10,000 third party sellers have joined Amazon’s Australian marketplace since it launched less than four months ago.
That’s according to Marketplace Pulse, which also predicts Amazon will have more than 50,000 sellers in Australia by the end of the year.
Initial growth in seller numbers was constrained by Amazon’s “invitation only policy” which vetted sellers before they were able to list their products for sale on the platform. Which-50 understands this process was still in place after the ecommerce giant’s December launch.
“At the end of February Amazon appears to have removed seller approval process, and thus has made the registration self-service like in other countries. As a result they added 3,000 sellers in the last 30 days alone, greatly accelerating growth,” said Juozas Kaziukėnas, founder of Marketplace Pulse which tracks the performance of ecommerce marketplaces.
The number of sellers on a platform is an important metric, but it doesn’t necessarily show the full picture. A large number of sellers expands product selection and drive prices down far more efficiently than a single retailer ever could, which then attracts more buyers. However, the headline figures disguise the fact many of those sellers aren’t selling or at least they aren’t selling enough to be considered a full time business venture. The real measure of a marketplace’s might is Gross Merchandise Volume (GMV) — the amount of cash which passes through the platform. Amazon doesn’t break those figures out for individual countries.
As well as making registration easier, the launch of FBA in Australia at the end of February has also accelerated interest from overseas-based sellers.
“Already more than a thousand sellers have some of their inventory stored in Amazon’s warehouse in Australia,” Kaziukėnas said.
“Opening up the process to join the marketplace, Amazon has welcomed a wave of new businesses shipping from (and/or based in) China. 50 per cent of the 10,000 sellers indicate to be shipping from China, 40 per cent say products are coming from Australia.”
On the customer experience front, after an initial spike in unhappy shoppers, the number of negative reviews on Amazon.com.au has decreased considerably to 6 per cent, as low as other major markets, the data shows.
“Amazon didn’t open with big fanfare in Australia, and while there has been disappointment from the catalogue and pricing POV, it was because of expectations beyond what Amazon intended it to be,” Kaziukėnas said.
“It is going through its stages, and once Prime launches, and the marketplace will continue to expand, then it will show its real strengths. Amazon in Australia continues to be a public market research project, by the end of year it will have materialised more.”