Amazon.com Inc has disclosed that revenues on its niche platform Exclusives, which retails in items that aren’t found elsewhere, reached $50m less than a year since it was launched. Moreover, at least 120 brands are now available on the site.
While the sales are just a drop in the ocean compared to those generated by Amazon’s main third-party marketplace site, they provide an opportunity for Amazon to track the performance of new products that could prove the next hot-cakes in the marketplace site.
Site Now Lists 10,000 Items
The site also enables Amazon to reach out to niche customers via stores such as Launchpad, which deals in crowd-funded items and Handmade, which sells hand-crafted products. Amazon plans to scale up the site, which has listed 10,000 items such as bamboo watches. However, it didn’t divulge further details about how it plans to do so.
“We do expect the broadening of the product categories and geographical expansion,” Peter Sauerborn, director of business development at Amazon, told Reuters reporters.
Brands that want to sell their items on Amazon are required to grant the former the right to be the sole third-party vendor for their items. In return, the sellers participate in the Fulfillment by Amazon program. This refers to Amazon’s international warehouse network, its Prince™ loyalty program and fast shipping facilities.
Amazon’s rivals such as EBay Inc are also investing in platforms that retail in unique merchandise, with EBay realigning its strategy to focus on one-of-a-kind products sold by smaller merchants. The company used to list such items on its platform during its early stages before it shifted its focus to common items.
Fulfillment Program is Proving Genius Idea
Most of the merchants on Amazon have been attracted by its fulfillment program, with active traders relying on it increasing over 50 percent in 2015. These merchants shipped out over 1 billion items worldwide last year.
One example is Stephan Aarstol, the CEO and founder of Tower Paddle Boards, a San Diego-based company. Aarstol, who joined Exclusives through TV program Shark Tank, said he sent “several hundred” paddle boards to Amazon’s storage depot in the United Kingdom late 2015 in order to make his products easily available to potential customers. Aarstol acknowledges that this would have been difficult had he opted to do it alone.
Exclusives platform not only bequeaths Amazon the right of being the sole third-party marketplace for unique products, but also provides it the chance to gain special exposure. This spotlight gets even more intense especially when startups that sell on the site register phenomenal sales of their products or grow fast enough to attract large capital funding. It also enables Amazon to provide its customers with early access to innovative products long before they become everyday must-have items.
Amazon launched Exclusives in March 2015.