“E-Commerce Briefs” is my occasional series on news and developments that affect online retailers. In this part, I’ll cover Amazon’s program for brands to promote new products, Walmart.com’s focus on grocery sales, and the growth of US click-and-collect sales.
Amazon sellers can advertise products
In April, Amazon launched the Manage Your Customer Engagement (MYCE) program, which allows third-party brands to promote products directly to Amazon customers who follow the brand through email campaigns. MYCE, still in beta, is available to registered brands that have an Amazon Stores page with followers.
The program enables brands to communicate directly with Amazon buyers for product launches, which was not previously allowed. Product positioning in the market is based on algorithms derived from purchase data, which puts new products at a disadvantage, as Amazon prohibits sellers from advertising directly to customers. Previously, sellers could only communicate with customers via a messaging function on the Amazon website when customers questioned their order status.
Amazon still doesn’t share customer contact information with brands because the company, not the sellers, is sending the emails. With MYCE, Amazon only shares aggregated data with brands, e.g. B. The total number of emails in a campaign and the total response. An Amazon moderation team checks all campaigns for content. Amazon has announced that it will add features to the program.
Walmart.com focuses on groceries
In its quest to compete with Amazon, Walmart continues to focus on fast roadside delivery and collection, with customers primarily using these services for groceries. The company allocated an additional $ 14 billion last year to streamline its distribution network.
CEO Doug McMillon told analysts during the first quarter results webcast that Walmart + subscription membership, used primarily for grocery collection and delivery, is increasing Walmart’s better-than-expected financial performance.
Based on a TABS Analytics survey of 1,000 adults, Walmart named Amazon the best online grocer in 2020. The company estimates that Walmart accounts for about 30 percent of online grocery transactions, similar to 2019, but Amazon’s share fell from 33 percent in 2019 to about 27 percent. Amazon denies this claim.
Walmart +, which costs $ 98 a year, offers members same-day delivery of 160,000 items, a discount on fuel at certain gas stations, and no wait at Walmart stores.
Walmart has not disclosed the number of Walmart + subscribers. Research firm estimates vary widely between 12 and 60 million. For example, Pymnts.com estimates the number of Prime and Walmart + subscribers at March 29, 2021 at 165.27 million and 60.78 million, respectively.
According to a study by Pymnts.com, “… one of the main drivers of new Walmart + subscriptions is the grocery leadership and convenience that comes with running over 5,000 US stores. In short, the new data shows that Walmart’s price advantage – combined with its in-store and roadside pick-up options – clearly attracts people to its membership program and makes them change their behavior when it comes to just grocery shopping. 28 percent of Walmart + customers said they postponed their grocery purchases during the pandemic, compared to about 19 percent of Amazon customers who did. “
Curbside or store pickup online shopping boomed during the pandemic. Grocery shopping drove the increase. According to eMarketer, 39 percent of click-and-collect shoppers bought groceries in 2019. In 2020 this value rose to 58 percent. eMarketer anticipates that click-and-collect will continue to grow, albeit at a slower pace than in 2020.
American shoppers spent $ 72.5 billion in click-and-collect last year, up 107 percent from 2019. Walmart, The Home Depot, Best Buy, Target, and Lowe’s accounted for $ 44.2 billion . Click-and-collect accounted for 42 percent of the combined e-commerce sales of these five companies.