Amazon Announces Seller Fulfilled Prime Program
By Ranjit Mulgaonkar and Maya Mulgaonkar
Amazon recently announced the relaunch of its Seller Fulfilled Prime (SFP) program, which allows sellers to ship products directly to domestic Amazon Prime customers from their own warehouses. The program, initially launched in 2015 and discontinued in 2021, has been reintroduced to meet growing demand, provide consumers with additional Prime product selection, and provide sellers with more flexibility and control over their operations.
By participating in the SFP program, sellers must fulfill orders with one-day and two-day delivery at no additional charge for Prime customers. This enables them to display the Prime branding on their offers, earn the Prime badge, and benefit from Buy Box preference. Additionally, sellers gain access to the millions of Prime members and are now eligible for Prime Exclusive Discounts and Prime Promotion. This increases visibility and is known to drive sales.
Is SFP Right for You?
Consider that SFP is a commitment to fulfill orders under strict parameters. Can your warehouse meet these demands, considering that weekends and holidays are not exempt from the one-to-two-day shipping promise? While you will no longer pay Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA) fees, consider that the fees associated with FBA are now the responsibility of the sellers. These include shipping fees (nationwide), storage fees, and increased manpower to manage these shipments.
Interested sellers can find more details on Amazon Seller Central, and the program is currently available in the United States, United Kingdom, Germany, France, Italy, and Spain. The relaunched Seller Fulfilled Prime program aims to provide sellers with the opportunity to tap into the Prime customer base while maintaining more control over their fulfillment processes. Here are some high-level benefits and challenges.
Access to 150 million Prime members without participating in FBA
Ship directly from your warehouse from your unified inventory
Access to Prime Customers and Prime Exclusive promotions such as Prime Day
Higher Buy Box preference and Prime Badge on listing
Strict fulfillment parameters to qualify and maintain program eligibility
On-time one-to-two-day delivery rate
Maintain a valid tracking rate
Seller-initiated cancellation rate
Strict late shipment rate
Considering the Challenges
To participate in the SFP program, sellers need to pre-qualify for the trial by meeting certain criteria, including:
Must have a domestic U.S. address as the default shipping address
Must have an Amazon Professional selling account
Must meet specific performance metrics over the preceding 90 days: o Self-fulfilling at least 100 packages o Maintaining a cancellation rate of less than 2.5 percent o Maintaining a valid tracking rate greater than 95 percent o Maintaining a late shipment rate of less than 4 percent o Offering free nationwide shipping and free returns for products over 50 pounds
Once prequalified, sellers can participate in the 30-day trial period, during which they need to meet additional requirements to pass the trial and become enrolled SFP sellers, including:
Shipping 100 or more packages from Prime trial orders
Maintaining an on-time delivery rate of at least 93.5 percent
Maintaining a valid tracking rate of at least 99 percent
Maintaining a seller-initiated cancellation rate of less than 0.5 percent
It's important to note that as part of the SFP program, sellers must handle all post-order customer service — including returns, refunds, and adjustments — through Amazon Customer Service, except for product-related customer service inquiries. This policy compliance is mandatory to participate in Seller Fulfilled Prime.
Ranjit Mulgaonkar is founder & CEO and Maya Mulgaonkar is vice president of account management at Flatworld Group. He can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org; she can be reached at email@example.com. For more on Flatworld Group, click here.