Despite a net loss of $7 billion from shipping costs last year, Amazon has become the trusted brand in ecommerce, an influence that only expands regardless of competition. Jeff Bezos is now the world’s 2nd wealthiest person, thanks to Amazon’s acquisition of Souq.com. Read on for the latest industry news and insights.
Amazon Marketplace Sellers Up Next to Pay State Sales Tax
Several states are now looking to collect sales tax from smaller online merchants and third-party sellers that make up a growing share of Amazon Marketplace sales. Starting April, Amazon will expand its sales tax collection to all 45 states that tax sales. New York and Wyoming have moved to extract taxes from marketplace sellers, and at least 6 other states are considering similar measures. via Retail Dive
Amazon Purchases Souq to Expand in the Middle East
Amazon recently acquired Souq.com, the biggest online retailer in the Middle East. The acquisition marks Amazon’s first move into serving the Middle East, which covers about 50 million consumers across several countries. It is also an untapped market, with only 2% of all retail spend in the Middle East is made online. via The LA Times
Amazon’s Own Social Media Influencer Program Goes Into Beta
Amazon quietly launched its own social media influencer program, called “Amazon Influencer Program,” currently in beta testing. Similar to Amazon’s Affiliate program, the Influencer Program aims to get users with large social media followings to help promote Amazon products to their audiences. via Tech Crunch
Walmart Marketplace Surpasses 10,000 Sellers
Walmart Marketplace has reached a milestone of 10,000 third-party sellers, with more than 6,000 products listed online. The marketplace is small but growing, and is roughly 1% the size of Amazon Marketplace. As more sellers join Walmart Marketplace, the marketplace will also grow at a steady pace. via Marketplace Pulse
Amazon, Walmart, Target & Big-Box Retailers Fall Short on Personalization
Customers today want personalized shopping experiences. Looking at performance by Amazon, Walmart, Target, Nike, Macy’s and Kohl’s, a new study found that these top brands are not putting sufficient resources behind personalizing the customer experience, especially when it comes to communications, customer preferences and rewards. via Fierce Retail
For insights on the future of multi-channel selling, see our article featured on Web Retailer.
Multi-channel selling is going strong and no retailer wants to be left behind. Retailers today can set up shop in so many places, but not all channels will be ideal for their business. Retailers must consider a range of factors, including marketplace policies, hosting fees, operational complications, and different buying behaviors, among others, when approaching marketplace expansion.
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