TECHNOLOGY

Study: Amazon’s partners fuel future growth in fashion

BY Deena M. Amato-McCoy

Despite Amazon’s expanding private-label business, the company’s growth in fashion currently relies on third-party merchandise.

Third-party sellers account for 86.3% of Amazon’s listings, with third parties accounting for 85.7% of womenswear listings, and 87.1% in menswear, according to “Amazon Apparel: Who is selling What,” a report form Coresight Research (formerly Fung Global Retail & Technology).

The retailer’s reliance on third-party sellers underscores its opportunity to grow apparel sales by bringing more inventory in-house. It also attracts more once-brand-loyal shoppers, as 38% of Amazon apparel customers said that they prefer to buy directly from Amazon rather than from third-party sellers on the site.

“Amazon Fashion is still heavily reliant on third-party sellers. We think more first-party listings would encourage shoppers, and especially Prime members, to buy more apparel on the Amazon Fashion site— not least because we think shoppers feel greater reassurance on delivery and returns policies when buying from Amazon itself,” the report said. “We expect to see more first-party listings flow through to the site as Amazon continues to strengthen its relationships with major brands.”

That doesn’t mean Amazon is not serious about using its private-label business to gain even more traction in the segment. So far, a mere 13.7% of women’s and men’s clothing products on Amazon Fashion are listed for sale by Amazon itself. Only 834 of the 881,269 clothing products are Amazon private-label products, which equates to just under 0.1% of the site’s clothing inventory, the study said.

However, there are bigger opportunities for Amazon’s house brands. One in nine Amazon apparel shoppers bought Amazon private-label clothing in the past year, making it the fourth-most-purchased clothing “brand” on the site. Meanwhile, womenswear accounts for 80% of Amazon’s private-label clothing offerings, data revealed.

Regardless of the brand, activewear is one of the most important categories for Amazon Fashion. Activewear accounts for a large number of listings with 76,930 men’s activewear products and 51,992 women’s activewear products listed on the site. In both womenswear and menswear, many more products are listed under activewear than under staple categories, such as jeans and sweaters, the study reported.

Within activewear, Nike is the most-listed brand on Amazon Fashion, with 16,764 products listed across women’s and men’s clothing, while Adidas is the tenth-most-listed brand on the site. The second-most-listed name, Interstate Apparel, is an athletic-themed brand.

The top 30 brands account for 30% of all clothing products listed on Amazon Fashion — implying that there are opportunities for other brands to scale up. Almost 1,400 brands list fewer than 50 products each, suggesting that Amazon Fashion has further opportunity to grow its already substantial brand offering, the study said.

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TECHNOLOGY

This product category is on the rise at Amazon

BY Deena M. Amato-McCoy

Amazon is giving traditional drug stores a run for their money.

The online giant’s sales of drugstore products, a subset of its health & personal care category, are growing 59% year-over-year, according to “Drugstore Products: The Amazon Effect,” a report from One Click Retail.

In addition to becoming more health-conscious, consumers are more comfortable buying household items from Amazon, including drugstore merchandise, the report found. This, combined with customers’ need to stock up on products, is driving sales for Amazon.

Generic and homeopathic brands are among the most successful items selling through Amazon. One category that is on the rise includes eye care, which is growing at a rate of 74% year-over-year. Nearly doubling in size in 2017 to an estimated value of $45 million, eye care is on track to overtake first aid as the No. 3 drugstore products subcategory on Amazon, the study said.

The smoking cessation category is also on the rise, becoming the second-fastest growing subcategory of 2017 (88% YoY growth).

“With so many well-established drugstore product brands still so focused on traditional retail, brands have the chance to get in on the ground floor of the industry’s biggest growth opportunity,” said Nathan Rigby, VP sales and marketing at One Click Retail. “Amazon’s sales of drugstore products are growing at 59% year-over-year, so brands need to capture the loyalty of Amazon shoppers now to grow their sales rank, get their flywheel spinning, and collect their profits.”

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TECHNOLOGY

Study: Despite increased confidence, companies still struggle with cyber-security

BY Deena M. Amato-McCoy

Organizations may feel increasingly resilient when it comes to fighting cyber-attacks, however, they are far from invincible.

While 72% of organizations feel more “cyber resilient,” or having a stronger security posture, 77% admitted they do not have a formal cyber security incident response plan (CSIRP) applied consistently across their organization, according to “The Third Annual Study on the Cyber Resilient Organization,” from Ponemon Institute, and sponsored by IBM Resilient.

Despite having formal CSIRPs in place, highly resilient organizations (61%) attribute their confidence to their ability to hire skilled personnel. However, organizations need both technology and people to be cyber- resilient. In fact, 60% of respondents consider a lack of investment in AI and machine learning as the biggest barrier to cyber resilience.

Lacking solutions are increasing the time to resolve an incident among 57% of respondents, while 65% reported the severity of the attacks has increased. These problems are further compounded by just 31% of companies having an adequate cyber resilience budget in place, and difficulty retaining and hiring IT security professionals (77%).

In fact, only 29% of respondents reported having ideal staffing to achieve cyber resilience. Only half (50%) of participants said their organization’s current CISO or security leader has been in place for three years or less, and 23% said they do not currently have a CISO or security leader.

This will be a challenge once the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) takes effect in May, a protocol that will mandate that organizations have an incident response plan in place.

“Organizations may be feeling more cyber resilient today, and the biggest reason why was hiring skilled personnel,” said Ted Julian, VP of product management and co-founder, IBM Resilient.

“Having the right staff in place is critical but arming them with the most modern tools to augment their work is equally as important,” he added. “A response plan that orchestrates human intelligence with machine intelligence is the only way security teams are going to get ahead of the threat and improve overall cyber resilience.”

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