In a surprise tie-up, Shopify merchants will be able to offer Amazon's 'Buy with Prime' option

Amazon and Shopify this morning announced a significant integration that will now allow Shopify merchants to offer "Buy with Prime" on their Shopify stores. The Buy with Prime feature allows online consumers the option to purchase their items using the store payment method in their Amazon wallet when processing payments through Shopify's checkout. Meanwhile, they'll also receive fast, free delivery and the option for returns through Amazon's fulfillment network.

The tie-up is notable given Shopify has been positioned in the past as a challenger to Amazon's business. The e-commerce platform focuses on providing tools for merchants, allowing them to host storefronts, manage inventory, process payments and more.

The move also comes as a bit of a surprise, given that it was only a year ago that Shopify was warning merchants not to use Amazon's Buy with Prime as it was in violation of Shopify's terms of service. The company wanted its merchants to use its own payment and checkout service, Shop Pay instead. As a result, merchants who wanted to use Buy with Prime previously had to do so outside of their Shopify admin tools.

Today, Shopify has changed its tune.

"We’re on a mission to make commerce better for everyone. That means making sure our merchants are able to sell everywhere. To do this, we’re committed to giving our merchants and their customers more choice," Shopify wrote in its announcement.

Soon, it says, Amazon will release an app that allows U.S. Shopify merchants who use Amazon’s fulfillment network the option to add Buy with Prime into their Shopify Checkout processed by Shopify Payments. The app makes it easy for merchants to get started with Buy with Prime and will use their existing Shopify settings, customizations and supported third-party app integrations. Merchants will also be able to see their automatically synced orders, promotions, catalog listings and taxes within their Shopify admin.

For customers, the app allows them to benefit from fast, free delivery as they'd expect on Meanwhile, merchants will be able to keep 100% control of their brand and customer data, Shopify President Harley Finkelstein explained.

"So the bottom line is this: This new app will make it easier for our merchants who also partner with Amazon to offer Buy with Prime to their customers on their Shopify-powered site," he added.

After installing the app, merchants will select items from their Amazon inventory to be part of their Buy with Prime catalog on Shopify. Once added, the Buy with Prime button will automatically appear on the product’s detail page matching the existing theme of a merchant’s Shopify store. At checkout, Amazon Pay will be offered as a payment method alongside Shopify Payments.

The app will be available for both new and existing Buy with Prime merchants, Amazon said.

“We’ve been thrilled with the feedback merchants have shared about Buy with Prime, including the increased shopper conversion and new shopper acquisition,” said Peter Larsen, Amazon vice president of Buy with Prime, in a statement. “The build of this app was a collaboration with Shopify, and we’re excited to help merchants not only grow their businesses, but also save time and resources—all while giving Prime members even more places to enjoy their shopping benefits," he said.

Shopify shares rose 4% on Wednesday in aftermarket trading after the deal was announced. The stock is up over 6% Thursday morning after markets opened.