Discover the top Amazon news stories in October 2019 that caught our eye.

October 23-31

Amazon shares hit by weaker Christmas trading forecast: Sky News reports that Amazon is predicting a less than bumper holiday trading period this year, as it faces fierce competition from Walmart and other rivals. The company said after markets closed on Thursday that it is forecasting net sales in the range of $80bn (£62.1bn) to $86.5bn (£67.1bn) for the fourth quarter which includes Christmas. That fell short of analysts’ sales predictions of around $87.37bn (£67.8bn). Continue reading…

Amazon’s new weapon to crush competition: $1 items delivered for free — by tomorrow: Jason Del Rey at Recode reports that over the last few months, Amazon has removed several barriers that previously made it difficult for customers to purchase a single sub-$5 item on its own. The result is a flood of low-priced items — a $2 roll of dental floss or a 75-cent makeup brush — made available to Prime customers with free one-day shipping. The changes could have huge ramifications for retailers like Target or CVS, where one-off purchases of consumer packaged goods are common. Continue reading…

Amazon trims portfolio of private label clothing brands: Joe at Marketplace Pulse reports that Amazon has discontinued thirty of its clothing brands in recent months, according to Marketplace Pulse research. Clothing brands account for more than half of Amazon’s hundreds of private label brands; however, they rarely succeed. Amazon Essentials, Goodthreads, Daily Ritual, and Lark & Ro brands have performed well, and yet most other brands haven’t. Thus, the company is starting to trim the portfolio of owned brands. Thirty-two brands are no longer in stock on Amazon. One of them, North Eleven focused on cold-weather gear for women, was one of the seven first private-label fashion brands the company launched in February 2016. Franklin & Freeman, Franklin Tailored, James & Erin, Lark & Ro, Scout + Ro, and Society New York are still available. Continue reading…

Amazon Prime phone scam that swindled one victim out of £25,000: Joel Leaver and James Andrews at The Mirror reports that a new Amazon Prime scam is doing the rounds across the UK, and honest Brits are being warned to watch out. Circulating since earlier this month, the scam starts with an unexpected phone call that claims you’ve just been charged for an Amazon Prime subscription, North Wales Live reports. The recipient is often then told fraudsters have hacked their account to authorise the transaction, but the payment can be cancelled if they press 1. People are told this will either offer you more information or connect you to an “account manager”. Continue reading…

Amazon makes own-brand spirits debut with Tovess gin: Sarah Young at The Independent reports that Amazon has launched its first premium spirits brand in the UK. The debut drink, named Tovess Gin, is the first of multiple spirits that the online retailer plans to bring to market. Suitable for vegans and vegetarians, the dry gin is described as a “well-balanced gin created using a sophisticated blend of botanical ingredients”. The “fruity and fresh” gin is 41.5 per cent ABV and is infused with individually distilled lime and grapefruit peels, resulting in a “smooth Mediterranean taste.” Continue reading…

October 16-22

Primark say please don’t buy on Amazon: Chris Dawson at Tamebay reports that Primark has taken to twitter saying please don’t buy on Amazon in response to a story in the press suggesting that shoppers should buy online. Primark state that they don’t have a direct agreement with Amazon and products offered for sale on Amazon are from merchants, typically with higher prices than products available in store. Continue reading…

Tottenham Hotspur agrees to Amazon documentary series charting 2019/20 season: Luke Brown at The Independent reports that Tottenham Hotspur will be the focus of the latest Amazon Original documentary series All or Nothing, with the show chronicling the club’s 2019/20 season. The multi-part video series promises to offer viewers “unprecedented behind-the-scenes access” into Tottenham’s season, as well as “unique insight into the day-to-day workings of the football club” Continue reading…

Amazon is running a free inventory removal promotion: To help you improve your inventory health, Amazon is offering a limited-time, free inventory removal promotion for all sellers with an IPI score of 350 or above at any point in October 2019. Sellers without an IPI score are not eligible for this promotion. If you qualify, beginning October 14, 2019, we will waive your removal fees for any removal order that you submit for inventory in our US fulfilment centres. This promotion ends at 11:59 p.m. (PT) on October 31, 2019. To take advantage of this offer, you must submit a removal order before the promotion ends. Continue reading… [Seller Central login required]

Amazon’s deal with Deliveroo examined by competition watchdog: Jasper Jolly at The Guardian reports that British regulators have launched an inquiry into whether a large investment by Amazon into the online takeaway delivery company Deliveroo could harm consumers. The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) said it had begun the first phase of an investigation after the US technology firm revealed that it was the lead investor in a $575m (£452m) funding round in Deliveroo. When it was announced in May, the deal sent shockwaves through the burgeoning and fiercely competitive food delivery sector, as investors anticipated Amazon using its financial muscle to take business from rivals. Continue reading…

October 8-15

Amazon’s growth may be impossible to stop, argues this terrifying New Yorker profile: Nick Statt at The Verge reports that to fully understand Amazon’s trajectory, and what it’ll mean for future antitrust regulation, I recommend reading former New York Times reporter Charles Duhigg’s new profile of the company, published in The New Yorker this morning. It’s aptly titled “Is Amazon Unstoppable?

