Amazon's decision in March to temporarily stop accepting shipments of non-essential goods to its warehouses left many sellers in limbo. That presents a new opportunity for other marketplaces like eBay, Walmart, Target and Google to woo over dissatisfied sellers. Earlier this week, Google announced that it would be now making it free for merchants to sell their products on Google Shopping. Previously, merchants were charged on a cost-per-click basis.
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 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.
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.
If Benjamin Witte talks about his beverage brand Recess as if it were an empire, it's because he's noticed the same ambition among the sector's established giants. "Red Bull is a media company for the action sports community that monetizes through selling cans," Witte said on the Modern Retail Podcast. "We're speaking to creatives, just like Red Bull is speaking to the action sports community, and Gatorade is speaking to athletics."
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.
Everyone is trying to get their hands on hand sanitizer and other cleaning products in the wake of the coronavirus. One top brand on Amazon is retooling its strategy in the height of the increased demand. Modern Retail chatted with its head of e-commerce about how it's approaching this dramatically changing retail landscape.
At this point, many factory and facility workers have stopped going to work, due to quarantine orders and restricted transit. And following last month’s Chinese New Year holiday, the result is a backlog of unfulfilled shipments that continues to grow. While dips in overall sales figures aren’t yet being seen by all, the fear of running out of stock going into the coming months has sellers on high alert to plan ahead.
Over the last week, we've gotten a glimpse into the new programs Amazon is implementing to grow its digital grocery program. It includes a reported new micro-fullfilment center in LA as well as a cashier-less store in Seattle. Amazon isn't the only one making big investments in online fulfillment -- and these developments show that the war is just beginning to heat up.
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.
The Body Shop's US general manager Andrea Blieden: "If you want to capitalize on the fact that over 30% of Americans are using Amazon, you gotta go there."
Amazon has been wooing direct to consumer brands for years by offering them an array of services including financial backing and inventory management via the Fulfilled By Amazon program. For many founders, being on the platform was something to be avoided. But even some that were lured by Amazon’s benefits early on have been gradually making the move off the marketplace.
With in-person sales largely out of the picture this holiday season, brands must adapt to deliver the frictionless experiences that online consumers expect and demand.
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