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

2018 letter to shareholders: Jeff Bezos recently published his 2018 annual shareholder letter for Amazon. The whole thing is very interesting and I’d recommend reading it. He discusses many aspects of the company but specifically talks about the growth rate of sales from third-party sellers. Third-party sellers now make up 58% of the online retail sales on Amazon. Bezos specifically says, “Third-party sellers are kicking our first party butt. Badly.” Read the whole letter here. 

Amazon ‘flooded by fake five-star reviews’ – Which? report: BBC News reports that Which? has claimed that Amazon’s website is flooded with fake five-star reviews for products from unfamiliar brands. Thousands of reviews were unverified, meaning there was no evidence the reviewer bought the product. Amazon said it was using automated technology to weed out false reviews. Continue reading…

Amazon in talks to launch ad-supported music offering: Hannah Karp at Billboard reports that Amazon has entered into discussions to launch a free, ad-supported music service, sources familiar with the plan tell Billboard — intensifying its competitive threat to global streaming leader Spotify. The world’s biggest e-retailer would market the free music service through its voice-activated Echo speakers, sources say, and would offer a limited catalogue. It could become available as early as next week. Continue reading…

Amazon faces new headache as Nashville deal enrages locals left and right: Dominic Rushe at The Guardian reports that Nashville has a way of bringing people together – usually through music. This time it’s through a shared antipathy for the $100m-plus in subsidies this booming city has just handed to Amazon, the world’s most valuable retailer. There are now only a few small hurdles remaining before Amazon starts moving into a downtown office complex planned for Nashville Yards. Continue reading…

Amazon has planes, drones and now…satellites? Jackie Wattles at CNN Business reports that earlier this month, Amazon announced plans to build a constellation of miniature satellites that will whirl around the planet and deliver cheap, high-speed internet to every corner of the globe. The initiative, called Project Kuiper, will probably cost billions of dollars and pose enormous technical challenges. Continue reading…

Bonus:  Pros and Cons of Selling on Amazon vs Your Own Site

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