Researchers Say Online Sales Tax Caused 10% Drop In Amazon Purchases

Amazon Logo A 42-page paper published by researchers from Ohio State University claims Amazon shoppers in states that have enacted online sales tax laws have reduced their spending on Amazon by 10 percent. Bloomberg.com reported on "The Amazon Tax" study which tracked the spending habits of 245,000 households that had spent at least $100 on Amazon during the first half of 2012 and followed their spending habits through 2013. According to the report, not only did spending drop 10 percent in the states with online sales taxes, but purchases totaling more than $300 plummeted 24 percent in those same st [...]


Report: Amazon Releasing Smartphone Later This Year

amazon-logo According to a report appearing in the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) this afternoon, Amazon will, in fact, be releasing a smartphone in the second half of the year. This development had been rumored for a some time. The WSJ says that Amazon hopes to distinguish the phone with a 3D display that doesn't require glasses. However, that by itself is unlikely to differentiate the phone sufficiently to ensure success. It's probably the case that an Amazon smartphone will be like a smaller version of Kindle Fire: a device that would use the Amazon app store, with its roughly 200,000 Android-based ap [...]


Prime Price Hike Hurts Amazon Brand Engagement

amazon-featured Amazon is the Brand Keys Customer Loyalty Engagement leader for online retail. However last week, the brand measurement firm reported that the company's $20 price hike on its most loyal customers (Prime members) caused the Amazon brand to suffer a loss of engagement. Amazon raised the cost of its innovative free shipping and loyalty program from $79 per year to $99. In a Brand Keys survey conducted earlier this month (n=1,050 Prime members), the firm found some consumers were put off by the price increase: "the Amazon brand took a blow to its normally high overall brand engagement a [...]


Will Gains Offset Anticipated Customer Losses Over Amazon Prime Price Increase?

Amazon Prime Benefits Amazon has raised the price of its free-shipping and entertainment loyalty program Prime by $20 per year. That's not much but it may cause up to 10 percent of current subscribers (more than two million) to cancel or not renew. The cost of the innovative and highly successful program for Amazon users has been $79 per year. Now it's going to be $99. Amazon indicated it might boost prices by as much as $40 per year on its Q4 earnings call: "With the increased cost of fuel and transportation as well as the increased usage among Prime members we’re considering increasing the price of Prime [...]


Amazon Revs Its Advertising Power: Launches Video Ads Powered By FreeWheel

amazon-icon Amazon and FreeWheel, a video advertising technology provider, announced today that they have partnered to bring short form video advertisements to the e-commerce marketplace. Users will start to see more game trailers, movie trailers, how-to videos, and other endemic video content across several product categories in the search results. The companies say the videos will integrate relevant brands and e-commerce advertising experiences within the content. Call-to-action buttons such as "Shop Now" in a video game trailer will lead users to that title's page on Amazon with a single click. Mov [...]


The Future Of Internet Sales Tax: What’s Next After The Supreme Court’s Denial Of Amazon, Overstock Appeals?

law-legal-concept This week, the Supreme Court declined to hear appeals filed by Amazon and Overstock.com that challenged the ability of states to collect sales tax on items sold online by out-of-state retailers. The appeals stem from New York's passing of what has become known as the "Amazon Tax," which expands the definition of  nexus to include in-state affiliate marketers. Amazon and Overstock.com claimed the expanded interpretation of nexus violates Constitutional interstate commerce law and due process. The retail giants point to the US Supreme Court's 1992 ruling in favor of mail-order business Qu [...]


Amazon Drone Delivery Ready For Takeoff But Are We Ready?

amazon-drone-featured On the CBS news magazine 60 Minutes Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos revealed that the company had developed flying delivery drones. Called Amazon Prime Air, the technology has been tested and works today. The objective, according to Amazon, is "to get packages into customers' hands in 30 minutes or less using unmanned aerial vehicles." This certainly solves the same-day delivery problem that Amazon has tried repeatedly to crack. The drones can carry up to five pounds, which would address the majority of Amazon's package delivery inventory (86 percent according to Bezos). There are and will be t [...]


