The reviews are in! From a perfect hair mask for bleached blondes, to a cult-favourite highlighter that’ll make your cheekbones shine, these are the products that are flying off of the (virtual) shelves the fastest.
And with each of the top 10 products ringing in at under $35, Amazon is the place to go if you’re on the hunt for some successful steals. So, forget the mall. Stay in your PJs and order some of these top-sellers. They promise to deliver.
Below, we’ve rounded up the best-selling beauty products on Amazon.
Top 10 Best-Selling Products on Amazon
Aztec Secret, Indian Healing Clay Deep Pore Cleansing
Imagine buying a Caran d’Ache fountain pen, originally priced at Rs 50,000 from your favourite ecommerce site, for 50% of the price. It makes for a great purchase, isn’t it? Except, sometime in the near future, it probably wouldn’t.
Also imagine the government — keen to stall this run — putting in place a regime where a phenomenon known as ‘deep discounting’ (any discount more than what is deemed normal) in check, an age-old demand of the offline retail lobbies in India. This is the core of the draft ecommerce policy released by the commerce ministry on Monday, seeking to champion Make in India and create a level playing field for homegrown companies. Two of the largest online marketplaces —Walmart-owned Flipkart and Amazon — are at the receiving end but oddly enough, several local players are also seeking the fineprint.This ‘India First’ policy also called for what experts believe is a “hard model” of data localisation. If implemented as is, these proposals could change the way companies operate here. “The intent of ecommerce is not to create a bipolar world,” says Sandipan Mitra, chief executive, HungerBox, a food tech startup. Vidhya Shankar, executive director, Grant Thornton India, an advisory firm, says, “With the Walmart-Flipkart deal this year, the stakes have become higher in the Indian ecommerce market.”
With their global sourcing strategies, scale, deep pockets and Big Data on consumer insights, Amazon and Walmart have the power to dominate both mind and wallet shares with the help of what may seem predatory pricing and bargain basement offers. Neighbourhood shops or even malls can’t match either the range of inventory available online or deep discounts to easy returns, home deliveries that ecommerce shoppers can get.A mobile phone even 5% cheaper online is a great buy. Amazon.in and Walmart (Flipkart) account for nearly three-fourths of the $20-billion ecommerce business in India and their dominance is growing. Ecommerce accounts for less than 4% of the $500 billion India retail market, but is growing about 4x every year compared to brick-and-mortar selling. It’s clearly a bonanza for shoppers but at the cost of several local businesses. As ecommerce grew with the two top players cornering most of the market the commerce ministry initiated discussion with various stakeholders which resulted in the draft proposals.Eight meet ings over the last three months included Ola, Paytm, Makemytrip, UrbanClap, Airtel, Nasscom and others. Flipkart was part of the first meeting but not post the Walmart deal. Amarjeet Singh, partner, KPMG, says, “Pressure is being built by brick-andmortar lobbies. But on certain points like discounts and sunset clause there’s an overreach. Are you telling the vendors what discounts you can or cannot offer?” With large foreign investors sitting in many of these local champions such as Snapdeal, Paytm, Ola and Makemytrip, their “Indianess” is intriguing. “If you say Ola or MMT are Indian companies, then you are kidding yourself. Alibaba entities are the single largest shareholder in Paytm,” argues the Indian chief executive of a large global retailer.“In the long run, it helps the country and Make in India,” feels Suchi Mukherjee, chief executive, Limeroad, fashion etailer. Rajaraman Sundaresan, CEO, Aahaa Stores, adds, “ Millions of micro, medium and small enterprises (MSMEs) have a better chance to go online. Pricing will no longer be controlled by group companies.” “This is an important step towards creating forward looking, enabling regulation which will catalyse robust and orderly growth of the ecommerce sector in India,” said a Snapdeal spokesperson. “It will provide direction for genuine and broad-based growth.”DARWINIAN DIVIDE“We cannot allow big companies to eat up small ones,” said Ashwani Mahajan, national co-convenor, Swadeshi Jagran Manch. “We are not afraid of anybody and we do not think our Prime Minister can be pressured by anyone. We exposed violation of laws by these companies. Now, the Enforcement Directorate, Reserve Bank of India and other agencies know about the violations. It is up to them to act.” For large global retailers like Amazon and Walmart the draft policy is anti-business, as it shifts goalposts after they have invested billions to consolidate their position in a key market like India. Amazon has pledged to invest about $5 billion into India and Walmart in May agreed to acquire controlling 77% in Amazon’s local rival Flipkart for $16 billion. For them, an ecommerce regulator will intervene in decision-making, slowing down business operations and ending up creating an uneven playing field.Amazon declined comment while mails sent to Flipkart went unanswered. Even though Kishore Biyani, chief executive, Future Group, said many issues raised in the draft proposal have been spoken about in the past, he argues that the draft policy will be good to promote Indian entrepreneurship and is, thus, in the right direction. “But we need to look at how the space is evolving—it’s not digital or physical retail alone but phygital (physical plus digital) retail. We need a policy for that.” Local etailers and brick-and-mortar players are also planning to approach the commerce ministry to seek further clarifications The Retailers’ Association of India that has members including Shoppers Stop, Reliance Retail, Aditya Birla Retail and Future Group argues that retail should be looked from a multi-channel lens and laws that apply to one channel should be the same for other formats too.