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Amazon Webstores
Your Brand, Their Technology
trillianjedi




msg:3089139
 8:12 pm on Sep 19, 2006 (gmt 0)

Two new major products from Amazon announced today:-

Fulfillment by Amazon

Fulfillment by Amazon allows businesses to use Amazon's own order fulfillment and post-order customer service infrastructure, and allows Amazon.com customers to receive the benefit of Amazon.com shipping offers when buying from third-party sellers who use Fulfillment by Amazon. Amazon.com customers can now use offers such as Amazon Prime and Free Super Saver Shipping when buying products with the "Fulfilled by Amazon" icon next to the offering listing.

WebStore by Amazon

WebStore by Amazon allows businesses to create their own privately branded e-commerce websites using Amazon technology. Businesses can choose from a variety of website layout options and can customize their sites using their own photos and branding. WebStore by Amazon users pay a commission of 7 percent (price includes credit card processing fees and fraud protection) for each product purchased through their site and a monthly fee of $59.95.

[phx.corporate-ir.net...]

 

jtoddv




msg:3089234
 9:21 pm on Sep 19, 2006 (gmt 0)

WebStore by Amazon users pay a commission of 7 percent (price includes credit card processing fees and fraud protection) for each product purchased through their site and a monthly fee of $59.95.

Isn't that a little costly compared to Yahoo?

natural number




msg:3089298
 10:01 pm on Sep 19, 2006 (gmt 0)

i'd rather use an eBay store

adfree




msg:3089366
 10:54 pm on Sep 19, 2006 (gmt 0)

By using AWS which is fairly simple WWW2 witchcraft, there will be tens of thousands of similar or identical stores selling the exact same thing. The blood bath is going on, questionable if the consumers want to have a MCDonalds and Starbucks in every house they pass and the only option for shoes is Payless from now on.

Sad developments all over.

Easy_Coder




msg:3089376
 11:05 pm on Sep 19, 2006 (gmt 0)

Not too long ago Amazon was clipping merchants for 15% and still may be under a different program.

j_h_maccann




msg:3089440
 12:39 am on Sep 20, 2006 (gmt 0)

Most Amazon third-party sellers do such a poor job of fulfillment, shipping, and customer service, that I ALWAYS search for items which state "sold by and shipped from Amazon". This often takes a long time to sort through the identical items and find the one listing from Amazon itself, but it's better than putting up with small shippers who make shipping mistakes, ship to the billing address, wait a week to ship, ship using the US postal service, use crummy boxes packed with newspaper, don't offer expedited shipping, and on and on.

For Amazon Prime customers (unlimited free two-day shipping, unlimited US$3.99 overnight shipping, by private carriers) the ability to get Prime shipping from third-parties is a huge win. Amazon Prime shipping is simply perfect.

If this service really does provide Amazon-quality service and shipping, then whatever Amazon charges sellers will be a bargain.

sun818




msg:3089453
 12:56 am on Sep 20, 2006 (gmt 0)

If you read the press release, Amazon is offering a turnkey solution where they store and ship your widgets. So, the comparison needs to be with a full service fulfillment house. Comparing this service to the fee structure eBay Stores or Yahoo! Stores is not appropriate. With eBay Stores or Yahoo! Stores you still still need to store and ship your own products. If you shop around for fulfillment houses, the fees from Amazon are very competitive. If I were a fulfillment house I'd be very worried about losing customers...

sem4u




msg:3089700
 7:30 am on Sep 20, 2006 (gmt 0)

The fulfillment part is very interesting. Many small businesses struggle with picking and packing their own goods for shipment, mainly due to time, staffing and high costs.

wildbest




msg:3089728
 8:09 am on Sep 20, 2006 (gmt 0)

This is the way to go.

However, there are branding issues that are still pending. For instance, the checkout form spoils all branding efforts. Amazon developer team may think about the option of giving their webstore associates a limited version of merchant accounts. The idea is to have a merchant branded checkout process. This way customer's credit card statement will have webstore merchant details not Amazon's.

philicious




msg:3089821
 9:22 am on Sep 20, 2006 (gmt 0)

I am really keen on this. The opportunity to get one of the world's top e-commerce fufilment companies to ship my orders? Yes please. We run a small online business from New Zealand, and use a US warehouse to ship to our North American customers. Like the poster hassles above, they ship using USPS, sometimes to the billing address, sometimes a couple of days after the order has been processed, and so on.

