Insider Retail: Amazon has its biggest-ever Prime Day, how PepsiCo is tracking consumer preferences, and a look at the lucrative world of retail arbitrage

fire pit
Portable fire pits and disposable campfire sales are booming.

Happy Friday!

It’s me, Shoshy Ciment, coming at you with another jam-packed edition of Insider Retail, Business Insider’s weekly round-up of everything that’s happening in restaurants and retail. If you haven’t already subscribed, click here to do so and make your Fridays instantly more exciting. 

There’s a lot going on this week. Here’s what you need to know:

Amazon has its biggest-ever Prime Day(s)

FILE PHOTO: An Amazon worker delivers packages amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak in Denver, Colorado, U.S., April 22, 2020. Picture taken April 22, 2020. REUTERS/Kevin Mohatt/File Photo
An Amazon worker delivers packages.

Even during the pandemic, Amazon’s 2020 Prime Day on October 13 and 14 broke company records, a company spokesperson told Business Insider. 

Even so, Amazon chose to highlight a different stat: Third-party sellers on the platform raked in $3.5 billion in sales.  That’s a 60% increase in sales compared to last year’s Prime Day event.

BIG PICTURE: Prime Day was a big test for the e-commerce giant. According to Moody’s analyst Charlie O’Shea, the two-day shopping event served as a litmus test to reveal if Amazon’s delivery network could handle the heat amid a surge of orders.

How PepsiCo tracks what its consumers like

PepsiCo Off the Eaten Path Rice & Seaweed curls
PepsiCo introduced seaweed and rice-flavored curls under its Off the Eaten Path snack brand in the UK in 2018 after an uptick in online recipes with that ingredient.

How does PepsiCo know exactly what its customers like? Simple: it pays attention.

As Alex reported this week, the beverage and snack giant monitors tweets, restaurant menus, and other online sources with help from tech startups like Black Swan to see what people are eating and talking about.

For example, this strategy helped the company introduce new SodaStream flavors when it noticed a spike in sales of the brand.

Read more about how PepsiCo is tracking shifting consumer preferences during the pandemic

Inside the wild world of ‘Retail arbitrage’

Amazon boxes
Amazon boxes stacked for delivery in Manhattan.

This week, I took a deep dive into the world of “Retail arbitrage,” which refers to the practice of buying products and then reselling them online at a premium.

I spoke to the founders of Arbitrage Ops, an exclusive membership-based group that focuses on training beginner arbitrageurs and helping them scale their businesses on Amazon.

Since the group’s inception in May, some of its nearly 500 members have sold more than $400,000 in goods, according to screenshots of different members’ Amazon seller accounts that were viewed by Business Insider. 

Here is a look inside the group and some essential tools for getting started in arbitrage

Everything else you need to know

dunkin18
Dunkin’s new Spicy Ghost Pepper Donut.

https://markets.businessinsider.com/news/stocks/amazon-prime-day-pepsi-co-using-ai-how-arbitrage-amazon-2020-10-1029689017

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