MGR Amazon Weekly Update | September 16, 2019
Top News This Week
Amazon Has Launched a New Ad Program ‘Sponsored Display’ Allowing Sellers to Target Customers and Audiences Outside of Amazon
This is big news for sellers, for two main reasons. First, it allows Sellers to target and retarget customers beyond just Amazon’s own site, which was previously reserved for only select sellers, and those who were willing to make a $35k/month ad spend commitment.
In addition, Amazon finally allowing sellers to target customers by audience, similar to Facebook, Google, and other ad platforms. Amazon is always very guarded with their data, but is now loosening up a bit and giving sellers more access, and the ability to reach new customers as well as retarget interested ones. The program is currently in beta and is being rolled out over the coming month.
Trade War Move May Hit Chinese Sellers Hard, Great for US Sellers
President Trump is strongly considering removing China from the Universal Postal Union Treaty. What does this mean? The treaty was originally set up over 100 years ago as a subsidy to help underdeveloped countries be able to still ship goods to the US, by offering heavily discounted rates. China used to be one of these countries, but now that they clearly have the financial means to pay full price for shipping like everyone else, Trump is considering ending their privileges as a Trade War tactic. Essentially, the US tax payer is currently helping Chinese sellers compete in the US against US sellers.
Why is this good for US Sellers? It’s hard to know for sure, but it’s estimated that somewhere between 20-30% of Amazon.com sellers are from China. Not only that, but they take advantage of the subsidized shipping rates to heavily undercut prices of US sellers. If this subsidy is removed, they will have to pay the same rates as US sellers, and force them to raise their prices, creating a more even playing field. Not to mention that the majority of counterfeit items come from China as well, and removing this subsidy could reduce their ability sell counterfeits profitably.
This move has not yet been completed, but it currently at the top of President Trump’s list of next moves to enact in the current trade war.
Other Notable Links:
1. Amazon’s international expansion continues as it expands Prime to Brazil – ENGADGET
2. The FTC is interviewing Amazon Sellers to determine if Amazon is using its power to take advantage of them – BLOOMBERG
3. Amazon announces its next hardware event will be on Sept. 25 – THE VERGE
4. Shopify has acquired a robotics fulfillment company for $450 million that was started by ex-Amazon executives, plans to use the technology for their recently announced Shopify Fulfillment Network (SFN) – BARRONS
5. Walmart is expanding is ‘Delivery Unlimited’ Prime competitor nationwide, and offering it for $98/year compared to $119/year for Prime – FORTUNE