So, this solution is very appealing to me. It's got to be better than my current situation, anyway.

jtoddv




msg:3090022
 12:55 pm on Sep 20, 2006 (gmt 0)

sun818,

Thanks for correcting me... this is quite interesting. And now after fulling understanding the fulfillment end... this is not bad at all and should really help a lot of smaller businesses.

JeremyL




msg:3090046
 1:18 pm on Sep 20, 2006 (gmt 0)

I agree that the branding for the shopping cart is very in favor of Amazon.com. But that will probably increase sales. I woul dlove to see some AB testing of a normal shop and the same shop on amazon to see who has the higher conversion. people trust Amazon because they know the name. I bet the Amazon store will have a high conv. rate.

For a handling fee as low as $0.50 per item plus $0.40 per pound and a storage fee of $0.45 per cubic foot per month, Fulfillment by Amazon frees online sellers from the time and money required to store, pick, pack, ship, and provide customer service for the products they sell online.

The 7% & $60 mth includes CC charges nut it does not actually include the fullfillment. That is a seperate charge per item / pound / month.

Still overall a good deal if your margins are high enough.

wildbest




msg:3090102
 2:10 pm on Sep 20, 2006 (gmt 0)

I agree that the branding for the shopping cart is very in favor of Amazon.com. But that will probably increase sales.

If that is the case then Amazon aStore should be much more profitable that Amazon WebStore? aStore is directly Amazon branded from the initial page and should be more trusted source! :)

I don't see much of a deal here? It is a simple website builder tool at the cost of $60 per month. It is the cost of a dedicated unmanaged server hosting package! Why should I pay Amazon the cost of a dedicated server hosting every month only to get a simple website builder tool and, on top of it, advertise Amazon brand on the checkout and customer account signing / updating forms? Anyone, any ideas?

Fulfillment is a very well targeted service, but WebStore is a waaaaay overpriced and an old concept that Amazon needs to significantly upgrade to attract mass attention.

WiseWebDude




msg:3090187
 3:04 pm on Sep 20, 2006 (gmt 0)

Problem with Amazon is that everything is buried and all looks the same. No way I'll use them, just my .02. To me Amazon is just confusing... what is new, what is used, its frustrating even trying to find anything now, let alone every company jamming more crap in there...

Easy_Coder




msg:3090302
 3:59 pm on Sep 20, 2006 (gmt 0)

Don't you folks think this is getting slippery? The market feels like it's on the verge of a long swing from the independent owner to the big site with deals like this and google checkout...

As we begin to give these partners our customers in lieu of more business over the short term we lose our actual business over the long haul don't you think?

It's juts a matter of 'when' before we see other major shopping comparison engines (Shopping, Pricegrabber, NexTag) implement their own checkout engine where they keep the customer isn't it?

That's bad for us small business/site owners because it gives these large sites negoiating leverage with our suppliers when they all of the sudden have a natural distribution channel built in because 100 merchants now sell xyz widget via their commerce systems.

Oh, and if we don't like it guess what... they're not our customers any longer.

Anybody else worried about this?

wildbest




msg:3090371
 4:37 pm on Sep 20, 2006 (gmt 0)

As we begin to give these partners our customers in lieu of more business over the short term we lose our actual business over the long haul don't you think?

That is exactly my point.

What I need is not the shopping cart and checkout process branded by some big name to increase my credibility. What I need is not their brand. What I need is their service behind the scene to establish my own brand. That's what they refuse to understand!

skuba




msg:3090546
 6:40 pm on Sep 20, 2006 (gmt 0)

Hi,

What the difference between this and the amazon seller stores? They charge 15%, not 7%, but is it the same product now?

Thanks

skuba




msg:3090567
 6:48 pm on Sep 20, 2006 (gmt 0)

Oh, and if we don't like it guess what... they're not our customers any longer.

Why aren't the customers your anymore? You will still do the fullfilment, ship the order, etc..Soyou will have all the customer info, they are still doing business with you.

