Amazon's disruptive effect on the retail sector, especially when it comes to such categories as books, toys and electronics, has been very well documented, but a new study offers a strong signal that no retailers are safe from Amazon. Here’s one data point from a market study: Amazon sales of bulky Sterilite storage boxes last year jumped 48%, according to One Click Retail, an ecommerce sales analytics firm whose clients include Procter & Gamble, Nestle, Kellogg, Hamilton Beach, Calvin Klein and HP.
One Click estimated that Amazon’s total sales of housewares increased 33% to about $7 billion last year, led by demand for items like the iRobot Roomba vacuum cleaner, Brother Sewing Machine and Frigidaire Dehumidifier. It said the Seattle online giant’s category growth rate is 3.5 times the U.S. industry category growth rate, and it estimated that Amazon’s share of the market is 8.5%.
That’s only one area. One Click’s data also showed that in health and personal care category, Amazon saw a 35% jump in sales last year to $4.7 billion, which One Click said is nearly five times the total category growth rate. While Amazon’s share of that category is still well under 2% according to One Click data, its much faster growth rate will present growing challenges for both retailers and even brand manufacturers: Amazon’s laundry detergent sales, for instance, more than doubled, driven by the private label Presto! liquid detergent that Amazon introduced last year.
What these data points reveal is not simply the fact that consumers, led by millennials, are increasingly comfortable buying things online, or that Amazon is growing fast in these categories from a relatively low market penetration. It’s about the threat Amazon poses even to parts of the retail market that once might have been thought to be safe from encroachment. And for brands that may still be reluctant to sell on Amazon, the study is a clear sign that they can no longer ignore it as part of their retail strategy.
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Jay & Julia Taylor own and operate Caney Creek Studio. Caney Creek Studio is a video production, digital marketing, and social media management agency.