🧑🏼 Create a product influencer from scratch

Americans are expected to spend a record $14.2 billion this Valentine’s Day (Wednesday). That breaks down to: jewelry ($6.4B), flowers ($2.6B), clothing ($3B) and going out ($4.9B).

TICKETS GO ON SALE TUES. FEB 13 - DON’T MISS OUT!

REMEMBER to VOICE YOUR LOVE to THOSE DEAR FEB 14
  • 🧑🏼 How to create an influencer for your products

  • ✍🏼 Amazon ramps up fight on fake reviews

  • 🧩 Show 4 or fewer variations (group if more)

  • 🦹🏼‍♀️ Return fraud is a rampant problem

  • 🌎 Top brands for Amazon resellers

  • 🤓 Apple Vision Pro prepping for e-com shopping

STUMP BEZOS

A 30 second ad on yesterday’s Super Bowl cost $7 million. Per Kantar Research, what is the expected ROAS on that spend?

[ Answer at bottom of email ]

🧩 SHOW 4 or FEWER VARIATIONS (or group 5+)

Humans can feel choice overload on variations on Amazon.

Too many options? We give up.

But how many is too many?

4 options / variations is the threshold.

Look at these squares:

You see 4 items. But your brain doesn't need to count them. It knows that 4 items exist immediately. It's called parallel individuation.

Humans possess this ability up to 4 items, but it collapses with 5 items:

Five items are a critical threshold in which options feel like "a lot" – an unknown quantity that is large enough to require counting (or move on to easier tasks).

Therefore, choices feel difficult with 5+ options and suppress conversion.

What if you need to show 5+ options?

Just group them into subgroups of 4 or less.

🌎 STATS YOU SHOULD KNOW

🦹🏼‍♀️ RETURN FRAUD is a RAMPANT PROBLEM

Return fraud has become a significant challenge for e-commerce retailers, with incidents like "Tuna-gate" highlighting the bizarre and frustrating experiences that can result.

In this particular case, a shopper ordered a luxury ashtray from Saks Fifth Avenue, only to receive a can of tuna instead. This mishap led her to share her experience on TikTok, joining a growing number of users who have posted about receiving incorrect or counterfeit items.

Such incidents underscore the broader issue of return fraud, which encompasses a range of deceptive practices, including the return of used, stolen or counterfeit items.

In 2023, return fraud accounted for $101 billion in losses, with luxury items being particularly targeted due to their high value.

Other shoppers have shared similar stories of receiving counterfeit goods on Amazon, indicating a troubling trend of scammers exploiting e-commerce returns and exchanges.

Paul Baron and his wife Rachelle sell swim diapers for kids on Amazon. Check out this review they got when someone returned one of their products to Amazon in its original sealed packaging. Amazon then added it back to stock and resent it to another customer as new.

Swim diaper arrived with poop stains

Amazon doesn’t check all order returns due to the sheer number of orders the retailer handles daily. Hence, the retailer focuses on reviewing products from buyers with a shady return profile or products that require a thorough inspection before further action is taken.

Between 2017 and 2020, Christian Wink, 27, of La Valle, Wisconsin, defrauded Amazon by ordering expensive items and returning cheaper or broken ones, resulting in refunds while keeping the original item. This lead to 3,485 fraudulent transactions and caused Amazon losses of approximately $372,359.07.

Ting Hong Yeung, 40, a third-party seller on Amazon perpetrated his fraud over the course of roughly seven years, collecting more than $1.3 million.

Instead of shipping purchased items to the customers, Yeung provided Amazon with bogus tracking numbers. When customers complained about not receiving their purchases, Yeung delayed customer refund requests long enough to ensure that Amazon would disburse funds into his business bank account.

As a result, Yeung collected payment for items that were never shipped and relied on Amazon to issue refunds to his disgruntled customers under its “A-to-z Guarantee.”

A group called REKK openly advertised its refund services on social media sites like Reddit and Discord, and unscrupulous people looking for a free product can pay REKK a fee to obtain a fraudulent refund, according to the complaint filed by Amazon in December.

Fraudulent refunds were issued from June 2022 to May 2023 for pricey items including gaming consoles and a 24-karat good coin, with at least seven former Amazon employers allegedly accepting thousands of dollars in bribes to process reimbursements for products that were never returned.

Starting on June 1, 2024, Amazon will introduce a returns processing fee for high-return rate products in all categories, excluding apparel and shoes, to address the operational costs of returns and reduce waste. 

Amazon says in 2022 it spent $1.2 billion and employed more than 15,000 people to fight theft, fraud and abuse across its stores, and it uses sophisticated machine learning models to detect and prevent fraud. 

For more, see: Does Amazon Check Returns?
Companies that can help manage your returns in USA
Amazon’s Grade & Resell program information

✍🏼 AMAZON RAMPS UP FIGHT on FAKE REVIEWS

Amazon is intensifying its efforts to combat the proliferation of fake reviews, a crucial aspect of maintaining the integrity of its e-commerce platform.

