Amazon Weekly News: October 24, 2017

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’s Prime membership grows to 90 million in U.S

New research from Consumer Intelligence Research Partners (CIRP) suggests that Amazon’s Prime memberships now reach 90 million in the U.S. This is a significant number that represents over half of US households and 63% of all shoppers on Amazon. 
The average Prime member spends nearly twice as much as the average non-member on Amazon ($1,300 versus $700). 

As I said in a comment on a recent RetailWire article about the findings, Prime is a significant driver in Amazon’s flywheel. The psychological lock-in effect of Prime has led Amazon to where it is today. Members want to make their membership worth it, so turn to Amazon first when shopping. That’s not the only element though: extreme product selection, fast delivery, and customer service are just two other factors that drive loyalty to Amazon. It is still incredible to me how the Prime membership numbers continue to creep up, way past half of all U.S. households. Even after Amazon reaches technical saturation, they will start extending their flywheel reach elsewhere: international markets or currently underserved demographics (teens, elderly).

 

Amazon’s new $500,000 placement for brands

Over the past month, Amazon has been rolling out "Premium" product pages at a cost of $500,000 a year per brand, according to advertisers interviewed by Ad Age regarding the program. 

These pages offer rich content, sometimes displaying video. One live example is the Bose Revolve product page which besides video, also includes an interactive comparison guide. 

The experience is decidedly high-end and appears to address a market that has long eschewed Amazon: luxury brands. Could the luxury price of fully customized pages on Amazon be enough to lure in luxury brands? 

 

Jet.com launches new private label brand, Uniquely J

Amazon isn’t the only one pushing out new private label brands to boost their margins and capitalize on internal customer data - Walmart’s Jet.com released a new house brand this week. ‘Uniquely J’ will include everyday essential items (50 as of launch today), including coffee, cleaning products, laundry supplies, pantry goods, and food storage.

The brand’s bold packaging and punchy product names seem to target Jet.com’s primarily Millennial customer and are the first private label brand that the retailer has launched. Amazon’s stable of private label brands now includes at least a dozen lines across CPG, fashion, haberdashery, and grocery.

Don’t forget to check out my new show, the Ecommerce Braintrust podcast. In one of the four episodes released this week, we talk about the ‘future of brands on Amazon’, analyzing how Amazon has approached brands in the past, how they treat resellers and distributors, and what are the indications that show us  where Amazon is headed as it pertains to the brand ecosystem. Check out the podcast here.

 

Two-Factor Authentication on Amazon Mandatory for all Seller Central users from November 1

All Seller Central users will need to establish a secondary authentication process on their account starting November 1. This includes access for Authorized Users as well. Luckily the setup process is simple, allowing you to use almost any 3rd Party Authenticator App, and  set the option to remember your most regularly used devices to avoid getting  prompted for a code every time. 


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