• Amazon now holds 49% of the ecommerce market, miles away from eBay’s 6.6% and Walmart’s 3.7%. The company exercised this muscle on July 16-17 for Prime Day, which saw 54% more sales in the first four hours compared to the 2017 holiday, despite technical difficulties. The 36-hour event is expected to reel in $3.4 billion in revenue—Amazon also recommended sellers to increase their ad spend for increased visibility during the event. Advertising is the fastest-growing sector in Amazon overall business, which saw more than $2 billion in revenue in Q1 2018.
  • Prime Day was inspired by Alibaba’s Single’s Day—the latter’s 2017 sales outpaced Amazon’s by $22.9 billion. Adding its own Prime Day competition to the mix, Target debuted a one-day sale on July 17, marketing deals on products and services open to anyone, as opposed to Amazon’s sales holiday, which is only open to Prime members.
  • Walmart struck a five-year deal to use Microsoft’s cloud computing technology in order to compete with Amazon. The decision came the same day that 21st Century Fox chose Amazon Web Services for the bulk of its own cloud computing infrastructure.
  • Sonos is going public and is highlighting its collaboration with Amazon, with whom it recently launched Alexa-enabled speakers. This deal works great for both parties, helping to spread their products to wider audiences. But while Sonos specifically mentioned its strategic partnership with Amazon in its SEC filing, it isn’t married to working with only one smart assistant. Meanwhile, Alexa plans to help Northeastern University students with class schedules and important deadlines; the college plans to debut an Echo speaker service called Husky Helper.