Shopify doesn’t do Prime Day, so Amazon is doing it for them this year. A few dozen Shopify merchants are offering Prime Day discounts for Prime members.
For the first time, Prime Day deals are available beyond Amazon. A few dozen stores have a “Use Buy with Prime to get a 20% discount applied at checkout” or similar banner. Amazon even created a page listing the participating stores on its website at www.amazon.com/buywithprime. While Buy with Prime is not tied to Shopify and is available on multiple e-commerce platforms, all featured stores are built on Shopify.
The recently introduced Buy with Prime service allows shoppers with a Prime membership to shop on e-commerce websites other than Amazon and check out using their Amazon account. Amazon processes the payment and fulfills the order. For Prime members, the checkout process is meant to be faster and the delivery estimate more trustworthy.
Prime Day discounts beyond Amazon are a small experiment. It will have no material impact on Prime Day sales because only a few dozen stores are participating, and Buy with Prime is in its infancy. For example, shoppers enticed by a Prime Day discount but without Prime membership are not presented with an option to join after clicking Buy with Prime.
However, Amazon’s basic page listing the brands participating in Prime Day could morph into a DTC brand discovery tool as more brands join Buy with Prime. Shopify has steered clear of making a marketplace, but that’s what Amazon might build. Buy with Prime could get linked more deeply back to Amazon if and when more brands join it.
Amazon coordinated the effort and created branding for Prime Day outside of Amazon; thus, it might be footing the bill for the discounts to kickstart the Buy with Prime service. On the other hand, Shopify is not involved - Buy with Prime is implemented in a way that doesn’t need Shopify’s approval or endorsement.
Buy with Prime is an annoyance to Shopify, who is building its own relationship with customers through the Shop brand. Shopify doesn’t want to be reduced to software for building e-commerce websites while Amazon handles payments and fulfillment and owns the customer relationship. Shopify wants consumers to look out for Shopify-powered stores. Amazon wants consumers to look out for Prime-enabled stores. Many of those will be the same stores, but the consumer will prefer only one of the options. That’s the race.