• As a response to “Fulfillment by Amazon,” eBay launched an end-to-end fulfillment service, strengthening control over its supply chain. eBay’s new service, “Managed Delivery,” will offer high-volume sellers the ability to store, pack and deliver merchandise through a network of third-party vendors collaborating with eBay by 2020. The new warehouses are strategically placed across the U.S. and will make shipping costs lower and delivery rates faster for key eBay sellers. At the same time, Amazon is facing warehouse and fulfillment woes of its own. The company plans to spend more than $800 million to expedite its standard of two-day shipping to one-day—an expense largely directed to outfitting warehouses and streamlining delivery.
  • Amazon is allegedly exploring a new grocery concept beyond Whole Foods and Amazon Go that would merge pickup and delivery with in-store shopping. The potential new stores fall in step with the company’s long-term ambitions to break into the grocery market in a durable way. In fact, a recent study by the data analytics firm Earnest Research found that grocery shoppers visit larger-format stores like Kroger more frequently than Amazon Go (consumers also visit traditional convenience stores like CVS and Walgreens more frequently than Amazon Go).
  • Amazon’s advertising business rose 37% YoY in Q2 2019, compared to 34% YoY in Q1 2019. But the company may be attempting to trigger greater growth in its ad business with audio marketing. With its Echo speakers reaching omnipresence, Amazon is testing semi-interactive audio ads with select brands on its forthcoming, ad-supported music service. There’s potential for Amazon to reap hundreds of millions in ad sales from this new venture, especially considering that Amazon’s other music services are set as the default on all Echo devices, which also offer Spotify and Pandora.