“There are many issues and ambiguity with the policy including the definition of ecommerce. There is no clarity on who is an ecommerce player now,” says Kumar Rajagopalan, chief executive, Retailers Association of India. “Almost every retailer uses technology and supports online buying and delivery. Can everyone be called ecommerce then? The new draft suggestion seems to be dividing retail by channels which is creating confusion even from an FDI angle.” Within 48 hours, the battlelines are drawn. “It’s now between the US Govt, who is being approached by Flipkart and Amazon, and SJM championing the cause of ecommerce startups, small shopkeepers, booksellers, Make in India and youth,” Mahajan tweeted on Wednesday.Though much of what the draft policy covers is already under DIPP Press Note 3, there is a feeling within certain quarters that both Amazon and Flipkart (now Walmart-owned) have misused the 2016 Press Note 3, and that this policy, if implemented, could put an end to that. Or control that misuse to some extent. “Press Note 3 has been very often subverted and misused by these companies. Though there is a separate committee looking into this specifically, if this is enforced, it could become an issue for them,” says a Delhi-based corporate affairs executive on condition of anonymity as he’s not authorised to speak to the press. He attended several meetings of the ministry’s think-tank.The direct impact, for both Amazon and Walmart-Flipkart companies may be felt through pricing strategies. “Deep discounts will be regulated now. And this proposed regulator will tighten the screws on the same,” the executive quoted above says. “No one is against discounts. It is the unethical side of discounting that has to be checked.” If overlooked, he says, it could have a direct impact on MSMEs, which “you can’t afford to kill. The economy will go into a tailspin.”LEVELLING THE PLAYING FIELDThis July saw a mega face-off between Amazon and Flipkart on their Prime Day and Big Shopping Day sales — mega product launches, curated offers and deep discounts. Flipkart generated four times its daily revenue and sold 2.5 times more than its daily run rate while Prime members became the highest streamers in India ever. Amazon had 40% mindshare during its 36-hour extravaganza; 35% new customers from tier II-III cities leading to 3x overall sales growth in daily essentials. This would be impossible for many of the more than 1,000 ecommerce startups without a dollar tap and access to clever tech. “The whole idea of ecommerce,” says Vidhyashankar, “is to sell directly to the consumer. There’s lot of disintermediation.
Are we excluding people from supply chain? If you are going hyperlocal, how are you benefitting local stores?” For example there are more than 20 million SMEs who make a living by supplying something to the apparel industry. “Large companies have the wherewithal to globally source products at rock bottom prices. This could kill local industries, the very businesses that Make in India seeks to expand and grow,” adds Mukherjee. Discounts alone are breaking the back for most. Anand Khurana, co-founder & partner, Hypersonic Advisory says, “Currently its almost like reservation based rules benefitting a few players. But government has to look after interest of all players. The draft policy is in the right direction and gives industry some time to plan and respond. It will also help large companies build a viable business rather than just depend on discounts.”Vinamra Pandiya, CEO, Qtrove says at $20 billion ecommerce is a sizeable business for rules to be laid out and policy interventions. “We have so far seen Phase 1 of ecommerce. But there are lot of grey areas. Industry will be relieved with the draft proposals.” Qtrove, a curated marketplace sells food and beverages, home décor and other products but steers clear of electronics and apparel. “Electronics is all about discounts. I have kept clear of electronics and apparel as I don’t want to fight price wars.”YOUR DATA OR MINE?While even local players don’t want government to get into micro management they do need help on moves like predatory pricing. Mukherjee of Limeroad, for example, believes there’s lot of Chinese dumping (via online & offline stores) in India both in electronics and fashion besides pricing gaps in online and offline stores and needs to be addressed. She cites cases of Sony Playstation PS4 available anywhere from Rs 24,000 to Rs 36,000 online and offline and or even lack of clarity on whether a fashionwear is made of polyester or poly silk. “Is it a refurbished product or a new one or what is the material? Customer needs information and its neither clear nor available,” she asks.The draft policy envisages an appointment of a regulatory body for ecommerce besides ED to look into violations and CCI to examine potentially competition distorting M&As. “Problem is how well laws are executed. A single agency is better than multiple agencies,” says Mukherjee. Vidhya Shankar sees CCI involvement a step to avoid a behemoth like Facebook in social media which acquired Instagram, WhatsApp and is pretty much most of what is called social media.
