What You Need to Know About Amazon News This Past Week

Where Amazon makes business strides, Directional Cue follows. Amazon’s marketplace moves are constant, but Amazon News This Week tracks and provides the latest in Amazon news to Directional Cue readers and clients.

Summing It All Up

This week, Amazon integrated some of its platforms with two major companies in two different industries, technology and home. Also, Amazon’s brick and mortar presence got the four-star treatment with a new store in New York City – but it isn’t an Amazon Go! And, Amazon’s private label business got fancier with reports of a new jewelry line. Furthermore, Amazon accelerated its autonomous driving technology. Lastly, in prime time for holiday shopping, Amazon announced its top-ten Christmas toys wishlist.

Keep reading below for the details – from A to Z.

This Week for Everyone

NYC Gets an Amazon 4-Star Store

Amazon opened a new type of store in New York City called Amazon 4-Star. This store takes the best of Amazon online and moves the products from the computer screen to 3D.

The Amazon 4-Star store (located in SoHo) is “a physical representation of what’s hot on Amazon” and joins Whole Foods, Amazon Go, and Amazon Books in Amazon’s physical retail presence.

The store has high-quality products and does not feature any item below – you guessed it – an average four-star rating.

This Week in Business

Amazon and Snapchat Partnership

In a relationship made in online heaven, Amazon partnered with Snapchat in its Visual Search (picture shopping) technology. Last week, Snapchat rolled out a way to shop Amazon directly from the Snapchat app. It’s as simple as pointing the Snapchat camera at a product or barcode until the item or barcode is recognized and an Amazon link appears.

This move may give Snapchat an edge over similar competition, Instagram’s Shopping in Stories tool. Mutually beneficial, Snapchat could bring an influx of new shoppers from its user-base of 190 million daily active users to Amazon – just in time for holiday shopping.  

Alexa-Enabled Smart Houses

Amazon’s Alexa Fund has injected cash into the Series A funding of a home design and prefabrication company, Plant Prefab. The news comes on the heels of last week’s reports about the new crop of Alexa-enabled devices for the home. One can see that Amazon is ready to make Alexa-enabled smart homes the future in home living.

“We will work with Amazon to integrate Alexa and other smart home technology they have into our standard home platform.,” – Steve Glenn, CEO of Plant Prefab via Fast Company

The future (in homes) is now.

Amazon to Fuel Autonomous Vehicle Technology

They could join Google and Nvidia as a driving force in Autonomous Vehicle Technology.

Amazon Web Services (its cloud business) already provides technology for automotive customers (Uber, BMW, etc.). Now, it aims to be the cloud services platform of autonomous vehicle systems companies as well.

In relationship to industry leader Nvidia’s technology, The Street reports, “Amazon is not a competitor…Essentially, Amazon’s building a similar concept by providing developers and companies a platform for which they can build their software and then use the cloud to deploy it on a larger scale.”

Amazon Web Services, already highly profitable, could drive Amazon revenue even higher in the Autonomous Vehicle Technology lane.

Amazon’s Private Label Jewelry

Though Amazon currently sells jewelry online and via its “Amazon Collection,” it’s been reported that Amazon filed a trademark for a new jewelry brand, “For Keeps by Amazon.”  

Amazon’s top ten Christmas must-haves have been rated from the top 100 list. Topping the list were toys such as Hogwarts Great Hall Building Kit by Lego and another high-priced toy,  L.O.L. Surprise! Bigger Surprise.

Related Sellers may want to consider the wishlist when crafting a holiday strategy.

Hope you enjoyed Amazon News This Week.  Amazon makes the headlines – we recap them here each week!

Maureen Lomo is a published international novelist in addition to a skilled copywriter. Before her career in writing, she enjoyed a worldwide human resources career overseas, and she credits her time abroad for broadening her perspective and enhancing her writing talent. She contributes topical and engaging Amazon content in Directional Cue's news series, "This Week in Amazon."