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E-commerce giant Amazon has expanded shopping benefits for Prime members beyond with the launch of Buy with Prime.

Through this programme, third-party merchants will be able to offer Prime membership benefits, such as fast, free delivery, checkout experience, and free returns, directly to Prime customers in the US.

Buy with Prime will initially be available by invitation only for merchants using Fulfilment by Amazon (FBA), but will be expanded throughout the year to those not selling on Amazon or using FBA.

The Prime logo will be visible on eligible products on merchants’ online stores, and members can choose to check out with the payment and shipping information stored on their Amazon account.

Amazon Prime vice-president Jamil Ghani said: “With the introduction of Buy with Prime, we’re expanding where members can enjoy trusted and convenient Prime shopping benefits beyond Amazon, adding even more value to their membership.

“Members will have the flexibility to shop from merchants directly, all while enjoying the fast, free delivery, seamless checkout, and easy returns they’ve come to know and love from Amazon.”

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Merchants using FBA can directly add Buy with Prime to their online store within minutes, while new merchants will need to sign up for the programme.

The programme is designed to work with most online stores, including e-commerce service providers, such as BigCommerce.

Merchants will also be able to offer better service and improve relationships with customers with access to shopper order information and email addresses.

Amazon Buy with Prime vice-president Peter Larsen said: “Allowing merchants to offer Prime shopping benefits on their own direct-to-consumer online stores is an exciting next step in our mission to help merchants of all sizes grow their business – whether on Amazon or beyond.

“With shoppers purchasing directly from merchants’ online stores, Buy with Prime will allow merchants to build customer relationships and brand loyalty while offering conversion-driving benefits like fast, free shipping.”