Online Retailers’ Fraught Relationship with Amazon

Sellers balance desire for sales with concerns about competition

Author: Monica Melton

July 19, 2017

Online retailers may hunger for the sales jolt they can win by selling via Amazon. But many of them worry that the data generated by those sales will only increase Amazon’s advantage.

According to a June 2017 SLI Systems survey among retail professionals worldwide, 44% said they sell on Amazon. For those that do, the No. 1 reason was to increase sales.

In line with increasing sales, many also said they are looking to acquire new customers or build their visibility. Perhaps surprisingly, only one in three said they wanted to tap into Amazon’s vaunted fulfillment operations.

Balanced against the desire to win sales and customers, however, was some distinct unease about how Amazon might use the data from the sales. More than two-thirds of the retailers who sell on Amazon expressed at least some worry about their sales data. Only 32% said it wasn’t a concern.

Amazon’s appeal as a partner is hard to dispute: A PricewaterhouseCoopers survey of digital buyers found that 44.7% of the US respondents said they start their product searches on Amazon, and more than half said they check prices there.

Photo credit: Tim Marshall on Unsplash