Amazon goes global for Chinese customers, Amazon builds facility in Illinois and eBay files a patent

A summary of the most important 3P Third Party Marketplace news for the week ending 16 August 2015.
17
Aug

Third Party Marketplace News – Amazon shows their crossborder play and breaks ground in Joliet and eBay files for a patent

Every week, Hendrik Laubscher will be providing third party sellers with a selection of news stories that they need to be aware of. As a Prosper Show participant we strive to ensure that you can focus on your business while we handle all the industry news. It has been a busy week with regards to 3P marketplaces. Amazon China’s Vice President has provided input into Amazon’s cross border play for sellers. Amazon has also started building a new distribution center in Joliet, Illnois. Lastly, an eBay director has filed for a very interesting patent that for an algorithm that ranks search query results based on matching language with geographic region.

Amazon China announced that in the future Chinese customers will be able to access Amazon US’s website for shopping directly, using their accounts for Amazon China’s website. Chinese pop-up shoppers can pay their purchases in renminbi using China UnionPay cards. Niu Wenhua, vice president of Amazon China, reported that Chinese shoppers will be able to access Amazon’s websites in Europe and Japan in the second half of the year and that Mandarin customer service will be available. Amazon has been keeping quiet on their plans for China. The news that Chinese customers will be able to shop on Amazon US / European website provides sellers an opportunity to gain new clientele. This is the first time that Amazon has unveiled functionality that will specifically benefit Chinese customers. I suspect this lesson was learnt while being on TMall (an Alibaba Business).  Read more here.

Amazon.com will build its first fulfillment center in Illinois in Joliet, a significant occurrence given the history between the marketplace and the state. Amazon delivered a special package to the Illinois economy on Monday — 1,000 full-time jobs at what will be its first warehouse in the state. But it got something in return as well — a tax break of up to 10 years from the state in exchange for its promise to invest $40 million in a retrofitted 500,000-square-foot Joliet “fulfillment center” in the Laraway Crossings Business Park at the northeast corner of Laraway Road and Illinois 53. It’s next to a site where IKEA is building a 1.4 million-square-foot distribution center. Illinois had been off limits for years due to Amazon’s refusal to collect sales tax from residents there. This is big news and will definitely positively affect Amazon’s bottom line and providing sellers with more opportunity to sell to Illinois based customers. Read more here.

An eBay director of global ecommerce and payments has updated a patent for an algorithm that ranks search query results based on matching language with geographic region. The patent supports search in worldwide electronic commerce, according to the filing with the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office. eBay provides their sellers with an opportunity to sell internationally via the Global Shipping Program and this patent will ensure that they are able to localize search results based on location. Read more here.

Till next week. Onwards