Whenever you buy something on Amazon.com that’s marked with the Prime symbol, you expect it to arrive in two days or less.
To accomplish that level of efficiency and speed, Amazon handles all of the logistics, by shipping the goods directly from one of its many warehouses. But increasingly, it’s trusting some third-party merchants to use the Prime label, as well.
The Wall Street Journal reports that Amazon has begun to expand the Prime program to merchants with an outstanding reputation for shipping consistently and on-time.
“I always ship same-day anyway when it’s possible, so customers get the products quickly,” said Webzom President Brad King, who is participating in the program, according to The WSJ.
Expanding Prime is a big deal as Amazon relies more heavily on the shipping program to drive loyalty and sales. Just last week, Amazon Founder and CEO Jeff Bezos said Prime was one of the company’s three great successes at the company’s shareholder meeting.
He said when sellers elect to have Amazon store and ship merchandise from its own warehouses, retailers see a 20 percent jump in sales because of Prime. That signals that not only are merchants happy, but customers are finding the goods they want, as well.
Now by letting retailers participate directly in the program, Amazon will have an even larger inventory of Prime items.
Of course, by opening up the program to third-parties, there is some risk. Amazon will have to ensure retailers maintain the same level of service customers expect. King told the WSJ that Amazon will be monitoring him closely and will remove him from the program if he fails to meet expectations. Right now, that should be easy enough since there’s reportedly fewer than 10 merchants participating.
An Amazon spokeswoman did not comment in the WSJ story and did not immediately return an email to GeekWire seeking comment.