Amazon will change the Prime requirements and Buy Box offer display in June 2023 across the European Union in accordance with the legally binding agreement struck with the European Commission. Amazon sellers on all current and upcoming EU marketplaces will be impacted by this.

 

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What has been changed?

This significant change alter the criteria for the Prime badge as well as how sellers are assessed for Prime eligibility across all Amazon fulfilment channels, including Fulfilled by Amazon (FBA), Fulfilled by Merchants (FBM), and Amazon retail. In the past, using FBA or Seller Fulfilled Prime (SFP) effectively ensured better placement than goods from suppliers using FBM.

An overview of the commitments

Data protection changes

  • Amazon is prohibited from using any private data obtained from or associated with the acts of independent sellers on its marketplace for its own retail operation. This holds true for both Amazon's automated systems and its employees who might utilise data from Amazon Marketplace to decide how Amazon retail should operate.
  • Such information cannot be used by Amazon to promote both its private-label goods and branded goods.

Buy Box Changes

  • Amazon must give every merchant the same consideration when evaluating the offers to choose the winner of the Buy Box.
  • If there is a second competitive offer from another vendor that adequately differentiates from the first one in terms of price and/or shipping, Amazon is required to present a second Buy Box with it.

Prime Badge Changes

  • Amazon must set up non-discriminatory criteria and guidelines for marketplace vendors and Prime incentives.
  • Amazon must allow Prime sellers the freedom to choose any carrier for their shipping and logistics requirements and to negotiate arrangements with that carrier directly.
  • No information collected through Prime regarding the conditions and performance of third-party carriers may be used by Amazon for its own logistical services.

The European Commission may fine Amazon up to 10% of its yearly revenue if these commitments are broken without first having to prove that EU antitrust laws had been broken. Alternately, the European Commission could demand that Amazon pay a fine equal to 5% of its daily earnings for each day that it violated the agreement.


 


The Old Criteria for Prime Eligibility

Vendors has adhere to certain requirements in regard to the consumer experience in order to be accepted. The specifications include tracking, refunds from customers, delivery time, dependability, and customer service. Prior to June 21st 2023, vendors needed to meet the following requirements in order to be accepted for Prime:
  • A professional selling account on Amazon
  • Orders must be fulfilled from a domestic warehouse.
  • Minimum 99% On-Time Shipment Rate (Cut-Off Time: 13:00)
  • Orders shipped by Amazon Buy Services: 98%
  • Minimum 97% On-Time Delivery Rate when not using BuyShipping labels
  • A maximum 0.5% order cancellation rate
  • Orders can only be delivered by Seller Fulfilled Prime-approved couriers.
  • Accept Amazon's return guidelines
  • All customer service requests are to be handled by Amazon

The New EU Criteria for Prime Eligibility

To be eligible for Prime, an offer must meet three criteria: (1) be available nationwide; (2) offer free shipping; and (3) provide free returns to Prime members (subject to some limitations based on product weight and cross-border shipping). To be eligible for Prime, sellers must consistently meet the requirements specified below for each product category. For details on the various product categories and the thresholds linked with them, consult the Seller Prime Programmes.

  • Delivery Promise: Products that are sold on Prime must adhere to delivery standards that are depending on the type of the product and the location of storage.
  • On-Time Delivery: Customers must receive their Prime orders by the specified delivery date or earlier. The percentage of on-time deliveries must be at least 90%.
  • Tracking: A seller is required to give tracking information when confirming the dispatch of Prime orders. A minimum valid tracking number rate of 99% is necessary.
  • Cancellation Rate: The rate of cancellations for Prime orders cannot be greater than 0.5% (initiated by sellers ).
Furthermore, as long as the Prime requirements are satisfied, sellers who want to enrol their FBM offers in the Prime programme will be able to use alternative logistics providers and negotiate their terms directly with them. 




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Key takeaways

Amazon sellers that wish enrol in the Prime programme now have it easier to qualify and have more options, particularly in terms of how they fill orders. Large stores and brands often already offer a shipping service that is comparable with the new Prime requirements, so they shouldn't have any trouble meeting them. However, they could experience problems while shipping goods over international borders depending on the product category and storage location. 

Large e-commerce retailers and brands should have no trouble meeting the Prime eligibility requirements since they obtaining often already offer a shipping service that is comparable. Larger businesses, though, might have problems if the requirement to keep a domestic warehouse is still in place. Since Amazon may still require late cut-off or delivery services that require volume to get affordable prices, the changes might not make a big difference for SME sellers.

Working with a 3PL firm with Amazon fulfilment experience, like byrd, will help you get through challenges with Prime fulfilment. Utilise a European Fulfilment Network that can guarantee 1-2 day delivery for domestic orders thanks to local warehouses in all the key markets. This, along with automatic shipment tracking, allows you to confirm that your order fulfilment satisfies the Prime eligibility conditions. You will also be able to benefit from bulk pricing on your shipments, which is another major benefit.