Seller Fulfilled Prime (SFP) is a program offered to Amazon sellers that offers prime badging on merchant fulfilled orders. FBM Sellers are eligible but must apply and be accepted to the program and meet strict shipping requirements to keep SFP status.
In this article, we’ll discuss the benefits and difficulties of using a Seller Fulfilled Prime model, the history of the program, and eligibility requirements for the program.
Why is SFP Beneficial?
Seller Fulfilled Prime is a program for higher performing FBM sellers that have also taken special steps: sellers need to apply and show a history of hitting specific shipping speed and accuracy metrics. These metrics are challenging for most and include an on-time shipping rate of at least 99%, maintaining a very small return rate, and more.
Most sellers don’t have the operational capabilities to meet Seller Fulfilled Prime standards, and we see large brands and 3PLs benefiting most from the program. Because of the difficult requirements, we typically recommend our clients use FBA instead of pursuing SFP; however, if the SFP standards can be met, the flexibility the program provides to offer Prime badging on merchant fulfilled SKUs has significant benefits to any brand.
Amazon says the best products for Seller Fulfilled Prime include seasonal and/or unpredictable demand products, high-value products, items with variations, and inventory that is slow-moving and/or requires some type of special handling or preparation.
History of Amazon Seller Fulfilled Prime
Seller Fulfilled Prime originally launched in 2015 with the goal of offering fast Prime delivery services for sellers independently managing their fulfillment. However, due to challenges with the program, Amazon closed enrollment and hasn’t accepted any additional sellers since 2019.
Amazon announced that beginning October 1, enrollment for Seller Fulfilled Prime will open again.
Over the past 3 years, Amazon has been working to improve SFP seller support, quality and standards. Amazon cares most about providing SFP customers with a positive experience. In re-launching the program, Amazon hopes new and existing Seller Fulfilled Prime sellers will effectively meet Prime customers’ high expectations. Amazon noted this by saying, “These changes are required so that the speed and reliability of Seller Fulfilled Prime shipments are similar to other Prime shipments.”
Seller Fulfilled Prime Requirements
The open enrollment comes with a new set of shipping and fulfillment requirements that sellers must hit to be eligible to apply for the program. Sellers must also maintain these standards or risk being removed from the program.
Some details regarding new or changed requirements include:
- An on-time delivery of 93.5% or higher
- A valid tracking rate of 99% or higher
- A minimum delivery speed of 3-5-days
Some performance requirements will be updated quarterly to ensure high quality and standards across all SFP Amazon sellers. We recommend brands within the program keep an eye on the full requirement list to avoid missing any changes.
Keep in mind that your brand must complete a 30-day trial in order to be accepted for SFP. To start the trial, you must meet the following criteria:
- Have a domestic US address as your default shipping address
- Have a Professional selling account
- Self-fulfilled 100+ packages over the past 90 days
- Have a cancellation rate of less than 2.5% over the past 90 days
- Have a valid tracking rate greater than 95% over the past 90 days
- Have a late shipment rate of less than 4% over the past 90 days
During the trial Prime branding will not be displayed on your products. Only after you ship at least 100 Prime packages while meeting the Seller Fulfilled Prime requirements will you be enrolled into the program and Prime branding will be displayed on your offers.
To help evaluate your brand’s current eligibility for the program, Amazon has a Seller Fulfilled Prime dashboard to track your:
- Program status
- Delivery speed
- Delivery performance
The dashboard also includes helpful tidbits to assist with improving your metrics:
You will receive up to 3 email alerts if any requirements are missed before being revoked from the program. However, you can re-enroll again at a later time if you are then able to meet the requirements. Program participation is entirely based on your brand’s ability to meet the Seller Fulfilled Prime requirements.
How do I know if Amazon SFP is right for me?
If you are an FBM seller with positive performance metrics, we recommend looking into Seller Fulfilled Prime. Review the requirements listed above to understand your eligibility status and don’t forget to check the SFP dashboard to get a better sense of which metrics you would need to stay on track of if selected for the program. Based on your ability to hit the metrics for past orders (over the last 90 days), your brand may be a perfect fit for Seller Fulfilled Prime.
Remember, even if you don’t qualify now or are removed from the program, you can enroll again at a future time. Amazon has not yet shared any enrollment caps, meaning we can assume you are able to apply as many times as you want until accepted.
If the listed requirements seem unattainable for your team, then Seller Fulfilled Prime is not a good option for you. In this case, we recommend utilizing FBA while improving FBM performance metrics. This will not only lead to a more positive experience for your customers but allow you to have Prime badging on all FBA products.
For clients that we are currently working with who are in the program or interested in joining, we are keeping a close eye on Amazon metrics, ensuring eligibility is maintained. We’re happy to dedicate numerous hours every week to maintaining our clients’ Amazon accounts, helping with a positive experience for both the brand and potential buyers.