Amazon Essentials launched at the start of 2017, focusing on men’s polo shirts. In November, it expanded into men’s activewear with multipack basics, versatile joggers, and stretch polo shirts. Just a month later, Amazon Essentials appeared on the men’s activewear Amazon Best Sellers list for the first time.
While the private label saw a dip in its Performance Rank after launch activity cooled, it later made gains on both Best Sellers rank and visibility. Today, the new brand closely trails men’s activewear category leader Hanes, according to Gartner L2’s Amazon Performance Rank Q1 2018: Activewear report.
Part of Amazon Essentials’ success in the activewear category can be attributed to heavy post-Thanksgiving promotion of all Amazon private labels. Additionally, a dedicated Vine review campaign during the first two weeks of December boosted the review volume of Amazon Essentials’ top-performing activewear item, a fleece jogger sweatpant.
Soon, traditional brands will have to defend against Amazon private label Product Listing ads on their Best Sellers listings, a conquesting tactic repeatedly used by the retailer. And its array of private label brands is about to get more intense. In its 2017 Holiday Gift guide last November, Amazon debuted three dedicated activewear private labels: Goodsport, Peak Velocity, and Rebel Canyon. The launch was supported by the Headline Search Ad and Vine campaign activity typical for Amazon’s private label assortment, but the brands haven’t yet appeared in the activewear Best Sellers list. However, Amazon Essentials’ success suggests that category heavyweights have reason to be concerned.