Man, Amazon is really going for it. The internet behemoth’s share of the U.S. apparel market has grown rapidly, they’ve launched a host of apparel verticals, and according to a recent story from Digiday’s Glossy, they’re now making it increasingly harder for smaller brands to take advantage of the once-lucrative Amazon Marketplace.
“Brands have the option of either selling to Amazon directly, via its wholesale model, or joining the company’s third-party marketplace as a seller,” the story writes. “But brands and industry execs say Amazon’s rigged the game so that it’s not much of an option at all.”
Amazon’s inventory has long been a tangled mess of both goods acquired through wholesale programs and those sold by third-party distributors, but with Amazon’s increased efforts to exist as a
sentient entity major apparel retailer, products acquired through wholesale are the ones getting featured real estate on the site (although, according to the story, Amazon doesn’t provide wholesale partners with any consumer data).
And sure, they have every right to prioritize wholesale accounts: it’s their platform, and profit margins increase on the wholesale side. But, the wholesale model only works as long as all stockists exist on an equal playing field, and Amazon seems to be working real hard to tilt the entire field in their favor, which “could have a negative rippling effect for brands, as it sets a precedent for other wholesale relationships, with department stores like Nordstrom and e-commerce sites like Net-a-Porter.”
You can read more about it at Digiday.