European regulators are closely watching how Amazon uses its own sales data to potentially gain an unfair advantage over marketplace sellers. Margrethe Vestager, the EU commissioner for competition, recently said that, while there are no accusations against Amazon at this point, her department has started a "preliminary investigation" into how the company may be copying best-selling products by competitors.
Is there a method to our madness when it comes to shopping? Hailed by the San Francisco Chronicle as "a Sherlock Holmes for retailers," author and research company CEO Paco Underhill answers with a definitive "yes" in this witty, eye-opening report on our ever-evolving consumer culture. Why We Buy is based on hard data gleaned from thousands of hours of field research -- in shopping malls, department stores, and supermarkets across America. With his team of sleuths tracking our every move, from sweater displays at the mall to the beverage cooler at the drugstore, Paco Underhill lays bare the struggle among merchants, marketers, and increasingly knowledgeable consumers for control.
To find out which retailers have lost spending to Amazon, we asked respondents if they now spend more of their apparel budget on Amazon than they did about three years ago (this includes if they started shopping for apparel on Amazon in that time). We then asked those shoppers who had increased their apparel spending on Amazon which retailers they had switched some or all of their spending from.
For handmade-craft platform Etsy (NASDAQ:ETSY), Amazon presented an existential threat. Etsy went public in April 2015 at $16: shares closed the first day at $30, up 88%. From there, the stock simply fell apart. By the time Amazon launched Amazon Handmade in October, ETSY traded below its IPO price; it would close 2015 just above $8. Investors wanted no part of a money-losing business facing Amazon’s unlimited resources.
Some of this data is also available to big brands or vendors selling on Amazon’s platform through a program called Amazon Retail Analytics Premium. But it is expensive, with vendors paying 1 percent of their wholesale cost of goods sold to Amazon or a minimum of $100,000 to get access to a database that lets them see some, but not all, of the data Amazon has compiled.
It should be ridiculous, this. A buddy comedy built atop the premise of a man (Paul Dano) lugging around, and bonding with, a flatulent talking corpse (Daniel Radcliffe)—but cinema is a medium in which miracles are possible, and one such miracle occurs in Swiss Army Man. A film with such a seemingly unpalatable concept becomes, against all odds, a near-profound existential meditation. And, for all the increasingly absurd gags about the utilities of that talking corpse’s body—not just as a jet-ski propelled by bodily gas, but as a giver of fresh water through projectile vomiting and even as a compass through its erection—there’s not one iota of distancing irony to be found in the film. Directors Daniel Scheinert and Dan Kwan are absolutely serious in their attempts to not only re-examine some of the most universal of human experiences, but also explore the idea of a life lived without limits, casting off the shackles of societal constraints and realizing one’s best self. It’s a freedom that the Daniels project exuberantly into the film itself: Swiss Army Man is a work that feels positively lawless. Witness with amazement what bizarrely heartfelt splendors its creators will come up with next. —Kenji Fujishima
Our survey found that membership declines from the April 2018 peak spanned the income scale, although the greatest declines were among consumers in the $35,000–$74,999 income range. This is a demographic that has a near-average Prime penetration rate, meaning that the group does not exhibit the growth potential of lower-income households, which account for a smaller proportion of Prime members. But those in the $35,000–$74,999 income segment also do not have the financial security of those in higher-income households, which account for much higher-than-average subscription rates. So, these data may imply that those in the “squeezed middle” are canceling their Prime memberships at higher rates than those in other income groups, despite an apparently benign economic context.
Here, too, valuation is a concern. Any Amazon-proof stocks are going to be dearly valued. And for investors looking for value, LULU isn’t one of the best stocks to buy in retail. But a pullback has made valuation more palatable, and any concerns about the ‘athleisure’ trend fading appear assuaged. LULU is priced like a growth stock, but it very well may be poised to drive that kind of growth.
Beginning in October 2016, Prime members in the U.S. receive access to a rotating set of Kindle e-books through Prime Reading. Some magazines and travel guides are also available through the service. Prime Reading is unrelated to the Kindle Owners Lending Library, Kindle Unlimited, and Kindle First, all of which continue to be available.
Given all the benefits, there really aren't that many cons to an Amazon Prime membership that don't come around to the price. But that price keeps rising, and may be a hefty cost for shoppers if they don't frequently purchase items online. At $119 per year, it is worth examining how many benefits you will actually use with a membership to see if it is worth the expense.
Estimates on Prime memberships have been the subject of much speculation, especially since the numbers also serve as a metric for Amazon’s whopping revenue stream. The math can be difficult to parse: It’s not quite as simple as multiplying the cost of a $119 annual membership by 100 million. Some members — students, for example — have options to pay less, while others pay more for a monthly subscription.
A.: Prime Now is an app for iOS and Android devices and a website that promises free delivery of select items within 2 hours. At the outset, the service is only available in select cities, including New York, Los Angeles, Seattle and Phoenix, but the program adds new cities on a regular basis. Just this month, Amazon expanded its Prime Now delivery to include Annapolis, Cleveland, Louisville, North/Central New Jersey, and Pittsburgh as well as additional locations in the San Francisco Bay Area.
Costco, too, has proven the doubters wrong. There’s a reason why COST has been one of the best stocks to buy in the entire market for over thirty years now. Here, too, however the concern is valuation. Analysts began arguing last month that the stock might have run out of upside, and I’m inclined to agree. Most of the stock’s losses after Q4 earnings earlier this month have been recovered, and COST still trades at a healthy 27x forward earnings.
Amazon Cash (in the United States and Canada) and Amazon Top Up (in the United Kingdom) are services allowing Amazon shoppers to add money to their Amazon account at a physical retail store. The service, launched in April 2017, allows users to add between $5 and $500 (£5 and £250) to their accounts by paying with cash at a participating retailer, who scans a barcode linked to a customer's Amazon account. Users can present the app on paper, on the Amazon app, or as a text message sent by the Amazon website. Participating retailers in the United States include 7-Eleven, CVS Pharmacy, and GameStop. In Canada, reloads can only be made at Canada Post post offices. In the United Kingdom, reloads can only be made at PayPoint locations.
Amazon Studios is Amazon.com's division that develops television shows, movies and comics from online submissions and crowd-sourced feedback. It was started in late 2010. Content would be distributed through Amazon Video, Amazon’s digital video streaming service, and a competitor to services like Netflix and Hulu. For films, Warner Bros. is a partner.
In November 2007, the Kindle Store was launched as an e-book e-commerce store and can be accessed from any Amazon Kindle, Fire tablet or Kindle mobile app. At its launch, the store had more than 88,000 digital titles available. This number increased to more than 765,000 by August 2011 and as of January 2017 there were over five million e-books available in the U.S.