“Ecommerce Briefs” is my occasional collection on information and developments that impression on-line retailers. On this installment, I tackle Amazon’s vacation charge improve, new Prime advantages, and the corporate’s ongoing competitors with Walmart in subscription providers and healthcare.
New Vacation FBA Charges
Amazon lately introduced it’s elevating charges for Success by Amazon sellers through the vacation procuring season because it struggles with rising prices. From October 15 by way of January 14, sellers who use FBA pays a 35-cent surcharge per merchandise offered within the U.S. or Canada. That is the primary time Amazon has elevated vendor charges for the vacations.
The corporate informed sellers in an electronic mail that it’s implementing the surcharge as a result of “…bills are reaching new heights.” It’s the second new charge levied on retailers this yr. In April, Amazon imposed a 5% gasoline and inflation surcharge.
In August, Amazon introduced new perks for its U.S. Prime members. They will now store for merchandise from sure retailers on the Amazon app and Amazon.com and have the products delivered the identical day to pick out ZIP codes in additional than 10 cities.
The partnerships are with omnichannel attire service provider Pacsun, well being and diet retailer GNC, kitchen items supplier Sur La Desk, world clothes retailer Superdry, and omnichannel attire model Diesel. Manufacturers and retailers promoting by way of Prime may have entry to Amazon’s logistics and success functionality along with quick supply to shoppers.
Amazon values the perk at $59. Additionally in August, Amazon partnered with meals supply agency Grubhub to provide Prime members a Grubhub+ membership for one yr. Usually the membership prices $9.99 a month.
Amazon is increasing Prime advantages to safe member retention at a time when the variety of new subscribers is dwindling. Development in subscription income was 10% in Q2 2022 in comparison with 30% in the identical quarter of 2021. Amazon is making an attempt to supply extra worth to Prime members and hold members from leaving. Amazon first provided its Prime subscription in 2005 at $79 yearly and remained at that degree for years.
In February 2022, Amazon raised the subscription value from $119 to $139. Some members are evaluating whether or not Prime continues to be worth. In April of this yr, in a letter to shareholders, Amazon mentioned Prime had greater than 200 million members. Shopper Intelligence Analysis Companions has estimated the quantity at 172 million.
Walmart, however, has stored its Walmart+ program at $98 per yr. It lately introduced a partnership with Paramount for a streaming service to Walmart+ members: a Paramount+ Important subscription (with ads) at no further price.
Amazon and Walmart will seemingly proceed to compete for subscribers by enriching their respective choices by way of 2023.
Two weeks in the past, Amazon disclosed that it could shut down its much-heralded telehealth service, Amazon Care, on December 31. The service — which presents digital pressing care providers, free telehealth consults, and in-home visits from nurses — started in 2019 as a pilot program for Amazon workers in Seattle.
This previous February, the corporate expanded the digital choices nationwide for its workers and in addition to enterprise firms. Nonetheless, in an announcement to workers asserting this system’s finish, the corporate mentioned Amazon Care “…is just not an entire sufficient providing for the big enterprise prospects we now have been focusing on and wasn’t going to work long-term.” Nonetheless, CEO Andy Jassy has said that as ecommerce development slows, Amazon is trying to healthcare for extra income.
Whereas Amazon is ending its digital care program, Walmart introduced on September 7 that it could broaden digital healthcare providers in 2023. Walmart and healthcare conglomerate UnitedHealth Group are becoming a member of forces in a 10-year plan to supply preventive care to seniors 65 and up in sure Medicare Benefit plans and digital healthcare for all age teams — beginning with 15 Walmart Well being places in Florida and Georgia. This system will ultimately embrace different places.