With the holidays fast approaching, Amazon and eBay are preparing to meet the demands of today's shoppers. Amazon has restricted new merchants from using FBA, while eBay is attempting to woo new customers through recent applications of artificial intelligence and social commerce.
Amazon Limits Access to FBA Warehouses to Prepare for the Holidays
Sellers new to Fulfilled By Amazon (FBA) will not be able to send inventory to Amazon’s fulfillment centers until December 19. Ahead of the holidays, Amazon made this restriction to ensure they have enough capacity to store inventory and ship products to customers quickly during the busy shopping season.
Running out of warehouse space and shipping delays have caused problems for Amazon in the past. Amazon has been taking several steps to guarantee a better and faster shipping service for customers, including building out their own logistics operations and investing in their own air cargo delivery network.
Via Fierce Retail
New Fees for FBA Shipments Missing Box Content Information
If you haven’t been providing box content information to your FBA shipments, now is the time to do so. Effective November 1st, Amazon will be enforcing manual processing fees for each box sent to FBA fulfillment centers. The fee will cost $0.15 per unit from November and December, and $0.10 from January to October.
Box content information, such as case quantity and expiration date, can be entered directly into Seller Central, or managed through a shipping solution that supports FBA. Shipments without box content information may take longer to be processed, so Amazon highly recommends sellers provide this information to improve efficiency and inventory accuracy.
eBay Launches High-End Furniture Shop Powered by Visual Search
This week, eBay rolled out eBay Collective, a new shopping site dedicated to curated furniture, antiques, contemporary design and fine art. The site is powered by a “Shop the Room” feature, an image recognition technology that enables shoppers to hover over an image of a fully furnished room, and the tool will search eBay’s inventory for similar items.
By attracting interior designers and the high-end crowd, eBay is moving to push past its reputation as an auctions and used item marketplace. eBay is using artificial intelligence, sleek design and carefully selected brands to create a more elevated, high quality shopping experience.
Via Tech Crunch
eBay Tests Personal Shopping Assistant on Facebook Messenger
eBay is the latest company to join the commerce bot movement, testing out a new personalized shopping assistant called ShopBot on Facebook’s Messenger application. ShopBot uses artificial intelligence to learn more about each shopper by analyzing the user’s Facebook profile and asking questions about what they’re seeking.
ShopBot can remember details such as clothing sizes and other personal preferences to make future online shopping faster and more convenient. With smartphone users spending time on fewer apps, eBay hopes to win more customers through Facebook’s vast social network.
44% of Shoppers Plan to Increase Holiday Spending This Year
According to a new survey by Accenture, shoppers are expected to spend more but pay less this holiday season. Consumers are also increasingly more willing to share personal information and shopping preferences with retailers to receive personalized offers.
The study found that:
- 84% of consumers will start their search on Amazon.com before looking or buying elsewhere.
- 67% said they will purchase goods from different stores or websites to get the lowest price.
- 72% of shoppers would be enticed by promotions or coupons to shop at a store they have never purchased from in the last year.
- 42% said they rarely or never expect to pay full price for an item during the holiday season.
Today’s consumers do their research before making purchases. Retailers will need to ensure they are competitive on Amazon and other marketplaces, exhibiting brand confidence and providing special offers during the holidays.
Via Business Wire