Amazon had two small news items this week that I thought were interesting for sellers to think about:
- First, Amazon and Staples announced a relationship which will place Amazon Lockers inside of their stores. Staples has ~1900 stores in North America and its not clear how many stores this will involve, but it is a very interesting development. According to a recent Comscore survey of consumers, 61% of consumers said they would rather have a product delivered to a store for pick-up vs. paying to have it delivered to their home.
Brick and Mortar companies such as Wal-mart, Macys, have been investing a lot in this capability and by putting Amazon Lockers in 1900 Staples stores, Amazon could have just eliminated this core advantage that omni-channel companies are just starting to explore.
Also, Geekwire is reporting that they are seeing Amazon Lockers also start to appear in Radio Shacks (~4700 stores). There are a couple of unknowns we’ll be tracking:
- Will Amazon Lockers be in all Staples or just select?
- Will Amazon offer discounted/free delivery to these stores?
- Will there be expedited shipping available to the stores?
2. Second, Amazon has been testing today a new option for the Prime program. Historically the only ways you could get prime would be:
- Annual sub for $79
- Order a Kindle Fire and get a free month
- Amazon moms and students
Now it appears that Amazon is testing a $7.99 monthly option (hacking netflix has this screen capture of the test)
What’s interesting about this is it definitely lowers the commitment level ($80 is a lot more than $8) significantly to jump on the Prime bandwagon. By our estimates – 10% of Amazon’s 188m active buyers are in the Prime program (18m). But they spend 3-4 times as much as the average buyer so they represent more like 30-40% of the ‘buyer wallet’.
This test is interesting because anything that Amazon can do to grow that Prime audience is a good thing for growing Amazon – both first and third party.
This blog post was written by Scot Wingo, CEO of ChannelAdvisor. I am long Google and Amazon and eBay is an investor in ChannelAdvisor.