Consumer Intelligence Research Partners, a Chicago firm that tracks Prime members via consumer surveys.
Why is Amazon expanding Buy with Prime now?
Amazon relies heavily on third-party sellers on its marketplace, which ranks No. 3 in the Global Online Marketplaces Database, Digital Commerce 360’s ranking of the top 100 online marketplaces. A majority (63.7%) of GMV in 2022 came from third-party sellers, a figure that’s increasing year over year.
“As Amazon loses some of its position as the search engine for shopping, it is using other tactics to gain intelligence and maintain market share,” Digital Commerce 360 senior analyst James Risley says.
“Shopify is definitely a threat in terms of providing an alternative for sellers,” Risley says. “More than half of sales on Amazon are from third-party sellers, and if they turn to Shopify instead of Amazon or favor their own Shopify site, Amazon loses out.”
Notably, Amazon recently allowed Shopify merchants to offer Buy with Prime on their Shopify websites.
“Amazon partnering with Shopify is really a test for both of them. Shopify can use the Amazon payment options as a way to make it easier for merchants to get out of the strict Amazon.com ecosystem while not abandoning all of its benefits. Amazon gets to pull a potential competitor a little closer and keep it from threatening its position too much,” Risley says.
Amazon promises seller benefits
The online marketplace shared new data indicating that sellers who use Buy with Prime are better positioned than those that don’t.
Three out of four Buy with Prime purchasers, on average, are new customers to the brand, Amazon said. The tool also led to a 25% increase in conversion, on average, the online marketplace said.
Other tools from Amazon also have positive impacts on sales. Retailers who added reviews from Amazon to their websites saw an average of 38% in conversion growth. Merchants using Buy with Prime cart reported 15% increase in units sold, on average, after adding the feature.
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