Who are the third party sellers on Amazon.com? Feedvisor recently tackled the question, culminating in a study of 1,600 Amazon sellers. Called The State of the Amazon Marketplace 2017, the report is an overview of the who, what, when, and where of online product merchants.
The State of the Amazon Marketplace 2017: Study Result Synopsis
- Amazon is online retail home to 80% of respondents.
- Only 9% of sellers currently use both Amazon.com and Walmart.com.
- 65% of respondents sold on both Amazon and eBay.
- One-third of sellers who took the survey sold some private label products, while 18% exclusively sold private label products.
- 18% of sellers dealt with home and kitchen goods, making it the most popular niche.
- 84% of Amazon-anchored businesses have between 1 and 5 employees; 2% have more than 50 employees.
- Demographically speaking, 33% of respondents were from the South and West respectively; 15% were from the Midwest, and 18% hailed from the Northwest.
Walmart.com On The Rise
Interestingly, 29% of the survey participants revealed plans to expand onto Walmart.com in the coming year. Ohad Hagai, VP of marketing for Feedvisor, explained that since Walmart’s “requirements [are] now less strict, more sellers are going there.” Hagai was referring to Walmart’s decision to transition from an invitation-only model to an open platform.
Beware of Amazon’s Algorithm?
Another remarkable result: 52% of respondents said they worry about Amazon yanking their selling privileges — and 45% objected to the competition they face from Amazon, itself. For years, some sellers have accused Amazon of using algorithms to sniff out the lowest product prices, and then undercutting those prices — putting third party sellers at a disadvantage. But Hagai disputes the notion, saying, “I know some people say they’ve experienced that, but I’ve never seen proof of it.”
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What’s the latest Amazon news affecting online sellers and marketers?
Will Protectionist Policies Hamstring Amazon? Execs Say, “Yes.”
Wall Street analysts are buzzing about a section in Amazon’s annual report entitled: Government Regulation Is Evolving and Unfavorable Changes Could Harm Our Business.
According to the e-commerce behemoth, “trade and protectionist measures” could hinder growth over the coming months. Why? Reductively speaking, higher taxes lead to higher consumer costs. When prices rise, and incomes remain stagnant, retail — of all stripes — suffers. Since the current administration favors border tariff measures, prices are likely to rise; hence, Amazon’s latest risk assessment.
More Clues About The Number of Prime Members
We’re humans; we crave answers to the unknown; questions like, Exactly how many Amazon Prime members walk the globe, and why won’t the company say!? keep us up at night.
Mercifully, for analysts, the company’s latest financial report may shed light on the long-debated figure. On account of some key aspects of the annual disclosure, the street now estimates that Prime membership hovers around 65 million.
Will the base keep growing? Internationally, yes. In North America? Maybe not. Amazon’s success is overwhelming, but some pundits think that“Prime” membership may have reached pique saturation in the United States and Canada — which is another good reason to start selling into different regions.
Amazon v. Wal-Mart: The Shipping Price Battle Rages On
Did you know that Amazon lowered its free shipping price? Previously, $49 triggered the perk. However, word on the streets is that the company lowered its bar to Wal-Mart’s standard — $35. Uncharacteristically, the Menlo Park crew didn’t opt for a splashy press rollout to announce the price cut, effectively raising the pundit class’ collective eyebrow.
Cautiously, a market analyst referred to the decision as one of the “first times we’ve seen a real reactionary response by Amazon.”
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Apple sued online retailers after discovering that 90% of Amazon-purchased Apple power accessories were fakes.
The Amazon Apple Counterfeit Sting: Summary
Sting Operation: Apple employees hopped on Amazon and anonymously bought a bunch of product accessories (chargers, cables, etc.) bearing the “genuine Apple” label.
Sting Operation Findings: According to Apple, 90% of the purchased products were revealed as counterfeits.
Amazon’s Reaction: Apple informed Amazon of the situation, at which point Amazon speedily suspended associated seller accounts.
Apple’s Counterfeit Lawsuit: Apple filed a lawsuit against the counterfeit peddlers. MacRumors quotes:
“Over the last nine months, Apple, as part of its ongoing brand protection efforts, has purchased well over 100 iPhone devices, Apple power products, and Lightning cables sold as genuine by sellers on Amazon.com and delivered through Amazon’s ‘Fulfillment by Amazon’ program. Apple’s internal examination and testing for these products revealed almost 90 percent of these products are counterfeit.”
The Amazon Apple Counterfeit Sting: Legal Analysis
The Apple counterfeit incident has industry pundits chattering about two things:
- Is Amazon’s product vetting process any good? And,
- What are the dangers of counterfeit products?
What do we think?
Well, for starters, we’re not surprised. Last year, Chinese officials reported that a whopping two-thirds of Alibaba-bought goods are counterfeits. http://money.cnn.com/2015/01/28/technology/alibaba-china-counterfeit-crackdown/?iid=EL
Secondly, Amazon’s e-commerce operation is colossal. Of course ne’er-do-wells have crashed — and will continue to crash — the party. Besides, the second Amazon upgrades the locks, indefatigable malefactors burrow through tunnels. So, it’s probably fairer to examine the efficacy of Amazon’s response when alerted of wrongdoing, rather than cast aspersions about recidivism.
In this case, in keeping with the company’s “zero tolerance” counterfeit policy, Amazon seems to have quickly shuttered the fraudsters.
To answer the second question: “What are the dangers of counterfeit products?” It’s not just about profit concerns, it’s about consumer safety. As an Apple spokesperson explained, due to a dearth of testing on bogus products, they “pose a significant risk of overheating, fire, and electrical shock.”
Now ask yourself: Pay a few bucks more for the genuine article, or risk burning down the (literal) house?
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As we all well know: “$#!+ happens.” So, when the proverbial poo plops on your e-commerce business, get in touch — we’ll help clean up the mess. Our team [LINK] swiftly and successfully guides entrepreneurs through all manners of online business mazes.