Amazon Market Share Slips In Niche Categories

Digital purchases of household essentials and personal care items through Amazon grew in 2019, but at a slower pace for these categories than in 2018, according to a report released Monday.

Other categories also slipped in market share, but the marketplace has been able to strengthen its conversion rates after consumers search, find and click on products.

Findings from the Jumpshot CPG eCommerce Report, The State of the Industry show Amazon’s ecommerce market share slipping about two percentage points in household essentials and five percentage points in personal care since January 2017. In some specific subcategories, such as snack bars and dog food, Amazon’s share is down by as much as 20%.

A report scheduled for release later this week shows that marketers are not losing interest in Amazon, but says its platforms are much more complicated to use than Google’s.

Although competitors have chipped away at Amazon’s weaker categories, its market share still ranges between 50% and 90%.

Walmart ranks a distant No. 2, with competitors like Chewy approaching parity with Amazon in subcategories such as pet supplies.

In early 2017, Amazon sold twice as much dog food as Chewy, but throughout 2019 the pet supply company maintained a narrow lead on niche players like Chewy.

Amazon maintains a stronger hold on products such as dog collars and training pads, and offerings where consumers are more focused on value and less on brand.

Chewy’s growth comes from strong offline branding campaigns and paid-search campaigns. Chewy gets between 25% and 30% of its traffic from paid search -- about six times more than from organic search. The site also converts visitors 4.4% of the time from paid traffic into transactions.

Jumpshot’s data also shows how Amazon’s conversion rates continue to improve.

For household essentials, Amazon’s second-quarter 2019 conversion rate rose to 34% -- up from 29% in the year-ago quarter. Personal care products show the same pattern. One-third of Amazon visitors who view products in these categories make a purchase. These percentages can be compared with leading competitors that have conversion rates between 5% and 15%.

Diversity continues to help Amazon grow. In the second quarter of 2019, sponsored search drove 11% of all product views on Amazon, nearly double the rate of 6.6% in January 2017. In CPG categories, this figure is higher, typically between 13% and 14%.

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