Amazon’s FBA Expansion, Target to Compete with Amazon and Walmart, and More News

Another Friday, another News Digest. Are you ready for this week’s eCommerce extravaganza? Last week, we covered eBay’s Q4 sales and other important news (make sure to check it out), and this week we’re starting off with the Amazon FBA expansion. So, grab your coffee and kick back for a few minutes with this week’s eCommerce info. Let’s dive in.

Today’s news is 1568 words.

Amazon’s FBA Expansion

Amazon has long recognized the value of embracing both established brands and third-party sellers on its platform, understanding that such a mix enhances the variety of products available to its customers. 

This realization led to the creation of the FBA (Fulfillment by Amazon) New Selection program in 2019, aimed specifically at encouraging sellers to introduce products that were new to the FBA service. 

By offering to handle the logistics of storage, packing, and shipping, Amazon made it considerably easier and more attractive for sellers to reach its vast base of Prime members, thereby enriching the selection of goods available on the marketplace.

ecommerce news

March 1st Announcement

To support this initiative even more, Amazon announced on March 1, 2024, an expansion of the benefits under the FBA New Selection program. Among the key changes introduced was the reduction of the Inventory Performance Index (IPI) score required for eligibility. 

Sellers now need an IPI score of just 300 or higher to participate, a significant drop from the previous threshold of 400. This adjustment makes the program accessible to a broader range of sellers, potentially increasing the diversity and novelty of products offered to Amazon’s customers. 

Additionally, Amazon hinted at forthcoming updates to the program later in the year, including a discount on fees for enrolling in the Vine program, which helps sellers get their products reviewed.

The continuous evolution of the FBA New Selection program, highlighted by the recent adjustments and anticipated updates, demonstrates Amazon’s commitment to fostering a dynamic and competitive marketplace that benefits both sellers and shoppers alike.

What does it mean for eCommerce sellers?

For eCommerce sellers, Amazon’s expanded FBA New Selection program represents a golden opportunity to access a larger customer base with reduced barriers to entry, thanks to lower eligibility requirements and forthcoming discounts on promotional tools. 

MORE: What is Amazon FBA?

Big Retailer News

Target to Compete with Amazon and Walmart

Have you heard of Target’s new paid membership program — Target Circle 360? Set to debut on April 7, the program aims to enhance the shopping experience by offering unlimited free same-day delivery for orders over $35, as well as free two-day shipping on purchases from 

With an introductory price of $49 a year until May 18, when it will increase to $99, Target Circle 360 has positioned itself to compete with established subscription services from rivals such as Amazon Prime and Walmart+.

The introduction of Target Circle 360 reflects the growing significance of paid memberships in the retail sector. These programs not only provide an additional revenue stream but also strengthen customer loyalty by encouraging shoppers to engage with the brand across multiple platforms. 

However, as consumers become increasingly wary of subscription overload, Target will need to differentiate its offering with unique and compelling benefits to attract and retain members.

Amidst the introduction of the program, Target has also reported a fourth-quarter profit that exceeded expectations, signaling a positive turn in its financial performance. 

The company has announced plans to expand its store footprint and enhance its supply chain technology, aiming to drive sales growth and market share recovery. 

What does it mean for eCommerce sellers?

With Target enhancing its online and offline offerings through paid memberships and store expansions, eCommerce sellers may face increased competition. To remain competitive, sellers need to focus on differentiating their products, improving customer service, and offering unique value propositions.

MORE: From Amazon to Walmart — Why you can’t copy and paste your strategy

Amazon’s Thrasio Declares Bankruptcy

Thrasio, an Amazon “rollup” firm, has declared bankruptcy in an effort to strengthen it’s financial position. 

Despite this setback, the company has secured $90 million in fresh financing to sustain its vast array of Amazon FBA brands during the Chapter 11 restructuring process. Aiming to quickly move through bankruptcy, the company plans to keep its operations running smoothly and continue prospering despite the hurdles.

The landscape of eCommerce has undergone significant transformations since the peak of the pandemic. During those times, entities like Thrasio capitalized on the surge, acquiring Amazon-based businesses at lucrative multiples and significantly enhancing their valuations through aggregation. 

However, the once-flourishing eCommerce aggregator model faces newfound challenges. The difficulty of efficiently managing a vast portfolio of diverse businesses has become apparent, signaling a pivotal moment for firms like Thrasio.

Despite these hurdles, Thrasio’s journey from achieving unicorn status in 2020 with a valuation of $1 billion to its current restructuring efforts illustrates its resilience and determination to adapt. 

