June 5, 2023


We recently benchmarked the 1P consumer brand community on Amazon-related questions we collected from subscribers, including:

  • The role Amazon plays in their portfolio
  • May performance vs. expectations
  • Competitive intensity vs. last year
  • Prime Day promotional plans
  • Ad performance vs. peers


The following report shares these results in a quick, easy to skim format.


Feel free to use this grab bag of charts in your own presentations on Amazon. We also included five question prompts at the end you can use for internal discussion purposes.

Brands Looking to Amazon for Growth

Pre-pandemic, Amazon GMV was compounding at 21% per annum compared to Stratably’s forecast for the next five years of 7% compound growth. Despite this decline, Amazon continues to grow faster than its peers, leading brands to continue to look to it as a key source of growth in an anemic environment. This data also stands out as a counterpoint to consensus thinking that every brand is focused exclusively on profitability at the moment.


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Positive Near Term Performance

Brands report positive Amazon sales trends in May. This runs counter to the commentary from retail peers that called out a progressively softening retail environment from February through May. The softness was attributed to poor Spring weather, reduced SNAP benefits and tax refunds. However, Amazon seems to have been more immune to these macro factors.


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Increasingly Competitive Environment

Positive May performance comes despite most brands reporting a more competitive environment on Amazon. Marketplace sellers are one component to the growing competition (dupes, for example), but so too is the enhanced sophistication and resources larger 1P brands are putting towards winning on Amazon, with several highlighting greater eCommerce share than in-store share. Brands must have competitive intelligence that illuminates the unique competition they face on Amazon, which is often different than in-store.


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More Promotional Prime Day Ahead

The persistent inflation seen over the last 18 months has made consumers more responsive than ever to deals and innovation, causing brands to plan for a more promotional Prime Day this year. We expect general merchandise categories to lead the way with promotions as they are back in stock (if not overstocked) and struggling with low growth. Brands can anticipate it taking more to stand out this year than last.


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Retail Media Comparisons Remains Difficult

Many brands lack a clear view on how Amazon Ad performance compares to alternative media networks. This is a result of fragmented strategies across retail media networks, a lack of integration of retail media into broader marketing strategy, and different reporting offered by retailers. In our research, consumer brands express frustration regarding the difficulty of collecting and analyzing performance across retail media platforms, let alone media platforms more broadly.


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Questions to Consider

  1. What role does Amazon play in your account portfolio, and do the strategies, tactics, and metrics fit?
  2. How is your Amazon performance stacking up to peer accounts over the last 4 weeks, and what is driving the under or over performance?
  3. Do you have a clear sense of the competition on Amazon and your own market share trends?
  4. Are you planning for a more promotional Prime Day this year?
  5. Are we making strides towards comparing performance across retail media networks?