Amazon expands its service that adds Prime badge to other sites

Key Points
  • Amazon is expanding its Buy with Prime program that lets retailers add the company's payment and fulfillment services to their own site.
  • Buy with Prime users will also be able to display reviews from Amazon customers on their products.
  • The move could create a new source of recurring revenue for Amazon.
Leon Neal | Getty Images News | Getty Images

Amazon said Tuesday it's expanding a service that lets merchants add the vaunted Prime badge to products on their own websites.

The Buy with Prime program, first announced last April, allows Prime members to check out on other retailers' sites using their Amazon account and receive free, two-day delivery. The service launched as an invite-only program, but will become available to all U.S. sellers by Jan. 31, Amazon said.

The e-retailer also announced a new add-on to the program that lets merchants show reviews and ratings from their Amazon listings on their sites.

The wider rollout of Buy with Prime comes as Amazon confronts slowing sales growth and an extended stretch of economic uncertainty, prompting CEO Andy Jassy to take a close look at the company's expenses and execute the largest round of layoffs in its history. Amazon is now under pressure to find new revenue streams as its retail and cloud computing businesses have struggled to maintain the rapid expansion investors grew to expect, especially at the height of the pandemic.

Amazon did not disclose how much it charges merchants to use Buy with Prime. The company said pricing includes fulfillment and storage fees, which can differ depending on the sellers' inventory.

Amazon's third-party marketplace has become the centerpiece of its dominant e-commerce business, accounting for more than half of its retail sales. The company also makes money from charging sellers to ship and store their goods in its warehouses, collecting commissions and other add-on services. Revenue from third-party seller services surged 18% in the third quarter from a year earlier to $28.7 billion.

Buy with Prime stands to put Amazon in more direct competition with the likes of Shopify and BigCommerce, which have appealed to sellers looking to grow their online presence by offering them tools to manage their direct-to-consumer websites.

The reviews add-on, which Buy with Prime members can use at no extra cost, is the "first foray" into expanding the program with additional features, said Buy with Prime Vice President Peter Larsen.

Sellers cannot control the reviews that show up on their websites — for instance, they can't cull negative reviews — in order to keep the feature trustworthy.

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