Inside Amazon's pop-up store, Alexa Headphones, Prime for Business beefed up and Amazon Advertising leak

Inside Amazon's pop-up store

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The Tambo team paid a visit to Amazon's new pop-up store on Baker Street yesterday and this is what we found out:

It was smaller than we imagined, taking a corner unit on Baker Street. Clothes were hung up on racks on the edge of the store, allowing for clear space to hold events. This pop-up was more about the events than for customer browsing. Although, there were Amazon fashion stylists available to help you select a look.

A range of fashion brands at mid-market prices was on display, but unlike the Amazon Fashion website, items were categorized by brand rather than product, making finding things difficult and going against their customer first approach. The featured brands for that day had dedicated labeled sections - Tommy Hilfiger and Pepe Jeans when we were there. Amazon's private label brands were also on display and placed within branded products with similar price points e.g. Libertine.

Each product tag had an Amazon Smile QR code on one side and a barcode on the reverse. Items with cream tags could be tried on in-store and scanned for purchase immediately or saved for later. Red tag items were exclusively available online. Store assistants also had mobile tablets from which you could make orders.

There was an Amazon smile seat, so you could sit and have your picture taken of you in your outfit, and the set-up of the room encouraged social sharing with colourful backdrops and Instagram-friendly lighting and mirrors.

The store was not that busy when we went in. We got the impression that visitors were driven by curiosity rather than actually buying anything. We don't think Amazon will mind, this was more about making a statement about Amazon Fashion and driving sales

Alexa embedded in Headphones

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Microchip firm Qualcomm is joining up with Amazon to spread the use of Amazon's Alexa voice assistant in wireless headphones. Qualcomm will release a set of chips that any maker of Bluetooth headphones can use to embed Alexa directly into the device. When the headphones are paired to a phone with the Alexa app on it, users will be able to talk to the voice assistant by tapping a button on the headphones.

Amazon and Google, whose voice assistants have most often been found in their respective smart speakers for the home, are rushing to partner with headphone makers. New models from Bose and Jabra feature Alexa built-in, and Sony said earlier this year that a software update will make some of its headphone models work with Alexa. 

Amazon Prime Business beefed up

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Amazon is adding some new perks for its Business Prime program, headlined by a new credit card offered with American Express. Initially available in the US, it is expected to roll out worldwide in 2019. The credit card has no annual fee and includes the choice of 5% back or 90-day interest-free payments for Business Prime members. The card is one of several new benefits rolling out for Amazon Business customers worldwide: 

  • Business Prime members can now get one-day and same-day shipping on more than 1 million items for orders over $35.

  • Spend Visibility gives users the ability to visualize their company spending, powered by Amazon's new data visualisation service - QuickSight

  • Guided Buying is designed to let account administrators set limits and preferences on purchasing to allow spending to fall in line with company policies.

  • Qualifying Business Prime members can extend payments via invoice from 45 to 60 days.

  • For easier receiving, members can also now tell Amazon to consolidate the shipments into larger — but fewer — shipments.

Amazon is putting a lot of focus on its business-to-business sales, and it's paying off. Sales on the Amazon Business Marketplace hit $10 billion yearly worldwide, the company announced in September. Just two years ago, those sales were $1 billion.

New Amazon Advertising features leaked on youtube

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This week Amazon released an unlisted video (which was quickly removed) announcing two major targeting changes happening in Sponsored Product campaigns. Once it comes into effect, this will be one of the biggest changes to Sponsored Products campaigns we've seen so far. This is further evidence that Amazon is building more display/programmatic type features into PPC:

  • Manual Sponsored Product Campaigns will be able to target individual brands or related interests. The Targeting features included being able to select min price for the competitors you'd like to target, minimum star reviews, even selecting an actual brand you can go after!

  • Auto Sponsored Product Campaigns will have an additional 4 segments you can bid on. These go from very closely related competitors and/or queries to very loosely related.

We're sure Amazon will release more information in the coming weeks about these new Sponsored Product features, so stay tuned to our blog and we will update you.