There's No Business Like Slow Business

Amazon's layoffs hit their "Buy With Prime" team, while Google's could affect search quality

Check out our daily podcast:
🎧 Listen • 󠀠  Subscribe 󠀠 • 📈 Advertise

Follow Us: TikTok, Threads, more
Follow Tod: Mastodon, Threads, more 

ADVERTISE: Reach 4,000+ marketing decision-makers for as low as $10! [more]

In Today's Issue

Amazon Cutting People from “Buy With Prime”

More layoffs in the digital marketing space — and it’s Amazon this weekend announcing more reductions to its workforce.

Retail Dive reported this morning that the company is laying off about 30 employees from its Buy With Prime division.

This lets Amazon Prime members buy products directly from third-party sellers on Amazon's marketplace.

An Amazon spokesperson confirmed these layoffs, noting they affect less than 5% of the team's staff.

Despite this, company emphasizes says they still plan to invest in this program.

This Ain’t The First; It Won’t Be the Last

These layoffs are part of a larger trend of workforce reductions at Amazon, which has been ongoing for over a year. The company has announced several job cuts across various departments, including Prime Video, MGM Studios, its Alexa unit, AWS, Twitch, and other teams. In total, these reductions amount to tens of thousands of jobs.

In addition to staff reductions, Amazon has also been closing several of its physical stores, including Amazon Style apparel stores and its stand-alone bookstores. However, the company maintains that physical retail remains a key aspect of its strategy, especially in the grocery sector.


TRIVIA: As of 2024, what is the payment processing fee for each Buy with Prime order?

Login or Subscribe to participate in polls.

Google Drops Some Search Raters

Meanwhile, the company called Appen put out a news release this morning saying they’d been cut by Google, and will stop working with the search giant in mid-March.

Appen is a large contractor, and for Google, they provided the people who rate search quality.

What Are Search Quality Raters?

These are external evaluators who assess the quality of search results. They have a giant guide, and spend their days doing Google searches, rating the quality of the results, and providing that data to Google, which uses it to improve the algorithm.

It’s unfortunate timing for Google, given the recent reports of their search results getting worse in quality.

Appen says they had no prior notice about being cut.


TikTok’s Growth Slowing Down?

TikTok is still growing, but at a much slower clip than previously.

New data from Sensor Tower shows that TikTok's average quarterly growth in monthly active users decreased from 12% in 2022 to just 3% last year.

This slowdown coincides with the U.S. launch of TikTok Shop, which began testing in November 2022. The platform tried to convert the popularity of TikTok videos into sales, following trends like the "TikTok made me buy it" phenomenon.

But users and sellers alike have complained about the increasing presence of ads and low-quality products, with some labeling it an "ad-filled wasteland."

Instagram Could Gain Here

Meanwhile, Instagram might benefit from this shift. After removing its own Shop tab and discontinuing live shopping, is it possible Instagram could attract users seeking a less commerce-focused experience?

Social commerce constituted only about 5% of total U.S. e-commerce sales in 2022.


Amazon’s “Preferred Deal” is a Pretty Decent Price

Amazon is set to introduce a new ad-supported streaming tier for its Prime Video service on January 29.

A recently viewed pitch deck by Adweek reveals that Amazon will offer three different plans for advertisers: the Preferred Deal, Guaranteed Buy, and Premium Sponsorships.

  • The Preferred Deal is the most cost-effective option, with a base cost of $26 per thousand viewers reached. That’s not CPM, by the way — CPM is impressions delivered. This number is based on actual reach, so that’s a pretty competitive price.

  • Meanwhile, the Guaranteed Buy and Premium Sponsorships provide more complex targeting options and exclusive program sponsorships, albeit at higher costs. Notably, these costs per thousand viewers are fixed.

Some analysts say Amazon Prime will reach 317 million households globally this year. This expansion into ad-supported streaming could divert billions of dollars from traditional TV and other streaming platforms.


Let Us Find You an Expert — Free!

Are you struggling with low conversion rates?
Reduced traffic from Google?
Trying to kickstart your agency?

Ask your question on our voicemail line, and we’ll hunt down an expert, and have them give you their recommendations right here in the newsletter and on our daily podcast.

Soon, only our Premium members will be able to ask questions, but for right now everybody can. So get your question in now!

TikTok Releases New Guide for Advertisers

TikTok has released a new guide for advertisers — it has some new info on optimizing ad bidding strategies.

First off, the guide provides an overview of how to approach your ad process, and the different bidding options available within TikTok’s system.

The guide also includes pointers on how to structure your ad account, in order to maximize performance, which provides some key guidance on common best practices.

There are also tips on how and when to update your campaigns, in order to avoid audience fatigue, and the shifts that can occur within the learning phase, while there are also pointers on bidding strategies and when they’re most effective.

You can download the complete “Web Auction Best Practices Guide” here.


New Jersey’s New Consumer Privacy Law

New Jersey has become the latest American state to sign consumer privacy protection into law, and it could affect how you store your customer’s data.

It kicks in next January and — like the 12 other states with similar legislation — lets consumers opt-out of having companies sell their personal information.

The law applies to businesses operating in New Jersey that either control or process personal data of over 100,000 consumers, or those handling data of at least 25,000 consumers while profiting from it. It follows a similar framework to California's consumer privacy law, where a "sale" includes sharing, disclosing, or transferring personal data for monetary gains or other benefits. This does, of course, affect third-party entities like advertising technology vendors.

The law does have exceptions. It does not cover personal data processed solely for completing payment transactions. And it does not grant a private right of action. This means enforcement lies solely with New Jersey’s Attorney General, and residents cannot sue companies for privacy violations.

Like next up: New Hampshire — a similar bill is awaiting the governor's approval.

ADVERTISE: Reach 4,000+ marketing decision-makers for as low as $10! [more]

Upgrade Your Media Buying Skills:

Tools We Use and Recommend:

¹ Some links in this newsletter may provide affiliate revenue to us.

Join the conversation

or to participate.