The Amazon Seller's Week in Review, April 17th, 2017

In this Amazon Seller's Week in Review, Julie Spear, our Operations Manager, shares her take on recent news highlights and what these could mean for brands selling on the Amazon marketplace.

 

1. Dormant Amazon Seller Central Accounts a Target for Hackers

We all know how the presence of counterfeit sellers on Amazon’s marketplace can wreak havoc for sellers aiming to control their product pages and brand. The problem seems to have another unfortunate layer, now thanks to hackers.

Last week the Wall Street Journal and other news sources shared details regarding hackers gaining access to dormant third party sellers’ accounts. How have the hacks happened? The theory is that the hackers steal credentials from other places on the web and then sold them on a black market. Once they’ve gained access to the accounts, the hackers have changed the banking information and then created counterfeit listings for products they don’t have.

This has led to problems for the owners of those hacked accounts as they find themselves contesting Amazon so they don’t bear the burden of covering the costs of the customer returns resulting from fraudulent transactions. Erik Fairleigh, a spokesperson for Amazon says they are “constantly innovating on behalf of customers and sellers to ensure their information is secure and that they can buy and sell with confidence on Amazon.com."

What can sellers do to protect their accounts?

  1. Update your passwords frequently 
  2. Avoid using the same password across multiple accounts and applications 
  3. Monitor your seller account. If you see something suspicious, reach out to Seller Support and inform them.

Read more on protecting your brand from Amazon ‘hijackers here and here.


2. Walmart Leverages its Brick-and-Mortar Locations  

Walmart might not have the e-commerce presence that Amazon does, but there is something they do have that Amazon does not: a substantial brick-and-mortar presence. And their latest move shows that they’re aiming to leverage that presence as an opportunity while growing in the e-commerce market.

Starting this week (April 19), customers will note a pickup discount on select items on walmart.com. If a customer purchases a product with the discount tag online and opts for in-store pickup, he will receive a discount. The larger the item, the steeper the discount.

Walmart ups the game with a new discounting program

Walmart ups the game with a new discounting program

Marc Lore, CEO of Walmart, explains the rationale behind the latest move saying, “We can remove the last mile delivery costs (that represent the lion’s share of the costs to ship products to customers’ homes) when we leverage our fleet of more than 6,700 trucks to deliver products directly from fulfillment centers to our 4,700 stores. This means, quite simply, it costs less for us to ship to stores. So, our customers should share in those savings.” It’s expected the discount will be offered on 10,000 products to start, with an aim of discounting 1,000,000 products by the end of June.

 

3. Amazon Closing the Gap with Flipkart in India

Recent data shows Flipkart owning only slightly more of the market share in India than Amazon: 30.7% to Amazon’s 30.3%. GeekWire shared 7Park Data’s report showing growth of 46% between the first quarters of 2016 and 2017 for Amazon while Flipkart dipped 11%. India has long been reported as a major opportunity for Amazon in overseas marketplaces. As such, Amazon has invested a great deal of revenue ($5 billion) in the market. Prime shipping was made available in India in July 2016 and they continue to build out the Amazon Video services there.

Until next week's round of Amazon Seller's Week in Review, join us in our private community for brand owners and Channel Managers on Facebook: Amazon Chanel Mastery for Brands. We share insider tips about e-commerce and selling on Amazon. This is where you can get to know us, and your peers, a little better.