|Sat Sept 19 2009 23:14:05|
Amazon Basics and the Effect on 3P Online Sellers
By: Ina Steiner
Amazon launched AmazonBasics on Saturday, a private-label collection of consumer electronic items now available in the U.S. The line currently includes audio video cables and blank DVD media, with additional accessories and other items to be added in the coming months. The company said it had plans to introduce the line on its international sites over the coming months.
The news may worry Amazon.com's third-party (3P) sellers, who've already expressed concern that Amazon has access to their sales data and sourcing information. Now, they must worry that Amazon will make deals directly with manufacturers that will allow them to undercut 3P seller pricing - in any category. Amazon already has private label items in outdoor patio furniture, decor, lighting bedding and utility, bath towels, tabletop, kitchen utensils and knives, indoor furniture, and cutlery, cookware, grilling tools and wine accessories.
In Sunday's editorial, I talk about the blurring of lines in the ecommerce space, as marketplaces, retailers, search engines and ad platforms expand their offerings into each other's territories (link). There are a lot of unanswered questions about the current trends in ecommerce, but one thing is clear: these moves are pushing down prices.
It seems the sellers most at risk are sellers of commodity items. Sellers who can differentiate themselves on something beyond price have the best chance of thriving in today's new ecommerce world.