Prime Day performance, Prime Students, Alexa usage, wish list collaboration, Dash connectivity and virtual showrooms

Prime Day achieves record growth - even for small sellers


Despite the site glitches, Amazon Prime Day 2018 was the biggest ever with a reported 100 million products sold worldwide. The day event highlighted the importance of Amazon sellers with 23% of global sales, approx $1bn in revenue, coming from small and medium-sized businesses. However, the big winner was Amazon themselves, their best-sellers worldwide were the Fire TV Stick with Alexa Voice Remote and Echo Dot. It was the biggest event ever for Echo devices with screens, Echo Show and Echo Spot. In total over one million smart home devices were sold, with Ring having its best sales day on the 16th, and the Cloud Cam being the "best-selling security camera deal in Amazon history”. Not only did Amazon sell more, they pulled in more members to their Prime membership, than any time in their history.

Amazon Prime Student available in UK


With students heading back to University in a month or so, Amazon is pushing its Prime Student account. With a Prime Student account, you get all the expected benefits, like unlimited streaming of movies and TV shows on Prime, free 2-day shipping on eligible purchases, access to Prime Music, and unlimited photo storage with Prime Photos. You also get access to exclusive sales. The first six months are free and then you just pay £39/year or £3/month. 

Vendors and sellers can target students signed up to Amazon Prime with promotional deals - a good opportunity to sell distressed stock without disrupting the market.

Most people are not using Alexa to buy products


According to a report published by The Information, only 2% of people who own an Alexa used it to make a purchase. And of those 2% who bought something, 90% of them didn't make any additional purchases. Most people are using it to buy home supplies, rather than anything that requires looking through reviews or comparing with other options. With 50 million Alexa enabled devices in circulation around the world, the potential for e-commerce is huge, but consumers are not yet changing their buying behaviour.

Amazon is starting to let you collaborate on Wish Lists


After years of customers pleading for the feature, Amazon has started to roll out the ability to build lists with your friends and family. A number of people using and its mobile app recently spotted the option to “invite others” to their wish lists. This offers a URL that can be shared via text messages, email, social apps and more. Once clicked, the invitees can then both add and remove wish list items, alongside the wish list’s original owner. The feature, while relatively minor, is something Amazon shoppers have been clamoring for. Parents want to be able to co-manage wish lists for their kids, while others – such as, couples, party planners, family and friends – have also wanted to team up on lists of gift ideas for special occasions, such as birthdays, holidays, and various celebrations.

But don’t get too excited just yet —  the option hasn’t been rolled out to all users, and Amazon hasn't specified how quickly this will arrive to everyone.

Your TV Remote can now automatically re-order new batteries before it dies


Amazon is starting to integrate Dash Replenishment into consumer electricals. They have developed software that can be integrated into everyday consumer electronic products. Toshiba is working on TV remotes controls that will automatically re-order batteries, printer firm Kyocera now sell printers that can order new ink and toner when it detects levels are low and Bosch and Siemens have built dishwashers that automatically reorder detergent. The Dash Replenishment system works by installing consumer electronics with a variety of sensors including voltage, pressure, volume and capacity. These sensors are constantly tracked, so that when you are running low on something it alerts Amazon.

Amazon creates virtual showrooms for car buyers

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Since the launch of Amazon Vehicles in 2016 the site has just been available for comparison purposes, but now car buyers in the US will be able to book test drives, check dealer stock levels and compare pricing and reviews of the car they're looking for.  Hyundai is all set to open a new virtual showroom on Amazon as the US sales site expands its Vehicles section. They are the first car manufacturer to build a dedicated portal on Amazon’s new car section, and says that the deal will give it access to valuable data on potential new car buyers.  Hyundai are also working to integrate Alexa capability into its driving experience, and is working with Amazon to book test drivers using Alexa in their own homes. 

The carmaker believes that the Amazon auto section will continue to grow, so it becomes the No 1 destination for auto research when you go online.