Amazon Files Away Competitors in the Filing Products Category
John Rode
on Mar 28 2019

Amazon is showing everyone how it's done in Amazon's filing products category. Yikes! AmazonBasics filing products are selling well, which means real pressure on brands like Pendaflex, Smead and Officemate. Just like retailers in brick-and-mortar stores, Amazon is introducing it's own products in a growing number of categories. And Amazon often steers consumers to it's own products. This makes marketing performance and supply chain execution all the more important to brands in this category. And, unfortunately, we're not seeing much of promise so far.


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The BrandIQ Quadrant benchmarks brand performance by the critical disciplines of supply chain operations and marketing. Who is best able to both drive and fulfill demand on Amazon? The metric that underpins marketing is Share of Voice (how often your brand appears in organic and paid search results), and for operations it's revenue leakage (how well are you able to avoid losing sales because shoppers are unable to buy your product because it's unavailable, lost buy box to 3Ps, etc.). Given Amazon's ever-increasing complexity and speed, mastering both is not simple.    


High IQ Brands                     

Amazon's private label brands have quickly gained market share in many categories, while their presence in others (e.g., apparel) has remained relatively muted. It appears filing products is part of the former group. Amazon hasn't yet reached the levels of dominance we saw with Papermate's (Newell) 26% share of voice in pens, or Kellogg's 23% share of voice in cerealBut with 15% share of voice, Amazon is quite a bit ahead of it's nearest competitor in marketing performance.  And Amazon's marketing spend is really driving its position. With 20% share of paid voice, Amazon has twice the share of its nearest competing brand.

Niche Performers

Officemate and Oxford (Tops) are in the Niche Performers quadrant due solely to their moderate strength in supply chain execution. They are both still losing about 12% of revenue through a combination of availability issues and 3Ps. On the marketing side, these two brands are playing it pretty safe with only 2% share of voice for both. We are willing to bet this quadrant does not change dramatically over the next few months. 


Six brands is a lot of Laggards! Though Smead definitely stands out given it's scraping the bottom of the Large Leakers quadrant. Few brands reside near that quadrant's borders, mostly because selling a lot of product that doesn't get properly fulfilled is not a recipe Amazon typically rewards with higher organic search rankings. Smead has a respectable 10% share of voice with an almost even share of both organic and paid share of voice. Smead is also doing fine with product availability, but it's loss to 3P variants is what's getting them, as they're losing 29% of revenue here. Cut that in half to a respectable 14.5% and they slide into the High IQ quadrant. Hmmm, maybe Amazon does have a viable competitor in this category after all. The other five brands in the Laggards quadrant are simply stuck with high revenue leakage and low search rankings. The advice here is always the same, to fix their supply chains to begin the march "to the right".


Explore Other BrandIQ Quadrants
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Our data was drawn from an automated, daily analysis of top keywords in the Amazon filing products category over a one-year period. Our method focused on 1P brands and their associated SKUs. Marketing performance was determined by analyzing Share of Voice which essentially divides how many times a brand appears in search results, by the total available slots in the search results. Our system looked at both organic and paid ads for the top keywords discovered for the filing products category on Amazon. Our system focused on page 1 search results and the product page for each SKU. Each appearance of the brand in organic search and paid ad slots was given equal weighting. Revenue Leakage was determined by an algorithm that analyzes inventory availability of the SKUs on the product page and translates that into estimated revenue missed for each brand due to things like a SKU being Currently Unavailable, Inventory Encumbrance, Item Under Review, a 3P seller taking the buy box, etc. 


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