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Marketplace Is Driving Walmart’s Online Progress

This year, Walmart added 10 million products to the online catalog, but only half a million of that is sold directly by Walmart. The marketplace brought the rest of the assortment as it accelerated in growth by adding 10,000 new sellers since the start of the year. Today Walmart CEO Doug McMillon said, "we need even more progress on Walmart.com with general merchandise," for the past few years that progress came almost exclusively from the marketplace.

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Nike Says No More Amazon

Nike, one of the most searched brands on Amazon, will stop selling its products directly on Amazon, ending a pilot program that began in 2017. To avoid losing the Nike assortment, Amazon has been recruiting third-party sellers with Nike products so that the merchandise is still available on the site.

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eBay Is Stuffing Its Search Results Pages With Ads

eBay search results now start with five sponsored product ads. The company has recently adjusted the mix of promoted and non-promoted listings at the top of search results, which previously rarely had ads. The default search page format has 48 listings plus an additional 13 sponsored listings.

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Amazon Advertising Spending to Reach $10 Billion in 2019

Brands and retailers will spend $9.85 billion on advertising on Amazon in the US to boost their position in search results. Amazon advertising is growing beyond performance marketing in the form of sponsored products, though. Amazon is going after ad budgets under CMOs, looking for a more holistic advertising strategy and not just bottom-of-the-funnel ads.

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Number of Amazon Sellers Offering Prime Up 50% in Three Years

More than 85% of the top Amazon sellers offer Prime shipping for more than half of their assortment, up from 56% three years ago. The number of sellers offering products through Prime is steadily increasing. Very few international sellers do not offer Prime - 93% of the top international sellers offer it, compared to 74% for US-based sellers.

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Etsy's Unapologetic Push for Free Shipping

Etsy changed its search algorithm to prioritize free shipping above everything else, pushing some of the relevant results to functional invisibility. "Items [without free shipping] are not given first-page placement, even if our search algorithms might have previously ranked them higher," said Rachel Glaser, CFO at Etsy.

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Amazon Demotes Organic Results in Search

Amazon’s search is increasingly featuring sponsored products, Amazon brands, as well as recommended products, instead of organic results. For many searches, there are only two organic results on the whole screen above the fold. Not until scrolling down past various recommended products do organic search results come up.

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Amazon Replaces "Reviews" with "Ratings"

Amazon has expanded product reviews by allowing shoppers to leave a star rating without a written review. The company has been testing the change since September, and committed to it last week by changing the wording on the website to "ratings." The overall star rating now includes feedback from customers who simply rated the product as well as the traditional reviews with text, images, or video.

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Amazon Reverses Slowing Sales Growth

Amazon's sales rose 22% in the third quarter, the biggest gain in two years. Since also growing 22% in Q3 2017, Amazon's first-party sales - not the total GMV including the marketplace, but only sales where Amazon is the retailer - have only been growing 13.5% on average.

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eBay Growth Turns Negative

eBay GMV was down by $1 billion, and the sold items growth has turned negative for the first time in the company’s history. The company reported $20.4 billion in GMV in Q3, down -5% year-over-year from $21.4 billion. Sold items growth was -3%; it hasn’t grown since 2018 Q1.

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