• Amazon is giving advertisers access to hundreds of automated audience segments. Whereas Google and Facebook rely on demographics, interests, searches, and some guesswork, Amazon knows its customers’ purchasing histories, where they live, which credit cards they use and what their household makeup is—and now, all of this data is bundled into the company’s self-service option, which advertisers can use to target consumers with their own campaigns. It’s just the latest sign that Amazon’s ad business, now equal to $125 billion, is sure to continue growing.
  • On the heels of Amazon Key’s expansion, UPS is growing Latch, its smart lock startup in ten cities. As of now, Latch is available only in New York and San Francisco, allowing delivery men to securely drop off any UPS deliveries—including packages from Amazon—inside recipients’ homes. In contrast, Amazon Key for Home is currently operating in 35 metro areas.
  • As Amazon continues to court direct-to-consumer brands, not all are falling for the ecommerce retailer. In fact, some brands in this camp specifically identify themselves as Amazon-averse. These companies point out a range of faults in Amazon’s system, from its ignorance of the high-end apparel market, to unsatisfactory user experience and customer service. They also remain unconvinced that selling on Amazon will be a boon to their businesses, arguing that the company won’t provide them with useful customer insights.
  • As part of its effort to reduce shipping costs for cumbersome third-party CPG products, Amazon is now actively advertising its most profitable CPG products. Whereas previously, the company would highlight its bestselling items or Amazon’s Choice products, shipping weight is increasingly factored into the retailer’s internal marketing strategy.