Does Amazon start retailing your top lines?

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Upstream Commerce, a retail pricing intelligence specialist, have just published an interesting research article examining how quickly Amazon starts stocking top selling lines once a retailer offers them for sale on the marketplace.

Image reproduced by kind permission of Upstream Commerce
Image reproduced with kind permission from Upstream Commerce

From examining hundreds of apparel examples, Amazon started selling 25% of the top selling products, first introduced by marketplace sellers, within 12 weeks according to the research.

We concluded that this is more than a coincidence because the numbers are extremely significant — and operational challenges are not enough of an explanation” says Amos Peleg, Upstream’s CEO.

We’ve heard from many sellers over the years that Amazon appear to pick up on their top lines and start stocking them, but to be fair we’ve also been told by Amazon that there’s a “Chinese Wall” betweeen seller’s data and Amazon’s retail buyers. However it’s not rocket science for Amazon’s buyers to use the site itself to reveal Amazon Best Sellers (which are updated hourly) and then go and source them. I’m pretty sure that Amazon buyers have access to great tools to cut and dice the stats (indeed it would be remiss of them as a retailer if they didn’t!).

It’s also worth noting the steady growth in 3rd party sales on Amazon which has now ticked up to 42%. Amazon are selling less and less on their own site in comparison to 3rd party merchants and so, whilst it might be annoying for them to compete as a retailer, the effect is certainly much less than it was a couple of years ago. Despite the competition of Amazon sourcing the products that you yourself sell, retailers are still increasing their overall share of Amazon sales.

The fact remains however that having done the hard work to source and stock a new line it’s devastating to find Amazon the retailer start selling the same product on Amazon the marketplace.

You can read the full research article on the Upstream Commerce blog.

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