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- Amazon told sellers in a note on Tuesday that those using the Seller Fulfilled Prime service will be required to ensure Saturday pickups and deliveries, starting Feb. 1, 2021.
- The move is part of Amazon's effort to make its one-day Prime delivery promise more widely available across its site.
- Amazon said in the note that even prior to COVID-19, less than 16% of SFP users in the US were shipped within two days.
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Amazon sellers that fulfill packages on their own will have to make sure their packages are shipped on the weekends too, as Amazon pushes to make more of its products eligible for one-day shipping.
In a note sent to sellers on Tuesday, Amazon said third-party merchants using its Seller Fulfilled Prime (SFP) service will be required to ensure Saturday pickups and deliveries, starting Feb. 1, 2021. Those sellers will also have to provide nationwide delivery coverage and "meet targets for one- and two-day delivery promises," the note said.
"We recognize these changes are meaningful," the note said. "While the current performance of the program is not meeting customer expectations, these changes will help deliver an experience our Prime customers expect, including fast delivery."
The change is part of Amazon's effort to make its one-day delivery service more widely available across its site. Although it rolled out last year, one-day delivery is estimated to account for just 25% of the products sold on Amazon, as the coronavirus pandemic put heavy pressure on its supply chain.
Sellers who fulfill on their own have struggled to meet Amazon's fast delivery promise, even prior to COVID-19, the note said. Less than 16% of SFP orders in the US were shipped within two days, largely due to sellers not working on the weekends, it said.
Most third-party merchants on Amazon use Fulfillment by Amazon, a service that stores and ships products on behalf of sellers for a fee. For those who don't want to use Amazon's fulfillment service have the choice of doing it on their own, either through SFP, which has more stringent rules, or Fulfillment by Merchant, which has no restriction on shipping time.
It's unclear how many sellers currently use SFP. Enrollment in SFP is currently closed.
Amazon's representative said in a statement to Business Insider that the change is intended to provide customers with "fast, consistent delivery, regardless of the fulfillment method." CNBC reported on the change earlier.
Here's the full note to sellers:
We are always listening to our customers, and Prime members consistently tell us they want free and fast shipping. This is why Amazon is making significant investments in our fulfillment and transportation capabilities to make Prime faster, transitioning from a Two-Day to a One-Day delivery program. As we continue to improve the Amazon Prime experience for customers, we want to ensure Seller Fulfilled Prime (SFP) meets customers' expectations of Prime.
We know that as a seller enrolled in SFP, you work hard to provide customers with a delightful shopping experience. Despite these good intentions, even before COVID-19, fewer than 16% of SFP orders in the US met the Prime Two-Day delivery promise customers expect, in large part because many sellers do not operate on weekends. As a result, we are making the following changes to this program in the US:
- Starting February 1, 2021, SFP sellers will be required to use shipping methods that support Saturday delivery and pick-ups to provide customers with a more consistent delivery experience throughout the week. View your Shipping Settings here (https://sellercentral.amazon.com/sbr/ref=xx_shipset_dnav_help?#settings) and click 'General Shipping Settings'.
- Starting February 1, 2021, SFP sellers will be required to meet targets for one- and two-day delivery promises. These delivery promise metrics measure the percentage of customer page views that displayed a one or two-day delivery promise when your SFP offer was the featured offer, regardless of whether a purchase was made. The delivery speed targets (https://sellercentral.amazon.com/gp/help/GM2KN7HAZM4WHA6L) ensure that customers have a consistent experience regardless of who fulfills their Prime order.
- To help you meet the targets for one- and two-day delivery promises, we are launching a new dashboard (https://sellercentral.amazon.com/seller-fulfilled-prime/seller-performance) that measures the quoted delivery speed of your SFP offers (please note dashboard may not be available to all sellers until later this afternoon). This dashboard monitors two new metrics: Percent of One-Day or less Detail Page Views and Percent of Two-Day or less Detail Page Views.
- Starting February 1, 2021, SFP sellers will be required to have nationwide delivery coverage for all standard size delivery products. You can see which of your products are standard size or oversize on the Manage SFP page (https://sellercentral.amazon.com/seller-fulfilled-prime/analytics/).
We recognize these changes are meaningful. We want to make sure you have plenty of time to determine how these changes affect your business and to make any adjustments you may need, which is why these new requirements will not take effect for more than five months. While the current performance of the program is not meeting customer expectations, these changes will help deliver an experience our Prime customers expect, including fast delivery. We will continue innovating with tools and offerings that help make SFP more compelling to you and our shared customers. You and SFP are important to Amazon and our customers, and to help you navigate these changes, we have launched a guide in Seller Central (https://sellercentral.amazon.com/gp/help/GVB5YNDGLQG4GYGR) with details, examples, and answers to your questions. We have also set up a dedicated support team that you can contact at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Seller Fulfilled Prime Team
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