More lawmakers are cracking down on Amazon's allegedly anticompetitive practices. But it's important to understand what these politicians and advocates are claiming, in order to surmise the best approach to fight the ever-growing tech behemoth.
Amazon has rolled out a new selling format for brands in its third-party marketplace: Sold by Amazon, a program that lets sellers submit products to be priced by Amazon’s algorithm. Positioned as a competitive advantage to sellers, the new selling format could prove to be a slippery slope.
Amazon has previously offered vendors the ability to bid on the Amazon’s Choice badge by lowering prices, increasing profitability per sale for Amazon and increasing marketing spend, according to sources who received the pitch from the company.
Amazon reportedly obtained a liquor license in San Francisco. This is likely part of the company's slow expansion into the alcohol delivery business. As a whole, alcohol e-commerce has been relatively untapped – and Amazon may be the company that makes a big splash.
Two months after it pulled its FedEx Express air mail service from the platform, FedEx has ended its FedEx Ground Shipping service. To get items to customers within Amazon’s ever-shrinking guaranteed delivery windows, the company will rely on UPS, DHL and its own network of delivery capabilities, which include its own fleet of cargo planes, delivery trucks and local drivers.
This week, Microsoft purchased the marketing technology platform PromoteIQ. It's another example of the computing giant trying to both court retailers and compete with Amazon. But can Microsoft level up with the e-commerce giant?
Thrive Market positions itself as an alternative to Whole Foods. Indeed, it customer acquisition could be considered the antithesis of Amazon-esque one-off tactics. At a conference, the online grocery marketplace's svp of marketing discussed the slow and steady approach Thrive makes to keep loyal customers.
Brands that have participated in Amazon's one-year emerging brands program, which encompasses the initiative to launch DTC startup brands on Amazon, said they get access to a level of customer service and account management that others sellers don’t, and the participation opens doors to more opportunities working with Amazon.
The Wall Street Journal reported this week that Amazon's Brand Accelerator program includes a clause that grants the company the right to purchase any brand it works with for a set price. Essentially, what this means is that Amazon agrees to provide resources to help a business's sales, but it can – at a moment's notice – decide to purchase the brand and bring the entire operation in-house.
Amazon’s algorithms always favor high sell-through rates, consistent ad spend and low returns, but Prime Day sees the peak of those algorithmic preferences as Amazon is expected to bring in $6.1 billion in sales on July 15 and 16, according to marketing platform IgnitionOne.
Amazon may be the only retailer with an event called Prime Day, but competitors are capitalizing on the growing name recognition of Prime Day among U.S. shoppers to promote their own sales events. No one is calling their sales event Prime Day outright, but other retailers are alluding to Amazon's annual two-day sales event in their marketing and promotional copy.
For Amazon sellers, account managers have been considered a lifeline -- the real people on the other end who can cut through the black box of selling on Amazon to field questions and offer support for individual sellers’ needs
As Amazon's Prime Day expands from one, then one-and-a-half, to two days (taking place this year on July 15 and 16), retailers are bulking up their competitive defense strategies as well. This year, Target, Nordstrom, Walmart, eBay, and a slew of others announced a series of deals on the same days as Prime Days. More retailers are participating in the mid-summer sales event than in the past, too: RetailMeNot estimates that this year over 250 competitors will be offering some form of deals this summer, up from 194 last year.
On Thursday, Amazon announced Counter, a new service that will allow customers to pick up Amazon packages from select retailers' stores. Amazon's initial launch partner for Counter in the U.S. is Rite Aid. But in its press release, the e-commerce giant said that it's "actively looking to bring additional partners onboard, including small to midsize businesses and other large chains." It's indicative of the power Amazon still holds over brick-and-mortar retailers.
Amazon has rolled out a series of new initiatives this year to help tackle its marketplace’s counterfeit and unauthorized seller problem head-on in an effort to protect brands and customers. But thanks to a slurry of fast-changing rules, a lack of clear communication and automated product sweeps, third-party marketplace sellers are getting caught in the fray and losing out on sales.
It’s normal for digital marketers to feel overwhelmed when dealing with the challenges that can come with a major launch, but when armed with the right tools and know-how to combat the most common obstacles, your team can set sail without a hitch.
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