Besides, industry executives believe that data localisation clause could hit both companies dearly. “Unlike the Srikrishna panel report (released last week), the Commerce Ministry has opted for a hard localisation clause, which is a huge setback to many of the players, including these two,” the executive quoted earlier added. The thinking, according to several industry bodies, is that the government is under strong domestic pressure to localise data and that this move is led by the telecom companies.“The language used for localising ecommerce and, oddly, social media data exclusively in India unleashes chilling consequences on free trade and transparency. Ironically, though the draft policy talks about consumer protection, it does not mention consumer consent at all when it speaks of storing all data within the country,” says Manasa Venkataraman, lawyer and associate fellow at Bengaluru-based think-tank, the Takshashila Foundation. Access to data is a huge talking point juxtaposed with the recent Srikrishna Committee report, RBI guidelines and this draft policy. “It’s very narrow.They’re not seeing benefits for the larger ecosystem,” says a member of an industry body, who did not want to be named. Niren Shah, managing director, Norwest Venture Partners India says, “as long as there’s parity in online and offline, do what is in the best interest of the consumer.” That consumer interest has so far left out millions of small and mid-sized companies from selling to the online shopper.
If you find your Amazon Prime account to admittedly be a little too active all year round (guilty!), well, now is NOT the time to pull back. Prime Day is here, and it’s time to shop. Right now, as it does every year, Amazon is slashing its already low prices — and we’re not just talking flat screen TVs and fancy espresso machines (but why not get one of each while you’re at it?). So while you may have felt like all of summer’s style-related sales have come and gone, it turns out you can still add some new pieces to your wardrobe for a fraction of the cost.
Sure, we could pick up a new pair of shoes or quirky fashion find, but it’s summer, and we’ve got vacation on the brain. And though you can’t book a getaway via Amazon Prime (at least, not yet), you can snag all those must-have travel essentials on deep, deep discount. From the one-piece swimsuit that’ll have you tossing your bikini collection for good to the sundress you’ll want to wear straight into fall, in two days time (because Prime is a lifesaver), you’ll be packing for your next tropical retreat. Next stop: the beach!
P.S.: Not an Amazon Prime member? Don’t fret. Sign up for the 30-day free trial that’ll get you all the deals you want and need, no string attached. And who knows, maybe it’ll stick.
There’s a lot of product out there, some would say too much. No doubt this has left you with an overwhelming set of questions about the latest must-haves. Luckily we’ve got answers. At Refinery29 we are here to help you navigate this epic world of stuff. All of our editorial market is independently selected and curated by the team. But if you buy something we link to on our site Refinery29 may earn commission.
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Sometimes I find myself abandoning my digital shopping cart before purchasing just because I don’t want to pay the extra shipping fee. It’s a hurdle I think plenty of people have trouble with — it can be hard to stomach an extra $10 for shipping when we’re so used to the “free” two-day perk from Amazon’s Prime membership.
Despite the fact that you technically pay for that shipping from Amazon in the form of a $99 annual fee, having a Prime membership makes it difficult to justify the shipping cost from sites that were once our go-tos.
As Amazon continues to acquire more and more online retailers, it’s also started spreading the benefits of its membership program to customers of those websites. This has mostly applied to the fashion brands they own, but recently expanded out to others as well. Though the list is pretty short right now, we have a feeling that the more companies Amazon buys, the more websites they’ll end up adding Prime perks to.
Below, you’ll find a quick list of sites that currently offer free two-day shipping with your Amazon Prime membership:Shopbop
Shopbop is an online destination for luxury and designer clothes, shoes, bags, and accessories. Though they carry plenty of relatively affordable staples like Levi’s, Soludos, and Jeffrey Campbell, you’ll also find high-end names like alice + olivia, Cinq a Sept, Ganni, and Oscar de la Renta on the site.
When you place your order, you can sign into your Amazon account to access free Prime shipping on nearly everything.
Woot! is an Amazon-owned startup that hosts daily flash deals on discounted products — from sports and outdoor gear to tech gadgets and electronics. The site feels somewhere in between Amazon’s Deal of the Day section and Groupon, but a little cheekier.
