Amazon announced the launch of Buy with Prime — a new benefit for Prime members that will extend the convenience of Prime shopping to online stores beyond

"Buy with Prime will initially be available by invitation only for merchants using Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA) and will roll out through 2022 as merchants are invited to participate, including those not selling on Amazon or using FBA," according to an official statement.

Buy with Prime will allow Prime members to shop directly from merchants' online stores with the experience they expect from Amazon including fast, free delivery, a seamless checkout experience, and free returns on eligible orders. "Prime members will see the Prime logo and delivery promise on eligible products in merchants' online stores, which signals the item is available for free delivery as fast as the next day with free returns. When shopping with Buy with Prime, checkout is simple and convenient."

Prime members will use the payment and shipping information stored in their Amazon account and receive timely shipping and delivery notifications after an order is placed, the statement added.

"We always aim to exceed Prime members' expectations by offering more selection, exclusive deals, quality content, and convenient features," says Jamil Ghani, vice president, Amazon Prime. "With the introduction of Buy with Prime, we're expanding where members can enjoy trusted and convenient Prime shopping benefits beyond Amazon, adding even more value to their membership. Members will have the flexibility to shop from merchants directly, all while enjoying the fast, free delivery, seamless checkout, and easy returns they've come to know and love from Amazon."

Peter Larsen, vice president, Buy with Prime, Amazon, added: "For over 20 years, we've been empowering small and medium-sized businesses with opportunities to grow. "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. With shoppers purchasing directly from merchants' online stores, Buy with Prime will allow merchants to build customer relationships and brand loyalty while offering conversion-driving benefits like fast, free shipping."

For merchants already using FBA, Buy with Prime can be added to their online store within minutes because their inventory is already stored in Amazon fulfillment centres, the statement said. To get started, merchants sign up for Buy with Prime, link an Amazon Seller Central account, use multi-channel fulfilment to offer one pool of inventory for multiple channels, and link an Amazon Pay account to offer a seamless checkout experience for Prime members.

"Then, by installing a JavaScript widget in their online store, merchants can easily add Buy with Prime to one or more products. With Buy with Prime, merchants will receive shopper order information, including email addresses for customer orders, which they can use to provide customer service and build direct relationships with shoppers."

Reactions to the move by Amazon were fast & furious. Here are some glimpses:

"What's your take on "Buy With Prime"? I guess it really depends on what your channel strategy is and if it includes Amazon, certainly this is a way to tap into a streamlined ecosystem, and robust supply chain, says Kamran Iqbal, Commercial Strategist at PFS in his LinkedIn post.

"If you already are active in this channel, then it's an easy way to extend capability as well. Amazon is enabling the major gap from FBA and their marketplace by giving you speed, frictionless, and now you have the consumer since it's on your own digital property."

Amazon's launch of Buy with Prime highlights growth of logistics business, writes Bob O'Donnell in his post. "If ever there was a company that learned the value of commercializing its own tools, Amazon would be it. "

Buy With Prime: "It's a Trap" but millions of marketplace sellers growing DTC will adopt like moths to flame, says Rick Watson, CEO & Founder, RMW Commerce Consulting in his LinkedIn post.

"Let's get this out of the way first. Amazon released Buy With Prime. Of course it's a trap. But it's a trap that will be hard for many sellers to avoid. Why? Conversion rate. I expect this will be 2-3x typical conversion rate, and I expect Amazon already knows this. Fast free shipping and your account is already stored? I can tell you, as a consumer I will be clicking this box wherever I find it. And that's Amazon's leverage. Goodbye Paypal. Goodbye Shop Pay."

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