Amazon Wooing Retailers With New Local Fulfillment Program

Lisa Johnston
Editor-in-Chief, CGT
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Amazon Local Selling will let retailers tack on installation and assembly services to orders they fulfill for its third-party sellers. Editorial credit: Hadrian /
Amazon Local Selling will let retailers tack on installation and assembly services to orders they fulfill for its third-party sellers. Editorial credit: Hadrian /

Amazon is launching a new service that partners retailers with its third-party sellers to offer consumers more fulfillment options in advance of the holidays.  

A new program, known as Amazon Local Selling, enables Amazon third-party sellers the ability to offer consumers same-day, in-store pickup at local retailers. The service is currently available from such retailers as Sears Hometown Store, Mavis Discount Tire, Best Buy, Adorama, DataVision, Electronic Vision, Beach Camera and Appliance Connection, among others.

Other retailers are being encouraged by Amazon to apply to the program, as participants can add on such services as installation and product assembly to the orders they fulfill.

[See also: Walmart to Provide Delivery for Home Depot]

Shoppers can select in-store pickup after placing an order and will receive a notification when it’s ready that day. They also have the option to select local delivery by the seller.

Nearly 2 million small- and medium-sized businesses are classified by Amazon as third-party selling partners, with more than half of all products purchased on Amazon sold by third-party sellers.  Almost half a million of them are U.S. sellers, and the retailer said it added more than 100,000 brands to its U.S. store this year.

Amazon will also provide third-party brands selling on its site with more digital tools and consumer insights to better understand the impact of their efforts.  

The company will make available a Search Analytics Dashboard next year that gives those registered in its Brand Registry the ability to derive insights from product search performance. The anonymized data is designed to aid brands in better understanding consumer interests and choices for their products, in turn helping them optimize their listings, inform inventory planning, and plan their product development roadmap.

The tool will include two other dashboards: Catalog and Query Performance. Query Performance intends to help sellers understand top search terms associated with their products for better targeting keywords used in marketing campaigns. Brands will also be able to identify areas to expand their product portfolio based on customer interest.

[See also: Amazon Opens New Robotics Facility]

The Catalog Performance dashboard seeks to identify conversion issues or drop-off points where customer attention is lost, as well as analyze product price competitiveness and optimize marketing investments and inventory planning.

The company is also launching the Product Opportunity Explorer, a tool designed to help brands identify opportunities to introduce new products and determine the likelihood they’ll gain traction with consumers. It will provide such data as search volume and growth, sales history, and pricing trends to help ID niches of emerging product opportunities.

The tool is currently in beta and expected to become available wide next year.

Finally, also in beta through early next year is a new Customer Engagement tool that brands selling on Amazon can leverage to launch email marketing campaigns that raise awareness of new products.

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