For many bricks-and-mortar retailers, particularly in our industry, Amazon is the largest e-commerce competitor. So what’s the latest from them?
Amazon’s first New York bookstore blends tradition with technology
Amazon has opened its first bookstore, giving the internet retailer a high-street presence. In a nod to its online offering, books are grouped with other titles that readers are also likely to recommend, the store displays ratings and reviews and every book is displayed so that its full cover, not just its spine, is visible.
Technology stands allow customers to scan books to see what kind of a discount they might get as members of Amazon Prime, the subscriptions program.
There’s also a section called “Page turners: books Kindle readers finish in three days or less”. Referring to the fact that Amazon can track how quickly people who purchase books on Kindle read them.
More than 3,000 titles are on sale in the store.
Amazon ups live music activity
This is a significant expansion of the US digital giant’s presence in the music market.
Amazon have introduced ‘Prime Live Events’, exclusively available to paid Prime members. Prime Live Events will stage concerts by established artists at small but well-known venues. Each event will also be filmed for the company’s film and TV service Prime Video.
The new venture is being led by the BBC’s former head of live music Jason Carter as director of Prime Live Events. Carter left the corporation after 20 years to join Amazon earlier this year.
Meanwhile, Amazon Tickets recently teamed up with arena operator AEG to open Amazon lounges at London venues – The O2, The SSE Arena and Wembley – for its Prime members.
Hackers threaten Amazon third-party sellers.
Hackers are using credentials stolen from Amazon’s third-party sellers to post fake transactions and steal cash. In addition, they have also hacked into the accounts of Amazon sellers who haven’t used them recently to post non-existent merchandise for steep discounts in an attempt to pocket the cash.
The fraud stems largely from email and and password credentials stolen from previously hacked accounts and then sold on what’s dubbed the “dark web”, a network of anonymous internet servers where hackers communicate and trade illicit information – such hacks have previously struck sites such as ebay and PayPal.
While the precise scope and financial impact of the Amazon attacks is unclear, some sellers say the hacks have shaken their confidence in Amazon’s security measures. These third-party sellers account for over half of the company’s sales.