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.
On May 10, 2016, Amazon launched a Video Service called Amazon Video Direct which allows users to place videos available to rent or own, to view free with ads, or to be bundled together, and offered as an ad-on subscription. Amazon will pay creators 50% of the revenue earned from rental or sale of the videos, but for ad-supported videos, the makers will get a portion of ad receipts.
Amazon Prime membership in Australia, Canada, Germany, the United Kingdom, India and the United States also provides Amazon Video, the instant streaming of selected films and TV programs at no additional cost. In November 2011, it was announced that Prime members had access to the Kindle Owners’ Lending Library, which allows users to borrow up to one a month of specified popular Kindle e-books. People with an email address at an academic domain such as .edu or .ac.uk, typically students, are eligible for Prime Student privileges, including discounts on Prime membership.
A meaningful 18.8% of Amazon apparel shoppers are interested in trying the retailer’s still-new private-label fashion ranges. Just 12% think that the website could be made easier to browse, indicating that the majority of the site’s apparel shoppers are satisified with the Amazon Fashion shopping experience. Younger consumers we surveyed registered higher-than-average responses to each of the statements below, reflecting a higher level of interest in trying new Amazon Fashion products and services.
Imperiled families are popular forms of community in documentaries this year—on the more heartwarming side is Abacus: Small Enough to Jail, the deceptively straightforward new film from Hoop Dreams director Steve James. In it, James details the ordeal of the Sungs, who ran the only bank to face federal prosecution in the aftermath of the 2008 financial collapse. What’s even more surprising is that their bank, Abacus Federal Savings, was a tiny, local institution catering to New York City’s Chinatown residents—hardly one of the massive financial corporations that helped crater the world economy. There is a happy ending to Abacus’s legal nightmare, however, but James uses the court case as a means to explore the Sung family, particularly patriarch Thomas Sung, who even in his late 70s still elicits a strong hold over his adult daughters, who help run the bank with him while jockeying to curry his favor. Abacus is a family portrait mixed with current events, and if it’s less ambitious than Hoop Dreams that doesn’t diminish the warmth and subtlety James brings to this look at an anxious, close-knit clan who rally around one another once the government goes after them. —Tim Grierson
And as far as American consumers go, Amazon's heft has not hurt the brand, which remains one of the most trusted. The NPR/Marist survey found a staggering 67 percent of American online shoppers say they have "quite a lot" or "a great deal" of trust in Amazon to protect their privacy and personal information, even though the majority of them had little to no such confidence in online retailers in general.
Elena Ledoux is the founder of MommyGO, a company which makes natural energy products for busy moms that are sold on Amazon. “There is a lot of negative sentiment around Amazon's unfair advantage, which is justified,” says Ledoux, commenting on Amazon’s ability to drive more product reviews for its own stable of brands. “However, everyone forgets about a fair advantage that a product maker can have - to have a superior product. At the end of the day, you can be successful even with fewer reviews if your product is legitimately better.”
GWW has seen a sharp pullback of late, dropping 26% from highs of just two months ago. Tariff and cyclical worries, plus a slightly disappointing Q3 report, have factored in. But the pullback seems to open an opportunity. GWW now trades at an attractive 15 times forward earnings. That’s simply too cheap for what is clearly among the best Amazon-proof stocks. Grainger already has proven the skeptics wrong. It likely will do so again. And at a cheaper price, that’s a bet worth taking.
Some commentators have argued that the Amazon website is not equipped to provide a quality experience for browsing, searching and discovering fashion ranges. After all, Amazon established its position by serving as a kind of catalog for products that shoppers buy based mostly on specifications, such as books and electronics—but fashion shoppers tend to browse and buy differently.
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.
Students can get a generous price break, however. Amazon Student accounts get many of the same Prime benefits, and it's free for the first six months. After that, you will need to subscribe to Prime, but at a 50 percent discount. During the six-month trial, students can get free shipping but will not be able to access streaming video and music, or borrow Kindle books. However, they will receive full Prime benefits if they choose to subscribe at the discounted price afterward. They'll also get access to exclusive deals, such as specials on video game pre-orders.
In August 2007, Amazon announced AmazonFresh, a grocery service offering perishable and nonperishable foods. Customers could have orders delivered to their homes at dawn or during a specified daytime window. Delivery was initially restricted to residents of Mercer Island, Washington, and was later expanded to several ZIP codes in Seattle proper. AmazonFresh also operated pick-up locations in the suburbs of Bellevue and Kirkland from summer 2007 through early 2008.