In 2020, according to the postage technology company Pitney Bowes, the U.S. shipped 20.2 billion parcels, up a whopping 37% from 2019. That growth is radiating out to all companies within the parcel carrier ecosystem -- including not just household names like FedEx, UPS and the Postal Service, but also regional carriers like LaserShip, OnTrac and others.
A small group of startups are creating digital marketplaces that feature an assortment of potential manufacturers -- either custom manufacturers or professional private labelers -- in order to help small businesses speed up the process of designing and launching a new line of products.
There’s a simple way to prove that Amazon’s advertising playbook has reshaped the industry: major retailers across the board are copying it. According to data from the e-commerce growth agency Profitero, retailers of all types have added significantly more ads to search results over the past year. Walmart, the largest brick-and-mortar retailer, is leading the pack, growing its average number of ads on the first page of search results from 1.9 in October 2020 to 4.0 in August 2021.
Until now, Amazon has had largely uncontested control over merch from viral streaming shows -- but the Netflix partnership gives Walmart a new leg up over Amazon when it comes to selling merch. It is also kicking off a battle between Amazon and Walmart to control merchandise for streaming shows and films, as sellers on both platforms vie to offer tie-in products that ride the waves of virality.
Amazon's 4-Star stores are kitschier and don't get as much attention as some of its more high-tech concepts, like Amazon Go. Yet 4-Star offers two benefits that none of Amazon’s other physical store concepts do yet: one, it’s a showroom, and two, it doubles as a fulfillment center.
As e-commerce begins to leave its mark on the buying and selling of vehicles, a small group of startups are betting that consumers will soon demand the same of other aspects of the vehicle world -- namely, vehicle repair, fueling and other services.
While Amazon’s new insurance marketplace might not say a lot about the company’s ambitions in the insurance space, it does signal the extent to which Amazon has become a center of commerce -- not just for typical consumer products, but for services of essentially any kind as well.
In just a few months, quick-delivery grocery companies like Gorillas, Jokr, Fridge No More and others have moved from a relatively niche curiosity to some of the best-funded startups in the grocery industry. As they race to expand, they are also, more subtly, changing the face of retail real estate in major cities.
SellerX, a major Amazon aggregator in Europe with $266 million in funding, appears to have acquired ReviewMeta, a website for verifying the authenticity of reviews on Amazon. For the growing business of e-commerce aggregators, this is likely the first of many to come.
The latest retailer to announce significant changes to its supply chain is Costco, which is leasing three of its own container ships for a one-year period in order to more quickly transport products across the Pacific Ocean. Costco isn't the only major retailer to take that step: in recent months, IKEA, The Home Depot, Walmart and Dollar Tree have all chartered their own containers ships.
Amazon recently admitted that it banned 3,000 seller accounts, though one trade group in China puts the number closer to 50,000. The mutually beneficial relationship between Amazon and its biggest China-based sellers -- which has proven instrumental to the growth of the third-party marketplace -- seems to be on shaky ground.
Retailers are trying to bring digital ads into brick-and-mortar stores. Companies like Starlite Media and Cooler Screens have begun offering ad services to both brands and retailers. It points to a bigger trend: retailers are eagerly testing ways to display digital ads to consumers, closer and closer to the point of sale.
Companies like Pharmapacks and Anker are the first third-party sellers to go public. But more and more, Amazon sellers are achieving enough scale that they can stand as public-facing brands in their own right.
As food delivery companies race to acquire enough customers to finally turn a profit, they are actively building up their presence in new markets -- and many seem to have decided that pharmacies are the most logical evolution of their business.
In June, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that NCAA athletes could profit off of their name and image for the first time. Ever since, brands and platforms like GoPuff, Shopify and more have rushed to court college athletes to engage in endorsement deals and to launch their own products.
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