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Caution: lots of Amazon seller insights follow, from Amazon seller statistics through the recent patents rewarded for parachute drops of your orders...
Amazon Shipping Fees Drop
The latest in the battle between Walmart and Amazon: Amazon dropped their shipping fee to non-Prime members. Now it’s just $35, down from $49. Obviously, this is a competitive strategy. Amazon just raised these fees a few months ago but the recent offer by Walmart of free shipping on orders of $35 or less to the general public obviously prompted the move. Side note: Amazon sellers can also sell on the Walmart Marketplace.
Walmart E-Commerce Growth Outpacing Amazon
In other news from the battlefront: Walmart's e-commerce revenue growth outpaced Amazon's in Q4 2016, 29% to 22% with a Bezos protégé at the helm of Walmart’s e-commerce (Marc Lore). An improving quarter and one of the more a notable Amazon seller statistics. It's an indication that Walmart is serious about ramping up its online sales to compete head to head with Amazon, but they've got a long way to go. For that same quarter, for example, Walmart's profits were down as they sink capital into building their online sales systems.
Amazon Seller Statistics
Amazon Seller statistics that create an informative snap shot of the “average” Amazon seller were proffered in an article on Tamebay a British web site devoted to global news on e-commerce. Good article, good Amazon seller statistics, some extrapolations based on sound math. These Amazon seller statistics can serve as an excellent way to benchmark how you stack up as a seller on Amazon. An example of the type of Amazon seller statistics you'll find here include: the average Amazon seller moves 74 items per month through FBA. Keep in mind however, that there is a broad range of entities selling on Amazon and the averages presented in the article could be skewed downward by smaller sellers.
Accountability of Walmart Marketplace 3rd Party Sellers
Some concerns were expressed recently on Reddit re: the after-sale accountability of Walmart’s 3rd party sellers (i.e., those selling on the marketplace offered by Walmart). Just a glitch or a potentially systemic problem for the Walmart E-commerce brand?
Clearly, Amazon guards against any chances of their brand being associated with poor customer service and so does not provide as open and unrestricted a marketplace for 3rd party sellers as does Walmart. Amazon sellers who don't subscribe to that same level of service may soon experience profit erosion due to fees, or outright account suspension.
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RAPID FIRE TOPICS
Are Industrial Supplies in Amazon's Sites?
From the world of B2B e-commerce, online trade magazine “Industrial Distribution” posted an article warning the industrial supply industry not to underestimate how quickly their marketplace could be disrupted if Amazon turns an eye to them. Is Amazon now better positioned to enter B2B sectors like “Industrial Supply”? It appears so. This could be the entry point into B2B for sales other than office supplies and smaller commodity items. How far into B2B Amazon gets could depend on the size and weights of items due to limited warehouse space considerations.
Picture this: your morning grind has begun and you discover the cupboard is bare of dark roast K-Cups! No prob, just have a box parachuted in! The Amazon idea of drones dropping your delivery by parachute may be a step closer to reality for some items in some locales when they were awarded a patent last week. So Amazon FBA sellers, make sure you do your drop tests before shipping inventory to Amazon fulfillment centers!
Amazon Reveals Some Prime Numbers
We all know Amazon has always guarded closely any and all numbers related to its Prime subscriptions, however some data has been released which has some 3rd party estimators crunching out some estimates… generally, they put the number of U.S. households having at least one prime member at approximately 66% - another of the interesting Amazon seller statistics.
From the Seller Forums...
FBM Back Orders by FBA?
Might be tough to get a tracking number to enter into the self-fulfilled order. In using the back order system you risk exposing yourself to many things that can go wrong (things you don't control) that can affect your customers expectations and, thereby, your customer satisfaction metric which, as an Amazon seller, is something you always want to protect and improve.
Race to the Bottom in Price
Every seller wants the Buy Box. Many sellers use automated "repricers" to remain competitive on prices but this results in a race to the bottom for sellers. In the ideal, you're not in the resell business on Amazon, unless you are reselling an item no one else on Amazon is selling. If your product is not one-of-a-kind, you can make your product unique via bundling, private labels, etc. Then, if you put time and energy into maintaining your unique position, you can set your price at a level that nets you a fair profit margin.
GTINs (Global Trade Item Numbers) represent one of the types of global 14-number coding systems used to track inventory in the marketplace. You can ask to for an exemption from GTIN in order to substitute another unique identifier such as from UPC, EAN, JAN, etc. In any event, you'll need the unique identifier if you want to sell your product on Amazon. Info is available at GS1 US. Keep in mind: some Amazon product categories differ in what can and cannot have the GTIN exemption.
How to Keep Track of FBA Inventory
Tracking FBA inventory can be tricky. The best system for managing it is often not immediately apparent. The data presented in Amazon's fulfillment reports pages can be overwhelming but there are third party software programs that can interface with Amazon's systems to corral the sea of data into useful reports for you.
If you found this webinar helpful you might also like our webinar on Amazon News and Updates and others that can be found on our blog page.
For time stamps on topics discussed in the video, visit the webinar notes page.