Prime Day is here!

Here is the marketplace news that captured our attention this week.

Prime Day is here!

Well almost. Just a few hours to go. Despite being a little earlier than expected, Prime Day is back as a summer event after last year's enforced delay.

Amazon will have the usual deep discounts on their device (currently 45% off) and will give prominence to their own brands across fashion, grocery and everyday essentials.

To freshen up the event, they have added a few more incentives. Prime Members can select a charity and Amazon will donate 0.5% of the purchase value. If you spend a min of £10 with a small business you get £10 credit towards another purchase.

They have made the experience better for shoppers too, the offers are colour coded so you can spot a Prime Day deal quicker. And if you use your Alexa to buy, you might get a deal before someone else.

For the first time, Amazon is personalising offers to users. I was served an Amazon Audible subscription offer and a Gift Card top up bonus,

Most reports anticipate that Prime Day will deliver growth again for Amazon, but due to the change in timings and with retail stores now open, the performance is predicted to be up between 30-40% compared to the 45% growth they saw in 2020.

With a few hours to go, now is the time to do the final checks on your account. Check that any deals are ready to go. Check that advertising is set up correctly and features the Prime Day ASIN's. Check that your advertising bids can give you the best placement on your key search terms. Check the stock of your Best Sellers and have a Plan B in place in case a product goes out of stock. . And once the event is live, switch your focus to monitoring and managing performance on an hourly basis. With such sales velocity on the site, the dynamics can change quickly and how you manage those moments can determine success or failure.

Best of luck to all participating. It will be a busy few days for the Tambo team!

Amazon's First Full-Size Grocery Store With 'Just Walk Out' Shopping

Starting this week, Amazon Fresh customers in Bellevue Washington, will have the option to pay in-store or skip the checkouts at a new full-size supermarket. Whether you're doing the weekly shop or grabbing a pastry on the go, the supermarket makes it easy to bypass the register via Just Walk Out technology.

Visitors to the new Bellevue store will be prompted at the entrance to choose Just Walk Out shopping or traditional checkout lanes. Opt for the former, and you'll need to scan the QR code in your Amazon mobile app, use Amazon One to scan your palm, or insert a credit or debit card linked to your Amazon account. Once inside, feel free to shop as usual. Anything you take off the shelf is automatically added to your virtual cart; anything you put back on the shelf is automatically removed from your virtual cart. To exit the store, simply scan or insert your entry method again.

Tambo's view:

Amazon is the first grocer in the US to launch virtual check out technology in a full-size supermarket. Unlike the Amazon Go stores, the customer has the option to check out virtually or through a checkout counter. This step forward shows that Amazon is comfortable implementing the new retail technology at scale. The question now is whether they see this as a competitive advantage over other grocers or a technology they can sell to other retailers.

Amazon's Fifth London till-free grocery store opens in Chalk Farm Road

Amazon is opening its fifth convenience store in London, where it offers customers ‘just walk out’ shopping. The latest Amazon Fresh branch opened on Wednesday (June 16) on Chalk Farm Road, welcoming shoppers seven days a week..
The shop, close to Chalk Farm tube station, includes 2500 square feet of ‘front of house’ space.

To mark Amazon Prime Day 2021, Prime customer who shop in store will also receive a free hot drink.

Tambo's view:

Amazon is opening Amazon Go stores in the UK at a rate of 2 per month. If they continue at this pace they will have 16 by the end of the year. Whilst the stores do sell private label brands, the majority of products are branded goods that are popular on the retail site.

UK competition regulator plans probe into Amazon’s use of data

The UK’s competition watchdog is planning a formal competition investigation into Amazon, mirroring a continuing investigation by the EU, according to reports.

The Competition and Markets Authority has been analysing Amazon’s business for months, focusing on how the online retailer uses the data it collects on its platform. It has also scrutinised how Amazon decides which merchants appear in the crucial “buy box” — the white panel to the right-hand side of a product where buyers click to add the item to their cart.

An investigation into Amazon may focus on whether the company favours merchants that also use its logistics and delivery services when deciding who has access to the buy box and to its Prime customers, according to two individuals close to the situation.

Tambo's view:

From our analysis of Amazon Retail, our suspicion is that Amazon does favours businesses that use their logistics services by giving them a better search ranking and buy box visibility. The authorities may consider this is an unfair practice and Amazon will argue that the customer gets a better service and faster delivery. If Amazon are mandating a preference then they could be in hot water, but if the algorithm is making a rational choice they could be in the clear. We will be watching to see how this plays out!

Amazon to overtake Walmart as America’s biggest retailer in 2022

Amazon is set to overtake Walmart as the largest retailer in the US by the year 2022, according to a new analysis from JP Morgan.

Between 2014 and 2020, according to the paper, Amazon grew “significantly faster” than its main retailer rival, as measured by an industry metric known as gross merchandise volume (GMV).

Last year, JP Morgan estimates, Amazon’s GMV climbed an estimated 41 per cent, to $316bn, compared with Walmart’s 10 per cent GMV growth. Amazon now controls roughly 39 per cent of total web commerce, up from 24 per cent in 2014.

Tambo's view:

Before Covid-19, Walmart had started to slow Amazon's growth following a multi-billion investment in their e-commerce infrastructure. However, the tables turned in March 2020 when the Pandemic took hold. Amazon became the go to e-commerce provider , re-asserting its leadership position. Our belief is that the two rivals will be head to head through the next decade as they compete in on and offline retail.

Third-Party Subscriptions Come To Amazon

Subscription boxes are nothing new for Amazon. But close watchers will see that something new has come to Amazon's subscription page: direct-to-consumer (D2C) product brands. The Amazon marketplace for subscriptions is beginning to look a lot like the Amazon marketplace in general — not just a place to buy Amazon goods and services, though they do have plenty of their own on offer — but a place to buy everybody’s goods and services.

Amazon’s big third-party expansion in subscription services is a sensible one by the numbers. According to PYMNTS' most recent Subscription Commerce Tracker, consumer interest in subscription services has exploded since the start of the pandemic: VoD subscriptions, educational subscriptions and, of course, substitutions for physical goods. A recent survey revealed that one-third of American consumers have signed up for subscription apps.

Amazon is promoting subscription boxes hard, touting Prime Day discounts for sign-ups and other signals to make sure consumers know that whatever type of subscription they are looking for, they can find it on Amazon. Even if Amazon is not actually offering the subscription themselves, they want to be the place where consumers go to find it.

Tambo's view:

Amazon subscription boxes are only available in the US. They offer everything from pet toys to beauty products. Subscription is quick and easy compared to what a first time subscriber would have to go through on a DTC website. Given the UK's love of Subscription Services it is surprising they have not launched here. Amazon doesn't start anything without the intention of globalising it, so either it is planning to launch soon or the US model is not yet proven.

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