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Analyst Sees Solid Growth in Amazon Product Selection

Amazon is experiencing positive growth trends in product selection as well as marketplace/FBA adoption, with no evidence of a slowdown, according to Baird analyst Colin Sebastian. The results of Baird’s eighth quarterly inventory survey showed expanding selection as a key growth driver for Amazon Retail.

Amazon continues to add product selection at a fairly rapid clip – one of the fundamental drivers of the company’s unit sales growth, according to Sebastian. Top categories on Amazon.com in terms of number of listed items were Books, Home & Kitchen, Electronics, Music, Sports & Outdoors, and Collectibles.

Specifically, physical items listed for sale grew 24.7% year-over-year vs. 18.3% growth for digital items.

Our eighth quarterly survey of product listings on Amazon.com reveals continued growth in units available sale, as well as several broader platform trends. Overall, the number of items listed for sale on Amazon.com totaled approx. 288 million, representing an increase of 10.1% from our Q3 survey; on a year-over-year basis, the number of items for sale grew by 23.8%, accelerating from roughly 13% at the end of Q3.

Marketplace sellers continue to gain share of selection, the analyst said. “Our survey indicates that Amazon sells roughly 20% of units as a primary seller, or just 10% excluding MP3s. Overall, Amazon-as-seller SKUs grew 19% Y/Y, vs. 23.8% overall unit growth. Third-party inventory increased +25.1% Y/Y (+14.2% in Media categories; +28% in non-Media categories).”

He also saw continued FBA adoption among third-party sellers.

Currently, only 13% of all physical items are eligible for Prime shipping – including 25% of media products and 8% of non-media products. Sebastian said growth in Prime-eligible was 45% year-over-year, well above the 19% growth rate of Amazon-as-seller SKUs.

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Ina Steiner
Ina Steiner
Ina Steiner is co-founder and Editor of EcommerceBytes and has been reporting on ecommerce since 1999. She's a widely cited authority on marketplace selling and is author of "Turn eBay Data Into Dollars" (McGraw-Hill 2006). Her blog was featured in the book, "Blogging Heroes" (Wiley 2008). Follow her on Twitter at @ecommercebytes and send news tips to ina@ecommercebytes.com.