#124 - Drastic Changes At Amazon, TikTok’s Aggression, and more
Amazon’s over-arching business goal has shifted; it has evolved from creating a top performing e-commerce platform to becoming the enabler of e-commerce sellers wherever they choose to sell as long as one of those places is Amazon.
James Thomson, chief strategy officer and partner at Buy Box Experts, an agency that works with Amazon brands and brand investors. Co-founder of the Prosper Show, an education conference for large Amazon sellers. Author of “Controlling Your Brand in the Age of Amazon."
Cutting right to the chase, the event will run from Tuesday, Oct. 10 to Wednesday, Oct. 11. The reason for another fully fledged Amazon event this year? It’s an organized effort to provide loyal Amazon Prime members with another opportunity to tend to their holiday shopping early (and, we’re all about this, too, as we’ve already put together a catalog of gift guides to peruse).
Good to Know
The Federal Trade Commission and 17 state attorneys general sued Amazon.com, Inc. alleging that the online retail and technology company is a monopolist that uses a set of interlocking anticompetitive and unfair strategies to illegally maintain its monopoly power. The FTC and its state partners say Amazon’s actions allow it to stop rivals and sellers from lowering prices, degrade quality for shoppers, overcharge sellers, stifle innovation, and prevent rivals from fairly competing against Amazon.
Over the last several years, we’ve engaged cooperatively with the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) during a broad-ranging investigation of our business. It was our hope the agency would recognize that Amazon’s innovations and customer-centric focus have benefited American consumers through low prices and increased competition in the already competitive retail industry.
Early next year, ad units will start to appear in Prime Video shows and movies for subscribers in the US, UK, Canada and Germany. Though people will have the option to remain ad-free for an additional $3 per month – a page from when Disney+ added ads last year. Netflix, on the other hand, undercut its preexisting subscription with its new ad tier, but it didn’t push people there by default.
Thrasio, a prominent eCommerce startup specializing in acquiring consumer brands sold on Amazon, is reportedly grappling with financial difficulties following a decline in online spending in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. To tackle this issue, the company is actively exploring restructuring options and has initiated discussions with consultants and lawyers to address its financial situation.
Amazon resellers are looking to dollar stores for items they can flip for profit. Some are picking up penny items at overstocked Dollar General stores. It's another version of retail arbitrage, or selling products for a markup online after finding them at stores.
“Product listings for certain categories including health and personal care, home, and sports, will display a “sales trend” that highlights how many customers recently purchased that product.
Don’t be surprised if an Amazon associate ends up delivering a product you ordered directly from your favourite brand’s website. That’s because the company is now opening up its logistics and delivery network to fulfill orders that haven’t been placed on Amazon.in.
As many as one in 10 Amazon shoppers could have been offered a “bribe” in exchange for a positive review of a product in the past year, research from the UK consumer body Which? suggests. The organisation claimed that unscrupulous sellers on Amazon were “bombarding customers” with incentives such as gift cards, free products and refunds “in order to cheat the system”.
Amazon AMZN is leaving no stone unturned to bolster its e-commerce business on the back of its deepening focus on sellers. It continues to strengthen its seller-focused offerings in a bid to sustain its momentum among sellers. The latest introduction of generative AI-powered tools for sellers is a testament to the aforesaid fact.
Through the Ships in Product Packaging program, Amazon can help sellers redesign products’ packaging so they can be delivered to customers in their own branded container only. The company is working with select sellers on the pilot version of this program, known as Ship in Own Container, this year.
Amazon has plans to invest as much as $4 billion in a generative artificial intelligence startup called Anthropic, which promises to rival ChatGPT, in the e-commerce behemoth’s latest move to get a leg up in the AI space. “As part of the investment, Amazon will take a minority stake in Anthropic,” the startup revealed in a series of tweets on X/Twitter on Monday.
Amazon enhanced its automated handling time feature to help protect sellers from order surges and to show more accurate “delivery promises.” In Thursday’s announcement, Amazon said automated handling time sets a more accurate handling time per SKU based on past performance “to make the delivery date on your offers more attractive to customers.”
Amazon will cancel a planned additional 2% fee for third-party merchants not using the company’s delivery services, according to Bloomberg, a sudden change that comes as the e-commerce giant is reportedly expected to face a potentially historic antitrust lawsuit that could result in the breakup of the company.
Tips and Tricks
Providing customers with fast, low-cost, reliable delivery has been a core part of Amazon’s value proposition for over 20 years. We’ve invested $100 billion in our fulfillment and delivery network to support that value, and in 2006, we opened the network to independent sellers by creating Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA). This program lets sellers outsource their fulfillment, delivery, customer service, and returns to Amazon.
As artificial intelligence grows more and more advanced, this emergency technology offers ecommerce business owners numerous opportunities to boost the efficiency and overall growth of their businesses. Chief among them are AI chatbots, which can help sellers reduce the time they spend on certain tasks such as customer service inquiries, sales support, upselling, and much more—all without needing human intervention.
In the realm of Amazon, the largest online marketplace, understanding and conducting effective keyword research is fundamental as it offers millions of products to a vast customer base. To succeed as a seller on this competitive platform, it's crucial to employ relevant search terms strategically.
Have you been wanting to sell on Amazon but don’t know how to get started or don’t yet have the budget to launch a private label product? One great method to get started is through retail arbitrage. Broadly speaking, arbitrage is the practice of taking advantage of a price difference between two or more markets, or, in other words, reselling.
Amazon's "Sellers in Your Community" program lets entrepreneurs and small businesses share their stories with local leaders, creating more awareness and opportunity. Meet two Dallas-area founders who have big visions and philanthropic purpose.
Which products are the top-selling items on Amazon this month? Are tried-and-true household staples filling shoppers’ carts, or are trending social media fads flying off Amazon’s virtual shelves? Does one Amazon product category rule all others?
Are your competitors outranking you on Amazon? Discover how Helium 10’s brand-new keyword automation feature is your secret weapon to gaining an edge in the Amazon marketplace. Our host, Bradley Sutton, will be your trustworthy guide to navigate you through the intricacies of this game-changing tool that can monitor your competitors’ keyword rankings and advertising, saving you tons of time and exposing potential opportunities for your Amazon brand!