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8 Ways Amazon is Preparing for the Holidays: Product Count, Category Trends and More

With assortment playing a major role in retailers’ strategies this holiday, 360pi observed key shifts in Amazon’s product assortment for the holidays.

In May 2016, 360pi released one of its most popular studies providing exclusive insight into how many products Amazon offers for sale, with and without marketplace sellers. In preparation for the holidays, we created an infographic, Amazon’s Endless Holiday Aisle, summarizing just how much Amazon ramped up their assortment in the past few months.

Here are 8 key observations we made when comparing Amazon’s assortment from May to November 2016.

  1. Amazon proper expanded their product offering by 30%.
    From May to November 2016, Amazon proper added 3.6M new products to their assortment — expanding their product offering by 30% for the holiday shopping season.
  2. Amazon’s marketplace sellers continue to drive the bulk of Amazon’s category ramp up.
    While Amazon proper added 3.6M new products, its marketplace sellers increased their count by 17.5%, the equivalent of 6M+ products over the same time period, driving the majority of Amazon’s category ramp up this holiday.
  3. Electronics & Computers saw a 75% increase in the total number of products.
    As one of the of the most highly competitive holiday categories, it’s no wonder it saw a 75% increase in the total count of products available by all sellers, including Amazon proper.
  4. Amazon saw no change in seller count in Toys & Games.
    Despite the number of Amazon sellers increasing by 15% overall between May to November 2016, there were no changes in seller count in the Toys & Games category.
  5. Home & Kitchen saw a 22% increase in the number of brands offered for sale.
    Earlier this year, 360pi also found that 60% of top marketplaces offered products in this category.
  6. Women’s Clothing, Shoes & Jewelry saw a 55% increase in product listings.
    Amazon continues its aggressive play into Clothing, Shoes & Jewelry as evidenced by the recent influx in product listings. This growth follows an earlier 87% increase between May 2015 and May 2016.
  7. Amazon proper became the #1 seller on Amazon.com.
    With Amazon proper growing its own assortment, they were able to displace COMC, the #1 seller in May 2016, based on the volume of products offered.
  8. The number of unique brands offered on Amazon.com grew 44%.
    When looking at the number of brands offered on Amazon.com, the brand count grew from 688,690 in May 2016 to 993,793 in November 2016.

It’s clear that Amazon continues to rely heavily on its marketplace community this holiday season to offer more products and brands to more shoppers. Not surprisingly, the marketplace model has been gaining traction with other retailers as a way to create a virtually “endless aisle,” removing the need for shoppers to look elsewhere.

For more holiday insights like this or to download the full infographic, subscribe to 360pi’s fourth annual award-winning Holiday Insights Series. Subscribers will receive exclusive weekly holiday product and pricing trends across several major retailers, including Amazon, Walmart and Target.

About the Author
360pi derives profitable insights from product and pricing big data to help leading omnichannel retailers, etailers, and manufacturers compete and win in a price transparent world. 360pi's customer base accounts for over $US100 billion in annual retail sales and includes Ace Hardware, Build.com, Overstock.com, and RIS Fusion award-winner Best Buy Canada. 360pi monitors millions of products with unprecedented accuracy to give retailers and manufacturers real-time visibility into the market with full awareness of the competitive pricing landscape to "right price" to their respective customers. Ultimately, 360pi helps customers make smarter pricing decisions to drive increased revenues and margins.