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Amazon Targets Rival Shopify with New ‘Buy With Prime’ Service

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(Bloomberg) -- Amazon.com Inc. said it will let merchants sell products they list with the e-commerce giant directly from their own websites, as part of a move to blunt the momentum of fast-growing competitor Shopify Inc.

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The new “Buy With Prime” feature combines Amazon’s payments and fulfillment services and makes them available at checkout on other websites, letting shoppers use their Amazon Prime membership to receive fast-shipping and other benefits. It’ll be invite-only, and merchants will pay Amazon fees for the service, which were not disclosed.

The online retailer has a strained relationship with millions of merchants who sell goods on its platform. Merchants enjoy having access to Amazon’s U.S. shoppers who will spend $445 billion on the site this year, according to EMarketer Inc. But many merchants regret letting Amazon control the relationship with customers and dictate terms in take-it-or-leave-it selling agreements.

Shopify has emerged as an alternative for merchants who prefer selling direct to consumers via their own websites. Amazon aims to distinguish its new service from Shopify with its fast-shipping pledge, an area where its rival has struggled.

Ottawa-based Shopify is in talks to buy delivery startup Deliverr, according to people familiar with the matter, in a bid to expand its own fulfillment services.

Amazon has struggled to expand its e-commerce success beyond its own webstore. It relaunched its payments service Amazon Pay in 2013 to let customers shop on other sites using payment information stored with Amazon after killing earlier iterations. In 2015 it began closing is Amazon Web Store business, an earlier attempt to sell services that let online merchants create their own stores similar to Shopify.

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