Amazon Adds Module Promoting Alexa Devices on Product Pages for Alexa-Enabled Items

As Amazon continues to tweak the design of product pages — for instance, adding new cross-promo units to Our Brand apparel product pages, and adding the new Scout recommendations tool to furniture product pages — we are seeing another new module on some Alexa-enabled product pages.

It’s called “Add Alexa for voice control.” It lists a number of “Alexa devices compatible with this item,” each of which has their own “Add to Cart” button directly on the page. Here’s how it looks:

We’re seeing this module directly below the “Sponsored products related to this item” module and directly above the “Customer questions & answers” area.

In the example above, Amazon has chosen to feature the Fire TV Cube even though it is currently apparently out of stock — an early-rev bug we are sure Amazon will fix.

We’ll continue tracking Amazon’s Alexa hardware and software marketing efforts here at TJI.

7 Whole Foods Markets and 365 Locations Added to TJI Amazon Physical Retail Map

Two more recently opened Whole Foods Market 365 locations have been added to the TJI Amazon Physical Retail Map. In addition four more recently opened Whole Foods Market locations have been added, in addition to one Whole Foods Market location opening soon.

The new locations added are:

  1. 365 Decatur
  2. 365 Northside Buckhead
  3. Whole Foods Market Chappaqua
  4. Whole Foods Market South Capitol Hill
  5. Whole Foods Market Fort Myers
  6. Whole Foods Market Madison Broadway
  7. Whole Foods Market Newtown (Opening Soon)

From Amazon Go to Whole Foods 365 to Amazon Pop-Ups, and Everything in Between

The breadth of Amazon’s physical retail operations is increasing. The TJI Amazon Physical Retail Map tracks Amazon Go, Amazon 4-star, Amazon Books, Whole Foods, Whole Foods 365, Allegro Coffee Roasters, Amazon Treasure Truck, Amazon Pop-Ups, and Amazon Smart Home Experience Pop-Ups locations. As Amazon adds more, we’ll track them, too.

Dive In

Amazon continues to create new products and services regularly, and we expect the number is only going to grow.

TheTJI Amazon Physical Retail Map is a starting point for researchers and analysts to navigate Amazon’s physical retail portfolio.

For professionals serious about tracking Amazon’s products and services on an ongoing basis, subscribe to TJI Briefing, which covers the latest developments across Amazon’s retail efforts.

TJI Amazon Briefing for January 3, 2019

Good afternoon, and Happy New Year!

As we begin 2019, we anticipate a year of substantial developments in several core themes we will be tracking closely:

  1. Amazon’s health care initiatives – Amazon has been ramping up various building blocks in health care, from enterprise healthcare supply sales to pharmaceuticals to Alexa-enabled consumer touch-points. 2019 is likely to be a year of continued investment and new product launches.
  2. Amazon’s physical retail initiatives – In 2018, between Go, 4-star, Books, and Whole Foods, we saw several directional indications of where Amazon is going. 2019 is likely to include substantial new developments for Amazon’s physical retail strategy.
  3. Amazon’s private label initiatives – Amazon vastly expanded its private label product categories and brands over the last 12 months. In 2019, Amazon is likely to dig in and continue building out “Our Brands” and how these initiatives affect various retail categories.
  4. Amazon’s logistics infrastructure initiatives – Amazon continued to invest substantially in both long-haul and last-mile logistics in 2018. In 2019, we expect new developments across land, sea, and air, from Prime Air to DSP, and everything in between.
  5. Amazon’s Alexa integration initiatives – Amazon shed substantial light on its thinking about the future of Alexa in 2018, in areas ranging from smart home to automotive to commercial real estate. We expect to see substantial new developments here in 2019.
  6. Amazon’s advertising initiatives – In 2018, Amazon became the third largest online advertising platform in the US behind Google and Facebook, and the train shows no signs of slowing down. Amazon is likely to further expand these efforts, from video to DSP, in 2019.

