Amazon to Open First-Ever Hair Salon in London
Here is the marketplace news that captured our attention this week.
AMAZON TO OPEN FIRST-EVER HAIR SALON IN LONDON
Amazon announced this week plans to open its first-ever hair salon in East London as they continue to explore new lines of business and promote some of the items it sells on its platform.
The Amazon Salon, described in a blog post, will be spread over two floors of a building in Spitalfields, and will be open seven days a week.
The launch of the salon comes as many people in the UK are struggling to book appointments for haircuts as a result of a backlog that has been caused by the coronavirus lockdown.
Amazon, said it will use the Amazon Salon to try a number of new technologies. Augmented reality technology will allow customers to see what they look like with different coloured hair, for example. Amazon said it will also give customers one of its Fire tablets to use during their appointment.
All the focus to date has been on Amazon's disruption of the grocery market with the opening of Amazon Fresh stores in the US & the UK. Now they are taking a similar model into a new category with their first ever hair salon. They clearly believe that technology can improve the salon experience, which may be the case. But will customers trust them with their hair styling? We'll wait and see. There will be some salon owners sitting uncomfortably after the announcement of this news.
AMAZON COULD BECOME UK’S 6TH LARGEST SUPERMARKET
New consumer research suggests that Amazon could be the 6th largest supermarket in the UK if current shoppers swapped just one grocery shop per month to Amazon Fresh.
The new Trends Spring 2021 Report, from intelligence and technology consultancy TWC, examines how Amazon could steal a substantial share of the UK grocery market and predicts that traditional supermarkets may start to lose dominance especially with the younger generation and more affluent shoppers.
It also highlights that the online delivery trend is here to stay and will only get bigger with convenience stores needing to increase their participation in order to combat Amazon’s growth.
To hit No 6 in the UK, Amazon would have to knock out Waitrose, Aldi and Co-op, which would be a dramatic leap from where they are now. However, with two Amazon Fresh stores opening in a month, they clearly have the ambition to take on the big guys.
AMAZON EXTENDS “CLIMATE FRIENDLY” PROGRAMME
Amazon says it’s making it easier for customers to buy sustainable products.
Amazon is today announcing the expansion of a programme launched in September that marks products as “Climate Pledge Friendly” if they have at least one certification from a number of organisations working on environmental and social issues. After launching with 19 external certifications, including Cradle to Cradle, Fairtrade International, Bluesign and Carbonfree Certified, Amazon is announcing the programme has four new certifying climate-focused organisations and thousands of new products on the list, bringing the total to more than 75,000 in the US and EU.
Whilst there is no data yet to indicate the impact the Climate Friendly badge has on sales, the prominence given to the badge in search results will unquestionably turn heads. By making the badge a feature in product search results, they will speed up participation in the programme and make it easier for customers to make eco-friendly choices.
Amazon Buy Shipping
With Amazon Buy Shipping, you can buy shipping labels individually or in bulk, ship and confirm your orders and track your shipments.
Amazon Buy Shipping automatically suggests shipping services based on services that can meet the delivery promise to the customer, your carrier preference and lowest available cost. You must use Buy Shipping for at least 98% of Seller Fulfilled Prime products.
Buy Shipping can help you avoid chargebacks and protect your performance metrics. If you ship on time with tracking via Buy Shipping, and the buyer leaves seller feedback solely related to delayed or undelivered packages, you can request to have the feedback reviewed. If approved, the impact of the feedback is removed from your Order Defect Rate, and the buyer’s comment will be displayed with a strike-through and the statement: The fulfilment issues associated with this order were not due to the seller. T
The customer feedback policy ensures sellers are only responsible for shipping their products on time and are not penalized for delays out of their control.
Furthermore, If you purchase Amazon's Buy Shipping and ship on time, you are protected against a-to-z claims where a customer reports problems with delivery. Those claims will not affect your Order Defect Rate but you are still responsible for the financial loss of these claims.
Buy shipping is designed to improve the delivery experience for Amazon customers and make it easier for FBM sellers to provide reliable and efficient shipping services. It is a welcome addition to Seller Central.
UNFI launches its digital marketplace
United Natural Foods, Inc. (UNFI) has launched its business to business digital marketplace focused on offering retailer clients a “hyperlocal” assortment sourced outside of its distribution centre network.
UNFI offers distribution and professional services to more than 30,000 retailers in the U.S. and Canada, including Whole Foods. The company has focused on offering an expanded assortment of conventional and natural goods, and has seen sales increase over the past year as grocery demand has risen, with its digital sales rising 97% during the second quarter.
Community Marketplace is the first wholesale food marketplace in North America and will be accessible through UNFI’s existing e-commerce site, Easy Options. The marketplace is engineered by Mirakl, which has also helped build marketplaces for Kroger and Albertsons.
Through Community Marketplace, customers of all sizes will have access to more than 20,000 grocery and wellness items, fulfilled from UNFI’s distribution network without minimum order sizes, order frequency requirements or membership fees, UNFI said. Currently, hundreds of Community Marketplace SKUs are available via the Easy Options site, but more items will be added as more suppliers join the platform, according to the distributor. Easy Options is available to range of customers, including independent grocers, convenience stores, natural food and supplement stores, and restaurants.
Spurred by the success of Amazon’s vast marketplace, retailers have scaled their own platforms offering expanded assortments from third-party vendors. Now grocers are starting to launch marketplaces, with a focus on small manufacturers eager to reach consumers.