With plans to eliminate around $495 million in debt, the company’s leadership remains optimistic. CEO Greg Greeley highlighted the significant strides made in transforming the business and reaffirmed their commitment to leveraging their enhanced financial position and new capital to support their brands better, scale operations, and explore new opportunities. 

As Thrasio navigates this challenging phase, its efforts to restructure and strengthen its foundation could set a precedent for the future of eCommerce aggregation, signaling a critical evolution in how third-party sellers operate within the expansive Amazon ecosystem.

What does it mean for eCommerce sellers?

For eCommerce sellers, Thrasio’s bankruptcy filing and subsequent restructuring strategy signify a moment of recalibration within the Amazon marketplace ecosystem. It highlights the volatility and challenges of scaling operations through aggregation, especially in a post-pandemic world where the dynamics of online shopping are shifting. 

Sellers should take note of the importance of financial resilience and the need for efficient business management practices.

MORE: Selling B2B on Amazon — All your Questions Answered.

Also in the News 

  • eBay buyers and sellers raise $162 million for charitable causes. eCommerce Bytes. 
  • Couple launches an event hosting platform known as ‘The Etsy of experiences’. BnnBreaking.

International Retailer News

Alibaba’s Slashing Prices

Alibaba Cloud is shaking up the cloud computing world in China. The company has decided to slash their prices dramatically—by up to 55% on over 100 of their products. 

Alibaba is not just throwing down the gauntlet in the race for cloud supremacy; they’re making a statement about making advanced technology accessible and affordable for more businesses, aiming to boost innovation and growth across the board.

The price cut has sent ripples across the cloud computing landscape in China, prompting quick responses from rivals like, who’ve also started slashing their prices. 

It’s clear Alibaba Cloud is playing to win, not just to compete, by potentially triggering a price war that could change the game for everyone in the sector. 

But the implications of Alibaba Cloud’s strategy reach far beyond China’s borders. This move could have a domino effect, influencing global cloud service pricing and strategies. As businesses around the world, especially in the Asia Pacific region, hunt for the best deals in cloud services, Alibaba’s aggressive pricing could prompt a rethink among global giants like AWS, Microsoft Azure, and Google Cloud. 

As the dust settles, the big question remains: how will this bold move by Alibaba Cloud redefine the future of cloud computing both in China and around the world?

What does it mean for eCommerce sellers?

For eCommerce sellers, this could mean more affordable, scalable solutions are on the horizon, offering new opportunities to grow and innovate in an increasingly digital marketplace.

MORE: Alibaba Alternatives: 10 Other Ways to Source Products from China

Alibaba’s New AI Tool

Breaking AI news of the week — a team of AI researchers from Alibaba Group’s Institute for Intelligent Computing has unveiled a groundbreaking AI tool. This innovative technology breathes life into still images, enabling them to speak or sing, effectively transforming a static photo into a dynamic, animated video. 

Unlike previous attempts in the AI arena that have sought to animate still photos, Alibaba’s tool introduces an element of sound, adding a new layer of depth and realism to the animated versions. 

Remarkably, this advancement didn’t rely on conventional methods like 3D modeling or facial landmark detection, showcasing the team’s ingenuity and the technology’s potential to revolutionize how we interact with images.

The secret sauce behind this transformative tool is diffusion modeling, a sophisticated technique where AI gradually learns and improves through audio and video data training.

The Alibaba research team dedicated over 250 hours to refining this process, resulting in the creation of the Emote Portrait Alive app, or EMO for short. EMO stands out for its ability to not only animate a still image, but also to infuse it with sound, capturing the nuances of facial emotions and gestures that bring the image to life with astonishing realism.

The painstaking efforts to train the AI to recognize and mimic human expressions have paid off, offering a glimpse into a future where images can interact with us in more personal and engaging ways.

What does it mean for eCommerce sellers?

For eCommerce sellers and marketers, this technology opens up new avenues for engaging with audiences, offering a tantalizing preview of the future of digital interaction.

Also in the News 


For everyone 

Various dates: Amazon advertising’s global webinar program continues with 20+ webinars scheduled, covering Amazon Prime Day preparation, sponsored products, sponsored brands, reporting, optimization, and other tips. 

Learn more: Amazon.

For US sellers

March 13: The Shift to Audio and Video Streaming. Learn more: Tinuiti

For UK sellers

Various dates: Amazon advertising’s global webinar program continues with 20+ webinars scheduled, covering Amazon Prime Day preparation, sponsored products, sponsored brands, reporting, optimization, and other tips. 

Learn more: Amazon.


Dominika Kaminska

Dominika Kaminska

Amazing content you need, amazing content we deliver. Whether you need marketing, eCommerce, or news digest related to eCommerce, Dominika is here to guide you through it all. You will also find her in the top tips section, giving only top-notch advice.

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