Report: Marketing Research Claims Tech Gadgets To Be Most Popular Gifts This Holiday Season

experian logo According to Experian Marketing Services, this year's holiday gift lists will be filled with tech gadgets. Based on search and click trends for the four weeks leading up to November 9, Experian claims the most popular product searches included fitness gadgets, mobile devices and game consoles. Experian's report showed Uggs won the No. 1 spot for the top ten product searches overall, but seven of the remaining nine spots were taken by tech products, including Sony's PS4, Xbox One, Fitbit and the iPhone 5s. For the most popular toy product searches, Experian discovered the Skylanders [...]


Exploring The Intersection Of E-Commerce And Advertising With Amazon: #AWX 2013

Forrester US Interactive Spend - 2011-2016 Hello and greetings from Advertising Week 2013! The morning of Day 2 welcomed Lisa Utzschneider, Vice President of Global Display Advertising at Amazon Media Group, to the stage as she explored with her crowd the intersection of e-Commerce and advertising - namely, how Amazon is mapping its own insights and takeaways from e-Commerce endeavors to its native advertising platform. Read on for a full recap. Tess's Summer Journal, Or, An Example Of How E-Commerce Expectations Are, By Now, Basically Innate Lisa began with a story about her daughter, Tess, who one day expressed utmost eagerness abo [...]


Study: Nexus 7 Usage Flat, Kindle Up Following Discounts

Amazon Original Kindle Fire Ad network Chitika has released data on the comparative traffic being driven by the Nexus 7 and Kindle Fire, prompted by the introduction of the new Nexus 7 in July. Chitika looked at North American tablet-based web traffic between June and August of this year. While Nexus 7 web traffic remained remarkably consistent during the period, Kindle's traffic increased, based largely on Amazon discounting to move devices ahead of the anticipated roll out of the next generation of Amazon tablets. What's the lesson? Price matters. In order to generate this report, Chitika examined "tens of [...]


Amazon And eBay Same Store Sales Growing Faster Than Overall Ecommerce

Amazon & Ebay Marketplace growth outpaces overall ecommerce market ChannelAdvisor's August report on Same Store Sales (SSS) shows that, despite slight dips from July, Amazon and eBay continue to show stronger growth than the ecommerce market as a whole. Amazon SSS rose 24 percent in August while eBay SSS increased by 19 percent, compared to 16 percent growth for overall ecommerce (excluding travel) in Q2 as reported by comScore. Amazon's SSS growth rate has declined steadily since the fall of 2012 when it hit 43.7 percent in November as shown in the chart below: Source: ChannelAdvisor Yet analysts remain positive, focusing on the ecommerce giant's abili [...]


Amazon Getting Ready To “Fork” Market With Free Smartphone

amazon apps Former Wall Street Journal writers Amir Efrati and Jessica Lessin are reporting that Amazon is considering offering its forthcoming "forked" Android handset(s) for free. According to the article: There are many unanswered questions about the plan and what strings will be attached for customers. One of them is whether Amazon would require its  smartphone owners to pay for services such as Amazon Prime, the company’s loyalty program. But the people familiar with the matter said that Amazon wants the device to be free whether or not people sign up for a new wireless plan at the same time. (W [...]


Amazon Launches Mobile Associates API For Game & App Developers

amazon-icon The new Amazon Mobile Associates API allows  developers to sell products available at Amazon from within their apps and games. The API is an extension of the Amazon's long-standing affiliate program, Amazon Associates, which launched in 1996. After initiating the API, developers can select a specific set of products, search terms when choosing what Amazon-fulfilled products to sell. Items can be digital or physical. They can opt to sell a single item from Amazon that ties into the game or app; show a category of items related to app or game content; or bundle a physical purchase from Amazo [...]


