November 7, 2014
The expedited shipping available to members of Amazon’s $99 Prime service may soon become available to external retail sites. Amazon recently secured a partnership with British fashion retailer AllSaints that allows Prime members to enjoy free next-day shipping on all purchases made via AllSaints.com. While Amazon hopes to expand its partnerships with other retail sites, it has already encountered some early resistance from retailers that are weary of the “Prime Pass” program.
Since the launch of Amazon Prime, members have enjoyed the luxury of two-day shipping on an extensive selection of products and as of recently, instant streaming of television, movies, and music content from the Amazon catalog.
Re/code reports that Amazon Prime members spend approximately twice the amount on Amazon in a year versus those without the membership. The deal with AllSaints, and possibly other retailers in the near future, is one way that Amazon aims to entice more people to sign up for the annual Prime membership.
AllSaints advertises its products on the Amazon site, from where a customer is then directed to AllSaints.com to carry out a transaction using the same info that customer would use to finalize an Amazon transaction. While Amazon does not take a percentage from sales, it does charge a small fee every time a customer is redirected from Amazon to the AllSaints site for a transaction.
The model has reportedly been met with resistance from retailers such as Abercrombie & Fitch and Neiman Marcus. Some retailers have yet to become comfortable advertising on a website that is rooted in electronics, books, and other products rather than high end fashion goods. Other concerns include the fear that Amazon may one day decide to invest in the fashion business under its own brand, or that these deals will grow the amount of data Amazon has about customers.
Tom Taylor of Amazon and Rich Ascott of AllSaints were quick to point out that retailers may be misguided about what a deal with Amazon entails. According to Taylor, external transactions using the Prime service limit Amazon to info about a customer’s purchases. As for the concerns regarding brand image, Ascott references the AllSaints storefront on Amazon, a close replica of the presentation of its products available on the AllSaints site.
“Prime could be the VIP pass to the Internet,” adds Ascott.