Check out the links below to discover the top Amazon news stories in August 2020.

August 15-21

Jeff Bezos ends day with an all-time high net worth of $197.8 billion: Angel Au-Yeung at Forbes reports that Jeff Bezos, founder and CEO of Amazon, ended Tuesday with a record net worth of $197.8 billion, the highest fortune Forbes has recorded in nearly four decades of tracking billionaires. Amazon was the best-performing stock in the S&P 500 on Tuesday, recording a 4.1% gain, ending the day at a $1.66 trillion market capitalization. As a result, Bezos, who owns an 11.1% stake in the company, is $7.2 billion richer. Continue reading…

US ecommerce grew 44.5% in the second quarter: Joe at Marketplace Pulse reports that US ecommerce grew 44.5% in the second quarter, the fastest growth in over two decades, lifting ecommerce share of total retail to 16.1%. According to the Department of Commerce, retailers generated $211 billion in online sales in the second quarter compared to $146 billion a year ago. For the past ten years, ecommerce in the US grew, on average, 15% year-over-year. Growth remained at that level during the first quarter of 2020 but has reached all-time highs in the second quarter at 44.5%. Continue reading…

Dropshipping: The hustlers making millions from goods they never handle: Osman Iqbal at BBC News reports that Gabriel Beltran moved from Uruguay to Miami with the dream of making it big as a drummer. Five years ago, he was struggling to pay his rent and living on his girlfriend’s student loan. Then he made over $20m (£15m) through a little-known online retail technique: dropshipping. And in bedrooms around the world other savvy individuals are getting rich the same way. The sellers never see their products. They typically remain completely anonymous. And their marketing reaches hundreds of millions of people. Continue reading…

Check out our guide to dropshipping on Amazon.

Amazon places full Morrisons range on website: Ashley Armstrong at The Times reports that Amazon is stepping up its assault on the British food market by putting Morrisons on its main website, giving millions more customers access to free same-day deliveries. The companies have had a relationship since 2016 when the supermarket started wholesaling fresh, chilled and frozen groceries to Amazon. That had been extended to a same-day delivery service on Amazon’s Prime app. The move to Amazon’s main website will be a sizeable step up for Morrisons as it attracts millions more shoppers than its grocery apps. Continue reading…

August 8-14

California court rules Amazon can be liable for defective goods sold on its marketplace: Annie Palmer at CNBC reports that the California Fourth District Court of Appeals ruled that Amazon can be held liable for damages caused by a defective replacement laptop battery that caught fire and gave a woman third-degree burns. The woman, Angela Bolger, alleges she bought the laptop battery from a third-party seller, Lenoge Technology HK Ltd., on Amazon’s marketplace. Continue reading…

Amazon Project Zero to reduce counterfeits in seven new countries: Tamebay reports that Amazon Project Zero, Amazon’s innovative combination of advanced technology and machine learning helping to drive counterfeits to zero has launched in seven new countries – Australia, Brazil, Netherlands, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Turkey, and the UAE. In 2019 Amazon launched Project Zero to ensure that customers are always receiving authentic goods when shopping on Amazon. Continue reading…

Amazon Prime donates to Fleabag stars’ theatre emergency fund: BBC News reports that a fund set up by two stars of Fleabag to support theatre workers affected by the coronavirus pandemic is to receive £500,000 from Amazon Prime Video. Olivia Colman and Phoebe Waller-Bridge said they were “blown away” by the “extraordinary” support. The streaming service is also donating £1m to a new grants scheme being set up by the Film and TV Charity. Continue reading…

Amazon launches online pharmacy in India: BBC News reports that Amazon has launched an internet pharmacy in India, marking its entry into the country’s online medicine market. Amazon Pharmacy will make its debut in Bangalore and it may be trialled in other Indian cities. The move comes as the online drugs business has been given a major boost during the coronavirus pandemic. This year US technology giants have invested billions of dollars in the Indian economy. Continue reading…

Amazon PPC ad changes: If you run Amazon PPC ads, there’s been an update in the past few weeks that can be quite helpful. It allows you to enter negative products in addition to negative keywords on automatic ad campaigns. This means you will be able to list specific products you do not want your ads running on, and you won’t bid for placement on those products. If you run Sponsored Product Ads, we recommend testing this out.

August 1-7

Suppressed ASIN will impact ability to use Amazon FBA in Q4: Chris Dawson at Tamebay reports that Amazon is warning sellers that having promotional or company details in product descriptions will lead to a suppressed ASIN in search. The idea of a product description on Amazon is that it should be about the product. It’s not the place for shipping information, marketing your business with seller details or any other superfluous information. If you are not describing the product then the information shouldn’t be there. Continue reading…

Amazon starts preparations to launch in Sweden: Reuters reports that Amazon has started preparations to launch in Sweden, marking its first step to establish a local presence in a Nordic country. Swedish customers can already shop on Amazon through its websites in other European countries such as Germany, and get their purchases shipped to the country, but this often meant paying high delivery charges.  Alex Ootes, vice president for EU Expansion at Amazon said, “We are optimistic that by focusing on the things we believe customers will place the greatest emphasis on – low prices, a wide range and fast deliveries, we will eventually be able to win the trust of Swedish customers.” Continue reading…

Amazon racing to remove the fulfillment bottleneck: Marketplace Pulse reports that Amazon is struggling to accept some inventory shipments in time, which is causing products to sell out, leading to a drop in search rankings and quantity restrictions. The previously predictable inventory cycle with known restrictions and fees has become unpredictable. “We’ve run out of space,” said Brian Olsavsky, Chief Financial Officer at Amazon. He added that the company increased the fulfillment network square footage by 15% in 2019, and expects a 50% increase in 2020. The majority of that new capacity will come online in late Q3 and into Q4. Continue reading…

MacKenzie Scott donates $1.7bn since Amazon boss divorce: BBC News reports that MacKenzie Scott, Amazon boss Jeff Bezos’s ex-wife, says that she has given $1.7bn (£1.3bn) to charity to date. She has made donations to historically black US colleges, climate change groups and health organisations. Ms Scott posted about the gifts on social media, also saying that she has changed her surname from Bezos. She is the second-richest woman in the world, with a fortune of more than $62bn, according to Forbes. She and Mr Bezos divorced last year. Continue reading…

Amazon ‘to open checkoutless stores in London as they take over mini-marts near capital’s commuter hubs’: Mark Blunden at The Evening Standard reports Amazon is said to be eyeing the capital for moving its cashless and checkoutless Go convenience stores near to commuter hubs as their bricks-and-mortar expansion continues in the US after launching in 2018. The digital shopping giant today refused to confirm or deny reports in the Sunday Times it had struck a deal to open 10 high-tech shops, and was “holding talks” for a further 20 sites. Continue reading…

Quote of the month:
“All our dreams can come true, if we have the courage to pursue them.” 

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