Channel Roundup: Prime Gets Exclusive, YouTube Gets Personal and Q1 Starts 2016 Off Right

April 29, 2016

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We know you’re busy. Here’s what you may have missed this week in the e-commerce headlines.

Prime Time for Exclusive Products

If you’re still not 100% that Prime is — and will continue to be — a disruptive game-changer, here’s a thought: Prime Now is continuing to encroach on Uber Eats, Seamless and Postmates by expanding restaurant-delivery service to San Fran. Oh, and it also offers cheaper prices and FREE DELIVERY for a limited time.

Amazon continues to stir the pot with its latest Prime feature: Prime-exclusive products. So far, products are limited to critically acclaimed movies and video games, but this could be the beginning of a push to force consumers into opting in to a Prime subscription. (Which is still widely considered the best deal on the market, even with the $99 upfront subscription fee).

While this isn’t a huge inconvenience to shoppers, it does force non-Prime members to turn to third-party sellers to get their copies of Birdman or Grand Theft Auto V, a possible opportunity for 3P sellers to gain visibility and compete with Prime for market share.

No Echo? No Problem.

Amazon isn’t always exclusive — for the first time ever, Alexa, the “lady” behind the Amazon Echo, will be available on a device not made by Amazon. Consumers can now enjoy the Amazon Alexa Voice Service (AVS) on the Triby, a voice-controlled speaker designed to stick to your fridge. Is this the beginning of the Alexa army?

Back at It Again with the Successful Q1 Earnings

Our hats go off to Amazon ($AMZN) and Facebook ($FB), arguably the Q1 champs this year.

Amazon? Really? The historically spendaholic company managed to outperform both its own forecasts and analysts’ forecasts by reporting its strongest quarter to date. How strong, you ask? Sales are up 28%, resulting in a Q1 profit of $513 million. Compare this with the $596 million in profit reported for all of 2015, and you can see what all the buzz is about. Check out what Scot has to say about the news.

And with a cool $1.5 billion in profit in Q1, Facebook is up 195% year over year. If you had any reservations about advertising on Facebook, you might want to start reconsidering. Time to party, Zuckerberg.

EBay ($EBAY) was shown no love from the analysts last year when it split from PayPal. But now the company is exceeding expectations for revenue and profits. Are you an eBay seller? Here’s a deep dive into what these Q1 results could mean for you.

YouTube to Viewers: “We Understand You”

Thanks to its extensive research into users’ viewing habits, device, location and disposition for watching videos of Beyonce parodies, YouTube is hoping to compete with Facebook for the ability to get you to watch content that you didn’t even know you wanted to watch. Now more than ever, retailers should keep an eye on YouTube — its increased targeted capabilities could mean some serious ROI on paid content, both on- and offline.

 

Blog post by Anna Torres, social media and blog specialist, ChannelAdvisor