There is a significant Amazon Seller Fulfilled Prime Update from June which will include later cut off times and a requirement to ship on at least one day over the weekend – either a Saturday or Sunday.
Cut off times are moving from 2pm to 4pm with a carrier pick up time of 4.30pm or later which will impact many merchants. Not only may this give you very little time to pick and pack orders, perhaps only half an hour from a last pick run at 4pm before your carrier arrives, but for some it will mean renegotiation the pick up time by your carriers.
Perhaps even harder to handle is the requirement to use shipping which provides for a pick up on at least one weekend day. For merchants who currently work Monday to Friday, this will mean opening up the warehouse on either Saturday or Sunday if you want to maintain Amazon Seller Fulfilled Prime status.
The good news is that Amazon recognise that business certainty is crucial and have given 5 months notice on these changes. This gives you time to either adjust your operations or make plans to migrate away before the Amazon Seller Fulfilled Prime Update and either switch to regular FBA to serve Prime customers or sacrifice the advantage that Prime qualification offers to merchants. An alternative option which may work for some merchants will be to switch a part of their business to a fulfilment house who can offer Amazon Seller Fulfilled Prime service and let them work the weekend.
This will be a major change for many merchants who have never worked 6 days a week before. Take time to consider your options and decide what works best for your business.
Main Amazon Seller Fulfilled Prime Update detail
- 4PM cut off Times (previously 2pm)
Starting June 30, 2021, the required cut-off time to maintain eligibility for SFP will be later. The minimum carrier pickup time on weekdays will be 16:30, which will set your order cut-off time to 16:00. A later order cut-off means more customers shopping on the store will see your offers with faster delivery available. You can set your cut-off time in Order Fulfilment Settings under Fulfilment Settings for Shipping Region Automation.
- Mandatory weekend pickup
Starting June 30, 2021, you will also be required to use ship methods that support pickups on at least one weekend day (Saturday or Sunday) to maintain eligibility for SFP. Shipping on weekends provides customers with a more consistent delivery experience throughout the week. You can set a different order cut-off time on weekends vs on weekdays. You can set your weekend shipping preferences in Order Fulfilment Settings.
- Carrier collection times
While you set your order cut-off time in Seller Central, you must work with your SFP carrier(s) to ensure they will arrive for parcel pickup at an appropriate time after you process your orders. You can find instructions on how to contact your SFP carrier in Seller Central.
New multi-warehouse capabilities
To help you provide faster delivery promises and increase your Prime coverage, we have also launched multi-warehouse functionality. This feature allows you to select up to 10 ship-from addresses in your Prime shipping template to ensure the delivery promise customers see reflects your warehouse locations.
“We recognise these changes are meaningful. We want to make sure you have time to determine how these changes affect your business and to make any adjustments you may need in conjunction with your carrier, which is why these new requirements will not take effect before June. If you already meet these requirements, nothing changes. If you choose not to meet these new program requirements, you are welcome to continue offering your products through our Merchant Fulfilled Network or Fulfilment by Amazon.
You and SFP are important to Amazon and our customers, and we will continue innovating with tools and offerings that help deliver a more compelling experience. To help you navigate these changes, we have also launched a guide in Seller Central with details, examples and answers to your questions, and set up a dedicated support team, which you can contact at email@example.com.”
– The Seller Fulfilled Prime team