Amazon workers could be watching you in your home: Hannah Boland at The Telegraph reports that Amazon has been accused of watching footage from its customers’ CCTV cameras in a move likely to reignite concerns over whether the US tech giant is violating people’s privacy. Amazon’s “Cloud Cam” devices, which are only currently available in the US, are cameras which record and stream video whenever they detect motion and can be used by people for security purposes as well as pet monitors. Continue reading…

Amazon Enhanced Brand Content renamed Amazon A+ Content: Chris Dawson at Tamebay reports that Amazon has renamed Enhanced Brand Content as Amazon A+ Content. This aligns the name across both Amazon’s selling channels – Amazon Seller Central and Amazon Vendor Central. Amazon A+ content enables you to enhance your product detail page with HD videos, enhanced images, comparison charts, FAQs and marketing content which drives improved conversion rates. Amazon merchants can find Amazon A+ content in the same place, that is Seller Central (Advertising > A+ Content Manager). Continue reading…

Amazon boosts Singapore presence with Amazon.com rollout: Shawn Lim at The Drum reports that Amazon is launching Amazon.com in Singapore, two years after entering South East Asia with the introduction of Amazon Prime. The launch comes after feedback from customers to the ecommerce giant to have the ability to shop on desktop and mobile, have a more local and international selection from Amazon and trusted sellers, paired with fast and reliable delivery, according to Henry Low, country manager for Singapore at Amazon. Continue reading…

Jeff Bezos’s Master Plan: Franklin Foer at The Atlantic reports Bezos controls nearly 40% of all ecommerce in the United States. More product searches are conducted on Amazon than on Google, which has allowed Bezos to build an advertising business as valuable as the entirety of IBM. One estimate has Amazon Web Services controlling almost half of the cloud-computing industry—institutions as varied as General Electric, Unilever, and even the CIA rely on its servers. Continue reading…

October 1-7

Amazon charges sellers as much as $5,000 a month for customer service if they want a guarantee that they’ll be able to talk to a real person: Mary Meisenzahl at Business Insider reports that Amazon charges third parties who sell goods through its online marketplace as much as $5,000 per month to access its optional management-growth service, Jay Greene at The Washington Post reported on Tuesday. The service guarantees quick help from a real person, according to The Post, and deciding not to pay can have devastating effects on sellers’ businesses, especially in instances where quick customer support is required. Continue reading…

Amazon to put warnings on e-scooters after YouTuber’s death: Mike Wright at The Telegraph reports that Amazon and other major retailers are to start putting safety warnings on electric scooters after a vlogger was killed by a lorry while riding one. Halfords and Aldi are also set to warn buyers that the devices cannot be legally ridden on public roads or pavements. Retailers have come under pressure to “make people aware” of the law while the Government considers new rules around e-scooters. Amazon said yesterday that it would be writing to its e-scooter vendors and banning any products that suggested the gadgets can be ridden in public. A spokesman for the US giant said: “We are in the process of updating our policies and plan to advise personal e-mobility customers and sellers of the existence of possible local legal restrictions across Europe. Continue reading…

Amazon launch anti-counterfeit programme to protect brands: Sasha Fedorenko at Tamebay reports that Amazon has launched a new anti-counterfeit programme aimed at protecting brands’ ideas by helping them obtain intellectual property (IP) rights and brand protection on the marketplace. The marketplace is stepping up its battle against fraudulent products with Amazon IP Accelerator. The initiative is designed to help businesses from around the world obtain trademarks and IP rights in the US. The move will see Amazon leveraging legal guidance to connect brands with a pool of IP law firms to help sellers secure a trademark. Amazon promises this service to offer “competitive rates.” Continue reading…

Fleabag creator seals exclusive Amazon Prime deal: Kevin Rawlinson at The Guardian reports that On Monday, she secured a mantelpiece full of Emmys; on Tuesday, Phoebe Waller-Bridge got a brand new TV deal. The Fleabag creator will create and produce TV content exclusively for Amazon Prime Video, after signing a deal with Amazon Studios. The streaming service already screens Fleabag in more than 200 countries and territories including the US. “I’m insanely excited to be continuing my relationship with Amazon. Working with the team on Fleabag was the creative partnership dreams are made of. It really feels like home. I can’t wait to get going,” Waller-Bridge said as the announcement was made on Tuesday. Continue reading…

Amazon promotes ‘extremely creepy’ security cameras that can be easily hacked to spy on you: Anthony Cuthbertson at The Independent reports that security cameras recommended and sold by Amazon come with “huge” security risks, according to a study. An investigation by UK consumer watchdog Which? revealed that cameras with an Amazon Choice tag could be easily hacked. Weak passwords and unencrypted data meant the security cameras could be hijacked by cybercriminals and used to secretly spy on their owners. Continue reading…

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