Amazon Buy With Prime Has Finally Arrived on Shopify


Early this year, I met with Amazon's Buy with Prime team in person at NRF in NYC. They outlined why Buy with Prime could be a game-changer for our clients. For those unfamiliar, Buy with Prime allows customers to checkout with their Amazon Prime account on a merchant's e-commerce website. While I was intrigued by the potential, it seemed too good to be true for brand selling on Amazon. At the time, it also seemed like setting up Buy with Prime on Shopify websites would be a risk in violating Shopify's terms. One we weren't willing to take.

Buy with Prime shopper experience. Source: Amazon BwP deck.

Despite concerns, we continued conversations with Buy with Prime and even mentioned it to a couple of clients who could be a good fit. Many of these clients raised the same concerns as me. Amazon assured us there hadn't been issues with other Shopify merchants, but this wasn't enough to take the risk.

A few months ago, more Buy with Prime use cases kept coming up while chatting with prospective clients. Eager to see how Buy with Prime could help these merchants succeed, I contacted our Buy with Prime partner manager for an update on the Shopify relationship. This time, he let me in on the exciting news Shopify President Harley Finkelstein announced last week: Buy with Prime was coming to the Shopify app store.

What this means:

  • Shopify merchants will be able to install Buy with Prime with a few clicks
  • Buy with Prime will be handled through Shopify's checkout
  • Buy with Prime transactions will be processed through Shopify Payments

Since hearing the news, I've enjoyed working with Buy with Prime (BwP) on potential implementation for new and current clients. Here are some reasons I'm bullish about Buy with Prime:

  1. Amazon Prime trust factor: As a Prime member, I'd be lying if I said I didn't often opt for Amazon over DTC when discovering new products. BwP can encourage shoppers like me to stay on the brand's website to complete their purchase. Amazon order history will even capture BwP purchases, reducing any time spent on customer service inquiries for these orders.
  2. Fast, free shipping: Besides the trust factor, I like to shop with Amazon Prime for the fast and free shipping. BwP claims that 55% of shoppers say free shipping is most important when purchasing online. With that in mind, they promise merchants will convert more shoppers by extending this benefit to their customers via their website, lifting conversion by as much as 25%.
  3. Customer relationships: It's still hard to believe Amazon is handing over customer data for transactions made via BwP. This opportunity will be huge for nurturing relationships with customers that merchants may have never been able to reach.
  4. Customer reviews: Amazon is often a go-to destination for learning what customers think of a product. With BwP, merchants can bring those reviews to their websites to further unify these channels.
  5. A/B testing: For those interested, BwP is partnering with VWO to help merchants test the impact of BwP. Key success metrics are conversion % impact, revenue per shopper, average order value, and % of orders through Buy with Prime.
  6. Select assortment and pricing: A question that's come up a lot already is around product assortment and pricing and if these have to be the same between Amazon and BwP. The answer is no—merchants can fully own their store offerings without constraints or guidelines from Amazon.

Use Cases

BwP isn't the right move for every merchant. For now, I see the most opportunity for:

  • Brands of all sizes who have built their business on Amazon but have struggled to build out DTC
  • Brands that primarily sell in retail and on Amazon but have no interest in DTC for several reasons, like the cost of shipping (think: CPG brands) or brands that sell on both but want to grow DTC

Building out DTC: Countless merchants have excelled on Amazon but have been unable to crack the direct-to-consumer channel. There's, of course, a financial motivation to build out DTC, but another is better understanding their customers. Buy with Prime is a game-changer for these merchants. They can launch their e-commerce store and offer customers the same trust and benefits of shopping with Amazon Prime. With full access to customer data, these merchants will have more insight than ever into their customers and the ability to build meaningful relationships through channels like email/SMS. Merchants may launch with all or select products on Buy with Prime but can gradually drive customers to purchase DTC as they build trust.

Unified branded shopping: Amazon made several improvements to its platform over the years, allowing merchants to offer customers more branded experiences; however, it still doesn't come close to what's possible with Shopify. Until now, merchants who opt to sell on Amazon will try to get around this by building a brand experience on a platform like Shopify but still drive traffic to Amazon, even if they offer DTC. We've built experiences like this for countless brands, often in the CPG space. Buy with Prime will help merchants bridge this gap and create one unified shopping experience.


This post originally appeared in Edition No. 156 of my newsletter. Subscribe here.

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