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#134 - Amazon Vs. Shopify, Significant Reliance on Chinese Sellers, and more

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Greetings and welcome to the unveiling of FBA Monthly Issue #134 – your gateway to the future of Amazon success! As we venture into this edition, get ready for a journey through cutting-edge strategies, emerging trends, and invaluable insights that will shape the trajectory of your FBA business.

Hot News

Amazon acknowledged the Chinese seller market share on its marketplace for the first time, calling it “significant.” In the annual Form 10-K filing with the SEC, Amazon added new language to the warning about the risks its international operations expose it to.


There are a lot of opportunities for e-commerce entrepreneurs as the number of online shoppers keeps climbing every year. Before launching an online business, you’ll need to choose an e-commerce platform where you’ll set up. There are many feature-rich platforms on the market, but we’ll focus on two popular options in this guide—Shopify and Amazon.


From 2004 to 2023, the net revenue of Amazon e-commerce and service sales has increased tremendously. In the last reported year, the multinational e-commerce company's net revenue was almost 576 billion U.S. dollars, up from 514 billion U.S. dollars in 2022. Amazon.com, a U.S. electronic commerce company originally founded in 1994, is the world’s largest online retailer of books, clothing, electronics, music, and many more goods.


Good to Know

Most everyone who shops online buys from Amazon, but, presumably, few shoppers give much thought as to whether the products are being purchased from the retailer itself or one of the sellers on the Amazon Marketplace (AM). AM, which represents 60% of Amazon’s sales, is the portion of the e-commerce giant where Amazon facilitates sales of products owned by third parties without taking ownership of inventory.


Two customers have filed a class action legal suit accusing Amazon of pushing down lower-priced items with the help of an in-house algorithm. The lawsuit, filed in a federal district court in Washington, points the finger at Jeffrey Bezos’ delivery empire promoting third-party sellers that charge customers more when checking out, where viable alternatives are hidden.


Amazon had a lot to crow about on its most recent earnings call. It started with record revenue for Q4 and the full year of 2023. It continued as CEO Andy Jassy ticked off the various successes AWS notched as the year closed. And among a torrent of revenue and sales statistics, one data point escaped the clutches of the analysts gathered for the announcement: Amazon Marketplace broke the 500 million order mark for its independent, third-party sellers over the Black Friday and Cyber Monday extended shopping event.


In 2023, Amazon's net revenue from subscription services segment amounted to 40.2 billion U.S. dollars. Subscription services include Amazon Prime, for which Amazon reported 200 million paying members worldwide at the end of 2020. The AWS category generated 80 billion U.S. dollars in annual sales. During the most recently reported fiscal year, the company’s net revenue amounted to 576 billion U.S. dollars.


After announcing blockbuster financial results from the holiday quarter and its largest operating profit ever last week, Amazon is now worth nearly $1.8 trillion. The tech giant's market value is four times higher than Walmart and, depending on what Walmart reveals when it reports its own fourth-quarter results on February 20, Amazon may have just topped Walmart in quarterly sales for the first time ever too.


Amazon has been sued by two customers in the United States who claim the internet titan artificially inflates prices, hitting shoppers in the wallet. Each product listed on the gigantic e-souk usually has a so-called Buy Box on the right-hand side of the page encouraging folks to put items straight into their virtual carts.


Amazon launched Brand Metrics in Beta in 2021, and this week it announced the availability of four key new metrics to help brands measure their performance on Amazon. The metrics are in graph form “to help you understand and measure your progress on key brand-building objectives,” Amazon explained.


AMZ Pathfinder and Yardline have partnered to help Amazon sellers boost their online presence. This strategic partnership will offer businesses AMZ Pathfinder’s services to help them intelligently scale their advertising, and Yardline’s funding solutions to enable them to implement and scale those strategies, the companies said in a Monday (Feb. 12) press release.


Amazon is one of the largest multinational conglomerates in the world. To date, the company has a valuation of over $1.7 trillion, and it’s the most prominent e-commerce platform in history. Amazon sells nearly everything under the sun and offers worldwide shipping, so millions of customers flock to the platform to purchase anything from baby cribs to art supplies.


In the the Amazon Buy Box lawsuit, it is alleged that the company’s platform has been engineered to guide the majority of its customers towards purchasing items at higher prices, which could have been bought for less with similar or quicker delivery options.


