Home » Latest News » E-commerce & AI News Flash Collection (Mar 24): Amazon’s Spring Sale Sweep and Google’s Copyright Fine

E-commerce & AI News Flash Collection (Mar 24): Amazon’s Spring Sale Sweep and Google’s Copyright Fine

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US News

Amazon: Spring Sale Surprises and Suspensions

Amazon’s North American site kicked off its first spring sale on March 20, anticipated to generate between $1 billion and $2 billion in revenue. Despite high hopes, many sellers experienced unexpected account suspensions as Amazon cracked down on policy violations, including misleading information and manipulation of sales rankings. The suspensions affected a wide range of accounts, from inactive to newly registered and well-operated stores, stirring speculation about possible errors in Amazon’s enforcement actions. Sellers facing suspension received a generic appeal form, leading many to believe reinstatement would be challenging. Amidst this turmoil, Amazon has yet to respond to the situation, leaving the community anxious.

Amazon Innovates with Fit Insights Tool for Apparel and Footwear

On March 21, Amazon introduced the “Fit Insights Tool (FIT),” aimed at providing apparel and footwear sellers with size-related insights and analysis to enhance customer experience and reduce return rates. Utilizing large language models (LLM) and machine learning, FIT analyzes return data, size charts, and customer feedback on fit, style, fabric, quality, and price to identify sizing issues and offer actionable insights. This tool enables sellers to better understand and communicate sizing to customers, potentially incorporating these insights into future product design and manufacturing. FIT is available to U.S. brand-registered sellers meeting specific criteria, marking a step forward in Amazon’s use of AI to match consumers with perfectly fitting fashion items.

Shopee Adjusts Shipping Policy to Enhance Efficiency

Shopee announced policy changes to its Days to Ship (DTS) metric, affecting how long sellers have to ship orders. All sites will now have a 2-day shipping window for in-stock items and 5-10 days for pre-sale items, with Saturdays included as shipping days starting March 1. From March 25, the automatic order cancellation will be triggered by DTS + 3 days instead of +4, pressuring sellers to ensure timely shipment to avoid cancellations and penalties. This adjustment aims to improve shipping efficiency and accuracy, reflecting Shopee’s commitment to enhancing both seller performance and customer satisfaction.

eBay Enhances Seller Experience with Automated Offers

eBay recently introduced an automated offer feature to help sellers manage offers more efficiently and boost sales. Previously, sellers had to manually initiate offers to potential buyers, a time-consuming process for those with extensive product listings. Now, sellers can set criteria for automatic offers, which eBay will send to eligible buyers, with offer durations extendable up to 150 days. This feature streamlines the offer process, allowing sellers to engage potential buyers more effectively and increase transaction volumes.

Global News

Amazon Launches Emergency Relief Center in Germany

Amazon has announced the establishment of its first European Emergency Relief Center in Rheinberg, Germany, aimed at leveraging its logistics network to swiftly deliver supplies to communities affected by natural disasters. Following the model of its inaugural relief center in Atlanta, USA, the German facility spans over 21,000 square feet, capable of storing supplies equivalent to 20 Boeing 737 aircraft. This initiative is part of Amazon’s commitment to providing rapid aid in the aftermath of disasters, with a focus on stocking essential items identified through data analysis of past events. In collaboration with local and international relief organizations, Amazon’s new center is poised to enhance the company’s disaster response efforts across Europe, the Middle East, and North Africa.

Google has been fined €250 million by French authorities for copyright infringement, marking the fourth penalty for violating EU copyright laws. The tech giant was found to use content from French publishers and news organizations without permission to train its AI chatbot, Bard (now Gemini), breaching several terms of a 2022 agreement. Despite previous sanctions, including a €500 million fine in 2021 for failing to negotiate fair compensation, Google has agreed to a settlement without contesting the charges and proposed measures to address the issue. This development highlights the ongoing conflict between AI services and content creators over the unauthorized use of material, with France leading the charge to protect copyright rights in the digital era.

Walmart Canada Innovates with Automated Distribution Technology

Walmart Canada is set to revolutionize its distribution network by incorporating automated technology at its Regional Distribution Center (RDC) in Calgary, Alberta. The pilot project will employ Automated Mobile Robots (AMR) to expedite the movement and processing of goods, promising a 90% improvement in unloading speed compared to manual handling. This initiative is part of Walmart’s broader strategy to enhance operational efficiency, accuracy, and employee well-being across its distribution centers. With 16 distribution centers and nearly 7,000 employees, Walmart Canada aims to extend this automation across its network, ensuring faster and more reliable service to its 400 stores nationwide.

TikTok Dominates Cross-Border Shopping in Singapore

According to a report by Airwallex and Edgar, Dunn & Company, TikTok has emerged as the most popular platform for cross-border shopping among Singaporeans. Over 60% of consumers in Singapore engage in purchasing international goods through social platforms, the highest percentage among surveyed markets. TikTok leads in popularity, followed closely by Instagram and Facebook, with discounts and personal recommendations driving platform choice. This trend underscores the growing influence of social media on global e-commerce behaviors, with TikTok’s engaging content format capturing a significant share of the cross-border shopping market.

Mercado Libre’s Major Investment in Colombia

Mercado Libre plans to invest $380 million in Colombia this year, its largest investment in the country, aimed at improving technology and logistics. The company will enhance its 19 national logistics centers and a 52,000 square meter warehouse that stores over 10 million items, supporting 900 local stores. With more than 28,000 Colombian sellers, mostly small and medium enterprises, the e-commerce market reached $9.35 billion in 2022. Expected to grow to $14.52 billion by 2027, this move follows Mercado Libre’s $2.45 billion investment in Mexico, underscoring its commitment to expanding in Latin America.

AI News

Google DeepMind and Liverpool’s AI for Football Tactics

Liverpool Football Club and Google DeepMind have collaborated to create an AI system, TacticAI, providing tactical insights to enhance game strategies. TacticAI analyzes set plays like corner kicks, predicting outcomes and suggesting player repositioning to improve chances of success. It has been tested to be preferred by experts 90% of the time over traditional tactics. This partnership could revolutionize sports analysis, allowing for more strategic planning and less manual video review.

Deepfake Concerns in Elections Highlighted by Kari Lake Video

An AI-generated deepfake video of Kari Lake was created by Arizona Agenda to demonstrate the potential misuse of AI in elections. Despite initial skepticism, the realistic deepfake surprised many, including its creators, raising concerns about the impact of such technology on future elections. This incident underscores the urgent need for awareness and regulation to combat AI-generated misinformation.

Las Vegas Embraces Automation with Robots

Las Vegas is increasingly adopting automation, with robots performing a variety of tasks from bartending to food service. This move towards automation aims to enhance efficiency and entertainment, reflecting the city’s openness to technological innovations. However, concerns about job displacement and the need for human-robot coexistence are also emerging.

Apple’s Multimodal AI Model

Apple has unveiled MM1, its first multimodal AI model capable of processing both text and images, marking a significant advancement in AI technology. The MM1 family of models, with up to 30 billion parameters, demonstrates Apple’s commitment to integrating AI into its devices, potentially enhancing user interactions and paving the way for innovations in AI applications.

Apple’s Talks with Baidu Over AI Integration

Apple has engaged in preliminary discussions with Baidu to incorporate the Chinese company’s generative AI technology into its devices. This move indicates Apple’s interest in enhancing its devices with advanced AI capabilities, particularly for the Chinese market, and highlights the growing importance of AI technology in global tech strategies.

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