• Amazon added a “Personal Shopper” feature to its Prime Wardrobe Box, offering subscribers recommendations using both algorithms and human stylists. The new Prime feature, at a $5 monthly fee for members, launched with women’s apparel, with plans to introduce menswear in the near future. With its dedicated webpage, the offering brings Amazon into the Stitch Fix sphere with personalized recommendations that combine both technology and human stylists.
  • In an effort toward sustainability, Amazon pressures vendors to use packaging that is more compact and easier to open. Amazon has altered its shipping standards forcing vendors to use less packaging and to sell products in quantities that don’t require multiple shipments to one buyer. This initiative forces vendors to alter their business strategies; those who fail to comply will be banned from selling on the site.
  • Amazon introduced AmazonCommercial, a new private-label line of toilet paper and paper towels sold in bulk, to compete with existing brands on its site. AmazonCommercial launched in June to service large business’ office needs. The brand offers only a few products at the moment but plans to expand in the near future.
  • eBay sued Amazon for recruiting vendors to sell on its platform instead of eBay. eBay accuses Amazon of using eBay’s internal messaging system to convince sellers to sell on Amazon. Now eBay is issuing lawsuits directed at specific Amazon employees it claims are responsible for recruiting vendors. Amazon is also urging sellers on its platform to raise prices for their products on competing sites; if vendors do not comply, Amazon will make the seller’s SKUs more difficult to find via Amazon’s search engine.
  • Whole Foods announced a partnership with Packed Party, an in-store shop offering party decorations. This move positions Amazon to compete with retailers like Target and Walmart and allows shoppers to find all of their party needs at Whole Foods. Packed Party started as an ecommerce start-up and has a particular aesthetic that Whole Foods believes will resonate with the millennial urban demographic.