Welcome to our first marketplace news round-up, where each week we will be taking a look at some of the key stories surrounding marketplaces including Amazon, eBay, Alibaba and JD.com. In this week’s round-up we take a look at Amazon’s plans for Australia, Alibaba’s driverless delivery bots and also its Cainiao Box, plus more!
Amazon Australia gives the boot to international partners
As many people are aware, Amazon has recently launched its Australian site, however, it hasn’t been all plain sailing. The local site for Amazon in Australia has around 60 million products available for sale, which may seem an awful lot, but when its compared to the half a billion available in the USA it puts the size of the marketplace in perspective. Unfortunately for people shopping on Amazon’s international sites from Australia, Amazon is set to block access from the 1st of July. The reason for this move is an attempt to avoid the upcoming changes to Australia’s country’s goods and services taxes (GST). Currently, a GST of 10% is applied to most goods sold in Australia and also to imported goods worth more than AUS$1,000, but from the start of next month, the GST will be enforced on imported goods under AUS$1,000 too. This provides ‘a much bigger administrative task that Amazon seems determined to avoid.‘
So for shoppers in Australia who are currently shopping on Amazon’s international sites with more product ranges, June 30th will be the last day to make any purchases.
Not in? No problem with the Cainiao box!
It has been announced this week that Chinese marketplace giant Alibaba has developed a smart locker called the Cainiao Box. The idea behind this concept is that people would install it outside their home to provide a secure place for people to leave deliveries when people are not at home to accept them. The box unlocks using facial recognition and can also be temperature controlled to keep food deliveries warm or cold. It is similar to Amazon Key, where delivery drivers can use keyless entry to open a customer’s front door, place their parcel inside and then lock the door again. The Cainiao Box may be a more popular option though, given that people aren’t giving access to their homes, just a box at the front.
There is currently no timeframe as to when the product might become a fully fledged shipping product though.
Alibaba announce breakthrough in driverless delivery
Continuing with news from Alibaba, it has also announced a new driverless delivery bot. The Chinese company has said that the new automated vehicle can be easily mass-produced and also serve a number of functions including delivery courier. The delivery bot, called Cainiao G Plus can travel u to nine miles per hour and is all part of a £11.6bn investment into smart logistics. The G Plus delivery bot is fitted with solid state Lidar (the laser sensors which autonomous vehicles use to be aware of their surroundings) which is ‘more compact, cheaper and easier to manufacture than the traditional system.’ With Amazon’s delivery drones it is hardly surprising that Alibaba would look to implement its own automated option for providing quicker delivery for customers.
eBay to partner with payment firm Ayden
It has been reported this week that eBay could end up taking a 5% stake in the Dutch payment firm Ayden. The two companies agreed a deal in January that will see the Dutch firm become eBay’s primary payment processor. A Dutch newspaper reporting on the news said: “warrants will be given to eBay in four tranches, on the condition that the auction site routes a substantial portion of its payments via Ayden.” Share in eBay rose by 15% back at the beginning of February when the Ayden deal was initially announced.
Marketplaces crack down on 3rd party counterfeits
According to new findings, one in three UK consumers have mistakenly purchased a counterfeit electrical item online and e-commerce sites such as Amazon and eBay are a prime target for 3rd party sellers looking to exploit online UK shoppers. The research carried out by the charity Electrical Safety First (ESF) found that around 18 million people in the UK have purchased a counterfeit electrical item whilst a Guardian investigation found that Amazon was rife with ‘potentially dangerous counterfeits and other knockoff goods’ this is despite years of attempts to crackdown on misselling on its platform. Amazon released a statement which read “all Marketplace sellers must follow our selling guidelines and those who don’t will be subject to action including potential removal of their account.”
This issue really stresses the importance of ensuring your listings are as informative as possible to reassure the consumers that they are purchasing a genuine item from the genuine seller. If you would like help with your Amazon or eBay listings, please get in touch with us today.