Chances are, Amazon Prime has been going a lot longer than you think: it was launched in 2005, as a push to build brand loyalty to Amazon. Over the years, it's grown to include a bunch of other benefits, like video streaming and access to a Kindle library, but quick shipping remains its most important appeal factor.
As a manufacturer, you have to think about keeping up, and part of that is being sure your products are Prime-Eligible. This week, we’ve put together a two-part blog post for you. First, we’ve got a little primer (ha) on what it is that determines which products end up on Prime, and if there are any strategies that might make your product more likely to be featured.
Second, we’ll tell you why Prime can really help drive your sales.
… how do I get my product on Prime?
Luckily, getting your products on Prime isn’t as hard as many things on Amazon, like getting your products in the Buy Box, say. Even so, if you want to sell your product yourself (rather than having some shady reseller nabbing Prime customers first), you’ll have to do a few things.
- You’ve got to be using Fulfillment by Amazon (aka FBA)
Yep, folks, we’re saying it again: fulfillment by Amazon is just the best way to go. In order to get Prime, you’ve got to be using FBA, which isn’t a huge shocker. There are a few exceptions to this rule, but they tend to be very large, mainstream manufacturers rather than smaller brands.
- Your Seller Metrics will have to be good enough
Once you start selling through Prime, you’ll need to develop a strong seller reputation in order to qualify for Prime Shipping. Starting from scratch may mean you'll have to wait sometime for inventory to be reliable before your products become Prime eligible. If you’re interested in how to get strong seller ratings, feel free to reach out to Whitebox - we have 100% positive seller feedback, which means all our clients’ products are immediately Prime eligible.
Why should I shoot for Prime eligibility?
Chances are, you aren’t in doubt about the value of your products being on Prime. Still, we’ve put a small list together to help you realize the importance of it. Our last blog was about selling on Amazon, and the bottom line is: if you’re selling on Amazon, you should be aiming to make your product Prime eligible.
- Prime is America's biggest members-only club
Getting your product on Prime is great, even though the people that will use it is limited by membership. In fact, there aren’t many people who will be left out: Prime Membership had reached roughly half of American households as of September 2016, and if someone shops on Amazon regularly, they probably use Prime.
- Dash buttons are going digital, and it benefits smallers brands
You’ve probably heard about the Amazon dash, little wifi-enabled gadgets that let you order classy things like toilet paper and dish detergent with the push of a button. Each dash button is programmed to order only one item.
There’s been some cynicism surrounding this tech, but a recent announcement that you can create your own buttons on your phone or Amazon account matches the Popular Science’s prediction that soon you’ll be able to program them to order anything, not just the most mainstream brands. This means if you sell something consumable, you’ve got an even better shot at building that customer loyalty!
- Everyone wants your product… ASAP
We think a lot about numbers at Whitebox. And the stats on people’s desire for quick shipping don’t lie: in a 2016 Deloitte holiday survey, it was found that the idea of fast shipping is changing, well, fast. In the span of just one year the percentage that considered 3-4 day shipping “quick” dropped from 63 to 43 percent, and chances are, a driving force behind that shift is the high bar set by Prime's 2-day time frame.
And, setting the growing desire for fast shipping aside, all those Prime members we listed in reason one? 78% of them joined Amazon Prime because of the fast shipping. And Amazon has the big bucks to support this consumer need - with an annual outbound shipping cost of 1.54 billion. And, if you’re lucky, you might even end up with the crazy fast, 2-hour delivery of Prime Now.
- You’ll most likely see a jump in sales
So, this isn’t something we could find stats on out in the wilds of the internet… but Whitebox CAN tell you, based on the experience of many of our clients, Prime eligibility is a big boom to your product. Think about all those needy consumers, and remember when they’re trying something new, they want it as soon as shipping allows. We’ve seen some major growth once we’ve onboarded products and they’ve become Prime eligible.
So, we hope this post has given you something new to think about. At Whitebox, we love working to keep our seller rating at 100%. We also love helping clients - whether they are new to Amazon or old hats - see their numbers jump when they join us as Prime-eligible products.
BONUS! Prime Facts You (maybe) didn’t know
The drones are coming… Well, technically this service will fall under another name: Prime Air. Right now, it’s not entirely clear when they’ll be ready, but the first successful delivery was made in Cambridge, England on December 14th, 2016.
In LA, you can even order a Hyundai test drive through Prime… Though this certainly isn’t relevant to our sellers, it’s our “Fun Fact” for this weeks post. In August 2016, Prime made a deal with Hyundai to deliver test drives.