Amazon Pilots Video Merchant Screening to ‘Block Bad Actors’

“Amazon is always innovating to improve the seller experience so honest entrepreneurs can seamlessly open a selling account and start a business, while also proactively blocking bad actors,” an Amazon spokesperson stated.

“As we practice social distancing, we are testing a process that allows us to validate prospective sellers’ identification via video conferencing. This pilot allows us to connect one-on-one with prospective sellers while making it even more difficult for fraudsters to hide.”

According to Amazon, it commenced enhanced testing back at the beginning of the year with in-person meetings to confirm seller identity. But because of the coronavirus pandemic, AMZN was forced to turn to video conferencing instead. The company has already carried out interviews with over 1,000 sellers from China, the US, the UK and Japan.

Amazon is currently gearing up for its earnings release on April 30- and so far analysts are bullish about the stock’s prospects. “In our view, COVID’s impact accelerates the secular shift to eCommerce (US ecommerce at 12% of retail sales) and AMZN is well positioned to continue taking share” cheered Oppenheimer analyst Jason Helfstein on April 26.

He boosted his price target to $2,700 from $2,400 while materially raising his FY20 revenue outlook (+6%) citing the company’s ‘strong revenue trajectory.’

Indeed, 42 out of 43 analysts rate AMZN a buy right now, giving the stock a Strong Buy consensus. Meanwhile the average analyst price target of $2,515 indicates 4% upside potential from current levels, as the stock has already surged 30% year-to-date. (See Amazon stock analysis on TipRanks).

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