Unlike the Canal Street where locals and tourists walking by are fully aware that they are buying a fake handbag, on Amazon the consumer is lost.
Amazon's retail group is being merged with the marketplace. Algorithms are replacing vendor managers. These changes are foreshadowing the inevitable disappearance of the retail business, also known as first-party, inside of Amazon.
The future of commerce is not just direct-to-consumer, as it is not just cheap stuff from China. There is going to be more sunglasses sold by future Warby Parkers, just like there will be more $2 sunglasses sold directly from China.
In two years the number of successful sellers from China on the Amazon marketplace has doubled. 36% of the top sellers are now based in China, up from 15% two years ago.
Half of the top Amazon.com sellers were also top sellers two years ago. Despite the growing competition, increasing Amazon fees, and new trends like private label taking over the market, they are still at the top.
Amazon is an aggregator who aggregates sellers - which they pay for except for the fees - to customers with whom they have an exclusive relationship at scale.
Retail didn’t change. But now everyone can be in it. Becoming a retailer is a matter of creating a Shopify store or joining the Amazon marketplace. Becoming a brand is a matter of finding the right product on AliExpress.
Amazon is not ignorant or evil, it is economical. It built a shopping experience fit for most people and for most products.
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