eCommerce Marketing

Fred Lebhart Posted by Fred Lebhart on August 19, 2019

Amazon: competitive or complementary sales channel?

Amazon: competitive or complementary sales channel?

Amazon currently captures 49% of all online spend in the U.S. and represents an opportunity for brands looking to build-up online sales.

However, Is Amazon a competitive channel or a complementary sales channel? Can your brand coexist on both Amazon and your company's ecommerce site? Or must you pick an online strategy where you build your business on either platform but not both? Let's explore.

Brands are seeing an enormous benefit from their continued understanding and implementation of omni-channel retail marketing. Defined, omni-channel retail marketing is the process of selling across multiple physical and digital channels. Effectively executed, an omni-channel plan provides consumers with the consistent ability to get thorough product information and read detailed product reviews, designed to help make better purchase decisions. For brands, this can translate into greater brand engagement and higher revenues.

BigCommerce surveyed global online shoppers and asked them "Where have you made a purchase from in the last six (6) months". Here is how online shoppers responded:

  • 78%  Amazon

  • 65%  Physical retail store

  • 45%  Online branded retail store

  • 34%  Ebay

  • 11%  Facebook

  • 6%  Instagram

Putting aside the debate on the affects of Amazon on physical retail sales channels, we will take on the topic of investigating the role of Amazon in a brands online sales strategy.

A brands online sales strategy will likely take into consideration numerous online retail avenues- brands own website, Amazon, 3rd party seller sites (eBay, etc.), discount online retailers (GroupOn), physical retail online stores (,, etc.), pure ecommerce sites (Wayfair, etc.) and social media- to generate income for their businesses.

Recent consumer behavior research indicates that Amazon and online stores are complementary sales channels when consumers are making purchase decisions.

According to BigCommerce 2018 Omnichannel Buying Report:

  • 83% of U.S. consumers made a purchase on Amazon within the last 6 months (2018)

  • 50% of the items purchased on Amazon are sold by third-party sellers

  • 20,000 third-party sellers on Amazon surpassed $1m in sales in this channel in 2018

  • 30% of consumers saw a brand on Amazon before ultimately purchase it on a brand’s website

  • 22% of consumers visited a brand site before purchasing on Amazon

  • Amazon and a branded site work in tandem to ease a consumer through their purchase decision journey

  • #1 reason consumers shop on Amazon is convenience, not price

  • 25% of survey respondents listed price as the primary reason they choose to buy directly from a brand’s site

Consumers view Amazon as a shopping mall for products. They arrive at Amazon already knowing what type of product they are looking for and use Amazon's catalog of product listings to find the right product for their needs. Having your brand on Amazon will put you in front of buyers, ready to make purchase decisions.

Consumers learn from Google, social media, and a brand's own website when they don't have a product already in mind. They are looking for a guide or solution to a problem. This emphasis the importance of having a strong SEO and content management program. Otherwise, you will have difficulty generating traffic to your site and leaving prospective consumers to find your competitors.

We know that consumer shopping behaviors are evolving. They are taking advantage of multiple sources for information, product descriptions, advice and reviews, etc. and brands must implement an omnichannel program to capture consumer attention, guide them thorough the purchase journey, and convert prospects into sales.

Looking for help in the design and implementation of an effective omnichannel sales program?

We can help; efelle has been driving eCommerce revenue since 2005, and offers everything from Amazon Channel Sales optimization to eCommerce website design & development. Contact us today to discuss how we can help you grow.