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Amazon adding BigCommerce to Buy with Prime, scrapping invite-only model

Service to become widely available in US by end of month

Amazon is ditching the invite-only model for Buy with Prime, opening the service up to thousands of U.S. e-commerce sellers (Photo: Jim Allen/FreightWaves)

Launched in April, Amazon’s Buy with Prime service — which grants merchants the ability to offer customers perks like free and two-day shipping through Amazon’s fulfillment network — had the looks of a game changer for e-commerce.

Now it appears the new offering is ready to change the game.

Amazon (NASDAQ: AMZN) on Tuesday announced that by Jan. 31, Buy with Prime will no longer be invite only. That means more e-commerce merchants, including those that do not sell on the company’s website, will be able to offer Prime fulfillment services through their own online stores.

Integrating with Buy with Prime looks different depending on the merchant. 

For sellers who already leverage Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA), the company’s massive network of storage and delivery services, it can be as simple as entering their business details, linking their Amazon Pay and Seller Central accounts and adding the Prime button to products of their choosing.

Sellers who don’t use FBA or Amazon Pay will be required to sign up for both services. But they do not need to sell directly through Amazon to use them or add Buy with Prime benefits.

Merchants are only able to offer those perks to Prime members, who will experience them just as they would if they were shopping on Amazon’s marketplace. Sellers, though, must pay by the unit depending on its size, weight, average selling price and other factors. These fees are pay as you go, and merchants are only charged once a sale is made, excluding the cost of storage.

According to internal data included in Amazon’s announcement of the service’s wider availability, Buy with Prime increased shopper conversion by an average of 25% for its merchant customers.

“We’ve been working closely with merchants since the launch of Buy with Prime and have been thrilled to hear the results it’s helped drive for them so far,” said Peter Larsen, Amazon vice president of Buy with Prime. “We’ll continue innovating and investing in new features … to help merchants of all sizes succeed and give Prime members the shopping benefits they love, whether it’s on Amazon or beyond.”

Also on Tuesday, e-commerce platform BigCommerce (NASDAQ: BIGC) announced the rollout of a self-service Buy with Prime app that will allow merchants to enable the service’s features on their BigCommerce storefronts. It will become available to all U.S. sellers on the platform during the first quarter of 2023.

Watch: Amazon allowing sellers to use warehouses

BigCommerce is now the first e-commerce provider to launch a self-service integration for Buy with Prime. It’s a bit complicated, but BigCommerce is essentially now a white-label provider of the service. By extension, the platform is the only marketplace besides Amazon that can offer those perks to other sellers.

The firm’s stock was up 5% during Tuesday trading following the news.

“Amazon changed the game when they announced that merchants could offer the Prime delivery benefits on their D2C site that shoppers were used to when shopping on,” Sharon Gee, vice president of revenue growth and general manager of omnichannel at BigCommerce, told Modern Shipper. “So we set out together to make it as easy as possible for our merchants and agency partners to take advantage of this program that drives increased conversions, as well as greater customer long-term value. 

“By adding another strategic omnichannel partner integration to our roster, our merchants can seamlessly advance their omnichannel operations while accelerating business growth.”

The integration will also allow merchants on the platform to manage their Buy with Prime catalogs, view shopper order information and set up Amazon-linked checkout directly through BigCommerce.

Sellers will also have the ability to display customer reviews from within their online stores, another feature that was added this week.

“With this integration, we’re providing merchants with improved onboarding and management features to support their growth, while providing Prime members the shopping benefits they know and love, including fast, free delivery, seamless checkout, and easy returns,” added Russell Baker, director of partnerships for Buy with Prime.

The expansion of Buy with Prime figures to add more volume to the company’s logistics network, which was the victim of overbuild in 2022. The company shuttered and delayed the openings of a wave of facilities throughout the year, and CFO Brian Olsavsky in April admitted, “We have too much space right now.”

Amazon has also aimed to boost volume by granting sellers pay-as-you-go access to its warehousing network through a service called Amazon Warehousing and Distribution, which launched in September and is slated to expand this year.

Click for more Modern Shipper articles by Jack Daleo.

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Jack Daleo

Jack Daleo is a staff writer for Flying Magazine covering advanced air mobility, including everything from drones to unmanned aircraft systems to space travel — and a whole lot more. He spent close to two years reporting on drone delivery for FreightWaves, covering the biggest news and developments in the space and connecting with industry executives and experts. Jack is also a basketball aficionado, a frequent traveler and a lover of all things logistics.