UK Publishers Given More Data by Amazon; Push for a Wider Roll-Out of Amazon Pay

RetailTechNews’ weekly roundup brings you up-to-date research findings from around the world. In this week’s edition: UK publishers given more data by Amazon; Push for a wider roll-out of Amazon Pay; Amazon struggles in Brazil.

UK publishers given more data by Amazon

Amazon is introducing two tools for U.K. publishers designed to help them tap into the e-commerce giant’s shopper data.

One of the tools, called ‘Shopping Insights’, lets publishers view the Amazon shopping habits of their site visitors. For instance, based on those users’ shopping behaviours on Amazon, publishers can view which proportion of their site visitors are in the market for or have bought TVs.

Publishers can then use that data to inform their editorial teams to write more around items that their site visitors are searching and buying on Amazon. Publisher sales teams can also use the shopping-habit data in their collateral when pitching to clients who want to target an audience that Amazon data shows is visiting that publisher’s site.

Shopping Insights is a product that Amazon has tested in the U.S. with partners like Bauer, but it hasn’t been fully rolled out to the U.K until very recently and is still in beta phase.

The second product offering, ‘Direct Deals’, which is also in beta phase in the U.K. This enables a publisher to agree to a private-marketplace deal on reserved inventory, and that is based on Amazon e-commerce data, according to publisher sources. Details on what specific data haven’t yet been fully disclosed, but one of the options will be for publishers to overlay Shopping Insights data into the PMP offering, which they can do on either a fixed-fee or floor-price model agreed on between advertiser and publisher, according to publisher sources.

Push for a wider roll-out of Amazon Pay

Amazon is asking traditional brick-and-mortar stores to start accepting its mobile payments platform, Amazon Pay, anonymous sources told The Wall Street Journal. The company has its sights set on gas stations and restaurants as well as other stores that don’t directly compete with its extensive retail offerings.

Amazon Pay, which has been around since 2007, has seen limited adoption. Currently, you can use Amazon Pay to shop online with “tens of thousands” of third-party merchants, including Dyson and bedding retailer Parachute, and make purchases in Amazon’s retail stores. You can also order products with Amazon Pay through Alexa-enabled devices. Amazon promises that shoppers will have no fees, and sellers will have minimal ones.

Amazon has incorporated QR codes into its own retail stores, suggesting it might do the same if other brick-and-mortar stores sign on. That would put it closer to China’s e-commerce giant Alibaba and its Alipay platform than a rival to Apple Pay, which relies on NFC technology.

There are a number of advantages QR codes have over NFC tags. Lower-end smartphones all have cameras that can be used to scan QR codes, while only a small percentage of phones have NFC tags. It’s also more affordable and feasible for a small business owner to print out some QR codes and tape them to a wall or desk, rather than invest in a pricey NFC terminal.

Amazon struggles in Brazil Inc is struggling to ramp up its operations in Brazil, a promising market that so far has proven difficult for the world’s largest online retailer to crack.

Challenges include the nation’s tangled tax system, complicated logistics and testy relations with some prominent vendors, who say the Seattle behemoth has shown little flexibility in negotiating even though it is still a minor e-commerce player in Brazil.

Several well-known firms here, including Brazilian fashion label AMARO and footwear and accessory retailer Arezzo Industria e Comercio SA, have declined Amazon’s offers to sell their goods on its platforms.

However, no one is counting Amazon out. The company continues to push ahead with plans to construct its own in-house fulfilment and delivery network in Brazil, tasks that currently are handled by the vendors whose merchandise it sells on its site.

Despite this, that initiative is taking longer than expected and, when finally unveiled, is likely to be modest in scope compared to its operations in other emerging markets such as India and Mexico, according to interviews with current and former employees, manufacturers, consultants and others with knowledge of the effort.

While Amazon has expanded rapidly in some emerging markets, it continues to play catch-up in Brazil, where strong local competitors dominate. Shares of homegrown e-commerce players B2W Cia Digital SA and Magazine Luiza SA have risen sharply over the past year.