Juozas Kaziukenas, founder and CEO of Marketplace Pulse, said while Amazon has been building out its own private-label brands, especially apparel, they don’t get as big a push on Prime Day as its higher margin devices and electronics.
“I was watching the livestream, and it’s not about their brands,” Kaziukenas said. “The first page of the Prime Day site, they’re never upfront with exclusives. I’m sure they had increasing sales but it’s not a huge focus. Out of the thousands of deals listed, I only saw 20 to 40 for their own brands – that’s very small.”
Even though ecommerce via smart devices like the Echo is miniscule, Kaziukenas said Amazon continues to practically give them away on Prime Day to sink its hooks into the home ever deeper, preparing for the inevitable day when voice ordering becomes as common as mobile commerce. In Congressional hearings this past July, Amazon was accused of deliberately selling its Echo devices below cost to undercut competitors and monopolize the space, a charge CEO Jeff Bezos denied. More recently, a House subcommittee last week accused Amazon of wielding its market dominance like a weapon to thwart competition.
“… Large companies are not dominant by definition, and the presumption that success can only be the result of anti-competitive behavior is simply wrong,” Amazon responded in a blog post, even asserting that “fringe notions on antitrust would destroy small businesses and hurt consumers” in its headline.
“There’s not much (voice) buying now, but the idea is they’ll be more useful in the future, and by then there will be a device in every home,” Kaziukenas said. “I’ve seen stats that 1% of users bought something with a smart home speaker, and no one bought more than one time sing voice devices. But it’s something that could become powerful.”