Supplements Category on Amazon is Unbalanced
John Rode
on May 22 2019

The Supplements category on Amazon displays the familiar "crescent moon" pattern we recently saw in the Paper & Plastics category. That means there are no brands in the High IQ Brands quadrant - brands are concentrated in Niche Performers, Large Leakers and Laggards. But, that's not to say there aren't healthy brands in this category. Nature's Bounty, Garden of Life, Jarrow and even Doctor's Best all qualify as fairly strong performers across marketing and operations. Interestingly, at 4.2% share of voice, the top brand marketer in supplements (Now Foods) has the lowest share of voice of marketing leaders in any category we have analyzed. This is truly a low concentration category.

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This 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 in this category? The metric that underpins marketing is Share of Voice (how often your brand appears in organic or 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.      

Niche Performers


Five brands qualify for inclusion in the Niche Performers category. Of these Nature's Bounty is the top marketer with 2.2% share of voice, followed by Garden of Life at 2%, Jarrow at 1.8%, Renew Life (Clorox) at 1.6%, and MegaRed (Schiff / Reckitt Benckiser) also at 1.6%. These are all very low values for Share of Voice, even for the Niche Performers category. All of the brands, except for Garden of Life, are significant spenders on Amazon advertising. And every brand has moderate organic share of voice, at least relative to the generally low share of voice for every brand in this category.

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Jarrow is the top performer when it comes to revenue leakage, losing only 1.2% of revenue, primarily due to availability issues. Renew Life and Garden of life have the opposite problem. They are losing 4.7% and 4.2% of revenue to 3Ps, and only 0.3% and 0.7% to availability issues. Nature's Bounty is the biggest leaker in this quadrant, losing 7.7% of revenue due to equal levels of availability issues and 3Ps. MegaRed is also losing equal amounts of revenue to 3Ps and availability as Nature's Bounty, just at a lower level.

All of the metrics for these brands should be viewed with the lens that they are the top supply chain performers in the category, even if their marketing is a bit light. 

Large leakers


Now Foods and Nordic Naturals are the top marketers in the Supplements category, with Now being the clear frontrunner. Now captures 4.2% share of voice, almost solely based on organic search results. Nordic is more balanced, with a near even split between its organic and paid share of voice, to achieve 2.7% share of voice.

For revenue leakage Nordic Naturals is losing essentially all its revenue to a combination of 3P variants and availability issues. Now Foods is in a better, but still quite difficult position, of losing about 29% of it revenue to leakage. It's losing 11% to availability issues and 18% to 3Ps. 

In the end, the Large Leakers category is not an enviable quadrant to be in.




The Laggards quadrant is a mixed bag of brands in the Supplements category. Doctor's Best is clearly the best positioned of all the brands in the quadrant with just under the threshold needed to migrate into the Niche Performer or High IQ Brand quadrants. All other brands in this quadrant are pushed close the x- and y-axis which means they are not yet a factor on the marketing side, and what demand they are able to generate for their ASINs they are not effectively fulfilling. And of course share of voice and revenue leakage metrics go hand-in-hand.

Get the full BrandIQ report to get the charts and graphs for each brand, or to request a report on another Amazon L3 category.

Look-alike Categories 


The Paper & Plastic category on Amazon is quite similar in structure to the Supplements category. It's High IQ Brand quadrant is empty, and the brands are fairly evenly distributed without a particular concentration in any single quadrant. One significant difference is paper & plastic is more concentrated. The top brands of Kimberley-Clark, P&G, Georgia Pacific and three other brands each carry a higher share of voice than the top brand in supplements.





keywords_supplements_amazonOur data was drawn from an automated, daily analysis of top keywords in the Amazon L3 Supplements 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 Supplements 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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