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What if every e-commerce website was just a tiny Amazon marketplace? With fast Prime shipping, free returns, and one click checkout…

What if I could checkout with Amazon Pay from any physical grocery store, shopping mall, restaurant, or entertainment venue?

If Amazon has it their way, that’s the Prime future you can imagine!

In this week’s 66th Edition of the Shopifreaks newsletter, I cover Amazon’s new Buy with Prime feature for e-commerce websites, as well as their new Small Business badge. 

I also report on Shopify’s planned acquisition of Deliverr, Visa and Mastercard’s interchange rate hike, some funny business with Indian logistics companies, and a brief history into One Click Checkout’s proprietary past. 

All this and more in this week’s edition of the Shopifreaks newsletter. Thanks for being a subscriber. 


Stat of the Week

BMW aims to sell 25% and Volvo 50% of its cars online by 2025. 38% of surveyed current car shoppers plan to buy their next car online. Prior to the pandemic, only 2% of cars were bought online. — According to ForbesABC News & Cars.com. –> [RETWEET IT


1. Buy With Prime coming to websites near you

Amazon has announced Buy with Prime, a new feature that allows select Amazon merchants to sell their products directly from their own websites, while still offering Prime shopping benefits like fast, free shipping, quick checkout with Amazon Pay, and free returns. 

In other words, it’s like shopping on Amazon, but on another website.

One requirement, however, is that the website has to fulfill their items through the Amazon FBA program–but that makes sense. Otherwise, how would Amazon be able to guarantee fast turnaround and shipping?

Participating websites will display the Prime logo and expected delivery date next to their products, and the checkout will happen on their store, but Amazon will fulfill the orders and manage the free returns for the seller.

The service will initially be available by invitation only for merchants using FBA. Those select merchants can add Buy with Prime to their store and start selling in minutes since their inventory is already stored at Amazon fulfillment centers.

The VERY first question I had when I read about this program was — does the website get ownership of their customer? Or will Amazon hide the customer information, as if they bought it on their marketplace? And the answer is, YES, the merchant will receive the customer order information including their e-mail address, and websites can add those customers to their existing post purchase sales funnels. 

Amazon has not disclosed how much the service costs, other than to indicate that it’ll be variable rates, just like their fulfillment services. On their Merchant FAQ page they said:

“Buy with Prime’s cost per unit will depend on multiple factors, including product dimensions and weight, average selling price and number of units per Buy with Prime order. The cost includes fulfillment, storage, payment processing, and service fees that are calculated per unit. The cost of returns is included in the fulfillment fee. Merchants pay for what they use, and all fees, except for those incurred for storage, are charged only after merchants make a sale. Upon being invited to the program, our sales team will explain the pricing in detail.”

One other thing I thought was cool about the service is that sellers DO NOT have to sell on Amazon.com marketplace in order to use Buy With Prime on their websites. However at the beginning, it’s invite only exclusively to FBA sellers, so all initial users will also be merchants who sell on the Amazon marketplace. 

I think this is a great new feature for merchants and a win for Amazon. Once this feature rolls out to the masses, the Amazon brand will instantly appear on hundreds of thousands of independent seller websites. It’ll be like an Amazon Army of 3rd party e-commerce soldiers waving their Amazon flags in exchange for Prime shipping.

I’ll be curious to learn how much the fees are and how they compare to current fulfillment fees.

For example, I sell my World Map Coloring Posters on TravelisLife.org and on Amazon.com, and Amazon fulfills the orders from both channels. 

When I sell the maps on Amazon.com, they take a $2.55 sales commission (ie: 15% of the sales price) and a $2.92 FBA fee for a total of $5.47. 

When I sell maps on TravelisLife.org, they charge me $3.99 to fulfill the order. And I pay my own merchant processing fee since I handle checkout. This is a sweet deal for me because it costs me around $4.57 + packaging to ship the maps myself. (And I’m usually out of the country, so fulfillment would be tough!)

With the Buy with Prime feature, I speculate that the total fee will be somewhere in between the two figures above, since Amazon will be handling both the merchant processing through Amazon Pay and the fulfillment through FBA. 

In September 2021, I reported that Amazon is developing a new type of POS system that can handle both online and offline transactions as well as link to other Amazon services including Prime membership, Amazon One hand-scanning biometric payment solutions, and Flex delivery.

Buy with Prime and their POS will position Amazon to completely power small businesses retail commerce, both online and offline, from sale to fulfillment.

Should we be in awe or nervous about that? Hit reply and let me know your thoughts. 


2. Speaking of Amazon and small businesses…

Amazon is looking to make it easier for you to know when you’re buying from a small business, which account for over 50% of their marketplace sales. The company began testing a “Small Business” badge to identify products sold from third-party sellers that meet its definition of a small business.

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