Amazon launched its long awaited AmazonFresh service in the UK in London on 9 June 2016. The service allows Amazon Prime members to order from up to 130,000 products across the region.
In addition to a large selection of branded goods, the e-tailer struck a deal with Morrisons to sell its Own Label products. Bruno Monteyne, an analyst at research firm Bernstein, identified Ocado and Tesco as companies that could potentially lose out as a result of the AmazonFresh launch as they “have the largest London-based online food retail sales”.
The potential threat AmazonFresh poses to Ocado is likely greater than to Tesco, for example, as it only operates online. Its launch likely contributed to Ocado’s share price hitting a three year low on 14 June 2016 (Financial Times).
Despite its forecast popularity, the AmazonFresh launch did not go unhindered. On 18 June some shoppers saw products available cheaper elsewhere on the Amazon website, than through AmazonFresh (Daily Mail). It was also reported that some customers had problems changing delivery times and were told to complete their order again – if problems like this persist it could lead shoppers to return to established, reliable online grocery retailers.
What does the AmazonFresh range consist of?
Brand View has identified 73,247 products on the AmazonFresh website (excluding third party sellers) on 22 June 2016 for the East London postcode – E3 4NP.
Grocery items were the most-listed accounting for 39.5 percent of the products – this includes all food and drinks products.
Pets Supplies had the second greatest number of listed SKUs, almost half of which (45.5 percent) were products for dogs.
AmazonFresh split the Health & Beauty category into the Beauty or Health and Personal Care categories. Some 16.8 percent of the total number of listings were in the Beauty category and included Make Up, Fragrances and Hair and Skin Care sub-categories. The Health and Personal Care category included the Dental Care, Diet & Nutrition and Medication & Remedies sub-categories and equated to 14.6 percent of all AmazonFresh listings.
Of the 73,247 products identified, 1,334 products were Morrisons’ Own Label products, equivalent to just 1.8 percent of the total number of products listed.
The Coffee, Tea and Beverages category had the greatest number of Morrisons’ Own Label listings with 96, followed by the Frozen Food category which had 79.
The Beer, Wine and Spirits category had the sixth greatest number of Morrisons’ Own Label products with 70 items. Morrisons has recently drawn significant praise for its wine range, winning the 2015 International Wine Challenge (IWC) Supermarket of the Year title. AmazonFresh appears to have recognised this, as 55 of the 70 products in the category were Morrisons’ wines, six of which were IWC award winners.
Compliance of AmazonFresh listings
Brand View identified a number of compliance issues in a previous Insight about Amazon Pantry listings.
Brand View analysed the number of in-stock product listings with missing product descriptions in AmazonFresh, Asda, Morrisons, Ocado, Sainsbury’s, Tesco and Waitrose.
AmazonFresh had the lowest number of missing product descriptions by a significant margin, with just 0.28 percent of its range missing descriptions. This was 1.9 percent lower than nearest rival Ocado, but 31.71 percent lower than worst performer Asda.
Almost half of the missing product descriptions on the AmazonFresh site (45.3 percent) were items in the Baby Products or Pet Supplies categories.
Brand View has also analysed the number of AmazonFresh listings missing a product image. Of the 73,247 items, just 53 SKUs had no product image. These included products from brands such as Absolut, Cadbury and Dove.
AmazonFresh website 24 June 2016
The AmazonFresh website presents brands with an opportunity to list multiple images for a product, while rival retailers do not do this consistently.
The Woodford Reserve Bourbon Whisky 70cl on the AmazonFresh website featured seven images, including shots of the product in a glass, as well as inside and outside of the distillery. In contrast to this, the Ocado website had just one image of the product in the bottle. The images of this product on the AmazonFresh website provide the shopper with a more complete representation of the product and pedigree of the brand, potentially increasing the likelihood of the shopper purchasing the product.
AmazonFresh website 24 June 2016 Ocado website 24 June 2016
What can rival retailers learn from the AmazonFresh launch?
If AmazonFresh UK operates in the same manner as its American counterpart, or the standard Amazon UK website, then brands will have greater control over the product content which is displayed to shoppers on their product pages, compared to that currently available in other retailers.
The greater control afforded to brands may well be part of the reason that Brand View has observed a very low number of AmazonFresh listings missing product descriptions or images.
Brands such as Cadbury, CÎROC and Hellmann’s are taking this one step further and including multiple product images to help sell products. Others, such as Vanish, are even including product videos. If this approach is popular among shoppers and brands, rivals may have to quickly update the functionality of their sites to allow brands to populate this multitude of content on their sites.
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