Amazon is most likely to bring pet carriers, diapers and patio heaters into its stable of private labels, according to research from One Click Retail, which has identified a research-and-rollout pattern at the e-commerce giant. Amazon’s AmazonBasics private label saw sales of pet carriers (the top four bestselling pet carriers of 2017) rise 80% last year to $2 million, according to the report, which labels the chance of a private label pet carrier from Amazon as "imminent."
Meanwhile, Amazon Elements last year began testing items like diaper pail refills and pouch baby food to supplement its already successful baby wipes business, according to Ojastro Todd, marketing analyst at One Click Retail. The data firm expects Amazon to expand on tests of diaper sales initiated last year with an expanded launch some time in the next 12 months.
Finally, while Amazon doesn’t offer much private label in lawn and garden, they have seen steady sales of $3 million each year in the category through AmazonBasics. One Click Retail expects Amazon to release its strongest performer, an outdoor stand heater available in three styles, this fall.
By the time Amazon slaps a private label logo on a new product release, it's already racked up data and actual legal tender sales on it for months, according to One Click Retail.
"There are three stages in the launch of a private brand: First Amazon will release sample products, then monitor performance often for a period of about a year, and finally the highest performing product lines will receive a full category release," Todd noted in a blog post.
The e-commerce giant gets the attention of customers with promotions, as with its 20% discount on the new Mama Bear diapers and baby food during nearly the entire month of February, according to One Click Retail. That lead to roughly $200,000 in baby food sales and over $650,000 in diaper sales — gaving the label an initial boost, according to Todd.
The diaper launch in November came two years after Amazon pulled its previous line of diapers due to "early customer feedback" just two months following the launch as part of the Amazon Elements stable available only to Prime members. The new diaper label arrived a few months after the e-commerce giant shuttered the unprofitable Quidsi unit, which it acquired from Marc Lore in 2010, who went on to found Jet. Jet, of course, was later acquired by Walmart for $3.3 billion and Lore is now Walmart's U.S. e-commerce chief. Among Quidsi's e-commerce sites was Diapers.com, which was a popular destination for parents looking to replenish baby care basics. (The diaper debut, however, was "unrelated to Quidsi," according to an Amazon spokesperson.)
In any case, the product seems an obvious one for Amazon, considering its success selling baby wipes, among other consumer goods. The bestselling private label item outside of its AmazonBasics electronics line is Amazon Elements Baby Wipes, "Sensitive 480 count," which has earned $2.5 million in sales year to date, according to research from e-commerce analytics firm One Click Retail. Amazon Elements ranks third behind Huggies and Pampers in baby wipes and has accounted for some $10 million in sales so far this year.
While Amazon made headlines in February with the recent launch of a private over-the-counter medicine label, that effort is in a much earlier stage, according to One Click Retail.
"As the company’s first move in the medication sector, it’s hard to predict how Amazon will stack up to the competition," Todd wrote. Basic Care launched with 60 individual SKUs, larger than almost all of Amazon’s past sample product lines. In the first quarter, the brand sold just $20,000 and hasn't yet gotten that kick from a promotion, according to One Click Retail. "At this point, Amazon’s Basic Care brand launch is not a bid to take over the online OTC industry, it’s just a first step to determining how and when to make their next move," he said.
Still, expanding private label is clearly a priority for Amazon, he said, in light of the "dozens of new sample products" introduced each year. "So while we’ve identified the three most likely candidates for expansion in 2018, Amazon has its eye on many more categories as well, and will invest wherever there is high demand," Todd said. "At the end of the day, it’s consumers that decide where growth takes place. Amazon is just meeting the demand."