Big Cats in Charge of Cat Litter Amazon Category
John Rode
on Mar 26 2019

The big cats are in charge of the cat litter and housebreaking category on Amazon. The brands in this category have a fairly even spread along the organic search continuum. But, as you might expect, the larger brands are putting more advertising muscle behind their products. And the large brands are making it count when it comes to holding on to their revenue by ensuring high product availability and minimal loss to 3Ps. But don't count out the Niche Performers. Two brands could work their way into the mix.

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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                     

 

Arm & Hammer (Church & Dwight), Tidy Cats (Purina/Nestle) and Fresh Step (Clorox) are basking in their glory as High IQ Brands. With decent organic search rankings, solid advertising spend and a strong supply chain they are tough to beat. This category is a bit more concentrated than others we've analyzed because the top brands only have 8-9% Share of Voice. It's not unusual to see these values as high as 11% to 14%, or even as high as 23% in the cereals category. These brands really stand out in their ability to stave off 3P brands. With revenue lost to 3Ps in the range of 1.4% to 3.1%, they are running tight ships!

 

Niche Performers

Nature's Miracle (Spectrum) has the lowest percentage of revenue lost to 3Ps of any brand in the quadrant at less than 1%. That's a great metric no matter what you're selling! And there's room for Nature's Miracle to grow because it's organic Share of Voice is a healthy 5.9%, while it's paid share of voice is only 1.9%. With such a strong supply chain a bit more marketing might help them scratch their way to the top. Iris and Petsafe (Radio) are dancing the line between the Laggard and Niche Performer quadrants, but for two different reasons. Petsafe suffers from losing 33% of revenue to 3Ps, while Iris is losing 36% of revenue due to availability issues. These are leaky buckets.

Laggards


Litter Genie (Edgewell) is pegged to the corner while Petmate has a fighting chance to leap out of the Laggards quadrant. Petmate is losing less than 9% of revenue to 3Ps so they're fine on that score. However, losing over 27% of revenue due to availability issues is not a good place to be. For it's part, Litter Genie has some real work to do on product availability and some shoring up to do on competition from 3P.

 

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Methodology

Our data was drawn from an automated, daily analysis of top keywords in the Amazon cat litter and house breaking 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 cat litter and housebreaking 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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