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Amazon Seller Fulfilled Prime

Amazon marketplace is a fantastic sales channel and one that we recommend nearly all clients to consider.  It is relatively easy to setup an account and with the use of FBA the coveted ‘Prime’ designation can be invaluable to gaining market share.

Once on Amazon there is a means to reduce costs while also maintaining the benefits of the marketplace and the Prime designation through a program entitled Amazon Seller Fulfilled Prime (SFP).  As the title indicates the seller still gets the Prime designation but the orders can be fulfilled outside of FBA and through Sweetwater Logistics.

In late 2015 in response to FBA Fulfillment centers reaching capacity due to sellers slower moving products, Amazon began a pilot program where sellers with proven logistics capabilities as well as excellent ratings the opportunity to offer Prime shipping from their own warehouse or Third Party Fulfillment Center.  After some refinement and building out of the requirements Amazon opened this up to more sellers in August of 2016.  With the reduction in shipping costs (to FBA facilities while being able to use Amazon’s sometimes lower shipping rates) as well as handling costs (FBA fee’s) coupled with the access to the Prime designation sellers have found this to be a perfect solution.

It’s been shown that Amazon Prime Certified sellers can see a 30 to 40 percent boost in their sales. Additionally, they also have access to 60 percent cheaper couriers, more return options and access to Amazon’s customer service. Amazon also allows “regionalizing” of Prime-eligible products to buyers who are within a two-day ground shipping journey from the original warehouse.  Many customers will use FBA for the west-coast orders while fulfilling all east coast orders from our facility.  This further allows for them to take advantage of the breadth of Amazon’s logistics network while ensuring their costs are as low as possible.

REQUIREMENTS

This designation is not afforded automatically and needs to be ‘earned’.  The following are the current requirements (as of May 2018) for SFP.

  • The seller needs a Professional Seller account – this can’t be done with a casual seller or consumer account.
  • Gain eligibility for Amazon Premium Shipping. To be eligible for Premium Shipping, the seller must:
    1. Sell on Amazon for 90 days or more
    2. Enable Same-Day Delivery, One-Day Shipping, and/or Two-Day Shipping on shipping settings
    3. Deliver orders according to Amazon’s Premium Shipping Eligibility requirements (see below) – your eligibility will be determined by your shipment history of the trailing 30 days.
  • Maintain Premium Shipping by meeting or exceeding the following requirements for the trailing 30 days:
    1. Have an on-time delivery rate of at least 92 percent for Premium Shipping Orders
    2. A valid tracking ID for at least 94 percent of Premium Shipping Orders (UPS, US Postal Service, FedEx, or OnTrac)
    3. A seller initiated cancellation rate of less than 1.5 percent for Premium Shipping Orders
  • After you’ve mastered Premium Shipping a seller can begin the Seller Fulfilled Prime eligibility trial. Once you’ve started the trial, you have 200 Prime orders to meet the following performance requirements:
    1. On-Time Shipment Rate of at least 99 percent for Prime trial orders – Regardless of the shipping speed selected by the customer, Prime trial orders must be shipped on the same day that they are received, as long as the customer places the order before your pre-determined cutoff time.
    2. Use of Buy Shipping Services for at least 95 percent of Prime trial orders
    3. A cancelation rate of less than 1 percent of Prime trial orders

The trial period can last just a few days, a few weeks up to three months or more – it really just depends on how long it takes for you to reach that 200 Prime trial orders number.

  • Lastly, sellers must agree to several specific program terms for Amazon Prime items in order to qualify, such as:
    1. Buying all shipping labels for orders with a Prime item via Amazon’s Buy Shipping Services
    2. Automatically directing all post-order customer service inquiries to Amazon
    3. Adhering to Amazon’s returns policy
    4. Offering Prime shipping benefits and guaranteed delivery dates

Once a seller has been approved and is operating under the SFP program Amazon continues to monitor performance including 98.5% on-time shipment rating and a 1.5% or less order cancellation rate.  Vendors are expected to supply the tracking information to Amazon, who monitors all of it to ensure their vendors are meeting those standards.

If Prime eligibility is lost, it could take an additional 30 days of proving yourself before regaining Prime status.

Sweetwater Logistics performance meets or exceeds all of the SFP program requirements.  Let us know if you are interested in taking advantage of this program.

Posted in: Blog, Business, Shipping |

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