Consumables become Amazon’s top ‘breadwinner’ in 2017

More spending power and domesticated lifestyles among Amazon’s shoppers sparked growth among consumables in 2017.

Described as its biggest breadwinner, Amazon’s consumables category racked up an estimated $6.2 billion in sales in the United States in 2017 — a 41% increase over 2016. This puts the category second to only consumer electronics, according to “Amazon Consumables 2017 Review,” from One Click Retail, a company that specializes in e-commerce data measurement, sales analytics and search optimization for brand manufacturers. (Consumables are defined by three distinct product groups: health & personal care, beauty and pet products. Figures represent Amazon’s first-party sellers only. Grocery sales have been classified as a separate category.)

As Amazon’s core audience has even more spending money and a more domesticated lifestyle, the online retailer is experiencing stronger growth in luxury beauty, baby care and household consumables. This is a boon for brands that have anticipated and adapted to the needs of urban professionals and young families, the report said.

In the United States, consumable items account for 82% of the health and personal care (HPC), a category that had an estimated $3.2 billion in sales in 2017, up 44% over last year. Nutrition and wellness continues to rank as the top category in this division.

Consumable items represent 79% of Amazon’s beauty market — a division worth an estimated $1.5 billion in 2017, and growing at a rate of 41% YoY. Since the women’s cosmetics industry is still dominated by brick-and-mortar, men’s products are leading Amazon’s Beauty product sales.

Pet consumables represent 73% of the pet product group in the U.S., an estimated value of $1.4 billion in 2017, and an increase of 38% over 2016. According to data, a majority of these sales are being driven by millennials.

“Overall, growth in consumables stayed steady throughout 2017, with the leading products and categories remaining relatively stable,” said Nathan Rigby, VP, One Click Retail. “Brands can learn from these trends and expect them to continue into 2018. Ultimately, success is going to depend on anticipating the habits of your audience on Amazon, finding needs that aren’t being met – or that you can meet more effectively and/or affordably – and communicating your competitive advantage to the customer. As more of the market goes online, your potential audience only gets bigger.”