Enrollment for Amazon Seller Fulfilled Prime (SFP) will reopen on October 1, 2023. This program allows brands to list, sell, and fulfill Prime-eligible products themselves. Along with reopening enrollment, Amazon also announced program changes to help ensure the speed and reliability of Seller Fulfilled Prime shipments. This article discusses these updates in detail to help you determine your eligibility and whether Amazon SFP is right for your brand.
What is Seller Fulfilled Prime?
Seller Fulfilled Prime allows brands to list their products as Prime-eligible and handle the fulfillment themselves. Brands approved for SFP can offer Prime shipping benefits to Amazon Prime members. They can display the Prime badge on the products they already ship to customers with two-day, one-day, and free standard shipping. While there is no fee to enroll in SFP, Amazon has launched a new trial period (more on this later).
Amazon promotes Seller Fulfilled Prime by emphasizing the following benefits:
- Reach the Most Loyal Amazon Customers
With Seller Fulfilled Prime, brands can offer their products to Amazon’s wide network of Prime members. By offering products as Prime listings, Prime customers will be able to easily find these products as they use Amazon’s on-site filters, giving ASINs more visibility and discoverability.
- Compete More Effectively to Have Offers Featured
Products listed with Seller Fulfilled Prime have increased chances of becoming the featured offer. Having offers featured means that when customers click on “Add to Cart”, their default option is to buy the product from the featured brand.
- Offer Guaranteed Delivery Date Messaging
Seller Fulfilled Prime orders display FREE Delivery messaging to Prime customers, making them more likely to make multiple and repeat purchases.
Upcoming Changes to Seller Fulfilled Prime
Brands that have used Seller Fulfilled Prime in the past will notice major changes to the program effective October 1, including a new trial period, additional program fees, and updated requirements. Below is a summary of the most important changes to Amazon SFP.
The New Seller Fulfilled Prime Trial Period
To enroll in Seller Fulfilled Prime, you must pre-qualify to start a 30-day trial. During the trial, you must meet all program requirements to pass and become enrolled in SFP. The following are the pre-qualifications you must meet to begin the trial:
- Have a domestic US address as your default shipping address
- Have an Amazon Professional selling account
- Meet the following criteria over the past 90 days:
- Self-fulfilled at least 100 packages
- Cancellation rate less than 2.5%
- Valid tracking rate greater than 95%
- Late shipment rate less than 4%
According to Amazon, the new SFP trial period ensures your offers can consistently meet the high standards of Prime speed and reliability.
Requirements That are New or Have Changed
On-time delivery: On-time delivery is the number of Prime units delivered on or before the promised delivery date that appears in the order details, divided by all Prime units that have had a delivery scan. To reflect Prime customers’ expectations, the minimum performance requirements for on-time delivery will be refreshed quarterly. Any change will be communicated at least 45 days before the change is effective. The new on-time delivery requirement is 93.5% or higher.
Valid tracking: Valid tracking rate is the number of Prime packages with a valid tracking ID divided by the number of Prime packages for which shipment has been confirmed. The new valid tracking rate requirement is 99% or higher. For a tracking ID to be considered valid, it must have a first scan from an Amazon-integrated carrier.
Nationwide Delivery: All offers from a Prime shipping template, including all size tiers, must provide nationwide delivery to the contiguous U.S. within one to five days. A minimum delivery speed with a 3- to 5-day promise range will be pre-configured in all Prime shipping templates and cannot be changed. You can choose to define regions with faster delivery for same-day, one-day, and two-day delivery. All delivery regions across all speeds will be eligible for Prime branding and monitored for the delivery speed requirement described below.
Delivery Speed: Delivery speed measures the percentage of detail-page views by Prime customers for products that offer a specific speed. The minimum performance requirements for delivery speed will be refreshed quarterly. Any change will be communicated at least 45 days before the change is effective. The initial delivery speed requirements that go into effect October 1, 2023, are shown in the table below.
Free returns: The free returns requirement will be updated to follow the Amazon-fulfilled free returns policy. This update means items eligible for returns and weighing less than 50 lbs. will be eligible for free returns for all seller- and buyer-related reasons. This change will be applied to all U.S. Prime orders.
Program fee: For every Seller Fulfilled Prime item that you sell, Amazon will charge a fee of 2% of the total price, with a minimum of $0.25 per item sold. The fee will apply to items sold to a Prime customer via an offer associated with a Prime shipping template. The initial fee structure is shown in the table below.
Requirements That are Not Changing
- Seller-initiated cancellation rate of no more than 0.5%
- Free shipping
- Order inquiries are handled by Amazon customer service
- Zero-day handling with minimum order cutoff time
- Enable operations to receive, pack, and ship Prime orders on Saturday, Sunday, or both
- Deliver Prime products on Saturday, Sunday, or both
Channel Key Takeaway
There is no denying the purchasing power of Amazon Prime. According to Statista, more than 200 million shoppers subscribe to Amazon Prime worldwide, with 76 million living in the U.S. Without Seller Fulfilled Prime, the only way to sell to these customers while offering Prime shipping benefits is through Amazon FBA. While a reliable program, FBA is also costly. Amazon storage and fulfillment fees can eat into your margins. Seller Fulfilled Prime gives brands an opportunity to target Prime members without accumulating these fees. It’s important to note that doing so is not easy. Amazon has strict shipping and performance standards for Seller Fulfilled Prime. Smaller brands without the infrastructure and support team to pick, pack, and ship orders quickly are better off with Amazon FBA. However, if your brand can meet Amazon’s criteria, Seller Fulfilled Prime might be a good option.