Amazon has managed to land itself in some hot water. The online retail giant is being accused of deceiving customers by using a “biased algorithm” to hide cheaper offers with fast delivery times when they go to purchase an item, according to a new class-action lawsuit. The lawsuit alleges that Amazon does this in an effort to “reward” sellers for paying “hefty fees” to the company.


In 2023, Amazon's total consolidated net sales revenue amounted to 575 billion U.S. dollars, 131 billion U.S. dollars of which were generated through international revenue channels. North America was the biggest operations segment, accumulating nearly 353 billion U.S. dollars in net sales during the year.


Food and drink sellers on Amazon say they are facing bankruptcy due to the e-commerce giant’s decision to freeze their funds until they can prove their VAT status. And despite sending Amazon documentation proving they are UK-based, several report being trapped in a “Kafkaesque” nightmare, receiving automated requests for further proof while the option to remove their stock from Amazon warehouses has been removed.


If you regularly buy products online, you're a prime target for crooks. And according to Keeper Security, one key trick to conning victims is the "off-platform payments" scam. It sounds technical, but it's actually a very simple way of tricking you into handing over cash to crooks. "All official Amazon purchases are done on the platform," said Keeper Security's Tim Tran.


Food and beverage vendors on Amazon are sounding alarm bells over the looming threat of bankruptcy, all stemming from the ecommerce titan’s decision to withhold their funds until they can substantiate their VAT status.


The tech giant has been criticised for withholding payments from its sellers as it conducts strict new VAT checks, required under UK laws. In the process, hundreds – if not thousands – of small businesses have suddenly been plunged into a cash flow crisis.


Amazon unveils its revolutionary Ships in Product Packaging (SIPP) program, aimed at transforming the packaging and shipping practices of Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA) sellers. SIPP offers enhanced customer experiences through custom-branded packaging, significant cost savings by reducing reliance on Amazon-added materials, and a commitment to environmental responsibility by minimizing packaging waste.


Tips and Tricks

When it comes to selling products on Amazon, I’d bet the majority of new sellers go for the most popular categories—Home & Kitchen, Sports & Outdoors, or Toys & Games, to name a few. While those categories can be lucrative, they’re among the most competitive. A category that’s often overlooked but rising in popularity with both buyers and sellers is Grocery.


You have just started selling on Amazon. From a vast customer base and sophisticated logistics network to a range of tools and programs to help sellers thrive, there are many reasons to jump onto this platform. There is just one issue: achieving success on Amazon is a formidable challenge.


Amazon is responsible for over a third of all online retail sales, and the majority of all sales on Amazon happen through its Buy Box. If your product offer is not in the Buy Box, it becomes more difficult for a customer to make a purchase.


Amazon is a leading global e-commerce platform, operating in five continents with dedicated Amazon websites for at least 20 countries and generating approximately $400 billion in annual revenue. It is certainly the market leader in the United States, with monthly visits at nearly three billion, according to an article in the Harvard Business Review.


Not all customers will have the same preferences when shopping on Amazon. Some may prefer a particular color over another or require a different size. This is where Amazon product listing variations, or parent-child listings, come into play. Adding variations to your listings can significantly improve your customer’s experience.


Amazon’s reign as the king of ecommerce won’t end any time soon. There were over 15 billion worldwide visits to Amazon.com in 2023. The continued flood of purchase-ready visitors makes Amazon lucrative for sellers who can stand out and generate sales from the platform. This year, Amazon’s core belief behind its algorithm remains straightforward. They want customers to continue buying. They are just as interested in making sales, if not more so, than the sellers themselves.


Inventory has always played a significant role in the way you sell on Amazon. Running out of inventory can impact your organic ranking and can impact your advertising strategy. Besides the potential loss of sales, poor inventory control also impacts the amount of inventory Amazon will allow you to send into the Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA) program.



Cara Sayer’s entrepreneurial spirit shines brighter than ever as she recounts her nail-biting journey from the brink of closure to soaring profits. Her candid discussion with us offers a lot of wisdom on the critical importance of keeping a keen eye on business metrics. As an e-commerce maven, she underpins the conversation with her own blunders and breakthroughs, ensuring that our listeners can sidestep the pitfalls and replicate her success. And for those with a penchant for cultural quirks, our banter in British slang adds a hearty dash of charm to the mix.