In 2023 alone, Amazon undertook legal action against dozens of bad actors and filed numerous lawsuits, including cases that highlight the use of sophisticated schemes to solicit fake reviews in exchange for money or free products.


This multifaceted strategy has led to significant legal actions aimed at dismantling the networks responsible for generating these deceptive practices:

  • Legal Action and Global Efforts: Since initiating its first lawsuit in 2015, Amazon has established a specialized team, including lawyers, investigators, and analysts, to pursue legal avenues against fake review brokers across the United States, China, and Europe, targeting individuals and organizations that manipulate Amazon's review system.

  • Key Legal Battles in 2023: Among the notable actions, Amazon has:

    • Filed lawsuits against 58 individuals and entities in the U.S., including a case against Tahoevine for operating a high-volume review abuse scheme across multiple continents.

    • Pursued 13 new lawsuits and 2 criminal referrals in China, addressing fake "Amazon Customer Verified" reviews and other fraudulent activities aimed at manipulating product rankings.

    • Initiated legal action against 44 bad actors in Europe and the U.K., with lawsuits like Amazon v. Kjero in Austria, marking Amazon's first fake reviews lawsuit in the country.

  • Innovative Detection Techniques: Amazon continues to invest in advanced detection methods, successfully blocking over 200 million suspected fake reviews in 2022. This proactive approach combines machine learning and expert review to identify and prevent fraudulent content from influencing customer decisions.

You can report suspicious reviews on Amazon two ways:

  • Click on the Report button found below the review and follow the steps.

  • Send an email to [email protected] (but know you're not likely to get a reply, even if they take action).

REMOVE BAD REVIEWS on AMAZON LEGALLY:
Companies like Tracefuse can help you remove negative and bad reviews.

🧑🏼 CREATE an INFLUENCER for your PRODUCTS

AI-generated influencers have gotten big over the past year. Some are reportedly charging as much as $10,000 per post and have worked with brands like Calvin Klein and supermodels like Bella Hadid.

While creating AI-generated influencers required deep technical knowhow a year ago, you can now generate your own influencers for marketing and other commercial purposes:

  • Go to Rendernet and create your account. 

  • Now, go to Studio, click on Models on the left and select model

  • Enter your prompt and click the Generate button

  • Enlarge the image & click on Face Lock to use it as a reference image

  • Change the prompt to create images with different products & poses 

For the example above, create the reference photo using the prompt below:

Prompt 1:

Woman with blonde hair at a cafe, blurred background

Then face lock it to use it as a reference and prompt it again to get another image with a different product. 

Prompt 2:

Woman with blonde hair carrying a black bag, blurred background

Prompt 3:

Woman with blonde hair exercising wearing joggers, blurred background

You can also use your own reference image, products and poses to create an AI influencer. 

(source: @mhdfaran on X)

🤓 APPLE VISION PRO ENVISIONED for SHOPPING

While it’s only the first generation and still early, the Apple Vision Pro is heralding a new era in online shopping, offering an immersive and interactive experience that promises to revolutionize the way consumers engage with products and brands. Unlike traditional online shopping, Apple Vision Pro allows users to visualize products in 3D.

With its advanced augmented reality (AR) capabilities, the device allows users to virtually try on clothes, accessories, and even preview furniture in their own homes before making a purchase (using ApplePay). A company called Obsess creates branded shopping experience for Apple’s Vision Pro.

The J.Crew Virtual Closet app uses a tool called SharePlay, where users can interact with the brand’s stylists or host group calls to get other people’s opinions on an outfit. 

Alo Yoga launched Alo Sanctuary, an immersive shopping and meditation app that lets people meditate in outdoor environments and shop the brand’s products in 3D.

Several forward-thinking companies are already leveraging the Apple Vision Pro's capabilities to offer unique shopping experiences. Fashion retailers like J. Crew and E.l.f. Cosmetics are implementing virtual fitting rooms, where customers can see how clothes fit without stepping into a store.

Home goods stores like Lowes are allowing consumers to visualize how furniture and decor items would look in their living spaces in a Style Studio with 80 billion combinations.

This integration of AR technology is not just a gimmick but a strategic move to blend digital convenience with a tactile, in-store shopping feel. As more businesses adopt this technology, the potential for growth in e-commerce through immersive shopping experiences is vast.

The Apple Vision Pro is breaking new ground and showing what is possible. The first generation is mostly a high-end toy. It retails for $3,499 and has 600 apps available that are specifically developed to offer a “spatial computing experience” — an umbrella term that covers concepts like augmented reality, virtual reality and mixed reality.

🔥 MORE HOT PICKS 🔥

🥃 PARTING SHOT

“At some point, everything you love will probably be lost. But in the end, love will return in another way.”

✌🏼 Happy Valentine’s Day to those celebrating on Wednesday!

Holler back at you on Thursday …

The answer to today’s STUMP BEZOS is
The expected ROAS is 4.6

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