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June 04, 2013

Live Blogging from 2013 Catalyst Europe: Amazon Fireside Chat

Welcome to the live blog for ChannelAdvisor. We’ll be live blogging the general sessions at Catalyst to make sure attendees don’t miss anything. Also, make sure you’re following hashtag #EUCatalyst and @ChannelAdvisor on Twitter for all of the latest updates.

Speaker: Chris Poad, Amazon and Ian Jindal, Internet Retailing 

Title: Fireside Chat with Amazon 

Chris Poad has joined Ian Jindal on stage at Catalyst EU. Chris is responsible for Seller Services in the UK, including Amazon’s marketplace, Amazon FBA, Amazon Webstore, Amazon Payments and Amazon Product Ads. Busy man!

Chris described one of the newest updates from Amazon, where retailers can promote their products on Amazon on a CPC basis and direct a buyer to a detailed product page and from there to that retailers own website for conversion. Chris did say that Amazon is cautious about this product placement and it is not true that a seller could bid above you to win the Buy Box.  

“We are focused on input methods like availability, selection and price” said Chris. Chris said there is an incredible correlation between selection growth and sales growth.

Ian pointed out that sellers who use FBA are growing about twice as fast as retailers who do not. He attributes this to the concrete delivery information provided on the product page and the trust in Amazon controlling the delivery and customer service. Retailers using FBA are also benefiting from Prime eligibility and customers who use Prime typically buy more products from Amazon.

Ian asked why all retailers don’t use Prime. Chris pointed out that it depends on the product in hand, sometimes it can be more efficient (especially with small products like memory sticks)  for retailers to ship themselves. Chris also said that some retailers need easy access to their products for other channels, and when they are in a Fulfilment Centre they are not as readily available as they would be in their own warehouse. He also said retailers can fulfil to other channels using FBA.

On the growth of the Amazon marketplace… The growth of Amazon is consistent and Chris thinks that this can be explained by FBA,  global selling and helping sellers become exporters and the category mix that is growing. The quickest growing products are apparel, health and beauty. Today media only accounts for around 40% of sales.

A show of hands in the audience shows that almost half of attendees sell across Europe and one third ship globally.  Many retailers are trialing their products on platforms like Amazon to judge their success.

What would the reason be to move to payments? Chris said that the benefit is that it improve the customer experience, gives more utility to the Amazon customer and allows retailers to take advantage of Product Ads.

Finally on competition by Amazon, Chris said that customers like low prices and even without Amazon there would be intense competition online. Amazon is just concentrated competition but is satisfying the customer appetite.

Brief reminder for Catalyst Europe's social presence:  


· Follow @ChannelAdvisor on Twitter as we’ll be tweeting out updates, reminders about sessions, networking events and more

· Tag your social posts, Instagram pics with our show hashtag: #EUCatalyst

· Keep tabs on discussions, networking opportunities and more on the Pathable community at https://catalysteurope2013.pathable.com/

· Keep an eye on the eBay Strategies blog where we’ll be live blogging the Keynotes and Main Sessions at Catalyst"

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