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The Verge reports that "Amazon has announced a tool that will give sellers access to information about what shoppers are currently looking for and help make it easier to choose which products to create next. Amazon calls it the Product Opportunity Explorer and says that it’ll give sellers access to data and trends that will help them 'identify opportunities to launch new, high-potential products to serve unmet customer demand.'

"With Amazon’s track record of copying popular products and selling them under its Amazon Basics brand, an obvious concern with this tool is where the data is coming from and how granular it is. While Amazon quotes a seller saying that they’re excited to get 'recommendations specifically relevant' to their business, it’s easy to imagine other sellers being nervous that Amazon’s suggestions could direct businesses to rip off existing products."

The story goes on:  "The tool will also give broader category and subcategory metrics, such as what people are searching for, pricing trends, and the like. In its press release, Amazon says that the tool gives sellers 'rich insights into what customers are searching for, clicking on, and buying, as well as not buying,' along with 'detailed data on search volume and growth, sales history, and pricing trends'."

KC's View:

One of the things that the story correctly points out is that there may be some apprehension about this data being available - not because third party sellers will have access to it, but because Amazon does.  The company already is under fire for using third party seller data when making decisions about private label development, and while it may view this as evening the playing field, I'm not sure that this is fair - after all, Amazon has superior analytics and speed.  Third party sellers may have info, but will have significantly less capacity to use it.