Amazon’s long-rumored luxury platform, now known as Luxury Stores, finally launched on Tuesday after months of speculation. Amazon’s main appeal to brands is its scale, but out of the gate, the platform doesn’t make much use of its 112 million Prime members. Luxury Stores is launching with only one brand, Oscar de la Renta, and is invite-only, with the first round of invites going out yesterday. The small scale, single brand, small selection and invite-only model mean that Luxury Stores' potential to drive sales is limited.
While Amazon has yet to confirm the surprise date, Prime Day will reportedly take place sometime in October. That's only weeks before the holiday season kicks off, including the supposedly canceled brick and mortar version of Black Friday. That's culminated in sellers being encouraged to prepare inventory and marketing strategies as the event approaches.
As one of the brand founders who've vowed to stay away from Amazon over the years, Camille Rose's Janell Stephens had a change of heart when the pandemic hit. In the past year, she went from attempting to stop second-hand product sales on the site to opening an official Amazon store. Speaking to Modern Retail, the haircare brand's founder and CEO discussed the divisive channel's addition to the company's retail expansion.
Pramila Jayapal, a Democratic Congress member from Washington, is not the most obvious candidate for Amazon’s adversary in Congress. But at a recent hearing, she took Jeff Bezos to task. Over the last few years, she's changed the she's dealt with the e-commerce giant as it's become more and more powerful.
Amazon saw huge profits in its most recent earnings report. This comes even after the company say three months earlier it would likely spend all of its current profits on coronavirus-related costs. Even so, the company saw record sales and continues to skyrocket. But tensions with third-party sellers still remain a pressure point.
Walmart is reportedly planning to launch a new membership program this month. Called Walmart+, it will reportedly cost $98 a year and offer fast home delivery and other perks. Those other perks -- as well as the price tag -- are where Walmart is trying to differentiate itself from Amazon. But the question still remains whether or not it will be enough to compete with the 800-pound gorilla.
Amazon long-running goal to dominate fashion is seeing a new attempt during the pandemic. With the electronics-focused Prime Day still months away, the "Big Style Sale" could provide a much-needed stimulus for sellers whose categories suffered throughout the quarantine.
Amazon is witnessing historic demand, and third-party sellers are noticing a wave of changes. For one, the platform's algorithms to crack down on bad behavior is causing adverse effects. And brands have been unable to find any way to directly communicate with Amazon. One top brand explained just how difficult it's been to sell on the Amazon platform.
Amazon has historically had difficulty keeping track of bad actors on the platform. Now, the company is having the opposite problem -- numerous brands are receiving automated alerts about issues they claim are false. For some, Amazon alleges price gouging. For others, it's about whether their FDA approved product is truly over-the-counter. For these sellers without a direct line to Amazon to appeal they're stuck with products suspended and sales dwindling.
Many brands live and die on the Amazon platform. Now that many non-essential items have seen a profound decrease in demand, these companies are in a bind. Some are trying to adopt competitive tactics that only a few months back they were allergic to.
Amazon is quietly pausing its third-party delivering service. While it's only a small move, it shows the company is trying to focus more on its core offering and less on dominating ancillary markets. From a broader perspective, it could indicate that logistics and other invisible service providers are about to feel a lot more strain.
Amazon is facing increasing pressure over its working conditions for warehouse employees. With more workers testing positive for coronavirus, people are saying the company hasn't been keeping its front-line workers safe. While Amazon is making big changes now, is it too little too late?
Two weeks into the age of coronavirus and Amazon third party sellers still feel in the dark. Those considered non-essential are trying to figure out ways to stay afloat while Amazon de-prioritizes their products. Some are trying to get their products re-categorized, others investing in new fulfillment resources. Risks abound for all the options.
Brands on Amazon are struggling to figure out how to adapt to the Amazon advertising ecosystem in the age of coronavirus. Supply and demand -- both for products and ad units -- have become volatile. Meanwhile, brands are struggling to figure out how best to remain profitable and plan for the future.
It seems like every day Amazon is changing the rules for its sellers. Some are seeing huge gains, others are seeing huge losses. What's clear, however, is that the platform has dramatically changed over the last few weeks and many brands feel left in the dark.
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