The balancing act between mainstream and independent, or “indie,” brands, is one of the major trends on Amazon’s global marketplace. We took a look at Amazon Europe, which provides a particularly good representation of this trend.

Mainstream brands typically offer larger product assortments on Amazon Europe, and by extension boast a greater share of shelf than their independent (“indie”) counterparts. However, despite selling fewer products, indie brands often have more spots on the Best Sellers list, showing that they can outperform larger brands in relative sales volume.

For example, CelinaTex, a platform-specific indie brand, sells just four unisex bathrobes and owns less than 1% of Best Sellers share. Yet the brand consistently holds top-ranked spots, driving unit sales volume, according to Gartner L2’s Amazon Intelligence: Europe report.

Brands

Indie players in Women’s Apparel and Beauty & Personal Care, on average, hold higher ranks relative to those in Men’s Apparel and Health & Hygiene. This is an expected feature of the verticals as assortment tends to be more focused on fast fashion. Indie brands typically register new ASINs with zero net sales, but see a burst in unit sales within a short timeline and rise to the top of the rankings, after which they tend to cycle off the platform.  

Mainstream brands have the strongest presence in Men’s Apparel and Health & Hygiene on Amazon in Europe. Average sales rank in Men’s Apparel and Health & Hygiene show a higher degree of clustering toward the middle, as mainstream brands are on the platform year-round, focused on basics and preventing anomalous rises to the top. The usual suspects (NIKE, Fruit of the Loom, Oral-B, Pampers, and Philips) capture significant brand share by sticking to their apparel and personal care basics assortments, products that stay fairly static despite the season.

Mainstream brands can hedge against indie encroachment by understanding brand dynamics in their categories. Additionally, keeping an eye on best-selling assortment will help brands fine-tune their product selection in order to better target the white space opportunities on which indie brands capitalize.

Daily Insights in Your Inbox