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.
Amazon launches two private label furniture lines
Last Tuesday, Amazon launched two new furniture brands available exclusively on Amazon.com. Rivet is “stylish and versatile mid-century modern furniture and décor” and Stone & Beam has more contemporary offerings. This is Amazon’s first foray into indoor furniture (it has an older line of outdoor furniture and lighting called Strathwood) and follows a trend in the home furnishings industry toward eCommerce. Last week, eMarketer announced its estimates, reporting that sales in the category would top $62 billion in 2021.
Though furniture is bulky and costly to ship, many buyers at least start their purchasing journey online, using apps and e-commerce sites to research and compare items.
And demographic trends are driving more online sales. The large Millennial demographic is “finally moving out of their parents’ basements and buying homes” according to Bloomberg News.
So, what does this news mean for home furnishing brands?
Well, anytime Amazon decides to enter a product category and launch their own private label(s) it generally spells trouble for brands in that industry. Wayfair’s share price fell following the announcement. But Amazon entering this market also means it will drive more consumer interest and purchases in this category online. I imagine Amazon’s entrance in this difficult segment to have a halo effect in terms of improving consumer trust in purchasing furniture and other high-ticket items online.
China’s Singles Day smashes sales records (including Amazon’s)
Shoppers have spent more than $33 billion in 24 hours during China's annual Singles Day, smashing previous records. By comparison, Amazon's Prime Day generated an estimated $1 Billion to $2.2 Billion in sales in 2017.
Amazon’s Australia launch seems to be closer than ever
Amazon held its first Australian Marketplace Seller Summit in Sydney last week, with many Australian sellers espousing the enormous growth that launching on Amazon.com afforded their local operation. One participant cited their monthly sales climbing from $10,000 a month to $300,000 a month after launching on the US marketplace just a couple of years ago.
It seems like I’ve been talking about Amazon Australia all year, and with no official launch date, speculation is rife. However, I personally received an invite to add products to the Amazon.com.au marketplace just last week, including a 3-month bonus on selling fees. Could Amazon launch in Australia before Christmas 2017? Wilder things have happened.
AMS Now Available for Brands on Amazon.ca. And a public AMS API?
Vendors in Canada finally get access to AMS (Amazon Marketing Services) - the PPC platform that their peers in the US and EU markets have long been using to drive traffic to their product listings. The toolkit includes Sponsored Products (single-SKU placements within organic search results and on product display pages), Headline Search Ads (multi-SKU placement above search results), Product Display Ads (single-SKU placements that can be targeted to competing listings), and Store Pages which create a visual merchandising opportunity.
Digiday also reports that Amazon may be finally releasing an API for AMS, with some advertising agencies having access to a beta version of the API. According to Digiday, the “API offered in beta covers Amazon Sponsored Products as well as headline search ads that lets brands programmatically manage campaigns, ad groups, ads, keywords, bids, and budgets.”
This is very exciting for brands who sell on Vendor Central. Executing and reporting on AMS campaigns is an extremely manual process. With access to an API, there will be more tools and software available to Vendors to cut costs and improve outcomes on AMS.
This is all the news I have to share with you this week. Stay tuned for my next update!