Tag Archive | "Amazon"

Amazon Sets Sales Record on Prime Day 2018, Reports 100 Million Products Sold

Amazon has concluded its record-setting online shopping event this year. Called Prime Day, the 36-hour shopping period that ran from July 16 to July 17 was said to have surpassed Cyber Monday, Black Friday, and last year’s event. In a recent press release highlighting its success, the company didn’t disclose sales growth or exact figures but reported that Prime members bought more than 100 million products during the sales event.

According to CEO of Worldwide Consumer Jeff Wilke, Prime Day was an opportunity to reward its members with the best deals and exclusive access to Amazon’s new products. In fact, two of the bestsellers during the worldwide event included Amazon’s Fire TV Stick with Alexa Voice Remote and Echo Dot.

Aside from Fire TV devices, other Amazon products that made a killing were Kindle e-readers and the kids’ versions of the Fire tablet and Echo Dot.

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Snapchat and Amazon Could Be Teaming Up on a New Visual Search Tool

Snapchat is seeking to expand its horizons and utilize its camera to go beyond social media with a new visual search feature. This novel search capability and a team-up with Amazon could open a new revenue stream for the company.

According to reports, a new Snapchat version for Android smartphones includes a secret code for a new “Visual Search” feature. This new feature, dubbed Project Eagle, can allegedly utilize Snapchat’s camera to send a barcode or product image scans to Amazon. The retail powerhouse will then display the results of the product search.

The secret code was reportedly discovered by Ishan Agarwal, an app researcher. Agarwal then tipped off TechCrunch about his discovery. On their end, the company was quick to spot a source code in Snapchat that had a pop-up text with the lines — “Press and hold to identify an object, song, barcode, and more! This works by sending data to Amazon, Shazam, and other partners.”

The discovered code doesn’t really explain how the visual search feature will work. However, the application’s code enumerates the capacity to bring “reviews” and “sellers” to the surface, “Copy URL” of a specific product as well as “Send Product” or “Share” it with friends. These actions could be done through Snapchat Stories or simple Snap messages.

Project Eagle will undoubtedly change the way people see Snapchat. Instead of being just a social media app, it could become a clever tool for navigating retail. It can also provide the company with a new revenue source if it works out an affiliate referrals deal with Amazon.

This is something that Snapchat desperately needs at the moment. The company has suffered a loss of $ 385 million in the previous quarter, with its missing revenue pegged to be at $ 14 million. Snapchat’s stock also closed Monday at $ 13.65 per share, way below the $ 17 offering price.

Amazon is so far keeping mum about Snapchat’s visual search feature. It should be pointed out that there’s no definitive proof to indicate that the retail giant is working with Snapchat or if it’s just the end destination of the search results. As for Snapchat, mother company Snap Inc. just issued a “no comment” when asked about the rumored visual search.

One thing is certain though, a solid visual search feature could turn Snapchat into something more than a selfie aficionado’s favorite app. It could usher in a groundbreaking way for consumers to search for products to purchase.

[Featured image via Pexels.com]

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How Amazon Founder Jeff Bezos Creates ‘Closed Ecosystems’ To Dominate Markets (And You Can Too)

A few years ago I read the Amazon/Jeff Bezos bio – The Everything Store: Jeff Bezos and the Age of Amazon. In the book, the author highlighted how much Bezos was impacted by Jim Collin’s book ‘Good To Great‘, and in particular the concept of the ‘Flywheel Effect’ and the Virtuous…

The post How Amazon Founder Jeff Bezos Creates ‘Closed Ecosystems’ To Dominate Markets (And You Can Too) appeared first on Yaro.blog.

Entrepreneurs-Journey.com by Yaro Starak

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Microsoft Ventures Into Checkout-Free Retail, Takes on Amazon

Microsoft is reportedly taking on Amazon, as the company ventures into retail territory. The company is said to be looking into checkout-free shopping, an innovation that Amazon has pioneered.

Reuters reported that at least six people have talked to them about Microsoft developing technology that will give retail companies the option to have cashier and checkout-free shops. Microsoft is said to have partnered with fellow Redmond-based company AVA Retail. The company develops systems that can collate information about shoppers. This time around, it will be working with the renowned software company on innovations that could be used on brick-and-mortar stores.

Interestingly, Microsoft will not be installing said technology in their own stores. According to the sources, it has instead reached out to Walmart about the possibility of a joint effort. If this pushes through, the two companies could give Amazon a run for its money.

Microsoft is said to have around 10 to 15 employees working on researching and developing their new retail technology. There aren’t a lot of concrete details at the moment, but one report said the research team has explored using cameras attached to shopping carts as a means to track the customer’s purchases.

If successful, this could potentially do away with the need for cashiers. It also means a store won’t need to put up hundreds of cameras the way that the Amazon Go pilot store did.

This approach suggests that Microsoft is looking to offer retailers a more cost-effective system. Stepping into the checkout-free store arena would also pit the software company against retail giant Amazon. Heated competition between the two is nothing new. Microsoft’s Azure cloud service is second only to Amazon’s AWS.

