Reviews have been on Amazon for decades. But big and small brands alike are noticing more players gaming them. While Amazon claims that it's trying its best to fight the problem, it is only becoming a bigger headache as the e-commerce platform continues to grow.
Reviews have been on Amazon for decades, and so too have fake ones. But as Amazon has become a more dominant e-commerce force, the problem review fraud presents has become more clear. Here is a look at how Amazon has approached its review ecosystem, and how it's led to dark network of bad online actors.
Selling on Amazon can be tricky. The company’s sheer scale means the key to getting the most out of Amazon as a retailer is the details. That was the major takeaway at Digiday Media’s recent Amazon Strategies event.
This week, Digiday Media hosted its very first Amazon Strategies event. There, retailers, brands, marketers and others got into the nitty gritty details of what keeps them up at night. Competition -- both from others and Amazon itself -- was a frequent topic, as were data difficulties and problems keeping a clean brand presence. Here are some of the top observations overheard at the event.
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.
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.
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.
As brands navigate the waters of in-house marketing, they're developing new strategies and tactics to develop data, skillsets and efficiencies for a competitive advantage.
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