Welcome to our weekly roundup of the top Amazon news stories of the week.

Amazon Showroom gives you a glimpse of your virtual dream home: Olivia Tambini at TechRadar reports that Amazon’s latest interactive feature could save you schlepping around your local department store on the hunt for a new floor lamp. Called Amazon Showroom, the feature allows you to ‘try before you buy’, by helping you visualise furniture in a virtual living room, that you can customise to look just like your own. Continue reading…

Amazon’s new “Top Brand” badge: Marketplace Pulse reports that Amazon is testing a new “Top Brand” badge for products from established brands. If and how this badge gets rolled out could have a substantial impact on how shoppers decide which products to buy as well as how established brands defend against price-aggressive private label products. Continue reading…

3 predictions for the 2019 holiday shopping season: Armando Roggio at Practical Ecommerce reports that many trends will emerge from the 2019 Christmas shopping season, but three will be prominent. First, click-and-collect may encourage shoppers to wait for last-minute deals and convenience. Second, mobile commerce will come into its own. And third, Amazon will account for nearly half of all online US holiday sales in 2019. Continue reading…

eBay calls for SMEs to have bigger say on trade deals: Luke Tugby at Retail Week reports that eBay has called for the UK’s small and medium-sized businesses to have a greater say in future trade negotiations. The etailer issued the rallying cry two months ahead of Britain’s exit from the EU, as it released new data highlighting the contribution that SMEs have on UK exports. Continue reading…

WSJ calls Amazon an out of control flea market: Chris Dawson at Tamebay reveals that The Wall Street Journal accused Amazon of acting like a flea market, somewhat amusingly since a derogatory term for eBay for many years was ‘fleabay’. The premise is that once upon a time as a retailer Amazon was impeccable but fast forward to today Amazon has grown their third party marketplace so that over half of all products aren’t sold by Amazon and the Wall Street Journal suggest some products are sub-par. Continue reading…

August 19-25

Amazon VAT Calculation Service increases chance of winning the Buy Box: Chris Dawson at Tamebay reports that if you are enrolled in the Amazon Business program, so that your products on Amazon are offered to businesses, you can increase your chances of winning the Buy Box for business customers by activating the free Amazon VAT Calculation Service. After activation, VAT-exclusive prices will be displayed to business customers on eligible offers. Businesses tend to base their buying decisions on VAT-exclusive prices. Continue reading…

Amazon sellers are organizing against the retail giant as the FTC and DOJ continue their anti-trust probe: Rachel Premack at Business Insider reports that some sellers say that Amazon has an unfair advantage in accessing sales data on its third-party platform. For instance, one company told Bloomberg in 2016 that its top-selling laptop stand was displaced when Amazon Basics launched a very similar product — at half the price. Another leading complaint from Amazon sellers is that they might have their accounts suspended without much notice or explanation. The process to get one’s account reinstated is brutal. Continue reading…

Amazon in row over plastic packaging: Simon Read at BBC News report that Amazon has been criticised by customers for increasing its use of plastic packaging. While UK supermarkets and shops try to use less plastic, Amazon earlier this year introduced a new range of padded plastic envelopes for deliveries. One fed-up customer told the BBC: “Amazon shouldn’t be creating more plastic waste.” Amazon said its SmartPac envelopes are recyclable and that it is “working to improve” its packaging options”. Continue reading…

‘Fake’ Amazon ambassadors baited on Twitter: BBC News reports that Amazon workers praising their working conditions on social media are being accused of lying by other users. Twitter users are pointing to apparent inaccuracies and “robotic” or “scripted” language as evidence that employees are being “paid to lie”. A number of parody accounts have been set up mocking the tweets by the staff, who are called Amazon ambassadors. Amazon told BBC News their ambassadors are members of staff who post their personal experiences on social media. Continue reading…

8 subtle ways Amazon is targeting teenagers and turning them into loyal Prime members: Stephanie Taylor at Business Insider reports that Amazon has a number of different strategies and programs aimed at younger users. It benefits Amazon to turn young people into Prime subscribers because once people sign up for Prime, they are likely to stay members. In fact, 95% of Prime members surveyed in a 2017 report said they were likely to renew their memberships. Read about eight subtle ways that Amazon is trying to turn teens into loyal Prime members. Continue reading…

Bonus: How to Maintain a 5-Star Feedback Rating on Amazon

Quote of the week:

“Don’t be afraid to give up the good to go for the great.”
John D. Rockefeller

Have a great weekend!