Amazon Prime has truly revolutionized the concept and expectation of shipping. Years ago “fast shipping” would have been considered a week or so. Now, thanks to Amazon Prime, consumers expect fast shipping to take just a couple of days. If consumers don’t see fast, free, or low-cost shipping, many of them will actually drop the items that they have in their cart.
One report by a shipping and fulfilment software platform provider states that 54% of shoppers abandon their cart due to shipping, and 39% due to no free shipping options. Those numbers may be alarming to retailers that can’t afford to offer good shipping options. Before you start freaking out, remember—you can always offer free 2-day shipping with the help of Amazon. In order to get you started, let’s take a look at the Amazon Prime program and how you can get the most of out of it.
A Little Background on the Amazon Prime Program
The Amazon Prime program started back in 2005 as an initiative by Jeff Bezos to incentive buyers to shop on the eCommerce site. It started at $79 per year just for the free 2-day shipping, and it has evolved into much more than a simple shipping offer. It now offers many other perks, such as free videos, music, and books.
According to a Consumer Intelligence report, Amazon Prime has about 85 million subscribers—a 22-million subscriber increase over 2016. The average amount a Prime member spends in a year is about $2,500, and non-members spend about $544.
Prime Members Spend More than Non-Prime Members
As previously mentioned, research has found that Prime members spend nearly double the amount that non-Prime-members spend. This increase in spending is not because Prime members buy more per purchase than non-Prime members; it’s because they buy more often.
Unlike non-members, they don’t have to worry about the cost of shipping or how long the products will take to arrive, which takes down any purchasing barriers. If you become an Amazon FBA seller, you’ll be able to reach those buyers and, potentially, get more recurrent offers.
Selling with Prime Can Help You Win the Buy Box
The Buy Box is the most prime real estate for sellers on Amazon. It’s the box located on the product detail page where shoppers can add products to their cart. Winning the Buy Box means increased visibility and sales.
To be eligible to win the Buy Box, sellers have to comply with a variety of requirements. For instance, their order defect rate has to be low, or their customer service quality has to be high. Amazon is just trying to find sellers able to provide the best customer experience to shoppers.
And what better assurance of quality service than handling fulfilment in Amazon’s own warehouse? By controlling fulfilment and shipping for FBA sellers, Amazon can guarantee a high level of customer service. That’s why sellers that use FBA and that are able to sell with Amazon Prime get higher chances to win the Buy Box.
Prime Is Much More than Free Shipping
The Prime membership has evolved through the years to be so much more than a simple free shipping service. Now it offers many other perks, like free music and video that sweeten the deal even more. It also offers unlimited photo storage and one free eBook per month.
Adding all those additional benefits has made the membership be even more appealing than ever. It has transformed it into some sort of private club with more benefits than many members use. The best part is that now you don’t even have to pay for the whole year upfront. There are monthly paying options that make the entire membership even more attractive.
Alexa Gives Preference to Prime
Voice assistants like Alexa are gaining popularity and threatening to change the way people shop entirely. This is mainly because, instead of searching for products, users will be able to ask for suggestions, which reduces the visibility of any given seller. Imagine: Shoppers are not able to retain 10 different spoken suggestions at once, but they can see 10 listings online without trouble.
This limiting amount of seller options will give Prime eligible sellers preference over non-Prime-eligible sellers. According to an analysis by the research firm L2, marketers looking to increase sales through voice assistants devices such as Alexa will benefit from being Amazon Prime eligible. Additionally, Prime eligible sellers are given preference in Alexa Deals. Users can ask Alexa for deals, and it will give them a list of prime offers in various categories.
You Don’t Need Amazon to Fulfilment to Sell with Prime
With Seller Fulfilled Prime, merchants are able to fulfill their own orders and still be able to offer products under the Prime membership. This option has its pros and cons, which should be seriously evaluated before signing into such a program.
To start, sellers have to be certain they will meet such tight shipping deadlines. As a seller, if you don’t have the space or the staff to help fulfill your orders, this option may not be the best option for you. On the other hand, if you do have the resources and the space to take care of fulfilling orders as soon as they come in, this may be a suitable option for you.