DOJ Seeks To Monitor Apple iBooks, iTunes In Proposal To Court

DOJ logo A couple of years ago, Apple took away the right of third-party book sellers on iOS devices to link through their apps to their online stores. Most prominent among these is Amazon/Kindle. The move was clearly anticompetitive, although consumers could still get to the Kindle store (and others) via the mobile Web. Last year, the Apple store was sued by the US Department of Justice (DOJ) under the Sherman Act for conspiring to fix e-book prices along with five major book publishers: Hachette, HarperCollins, Macmillan, Penguin and Simon & Schuster. Cupertino lost at trial and was found g [...]


Amazon Beats Pinterest In Fight Over .Pin Domain

amazon-pinterest-logos Amazon has beaten Pinterest in a battle over .pin, one of the many new generic top-level domains (gTLDs) that are in the process of joining existing domains like .com, .net and .org. In a decision issued this week, a World Intellectual Property Organization mediator rejected Pinterest's objection to Amazon's application to own .pin. Pinterest filed its objection in March, and based its argument on the fact that it's applying for a trademark on the word "pin" in the U.S. and more than 60 other countries. It also explained to WIPO that content posted on its site are called "pins," users ar [...]


Amazon Raising Minimum Bids On 60 Product Ads Categories

amazon-featured Amazon product ads advertisers have received notice that the company is raising minimum bids on 60 out of 174 product categories on August 27, 2013. The bids are typically rising $0.05, with a few categories, such as higher-end Laptops and Large Appliances,  going up $0.10. Amazon will automatically raise affected category bids that are below the new minimums on August 27. If you've opted out of automatic bid adjustments, be sure to review the new minimums. Any ads set below the thresholds on the change-over date will not be eligible for impressions. Click here to view the announceme [...]


Amazon Calls Minnesota Sales Tax Law Unconstitutional & Closes Minnesota Associate Accounts

amazon-logo The Minnesota Star Tribune reported today that Amazon is terminating all relationships with their Minnesota associates after the state's Governor Mark Dayton signed the Minnesota E-Fairness legislation. The new law classifies independent bloggers and online reviewers -- which will include websites that post links to online merchant sites in exchange for advertising fees -- as a physical presence of a business. The new legislation will force Amazon to collect taxes not only on any new sales generated by these websites, but on all sales in Minnesota. "The tax on online sales is already due [...]


Amazon Ad Revenue Jumps 45 Percent, Tops $600 Million [Report]

The world's largest online seller generated nearly $610 million in ad revenues last year according to a new report from eMarketer. The e-commerce giant is making a play for more digital ad business with substantial efforts to build out its in-house ad tech capabilities and expand its offerings on mobile through the Kindle and apps. Last year's revenue jumped 45.5 percent from 2011, and the company's ad revenue growth is expected to increase nearly 37 percent this year to $835 million after traffic acquisition costs (TAC). eMarketer assumes that, unlike competitors like Google, Amazon does n [...]


Janrain Announces Integration With “Login With Amazon,” Amazon’s New Social Login For Ecommerce

Today, Janrain announced it is among the first companies to support Amazon's new third-party login service, Login with Amazon. Janrain's ecommerce, consumer brand and other sites with registration processes will now be able to add Login to Amazon authorization to their sites. Janrain's user management platform already incorporates over 30 social login providers including Facebook, Twitter, Google and LinkedIn. What the company, and Amazon, believe sets Login with Amazon apart is the ecommerce context of Amazon's login service. Login with Amazon turns guest checkout visitors into recogniz [...]


Amazon Launches “Login With Amazon” Service For Third-Party Sites, Apps And Games

Login With Amazon logo Amazon is hoping to extend its reach and integration beyond its own properties with yesterday's launch of Login with Amazon. The new service lets Amazon's 200+ million users to sign into websites, games and apps with their Amazon logins. Third-party developers can implement Login with Amazon on their web and mobile properties in the same way they integrate social logins like Facebook, Twitter and Google. Unlike those social logins, however, Amazon has the unique appeal for ecommerce and transactional developers as it allows users to sign in and checkout using their Amazon accounts. Login [...]


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