Shopify warns sellers to not use Amazon’s Purchase With Prime service

Shopify’s logo is seen in front of its headquarters in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada on September 28, 2018.

Chris Wattie | Reuters

Shopify is pushing back on Amazon’s one-click checkout service.

The e-commerce platform is warning merchants trying to install Amazon’s Buy With Prime button on its storefront that it violates Shopify’s Terms of Service, and is also raising the specter of security risks, according to research firm Marketplace Pulse.

Amazon launched Buy With Prime in April, pitching it as a way for merchants to drive traffic to their own websites. The service allows merchants to add the Prime logo and offer Amazon’s fast delivery options on their website. Members of the retail giant’s Prime loyalty club can pay with their Amazon account.

Shopify will not protect merchants attempting to use Buy With Prime from fraudulent orders, according to a screenshot of a notice Shopify sent to merchants. The notice also warns that Amazon’s service could steal customer data and falsely charge customers.

Shopify’s terms of service require merchants to use Shopify Checkout “for all sales related to your online store,” which appears to prohibit them from offering alternative checkout options.

Buy With Prime directly competes with Shopify’s instant checkout and payment service called Shop Pay. Shopify has been trying to expand the feature beyond its own platform, reaching deals with Facebook and Google over the past year to allow customers to use the system to make purchases.

Shopify CEO Tobi Lutke welcomed the launch of Buy With Prime at the time of Amazon’s announcement, saying the company is “happy” to integrate the feature into its platform.

“That fits perfectly into our worldview,” Lutke told investors when the company announced its first-quarter results. “And it’s not nearly as zero-sum as some people make it out to be.”

Personally, Shopify may not have been so pleased with Buy With Prime. The Information reported in May that the launch sparked internal debate over whether Shopify should integrate the feature on its website. Additionally, a Shopify spokesperson told the publication that Lutke’s comments reflect his opinion only, adding that the company needs to gather more details before deciding on the matter.

Shopify has become a popular alternative for sellers who want to sell products online or diversify beyond Amazon. The Canadian company started by providing businesses with software to help them build an online presence. Shopify acquired third-party fulfillment service Deliverr in May, putting it in more direct competition with Amazon’s logistics arm.

Amazon and Shopify representatives did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

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