- Amazon is expanding their Dash program. These are product specific button both physical and virtual, that are specifically for the purpose of a quick re-order. They are now adding smart devices to this list. Your furnace will be able order itself a new filter, your printer will order itself new ink, and your dishwasher new soap pods. Dozens of companies are working with Amazon on “Dash” devices or apps to re-order supplies when they are low. Everything from coffee, to pet treats to dryer sheets will be able to be easily ordered by the consumer with a quick click or even auto ordered by a device when it’s low. What we don’t know is how generic products will play into this. Will your furnace only order Filtrete filters or will we be able to add Cordelia’s Filters to the list. As private labelers build more solid brands with great customer feedback, there is a good chance these will be able to be in the cue.
- Amazon is taking on the app Wish with their new Under $10 store. It features products sold by Amazon and by third party sellers. All shipping is either free with Prime or Merchant Fulfilled for free. In addition to competing with Wish, they also want to feature the products in the small and light program.
- Walmart is working to capture more sales by simplifying the returns process. They are promising returns on products that they sell, to take less than 30 seconds. Customers can start their returns on their Walmart app and then simply stop by a store and go to a “Mobile Express Returns” lane to get a quick scan and a refund. This is a huge tactical advantage as ease of returns play a larger and larger roll in the online purchasing decision. I predict that Amazon will follow suit by allowing returns in their Whole Foods locations
- Are you for another marketplace to sell your goods? How about vending machines? Buying candy bars and sodas from them is so 2014. Today, high tech vending machines sell luxury clothing, electronics and more. These smart vending machines don’t just sell stuff, they scan the people who walk by so they can estimate the gender and age of the surrounding customers. These have already been seen in hotels and airports but will soon enter gyms, college campuses and office buildings. Companies such as Swyft are partnering with large retailers on these vending machines from the future. They can even be used as mini warehouses. If someone’s phone breaks and they want a new one at 3am, a driver can simply pick one up at a nearby vending machine and deliver it. Over time, analytics will make the product selection of these machines more and more precise. Perhaps seller organizations like Scanner Society will be able to partner with a vending machine company and offer members private label merchandise sales opportunities. The possibilities are endless as these little shopping portals are tied in with the mass amounts of data available about shopping habits.
- Adidas jumps feet first into high tech manufacturing with the release of their 3D printed shoe, the Futurecraft 4D. They plan to sell 5000 units in the fall for around $300 but will scale up and have 100 thousand available by the end of the year. They have partnered with 3D printing company Carbon which has new tech to make this scale of production of the shoes possible. The future of manufacturing is here.
- Amazon continues on the 3D bandwagon too with a new patent for a truck that will both print and deliver goods to the consumer. They could also be printed in a local warehouse or by a service provider. Amazon has the scale and funds to invest in this new way of producing goods. 3d printing will likely change the whole global manufacturing economy.
- Amazon also filed a patent for an Inspector Gadget style drone with adjustable landing legs and reconfigurable propellers. This patent also includes ideas such as building spikes, screws, suction cups or magnets into the landing legs to assist with stability. Will these super bots deliver packages or be a new line of cool toys? They could be used to help the disabled too.
- From Seller Central, Amazon has clarified their return reimbursement policy and procedure. Sellers should be eligible for reimbursement if buyers abuse Amazon’s return policy, the item was lost the return process after the customer mailed it, and in a few other cases. View your reimbursement claims in the Payments Report.
Please join our amazing organization of Amazon sellers, Scanner Society. Our members have all different types of businesses with one thing in common. A desire to connect and share resources. We are much more powerful as a community than as individuals. With discounts, online and in person networking and a positive and curated group, you can’t beat us!