• Of Amazon’s 51 product categories, AmazonBasics products are bestsellers in 22, according to Thinknum. Since launching the private label in 2009, Amazon has grown its AmazonBasics assortment to more than 2,000 products. Still, the company reported in 2018 that this private label comprised only 3.2% of total annual sales. Not all products are created equal, with office products and electronics consistently performing best.
  • Amazon pulled the plug on Amazon Spark, which debuted in 2017 as an alternative to Instagram that features shoppable images and influencer profiles. While Instagram and Pinterest are becoming more and more shoppable, Amazon Spark was heavily transactional from the beginning, which likely contributed to its downfall. The retailer is still trying to create a social media-like experience with its browsing platform, Interesting Finds, and allegedly with an experimental site called #FoundItOnAmazon.
  • Amazon’s video game development division is shrinking, pointing to the retailer’s difficulty in breaking into the industry—a struggle also felt by other companies like Google. Amazon’s 2014 acquisition of the video live stream platform Twitch made $400 million in revenue in 2018, but Amazon Game Studios, established in 2012, has hit roadblocks in creating its own games, focusing instead on publishing those of third-parties.
  • Amazon is allegedly pivoting away from creating original animated kids’ programming. The company currently has about 20 original kids’ programs and many more licensed programs, which comes at a much lower cost. Meanwhile, competitors Netflix and Disney are pouring more funds into developing animated content for kids—plus, Amazon has Disney+ to worry about. When it comes to kids’ TV, Amazon is assessing whether more original children’s content will encourage parents to renew their Prime memberships, and its recent decision suggests that it thinks family and young adult content is more likely to do so. At the same time, the company continues to evolve its streaming capabilities. It will transform IMDb Freedive—a free streaming service that launched in January 2019—to IMDb TV, outfitted with additional movies and TV (it will also soon debut in the European market).
  • Amazon may have a new competitor in Verishop, an ecommerce site that aims to create a better home for brands in the age of faceless retailers, counterfeit products and heavily transactional customer experiences. The online marketplace debuted with 150 brands including Lev’s, Kora Organics and Boll & Branch. Beyond free, two-day shipping and returns, Verishop wants to differentiate from Amazon with quality of experience. It also includes a section on its site called Tastemakers, where influencers promote their favorite Verishop products. Meanwhile, Amazon is attempting to strengthen customer loyalty through convenience. In its quest to achieve one-day shipping, Amazon will lease 15 more cargo aircraft.
  • Amazon wants to sell beer, wine and spirits via Prime Now. In order to obtain a liquor license, the company must open a store and plans to do so with a 200-square-foot location in San Francisco, where it added its third Amazon Go store in March 2019.
  • Amazon received trademarks for what appear to be new Ring technology products, including Ring Beams, Ring Halo and Ring Net. The company purchased Ring, a smart doorbell brand, in February 2018 and has since merged the technology with Amazon devices such as Amazon Key. If these trademarks come to fruition, Amazon’s home security monitoring products could significantly expand.