1. We’re one of three EMEA Challenger Finalists in the Amazon Ads Partner Awards 2023!
We’re beyond excited – and proud – to share that Venture Forge has been shortlisted as one of three finalists for the EMEA Challenger Awards at the 2023 Amazon Ads Partner Awards!
This is the first year that the Awards have gone global, so it’s even sweeter that we’ve made the list of just 30 Partners – out of 500+ entries from all Amazon regions, it puts us in the top 1.8%.
Even better is the category we’ve been recognised in; the Challenger Award.
New for 2023, the Challenger category celebrates Partners who’ve risen to the challenge of delivering an impactful strategy that exceeds expectations while working under tight resource constraints.
“This award recognises when partners succeed in achieving and surpassing their client’s business objectives despite resource limitations.
Challenger Award winners use creative thinking to deliver campaigns that maximise the impact of their clients’ brands.”Amazon
Being shortlisted is a brilliant endorsement of the Venture Forge team’s creative thinking, powerful strategies, innovative tactics and overall efficiency and frankly, we couldn’t be more proud!
We’ve got it all crossed for the winners announcements after Amazon Unboxed in October – wish us luck…
2. Will Amazon roll out fees for Seller Fulfilled Prime in the UK too?
If this has triggered a “wait, what?” from you, read on! We’ll begin at the beginning…
In August, Bloomberg reported that Amazon is planning to implement a 2% charge for Seller Fulfilled Prime (SFP) orders in the US from 1 October 2023.
For many, this will make SFP, which until now has stood as a handy middle-ground between FBA (orders fulfilled by Amazon) and MFN (Merchant Fulfilled orders), prohibitively expensive.
Due to be calculated as 2% of the sale price of an item, for many sales this will eat into profit margins pretty substantially – especially when combined with other Amazon fees and Ad costs.
What’s the thinking behind this decision?
They’ve not come right out and said it, but it seems likely that Amazon are anticipating that SFP Sellers will hop on over to FBA instead, so they can maintain better Amazon search visibility than they would get from MFN.
Whether this will be how it works in practice remains to be seen – it’s entirely possible that some will opt for the inventory control of MFN instead.
It’s thought also that Amazon want to move away from SFP because, although Sellers are required to adhere to Prime standards to maintain their SFP status, it seems Amazon have found that buyers aren’t always receiving the Prime experience they expect – which reflects badly on Amazon.
And will it roll out to the UK?
Well, when things roll out in the US, they generally trickle out to all the other Amazon markets within a fairly short space of time.
So our advice?
For those of you using SFP, now’s the time to look at your options and have a contingency plan in the bag.
Our fulfilment experts are on hand for those seeking specialist help – click here to get in touch.
3. The Fastest-Growing market in Toys and Games on Amazon UK?
With revenues in excess of €4.6 billion in 2022, the kidult market is showing no signs of slowing – is this a good space for your brand to focus for Autumn’s Amazon events?
In our recent Toys and Games sector insight, we highlighted the kidult market – people over 12 buying for themselves and others – as the category’s biggest recent growth trend.
Kidult purchases have more than doubled since 2019 across the UK and EU Top 4 (France, Germany, Italy and Spain), with the UK, France and Germany seeing the strongest buying figures.
“In Europe, toy sales to children have declined by €200m since 2019, but they have increased by €1b for kidults.”Frédérique Tutt – Vice President, Industry Analyst (Toys) at Circana
Why is this good news for Sellers in the Toys and Games Sector?
This surge in over-12 sales is brilliant news for Sellers, because it comes at the exact time that sales of toys and games to their traditionally intended market of children have hit a stage of relative stagnation.
Blamed on our ageing populations and smaller households, the number of children across Europe has decreased by almost 2%.
However, Sellers positioned to capture market share in the kidult sector can enjoy the exact opposite – rising numbers rediscovering the joy of play through the pandemic and beyond.
Better still, this is a huge potential market with no age restrictions and plenty more disposal income.
So, what are our expert tips?
Wondering how our Amazon experts suggest you make the most of the kidult opportunity for your brand?
You’re in luck; our in-depth Sector Analysis into the Toys and Games categories has our take on this key market trend plus all our best tips for success in this diverse, dynamic and competitive category – hit the link to dive deep!
4. Meet “Supply Chain by Amazon”
If you missed the updates from Accelerate (Amazon’s annual Seller conference), here’s your quick intro to their new end-to-end, fully automated set of Supply Chain services…
Designed to offer a complete solution to Sellers looking to move products directly from manufacturer to consumer quickly, reliably and globally, Supply Chain by Amazon is basically a way to streamline, cut costs and eliminate middlemen from the process.
Our vision has always been to make it as easy as possible for sellers to serve customers around the world, and providing our selling partners with a simple, fast, cost-effective solution to a challenge that has become increasingly unpredictable and complex is an important investment in sellers’ success. With Supply Chain by Amazon, Amazon will pick up sellers’ inventory directly from their factory, and manage the supply chain logistics through delivery to customers’ doorsteps. Sellers will be able to offload even more of the complexity of their supply chain logistics to Amazon, both for the products they sell in Amazon’s store and through other sales channels including online and physical store locations. We are excited to help sellers, both on and off Amazon, save more money, drive more business growth, and have more time to continue inventing amazing products for customers.Dharmesh Mehta, vice president of WW Selling Partner Services, Amazon
How will it work?
As part of Amazon’s endless bid to improve customer experience, this is them taking wholesaler delays out of the equation.
Instead, Amazon themselves will handle moving goods from factory to the consumer:
- Picking up inventory from manufacturers around the world;
- Shipping across borders and handling customs clearance;
- Handling ground transportation, bulk storage, replenishment across Amazon and other sales channels;
- Handling delivery to customers.
Other benefits listed by Amazon include:
- Automatic cross-border discounts for Amazon Global Logistics of up to 25% on cross-border transportation bound for Amazon Warehousing and Distribution (AWD);
- Streamlined domestic inbound transportation to AWD with Partnered Carrier Programme, which itself offers reliable and fast transit times and discounts through trusted carriers.
- Better AWD offering for less. AWD will be open to all Selling partners, meaning Sellers can store bulk products at discounts of up to 80% against FBS storage fees – and no peak pricing during Q4!
- Automatic inventory replenishment with FBA that uses Amazon’s advanced machine learning and supply chain optimisation capabilities to replenish your stock into optimal Amazon fulfilment centres to support expected customer demand – this will work with both FBA (with faster speeds) and even off-Amazon channels using Multi-Channel Fulfilment.
And in the Pipeline…
- Sellers using Supply Chain by Amazon will soon be able to reserve long-term, low-cost AWD bulk storage months in advance at even better discounts.
- A new Multi-Channel Distribution capability (MCD) will move Seller’s products from AWD to any sales channel, including physical stores… so Sellers can replenish everywhere from one single inventory resource.
Phew! All this should:
- Help brands optimise their logistics and cost bases.
- Help brands trade internationally, by removing the need, cost and regulatory burden of bringing products in from the factor; then shipping out to other markets.
- Help brands keep products in stock, ship faster and more reliably and lower costs by putting Amazon’s massive logistics, fulfilment and transport capabilities at their disposal.
- Increase delivery speeds through smarter product placement, which in turn is shown to drive increased sales (Amazon say better same and next-day delivery speeds drive an average 15% increase in unit sales).
We’re so excited to see how this all works out in practice – the growth potential for brands could be really huge.
The team are on it, and we’ll keep you in the loop! In the meantime, hit us up with your questions…