Am I wrong?

gpilling




msg:3090624
 7:29 pm on Sep 20, 2006 (gmt 0)

You do not need Amazon to do your order fulfillment. There are hundreds of choices in that market, with such players as UPS all vying for your money. Just search for "order fulfillment" and pick one.

wildbest




msg:3090633
 7:39 pm on Sep 20, 2006 (gmt 0)

Am I wrong?

Yes, skuba, you are!

If your customers do not pay you, they are not your customers. Simple as that. They pay Amazon and that is exactly what checkout process is showing. Moreover, as already mentioned, if they want to create or update their customer account, again, they will land on the Amazon page to fulfill that task.

sun818




msg:3090759
 8:56 pm on Sep 20, 2006 (gmt 0)

More details about fulfillment announcement:
[amazonservices.com...]

Since the announcement was two-fold, all the comments about the web stores part make it comparable to eBay Stores and Yahoo! Stores. I'm sorry about the misunderstanding.

Caissa




msg:3092319
 11:34 pm on Sep 21, 2006 (gmt 0)

The biggest issue is giving up your chance to convert an Amazon customer to your own customer. When a customer buys from you through Amazon, you have the ability to market other products that you carry that Amazon does not have in their catalog from you (or anyone else). If you let them fulfill you will probably not get an email, address etc.

The conversion rate can be as high as 50% with good service and promotions. That is what you pay the 15% for :)

If you are not already in Amazon, this may be an opportunity. They will probably not allow you to place books, DVDs, music. If they place your products in their catalog, where will they show them? Products may end up is the marketplace (which i would imagine a Amazon web site product would unbless already sold by an Amazon merchant). Marketplace products do not get into the main Amazon catalog. No one sees them!

Amazon does not show your products all the timee unless a searcher specifically looks for that product. So again, even if you are in the catalog, you may not be seen.

These 2 new services are a great way for Amazon to fill a warehouse and keep hourly workers busy. It is also a way for them to expand their catalog at little or no risk. Once they see a product sells well, POOF! they will offeer it at a lower price then you can and survive.

All in all, I would have to pass.

sgg24




msg:3093885
 7:03 am on Sep 23, 2006 (gmt 0)

Amazon is a great brand, but I agree with those of you that are concerned about marketing giants crowding out other sites on the web. If ecommerce is to be successful, there must be opportunities for stores that are not supported by brands.

Having said that, I work for a brand company that similarly shirks mass media advertising, and sells turnkey sites. The issue remains, I think, to bring traffic to our sites. Amazon is not necessarily going to be more successful that any other brand.

The back-end solution is very different with the likes of Amazon and my company. It is all done for the ecommerce business-person. That allows us to concentrate on bringing the customers to the site.

smells so good




msg:3094624
 3:53 am on Sep 24, 2006 (gmt 0)

You do not need Amazon to do your order fulfillment.

I need someone to do my order fulfillment. I have a good presence on Amazon already, so it makes sense that they fill my orders. That gives me an edge on my competition, amongst Amazon shoppers.

My business model is web based, sometimes a frightening view. In the long term, I am expanding my model to include solid business strategies with players like Amazon.

This has a rosy scent for me.

psage




msg:3095625
 7:36 am on Sep 25, 2006 (gmt 0)

I wonder if they'll fulfill orders from other systems, like Yahoo Stores?

The price they're quoting for fulfillment is cheap, but much depends on what they're charging for shipping costs, or if they let you use your own Fedex and UPS accounts.

We currently have our own store and also list things on Amazon, and send questionable customers to Amazon because of their no-chargebacks policy.

travelingone




msg:3096129
 4:23 pm on Sep 25, 2006 (gmt 0)

Interesting. We are Amazon marketplace sellers, and would look to this or a local order fulfillment service once our orders reachs a certain level, say 100 a day. Not having to hire a packer or contractor for would be an advantage. The webstore would not be attractive to us, but would be to a few. Also, booksellers are a stingy bunch.

For the person commenting on just buying from Amazon, I would say that they are wasting money. There are great Amazon marketplace sellers out there. Look at their ranking and feedbacks if you are not sure about buying through them. It will show if they have poor service.

Would have to compare Amazon's fulfillment service over what a local charges to warehouse and ship out. With the low margins and rankings on some items, it would not make sense to have it stored in a warehouse and be expensed for. Would not be surprised to see ebay eventually try this with Half.com.

Just like the big guys, always looking for new revenue streams..

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