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Amazon announced that it is expanding its Buy With Prime program - which essentially allows third-party merchants to make Prime benefits, like "like fast, free shipping, a seamless checkout experience, and easy returns," available on their own online stores - to all eligible "Fulfillment by Amazon" retailers.

The expansion takes place at the end of January.

Buy With Prime was launched in April 2022 to merchants invited to participate.  Since then, Amazon says, "Buy with Prime has been shown to increase shopper conversion by 25% on average, according to internal Amazon data. This data point measures the average increase in shoppers who placed an order when Buy with Prime was an available purchase option versus when it was not, during the same time period."

Amazon also said that it is "launching a new capability for Buy with Prime merchants: the ability to display customer reviews from within their own online stores. The ability to display ratings and reviews on their own ecommerce stores can help merchants increase shopper trust and conversion, and better inform shopper purchase decisions."

In its analysis, Bloomberg writes that "Amazon, suffering slowing sales as the pandemic-era boom cools, is looking for new ways to leverage its sprawling logistics operation. The company has long known that many Prime subscribers shop on other websites. Extending Prime perks to those online stores lets Amazon collect more shipping fees. The service also gives Amazon a weapon in its fight with Canadian rival Shopify, which provides e-commerce software to millions of web stores and has been trying, with mixed success, to muscle into the logistics business."

And CNBC writes that "Amazon’s third-party marketplace has become the centerpiece of its dominant e-commerce business, accounting for more than half of its retail sales. The company also makes money from charging sellers to ship and store their goods in its warehouses, collecting commissions and other add-on services. Revenue from third-party seller services surged 18% in the third quarter from a year earlier to $28.7 billion."

KC's View:

We talk a lot about Amazon's efforts to jump-start its business, which is in a cyclical decline at the moment, in today's Innovation Conversation.  There's a subtext to this - Consumer Intelligence Research Partners, which tracks Prime membership, says that the current membership stands at 172 million … about the same as six months ago.

We can look at this move by Amazon as reflecting a continued desire at the company to be inextricably intertwined in customers' lives … even other people's customers.  Down, a bit, for the moment, but hardly out.