Amazon is merging its retail and Marketplace teams behind the scenes, according to a company statement reported on by Business Insider. The retailer has “been working for some time on standardizing the products, tools, and services we offer to the brands and resellers that sell on Amazon,” with the ultimate goal of making the difference between Amazon and third-party purchases seamless.
Amazon already has been implementing standards to regulate the practices of third-party sellers. Retailers using Amazon’s site have limits on how much they can charge for shipping and deadlines for how long a purchase can wait before it is sent to the customer.
The changes have put more operations under Doug Herrington, SVP of the North America Consumer business, according to CNBC. The Marketplace had operated under the leadership of Sebastian Gunningham, SVP of Seller Services, until he left the retailer in March 2018. Vice President of Amazon Marketplace Peter Faricy has been in charge of the division since then, but people familiar with the matter say many of his responsibilities have been shifted to other executives.
The Marketplace has faced challenges not experienced by the retail division, such as counterfeit products and false reviews. A study by the Government Accountability Office found 20 out of 47 items purchased from third-party sellers through the e-Commerce sites of retailers, including Amazon and Walmart, were counterfeit.
“This is a clear signal from Amazon that its marketplace is core to its long-term business strategy, and it should not be managed separately,” said Adrien Nussenbaum, Co-Founder and U.S. CEO of Mirakl in commentary provided to Retail TouchPoints. “Although Amazon has struggled to prevent seller fraud, the fact is that the third-party marketplace is now responsible for half of Amazon’s sales.”
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