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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