Benchmarking AmazonBasics

Amazon is building an army of brands, but AmazonBasics, one of the first the company launched, continues to outperform all of them combined. “It started with a simple battery” Julie Creswell wrote in The New York Times, introducing the AmazonBasics brand Amazon launched in 2009. The batteries Amazon “makes” have become infamous thanks to them outselling established brands like Energizer and Duracell on Amazon. The AmazonBasics brand now includes thousands of different products - most generic essentials - in a dozen departments.

According to our research the brand’s products are increasingly outperforming competition. Both rising closer to the top in the best sellers list and also launching more best selling products. Performance trend line in a department is modeled using polynomial regression, a form of regression analysis in statistical modeling.

AmazonBasics in Health and Household department

Batteries continue to perform the best in the Health & Household department. AmazonBasics line includes all sizes (AA, AA, D Cell, C Cell, 9 Volt, etc.), the less common ones have visibly improved sales.

In the chart above each yellow dot represents an AmazonBasics product in the Top 100 of Health & Household. Most recently AmazonBasics products were in #2, #3, #13, #36, #37, #42, and #54 positions, thus a yellow dot for each of those. The dotted blue line is a trend line considering those positions and the positions on previous days.

AmazonBasics in Electronics department

In Electronics surge protectors and power strips by AmazonBasics are performing well. In fact, Electronics had the biggest improvement in the brand’s performance.

Electronics is a unique department because most of its best sellers are made by Amazon. Between AmazonBasics, Echo devices, Fire TV devices, Fire tablets, and Ring devices, Amazon owns 30-40% of the top 100 products. During Prime Day this year that number reached close to 60%.

AmazonBasics in Home and Kitchen department

Home & Kitchen has an eclectic mix of AmazonBasics products, including a microfiber sheet set, suit hangers, a foldable drying rack, a tension curtain rod, a shelving unit, etc. However as a group they are selling well.

AmazonBasics in Sports and Outdoors department

AmazonBasics foam roller has long been the best performer in Sports & Outdoors department. But other brand’s products have failed to match its performance. For example, the AmazonBasics exercise mat is being outsold by other private label brands.

AmazonBasics has products in Arts, Crafts & Sewing, Automotive, Cell Phones & Accessories, Baby Products, Clothing, Shoes & Jewelry, Industrial & Scientific, Musical Instruments, Office Products, Patio, Lawn & Garden, Pet Supplies, Tools & Home Improvement, and Video Games departments too. The brand is moving well beyond the basics.

Overall most AmazonBasics are hovering at 4.1-4.5 rating out of 5 stars. Few have reached the perfect five-out-of-five. The often mentioned AmazonBasics batteries in AA size have close to 23,000 reviews but a 4.2 rating out of 5. Most complain about the quality, weak performance, and some even received exploding batteries. One customer wrote “I have been using these batteries in my mouse for about two months. Today I heard a loud pop and sizzling. There was clear liquid coming from the batteries. The batteries have expanded and are still sizzling.”

“In the end, AmazonBasics is not a brand. It’s a collection of products for when the brand doesn’t matter.” we wrote earlier this year. AmazonBasics is a brand in a sense that its products have a label saying AmazonBasics, but it is not a brand shoppers actively seek out. And yet on Amazon that might not be a problem at all, as the increasing sales of brandless goods demonstrate.

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Juozas "Joe" Kaziukėnas

Founder of Marketplace Pulse, Joe wears multiple hats in the management of Marketplace Pulse, including writing most of the articles. Based in New York City. Advisor to other startups and entrepreneurs. Occasional speaker at conferences.

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