Is Amazon the new ASOS?

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Amazon Prime Day enters its fifth year in 2019 and has gone from strength to strength in that time. According to recent PriceSpy research, over two in five UK shoppers intend to use Amazon Prime Day this year – 125% more than last year.

Vanessa Kassapa, UK and Ireland country manager at PriceSpy considers in this piece whether Amazon is the new ASOS. Amazon

Amazon’s Spring Sale pales in comparison to the better-known Prime Day with less than one in ten using spring’s event last year compared to double that for Prime Day in July 2018. Prime Day is even starting to rival the biggest global shopping event, Black Friday. Just over half (54%) of shoppers plan on using Black Friday this year compared to two in five (45%) who plan on shopping during Amazon Prime Day.

Amazon – the new fashion marketplace

This market dominance is partly down to Amazon’s increased product offering. No longer famous for just selling books, the shopping behemoth has become synonymous with all aspects of e-commerce. The sheer expansion of Amazon in its 25 years is impressive, encompassing subscriptions, groceries, own brand devices and a market leading one-hour delivery service.

As the internet’s one-stop shop, it’s no surprise that Amazon is now also a fashion destination. According to PriceSpy research, over a third (36%) of Prime Day shoppers plan on using Amazon for clothes, shoes or fashion accessories. Last year, the ecommerce giant generated $24.51 million in online fashion sales, falling closely behind its grocery service which closed $25.5 billion worth of sales in 2018.

Prime Day fashion specials

Amazon’s dominance in the fashion industry is not accidental. The e-retailer itself owns over 70 fashion and accessory brands from Arabella to Zappos and is partnering with a range of celebrities this year to bring exclusive fashion products to Prime subscribers.

Notable mentions include Hilary Duff’s, Cubcoats, a two in one hoodie that can be folded into plush animals for children. The exclusive hoodie/plushie combo will be sold exclusively on Amazon and Prime members will also enjoy a 30% discount on the product.

Also getting in on the Prime Day exclusive action is Nickelodeon star, JoJo Siwa, who will be launching an incredible 24 new products exclusively for Prime members in time for Prime Day. The collection includes tops, hoodies, and dresses as well as roller skates and scooters.

Meanwhile, ASOS is preparing to cut 100 jobs at its London head office as it struggles with declining profits and was forced to issue a profit warning in December. The knock-on effect as Amazon scoops up ever more market share is clear. According to retail analytics firm, Edited, US retailers offered an average discount of 43% around last year’s Prime Day. This year, key US fashion players, Target, Macy’s, Nordstrom, Zara and others will likely aggressively cut their prices in an attempt to compete with Amazon’s Prime Day. This is despite the strain that such hefty discounts can put on retailers’ bottom lines.

Shopper habits

There is a chance that Amazon’s market prowess could lead to less competition and choice for consumers, inevitably driving prices up again. The impact can already be seen on Christmas shopping. A fifth of consumers who are planning to shop on Amazon Prime Day will use the July event for their Christmas shopping this year. When looking at 2018, July retail sales outperformed December’s retail sales, $447 billion compared to $443 billion.

With nearly one in 10 Prime Day shoppers planning on spending over £500 through the site, two in five could be risking spending more than they have to by not cross-checking their chosen deals on sites other than Amazon.

Beyond Amazon

Prime Day especially appeals to increasingly impatient shoppers – nearly two thirds (64%) of online shoppers prefer going digital because of next day delivery. But it remains to be seen if Amazon’s Minnesota strikes will affect its delivery times.

Amazon’s reputation has been consistently under fire from an ethical and worker’s rights viewpoint. In 2018, Amazon employees in Germany walked out on Prime Day in protest and similar strikes were held across Europe on Black Friday.

Of those who won’t be using Amazon Prime Day, one in 10 won’t be using Amazon Prime for ethical reasons – it will be interesting to see if this number changes over time.

Crucially, e-retailers across the board benefit from increased exposure when faced with such an established competitor.


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