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Recognizing the Modifications to Seller Fulfilled Prime Program on Amazon

Recognizing the Modifications to Seller Fulfilled Prime Program on Amazon

The Seller Fulfilled Prime (SFP) program has undergone some major changes, as announced by Amazon, which will affect the number of third-party sellers who handle fulfillment. It is critical that you comprehend these new requirements and how they might impact your business as an Amazon seller. We will go over the most important updates and what you need know to stay compliant in this extensive guide.

The History of Prime Shipping on Amazon

To briefly recap, Amazon Prime offers free two-day shipping to customers as a membership perk [Amazon Prime details]. For Prime members, who anticipate receiving eligible items within the specified timeframe, this quick, free shipping is a big selling point.

Through the Seller Fulfilled Prime program, independent sellers could sell their inventory for a long time. As a result, independent retailers could now directly store and ship goods while showing up in searches and during the checkout process as part of the Prime label. However, Amazon found that some sellers were unable to consistently meet the two-day delivery targets.

The New Seller Fulfilled Prime Requirements

To ensure Prime members continue receiving a high-quality experience, Amazon rolled out stricter participation rules for SFP starting in 2022:

  • Two-day shipping geographic expansion: Sellers must now be able to ship items within two days to 90% of addresses in the continental U.S., up from 75% previously. This adds to the number of areas that must be covered.
  • Tracking uploads within two business days: shipment tracking numbers must be uploaded to Amazon within two business days of order placement. Before, this window was four days.
  • 98% on-time delivery rate: Sellers’ shipment arrival performance will be tracked, and a rate below 98% on-time could see you removed from SFP.
  • Prime hub eligibility: Certain metropolitan areas like Seattle and Chicago now require fulfillment from Prime hub locations within major cities. Rural storage won’t suffice.

Failure to adhere to these new guidelines means a seller will lose the ability to participate in Seller Fulfilled Prime for those non-compliant product listings. So proper preparation is essential.

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How to Prepare for the Changes

If your business relies on the Seller Fulfilled Prime program, take the following steps to stay compliant under the updated rules:

  • Evaluate your fulfillment methods – Can you reliably ship everywhere in 2 days? Coordinate with carriers and adjust as needed. Consider Prime hub fulfillment in key cities [Fulfillment options].
  • Analyze shipping data. Review previous orders to identify any areas with high failure rates. Prioritize improving coverage there first.
  • Adjust inventory levels: Maintain sufficient stock levels at all fulfillment locations to avoid out-of-stock situations that harm on-time delivery percentages.
  • Optimize packaging: Use appropriate boxes, cushioning, and labels to reduce transit damage risks. Proper packaging also speeds up the shipping process.
  • Implement tracking automation: set up automated tracking number uploads within two business days, versus relying on manual uploads. Integrate systems for accuracy.

With preparation, most sellers can adapt their operations to satisfy the new Amazon Prime shipping expectations. Just be sure to start making changes sooner than later to avoid non-compliance issues down the road. Proactive steps now minimize future disruptions.

Key Takeaways

To summarize some of the major points:

  • Amazon tightened the rules for the Seller Fulfilled Prime program to better ensure two-day shipping for Prime customers nationwide.
  • Key changes include expanded two-day coverage areas, faster tracking uploads, and stricter on-time delivery percentage thresholds.
  • Take time to evaluate your fulfillment capabilities against the new guidelines. Make adjustments to carrier arrangements, inventory levels, packaging, and more to maintain SFP program eligibility.
  • Take a data-driven approach and prioritize improving any areas with a history of shipment failures. Establish automated processes where possible.

Staying compliant with the Prime program is important for retaining visibility and sales under the Prime label. With diligent preparation and ongoing optimization, most merchants can adapt to the new normal.


Q: What happens if my business can’t meet all the new SFP rules?

A: Your SFP-eligible product listings would be removed from displaying the Prime badge and competing based on delivery speed. You could still sell those items normally but lose the Prime-related sales boost and customer expectations.

Q: How will Amazon monitor my on-time delivery performance?

A: Amazon tracks carriers’ reported shipment scans and confirmed delivery dates compared to the estimated Prime delivery windows. They’ll review historical performance data to determine compliance with the 98% threshold.

Q: What delivery speed must I offer for non-Prime orders?

A: Amazon doesn’t specify requirements for standard shipping timeliness, but faster delivery typically leads to higher customer satisfaction. Most merchants aim for 5–10 business days of fulfillment, depending on package weight and size.

Q: Can I fulfill Prime orders from international warehouses?

A: No, Prime eligibility explicitly requires that all eligible inventory and fulfillment occur domestically within the U.S. to guarantee speedy domestic delivery. International fulfillment won’t qualify.

Q: How often will Amazon re-evaluate seller performance?

Amazon states that ongoing monitoring of shipping fulfillment rates will occur, but doesn’t provide a set schedule. Performance reviews determining SFP compliance likely happen periodically, such as quarterly but could also be triggered by major dips in on-time rates. Maintaining consistency is important.

Final Thoughts

I hope this in-depth guide has helped explain the new requirements for participating in Amazon’s Seller Fulfilled Prime program and how they may impact merchants. Let me know if any other questions come up! With careful preparation and process optimization, most Amazon sellers should find continued success under the stricter Prime compliance standards. Just be sure to start adjusting operations sooner than later. Proactive changes now avoid potential disruptions down the road.

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