Topics Covered: April 3, 2023

  1. Factory brands on Amazon
  2. Amazon outperforms in 1Q
  3. Value of ratings and reviews changing
  4. ChatGPT plugins change discovery and buying
  5. Metaverse pullback
  6. Original social commerce meaning
  7.  Kroger slowing Ocado strategy

Factory Brands on Amazon: Junk, Good Enough, or Can't Tell

Search “laptop bag” on Amazon and you’ll see a lot more brands than Tumi, Samsonite, Briggs & Riley or even Amazon Basics.


Instead, you'll see Voova, Kroser, PACEARM, YXKIKI, Arae, Dachee, KPL, Mosiso, LOVEVOOK.


Each of these are on the first page of Amazon’s search results even though you’d never find them inside a store and you likely can’t pronounce them.


They’re a big part of the reason why 55% of brands we benchmarked estimate competition has increased on Amazon in just the last year.

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For the Nerds

1Q outperformance on Amazon: While we can't conclude a specific growth metric from this study, it is a welcome datapoint considering what many have argued is a worsening economic backdrop for Amazon and its peers.


Value of ratings and reviews declining: Amazon’s testing broad sales volume metrics along with flagging ASINs that have high return rates.


  • Sales volume: Provide shoppers with more recent perspective on how a product is selling (e.g. trending signal). This lessens the value of rating and review histories generated over the course of an ASINs life.
  • Flagging high return rates: Dual benefit of helping consumers dig deeper into product information, while also helping save return costs.


Both help provide additional signals to consumers as ratings and reviews have become more difficult to discern what's real vs. fake. (Momentum Commerce, The Information)

ChatGPT plugins can change discovery & buying: Instead of finding a recipe on the web via Google, a shopper can use ChatGPT, and then, with the plugin, have a list of ingredients added to a basket on Instacart and check-out with a few clicks.


Plugins thus have the potential to change how consumers discover and buy products, and ChatGPT could become the default user interface across retailers’ sites/apps. (Notboring)

Disney & Walmart pull back on metaverse: There's still no defined vision of the metaverse, the shift in financial markets makes investing into it nearly impossible, and meanwhile generative AI should be soaking up any and all experimental test budgets. (Business Insider, Truth in Advertising)

Reality is meeting theory in social commerce: The Verticale is shifting from direct check-out to simply being the source for discovery and information that then links out to a brand’s check-out page.


Shoppers like discovering products on social and they like buying products from retailers and brands, but they have not responded well when those lines blur. (Modern Retail)

Kroger possibly slowing Ocado roll-out: Kroger's bold CFC bet has yet to show up in its financial results. Instead of doubling eCommerce sales over the last two years, its digital business is essentially flat.


Time is of the essence for Kroger’s digital strategy. It needs to show accelerating top-line growth and improving profitability in each of the next several quarters to convince Wall Street its strategy makes sense. (Grocery Dive)