Blue Apron Under Pressure from Amazon

Amazon recently announced that they were acquiring Whole Foods and many questioned what synergies and opportunities would be identified as result of this acquisition. The recent launch, in test markets, of a meal delivery service that Amazon is launching may not bode well for Blue Apron, a major player in this market.

Blue Apron has recently undergone an IPO in July and the announcement by Amazon has led to a big drop in their stock, as they are likely to struggle competing against a competitor with as many resources available to them as Amazon has. This month alone, Blue Apron’s stock has dropped 30%. The Company had a high valuation and has never earned a profit in their business which is leading many to question the valuations that Blue Apron had. Many large institutional companies had invested in Blue Apron including Bessemer Venture Partners and First Round Capital, and Fidelity. The price that these institutional investors got in at is unknown and the Blue Apron stock is currently down from their IPO price of $10 a share to approximately $6.50.

The slogan that Amazon has trademarked for their newly launched meal delivery system of “We do the prep, you be the chef”. Amazon has been successful in many different product lines that they have launched including diverse fields from Cloud Computing to the development of video content. They have been recently trying to enter the grocery market to combat other major competitors like Walmart, given the vast size of this market opportunity. It is easy to see the synergies that Amazon could develop in the meal prep business along with their current delivery service and capabilities.

Amazon has been accused of reaching towards monopolistic levels of power, partly as a result of their acquisition of Whole Foods. While regulation does not appear to be forthcoming a larger breakup of Amazon to smaller respective parts may be a possible future outcome if they continue to expand and dominate in the online marketplace.

Amazon: Kicking Butt And Taking Names… Literally

The omnipresent juggernaut Amazon is back in the news again, taking the competition’s ball, wrapping it in Prime shipping tape and not giving it back. In June, they announced their acquisition of Whole Foods for $13.7 billion. As a result of this, customers were indifferent and competitors felt the heat as their stocks rose and fell through the day. However, there was one competitor that got the shorter end of the stick.

 

Blue Apron has existed as a private company for while but recently they decided to go public. By recently, I mean on the same day Amazon decided to make this announcement. Just to break this down even further, let me briefly explain what a IPO is and what it stands for. IPO means “initial public offering.” Initial public offering is the first time that the stock of a private company is offered to the public. Blue Apron’s IPO was initially forecast at $15-$17 per share but after Amazon’s announcement it plummeted to $10 per share.

 

On the Monday a week after Amazon’s announcement, they added insult to injury. Amazon Technologies Inc. filed a meal-kit trademark. This trademark states that “prepared food kits composed of meat, poultry, fish, seafood, fruit and/or vegetables . . . ready for cooking and assembly as a meal.” Yes, you read that correctly. Amazon filed a patent on something that is already in existence. Regular Amazon boss moves.

 

When everything was all said and done Blue Apron’s stock lingered somewhere around $6.66. Yikes! That means that it went down 9.4 perfect. The good news for Blue Apron is that they are still in the game and have enough money to stay afloat for a year to put together their next plan of action. Everybody isn’t just falling in line to Amazon. Netflix is currently beating the odds, reaching new subscriber levels that analysts said they would never reach. Their stock also rose 10%. Amazon is setting themselves up to be king of all domains but the competition is not going down without a fight.

 

Amazon Cash Targets Unique Customers To Come Aboard

Does anyone remember when Amazon was only known for selling books? The online retail hub definitely sells more than books. And it still sells a lot of books as well. To help facilitate the further free flow of capital, Amazon has come up with Amazon Cash. With Amazon Cash, using a bank card to make a purchase might become a thing of the past. No, that won’t happen overnight. Amazing new trends can take a while to catch on. If Amazon promotes its Amazon Cash feature effectively in its marketing, the online seller should capture the attention of many looking for an easier way to shop.

 

With Amazon Cash, barcode-driven deposits can be made at a participating retailer. The money ends up credited to an Amazon Cash account. The goal here is to target the customer how always pays in cash and does not have a bank card. Amazon knows there is a huge customer base out there who fit this description.

 

The concept of Amazon Cash could prove to be groundbreaking. Online marketing is, wisely, directed towards people who consistently buy online. Coming up with a strategy to attract a customer who never buys online is complicated. When the person lacks a means of paying for online purchases, things are even more difficult. Amazon Cash absolutely should make things less difficult. Amazon would end up reaping the rewards of increased sales thanks to coming up with such an innovative topic.

