The nine key facts you need to know about Amazon Seller Fulfilled Prime
Amazon’s Seller Fulfilled Prime can give vendors all the benefits of having a Prime badge but without having to use the Fulfilment By Amazon programme.
Given the considerable advantages of having a Prime badge on any product on the platform, it’s been a game changer for many. So what is Seller Fulfilled Prime and what are the benefits, and potential issues, of using it?
Thompson and Holt managing partner Craig Gedey outlines the nine key facts you need to know about Amazon Seller Fulfilled Prime.
What is Seller Fulfilled Prime?
Thomson and Holt’s Gedey explains: “It’s a program that allows qualified sellers to use the Prime badge on their products, and deliver straight to Prime subscribers using their own shipping operation.
“Sellers must pledge to deliver orders within two days at no extra cost to the customer, meeting Amazon’s high performance expectations and using Amazon-approved shipping companies. If you can prove to Amazon you are able to do this, you qualify to be part of Seller Fulfilled Prime.
“Crucially that gives you the ability to include the Prime badge on products, tapping into a element of reliability and trustworthiness crucial to customers, as well as improving visibility in searches and increasing the chances of winning the Buy Box. These are the key facts about the program you need to know.”
SFP most benefits retailers who already do their own shipping
The program was born out of a need to release pressure from Amazon’s maxed-out warehouses, while retaining high shipping standards
Sellers can qualify for SFP after completing a trial period
The requirements for SFP include using Amazon’s shipping services, delivering 99 percent of products on time, and adhering to Amazon’s return policy
Why did Amazon introduce Seller Fulfilled Prime?
“The issue of maxed out warehouses was one reason, but the main one is improving customer satisfaction by offering more products at top level service,” Gedey says. “By getting other businesses to sell and ship their products through Amazon and at their standards, they grow their market further. It’s estimated that 58 percent of sales on Amazon are now from third party Sellers, so it’s a huge market. And one that is growing all the time.”
The benefits of Seller Fulfilled Prime - for Buyers and Sellers
Thompson and Holt’s Craig Gedey says: “While SFP doesn’t fundamentally change the Amazon shopping experience it certainly brings more products to the attention of Prime subscribers, who have a strong preference for items carrying the Prime badge. Many might have their search filters set for Prime only products, and products without the badge can look second rate. So SFP gives Buyers more options within the scheme, and gives Sellers access to a captive and potentially lucrative market.”
The difference between Seller Fulfilled Prime and FBA
“The main difference between Seller Fulfilled Prime and FBA is shipping,” Gedey explains. “Both schemes can get you the Prime badge and an advantage in winning the Buy Box, but it’s up to Sellers in the SFP program to fulfil orders and pay for shipping. One of the primary downsides of SFP is that Sellers must meet the costs of shipping so that customers can get their goods delivered quickly at no additional cost.
“Within FBA, shipping is handled by Amazon, but with that comes fees that can be roughly what you might pay to ship yourself. It’s a matter of weighing up which program could work best for you.”
The difference between SFP and Premium Shipping
Thompson and Holt managing partner Gedey continues: “Premium Shipping is a different program entirely. It basically allows sellers who do their own shipping to provide faster shipping options to their customers. Although they often are, Premium Shipping and Seller Fulfilled Prime shouldn’t really be compared to one another. Premium Shipping is all about providing fast shipping options to buyers, while SFP is a way of getting the Prime badge on your products without using FBA.”
How to qualify for Seller Fulfilled Prime
“Only the best Sellers will qualify for SFP, and must undergo a trial period to stay in the program. Below are the key objectives you must meet. The trial period lasts between five and 90 days, and a minimum of 200 orders. Sellers must maintain the performance percentages above during the trial period.”
Continue to offer Premium Shipping options
Have an On-Time Shipment Rate of 99%
Have a seller order Cancellation Rate of less than 0.5%
Use Amazon Buy Shipping for at least 98.5% of orders
Use an Amazon-approved carrier to deliver orders
Agree and adhere to the Amazon Returns Policy
Allow Amazon to handle all customer service inquiries
How Buy Shipping works
“Given this is a key requirement of meeting the standards for SFP it’s important to understand how it works,” Gedey says. “Buy Shipping enables sellers to buy shipping labels individually or in bulk, ship and confirm orders, and track shipments. It can be accessed through Seller Central or by using third-party shipping tools which have added support for it.”
What is Seller Fulfilled Prime Small and Light?
Thompson and Holt’s managing parter Craig Gedey says: “SFP Small and Light are variations for products under $15, to help sellers of lower-value products use the program economically. SFP Small and Light gives Amazon Sellers different shipping options for items of $15 and under, that would otherwise be too costly to ship for free.”
Should I use Amazon Seller Fulfilled Prime?
“That’s a decision that will vary between different Amazon businesses, Gedey concludes. “You need to work out the cost of meeting Amazon’s stringent standards, and whether that will be offset by the increased and potentially lucrative markets you will be able to access. If you can make it work financially, it certainly has significant benefits.”
What to do if you lose the right to offer Seller Fulfilled Prime?
If you have lost your right to use Seller fulfilled Prime, contact Thompson and Holt for a free LiveChat to get your Seller business back online as quickly as possible.
Thompson and Holt are also offering a free months trial of their Monitor and Protect service to help sellers prevent a suspension of ASINs or an their account during the COVID pandemic, more information on how to protect your Amazon seller account from a suspension can be found here.