Walmart has declined to comment on the news and a Microsoft spokesman said the company “does not comment on rumors or speculations.”

There’s no question that Amazon leads the way when it comes to changing the face of retail. If Microsoft or other businesses want to get ahead of the company, or at least be on the same standing as Amazon, they better get a move on.

Amazon has already opened to the public its first cashier-less convenience store, Amazon Go, in Seattle early this year. Shoppers entering the store are required to swipe an app which enables computer-vision technology to monitor and track them and their purchases as they walk around the store. Once done with their shopping, consumers simply walk out and their purchases are charged via their Amazon app.

[Featured image via Pixabay]

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SearchCap: LiveRamp targets Bing Ads, Amazon Marketing Services & more

Below is what happened in search today, as reported on Search Engine Land and from other places across the web.

Please visit Search Engine Land for the full article.

Search Engine Land: News & Info About SEO, PPC, SEM, Search Engines & Search Marketing

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Amazon and Google are Starting to Look More and More Alike

The eCommerce landscape is in constant flux, with Amazon becoming more like a search-ads platform aside from being an eCommerce venture while Google seems to be doing the opposite. That’s one of the key takeaways from Mary Meeker’s annual Internet Trends report.

Meeker recently presented her report at Recode’s Code Conference. Among the highlights of the talk was her observation that Amazon and Google are starting to evolve and converge. 

While this convergence might seem strange to some, it’s inevitable that companies evolve as eCommerce continues to grow steadily every year.

Amazon the Search Engine

There’s no question that Amazon is lording it over in online sales. The company had a 28% share in gross merchandise volume (GMV) in 2017, a big jump from its 20% share in 2013.

The past few years has also seen Amazon becoming the start-off point for more product searches than Google. A reported 49% of shoppers begin their product search on Amazon while 36% opt for other search engines. What’s more, Amazon shoppers are a loyal group. A PricewaterhouseCooper’s survey revealed that 14% of shoppers use this site exclusively. The company is also perfectly suited to take advantage of these searches with key features like one-click purchasing, which allows customers to purchase from Amazon once they find the results they want.

[Graphic via MediaPost]

Amazon is also aggressively growing its advertising side. More marketers are investing in the company’s paid search products, with 82% of Amazon Marketing Services users purchasing sponsored products while 65% buy headline search and product display ads.

Google as an eCommerce Platform

Google and Facebook continue to dominate ad revenues; Amazon is currently in fifth place. But with Jeff Bezos nipping at their heels, the Alphabet group is not resting on its laurels and has started to develop ways to ensure shoppers remain onsite. The company’s new AdWords feature – Shopping Actions – will ensure that happens.

Shopping Actions essentially turns Google Assistant and Google Search into marketplaces that retailers can tap into while also allowing users to make direct purchases. Shoppers can add what they find in their search to a common shopping cart and easily check out using payment data already filed with Google. What’s more, the program works across various devices. This can provide Google a major advantage, given the increasing popularity of voice search.

Home Depot, Target, Ulta, and Walmart are just some of Google’s retail partners. However, these partner retailers would have to sacrifice some of their sales and control of their customer’s online shopping experience to Google, it’s a small price to pay for being able to utilize the company’s vast resources, technology, and millions of potential customers.

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SearchCap: JavaScript powered websites, Google axes political ads & Amazon consumer survey

Below is what happened in search today, as reported on Search Engine Land and from other places across the web.

Please visit Search Engine Land for the full article.

Search Engine Land: News & Info About SEO, PPC, SEM, Search Engines & Search Marketing

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AWS Announces General Availability of Amazon Neptune

Amazon Web Services (AWS)  rolled out its graph database service in a number of egions including US East (N. Virginia), US East (Ohio), US West (Oregon), and EU (Ireland) on Wednesday. Called “Amazon Neptune,” it is one of several offerings introduced during the company’s annual developer event last November.

Database technology may be a debatable segment of enterprise tech, but for Amazon, it is essential in managing increasingly large data groups across various industries. Graph databases like AWS’s Neptune are designed to analyze and create relationships rapidly between different sets of data. Rather than building several queries to obtain information, a graph database simplifies the operation by using structures like nodes and edges to store related data.

Raju Gulabani, AWS vice president for Databases, Analytics, and Machine Learning, highlighted Neptune’s ease of use and functionality. “We are delighted to give customers a high-performance graph database service that enables developers to query billions of relationships in milliseconds using standard APIs, making it easy to build and run applications that work with highly connected data sets,” he said.

Built to recover from database failures in less than 30 seconds, Neptune is also touted for its flexibility. It has support for graph application programming interface (API) like TinkerPop Gremlin and SPARQL, making the fully managed service compatible with numerous applications. Graph databases are useful in social networking, fraud detection, life sciences, knowledge graphs, and network security, among others tasks. To date, Neptune has many high-profile users, namely, Intuit, Pearson, Blackfynn, and Amazon’s own Alexa team.

