Welcome to this week’s round-up we take a look at Amazon’s live streaming of tennis, Google’s $500m investment into JD.com, eBay’s first community sneaker drop and more!
Amazon continues moves into live streaming sporting events
Last week we wrote about Amazon winning some rights to live stream Premier League football matches from the 2019/20 season and now this week it is continuing the sporting push by live streaming the tennis from Queens. The tournament always has a big interest and typically a strong field as it provides one of the last chances for players to tune up before they begin their hunt for the Wimbledon title.
The tennis coverage is available to those who have signed up for an Amazon Prime subscription and is being streamed on TVs and tablets through Prime Video. Amazon also agreed on a £30m deal to show the US Open tennis tournament in September, traditionally shown on Sky Sports. The e-commerce giant has also got a further ‘one-up’ on Sky, having secured rights to 38 ATP World Tour events for five years from next season.
Amazon hopes that by adding the tennis coverage (and other major sporting events including the Premier League) that it can attract a younger audience who have been brought up with live streaming, to sign up to Amazon Prime. Jay Marine, VP of Prime Video has said: “tennis is a very broad sport and has a large fan base. People already care about tennis. They love it. We want to help grow that audience, especially with the younger demographic, who are used to streaming.”
Googles substantial investment in JD.com
It has been announced that Google is to invest more than $500m into Chinese e-commerce giant JD.com as part of a strategic partnership. The partnership will make use of JD.com’s existing supply chain and logistics expertise and Google’s technology strengths with the aim of creating next-generation retail infrastructure solutions. As part of the partnership, JD will also ‘make a selection of high-quality products available for sale through Google Shopping in multiple regions.’ Google chief business officer Philipp Schindler has said: “We are excited to partner with JD.com and explore new solutions for retail ecosystems around the world to enable helpful, personalised and frictionless shopping experiences that give consumers the power to shop wherever and however they want.”
Houzz.com takes on the international market
Home remodelling online marketplace Houzz.com now has sites in 14 different countries, 11 in Europe plus Japan, Singapore and India and provides free listing to contractors, architects, designers and other professionals. Alongside this Houzz.com also offers 10 million home decor products and furniture from over 20,000 retailers of which 1 million products are available as 3D images using the Houzz mobile apps. 2 million customers have used the visualisation tool when making purchases according to Houzz co-founder Alon Cohen whilst those who view the 3D images are 11 times more likely to convert than website visitors who don’t. Houzz is really pushing the personalisation aspect and attempting to help the consumer with their purchase by providing other features such as the ability to turn a tablet into a photograph of a product so that they can see how it would look in their home. Cohen has said that ‘features like that make purchasing home goods online in some ways better than shopping in a store.
Houzz.com is ranked number 10 in Internet Retailer’s 2018 Online Marketplace ranking.
eBay kicks off its first community sneaker drop
eBay has announced its first ever community sneaker drop where sneaker fans have been invited to list their most coveted pairs. A special page will be set up within eBay on June 27 with a selection of rare and trending styles whilst people will also be able to get exclusive prices on select styles from leading manufacturers such as Adidias, Reebok & Stadium Gods. Senior director of Fashion at eBay Renee Paradise has said: “sneakerheads relentlessly chase new additions to their collections, especially with the releases slated for June. We wanted to offer a new way to bring together the best selection of rare pairs and trending collabs in one destination for our community of sneaker fans – to create the ultimate ‘drop’ that only eBay could deliver.”
eBay has stated that more than 1.2 million pairs of trainers are listed on its platform each day, with a pair purchased every 1.5 seconds.
Alexa enters the world of hospitality
Amazon has partnered with Marriott International, the world’s largest hotel operator, to launch Alexa for Hospitality. This new feature will allow guests to order room service, request housekeeping, book spa treatments, play music and adjust the light and temperature in their rooms, just by talking to an Alexa speaker. This tie in provides an opportunity for Amazon to expand further than people’s homes and provide enterprise solutions, it will also help to further cement the view that Alexa is the default voice platform in consumers’ minds. Tracey Shroeder Marriott’s vice-president of global consumer public relations has said: “we recognised that voice-first experiences have become an increasingly important channel for our guests, and we think Amazon is leading the market in this technology.” This isn’t the first hotel chain to introduce Alexa to their rooms, with Wynn announcing 18 months ago that it would be adding the devices to 4,000 rooms at its Las Vegas hotel.
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.