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Gloves Off: Shopify Warns Sellers Against Amazon Buy With Prime

Gloves Off: Shopify Warns Sellers Against Amazon Buy With Prime

🥊 Shopify’s fight to maintain and increase their eComm market share continues, as the Canadian company recently issued warnings that are bound to cause sellers to reconsider Buy with Prime, Amazon’s new service offering fulfillment and checkout to Direct-to-Consumer (DTC) businesses that don’t even sell on Amazon. 

Protect Your Shopify Store Against Fraud

According to Marketplace Pulse (MP), Buy with Prime badges started to appear on a few Shopify stores back in June.

This new service offers a way for non-Amazon sellers to attract new customers to their stores by offering 1-2 day shipping and secure, trusted payment processing through Amazon Pay.

Shopify Store Showing Buy With Prime Button

How do sellers enable Buy with Prime on their sites?

First, you need to receive an invitation from Amazon to sign up. Once signed up, Amazon will send you a few lines of code that you need to embed in your product template to display the Buy with Prime button.

Sounds harmless, right? Shopify thinks otherwise. 🤔
In an article posted by MP on September 1st, Shopify has reportedly sounded the alarm about the potential security issues that you could face when installing the Buy with Prime button code in your store. 🚨

Shopify Warns Sellers Against Using Buy With Prime

The code includes an “Unsupported external checkout script” that violates the platform’s Terms of Service (ToS). It takes the checkout process outside of Shopify, thereby disabling Shopify Fraud Protection against fake orders, which can result in chargebacks, which can then lead to financial loss.

Shopify’s ToS states:

Shopify Terms of Service

These are the account terms that Amazon’s service supposedly violates.

Shopify also warns that Buy with Prime could steal your customers’ data and cause incorrect charges – for example, discounts not applied correctly due to a technical glitch or Amazon themselves incorrectly charging your customers.

While you may still opt to install the unsupported script, you must agree that Shopify will not be liable for any fake orders, illegal valuable data extraction, or incorrect charges conducted through Buy with Prime. 

My prediction however, if they’re smart, is that Shopify will update its ToS to ban Buy with Prime altogether, following the example set by Walmart.com. We may see that they even develop a script that removes the Buy with Prime code snippet from even appearing on your product pages. I’d put money on it eventually going this way.

Amazon’s Response to Shopify’s Claims 

In response to the accusations, Amazon reps said that they developed the new fulfillment service to serve Prime members no matter where they shop online. And while they do collect data via Buy with Prime, they use the information to improve the service for sellers and customers. Uh huh… Makes sense. 🤔

As for providing a safe and secure payment processing platform, Amazon Pay is equipped with the same fraud protection technology used on Amazon.com. In addition, sellers also have full control over how much they charge their customers.

But those statements don’t exactly excuse them from other anti-competitive allegations like data grabbing, which I believe is the clandestine intent of Buy with Prime to Amazon. ⚠️ More on this in the next section. 

Amazon’s Data Grabbing History

As we’ve reported on in the past, Amazon is no stranger to data grabbing, which involves harvesting valuable information about web users which can then be used for a variety of purposes.

The data collected from customers and competitors, including third-party sellers, could then be used to create unfair competitive advantages. 

Here are just a couple of the data grabbing opportunities available to Amazon:

✊ In a move to protect their data and market share, Shopify acquired Deliverr, a fulfillment operation with the capacity to offer 1-2 day fulfillment for merchants across multiple sales channels, including Amazon, Walmart, Etsy and social commerce sites like Facebook, Tiktok, and Google.

Therefore, with Shopify’s revamped fulfillment network, merchants will be less likely to need to use Buy with Prime and risk exposing their sensitive data to Amazon.

Shopify is certainly holding its own against Amazon’s advances and has really been making some impressive moves in defense of their own market share. But the battle rages on and I for one am busting out the popcorn. 🍿

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