Last year, Amazon stopped 800,000 scammers in Europe alone and the platform already had to intervene 274 million times in the first half of this year for (potentially) misleading or fake offers. Meanwhile, Amazon is investing in 39 new renewable energy projects in Europe.
181 million European customers
New European Union legislation forced Amazon to release figures about how big it actually is and what it does to protect those millions of customers. The platform says it now has an estimated average of 181 million monthly active users in Europe, Lebensmittel Zeitung reports. Germany is by far the largest European market with around 60.4 million users, meaning that four out of every five Germans visit Amazon each month. Its other major European markets are Italy (38.1 million monthly active users), France (34.6 million) and Spain (25.1 million).
Its sheer size means that Amazon is considered an online ‘gatekeeper’ by the European Union’s new Digital Services Act, meaning it has to adhere to much more strict regulations concerning transparency. In a mandatory report, the e-commerce giant reveals for the first time its size in Europe and how (often) it intervenes against scammers or suspicious offers.
The DSA also requires platforms with more than 45 million active users to provide information on their approach to illegal content. Amazon says that last year there were 800,000 attempts to open a sales account with malicious intentions. That is substantially less than the six million attempts in 2020 and 2.5 million attempts in 2021, as the company today deploys both technology and people to verify the identity of potential sellers.
Between January and June this year, Amazon intervened 274 million times in its marketplace content: 84.2 million posts were eventually removed, in 133.6 million cases content was blocked. Almost three quarters of the interventions were automatic, and almost always (97 %) the algorithm had it right, the company said.
Amazon has also announced that it is going to invest in 39 new renewable energy projects in Europe, representing more than a gigawatt of extra energy capacity. These projects include fifteen solar installations on the roofs of Amazon sites. After the first solar farm in Poland last year, another solar farm is currently being installed in Greece. Amazon claims to be the largest company in Europe to buy renewable energy.
Trials of new packaging machines, which make bespoke paper bags, should also help the e-commerce giant become more sustainable. The automated packaging machines scan ordered items and create a tailor-made bag at the time of packing, so that the contents fit correctly and no extra padding is needed. Paper bags are up to 90 % lighter than comparable cardboard boxes, reducing emissions per parcel. For the time being, however, they can only pack individual items, so the system does not work when customers order several products together.
One of Amazon’s sustainability efforts is to compensate for increasingly fast deliveries, which are often more polluting. For example, as of today, Amazon customers in the Netherlands have access to more (sometimes even same-day) delivery options. Consumers can also choose to be delivered on Sundays or in a specific time slot. The new services are free for Amazon Prime members, while others pay extra.