If you’re a regular Amazon user, chances are you’ve bought some Amazon-manufactured products by now, maybe without even knowing it. Amazon owes its success to the fact that its marketplace and distribution are second to none – that’s why most people shop there. But in the last few years, there has been a glut of new private brands introduced, with Amazon-owned products transforming the marketplace.

Some of these, such as Amazon Echo and Echo Dot (the two bestselling items of both Prime Day 2017 and the 2016 Holiday shopping season), are obviously Amazon products, but other private labels have varying levels of transparency, from Wickedly Prime (fairly clear – “Prime” gives it away) to Lark & Ro apparel and Happy Belly snack foods (decidedly less obvious). The distinct impression is that Amazon is testing out a variety of different ways to introduce private brands to the platform.

Now, let’s set aside the massive sales from Amazon devices like the Kindle and the Echo, and focus in on the remainder. According to our data on all other items, roughly 85% of Amazon’s private brand sales come from AmazonBasics, suggesting that there is little cause for disguising private brands – in fact the “Amazon” label seems to improve sales.

Amazon’s Top Private Brands

Not only does AmazonBasics account for 85% of all private brands sales (the remaining 15% is divided between 45 distinct labels), it’s also cannibalizing other Amazon brands. Sales of Bedding and Bath label Pinzon have fallen by 50% so far this year (about $8M in lost sales) while AmazonBasics has moved into those same categories, where it has seen a growth of about 50% (or nearly $10M in sales), primarily in Bedding. In our view, this indicates an intention on the part of Amazon to reinvest in the broader (and more successful) AmazonBasics brand and move away from niche labels.

AmazonBasics Brand Rank by Product Group – U.S.Amazon-Basics-Private-Brands-Sales-Data

Amazon has been so successful in its private brands strategy that AmazonBasics is now the #3 bestselling brand overall on Amazon.com and ranks highly in many product groups (#4 overall in both Electronics and Wireless). Originally known for its flagship, a range of affordable household batteries, the brand has now made an impact across a wide range of categories, with the bulk of sales in accessories for Electronics, including Wireless, Camera and PC. And one unexpected success is paper shredders, the brand’s third-largest category overall and containing the bestselling paper shredder on Amazon.

Top Private Brand ASINs YTDAmazon-private-brands-top-sales-items

19 of the top 20 bestselling private brand items on Amazon.com fall under the AmazonBasics label, with an Apple-certified USB cable the top item in the U.S., Canada, Germany and the U.K. However, with the exception of Canada where it is the #2 brand overall, AmazonBasics is not as strong of a competitor in Europe. In France, the labels ranks 20th overall, In Germany 28th and in the U.K. 30th. As most of Amazon’s innovations are initially rolled out in the U.S. (and it’s likely that most manufacturing is taking place in the company’s home country), this is likely only a lag period and it’s just a matter of time before private brands really take off internationally.

AmazonBasics Brand Rank by Product Group – Europe & CanadaAmazon-private-brands-international-sales-data

Amazon Private Brands: Canada

RankProduct GroupSales
25PC >$1.5M
7Health & Personal Care>$1M
5Office Products>$1M
2All Product Groups$12M

Amazon Private Brands: Germany

RankProduct GroupSales
21Office Products>€1M
28All Product Groups€18M

Amazon Private Brands: UK

RankProduct GroupSales
11Office Products>£2M
30All Product Groups>£15M

Amazon Private Brands: France

RankProduct GroupSales
9Pet Products>€1M
18Office Products>€1M
20All Product Groups€6M

Beyond AmazonBasics

The bestselling private label item outside of AmazonBasics is Amazon Elements Baby Wipes, Sensitive, 480 Count which has earned $2.5M in sales YTD. Amazon Elements ranks third behind Huggies and Pampers in the Baby Wipes space. The bestselling product group among the 45 remaining private labels is Apparel (by a significant margin) with more than $20M in sales; Amazon’s suite of private brands features a variety of apparel labels including Lark & Ro, Amazon Essentials, Buttoned Down, Mae, and Goodthreads. The next leading product group is Home, with sales that can be almost entirely credited to the shrinking Bedding & Bath brand Pinzon.

With their recent acquisition of Whole Foods, Amazon is also positioned to make a huge impact on the Grocery product group with the newly-private brand. At the end of August, Amazon made over 2000 Whole Foods items available in the marketplace (initially in the U.S. alone), which resulted in an unprecedented $500,000 in sales in a single week. 96% of sales took place through Prime Pantry, Prime Now and Amazon Fresh while only 4% of purchases were made through the main “.com” platform. Amazon was unprepared for this level of demand: only 7% of the top 100 items remained in stock at the end of the first week, resulting in a 38% drop in sales during the second week due to out of stock items.

It’s too early to quantify the full impact of the Whole Foods acquisition, but as a major (and instantly successful) new addition to Amazon private brands portfolio, it will provide competition to brand manufacturers now in the platform’s grocery space. On the other hand, Amazon has access to the biggest collection of eCommerce consumer behavioral data in the western world and the resources to produce nearly 50 labels (and counting), so by keeping a close watch on the company’s private brand strategy, Amazon sellers can learn a great deal about how to compete online and launch new products successful in an increasingly crowded marketplace. If you’re going to learn strategy and best practices from anyone, why not learn from the master?

One Click Retail is the industry’s most accurate source of sales data for the world’s top eCommerce marketplaces. Using a combination of website indexing, machine learning and proprietary software, OCR estimates weekly online sales figures with 98.5% accuracy down to the level of the individual SKU on Amazon in order to deliver the best insights, analytics and strategies to their brand manufacturer clients. To catch a glimpse of how OCR gives brands critical edge on online platforms with our unique data and expertise, subscribe to our weekly eCommerce insights blog, and follow us on Twitter and LinkedIn.

If you are a brand manufacturer who would like to learn more about how you stack up to the competition—or would like to see your market share and category growth insights—email us at info@oneclickretail.com for a free capabilities demo.