Amazon is being criticized for appearing to inflate prices as residents of North and South Carolina prepare for Hurricane Florence to make landfall.
Many local grocery and warehouse stores have sold out of basics like cases of water, so some locals have turned online to buy goods to prepare for the storm. What they’ve found is water cases that cost over $20 for a few dozen bottles — far more than their usual cost.
Small businesses who took part in the 36-hour event experienced great numbers. In some cases, small business sales were 10 to 100 times higher than their average day. In an Amazon press release, a few small businesses shared their thoughts as the day was just beginning.
“Prime Day is just getting started for us, but we’re already seeing 10 times our average day sales,” said Kelly Fedio of One Savvy Life,
“We’re having our biggest day ever! So far this Prime Day, we’ve sold 102 times more units than an average day.” said Victor Chang of Furbo.
PRIME DAY, WHICH began Monday, is one of Amazon’s biggest promotions of the year, when the retailer offers deals to subscribers of its Prime service.
This year, some Amazon workers in Europe are striking during Prime Day, hoping to draw attention to working conditions like proposed cuts in wages and health benefits. In solidarity, some consumers have been boycotting the company and its many subsidiaries, like Twitch and Whole Foods.
Amazon Delivery Service Partners is a new program designed to help Amazon scale and meet the growing demand for package deliveries. In 2017, Amazon shipped 5 billion items to Prime members alone, and its operating income increased 20 percent year over year to $2.8 billion. To keep up, the company is seeking “hundreds of entrepreneurs” to start their own delivery companies in the U.S. through Amazon, according to a press release. Over time, Amazon aims for these Delivery Service Partners “to hire tens of thousands of delivery drivers.”
Amazon wants to make its virtual assistant Alexa available on more devices, instead of just its own hardware. To that end, the company today is broadly opening up access to developer tools that will allow commercial device makers to build products powered by Alexa. With the launch of the Alexa Voice Service Device SDK toolset, companies can add a fully functional version of Alexa to their devices that’s able to handle speech recognition, as well as other Alexa functionality, like streaming media, using timers and alarms, notifications, weather reports, and accessing the thousands of voice apps, known as Alexa skills.
Microsoft just joined the Cloud Native Computing Foundation, a group dedicated to promoting a modern way for businesses to run their software.
The group touts Kubernetes, a hot technology used to deploy and manage what are known as software containers. Containers let businesses pack the components needed to run a given software application into bundles that can theoretically run in their own data centers or an outside public cloud. In that way it helps the customer avoid being locked into any one cloud provider.
Microsoft’s membership in the group is a formal endorsement of Kubernetes.
When it comes to tech giants, Apple and Amazon have one of the better rivalries.
Both are trying to be the living-room platform of the future. Apple is doing that through Apple TV; Amazon is doing that through its Fire sticks and boxes. Neither wants to cede ground to the other, which has meant they haven’t been playing nice.
The result? No Amazon Prime Video app for Apple TV owners, and no Apple TVs available on Amazon.com. For now.
Amazon’s Prime subscription service grew rapidly in the latest quarter as the company added more streamed content and free shipping for more items sold through its marketplace.
On Thursday, Amazon said that first quarter revenue from Amazon Prime rose 49% to $1.9 billion compared to the same period a year earlier.