Retail Check-In 6 – TheOASG

It’s time again to recap some recent headlines and tidbits!

All Aboard the Manga Train

Publishers Weekly had a new article highlighting how well manga — and associated genres like webtoons — are doing in the market. A wide range of titles, from current hits, old classics, and genres like boys’ love and girls’ love, are all finding immense popularity. Representatives from many publishers talked about how their sales are up even though the printing crisis continues. Even a lot of digital works are going to print. Plus, there is a lot of optimism this current boom isn’t just a bubble ready to pop.

Barnes & Noble Manga Shelf

It’s great to see manga doing so well, although a lot of the info shouldn’t be surprising to fans who have been trying to order manga off Amazon or Right Stuf and find titles missing or have seen more and more stock at retailers like Target and Walmart. This just backs up other reports about the market, including ranking high on BookScan in 2021.

Best Buy Continues To Grow

Best Buy has done well the past few years. Bolstering its stores and online presence has turned this once-struggling chain completely around. But the electronics retailer is still making moves to expand its offerings and customer base. It is adding more beauty-related products like electric facial cleansers and home and garden items like outdoor furniture and grills.

Electric bikes and similar transportation started being listed on BestBuy.com last year, but now those will be available in stores, and Best Buy is testing repair services in locations as well.

Best Buy also plans to open 16 new outlet stores over the next year, which will be twice the number they currently have. Their website is also adding an outlet section.

Best Buy

By expanding their inventory, a lot of high-volume shoppers probably would have more incentive to go to Best Buy for their various home goods needs to earn certificates or take advantage of extended returns. But now that the company has eliminated their higher-tier rewards program, it just seems a bit like they’re chasing people who may shop at Best Buy occasionally over their core, dedicated customers. It will be interesting to see how that and their push for Totaltech plays out for them as they start offering more stuff outside of electronics and appliances.

Prime Shopping May Soon Come to a Website Near You

Amazon Prime is immensely popular, especially since the majority of shoppers start their item search at Amazon. But Amazon has so many products, and anyone can make a new listing. So it can be hard to make items stand out among the crowd. That’s part of the reason why many people sell on their own website. But then many people don’t look anywhere else but Amazon because of the fast, free shipping.

Soon, though, that could change. Amazon is introducing Buy with Prime.

Just as third-party sellers who have “fulfilled by Amazon” (FBA) on their listings do, sellers will send their inventory to Amazon. But then they can add a buy button (“Buy with Prime”) on their own website and check out using Amazon Pay. Then Amazon will fulfill the order.

At first, only sellers using FBA will be allowed to use Buy with Prime, but invitations to non-FBA sellers and websites will be sent out through the end of the year.

Amazon Logo

This announcement has the potential to be massive, as shoppers can learn more about a company and their offerings on their own website and yet also get the speed and convenience of an Amazon purchase. Obviously, this is going to be beneficial to a certain segment, as Amazon’s fees can add up. Currently, FBA costs at least $2.47 an item for fulfillment, plus $.48 a cubic foot per month in storage, plus selling costs of $.99 each or $39.99 a month. For a lot of businesses, it’s just cheaper to handle orders on their own.

But for those already using FBA or are spending that much on their own in storage and shipping costs, Buy with Prime may be an attractive way to lure a large number of customers who may not otherwise want to pay a store’s shipping costs or have to sign up for another account.

How have you noticed the manga boom? What do you think of Best Buy expanding their inventory? Do you hope to see more websites have a Prime ordering option?

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