Two shipping giants are giving their relationship a second chance. Just months after FedEx and Amazon ended their delivery contract and one month after Amazon limited third-party sellers’ delivery options, Amazon lifted its ban on FedEx Ground for third-party Prime shipments.
Back In Business
In August, FedEx announced it was ending its ground delivery partnership with Amazon. At the time, the move seemed like a good choice for both companies to move in new directions: Amazon had already invested billions in building out its own delivery system, and FedEx wanted to partner with other retail giants. Last month, Amazon abruptly banned third-party sellers from using FedEx Ground, forcing them instead to use UPS or Amazon’s own delivery arm, because it said FedEx wasn’t delivering items fast enough.
However, this week Amazon announced it is ending the FedEx ban. That doesn’t mean that FedEx will resume delivering all of Amazon’s packages, however. The new arrangement allows third-party sellers to use FedEx Ground to deliver their products. More than half of the items sold on Amazon come from third-party sellers, which means this announcement could be a huge boost for both FedEx and Amazon.
What It Means For Customers
Amazon’s decision to lift the shipping ban means that many Prime members will get their third-party orders faster. Fast shipping matters to customers. Research from Avionos found that 62% of online shoppers say fast shipping speeds help define positive brand experiences. In most cases, customers don’t care who delivers the package as long as it gets there safely and quickly.
Amazon stopping FedEx Ground deliveries because they weren’t fast enough shows how dedicated the company is to fulfilling its promise of one- or two-day delivery. In the competitive world of e-commerce, shipping speed is one of the most important things customers consider. It’s so important that Amazon is willing to spend billions of dollars on fulfillment to ensure items are delivered within the promised windows.
Reuniting with FedEx also highlights a larger trend across the entire retail space: shifting power to customers. During Amazon’s ban, customers were limited in what they could order for guaranteed fast shipping. With the option for third-party sellers to use FedEx, many more Amazon items should be getting to customers more quickly. Additional shipping options mean third-party sellers could potentially lower their shipping costs and pass those savings on to customers. No matter the internal partnerships or discrepancies between companies, customers should always come first. Overcoming differences between two organizations allows customers to have options and be in charge, as they should be.
Amazon ending its ban on FedEx deliveries is a win for everyone involved, especially for customers, who have more power and options than ever before.
This article was originally published on Forbes.com.
Blake Morgan is a customer experience futurist and the author of two books including her new book The Customer Of The Future. Learn more by signing up for her weekly newsletter here.