eCommerce Stores Will Now Be Able To Use Fulfillment By Amazon
Would you like to give your business the ability to ship in two days across the country? We thought so!
It’s been roughly a week since Amazon sent press releases to inform the public of one big change: merchants will be able to allow their customers to use their Prime membership to order products from any eCommerce platform. The company’s Fulfillment By Amazon (FBA) program will soon be available to merchants no matter where they are, giving them access to Amazon´s massive logistics network.
This took everyone by surprise and merchants are asking the obvious question:
How Can I Integrate “Buy With Prime” into My eCommerce Website?
Unfortunately, accessing the Fulfillment by Amazon system is not that easy. Right now, the Buy With Prime feature is in the beta stage. This means that Buy With Prime is not available to everybody at this time. At the moment, the system works as an invite-only program, which leaves most merchants out of the party.
However, according to direct sources the program will be rolled out, starting with big-box retailers and slowly trickling down to smaller merchants. Eventually, all eCommerce businesses will be able to easily add Buy With Prime to their stores.
Now, many fear that Amazon’s plan is to keep all of the customer information to themselves and slowly alienate merchants from their customers. After all, this level of convenience comes at a cost, and it is not a small one. Amazon Prime will own all customer data and will earn a slice of each FBA order.
However, as stated by Amazon, merchants will also keep customer information, including email addresses, so they can develop a more direct relationship with their customers.
How Will “Buy With Amazon” Impact the eCommerce Industry?
Many in the e-retail industry will tell you that Amazon is already half the economy. A bold statement to be sure, and Amazon fanboys will want you to believe that if you´re not on Amazon, you are irrelevant. If you look at market share numbers, you might think they have a point. However, millions of eCommerce businesses will beg to differ. They’re not even selling on Amazon currently, and they do just fine.
And Amazon knows they´re not as big as Jeff Bezos would like you to think. Most eCommerce agencies know that there is a huge chunk of the economy that still escapes Amazon´s mighty grip and is thriving while remaining independent.
What’s Amazon’s End Game in Extending Fulfillment by Amazon to Other Online Merchants?
Those who have followed Amazon for years understand that Buy With Prime isn’t part of a new strategy. It is in fact the next logical step in a series of moves toward complete vertical integration of logistics. In other words, they are building everything business owners would ever possibly need all under one roof.
The big A has spread fulfillment facilities all over the country that allow them to ship items from California to New York for the same price that you ship from Florida to Texas. Historically, this has given them a huge logistical advantage over small business owners.
They also implemented Amazon Prime, a membership service that has become a lifestyle for many today, allowing people to ship things at neck-break speeds while reducing shipping costs to literally peanuts. And they not only have Two-Day Prime. They have free ”Next day Prime”, and more importantly “Prime Now”. The service is so efficient it has spoiled to a point where many now think they should hear the doorbell as soon as they click “Buy Now”.
So the next step is offering eCommerce business owners the ability to transfer all of their fulfillment duties to Amazon, letting Amazon handle packing, shipping and more. Customers who already have an Amazon Prime membership will now be able to buy products online without having to get out of Amazon´s ecosystem. This means they won’t have to enter shipment or payment data, making the conversion process even more efficient.
Has Amazon Won The eCommerce War?
Bezos´ most recent move seems to be aimed at crushing all other eCommerce platforms, sending retailers like Walmart wherever Blockbuster is right now, and giving FedEx a death blow. All in one fell swoop.
However, ECommerce platforms are already showing their teeth. As an example, Shopify is now threatening to acquire Deliverr, a platform specialized in offering fulfillment process support, for $2.5B. According to Yahoo Finance, the purchase might be concluded over the next couple of weeks. This will give Shopify access to over 80 warehouses and fulfillment centers across the country, effectively reducing shipping costs and delivery times, just in time to give Amazon a run for their money.
This is an attempt to immunize the platform against potential negative effects caused by Amazon’s latest move. However, only time can tell.
Some might argue that Shopify´s response is irrelevant now that Amazon has consolidated its position as a fully integrated provider for merchants. However, many customers still regard the big tech giant with suspicion. In fact, traditionally independent platforms that support mom-and-pop businesses have a huge customer base that would be unhappy if an Amazon smiley box showed up at their front door. Etsy customers come to mind, but many other platforms and niches will not regard this feature as a “beneficial expansion beyond Amazon”, but as an encroachment.
How Will This Fulfillment by Amazon Development Impact eCommerce SEO?
From the eCommerce SEO point of view, the move has been received with enthusiasm. When asked about recent developments, Dan Kogan, CEO of 1DigitalⓇ Agency and eCommerce specialist, declared that, “Amazon knows as well as everyone that eCommerce is not only about the product, but also about the shipping”. When asked about Buy With Prime´s short term impact, Kogan predicted a huge difference in terms of visits and conversions: “If you have two websites selling the same product, but one has the Amazon one-click with all your information, with immediate fulfillment, one-day delivery, and all the perks associated with your Prime membership, there is no question which one will crush it.”
Dan Kogan, 1DigitalⓇ Agency SEO
Matthew Lovett, our marketing strategist, and content team leader declared that, “As an SEO company, Amazon´s move definitely benefits our clients. It will make checkout easier and more attractive for the average person outside of using amazon itself, which is literally what the whole eCommerce SEO industry hinges on.”
In conclusion, Amazon just turned the competition for eCommerce domination up a notch. This means that no matter where you stand in this battle, you better team up with 1DigitalⓇ Agency, an SEO company that has helped hundreds of online businesses successfully ride the eCommerce wave.