 

The idea that online marketing goes offline in search of customers has been done by other companies. Paypal Wallet is such an example. Amazon Cash reflects a growing confidence in the success potential of the strategy. With the right marketing approach, new customers can be grabbed from anywhere. Retail stores are perfect sources for Amazon customers. Ironically, online businesses such as Amazon are the cause behind the dwindling customers who visit retail stores.

 

Amazon Cash reflects a glimpse of the future. The future is one with far fewer retail stores. Current customers who rely solely on retail stores are going to find they have a new place to go. And they can get there with ease as hurdles and impediments are removed.

 

Amazon Planning On Launching On Demand Application For Truckers

Online retail giant, Amazon has released plans to further expand into the logistics and trucking industry with an on demand trucking app. According to details obtained by business insider the application will be similar to Uber which connects drivers and riders together and monetizes the connection. Amazon plans to connect truckers or transporters with shippers or those who need to ship out packages.

 

You could view this on demand application as being a win-win situation for both truckers and shippers. With the app, truckers could easily find new customers and increase their profitability. They could also cut time when they are out of work or lack goods to move. Shippers can benefit because they can easily find truckers to move their goods from one place to another.

 

According to Amazon, the Uber like application could be released sometime in 2017. If you think Amazon is not serious about entering this trucking market, then consider this. Amazon has recently purchased thousands of company trucks and even some cargo planes to transports packages and other goods. Should Amazon indeed develop this application it could control an entire logistics cycle of delivery. That would include shipping, transportation and final delivery. Currently Amazon contracts with a company called C.H. Robinson to arrange for deliveries between its warehouses and facilities and destinations to customers.

 

There are currently several companies that are operating in this space such as the C.H Robinson that currently provides a service to Amazon. If Amazon enters this market it would be in competition with these companies. There is no doubt that Amazon could really shake up the market segment and industry if it indeed entered.

 

One of the things that can happen if Amazon does enter the trucking and delivery marketplace is that its new app could eliminate middlemen that charge about a 15% commission fee for arranging and scheduling deliveries to loading docks and warehouses. Just like Uber cuts out taxi companies who act as middlemen, the Amazon on demand app could eliminate these middlemen in the trucking and delivery industry. The app could also provide directions, alert truckers of delivery opportunities and provide suggestions for a delivery route.

 

Amazon Prime Day Will Probably Benefit Other Companies Too

Amazon Prime Day is Amazon’s annual day to give massive discounts to a wide number of products from a plethora of different companies, and it looks like this year’s will benefit other companies as well, at least in terms of online traffic.

A company is lucky if it can direct 15% of internet traffic to its website to make an actual purchase, but it is an absolute truth that you make more online sales when you get more online traffic to your website. Certainly, it matters that you get high-income viewers to come to your website, but it’s equally important that you just get more people to view your site at all. So, Amazon offering deep discounts to many products offered on its platforms means that customers will potentially end up going to the websites of the producers of products they first viewed on Amazon. The average American consumer is just fascinating.

This, of course, is an unintentional but still free and beneficial service to other businesses that Amazon provides on its Prime Day, which gives Amazon itself millions upon millions in additional revenue due to Amazon’s ability to control its own prices. This increases Amazon’s market share, and it deepens the average consumer’s business relationship with Amazon as well. Overall, Amazon Prime Day is an economic blessing that benefits almost everyone involved, all the while giving customers lower prices that at almost any time during the year. How can you beat that?

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Amazon has released more of their push buttons that order specific home goods, according to this article released by the Wall Street Journal. While Amazon is continuing to expand the line of products that can be ordered by the simple push of a button, the article questions whether consumers are actually interested in utilizing this service. The Amazon Push system, as the company calls it, allows consumers to reorder home goods like toilet paper, detergent, and other home essentials. Currently there are about fifty different products available, but Amazon hopes to grow the list in the coming years.

While the stats are remarkably unimpressive in terms of actual sales, there is a strategic component to this tactic that should not be overlooked. Amazon has already dealt a death blow to the bookstore industry, and products like e readers were once mocked before seeing widespread acceptance. Amazon is hoping that these buttons will catch on in a similar way, and increase the amount of people using Amazon as their primary method of making purchases. This is one shot that Amazon has taken at the brick and mortar grocery store. Some will remember their plan to deliver groceries as well, which was less than successful. This product is only available to customers that are already using Amazon Prime, the expedited shipping service offered by the company. However, Prime has never earned an annual profit, and continues to cost the company money. Amazon is hoping that these losses will pay off on the future.