For the first time ever eBay has released US state-by-state data showcasing sales and number of sellers statistics. 6.6 million American sellers sold $27.97 billion worth of goods in 2016. On average each seller sold $4,196 worth of goods. Top 5 states California, New York, Florida, Texas, New Jersey are leading in terms of sales. By adding the 6th state Illinois they together add up to 50 percent of the market.
Most modern marketplaces are optimized for suggesting what customers might want to buy, but social commerce incentivizes to explore the marketplace with social features integrated inside. As eBay over time transitioned towards established sellers who sell in quantity, Alibaba's Taobao has continued to develop the true consumer-to-consumer exchange.
Amazon has announced their biggest acquisition yet, by offering to pay $13.7 billion for the Whole Foods grocery chain. This sent the whole retail industry into a shock, eroding billions in market capitalization. Yet most of it was out of fear of the unknown, since it is not immediately obvious why Amazon would go that route. Whatever the end result is going to be, we think ultimately this acquisition will lead to a platform.
Marketplaces are not created equal, and one of the biggest differences is how they treat sellers on the platform. While technically all marketplaces consist of a list of sellers, different marketplaces approach them differently.
In 11 months since July 2016 Amazon India marketplace has grown from 100,000 to 200,000 sellers, doubling in size. In the most recent earnings report Jeff Bezos, CEO of Amazon, said "It’s still Day 1 for e-commerce in India". The growth of the marketplace is proving to match Amazon's multi-billion investment into the country.
Since the last time we looked at Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA) usage among marketplace sellers in January, it has grown in all countries. World wide the growth of Prime memberships is resulting in FBA usage growth. Based on our research we didn't see much growth among top sellers in the US. However all European markets have grown considerably.
Amazon has reported that since Amazon Lending launch they have issued more than $3 billion in loans to 20,000 marketplace sellers in the US, UK, and Japan. In the last 12 months alone, Amazon has loaned more than $1 billion. We expect the lending volume to continue to rise, because Alibaba has been doing similar work since 2004 and has reached scale way beyond Amazon Lending - $100 billion in loans already.
In the Toys & Games category on Amazon.com 8 out of the Top 10 products are currently fidget spinners. Many have dismissed the fidget spinner as a fad, including the top toy makers. But they missed the point of what made this toy so successful. It was successful exactly because it was a fad. The fidget spinner as a product is showcasing what the modern retail is going to look like. It is important to not think about this as trends catching, but as a challenge to set up companies to be agile in product making.
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