These 6 Big Brands Are Selling on Amazon, Maybe Your Brand Should Too

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By Tricia McKinnon

From small businesses to global juggernauts the question of whether to sell on Amazon is a pressing issue. Amazon is the first channel that customers turn to when conducting a product search online ahead of even Google.  47% of all eCommerce sales in the US are now generated on Amazon’s platform and Amazon has more than 250 million monthly visitors.  For any business regardless of size those are impressive statistics.  

Additionally, online marketplaces are becoming more popular.  According to an eMarketer report, US digital shoppers are twice as likely to prefer shopping on an online marketplace than on a retailer’s website.  More than half of digital shoppers also prefer to shop within an online marketplace because of the ability to compare and find the lowest prices.   At the end of the day sites like Amazon make it easier for consumers to shop and as long as Amazon continues to innovate its popularity will only increase.  While retailers worry that selling on Amazon will cannibalize their sales in other channels a number of big brands have decided to sell on Amazon.  From Nike to Levi’s many iconic brands now use Amazon as a distribution channel.  Here is a list of some of well known brands that are selling their merchandise on Amazon.

1. After Amazon agreed to crack down on third parties that where selling Nike merchandise on Amazon, Nike agreed to sell directly on Amazon. Nike began selling on Amazon in 2017. The retailer has a branded storefront on Amazon which can be found at amazon.com/nike although. However, the selection of merchandise is not quite as extensive as some other retailers.  For example one of the first categories featured in Amazon’s Nike store is socks highlighting that it is not a primary channel for the brand.

Many of the shoppers that buy products on Amazon.com do not even realize that they are in fact buying goods from third party sellers and not from Amazon itself.  Before Nike started selling directly on Amazon it was already the top selling brand on the site which demonstrates the power of third parties that are distributing Nike merchandise.  

Research by Coresight and DataWaeave has showed that Amazon has been able to reduce the number of third parties selling Nike merchandise on Amazon.  A study by those firms showed that the number of Nike listings on Amazon dropped by 46% last year over a six month period due to a decline in third party listings.  

2. J.Crew started selling its discount brand J.Crew Mercantile on Amazon last September.  On Amazon customers shopping the J. Crew storefront can find: “reimagined classics, everyday necessities and statement pieces at friendly prices.”  The selection on Amazon is small and represents only 2% of J.Crew’s SKUs.  

J.Crew has had concerns about selling on Amazon in the past with Mickey Drexler, former CEO and Executive Chairman of J.Crew, fearing that Amazon would “take every bestseller and put it into their private label collection”.  In 2017 when Jim Brett took over the CEO role from Mickey Drexler he crafted a turnaround plan for the company that included selling J. Crew’s merchandise on Amazon.  But Brett ended up leaving the company last November after only a year and a half which has left many questioning whether the J. Crew partnership with Amazon will last.  The company still has its own branded storefront on Amazon that can be founded at amazon.com/jcrew.

3. Chico’s began selling directly on Amazon last May.  Similar to other big brands, the clothing retailer is only offering a limited selection in an attempt not to cannibalize sales in its other channels. This selection includes: accessories, athleisure, no-iron shirts and jewellery.  Chico’s FAS, Chico’s parent company, which owns White House Black Market and Soma will consider selling those brands on Amazon if the new business channel performs well.  Its branded storefront can be found on Amazon at amazon.com/chicos.  The mix of larger and high quality images in the digital storefront almost feels as if you are not on amazon.com but on another retailer’s website.

Speaking about its partnership with Amazon during a Q3 2018 earnings call with Chico’s FAS CEO Shelley Broader, she said: “[in regards to] our channels of distribution, we are meeting our objective of driving stronger customer awareness and consideration. QVC, ShopRunner, and Amazon are driving new customer growth and exceeding our expectations. Although not yet financially significant in total, performance across each has been strengthening.” “Our collaboration with Amazon continues to build and our performance is trending in line with expectations.”

4. The Children’s Place started selling on Amazon back in 2003.  Visiting the brand’s store on Amazon customers find a selection of apparel, footwear and accessories. Commenting on the company’s Amazon business on a Q3 2018 earnings conference call, Children’s Place COO and CFO, Mike Scarpa said: “we continue to see nice increases in our Amazon business, with third quarter sales up nearly 40% versus last year's comparable period. This growth is off a low base, but we thought we'd offer a window into the trend in the business for those trying to understand the health of the relationship. As discussed before, replenishment has been a big driver of sales growth on Amazon, as we continue to increase our product offerings on the platform. So, all is positive on the Amazon front.” 

On a more recent earnings call for Q1 of 2019 Scarpa said: “as far as the wholesale business goes we're pretty happy with the growth that we've seen. As I mentioned, we continue to see the double-digit growth business with both Amazon and TJX.” 

5. Adidas only sells online in the US through Amazon and it is the only market where the brand uses Amazon as a distribution channel.  Adidas has a dedicated selling page on Amazon which can be founded at: amazon.com/adidas.  They company has been selling directly on Amazon since 2014.  Speaking about the partnership with Amazon, Adidas CEO Kasper Rorsted said: "we're working intensely with Amazon to ensure that we have a good partnership, which we have today, but we don't [want to] jeopardize the brand based on the drive for the lowest cost.”  He also said that he wants to ensure that: "we don't tarnish the brand and we don't [want to] make price the most important parameter in how the product is being sold [because] the moment you do that, you don't have a brand anymore.” Rorsted has also said: "Amazon is the best, without any comparison, transaction platform in the world."  Adidas also has a branded storefront on Amazon (amazon.com/adidas) with bold and high quality imagery that is more on brand than Amazon’s regular product listing pages. Addidas sells apparel, footwear and accessories in its Amazon store.

6. Levi’s also has a branded storefront on Amazon (amazon.com/levis) complete with high quality imagery instead of a simple product listing.  On Amazon, Levi’s sells apparel, footwear and accessories.  Speaking about its partnership with Amazon, Levi’s CFO Harmit Singh recently said: "Amazon is a great customer for us and we've been working with Amazon brilliantly for the last couple of years.” “We have a direct-to-consumer business that's growing and we have a wholesale business that is growing.”