Much has already been talked about ‘Buy With Prime.’ It does directly hit Shopify’s lucrative payment business. But what makes for sensational headlines actually takes years to play out and the story rarely plays out with a linear narration that you are presented with.
BWP adoption is a trickle
As of mid-October, fewer than 500 websites had implemented ‘Buy With Prime.’ We looked at all Shopify websites (and not just the ones PipeCandy calls ‘active’). The trickle will turn into a flood. But it has not and it won’t in a long while.
What stops the embrace?
Shopify is scaring its merchants with platform violation notices
Is there a violation? Yes, but the kind where moms would tell the kids to hug and make up – except, the turf encroachment is going to be a persistent war of attrition on either side.
Brands don’t trust Amazon
Amazon has a trust deficit. It eroded trust by pumping out private labels that directly took on best sellers. It’s good for the customers who are Amazon’s first citizens, but Shopify is about the merchants. This philosophical difference plays out in many ways.
What will Amazon do with the sales data on the sites powered by ‘Buy With Prime?’ Something not good.
Will the brand ads that show up on Amazon for the DTC brand habituate the shopper to look for the brand on Amazon? Of course.
Will the brand be beholden to Amazon’s services and thereby eroding margins? Yes.
BWP is not a panacea
I also don’t buy the argument that Amazon is bringing its best customer cohort to the DTC brand. BWP is not about discovery or reach. It’s about conversion lift. A Prime customer is a sophisticated customer and knows what they are doing. The Shop app is meant to enhance discoverability and Shopify has been making investments that directly impact conversion lift.
Shopify Fulfillment Network
I was interviewing Russell Saks, the founder of CampusProtein for our podcast. You should check out their website. Some new launches are in the works. Russell cannot stop raving about Shopify’s focus on fulfillment.
The Deliverr acquisition is yet to play out in the open. But even without it, a deeply integrated, modern warehouse and inventory management system that optimizes cost of each delivery, is a compelling solution. Bear with me for the consulting-speak that I just did. Beyond the promise, the devil is the execution. What I learned from Russell is that every partner warehouse of Shopify has a Shopify employee on the ground and tickets get resolved in 20 minutes. That is insane commitment.
Shopify is one partnership away with a national carrier to enable an AWD-like service for its merchants. Between Shop app, Shop Pay, and SFN, Shopify has the wheels in motion to continue to earn the business of its user base. At the very least, a Shopify merchant may not be compelled to look at Amazon for answers.
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