There are rumors that ecommerce giant Amazon is contemplating on starting operations in Russia. According to an article on Forbes, Amazon Started as office in Russia, headed by Arkady Vitrouk, former general director of ABC-Atticus, a publishing group owned by media baron Alexander Mamut.
Forbes cites unnamed sources but notes that the appointment, and the office opening, have not been confirmed by Amazon itself. However, we’ve discovered that Vitrouk’s LinkedIn profile does confirm him as director of Kindle Content for Amazon in Russia.
Looking a little closer, Amazon is hiring for at least three other positions for Russia specifically for its Kindle business and the sourcing of local content: a senior product manager for Kindle content pricing, and a principal for content acquisition for Kindle Russia, and another content acquisition manager.
A visit to amazon.ru currently redirects to the company’s main page for Europe, with links to other countries’ local sites, including the UK, France, Spain, German and Italy. The Forbes article also notes that Amazon has applied for patents in Russia around some of the activities we know it for already: storage and delivery of goods; the storage of electronic texts and media files; and book publishing. We have contacted Amazon and Vitrouk himself for more detail and will update this story as we learn more. Read more
The coming year is likely to see growth in overall ecommerce spending, increased competition for loyal customers, and advances in marketing technology. What follows are five suggested resolutions. If followed, these resolutions could lead to more sales and more profit.
1. Treat Your Customers Better
Consumers — customers — are spending much more online, perhaps $252 billion in the U.S. alone in 2013, according to Forrester estimates.
The number of businesses selling online is also growing, increasing the competition for Internet shoppers. While many of these new businesses will compete solely on price, some merchants will offer more than just discounts. These retailers will offer exceptional customer service.
Resolving to treat customers better can mean changes in a few areas.
- Retailers should encourage a “customer first” philosophy. Everything centers on providing great service.
- Retailers should be easy to reach, offering an 800 number, live chat, and easy email options.
- Retailers should give shoppers many options for payments, shipping, and returns.
2. Focus on Mobile
According to consulting firm Strategy Analytics, there will soon be more than 2 billion smartphones in use worldwide. Tablets, which are perhaps the most revolutionary of mobile devices, are enjoying amazing popularity too.
Online, mobile shoppers are using these devices to make purchases when it is convenient. Some of these mobile buyers might be sitting on a couch watching “Dancing with the Stars” and placing Internet orders from an iPad. Others could be standing at a shop in the mall comparing prices from a web-enabled smartphone. Read more
The CMO club recently asked its members “What do you see as your biggest opportunity for revenue generation in early 2013?” What’s exciting is that 42.6 percent said “Improve Conversion” and 26.5 percent said “Improve Customer Experience.”
After 15 years of evangelizing the benefits of conversion optimization, it seems that the C-Suite is finally ready to embrace the idea. Even if they don’t have the structure yet, the motivation will get them there.
Years of being battered by a horrific economy meant seeking any potential source of revenue to fill depleted state treasury coffers. TheSan Francisco Chronicle puts the numbers at $83 million in additional tax revenue just from Amazon sales, making it a sizeable chunk of the $300 million the state foresees collecting in its first year.
California joins Kentucky, Kansas, New York, North Dakota, Pennsylvania, Texas and Washington in requiring ecommerce sites like Amazon to collect sales tax from customers.
Other states that have long left the task of reporting sales taxes to taxpayers seem likely to take that inconvenience away. Indiana for one will begin collecting online sales taxes in 2014, the state announced in January. Of an estimated $75 million in additional revenue, Indiana anticipates $20 million will come from Amazon.com sales.
While the cutting-edge technology and sizable net worth of Amazon enables it to integrate this requirement likely with minimal inconvenience, it may be a different story for the smaller ecommerce sites on the internet. Such entrepreneurs will need to stay on top of their ecommerce providers to ensure lawful collections are taking place with each sale and document them accordingly.
Indeed, the spread of online sales tax collection laws may be a boon for one ecommerce segment – sellers of tax collection software packages for either standalone use or integration into ecommerce suites.
About the Author
David A. Utter is a freelance writer based in Lexington, KY. Find him on LinkedIn.
This post originally appeared on ‘Ecommerce Bytes‘