Welcome to this week’s round-up where we take a look at claims Amazon has been manipulating reviews, its first UK pop-up store, stats regarding eBay’s Managed Payments and more!
Has Amazon been manipulating its own brand reviews?
Amazon has been accused of manipulating reviews for its own brand products to ensure that they are promoted over those of third-party merchants. Many 3P merchants have complained that sales of their products have plummeted after Amazon introduced its own version of similar products and then boosted the listings higher up the search results. One of the focuses of the complaints surrounds Amazon’s Vine program, where vendors can pay to submit their products to customers to review. Vine is not open to 3P merchants, only Amazon and those with a Vendor Central account. The merchants are claiming that this enables Amazon’s listings to generate greater numbers of reviews which will help boost discoverability and conversion. Amazon responded and said: “shoppers under the Vine program can select from any eligible products, whether it’s an Amazon private-label product or a product from one of our vendors. the same guardrails that are in place for vendors are in place for our private-label brands.”
Amazon invites companies to become Amazon Private Label
Amazon has launched an accelerator program which invites manufacturers to become an Amazon Private Label and thus be listed as Amazon’s ‘Own Brands’. Typically the only two options for selling on Amazon were to become a merchant with a Seller Central account where you list and sell your own items or as a vendor where you sell your products to Amazon retail. Manufacturers will need to weigh up the benefits of becoming an Amazon Private Label as there will undoubtedly be significant demand and sales on Amazon, however, it will be the only place those items can be sold, so no matter how successful they can’t be sold on other marketplaces or a manufacturer’s own site. Amazon has said: “Our Brands is a collection of Amazon private brands and a curated selection of brands sold exclusively on Amazon. With Our Brands, we are bringing high-quality products at great prices to our global network of customers both directly (B2C) and commercially (B2B).”
eBay launches fulfilment and shipping in Germany
eBay has launched two new services in Germany for its business sellers, eBay Fulfilment and eBay Shipping. These new services will qualify sellers for eBay Plus which provides buyers with fast, free shipping, simple free returns and premium customer service (much like Amazon Prime). Sellers will benefit from increased visibility of their listings and eBay-paid returns, as well as an additional 20% discount on sales commission if all processing of eBay Plus orders is made on the same day. eBay Fulfilment and eBay Shipping can be likened to Amazon’s FBA (Fulfilment by Amazon).
eBay Fulfilment will allow next-day delivery to customers for orders made before 6pm, with logistics partner FIEGE handling all storage, picking and packing with guaranteed delivery by Hermes. eBay Shipping offers fast delivery at cheaper prices to all smaller channels and is in partnership with DPD, this is a similar service to Seller Fulfilled Prime.
eBay Managed Payments stats
It has been 3 weeks now since eBay rolled out its Managed Payments service and there have been some pretty impressive stats to back it up. In its first 3 weeks, more than $20 million GMV has been intermediated through Managed Payments, sellers have seen a 25% reduction in payment processing fees which represents $175,000 in seller savings to date and over 10% of transactions on iOS devices have been completed with Apple Pay. Given the uptake of Apple Pay payments, it shouldn’t be too long before we can expect to see Android Pay options too. eBay has also reported that ‘sellers in the early trials have seen uplifts in sales’ with the lack of PayPal as a payment option not appearing to hinder sales.
Amazon’s first UK pop-up store
Amazon has announced that it is to introduce its first UK pop-up store for its fashion brands this month. The pop-up will cover 3000 square feet on London’s Baker Street and will run from the 23rd to the 27th October. The new pop-up will feature Amazon’s own brand fashion lines such as Find, Truth & Fable and Meraki as well as well-known brands including Vans, Levis, Tommy Hilfiger and Calvin Klein. The items physically on display in the pop-up will change every couple of days, but the entire range will be available for purchase online. Susan Saideman, Vice president for Europe for Amazon Fashion has said: “We have curated a selection of top brands and key fashion items, which we think our customers will love, all of which can be purchased virtually through the Amazon app or physically in store. With the ongoing schedule of activities taking place throughout the week, we hope our pop-up shop will be an exciting and inspiring way to shop for fashion.”
If you have any questions or queries regarding marketplaces including Amazon, eBay, Alibaba or JD.com then feel free to get in touch with us to see how we can help.