Amazon Shipping has been launched as a premium shipping service for next day deliveries across the UK.
Despite being an Amazon-owned service, Amazon Shipping is in fact also open to retailers selling on other online marketplaces or sales channels, meaning you don’t need to sell on Amazon to benefit from fast and reliable domestic shipping.
So, what is Amazon Shipping? What are its benefits and limitations? And how does it compare with FBA and Seller Fulfilled Prime?
Amazon Shipping benefits
While Amazon Shipping is best known for its high levels of reliability for next day delivery and its great customer service, these aren’t its only benefits.
In fact, unlike almost all other UK shipping services, Amazon Shipping is changing the game by eliminating the usual weekend delivery surcharges.
In other words, you can take advantage of this new 7-day delivery service without having to pay more for collections on a Friday or Saturday, or for fuel and congestion charges – the rates are simple and all inclusive.
Now given how customer expectations for fast delivery are evolving, sellers who aren’t adapting their offering to facilitate this risk losing potential business.
Amazon Shipping also states that it makes the claims process easy, with merchants able to be reimbursed quickly in the event of a missing parcel.
Amazon Shipping limitations
While the benefits cannot be ignored, as with any business, Amazon Shipping won’t be an ideal fit for every retailer.
Well, to start with, this new Amazon delivery service is only available to UK sellers shipping to UK customers. Amazon have not yet released their plans for scaling this programme into other markets.
Amazon Shipping is also currently only offering next day delivery for items sold outside the Amazon Marketplace, so if you are looking for a variety of different delivery speeds, this may not be right for you.
Another factor to consider is order volumes. In fact, with the costs decreasing as order volumes increase, Amazon Shipping could be better suited to merchants who are shipping more - ideally over 100 packages a day.
Finally, hazmat products (for instance lithium batteries) and items that require age verification (such as wine) are not eligible to be shipped with this service at this time.
Amazon Shipping offers two or five package tiers, depending on the seller’s needs.
Do note that Large Parcels have a maximum dimension of 120 x 60 x 60 cm and a weight limit of 23kg, which could be another limitation to using the service if you sell products that exceed this size and weight.
When it comes to the price of each of these Amazon Shipping tiers, approved merchants will be able to obtain a competitive custom quote. To learn more, you can register your interest here.
How is Amazon Shipping related to FBA and SFP?
FBA is a programme that enables retailers to send their products to an Amazon warehouse (or as they call it, “Fulfilment Centre”), where Amazon handles the warehousing, picking, packing, and fulfilment of orders on the retailer’s behalf. FBA helps sellers save time and focus on other business problems.
On the other hand, SFP enables Amazon sellers to maintain control over their own fulfilment operations, while still being “Prime” eligible.
To qualify for SFP, you are required to demonstrate high delivery performance standards that is on par with Amazon’s own Prime offering.
This includes using a highly reliable carrier; Amazon Shipping is one of the few shipping partners that SFP can use, so if you are an SFP seller you can consolidate volumes by using Amazon Shipping for orders both on Amazon marketplace and from your other sales channels.
Unlike FBA and SFP, Amazon Shipping is not related to fulfilment operations; Amazon Shipping is simply a delivery service, collecting and delivering parcels within the UK.
Leading the Future of eCommerce Delivery
It’s no secret Amazon has positioned itself at the forefront of delivery innovation and it looks like the launch of Amazon Shipping further confirms that.
In fact, you only need to look at the global success of Amazon Prime, their one-day delivery paid subscription service, which has played an integral role in shaping the evolving delivery expectations of online shoppers.
More specifically, Amazon Prime has created a demand for instant gratification regarding speed of delivery, a trend that has been dubbed the Amazon effect.
It doesn’t stop there though.
Back in 2016, Amazon began developing Prime Air, a drone delivery service that seeks to parcels in less than 30 minutes using drones. While Amazon Prime Air is still very much in the development stage, it is certainly the first of its kind and could very well shape the future of eCommerce delivery.
But what does this tell us?
Ultimately, Amazon are continuing to enhance their service offering by fulfilling the delivery needs of sellers and their customers, once again before anyone else in the industry.
While the need for expedited delivery isn’t new, it can’t be ignored that in order for sellers to align their shipping options with the needs of today’s consumers, it does often come at a cost to their business.
By eliminating weekend delivery surcharges, Amazon Shipping is making it a whole lot easier for sellers to compete with larger brands in a more efficient and cost-effective way.
Accessing Amazon Shipping
So, how can you take advantage of Amazon Shipping?
At present, this delivery service can only be accessed by a handful of Amazon order integrators, including Linnworks.
If you would like more information on how this service can help give you a competitive advantage, register your interest here.