Veteran Amazon Sellers Still at the Top

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.

According to our research, two-thirds of the top sellers - approximately 67% - were in the top twelve months ago. 54% of the top sellers were in the top twenty four months ago in 2017. Also, 41% of the top sellers were in the top thirty six months ago in 2016.

Top Sellers on Amazon Presence in the Past

Top 10,000 sellers on Amazon.com were considered since as a group they represent most if not all of the sellers with more than $1 million in sales a year. 24,000 small and medium-sized businesses eclipsed $1 million in sales in Amazon’s marketplaces worldwide in 2018; the number grew by 20% from 20,000 in 2017. More than half of those are selling on Amazon.com.

The Year Top Sellers Started Selling on Amazon

As mentioned above, 54% of the top sellers were in the top twenty four months ago in 2017. However 75% of the top sellers from 2017 are at least in the top 25,000 now, and 84% of those top sellers are at least in the top 50,000. It’s rare for a past top seller to stop selling altogether.

Close to half of the top sellers started selling before 2015. 6.5% started selling last year, 14.7% started selling in 2017, 17.6% in 2016, and 11.4% in 2015. Put differently, half of the top sellers have been selling for at least four years.

Even if the past top sellers are no longer in the top, most of them are still actively selling on the platform. 87% of the past top sellers from thirty six months ago in 2016 are still active with products listed for sale. 93% of the past top sellers from 2017 are still active. Moreover, more than 97% of the past top sellers from 2016 are active today.

Past Top Sellers Still Active on Amazon

This data highlights the long-term sustainability of businesses relying on the Amazon marketplace and the relatively low churn rate. Churn rate, also known as the rate of attrition, is the percentage of sellers on the marketplace who stop selling within a given time period. Retention of the top sellers is the opposite of churn.

It takes years to build a lasting business on Amazon, but once built sellers can maintain it for years. Thus despite more than 750 new sellers joining Amazon.com and close to 3,000 across all Amazon marketplaces every day, the top of the market is relatively stable.

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Juozas "Joe" Kaziuk─Śnas

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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