Hello from eCommerce Fuel!
Another Prime Day has come and gone. Were the discounts worth it? Increasingly, Amazon and its vendors aren’t the only ones basking in Prime Day bucks. Early data show other retailers got a boost from the massive two-day promotion.
Amazon is investing $700 million in another kind of promotion: better jobs. It’s paying to retrain a third of its workforce for the high-skill, in-demand jobs of the future.
But it’s not all glowing press for Amazon in this week’s ECF News Cart. We cover a major court setback, as well as Pinterest’s new video features, the big-tech antitrust hearings and more.
And as a special bonus addition, I chat with Carson McComas from FuelMade and the winner of their $50,000 Grant For Growth. You’ll hear the plan and strategy behind how they’ll be revamping one very lucky store owner’s website.
In the News:
- Amazon expected to generate more than $5 billion in sales over the two-day event
- Large ($1 billion+) U.S. retailers saw a 64% spike in e-commerce spending compared to a typical Monday, up from 54% last year
- Niche retailers ($5 million and under) got a 30% bump
- Federal appeals court said Amazon can be treated as a “seller” of third-party goods because it “exerts substantial market control over product sales”
- Ruling relies heavily on state (Pa.) law, although several other courts—and the dissenting judge—don’t consider Amazon a seller subject to liability
- Decision could have a huge impact if upheld, as nearly half the items sold through Amazon are handled by third parties
Shopify Increasing Its Card-Processing Rates (ECF Membership Required to Read)
- Merchants receiving email indicating that processing rates for Shopify Payments are increasing by 0.2%
- Processing rates now broken up into three tiers: Domestic, AMEX & International and In-Person Sales
- Executives from Apple, Facebook, Google and Amazon testified Tuesday before the House Judiciary Committee’s antitrust panel
- Questions addressed Facebook’s Libra and its $5 billion FTC settlement over data-privacy violations, and Google’s alleged anti-conservative censorship, among other topics
- Leading cryptocurrency Bitcoin down approximately 10% on the day of the hearing
- Transparency program slaps unique T-shaped codes on products to verify authenticity
- Sellers pay between $.01 and $.05 per unit, based on volume, for the serialization service
- Amazon said zero reports of counterfeits in 2019 from brands or customers who bought coded products
- Since going public in April, Pinterest has increasingly focused on Instagram-like video tools
- New features include a better video uploader, analytics tool and video scheduler
- Company says users are “54% more likely to say they’re inspired to action by videos on Pinterest compared to videos on other media platforms”
- Company to retrain 100,000 employees—about a third of its workforce—for more highly skilled jobs by 2025
- Amazon will pay up to 95% of tuition and fees toward a certificate or diploma in high-demand fields such as aircraft mechanics, computer-aided design and nursing
- The fastest-growing tech job at Amazon is data scientist; non-tech job is data mapping specialist
Top Forum Discussions:
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- Instagram Influencer Engagement Near an All-Time Low
- Using Sales Tax to Our Advantage
- Has Anyone Successfully Switched Over UPCs on Amazon?
- Trump Withdrawing From the USPS Universal Postal Union (UPU)
Things My Friends Are Doing:
- Brand Accelerator Live – My friend Scott Voelker is hosting this event September 18th – 20th, dedicated to helping you build a brand that lasts. Speakers include Pat Flynn, Steve Chou, Mike Jackness, Greg Mercer and more. Save $200 off tickets through July 20th.
- ECF Shipping Expert Launches a New 3PL – Aaron Rubin, the official ECF Shipping Expert has launched a new 3PL. A great way to outsource your warehouse with no minimums and no commitments.
- FuelMade Awards Their $50,000 Redesign Grant – Congratulations to Supply who won a pretty amazing website makeover! Listen to the episode to hear how Carson and founder Patrick plan on implementing the redesign.