Prime Day Live
Amazon is to transform Twitch, the video streaming platform for gamers, into a shopping channel as part of this year's Prime Day shopping event. "Twitch Sells Out" will showcase gaming, electronics and other products in two 12-hour broadcasts on July 15 and 16.
Twitch has lined up popular streamers to participate in the event to showcase special deals, including products that have been specially curated for the service's audience of gaming enthusiasts. Twitch is urging gamers to co-stream throughout the entire "Twitch Sells Out" event if they want to add their own commentary to featured products.
Amazon has experimented with home shopping programming in the past, including its fashion-and-beauty focused show called "Style Code Live". It has also run live video feeds directly from its website during past Prime Day events to highlight some of the best deals from its advertisers.
Amazon is continually looking for ways to make their Prime Day event more successful, but not all of what they try survives the first year. Twitch certainly has an engaged audience, but will they turn engagement into direct sales?
NHS ties up with Alexa
In a world first, the NHS has teamed up with Amazon to allow elderly people, blind people and other patients who cannot easily search for health advice on the internet to access credible health information through Alexa.
The health service hopes patients asking Alexa for health advice will ease pressure on the NHS, with Amazon’s algorithm using information from the NHS website to provide answers to questions such as: “Alexa, how do I treat a headache?”; "Alexa, what are the symptoms of flu?" and “Alexa, what are the symptoms of chickenpox?”
For the patient, it cuts out all the searching online, which can be a traumatic experience for many people, especially those who are disabled or find computers hard to use. Alexa is less daunting to use than other forms of technology utilities as you can have a conversation with it without accessing a device.
The news of the NHS tie-up comes at the same time as recent research (eMarketeer) shows smart speaker usage is growing faster than previously reported. The number of US consumers who shop by a smart speaker is now set to rise by 31% to 31 million this year and forecasted to account for 4 in 10 smart speaker owners by 2021.
Lady Gaga launches beauty range exclusively on Amazon
Lady Gaga is launching her long-awaited beauty brand, Haus Laboratories, exclusively on Amazon and preorders start on Prime Day. This will be the first major beauty brand sold solely on Amazon and has the potential to change brands' perception of the e-commerce platform.
Haus Laboratories will be available in nine countries starting in September, as well as on its own website. Collaborating with Tanno, Lady Gaga has created RIP Lip Liner, Le Riot Lip Gloss, and a liquid-to-powder shimmer called Glam Attack. Each product comes in six shades.
The partnership benefits both businesses. Amazon gets a new high profile, lighthouse brand to drive customers to its beauty store. Lady Gaga gets global access to consumers and more media impact than if she had decided to sell the range at Sephora or Ulta.
This is yet another step forward by Amazon as it continues to build its beauty business. In March they launched a skin-care line Belei and in June an online beauty store for makeup professionals.
Amazon internet satellites
Amazon plans to launch thousands of satellites into space to establish a global internet network. They have requested permission from the US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to fire 3,236 satellites into orbit as part of Project Kuiper, which seeks to provide internet to unserved and underserved communities around the world.
This is a good example of Amazon's desire to invest in the long term and reach as many people as possible around the world with their services.