SparkOptimus News Highlights – Week 22

At SparkOptimus, we try to highlight the most important news and background stories in digital, e-commerce and retail. Here is our selection of last week’s news.

Last week, Amazon was on a roll. Next to being one of the greatest threats for brick-and-mortar retailers, the e-commerce giant is also attacking online players. Over the past few days, Etsy sellers received invitations from Amazon to sign up for a new section of the Amazon site: Handmade. Etsy, having a tough time already since its IPO last April, is not the first to be attacked by Amazon, as the founders of can attest.

Talking about diapers, the same Amazon has announced to expand its current product line from “premium” products for infants (diapers) to everyday food and drinks. The e-retailer sought for trademark protection for more than two dozen items that are to be released under the Amazon Elements brand, such as milk, cereal, soup, pasta, and dog food. Also coffee will be sold, but for a real coffee experience one still has to visit Starbucks. The coffee chain will partner with Spotify to link customers to exclusive content. Customers will not be the only ones benefiting from this innovative joint venture, baristas will also have their chance to show their musical talent. As Spotify’s CEO Daniel Ek puts it: “We’re really making the barista the D.J. here”. All 150,000 Starbucks retail employees will receive a free Spotify Premium account, which can be used on their smartphone to control the music. Well, as long as no weird text messages are being sent.