To take advantage of your Prime shipping perk, just log in with your Amazon account before checking out.
Amazon is still selling defunct Jawbone fitness trackers after removing them from sale in the UK following an investigation by consumer charity Which?.
Jawbone’s supporting app Jawbone UP ceased to function in May, rendering the devices useless. It follows the company going into liquidation last year.
The app had been broken for more than four weeks when Which? found UK retailers Amazon, Groupon, and Selfridges were still selling the trackers.
All three removed the items from sale. But Business Insider found Jawbone fitness trackers still for sale on Amazon and Groupon’s US sites.
Amazon is still selling useless Jawbone fitness trackers in the US after removing them from sale in Britain following an investigation by consumer charity Which?.
Jawbone UP, the companion app to the fitness tracker, has been down for more than four weeks. Users have complained on social media about being unable to login to their accounts, sync data, or even start the app at all — effectively rendering the Jawbone device useless.See the rest of the story at Business Insider
Content creation has seen immense growth in recent years, with a shift in focus from mainstream content providers such as traditional television studious to internet-era startups either seeking to expand their portfolios or seeking to increase premium user memberships through exclusive content introduction.
In America, this scene has been predominately owned by Amazon, Netflix and Hulu, introducing critically acclaimed titles such as The Man in the High Castle, Orange Is the New Black and The Handmaid’s Tale, respectively, with many other industry giants scrambling to catch up (with Apple already signing a deal with Steven Spielberg to produce an Amazing Stories-reboot, Facebook spending as much as $1 billion on original content, Google announcing plans to potentially spend up to $3 million per drama episode and even Disney with their purported streaming service, among many others).
Similarly, in China’s growing television industry, a select few, namely Baidu, Alibaba and Tencent, continue to dominate the marketplace in terms of original TV content production. However, the vast majority of Western consumers have never heard of these internet giants or their respective subsidiaries and series, although this is set to change very soon, particularly with Chinese content currently in the early stages of global distribution.
What distinguishes China from the rest of the Asian market?
There are a variety of unique factors that distinguish China from other marketplaces around the globe, as well as in Asia. These factors include but are not limited to things such as increasing use of mobile devices for media consumption, increasing numbers in television consumption and a booming film/television industry primed for explosive growth.
According to eMarketer, Chinese adults will spend nearly three hours a day using their mobile devices, representing 41.6 percent of their total daily media time, with this same population spending nearly 40 percent of their daily media time specifically watching television. This heavy emphasis on mobile device usage, combined with an expected jump in digital video time in the next several years, creates a perfect environment ripe for increased video consumption by China’s growing population.
Furthermore, the Chinese television industry has experienced unprecedented amounts of growth in recent years. In fact, the Chinese television sector represents 88 percent of the combined film and television industry’s economic contribution to China, being valued at more than $35 billion dollars. Internet Protocol Television (IPTV) usage in China is also rapidly increasing, exceeding 100 million users in 2017, further fueling growth in television content creation. Other indicators of Chinese TV industry growth include the December 2017 formation of the Chinese TV Drama Export Alliance, a conglomeration of Chinese entertainment studios aimed at growing the presence of the Chinese TV productions worldwide, as well as increasing Chinese-language content being acquired by popular internet video-streaming companies such as Netflix.
The Chinese TV content producing behemoths
Chinese internet conglomerate Baidu is one of the primary drivers of growth in terms of Chinese television content, particularly with its iQiyi video-steaming platform. Gaining enough traffic for a U.S.-based IPO raising more than $2.25 billion, iQiyi is one of China’s largest and most popular video-streaming platforms, with more than 421 million monthly users and more than 126 million daily users. This high usage has allowed iQiyi to develop extremely popular original television content.
iQiyi has already developed TV hits such as Rap of China, Street Dance of China and Hot Blood Dance Crew, three extremely popular reality series watched by millions of Chinese amidst a government ban on hip-hop culture and tattoos on television. In fact, Western audiences may now begin to see these shows soon, particularly given a recently announced partnership between Rap of China and American hip-hop trio Migos.
Original content programming has also extended to scripted series, with detective dramas such as Burning Ice and Tientsin Mystic being renewed for second seasons while simultaneously being picked up by Netflix for American distribution just this year. Other extremely popular shows produced by iQiyi include The Lost Tomb, Evil Minds and Unforgiven, among countless others, with each of these shows being watched by millions of Chinese viewers. (Note: The Lost Tomb and Evil Minds have since been censored by the Chinese government.)
The growth of original content, particularly in China, has huge potential for other technologies such as virtual reality machines and artificial intelligence.
