Here is your midweek jetpack of Amazon seller news, updates, and other useful clicks for your e-commerce business…
Naughty Amazon Favoring FBA Sellers?
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is reportedly preparing to hit Amazon with an antitrust lawsuit, suggesting that Amazon favors sellers who utilize its Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA) service.
This comes after growing regulatory attention to the e-commerce giant’s treatment of third-party sellers, including accusations of influencing product visibility based on FBA usage.
Amidst this scrutiny, Amazon has recently re-opened its Seller Fulfilled Prime program and announced a Hub Delivery program, hinting at a strategy shift towards involving third-party businesses more in distribution and delivery.
If the lawsuit proceeds, it could have significant implications for sellers on Amazon, particularly for those in the U.S. where carrier options for Prime deliveries remain controlled by Amazon.
Product Search Stats for Your Inner Nerd
According to a CivicScience study, Amazon’s popularity as a starting point for product searches is growing among online shoppers, particularly among younger age groups.
Some key takeaways:
- 49% of the respondents said Amazon is the starting point of their product searches (up 3% ytd). Google came in second at 34% (down 1% ytd).
- Amazon increased its popularity among younger users, posting an increase of 45% for the 18-24 age group and a 44% increase for the 25-34 demographic.
- After a stellar 2022, TikTok had a steep decline in popularity, falling from 18% to 11% among Gen Z (18-24 age group), and from 10% to 5% among young millennials (25-34 age group).
- The majority of users who begin their product searches on TikTok, Instagram or Reddit are between the ages of 18-34.
Amazon Addiction & Alabama
Online information resource Upgraded Points recently ran a survey that asked respondents to rate their “Amazon-addiction level” from 1-10:
- Alabama is the most Amazon-obsessed state with 36.5% of its respondents giving their obsession with the retail titan a rating between 7-10.
- North Carolina, Michigan and Tennessee came in next, with 30% of their respondents giving a similar rating.
- Florida may not be as obsessed as Alabama and the rest, but 18.8% of its respondents rated their obsession within the high ranges.
Insights on consumer spending:
- The average monthly spend of Americans on Amazon is $91.75.
- Prime members spend way more than non-members, with the former posting a monthly spend of $110 compared to the latter’s monthly spend of $38.
- Tennesseans spend the most on Amazon, with a monthly spend of $124.22. Go vols.
- Other top-spenders states include Delaware ($114 monthly), Wisconsin ($113.66 monthly), and Iowa ($113.46 monthly).
AI Caramba! This Week in AI + Ecomm
- OpenAI is forming a new team led by its chief scientist and company co-founder Ilya Sutskever to steer and control “superintelligent” AI systems.
- Microsoft is bringing AI-generated buying guides that offer comparisons between products in the same categories to Bing.
- Jeff’s Brands is all set to acquire a 50.01% interest of AI marketing platform B24Chat to enhance its in-house marketing systems and marketing and services performance.
Important Amazon Updates for Yo’ Bad Seller Self
There Are Now Two Types of Amazon Choice Badges
According to this LinkedIn post from Mike Black, CMO of Profitero and Ecommerce Geek, there are now two types of Amazon Choice Badges showing in search:
Overall Pick – product is highly-rated, well-priced, and available to ship immediately.
Popular Brand Pick – the brand is popular with other customers, product is highly-rated, well-priced, and available to ship immediately.
This is great news, as these badges enhance visibility and instills trust and credibility among customers.
FBA Small and Light Program to Be Replaced with New Low-Price FBA Rates
Amazon recently announced that they will be ending the FBA Small and Light program on August 29, 2023, and will be replacing it with new “Low-Price FBA rates.”
According to Amazon, products priced below $10 are eligible for the low-price FBA fees. Low-Price FBA Rates are $0.77 lower than standard FBA rates. You can refer to the fee table below:
You May Now Charge Buyers with Restocking Fees for Faulty Seller-Fulfilled Returns
You may now charge a buyer with a restocking fee if you receive a seller-fulfilled return in a used, damaged, defective, or materially-different condition.
Follow these steps to charge a restocking fee:
- Go to Orders.
- Click Manage Returns and select your order.
- Click Issue Refund.
- Click Charge Restocking Fee on the Refund Orders page.
Also, you can now grade the condition of the returned item to allow Amazon to confirm that the item wasn’t returned in its original condition. To do so, select a description from the drop-down on the Charge Restocking Fee page, upload a photo, and provide more details in the comment box.
This Week in Seller School…
Here is a roundup of learning resources for this week:
- Amazon FBA Boxes: Everything You Need to Know by Clear The Shelf
- Trademarks for Amazon Sellers: Everything to Know in 2023 by Jungle Scout
- Expert Advice for Expanding to Amazon EU by eComEngine
- Unverified vs Verified Purchase Reviews on Amazon by AMZ Advisers
- What’s Stopping You from Making a Full-Time Income on Amazon? by Full-Time FBA
- New Rules for Reviews by Seller Performance Solutions
Upcoming Seller Events📍
Here are a few upcoming industry events that you might be interested in. Slick that hair back and start mingling, playa!
Midwest e-Com Conference 2023 (July 19 -21, 2023) – Minneapolis, MN
“Created by fellow sellers for our fellow sellers.”
Amazon Ads Webinar: Optimizing Your Budgets and Bids (July 20, 2023, 2:00 PM EDT) – Virtual
“Learn how to be ultra-strategic in adjusting your bids and budgets, so you can drive the right results for your business and its goals.”
Amazon Ads Webinar: Optimize Campaigns with Negative Targeting (July 25, 2023, 2:00 PM EDT) – Virtual
“Get real-time tips and techniques for using negative targeting to optimize Sponsored Products and Sponsored Brands campaigns.”
eTail East (August 21 – 24, 2023) – Boston, MA
A 4-day ecommerce & omnichannel conference designed to help you increase the profits from your business.
White Label World Expo NYC (August 29-30, 2023) – New York City, NY
“Boost your product line into an industry-leading brand.”
AMZ United (August 31, 2023) – Newark, New Jersey
The premiere wholesale-focused Amazon conference.
Amazon Accelerate (September 13-14, 2023) – Seattle, Washington
Amazon’s premiere annual seller conference.
Other Quick Clicks
- Amazon unveils new fully autonomous mobile warehouse robots
- Amazon has 5,000-plus EV delivery vans on the road
- Amazon to invest $7.8 billion to expand data center ops in Ohio
- Ex-Amazon manager jailed for stealing $10M using fake vendor invoices
- Amazon will show you its newest devices in September
Thank you for reading. If you have any questions, comments or violent reactions, let us know below!
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