Amazon May Stunt Global Ecommerce Growth

Feb 10, 2016 12:56 PM  By

Amazon is looking to dominate the world of global ecommerce. But its unwillingness to disclose certain information to its marketplace sellers may stunt your global ecommerce growth.

On the same day Bloomberg’s Spencer Soper unveiled Amazon’s secret and elaborate plans to launch a new venture called “Global Supply Chain by Amazon,” panelists at the Global E-commerce Leader’s Forum in New York indicated that Amazon’s lack of sharing data with its marketplace sellers could make it a less-attractive marketplace to do business with.

But the panelists said it doesn’t mean they wouldn’t – or that you shouldn’t – work with Amazon to grow a global footprint.

“Amazon is difficult to get data out of, but if they are going to sell beer online, we want to be a part of that,” said Samantha Kent, Head of Craft and High End Stores for Anheuser-Busch InBev. “But if they are not willing to share data with us, [Amazon] won’t be our first priority.”

Omar Haque, Global Head of Ecommerce at Colgate Palmolive, echoed Kent, and added why it’s important to get data back from Amazon. And it goes back to the same issue merchants have had with Amazon when they sell domestically: Amazon uses the data about your sales to its own advantage. And since Amazon doesn’t share its data with its clients, it doesn’t help the seller understand who is buying your products via the Amazon marketplace.

“[Amazon] aren’t great about sharing data, but their global vender team is collaborative,” Haque said. “But it’s very difficult to get the data we need to figure out product management.”

Jeremy Liebowitz, Vice President of Global Ecommerce at Newell Rubbermaid, credited Amazon for its focus on global ecommerce growth with companies like his, and added that they have a higher level of sophistication than other global marketplaces.

For example, since Newell Rubbermaid sells various products in multiple countries, Liebowitz said Amazon is working with them to shrink the number of Amazon people they need to work with from 12 down to one.

Tim Parry is Multichannel Merchant’s Senior Editor, and the lead programmer for Growing Global.