Today, November 17, marks a new day for Amazon. In the “old days”, Amazon directly sold the majority of the items that were purchased on its website. In other words, Amazon owned the items that it sold, and shipped them to the customers that purchased them.
Now, however, Amazon says that because of its Seller Fulfilled Prime program, which Amazon started last year, more than half of the items being sold on Amazon are coming from third-party sellers. The Seller Fulfilled Prime program is aimed at larger merchants that already have the infrastructure to warehouse and ship items within the 2 day window that Amazon Prime users are guaranteed. Being part of this program allows the merchants access to the estimated 50 million Amazon Prime members, in addition to Amazon’s negotiated shipping prices with several different carriers, which are substantially lower than standard shipping rates.
Amazon also stated that due to the Seller Fulfilled Prime program, there has been more than six million new items listed for Amazon Prime members. Last Year, during Cyber Monday, Amazon merchants saw an increase of more than 40% of the number items ordered versus the previous year. This increase equated to roughly more than 23 million items that were ordered during the holiday.
While this is obviously a great thing for Amazon, we must wonder what type of impact it will have on the small sellers (and affiliates).
If Amazon continues to cater to large retailers who already have major marketing efforts running, they may think that affiliate marketing is no longer necessary (at least for that segment of their sales). While there haven’t been any rumors of that yet, it is certainly something to consider.