Amazon.com Inc. is the No. 1 e-retailer in North America and Europe by sales, and is rapidly expanding its presence globally. It keeps its more than 180,000 part- and full-time employees busy innovating new services and improving the ones it has. This is a digest of Amazon’s latest moves for the week ending Sept. 4.
- More Dash: Amazon added nine consumer product brands to its array of Dash Buttons, which enable members of its Amazon Prime free shipping-and-more program to reorder products at the press of the Wi-Fi-enabled button. Brands newly available via Dash include Ziploc storage bags, Greenies dog treats, Dixie cups and Orbit gum. Each button costs $4.99, but Amazon is now crediting back that cost when Prime members use the button to place their first order. Read about my first Dash experience here.
- Downloadable video: Amazon added the ability for Prime members to watch some Amazon Prime Video content offline. Previously, it was only available as a live stream. Prime members can now download video content to mobile devices—but not computers—through Apple iOS and Android apps. Downloading for offline viewing is not available in other online video services such as Netflix Inc., No. 6 in the Internet Retailer Top 500 Guide, or Hulu LLC, No. 57.
- Farm fresh: In Southern California, Amazon is testing a Farmers Market Direct program that delivers produce and products from farmers’ markets to members of AmazonFresh, its home delivery grocery program. Amazon is working with Fresh Nation LLC, an online service that connects growers and consumers for home delivery, to execute Farmers Market Direct. AmazonFresh is available in six markets and is part of the rise of e-grocery options in the United States. Read more about the growing market for e-grocery here
- Prime delivery options: Amazon earlier this summer began letting some marketplace merchants list products sold on Amazon.com as eligible for Prime shipping, even though those merchants did not participate in Fulfillment by Amazon, a service whereby marketplace sellers ship their goods to Amazon for warehousing and fulfillment. Previously, only Fulfillment by Amazon retailers could list their products as eligible for Prime, a designation that is known as a conversion booster.
Now Amazon is testing with those merchants a program called Ship By Region, which lets sellers refine which products Amazon shows as eligible for Prime based on where the Prime member is. Since it costs more to ship long distances, these marketplace sellers can designate where they are willing to offer the product for Prime shipping. A merchant in California selling TVs, for example, may only flag its TVs for Prime shipping eligibility along the West Coast. A Prime member on the East Coast would not see that item flagged by that seller as Prime-eligible. Merchants selling on Amazon’s marketplace accounted for 45% of units sold in the second quarter.
Amazon.com is No. 1 in the 2015 Internet Retailer Top 500.Favorite