Amazon Alexa director David Hardcastle pointed out that they use Amazon Neptune to expand the virtual assistant’s knowledge graph of its customers and create associations with data sets. With a well-built knowledge graph, users can discover related information based on their previous and current interests. In turn, this gives a better shopping experience for the customers.

Despite its general availability status, Neptune will only be available online and in other regions in the coming months.

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Amazon Now Delivers Right to Your Car Trunk, Covers Select US Cities

On Tuesday, Amazon launched another option for package delivery, not to your doorstep, but right to your car trunk. The latest feature is an iteration of its Amazon Key service that lets delivery drivers place parcels inside your home.  

Similar to its in-home service, in-car delivery works by giving Amazon access to your vehicle via the Key app. Delivery people can now unlock your parked car and put the package in the trunk. With a few taps, the car can be locked again.

This delivery service is less intrusive than the in-home option that received numerous complaints when it was introduced in November of last year. Shoppers feared that the service would let intruders into their homes, and others felt it was an infringement of their privacy. However, unlike deliveries made inside your home, in-car deliveries since the service doesn’t require the installation of a camera and compatible smart lock. Customers will only get updates once the item is delivered and alerts when the car is unlocked and relocked through the Key app.

Users might be wary of granting short, unrestricted access to their cars, but Amazon assures that the entire process is secure. There are several layers of verification, including an encrypted authentication process, before the car is unlocked. And to prevent unauthorized access, couriers are allowed to unlock vehicles only once for every delivery.

On the day of delivery, customers get a four-hour window of time in which to receive their package. They have to park their cars within the two-block radius of the delivery address. In-car deliveries can only be made to stationary vehicles in open, street-level public spaces to locate them easily. Satellite signals are weaker in multi-level or underground parking garages and couriers can’t enter restricted gated spaces.  

Few cars support door openings through an app or connected car services plan. For now, in-car delivery is limited to Chevrolet, Buick, GMC and Cadillac with active OnStar subscription, and Volvo with active On Call accounts. All vehicle models must 2015 or newer. But Amazon assured its members that the service will be expanded to include more car makes and models.

In-car delivery is available for millions of items on the eCommerce platform. However, there are certain restrictions to this option, such as big boxes that won’t fit inside the trunk and high-value items that require a signature. And if your car gets damaged during delivery, Amazon will take care of it.  

Amazon is currently delivering to 37 US cities but intends to cover more areas in the near future. According to Peter Larsen, Amazon’s delivery technology vice president, the Key service is “working as designed” and recorded fewer redeliveries of packages. Innovations like these, although controversial, are Amazon’s response to rising incidents of package theft as online shopping becomes increasingly popular.  

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Walmart Competes Against Amazon for Flipkart Buy-In, $12 Billion Offered for Controlling Stake

US companies Walmart and Amazon are competing to acquire a controlling stake in Flipkart, India’s leading eCommerce company. Walmart has completed an in-depth due diligence on its proposed majority ownership in the Indian firm. However, rival Amazon also wants to put in a bid and offers a ‘breakup fee’ of $ 1 billion to $ 2 billion, a penalty to be paid in case the deal fails to proceed.

Unnamed sources revealed that Walmart is willing to pay $ 10 billion to $ 12 billion for a controlling stake of 51 percent or more, valuing Flipkart at roughly $ 20 billion. But the deal isn’t sealed yet because Amazon is reportedly interested as well.

Insiders privy to the matter disclosed that Flipkart’s board recently discussed the competing proposals. They seem to agree that Walmart’s offer is better since the US retailer will face fewer regulatory hurdles. On the other hand, Amazon is considered as Flipkart’s primary competitor. It will face tighter scrutiny for possible monopoly since both companies control the majority of India’s online retail market.

Founded by two former Amazon employees, Flipkart is taking on the eCommerce giant to have a piece of India’s expanding online retail market. According to Morgan Stanley estimates, eCommerce in the country is predicted to grow annually by 30 percent and will be worth $ 200 billion by 2026.

Because of its vast potential, Amazon is investing heavily in the emerging market. The eCommerce giant has spent $ 5 billion for its India operations but is losing to homegrown startups like Flipkart that know the market well.

Flipkart announced recent plans to construct a 4.5 million sq. ft. logistics facility in Southern India. This is significantly bigger than Amazon’s largest warehouse measuring 400,000-sq. ft. in the country. But the US online retailer also has 62 fulfillment centers and delivery stations located all over India.

Walmart’s entry will give the startup its much-needed funds to compete head-on with Amazon. Flipkart will also benefit from the retailer’s unparalleled experience in logistics and supply chain management.

The largest US retailer’s stake in Flipkart will depend on which of its shareholders are willing to sell. SoftBank, Tiger Global, and Naspers are just some of its largest investors. Insiders said that SoftBank prefers a deal with Amazon because of its success in online commerce. Tiger and Naspers will likely sell their holdings to Walmart for the right price, according to sources.

As of writing, Walmart, Amazon, and Flipkart have declined to comment on the matter.

[Featured image via Flipkart website]

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