Amazon has been called the Tony Soprano of e-commerce. It offers brands two options: list their products on the e-tailer, or leave that option to third-party sellers. The latter option entices many brands to become official Amazon distributers, since Amazon does not filter third-party sellers for authenticity, price, or fulfillment standards. But L2’s Intelligence Report: Amazon found there is a quieter way to cooperate with Amazon, one that doesn’t blatantly negate a brand’s no-engagement policy with the retailer and maintains the perception of scarcity.
The report found the total number of (third-party) Chanel products on Amazon decreased from 454 to 20. Lancôme SKUs decreased from 189 to 41 and Giorgio Armani beauty SKUs decreased from 139 to 74.
Coincidence? Highly unlikely. Furthermore, the study found that unrestricted third-party listing did not apply to all brands. Listing Chanel, De Beers, Harry Winston and Hermès was restricted, while listing of Urban Decay cosmetics was partially allowed at the time of the study.