And these are only the beginning. We will continue to focus our efforts on tracking what Amazon is doing and where it is going, and earning your continued trust, in 2019.

With that, on to today’s briefing…

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Amazon Launches Celebrity Fitness Stores from James Harden, Zac Efron, and Adriana Lima

We’ve been following the launch and expansion of Amazon’s The Celebrity Store hub for celebrities endorsing products for sale on Amazon.

Tonight, we’re seeing a new type of Amazon celebrity store with the launch of Amazon Celebrity Fitness Stores.

Initial launch partners are NBA superstar James Harden, actor Zac Efron, and model Adriana Lima. Each Celebrity Fitness Store contains a wide variety of fitness items and brands, ranging from apparel to energy drinks to fitness equipment, presumably endorsed by Harden, Efron, or Lima. The launch appears timed with the start of the new year, when many people make fitness resolutions.

We do not yet know the compensation structure for the celebrities involved. (If you do, please let us know.) On The Celebrity Store, customers can choose a celebrity and click through to a custom page from the endorsed brand’s store listing products to buy. However, Celebrity Fitness Stores contain products from a variety of brands. Presumably, it’s at least a commission structure at Amazon Associates affiliate levels.

Like it has with regular Celebrity Store pages, Amazon is promoting Celebrity Fitness Stores with house ads like the following:

We’ll continue to keep an eye on the latest iteration of The Celebrity Store and see how it evolves.

Amazon Adds Scout Recommendation Tool to Furniture Product Pages

Back in September, Amazon launched Scout, a furniture and home decor recommendations tool. The tool, located at amazon.com/scout, prompts visitors to “thumbs up” or “thumbs down” various suggested items from the furniture, home decor, lighting, kitchen, patio, bedding, and women’s shoes categories. As a customer rates items, less desirable items are removed and new items replace them. Customers can later pick up where they left off on their rating “journeys.”

Now, we’re seeing the Scout tool being integrated directly into select furniture product pages. Here’s how it looks:

The module is not labeled “Scout” (or anything else) — it’s simply titled with the instructions, “Like or dislike for instant recommendations.” It’s located between the “Sponsored products related to this item” and “Customers who viewed this item also viewed” modules. It behaves just like the widgets do on the Scout home page – as the customer rates items, new items dynamically replace less desirable ones.

Embedding a discovery mechanism like Scout deeply below the fold on product detail pages is an interesting decision by Amazon, but one we assume was thoroughly tested. It’s an opportunity for a potential customer to leave the product detail page they’re on, but also a new opportunity for product discovery. The concept makes sense for highly visual product categories like furniture and home decor.

Amazon is likely investing in new machine learning services to improve its personalization and recommendation algorithms. We believe automated personalization is an area in which Amazon can improve significantly through further R&D. Another opportunity for Amazon amongst certain customer segments would be human personalization, a la StitchFix. Amazon has not invested heavily in this area, but has created a little-known tool called Outfit Compare, in which customers can upload photos of themselves and get an Amazon staffer’s opinion of which looks better.

Amazon Launches AmazonBasics Line of Private Label Automotive Supplies in UK and Europe

Amazon has quietly launched a new line of AmazonBasics car care supplies in the UK and Europe, we have found. While it has not yet launched these products in the US, the move signals that Amazon may be moving further into the private label automotive supplies and accessories market in 2019.

Here are the new AmazonBasics automotive care products we are seeing for sale in the UK and Europe:

Leading brands that make similar products in the US include Turtle Wax, Armor All (owned by Spectrum Brands), Rain-X (owned by ITW Global Brands), Meguiar’s, and many more.

None of the new AmazonBasics car care items have reviews yet, so it appears they just launched.

In September, Amazon launched AmazonBasics private label motor oil, we found. In October, it expanded its lineup of conventional and synthetic automotive motor oils.

