Amazon is actively expanding Amazon Shipping to interested third-party sellers, as reported by Business Insider, which cited an email invitation seen by the publication.
Check Out These Resources
- Do you need a business bank account for your online business? Take a look at our review of the five best bank accounts for sellers, some of which are free with no minimum balance or deposits. [sponsored]
- Boost your social media engagement with Publer. Learn how you can save time writing engaging content faster with AI. [sponsored]
- Could your online business use capital for growth? Here is a primer on revenue-based loans, and how they work.
The company has also launched a website that enables Amazon sellers to sign up for the service, taking another step toward turning its vast delivery network into a true competitor to USPS, UPS, and FedEx for residential ground deliveries.
With this launch, Amazon sellers can now ship items both from Amazon and from their own websites or other sales channels they use (such as eBay, Etsy, Shopify, etc.).
The company states that Amazon Shipping offers reliable on-time delivery, including “photo on delivery and stop-by-stop tracking” – all features that have been cornerstones of its delivery service and appreciated by customers.
Additionally, Amazon Shipping will offer pick-up and delivery services seven days a week, simple rates with no surcharges for residential or weekend deliveries, and hassle-free claims, with “most claims resolved within 24 hours.”
The company will support its shipping service with dedicated support for shippers through “email and call-back options.”
After a limited trial in 2018, Amazon intended to introduce this service in February 2020, according to FreightWaves. However, Covid-19 disrupted those plans as an increase in delivery demand forced the company to postpone the idea. It even briefly halted inbound shipments from third-party marketplace sellers.
Nevertheless, the company has apparently revived the project. On its website, it presents a couple of endorsements from sellers. Matthew Bergman, director at Parts N Go, shared his experience with Amazon Shipping:
“Amazon Shipping has been a game-changer for our business. They have proven to be a cost-effective and efficient delivery service provider for us. The team are on hand to support whenever needed, and the service has been quick and reliable. With Amazon Shipping, we are able to be more competitive and offer a better service to our customers, it’s a win-win!”
Business Insider quoted Olivia Connors, an Amazon spokesperson, in its story, confirming the expansion of the shipping program to more sellers, “We’ve been providing this service for a while with positive feedback so we’re now making it available to more selling partners.”
Amazon Shipping Grows Up
There is little information available about the program’s details, except that Amazon currently offers 2 to 5-day delivery in the contiguous United States. Business Insider managed to gather additional insights from a seller participating in the program, under the condition of anonymity. Here is what Insider reported:
“Until now, this seller said, Amazon didn’t give merchants the ability to directly book Amazon’s own shipping service.
“If the merchant used Amazon’s fulfillment service, Amazon would decide which delivery service their packages would go through, whether it’s UPS or Amazon’s own shipping service.
“However, with Amazon Shipping, sellers now have the choice to use Amazon Shipping directly, even if they are shipping from their own warehouse.
“It even handles products sold on other channels, such as eBay or the seller’s own website, this merchant said.
“They just have to book the shipment through their own Amazon seller account and go through Amazon’s own back-end system.
“For now, Amazon’s pricing isn’t as competitive for small items, said this merchant, who specializes in beauty products like facial cream. But it could become more price-competitive as it expands, the seller said.”
Despite the challenges highlighted by this shipper, Amazon’s move represents a significant entry into the parcel business in the United States.
The company already plays a substantial role in the parcel business, owning approximately 22% of the total parcel volume, according to a recent report from Pitney Bowes citing 2021 data. This positions Amazon ahead of FedEx (19%), nearly on par with UPS (24%), but still trailing USPS at 32%.
However, while this marks a major expansion of its shipping network, there are noteworthy limitations that may lead shippers to stick with traditional carriers.
Amazon Shipping is currently limited to ground residential deliveries in the contiguous United States. It doesn’t offer expedited or express services. Moreover, while its air-based network is growing, it’s not as extensive as UPS or FedEx and unlikely to challenge these carriers anytime soon.
At present, it seems shippers must already be part of the Amazon ecosystem. The company introduces the service, stating, “Discover the all-new ground shipping service for Amazon selling partners.” However, in the contact form it does ask if the business is
Furthermore, large shippers may be hesitant to use Amazon, as it would grant the company insights into specific segments based solely on the volume these shippers generate. Amazon is a data-driven entity, and any retail data holds value for the company.
Nevertheless, what began as a test under the branding of ‘Shipping with Amazon’ in 2018 has now matured into ‘Amazon Shipping.’ This has evolved into a competitive carrier-like product that will capture the attention of merchants and could potentially intensify the business pressure on UPS, FedEx, and USPS.
Subscribe to Our Newsletter
We do not sell your information.
You can unsubscribe at any time.
Head over to our Facebook Group for Small Business Marketplace Sellers and interact with us and other small business owners. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn to stay up to date with relevant news and business insights for your online business.