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Is Amazon a Friend or Foe to Its Merchants?

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Most merchants that use Amazon.com as a sales channel are worried that the e-commerce giant will one day become a competitor, according to a recent research from SLI Systems.

The report was based on data from a 2Q17 survey of 213 people who work for retailers that sell on at least one online channel; 44% of firms polled use Amazon.com as a sales channel.

Some 47% of respondents who sell on Amazon.com say they are somewhat worried that the company will eventually use their firm's sales data to compete.

Nearly half that proportion, 21%, are very worried, but 32% are not worried.


Some 65% of retail firms that use Amazon.com as a retail channel say they do so to increase sales; 47% do so to acquire new customers; and 47% say they do so to gain visibility from what is a high-traffic channel.

About the research: The report was based on data from a 2Q17 survey of 213 people who work for retailers that sell on at least one online channel; 44% of firms polled use Amazon.com as a sales channel.


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Ayaz Nanji is an independent digital strategist and a co-founder of ICW Content, a marketing agency specializing in content creation for brands and businesses. He is also a research writer for MarketingProfs. He has worked for Google/YouTube, the Travel Channel, AOL, and the New York Times.

LinkedIn: Ayaz Nanji

Twitter: @ayaznanji

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  • by Gail Gardner Fri Jul 21, 2017 via web

    I am impressed that such a high percentage of sellers realize the risks. Amazon can easily see what products sell and determine profitability and then decide to compete. A greater concern is that if we continue to allow a few huge marketplaces to dominate until buyers are only using them, those marketplaces could then just start removing other sellers. Amazon is the Wal-mart of the internet.

    We have the same problem with Google buying Urchin and offering it as free analytics. They know what keyword phrases are profitable and can easily increase the cost or sell that data to whomever they choose.

    Now we have Amazon buying Whole Foods. Will we eventually have one big company store and no independent small businesses?

    No online seller can compete with the shipping discounts Amazon has arranged with the USPS and other carriers. When buyers are used to getting things next day or within a couple of days, what happens to ecommerce sites that can't match their speed and certainly have to pay more for delivery?

    Buyers need to realize that our actions today dictate the world we live in tomorrow. If we do not go out of our way to support small business, they will not survive. We need to be willing to pay more for quality and service and have some patience with shipping times.

    If we do not, we will end up with an internet that looks like small towns across America whose main streets are boarded up because their county zoning commissions let Wal-mart come to town.

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