Amazon is also hiring dozens of engineers and designers to develop its Alexa automotive efforts. Similar to its efforts in the home, if Amazon can take over some or all of the control systems in the car, that would allow greater opportunities to integrate other Amazon services, including supply fulfillment.

Stay tuned to TJI as we continue to follow Amazon’s automotive efforts.

26 Amazon Exclusive Brands Added to TJI Amazon Brand Database

We’ve added the following 26 Amazon Exclusive brands to the TJI Amazon Brand Database:

US (19)

  1. Bellivera
  2. Blue Sunset
  3. Bounce Master
  4. Cozymetters.co
  5. Deer Lady
  6. Direct Protect Plus
  7. Elise Bloom
  8. Elysa Jayne
  9. Havana Breeze
  10. Hide & Co
  11. LLETTWIL
  12. MG Twelve
  13. Moondancers
  14. Otuoro
  15. PD Peppered Denim
  16. Picchio
  17. Robust
  18. Seanami Dazzling
  19. Silver Urbanism

UK (7)

  1. Civet Home
  2. Consuelo
  3. House of Pixie
  4. Maglev Essentials
  5. Pippa Dee
  6. Snug Fastener
  7. Villa Sapori

For more information, see theTJI Amazon Brand Database or Subscribe.

The Day After Christmas, Amazon Alexa Tops iOS Free App Charts

In the weeks leading up to Christmas, Alexa skill developers have been preparing for the Christmas traffic rush.

Last year, developers saw usage double from December 22 to December 24, followed by another double from December 24 to December 25, as devices are unboxed around Christmas. Since the number of Alexa-enabled devices only continues to grow, we’d expect to see the same this year.

And, as one data point shows, the pattern is likely continuing this year. Today, the day after Christmas, the Amazon Alexa app is the highest ranked free app in the iOS App Store in the United States. A couple of weeks ago, it was ranked above 50.

Highlights from Amazon’s 2018 Holiday PR Announcement

Amazon just published its holiday press release, as it usually does this time of year. Here are a few highlights from this year’s edition.

The most noteworthy item in our view is, “This holiday season, tens of millions of people worldwide started Prime free trials or began paid memberships.” As Amazon’s US Prime growth eventually slows, we’re interested in seeing where Amazon’s Prime membership growth is coming from.

– This holiday season, tens of millions of people worldwide started Prime free trials or began paid memberships
– Customers purchased millions more Amazon Devices this holiday season compared to last year
– The last Prime Now delivery on Christmas Eve was made at 11:30 pm in Berkeley, CA and included LEGO Super Heroes Captain America Building Kit, a Hallmark card, Greek yogurt, and shampoo
– Alexa delivered 8x as many reminders this holiday season compared to last.
– Some of the best-selling products from Amazon brands in the U.S. included Amazon Essentials Men’s Long-Sleeve Plaid Flannel Shirts, Goodthreads Men’s Short-Sleeve Crewneck Cotton T-Shirts, Daily Ritual Women’s Skinny Stretch Jeggings, the Stone & Beam Ceramic Geometric Table Lamp, Pinzon Faux Fur Throw Blankets, AmazonBasics Multipurpose Scissors, Amazon Elements Baby Wipes, Presto! Toilet Paper, and Solimo Dark Roast Coffee K-Cup Pods.
– More than 50 percent of items sold in our stores this holiday season came from small and medium-sized businesses.
– The best-selling product at Amazon Go this holiday season was Amazon Go Theo Dark Chocolate Bar, Cacao with Sea Salt, and the best-selling freshly prepared food was the chicken bahn mi sandwich.
– The fastest grocery delivery this holiday season took place in St. Paul, Minnesota and was delivered in 12 minutes and 19 seconds, and contained La Croix Sparkling Water and Zevia soda.

TJI Research Media Citations This Week

Here’s a roundup of selected TJI Research citations from across the media world for the week ending December 21, 2018: