Welcome to this week’s round-up where we take a look at Amazon’s plans for its Business Prime service, its plans for coping with the upcoming seasonal demand, eBay’s Instant Selling feature and more!
Amazon adding perks to its Business Prime offering
Amazon has announced that it is adding in some new perks for subscribers to its Business Prime offering, including additional delivery options, analytics and controls. Amazon Business Prime subscribers will now be able to get same-day and one-day shipping free on certain items, as well as the original unlimited free two-day shipping. These new delivery options are only available on orders with a total value greater than $35 and for businesses located in select locations in the USA. Business Prime members can also now tell Amazon to consolidate shipments into larger but less frequent deliveries, as opposed to little and often.
As well as the updated shipping options, Amazon is also introducing a couple of new analytics tools for Business Prime members, Spend Visibility and Guided Buying. Spend Visibility provides visuals of spending done on Amazon whilst Guided Buying lets business owners take more control over their employees’ corporate spending. Guided Buying will allow business owners to set preferred suppliers or alternatively prevent purchases from certain suppliers altogether. The new services are currently only being rolled out in the United States, Germany and Japan.
Amazon to hire thousands to cope with seasonal demand
Amazon is currently hiring thousands of seasonal workers across its fulfilment centres and delivery facilities to cope with the additional demands of Christmas. The new workers will all benefit from Amazon’s recent pay increase and will receive weekly payments and flexible shift opportunities. In the USA Amazon is hiring over 100,000 seasonal workers, whilst in the UK it is recruiting for 2,500 at its Rugeley warehouse, 1,000 at Doncaster and 2,000 at Dunferlime. Senior vice president of Amazon Operations, Dave Clark has said: “for those who are looking for short-term roles to help pay for gifts or supplement other income, this is a great opportunity to try a role with Amazon for the first time. We also have team members who return to work at Amazon during the holidays year after year. Since the minimum wage announcement, we are seeing a great response from job applicants and are encouraged in our early efforts to lead in pay four hourly employees.”
Amazon Go store approved for San Francisco
Amazon has been looking to expand its Go stores following successful trials in Seattle, with the latest approved for San Francisco. Currently, Amazon has 5 Go stores in both Seattle and Chicago which both sell prepared food and groceries. The premise of Amazon’s Go stores is that they are cashierless with no checkout required. Shoppers use an app when entering the store and cameras and other sensors monitoring the items that a shopper takes with it all being charged to their Amazon account when leaving. Despite Amazon remaining tight-lipped about the San Francisco store, it has added a job spec and applicaton process to its Amazon Jobs website for an Amazon Go Store Manager located in San Francisco.
eBay’s Instant Selling feature for smartphones
eBay has announced the launch of a new feature called Instant Selling. This new feature allows consumers to sell their smartphones and get paid instantly (albeit with an eBay voucher). Users can ‘get paid without having to manage the selling process and it takes only a matter of minutes from start to payment.’ Instant Selling removes the time spent waiting for an item to sell, with the new option allowing instant payment in the form of an eBay voucher. eBay has also said how ‘standard smartphone trade-in providers typically offer 40%-50% off the average market selling prices’ and that ‘Instant Selling provides a higher rate of return, up to 40% higher than trade-in values, on average.’ Currently, Instant Selling is only available in the USA, but if it proves popular then it may make its appearance in other key markets.
eBay acquires Motors.co.uk
Last week it was announced that eBay had signed an agreement with Cox Automotive to acquire Motors.co.uk, a classified marketplace for cars in the UK. Providing that the deal completes successfully, Motors.co.uk will become part of Gumtree UK which is an existing eBay Classifieds business. The deal would then allow eBay to combine inventory, customer relationships and traffic across Gumtree UK, eBay Motors UK and Motors.co.uk and would also jointly position the trio as a leading alternative to the current UK motors market leader. Matt Barham, General Manager for Gumtree UK has said: “This acquisition would finally present a viable car selling and shopping alternative for car dealers and buyers. By combining Motors.co.uk’s extensive inventory, dealer engagements, traffic and cutting-edge tools and services with the considerable audience of in-market car buyers provided by eBay and Gumtree, this acquisition would give UK car dealers a significantly broader reach.”
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