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US E-commerce Weekly Update: Amazon Announces Black Friday Dates, TikTok Expands US E-commerce Team


Amazon: Unveiling Black Friday Plans and More

Black Friday schedule announced: Amazon has disclosed its Black Friday promotion dates. The US and Canada sites will run promotions from November 17 to November 27. Other European sites, including the UK, Germany, France, Italy, Spain, Netherlands, Sweden, Poland, and Belgium, will follow the same schedule. For other global sites, Turkey’s promotions will run from November 13 to November 27, Japan’s from November 24 to December 1, Australia’s from November 20 to December 3, Singapore’s from November 24 to November 27, Brazil’s from November 6 to November 27, and Mexico’s from November 23 to November 27. The promotion dates for the Middle East (including Saudi Arabia and the UAE) and India are still to be announced.

Ads coming to prime video: Starting early 2024, Amazon will introduce advertisements to Prime Video in various countries. A new ad-free option will be available to US Prime members for an additional $2.99 per month, with pricing for other regions to be announced later.

TikTok: Strengthening US e-commerce presence

Massive hiring in seattle: TikTok is reportedly on a hiring spree in Seattle, planning to add 350 positions to compete with Amazon. This expansion will bring TikTok’s total employee count in the region to over a thousand. The company is also offering relocation packages for employees willing to move to Seattle, with benefits including housing allowances and monthly flights home.

Launching AIGC content regulation: TikTok has implemented comprehensive regulation of AIGC (AI Generated Content) on its platform. A new feature allows creators to tag AI-generated content, providing transparency to viewers. Failure to disclose the use of AI tools may result in content removal.

Walmart: Marketplace growth and promotions

Third-party marketplace doubles: Walmart’s third-party marketplace has doubled in size over the past 18 months, with active sellers surpassing 100,000. The platform offers over 400 million products, 95% of which come from third-party sellers, promising steady sales growth for Walmart.

Fall promotions rolled out: Following Amazon’s announcement of October promotions, Walmart, along with Target and Best Buy, has launched its own set of fall promotions, marking the start of the holiday sales season.

Other retailers: Sales and technological advances

US top 25 home retailers: Amazon holds 15% of total sales among the top 25 US home retailers, with a 12.5% increase in sales of furniture, bedding, and home decor. Costco experienced the largest growth, with sales reaching $4.5 billion, a 18.4% increase from the previous year. Direct-to-Consumer (DTC) channels had the highest sales, with traditional furniture stores holding 16.3% of sales.

Wayfair introduces AR features: Wayfair has launched a new Augmented Reality (AR) feature, “View in Room 3D”, in its latest app version. This feature allows users to visualize products in their space before purchasing. The company is also utilizing machine learning technology to provide more accurate search results based on product characteristics, aiding in product discovery and catalog enhancement.

Autumn sales initiatives by major retailers: In a bid to capitalize on the bustling fall season, several prominent US e-commerce platforms have announced special promotional events scheduled for October. This move follows Amazon’s declaration of its second “Prime Big Deal Days” slated for October 10-11. In response, Walmart, Target, and Best Buy have unveiled their respective sales initiatives, all coinciding with Amazon’s event timeline. Specifically, Walmart’s “Walmart Deals – Holiday Kickoff” will take place from October 9 to October 12, featuring thousands of holiday gifts across various categories including electronics, home, fashion, and toys. Target’s “Circle Week” promotion, running from October 1 to October 7, offers up to 40% discounts for consumers enrolled in the “Target Circle” membership program. Additionally, Best Buy is set to launch its first wave of holiday promotions on October 1, lasting for an entire month, with exclusive discounts available to Plus and Total members of the Totaltech annual membership program.

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