Welcome to FeedbackExpress’ weekly round-up of the top five stories from the world of Amazon and ecommerce.

Amazon workers are listening to what you tell Alexa: Matt Day at Bloomberg reports that Amazon employs thousands of people around the world to help improve the Alexa digital assistant powering its line of Echo speakers. The team listens to voice recordings captured in Echo owners’ homes and offices. The recordings are transcribed, annotated and then fed back into the software as part of an effort to eliminate gaps in Alexa’s understanding of human speech and help it better respond to commands. Continue reading…

Walmart gears up for Amazon clash with adtech acquisition: John Glenday at The Drum reports that Walmart has augmented its advertising technology prowess with the acquisition of Polymorph Labs in San Francisco, the latest in a series of moves designed to better position the retailer against online nemesis Amazon. The bricks and mortar giant has been incrementally nurturing its own in-house advertising business called Walmart Media Group but it lags well behind Amazon’s equivalent operations, fueling a desire to scale through acquisitions. Continue reading…

Jeff Bezos divorce leaves world’s richest man with 75% of couple’s Amazon stock: Joanna Walters at The Guardian reports MacKenzie, now the ex-wife of Amazon’s founder and chief executive officer Jeff, will give 75% of their stake in the company and all voting rights to the billionaire entrepreneur. Jeff Bezos is the richest man in the world but the agreement does not make McKenzie the richest woman in the world, as speculation has suggested it might. She will have to get along on the proceeds of her stake, estimated at $36bn at current market prices. Continue reading…

Amazon’s automated stores will start accepting cash: Jacob Kastrenakes at The Verge reports that Amazon plans to start accepting cash at its automated convenience stores, addressing rising complaints that cash-free businesses discriminate against impoverished and lower-income shoppers who are more likely to lack access to banking or credit cards. The change won’t go into effect right away and it’s not known yet how Amazon will make the change. Continue reading…

Amazon is moving into health care, its next big market: Christina Farr at CNBC reports that Amazon has been described as the “everything store, ” but it’s missing one major category. And that’s our prescription medicines. But that might soon change, in the wake of Amazon’s roughly $1 billion acquisition of PillPack, an internet pharmacy. Health experts told CNBC that it’s only a matter of time before Amazon starts selling prescription drugs on its online marketplace and that it’s assembling a team to do just that. Continue reading…

Bonus: What’s a Good Profit Margin on Amazon?

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