Alibaba is another powerhouse driving growth within the Chinese TV content industry, with its Youku video-streaming service. Youku currently boasts more than 500 million unique users, along with a powerful distribution network that includes Youku-branded hardware such as tablets, routers and IPTV boxes. Youku’s heavy daily presence in Chinese consumers’ lives allows for Youku-produced original content to have a wide audience across China for distribution.
One of Youku’s most popular series, Day and Night, partnered with Netflix for distribution in late 2017, with this partnership being the first Chinese-language series to be distributed globally. Other popular content includes historical dramas The Advisors Alliance and Oh My General, as well as fantasy drama Rakshasa Street, based off of a popular comic. Youku’s immense popularity in both short video clips, as well as in original content, make it a leader in producing original Chinese television content.
Internet giant Tencent is a third organization driving television growth in terms of creating original content in China. With Tencent fame originating from the ever-popular WeChat platform, Tencent Video currently claims an average of more than 137 million daily active users, making Tencent-produced content important as this original content arms race develops.
Popular shows produced by Tencent Video include action-adventure drama Candle in the Tomb, with a record 200 million views in one day and billions of views since, as well as historical romance Rule the World, based off an already extremely popular book of the same name. Tencent Video has even played a role in producing popular variety shows such as The Tomorrow Children. Television series slated for Tencent Video production in the immediate future include TV-adaptations of novels The Tibet Code, Mystery of the Antiques and manga Prince of Tennis. Tencent has committed to investing in further original content production, growing its portfolio of television content in the years to come.
However, the Chinese market does not solely consist of productions by iQiyi, Youku and Tencent Video. Popular content provider Sohu TV has also forayed into the original content sphere, producing popular drama Indelible Designation and detective series Medical Examiner Dr. Qin, as well as attempting to develop a Chinese version in a Saturday Night Live-style format.
Mango TV, another popular Chinese video platform, has also self-produced a variety of shows, including comedy Fashion Rivers and drama Gold Matchmaker, as well as an interactive Big Brother-styled show called Perfect Holiday. These two content providers, Sohu and Mango, and their respective offerings are simply additional examples of how original television content growth is playing a huge role in enhancing digital China.
Elsewhere in Asia…
However, China is not the only country that has invested significantly in original television content infrastructure (although it certainly is the largest). Other Asian countries have also taken a mobile-first approach to internet access, and, thus, also have rising rates of television viewership by mobile device.
In Thailand, LINE app’s LINE TV has dominated the mobile television landscape, launching a video-streaming service with original content development plans already underway. In addition, LINE TV has already secured partnerships with local television production studios and channels, marking a shift from its roots as a streaming service akin to YouTube to one more similar to Netflix and Hulu.
In Indonesia, even transportation giant Go-Jek is entering the content creation landscape, announcing a content creation production company called Go-Studios to support their content subscription model named Go-Play. In fact, Go-Jek even announced a partnership with VICE Media to produce original content, in light of a successful collaboration set for debut in 2019, entitled When We Dance by Joko Anwar.
Implications of original content growth for startups
The growth of original content, particularly in China, has huge potential for other technologies such as virtual reality machines and artificial intelligence. With Baidu, Alibaba and Tencent making known investments in these specific industries, it would not be a far reach to see both hardware and software integration within a television program for individual home consumption. Such examples might include a virtual reality headset to view a character’s perspective in a television series, or an artificial intelligence automatically suggesting a specific Halloween clothing outfit based off of a consumer’s preference of television series.
These implications make the increase in Chinese original television content a milestone, emphasizing both the strength and reach of top Chinese internet conglomerates, as well as the growing Chinese television industry.
There is immense potential in the original TV content sphere, with this ecosystem growing increasingly large in parallel with the rate of television being watched on mobile devices in Asia. This has resulted in China’s top internet conglomerates being forced to not only pay attention, but participate in the original content creation sphere, releasing high-quality episodic content in order to attract more viewers.
The release of online-exclusive series and their expanding Chinese audiences have grown to astronomic proportions, with hundreds of television shows being released yearly, with billions of views to match. Only time will tell if these Chinese dramas will achieve the same levels of popularity they enjoy at home, but for now, original Chinese television content is here to stay, and represents huge monetization potential for Chinese companies on a global scale.
Amazon Prime members will get 10% off sale items at Whole Foods and weekly discounts on best-selling items.
The discounts start Wednesday at Whole Foods stores in Florida.
They won’t hit stores nationwide until this summer.
Amazon is giving Prime members 10% off sale items at Whole Foods and weekly discounts on best-selling items.