Amazon rolls out performance-based benefits programme for sellers

Amazon rolls out performance-based benefits programme for sellers
Photo Credit: Reuters
17 Nov, 2020

Amazon India on Monday introduced STEP, a performance-based benefits programme, which it says will impact over seven lakh sellers on the platform. The announcement has come shortly after Diwali, a busy period for ecommerce websites in India. 

With the launch of STEP, Amazon is introducing its revised fee structure, which was earlier deferred to after Diwali. The revised fees, effective December 1 2020, will be linked to STEP levels and include waiver on weight handling fees and lightning deal fees as part of benefits. 

In addition, there will be reduction in closing fee charges for products in low price range (Rs 250-500) and zero disposal fees for items shipped from Amazon fulfilment centres.

STEP, Amazon says, is designed to simplify seller experience by providing customized and actionable recommendations which help them improve key customer experience metrics.  By improving performance, sellers can unlock benefits across multiple levels -- basic, standard, advanced and premium. Benefits include fee waivers, faster disbursement cycles, priority seller support, online and offline training, and free account management. 

Starting December 1, 2020, all sellers on Amazon.in will enjoy standard benefits up to March 31, 2021. The company will then assess their performance. Based on the results, sellers will be eligible for basic, advanced and premium levels.  Sellers will get to upgrade their level and corresponding benefits based on their performance every quarter.

“STEP empowers sellers of all sizes and tenure to drive their growth on Amazon.in by focusing on their performance on key metrics which matter to customers,” Manish Tiwary, VP, Amazon India said in a statement. Some of these involve improving controllable seller metrics such as cancellation rate, late dispatch rate, return rate, among others.

Over the past few months of pandemic, Amazon has taken several other steps to ensure business continuity and aid sellers on its platform. Some of these include free Covid-19 health insurance, on demand payment disbursement, relaxation in performance metrics, fee waivers on inventory storage fees and 50% waiver on ‘Sell on Amazon’ fees for small sellers, and deferring its marketplace fee revisions to December 2020.