How Buy With Prime Assist Will Extend Amazon’s Commercial Power

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Amazon
AMZN

AMZN
, the juggernaut of e-commerce, recently launched a new program within its already powerful Prime arsenal called “Buy with Prime Assist.” The new feature tags onto Amazon’s already popular Buy with Prime, the service Amazon launched not that long ago, in 2022, that allows consumers to purchase products directly from third-party websites using their Amazon Prime account, while still offering the convenience of Prime shipping and payment options.

The new wrinkle of Buy with Prime Assist is that it allows businesses to offer 24/7 real-time human customer service to Prime members, without incurring additional costs, to any service queries related to orders made using the Buy with Prime feature.

So what? Why does this matter?

Buy With Prime Assist Simplifies Customer Service

Well, it matters because retailers of every shape and size often get bogged down by a barrage of customer inquiries. Generally, these inquiries come in waves, too – like after Black Friday or Cyber Monday, for example. And, oftentimes these inquiries are about the most basic of basic customer service questions – things like order status and delivery timing. In fact, the industry even has an acronym for these types of call center contacts, “WISMO,” as in “Where Is My Order?”

These inquiries, while simple, consume resources. Amazon’s Buy with Prime Assist offloads this burden from retailers, enabling them to focus on more complex, brand-specific customer interactions. This move could be a major relief for businesses, as it potentially simplifies a significant amount of customer interactions that, while necessary, do not require any unique touch or special handling from the retailer or brand upon whose website the transaction occurs.

Buy With Prime Assist Is A Strategic Move Beyond Amazon.com

These immediate benefits to retailers notwithstanding, however, Buy with Prime Assist also reveals something even more important. It reveals something about Amazon’s broader strategy – namely, that it has moved beyond just facilitating transactions on Amazon.com, and that Amazon now wants to become a pivotal part of the commerce infrastructure more broadly.

Put simply, with Shopify expanding its reach, Amazon’s Buy with Prime Assist seems like a smart countermove. Buy with Prime, and particularly Buy with Prime Assist, are sticky, both for the end consumer who can shop with more confidence online when he or she sees Buy with Prime certifying the transaction but also for retailers because they will no doubt enjoy the extra revenue the service brings in and, more importantly, could find it difficult to wean themselves off the customer services benefits described above.

Buy With Prime Assist Is An Intentional Step Towards “Everything Commerce”

All of which leads to the final and most important point – Amazon appears to be positioning itself as the U.S. version of an ”everything commerce” platform, reminiscent of Alibaba’s dominance in China. Amazon is already a trusted name in facilitating orders and handling payments. Buy with Prime Assist adds another layer to this trust, helping to establish Amazon as an indispensable partner for businesses.

Contextually, this is important because, from a consumer perspective, Amazon Prime may have run its course. It is hard to add incremental value to a program that already comes with so much already, from delivery benefits to video and music streaming to dog walking (ok, that last one is made up but you get the point).

Therefore, it is only natural that Amazon’s next move is to extend Prime into the B2B landscape. Amazon’s focus on augmenting Buy with Prime with additional services like Buy with Prime Assist is a clear indication that there are still plenty of rows to be hoed in this arena. Buy with Prime Assist helps to redefine the value proposition of Amazon Prime, shifting it from a consumer-centric to a business-centric benefit package.

The genius of Amazon, now and forever, is its ability to be an infrastructural enabler for commerce. It has always excelled in creating seamless, efficient, and reliable systems that benefit consumers, and now it is extending that same expertise directly to its business partners, the likes of which now include Shopify but also Facebook, Instagram, and Snap all in just the past few weeks.

So, ultimately, Buy with Prime Assist is not so much a new feature as it is the next evolutionary step in Amazon’s revolutionary commerce plans. It’s about extending the flywheel of Prime to the business customer because, once that wheel starts turning, the value it creates just gets more and more exponential with every new revolution.

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