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Amazon is rolling out a new service that will allow merchants to offer the company’s Prime benefits through their own websites.
Buy With Prime opens up the checkout, fulfillment, delivery and returns that are hallmarks of the company’s subscription service for use at online stores beyond Amazon’s website.
The service will initially be available on an invitation-only basis for merchants using Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA). As it rolls out in 2022, Amazon indicated it will invite merchants that are not currently selling on Amazon or using FBA.
Supported by Amazon’s vast logistics network, Prime provides its 200+ million members with free delivery, shipping that comes as soon as the next day and free returns. Merchants who participate in Buy with Prime will be able to offer these services directly in their online stores, with a Prime badge displayed next to the products to which it applies. Prime members, in turn, will be able to use payment and shipping info from their Amazon account when they check out at the outside stores.
"For over 20 years, we’ve been empowering small and medium-sized businesses with opportunities to grow," said Peter Larsen, Amazon’s VP of Buy with Prime, in a statement. "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, there won’t be a subscription fee to the service. Rather, pricing will be based on a service fee, a payment processing fee and fulfillment and storage fees that are calculated per unit.
For sellers, here’s how it will work to get started, according to Amazon’s press release:
The company said Buy With Prime will work with “most online stores,” and its press release pointed to BigCommerce, whose SVP of Product Troy Cox was quoted as saying that extending Prime benefits to merchants will “help elevate their online shopper experiences, build brand loyalty, and power them to grow and scale."
“Buy with Prime will be a game changer for our brand. Prime members will enjoy the trust and familiarity they have with shopping on Amazon while connecting with our business directly on our own site,” said David Ghiyam, president of vitamins brand MaryRuth Organics, in a statement included with Amazon's news release. “When we began using Fulfillment by Amazon, our business quadrupled in growth thanks to Amazon’s logistics network and our Prime-eligible listings. Using Buy with Prime, we will be able to drive the conversion we’ve experienced with Fulfillment by Amazon while running our business on our own site.”
By offering tools that appear on direct-to-consumer websites, Amazon is moving into territory that is often considered the province of Shopify. The ecommerce companies long took distinct approaches. Amazon created a central marketplace on its website, providing access to its massive audience while setting terms for how items could be displayed and priced. Shopify’s platform offered the infrastructure for independent online stores that attracted shoppers from other channels, while enabling entrepreneurs to maintain their own look and terms.
The Buy With Prime announcement comes at a time when Shopify is making moves to offer more shipping and logistics services to its merchants. Last month, it invested in Shippo and launched a native integration for its platform that allowed merchants to tap the service’s network of carriers and infrastructure. This week, Bloomberg reported that Shopify is in talks to acquire Deliverr, a fulfillment company that integrates with ecommerce marketplaces and allows merchants to offer two-day shipping.
Through Buy with Prime, Amazon is offering its own integration, backed by its massive logistics network. At the same time, sellers can present their products within their own stores and keep running their sites on platforms like BigCommerce, while still tapping into what Amazon offers. For shoppers, it means a Prime membership is beneficial beyond Amazon, or a property the company owns like Whole Foods. It remains to be seen whether the Buy With Prime strategy is successful, but the move appears to be one that could further embed Amazon within the ecommerce landscape.
Trending in Retail Channels
Amazon partnered with Hexa to provide access to a platform that creates lifelike digital images.
Amazon sellers will be able to offer a variety of 3D visualizations on product pages through a new set of immersive tools that are debuting on Tuesday.
Through an expanded partnership with Hexa, Amazon is providing access to a workflow that allows sellers to create 3D assets and display the following:
- 3D images
- 360 viewing
- Virtual try-on
- Augmented reality content
- High-definition marketing materials, including packshots and lifestyle images through AWS Thinkbox.
Selllers don't need prior experience with 3D or virtual reality to use the system, according to Hexa. Amazon selling partners can upload their Amazon Standard Identification Number (ASIN) into Hexa’s content management system. Then, the system will automatically convert an image into a 3D model with AR compatibility. Amazon can then animate the images with 360-degree viewing and augmented reality, which renders digital imagery over a physical space.
Hexa’s platform uses AI to create digital twins of physical objects, including consumer goods. Over the last 24 months, Hexa worked alongside the spatial computing team at Amazon Web Services (AWS) and the imaging team at Amazon.com to build the infrastructure that provides 3D assets for the thousands of sellers that work with Amazon.
“Working with Amazon has opened up a whole new distribution channel for our partners,” said Gavin Goodvach, Hexa’s Vice President of Partnerships.
Hexa’s platform is designed to create lifelike renderings that can explored in 3D, or overlaid into photos of the physical world. It allows assets from any category to be created, ranging from furniture to jewelry to apparel.
A Hexa 3D rendering (Courtesy photo)
The result is a system that allows sellers to provide a new level of personalization, said Hexa CEO Yehiel Atias. Consumers will have new opportunity see a product in a space, or what it looks like on their person.
Additionally, merchants can leverage these tools to optimize the entire funnel of a purchase. Advanced imagery allows more people to view and engage with a product during the initial shopping experience. Following the purchase, consumers who have gotten a better look at a product from all angles will be more likely to have confidence that the product matches their needs. In turn, this can reduce return rates.
While Amazon has previously introduced virtual try-on and augmented reality tools, this partnership aims to expand these capabilities beyond the name brands that often have 1P relationships with Amazon. Third-party sellers are an increasingly formidable segment of Amazon’s business, as they account for 60% of sales on the marketplace. Now, these sellers are being equipped with tools that enhance the shopping experience for everyone.
A video displaying the new capabilities is below. Amazon sellers can learn more about the platform here.
Hexa & Amazon - 3D Production Powerhousewww.youtube.com