After a decade of trying Amazon is giving up on the one market it failed to grow. However, while Amazon struggled to grow, not only has China e-commerce exploded in growth, so has the number of successful businesses from China selling through Amazon.
The biggest challenge for Amazon for decades to come is making the marketplace customer-obsessed. Today, in some categories even increasingly, it is abuse-obsessed.
$160 billion is how much third-party sellers sold on Amazon in 2018. An estimated $30 billion more than they did in 2017. Amazon's first-party sales amounted to $117 billion. For a total of $277 billion in gross merchandise volume.
It is comically easy to find counterfeit or otherwise infringing goods on Amazon. Luxury products from brands like Louis Vuitton, Balenciaga, or Gucci are not for sale on Amazon, but many shoppers are looking for them. Instead they find look-alike copies.
While only 8.8% of the total advertising budgets were spent on Amazon last year, 18% of retail advertising was spent on Amazon. Amazon's market share of retail advertising is estimated to grow to 23% in 2019. It will surpass Facebook then.
Brands and customers have been waiting for a solution from Amazon for years. The thing is, Amazon cannot solve counterfeits. Not without changing the fundamental structure of the marketplace it operates or slowing down its Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA) warehouses to a halt. Amazon cannot solve this because it - Amazon the company - is the bottleneck.
According to Marketplace Pulse research, Amazon-owned private label brands are not nearly as successful as many paint them to be. Amazon has been successful in creating generic items at low prices, but only when using the Amazon brand name (i.e., AmazonBasics and Amazon Essentials). Otherwise, the hundreds of brands and tens of thousands of products launched are not resonating with customers.
The majority of top Amazon sellers joined the platform years ago and despite growing competition, changing Amazon fees, shifting brands focus, and the explosion of private label, they are still at the top.
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