Amazon on Tuesday rolled out a slew of features including package tracking, 24/7 live chat support, and free returns to subscribers who use its “Buy with Prime” program.
“Buy with Prime” extends many of the benefits you get from purchasing directly from Amazon to a network of third-party retailers and brands including Wyze, Briogeo, Sherpani, and Dr. Squatch. Those retailers pay a fee to Amazon to take advantage of its logistics network and customer support resources. The program, which launched in 2022, represents a relatively new revenue streaming for the online retailer. Amazon is positioning this as a move to help retailers, which comes in the wake of a Federal Trade Commission lawsuit alleging the company has abused its power as a retail platform.
Consumers, meanwhile, are able to shop with confidence that they’ll get the same protections as buying directly from Amazon — a key factor during the busy holiday shopping season. Amazon is competing against brick-and-mortar stores like Walmart and Target, which will lean on their physical locations as an advantage during this season.
To counter that, Amazon is aiming to make its shopping experience as painless as possible. The company said that Prime members can view and track orders placed with retailers in the “Buy with Prime” program. They just need to go into their account to see the orders.
The company also offers 24/7 live chat support for those orders to answer questions or get disputes settled in real time.
Lastly, Amazon will offer its easy returns process. Customers can choose to drop off their returns to UPS Stores, Whole Foods Markets, or Amazon Fresh Stores without boxing up or labeling them.
The company added that all of the products in this program will include reviews from real customers.
While these are features that Prime members are used to with many products on the site, the expansion of “Buy with Prime,” means more products on its site will get these benefits as well.
Image credit: Amazon