The number of Amazon Prime users officially outnumbers the site’s non-Prime customers. According to a Consumer Intelligence Research Partners’ (CIRP) report, there are over 112 million Amazon Prime subscribers as of January 2020—an increase of 17 million from June of 2018.
Given the popularity of Amazon Prime, there are clear advantages for sellers in having the Amazon Prime logo on their listings. Customers are more likely to buy from Prime vendors since it guarantees that the order will arrive on their door step in two days or less…and for no additional shipping costs.
Up until recently, any merchant wanting to put that “Prime” logo on its listings had to use Amazon’s fulfillment arm, Fulfillment By Amazon (FBA). That changed in June of 2015, when Amazon's Seller Fulfilled Prime (SFP) was introduced. This new program allows sellers who meet program requirements to display the Prime designation without having to store and ship products via FBA. For those companies who feel that FBA is inflexible and does not allow them to manage the customers’ brand experience, the SFP program offers some flexibility.
What Are Seller Fulfilled Prime Requirements?
If it sounds like an SFP strategy aligns well with your firm’s logistics and fulfillment approach, here are the steps you must take to meet the requirements for Seller Fulfilled Prime.
- Fill out an application. First, you’ll need to fill out an application and be approved as an SFP seller. Once approved, you can begin fulfilling orders yourself or you can rely on a third-party fulfillment expert like Amware Logistics to manage the process.
- Complete a trial period. According to Amazon’s program overview, before enrolling in SFP, companies must complete a trial period to show that they are able to meet Seller Fulfilled Prime requirements for customer satisfaction.
- Meet performance requirements. During the trial period, you must meet the following requirements on a minimum of 200 Prime trial orders:
- An On-Time Shipment Rate of at least 99% for Prime trial orders.
- Use of Buy Shipping Services for at least 95% of Prime trial orders.
- A Cancellation Rate of less than 1% on Prime trial orders.
- Meet the criteria. To participate in SFP, sellers must also meet the following criteria:
- Good standing. You must have a Professional Selling Account that is active and in good standing.
- Customer service. Once approved for SFP, sellers have to maintain the other conveniences of the Prime program that customers are accustomed to, including use of customer service by Amazon; auto-authorize returns (regardless of whether the buyer is a Prime member); and purchase of shipping labels from Amazon.
- If you don’t succeed, try, try again. The trial period lasts between 5 and 90 days depending on when you satisfy the performance requirements. If you fail to fulfill the above requirements for 200 eligible Prime trial orders within 90 days, the trial period will reset automatically and you can try again.
Now that you know the requirements of becoming eligible for Amazon Seller Fulfilled Prime, you simply need to determine if the program is right for your business.