Amazon has long held a tight grip over its third-party merchants. Sellers get access to its massive fulfillment centers, shipping services and the coveted Prime logo if they sell on Amazon.com. But now, Amazon is loosening some of its hold on merchants by allowing them to sell goods with Prime benefits on their own sites, which could allow the e-commerce giant to swallow more of the industry.
The company is introducing Buy With Prime, which lets merchants who use Amazon's services (warehouses and delivery) add a button to their site that allows customers to purchase with Prime benefits. That means Prime subscribers who buy goods off a third-party site will still have access to free shipping, next-day delivery and free returns. Amazon said the initiative will start with Amazon sellers using Fulfillment by Amazon, and it'll expand to other merchants throughout this year.
The initiative is another push for Amazon to become the biggest delivery service in the game. Dave Clark, the company's head of worldwide consumer, said late last year that it's on track to overtake UPS and FedEx as the biggest package delivery service in the U.S. By adding Prime benefits to sites other than Amazon's, it'll be increasingly convenient to use the company's fulfillment and delivery services to attract more customers (even with its added fuel and inflation fees).
“For over 20 years, we’ve been empowering small and medium-sized businesses with opportunities to grow,” Peter Larsen, Amazon’s VP of Buy with Prime, said in a release. “Allowing merchants to offer Prime shopping benefits on their own direct-to-consumer online stores is an exciting next step in our mission to help merchants of all sizes grow their business — whether on Amazon or beyond.”
Buy With Prime also shows that Amazon is becoming a bit more like Shopify, which already allows merchants to build their own storefronts. Shopify doesn't provide its own marketplace for sellers, but instead gives merchants the tools to get started and takes care of marketing goods and payment.