Home » Latest News » US E-commerce Daily Update (Feb 01): Amazon Innovates Social Shopping, UPS Announces Major Layoffs

US E-commerce Daily Update (Feb 01): Amazon Innovates Social Shopping, UPS Announces Major Layoffs


Amazon: Enhancing Shopping Experience and Membership Growth

  • Amazon Launches ‘Consult-a-Friend’ Feature: On January 30th, Amazon officially released its new social media function, ‘Consult-a-Friend’, accessible to all sellers. Introduced in October 2023 as a test phase for select sellers, this feature allows shoppers to request, view, and manage product feedback from friends within the app. Users share products with friends who can respond with emoji reactions or comments, contributing to collective feedback.
  • Prime Membership in the US Bounces Back: According to Consumer Intelligence Research Partners (CIRP), as of December 2023, Amazon’s Prime membership in the US reached 176 million, marking a 5% increase from the previous year. This growth follows a stagnation in 2022. The penetration rate of Prime members in the US hit a record 74%, up from 66% two years ago.
  • Record-Breaking Delivery Speeds for Prime Members: Amazon announced its fastest-ever delivery times for Prime members in 2023. Over 7 billion items were delivered on the same or next day, including over 4 billion in the US and 2 billion in Europe. The significant increase in delivery efficiency is attributed to Amazon’s regionalized US delivery network.

Walmart: Encouraging New Seller Participation

  • Limited-Time Offers for New Walmart Sellers: Walmart reintroduces a special offer for new sellers, including up to 50% off referral fees, 10% discount on registration, 15% off Walmart Fulfillment Services (WFS) shipping fees, and discounts on WalmartConnect advertising and Marketplace Repricer commissions. New third-party sellers could save up to 50% on WFS costs if they receive their first shipment by July 31, 2024. The program, first launched in 2023, coincides with a doubling of Walmart’s product offerings and the introduction of new online fulfillment and marketing services.

TikTok: Innovating in E-commerce

  • TikTok Tests New Shopping Feature: TikTok is experimenting with a shopping feature that automatically identifies products in videos and links them to similar items on TikTok Shop. This functionality breaks previous limitations, allowing users to purchase items from any video type, enhancing the shopping experience on the platform.

UPS: UPS Announces Major Layoffs

United Parcel Service (UPS) is planning to cut 12,000 jobs and sell its Coyote logistics business, aiming to save approximately $1 billion in labor costs. This decision comes as UPS faces revenue projections of $92-94.5 billion for 2024, below market expectations. The company has experienced a shift in customer preference from air to ground shipping, putting pressure on profits. UPS’s stock fell 8% following the announcement of these changes.

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