Amazon’s AI Scans Damaged Products, Etsy Sparking Seller Frustration and More News

Another Friday, another News Digest. Does it surprise you that Amazon is hogging the spotlight another week in a row? And, on the subject of Amazon, did you manage to make the most of Amazon Prime Day — both as a seller and a buyer? Feel free to share your thoughts with us in the comments below! As for now — let’s get into today’s eCommerce news.

Today’s news is 1110 words and takes 5 minutes to read.

Amazon’s AI Scans Damaged Products

Amazon is looking to take customer service to the next level. The company decided to integrate AI technology to detect damaged products before they reach the customer. This innovative solution, which is currently getting developed by Amazon Fulfillment Technologies in Germany, aims to be operational in several North American and European locations as soon as possible.

As with any AI advancement, data is crucial. However, gathering data on damaged products proved challenging, given their rarity. In a breakthrough last year, scientists discovered they could “educate” a machine learning model using reference images. This means that the AI can compare a product under inspection with what it should ideally look like.

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Currently, on trial in one of Amazon’s German warehouses, the system employs computer vision to scrutinize every passing item. A machine learning model asses the scans. It identifies patterns and progressively enhances its ability to spot damage. This process replicates the human capability of making subjective decisions about product quality.

Amazon, committed to continuous innovation and improved customer experience, plans to introduce the system across more locations and further broaden its capabilities. By keeping a keen AI “eye” on product quality, Amazon is setting the bar higher for customer satisfaction in e-commerce.

Curious about all the different ways you can improve customer experience in your store? Check out our other articles on improving customer satisfaction.

Big Retailer News

Etsy Sparking Seller Frustration

It seems that Etsy is raising eyebrows and sparking seller frustration. The platform has been imposing reserves on an increasing number of accounts. It turned out Etsy has been retaining 75% of revenue until items ship. On top of that, Etsy’s refusal to protect orders over $250 is further aggravating sellers.

A seller from the platform highlighted Etsy’s lack of clarity and apparent miscommunication on the discussion boards. Despite numerous emails, the seller struggled to receive clear information about why they had a reserve on their account. Eventually, Etsy provided examples of orders supposedly shipped without tracking info. According to the seller, Etsy failed to communicate with them before putting a reserve on the account.

The surge in reserves dates back several months, and sellers are skeptical of Etsy’s response to complaints. The platform ensures sellers will receive an email outlining the reserve duration and the portion of funds held. However, sellers have yet to receive a clear reason for the reserve. This lack of transparency has led to seller outrage and frustration. 

However, not all community reactions are sympathetic. Some sellers believe that even one late shipment or lack of tracking can justify a reserve. We’re not so sure who to side with this one — can one late shipment justify a reserve? Let us know in the comments.

Amazon Challenges Laws on Hate Speech

Amazon is pushing back against the European Union’s forthcoming online disinformation laws. And it has become the first US firm to do so. The retail behemoth filed a petition on Tuesday with the Luxembourg general court concerning the Digital Services Act (DSA), which is set to take effect on August 25. The DSA is a comprehensive set of regulations designed to keep big tech companies in check.

Under this new law, 19 companies (with their extensive reach of at least 45 million monthly active users) should take on additional responsibilities. These include the management of online hate speech and disinformation.

However, Amazon is contesting its classification under the DSA, arguing that certain provisions should not apply to it as an online retailer. Furthermore, Amazon points out that it is not the largest retailer in any of the EU countries where it operates, yet other large retailers have not been similarly classified.

In a statement shared with Insider, an Amazon spokesperson said, 

“The DSA was designed to address systemic risks posed by very large companies with advertising as their primary revenue… .we agree with the EC’s objective and are committed to protecting customers from illegal products and content, but Amazon doesn’t fit this description…under the DSA and therefore should not be designated as such.” 

The European Commission has yet to respond to these developments.

Do you agree that Amazon should regulate hate speech on its platform? After all, the company is not a social network, but it’s still a place where everyone should feel safe. 

Also in the News

International Retailer News

Lululemon New Strategy in the EU Market

Global athletic apparel brand Lululemon is extending its reach in Europe with its debut on Zalando’s online platform. Zalando’s Fashion Store is the new hub for Lululemon’s diverse line of innovative apparel and accessories for sports activities.

Selected as Lululemon’s preferred European partner, Zalando aims to amplify the brand’s vision of fostering well-being to a wider European audience. The Lululemon collection on Zalando boasts an expansive assortment of lifestyle, yoga, running, and training attire and accessories.

Zalando Co-CEO, David Schneider, expresses his enthusiasm for welcoming the renowned athletic brand to their platform,

He said, “We’re thrilled to make Lululemon’s inspiring and innovative range of athletic apparel available to millions of our European customers. The partnership aligns with Zalando’s objective to elevate customer experience by offering the most exciting and relevant brands.”

The integration enriches Zalando’s existing assortment and emphasizes the importance of fashion in self-expression and empowerment, including in sports.

And while we’re on the subject of international selling — have you checked out our article about international shipping tips yet?

New Alibaba AI Tool on the Horizon

Alibaba’s latest AI innovation, Tongyi Wanxiang, is revolutionizing the world of image generation. This groundbreaking tool allows users to generate images effortlessly from simple prompts. It is transforming the way marketers create visual content.

Whether you’re looking for sketches or 3D cartoons, Tongyi Wanxiang caters to a broad spectrum of creative demands. The AI is opening a realm of new possibilities for marketers worldwide. The tool designs anything from eye-catching adverts to unique logos and brand materials. It enables marketers to create visually appealing campaigns that resonate with their audience and foster engagement.

Tongyi Wanxiang’s ability to understand prompts in both English and Chinese ensures its user-friendly for international consumers and those in Alibaba’s home country.

Friendly Reminder

In our article — 6 Sales Skills That Every Retailer Should Have — we mentioned an important point: every salesperson should be tech-savvy. In the age of ever evolving AI, a passion to understand tech is something absolutely necessary — as we can see from the article above as well. Check out what other skills are essential for you to achieve success in business.

Also in the News


For everyone 

Various dates: Amazon advertising’s global webinar program continues with 20+ webinars scheduled, covering Ads, Sponsored Products, Sponsored Brands, reporting, optimization, and other tips. Amazon.

For US sellers

August 3: The 30 Minute Breakdown. Tinuiti.

For UK sellers

Various dates: Amazon advertising’s global webinar program continues with 20+ webinars scheduled, covering Ads, Sponsored Products, Sponsored Brands, reporting, optimization, and other tips. 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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