Shopify and Amazon are two big competitors in the ecommerce industry, which is why their new team-up might raise a few eyebrows: Shopify merchants can now add a “Buy with Prime” option to their Shopify stores.
The tool helps customers buy Shopify products with their Amazon wallet.
This helps the customer, who receives a faster, easier checkout process (including that famous fast and free Amazon delivery). It helps Shopify, since they get the money. And it even helps Amazon, which gets to cement its Amazon wallet payments system as a one-stop solution for any online shopping.
How the New “Buy With Prime” Button Works
The button is an app, released by Amazon and soon to be available through Shopify's integrations store. Once installed, the feature can be used only by US-based merchants who already use Amazon's fulfillment network.
These stores can offer Buy With Prime to users within their Shopify Checkout, and it will be processed by Shopify Payments.
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Shopify notes in its announcement that this allows merchants to “maintain 100% control of their brand and their customer data in Shopify’s admin,” and Shopify president Harley Finkelstein sums up the benefits, saying that more choice “means more opportunities to succeed as an entrepreneur; and that’s what we are powering here at Shopify.”
That final line is admirable — even if it doesn't seem to have always been Shopify's official stance.
Is the Shopify/Amazon Rivalry a Thing of the Past?
Shopify and Amazon have long competed over the same audience base: Small-time ecommerce store operators. In fact, just one short year ago, Tech.co covered Shopify's very vocal objections to the very tool that it now supports. Here's how I explained it at the time:
“Shopify is laying down the law: Ecommerce sellers must use Shopify Checkout and can't opt for Amazon's ‘Buy With Prime' checkout integration. In fact, using anything other than Shopify Checkout is against the ecommerce giant's terms of service.
Shopify's reasoning cites several security concerns — the potential for stolen data and the lack of Shopify's own fraud protection. Is Shopify concerned about security or more interested in keeping Amazon from growing its lucrative stake in the ecommerce space? Whatever the case, the two companies remain giants in the industry, so this isn't a clash that any small business owners who sell online can ignore.”
At the time, Shopify went as far as to warn users if they had the Amazon button, saying “You have a code snippet on your storefront that violates Shopify’s Terms of Service.” Fast forward a year, and Shopify has fully reversed this decision. But why?
There's one likely explanation, embodied in the adage “if you can't beat them, join them.” Amazon is a the 800-pound gorilla of ecommerce, and it wants to expand into offering up Amazon wallet funds across the internet, even if the shopper isn't on Amazon.com itself. Shopify initially resisted, but a smaller slice of the ecommerce pie is better than nothing.
Customers and Merchants Both Benefit From Extra Payments Flexibility
This change works out well for merchants, who can combine the wide-reaching scope of Amazon's payments system with the undeniable benefits of operating a Shopify store.
After all, we rank Shopify as the number one website builder for anyone who needs to sell products online, thanks to features, ease of use, and pricing.
Some recent policy changes at Shopify and Amazon are keeping the pressure on small-time ecommerce owners with extra hoops to jump through such as added fees and reduced benefits. But their new collaboration indicates that customers and sellers can still benefit when the two decide to work together.