Here is your midweek jetpack of Amazon seller news, updates, and other useful clicks for your e-commerce business…
Halloweenie Amazon Product Data & Trends
JungleScout unloaded a pretty cool ecommerce trends report for this year’s Halloween season.
Some key takeaways from the report for this Halloween:
- Millennials will lead in shopping activity, with 41% planning to outspend their previous year’s expenditure.
- Amazon is the go-to online platform for Halloween products across all age groups, especially the younger demographics. Notably, a third of Gen Z plans to purchase most of their costumes there.
- The trend of searching for key Halloween items on Amazon began sooner in 2023 than in 2022. Specifically, searches for costumes, decorations, and candies in August saw an increase of over 100% compared to the same period the year before.
Amazon vs the FTC: Essential Reading
As reported by major media outlets last week, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and 17 states are taking legal action against Amazon. They allege that Amazon exploits its dominant market position to raise prices both within and outside its platform, impose excessive charges on sellers, and suppress competitors.”
We’ve compiled a list of resources to help you fully understand what’s happened so far in the case:
- This article from the National Law Review explains Section 5 of the FTC Act, the legal basis for the FTC’s antitrust lawsuit.
- This article from The Week explains why the FTC’s groundbreaking lawsuit is the US government’s sharpest attack on Amazon to date and why it can bring consequential results.
- This is the email Amazon sent to its sellers the very next day after the FTC filed the lawsuit.
- In this article, legal experts and analysts explain why the FTC faces an uphill battle in proving that Amazon’s practices are “monopolistic.”
- This podcast episode from Seller Performance Solutions analyzes the repercussions this FTC lawsuit can have on sellers and consumers.
We’ll keep you updated with the latest developments.
Sellers Demands: Lower Fees, Changes in the Buy Box Program
As the legal showdown between the FTC and Amazon looms, a number of sellers have voiced out their opinions and concerns regarding the possible consequences of the antitrust suit.
Some sellers welcome the possibility of reduced seller and advertising charges should the FTC have some success in getting Amazon to get rid of or at least lower fees which “force” sellers to depend on Amazon. Some are quick to bemoan that Amazon has cultivated a “pay-to-play” arena, and mentioned that it was almost impossible to get traction on the platform without considerable spending on advertising. Also, some have mentioned that the rising costs of ads and fees have affected profits severely.
Amazon’s Buy Box program has also come into focus, with sellers saying that the Buy Box, specifically the ability to qualify for it, has become an existential threat to their businesses.
However, a good number of sellers are also concerned about the FTC blocking Amazon from having fulfillment and advertising services. Some businesses completely depend on these Amazon services to operate, and will cease to exist should the court rule in this direction.
Will Amazon, while under pressure from the FTC, make changes in favor of us sellers?
Read the full story here.
Target to Close Nine Stores in Four Major Cities
Target recently announced that it was closing nine stores in New York City, Seattle, San Francisco, and Portland on October 21, citing rising retail crime as the main reason for the closures.
Target, which has always been vocal when it comes to organized retail crime in its stores, joins Walmart, Nordstrom, and Walgreens on the list of major retailers that have shuttered stores in major cities.
Possible arbitrage opportunities here?
AI Caramba! This Week in AI + Ecomm
AI’s Impact on Market Research: in this AM/PM podcast, Justin Chen of PickFu explains how AI has helped bridge gaps between data points in market research.
Full AI Leverage Via Amazon Bedrock: Amazon Bedrock customers will now have immediate access to high-performing models from leading AI companies and capabilities which they can use to build their own AI-enabled applications that can respond conversationally to customers, summarize documents, generate images, and provide AI-driven search.
AI-Generated Bootlegs: authors are crying foul at the proliferation of AI-generated ripoffs of original books flooding Amazon. Nicola Solomon, CEO of the Society of Authors (SOA) says that Amazon is clearly struggling with the challenges posed by the influx of AI-generated products in its marketplace and appears to be lagging in its response.
eBay’s New AI Policy: eBay recently made updates to its User Agreement effective October 28. 2023. eBay now explicitly states that sellers can use AI tools to create listings to ensure that users are fully aware that AI is being utilized to enhance the features of product pages. This shifts the responsibility to sellers when it comes to correcting errors made using AI tools, translation, and image editing.
Important Amazon Updates for Yo’ Bad Seller Self
Free Inventory Removals for Amazon Canada
Starting October 2 and for a limited time only, Amazon will be waiving fees on all removal orders submitted to fulfillment centers in Canada to help sellers create more storage space for productive inventory as the holiday season approaches.
Now would be a great time to move excess/aged inventory to save on storage costs, maintain healthy inventory levels, and avoid surcharges and overage fees.
Now Available: Amazon Accelerate 2023 on Demand
You can now watch all Amazon Accelerate sessions on demand to learn about all the exciting new products, tools, and features highlighted in this year’s conference.
To view Amazon Accelerate 2023 on demand, click here to register. Registration is FREE until October 8.
New: 3D Content for Product Listings
If you are a registered brand owner, you can now add 3D content to their product listings. 3D content will allow shoppers to virtually try on products like shoes or eyewear, visualize how a product can look in their private spaces, and enable them to see features not visible in static images as they zoom and rotate the product.
To learn how to create 3D content, click here.
For instructions on how to upload 3D content, click here.
New: Updated Manage Your Returns Tool
Amazon recently updated the Manage Your Returns tool. The update makes it easier to manage customer returns of seller-fulfilled orders as you can now view customer returns across all the stores you sell in across all the stores you sell in in one dashboard.
Click here to learn more.
This Week in Seller School
- Tracking Amazon Trends in 2023 by awesomedynamic
- Your Guide to the Amazon Dynamic Pricing Strategy in 2023 by seller interactive.
- Unveiling Amazon Copywriting Secrets for Increased Conversion and Sales by VServe
- Holiday Peak Fulfillment Fees 2023: Everything You Need to Know by The Next Amazon Top Seller
- Should You Consider Selling on Amazon Internationally? by Full-Time FBA
- Using Translations to Increase Your Amazon International Sales by Seller Growth Podcast
- Amazon Accelerate Event – What 9-Figure Sellers are Doing by The Amazon Seller Podcast Private Label Show
Upcoming Seller Events📍
Here are a few upcoming industry events that you might be interested in. Slick that hair back and start mingling, playa!
RISE Amazon Sellers Conference (October 9-11, 2023) – Miami, FL
RISE will bring you the latest insights, trends, and tactics that will help you stay ahead of the Amazon curve.
Seller Velocity Conference (October 11-12, 2023) – New York City, NY
2 days focused on optimizing performance to drive brand growth
Amazon Ads Unboxed (October 24-26, 2023) – New York City, NY
Learn about Amazon’s newest solutions and innovations to help brands connect with their customers, expand their business, and prepare for the future.
Eclimb Summit (November 2, 2023) – Austin, TX
“Bridge the gap between Amazon and Ecomm for D2C.”
AMZ Innovate (November 13-14, 2023) – New York City, NY
Nashville eCommerce Summit (December 12, 2023) – Nashville, TN
“A one-day gathering of local eCommerce experts and decision-makers across retailers, brands, merchants, and solutions providers.
Other Quick Clicks
- Amazon Market Watch: Which products are scoring 400%+ YoY sales boost this football season
- Jeff Bezos’ net worth slumped by $5 billion in a single day after the FTC sued Amazon
- FedEx unfazed as USPS and Amazon drop back some peak surcharges
- Sellers take heed: Walmart offers extended returns during the holidays
Thank you for reading. If you have any questions, comments or violent reactions, let us know below!
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