- Lena R. Liberman
- On October 6, 2017
- 0 Comments
This edition of the In Case You Missed It: Amazon News Round-Up Up is chock full of industry news but there was one really big story, namely that of Amazon testing its own delivery service to rival FedEx and UPS.
Logistics and Fulfillment: Seller Flex Pilot Program
This isn’t the first time that we’ve heard of such ambitions, but this current endeavor known as Seller Flex seems like the real deal and in store for a full U.S rollout in 2018. For those who watch Amazon’s doings in India, you’ll know that this has been in place in the subcontinent for roughly two years already and it’s crept its way to areas of the west coast for trials there.
How would Seller Flex work? According to Bloomberg:
“Amazon will oversee pickup of packages from warehouses of third-party merchants selling goods on Amazon.com and their delivery to customers’ homes—work that is now often handled by UPS and FedEx. Amazon could still use these couriers for delivery, but the company will decide how a package is sent instead of leaving it up to the seller. Handling more deliveries itself would give Amazon greater flexibility and control over the last mile to shoppers’ doorsteps, let it save money through volume discounts, and help avoid congestion in its own warehouses by keeping merchandise in the outside sellers’ own facilities.”
As this would have a direct effect on Amazon FBA sellers, I want to provide you with information from multiple sources so that you can read for yourself (and between the lines) where this might be headed:
- Amazon Pilots Long-Anticipated Delivery Service
- Report: Amazon ‘Seller Flex’ Takes on FedEx, UPS
- Amazon Spooks UPS, FedEx Investors Over Fears That the Retail Giant Will Start Making Its Own Deliveries
- Amazon Denies Plans to Replace UPS and FedEx as Report Points to Bigger Delivery Ambitions
Alexa, Echo, Amazon Devices on the Rise (Still. Again.)
In last week’s ICYMI, I touched upon how “the Echosphere is expanding in both hardware and software as Amazon and Alexa become ubiquitous.” That train keeps a-rollin’ and I think that tech-savvy developers and sellers of both hardware and software need to look closer at opportunities for Alexa and Echo and general Amazon device integration. The hardware and software is still in its early days and there’s room to innovate and integrate and profit. If this interests you, check out Amazon Developer Resources, including those for Alexa and devices as well as Amazon devices. In the meantime, you can read about just how fast this is moving and the opportunity for growth here:
- So Much Alexa
- Amazon’s Echo Devices Can Now Call Mobile Numbers and Landlines for Free
- The Alexa Swarm: A Life Lived in Amazon’s Smart Jungle
Amazon and Taxes: The Never-Ending Story
It seems like ever since Sales Tax Amnesty first hit the wires in early August, all things Amazon tax-related have really ramped up. Sellers, Amazon itself, foreign governance bodies, more on compliance and nexus, Q4 tax prep, it’s all here this week.
- Sales Tax Implications for Sellers in the Amazon Marketplace
- 5 Ways to Prep Your Amazon Sales Tax for Q4
- Some news for our international seller friends (though I’d argue that what happens overseas absolutely affects Amazon’s domestic practices going forward):
Sales and Revenue
Amazon continues to dominate and to acquire, but as always, the question of “Is Amazon a profitable company?” always lurks given how long it took to become profitable and how volatile the tech sector can be. All signs indicate that things look better and better for Amazon.
- Will Amazon Make Money Next Year?
- Toys R Us Bankruptcy to Boost Amazon Toy Sales
- Amazon’s Private Label Sales Could Hit $4.3 Billion When Including Whole Foods, Analyst Says
- 4 Reasons Why Amazon Is So Hard to Compete With
Acquisition and a Look Ahead
- Amazon Spent at Least $50 Million to Buy 3D Body Scanning Start-Up Body Labs, Report Says
- Why Is Amazon Buying Up Mall Property?
Scammers Gonna Scam
This seems to have been a particularly nasty week for nefarious activity, scams, rip-offs, and nasty doings. Now, more than ever, Amazon has more on its plate in terms of both buyers and sellers manipulating Amazon’s “generous” returns policies and its choice to often turn a blind-eye to review fraud and shipping-claims issues. I certainly agree that Amazon needs to do more to protect buyers and sellers (Amazon may be able to absorb these abuses but individual buyers and sellers cannot), but I also know that by definition, scammers are always a step ahead and they’re already finding new opportunities and loopholes long before they get caught working the old ones. That said…
- Indiana Couple Admits to Stealing Over $1 Million Worth of Electronics from Amazon
- Rethinking Returns in Wake of $1.2 Million Amazon Fraud
- Tech Tips: Watch Out for Fake Amazon.com Reviews
- Watch Out! Clever Amazon Delivery Scam Spreading All Over the Country
- In good news for sellers: Need a Boost? Selling on Amazon Leads to Increased Business Confidence
- And an article for folks using Amazon Sponsored Products ads (or for those considering doing so): Search Advertising On Growth Track For 2017, Impact Of Amazon Still Unknown. If you want the in-depth scoop on SPAs, grab your free Mastering Amazon PPC eBook.