Amazon Weekly News: January 16, 2018

Time for the weekly recap of Amazon news! It's always good to keep up with events related to the fast-moving world of the Amazon ecosystem. I select the most important news updates to share with subscribers each week, which you can sign up to receive right here.

 

Retailers embrace ‘co-opetition’ with Amazon

I hear a lot from brands who are cagey about selling their products on Amazon due to a fear of cannibalizing sales from other strategic channels, or a general fear of letting the wolf into the henhouse. But here is a great example of a major retailer who has made a strategic decision to sell on Amazon which has paid off. “Co-opetition with Amazon works for The Children’s Place”, RetailWire January 15. 

 

Amazon has over 560 million product listings

Scrapehero is a web crawler that calculates how many products listings are on Amazon. The estimate as of January 2018 is that Amazon has 560 million product listings. This is actually 17 million fewer products than the month prior. 

Given the number of product variants in the category, it’s not surprising that clothing, shoes & jewelry have the largest number of products of all the categories. Also interesting is how quickly the number of Alexa Skills is growing. Currently, there are 30K skills, with 7K added just in the last month. 

 Image Source:  ScrapeHero

Image Source: ScrapeHero

 

Amazon - the next big advertising player in 2018?

An opinion piece on Medium shares a few different platform that Amazon will leverage to become a significant player in the digital advertising space. We’re not just talking about Sponsored Product Ads here. Alexa, Amazon’s display network, AWS, even Amazon prime will all contribute to Amazon’s uprising in the lucrative advertising sector. 

This piece echoes the sentiments that I shared in an article on Practical Ecommerce last week. Currently, the digital advertising space is a duopoly shared by Google and Facebook. Amazon will be disrupting that dynamic in the coming years, and we’re at a tipping point where brands are recognizing the significance of Amazon’s stage in the consumer purchase lifecycle.

An in-depth article about Amazon’s advertising goals on DigiDay also points out that 63  brand marketers plan to increase their spending on Amazon over the next year (research by GroupM’s Catalyst). 

 
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Alexa…is this thing on?

Having gifted myself an Echo at Christmas, I’ve been on a rabbit hole learning about the technology, how people are using it, and what voice will mean for commerce in the future. This article from Wired is a deep dive on the product development team and story behind Alexa. Remarkable stuff. 

And in this unexpected interview with a VP of Alexa Experience and Echo Devices at Amazon, there’s confirmation(for now at least) that advertising is not coming to Alexa. 

 

Amazon “uniquely positioned” to innovate in the beauty market

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According to this Bloomberg article, “Amazon has won 21 percent of online cosmetics sales, putting pressure on beauty brands that want to restrict the sales of their products to upscale channels”. 

Upscale beauty brands have dismissed Amazon’s utilitarian shopping experience in the past, but it seems like the retail giant has some tricks up its sleeves to become a bigger force in the category. 
 

This is all the news I have to share with you this week. Stay tuned for my next update!