Seller-Fulfilled Prime: A Way to Fast Track Your Online Business?

By Tami Ben-David
Published on January 18, 2016 | 3488 views

Seller Fulfilled Prime

No doubt you’ve heard the buzz about Amazon Seller-Fulfilled Prime (SFP), a program designed to help Amazon with a history of quick and reliable delivery gain a bigger piece of the lucrative Amazon Prime market. Amazon began testing the waters last summer when it invited select merchants to participate. It has since opened the doors to more Marketplace Sellers, and results have been great. Today, some 500,000 products are SFP fulfilled.

Why Should You Care about SFP?

If you’re a seller who fulfills orders yourself (FBM) from your own warehouse, SFP offers you the opportunity to reap the same advantages as FBA sellers, namely the Prime advantage. This is significant as it means you no longer need to pay all those FBA fees. PLUS you are even at an advantage, as they have an advantage over FBA sellers to the Buy Box.

Additional Benefits include:

  • List Products as Prime-Eligible. SFP allows you list your products as Prime-Eligible, which means a far bigger audience will see them. And given that Amazon Prime customers favor the free, 2-day shipping of prime, you’re likely to get more sales. For some merchants, participation in SFP has delivered a 20% boost in sales. Currently, there are 47 million Amazon Prime subscribers, and for some merchants, SFP has delivered a 20% boost in sales.
  • Access to Bigger Spenders And the market is huge! Currently, there are 47 million Amazon Prime subscribers, and their ranks continue to grow. In the third week of December alone, over 3 million consumers registered for Amazon Prime. SFP opens the doors that were, until recently, only open to FBA sellers.
  • Be More Competitive. SFP can give you a competitive edge, especially for FBM sellers of large or heavy products. FBA merchants who sell similar products face the additional costs of shipping their products to an Amazon fulfillment center. Those costs, in turn, are built into the price offered to consumers. By shipping directly to the consumer, you can offer a more competitive price (or increase your margins on these products).

Amazon Requirements for Seller-Fulfilled Prime

Not every FBM seller is entitled to participate in SFP. In fact, you’ll need to prove that you can meet the Prime customer’s exacting expectations for service, which means must already have strong metrics across the board.

Additionally, in its application process, Amazon asks the following:

  1. Can you pick, pack, and ship some of your products on the same day and if your sales increased substantially, could you offer free Two-Day Shipping to Prime members for Prime items?
  2. Can you meet the customer service and returns requirements listed on the Help page?
  3. What service do you use to manage your Amazon orders? (e.g. Seller Central, ChannelAdvisor, Mercent or an in-house order management platform)
  4. What service do you use to print your shipping labels? (e.g. Amazon Buy Shipping, ShipRush, Shipworks, direct integration with carrier, etc.) Please list all that apply.

Interested in applying for SFP? According to Amazon, if you apply now and continue to meet the requirements, you will be able to launch in January 2016.

About the Author

A British ex-pat, Tami been writing and content-strategizing for Israeli tech start-ups for the last 5 years. When she's not writing nerdy content, you can find Tami on open water charity swims or traveling to far-flung countries.

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