Back in April 2022, Amazon launched their “Buy with Prime” program, allowing sellers to offer customers shopping on their website the option to make purchases using their Amazon Prime accounts and receive items through Amazon’s sophisticated fulfillment network. The goal was to generate additional revenue for Amazon, gather data, and compete with platforms like Shopify.
Amazon has now introduced two new features to their “Buy with Prime” program: Buy With Prime Cart and Buy with Prime Assist. Buy with Prime Cart enables customers to add multiple items to their cart at once, replicating a more traditional shopping experience. Buy With Prime Assist enables sellers to provide Amazon customer support at no extra cost. Customers can engage in chats with Amazon customer service representatives to inquire about shipping, orders, and returns.
In my opinion, Amazon aims to expand even further and establish a more prominent presence in the e-commerce world. Buy with Prime Assist aims to replace a portion of the seller’s customer service experience with Amazon’s. On one hand, Amazon offers excellent customer service that is available 24/7, which many customers appreciate. This can also be a valuable resource for smaller companies with limited time and resources to outsource customer service.
On the other hand, offering unique customer service can be a way for companies to differentiate themselves from what may be perceived as a “faceless corporation.” It can also lead to customer confusion regarding whom to contact regarding their orders and the nature of the entity they are dealing with. Buy with Prime Cart contributes to Amazon’s integration into retailers’ websites and streamlines the shopping experience.
Amazon claims that the Buy with Prime program can increase conversions by up to 25%, and I believe this to be true. Customers are so fond of shopping on Amazon that many of them search for an item online, find it on a company’s online store, and then head to Amazon.com to make the purchase. In 2022, over 60% of their Gross Merchandise Value (GMV) came from third-party sellers, and Amazon is determined not to lose ground to other platforms like Shopify.
While a 25% increase in conversions may sound tempting, I believe sellers should carefully weigh their options. In many cases, not utilizing Amazon fulfillment and Buy with Prime can have a detrimental impact on their sales and margins. However, employing these services can potentially diminish the customer experience, negatively affect brand identity, and complicate the process of building lasting relationships with customers.
I am very interested in seeing how successful this program will become in the future, and I would love to hear about entrepreneurs’ experiences with Buy with Prime.