Alibaba is making a big push to U.S. retailers. While much of its pitch is focused on entering the large Chinese market, Alibaba is also making one thing crystal clear: It is not Amazon has no plans to become like it. At a recent panel with Allbirds, the e-commerce company talked about this. Christina Fontana, Alibaba's Tmall's head of fashion and luxury, said the company is "building technology platforms and services that allow brands to speak directly to their consumers." She highlighted the data the company shares with companies selling on the platform, as well as the various opportunities to promote products -- be it via live-streaming or during events like Singles Day. Her pitch was clear: China is "the largest retail market in the world," she said, and Alibaba is an obvious way to access that population. It currently exceeds 755 million active users.
Large national retailers are all trying to grow out their own advertising businesses. Part of that is convincing brands that they have a unique platform that will lead to more sales. Modern Retail obtained Target's pitch deck, which shows how the retailers is positioning itself as a treasure trove of customer data.
During the Holiday season, Amazon abruptly announced that it wouldn't let merchants use FedEx to fulfill Prime orders. Now, the e-commerce giant has made an about face and let the parcel service back in. What's behind these moves is a complicated ecosystem of logistics competition and customer expectations.
FedEx and UPS are imposing new fees for heavy items. For the time being, this impacts individuals and companies that ship their own items. Overall, it's part of a changing shipping ecosystem where parcel carriers are trying to increase margins and rely less on Amazon. Online retailers, as a result, aren't sure how big the changes will be or when they will stop.
Amazon has long been touted as the "sleeping giant" of online advertising, and the retail giant showed further signs of fully awaking from its slumber in 2019. The company made significant improvements to its ad products over the course of the year -- particularly around data and analytics -- and ad-buyers say the company is getting more serious about making its tools more accessible and less confusing to understand and use.
The rise of retail media in recent years has unlocked new options for brands' digital ad dollars beyond just Google and Facebook ads.
Everyone loves to hate on Amazon. The e-commerce juggernaut ranks low on trustworthiness, DTC brands don't want to sell on it, and even Nike is no longer going to be working with Amazon Retail.
Nike made the announcement that it would no longer have a brand presence on Amazon. This move highlights the calculus businesses make about how they should interact with the e-commerce platform. As a result, a debate is ensuing about whether brands need Amazon or Amazon needs brands.
Amazon has a few new features it's testing with brands that look a lot like some Facebook programs. They all seem like ways to promote more content posted to the e-commerce platform -- and it looks like Amazon is beginning to listen to some of the needs of its partners.
Modern Retail surveyed 206 brands and retailers to ask what is working, and what isn't working for them on Amazon.
What's it like to grow a standalone brand that relies on Amazon? It turns out it's pretty hard -- even as Amazon makes hand-waves to indicate that it wants to cultivate these businesses on the platform. The owner of a popular Amazon-dependent brand spoke candidly about the realities and fears of relying on the e-commerce giant.
Amazon's search ad marketshare is growing, and it means brands are more clearly seeing an opportunity to use the platform's offerings. Smaller brands particularly are re-strategizing their advertising programs to more prominently include Amazon. As a result, the search dynamics are shifting.
Amazon is making cheaper one-off items eligible for free one-day Prime shipping. It's clearly a way to entice more customers, but sellers and brands may feel the costs in the years to come.
Retailers and brands have a lot to gripe about when it comes to Amazon. The e-commerce juggernaut has become in many ways a frenemy for brands.
Plans about Amazon's new brick and mortar grocery stores have leaked. While the company has been tiptoeing into the space for a while, this development presents a new phase in Amazon's quest for retail dominance.
A growing number of health and beauty brands are turning to cloud-based systems that can handle customer, financial and inventory data across all processes, from production to payment.
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