Amazon makes big push with in-house brands ahead of Prime Day

Key Points
  • Amazon now has more than 80 in-house brands, double the number from last year's Prime Day, according to a new report from One Click Retail.
  • The company is expected to make a huge push with its own labels this year.
  • The company generated an estimated $1 billion in sales on Prime Day last year, according to Cowen & Co. and JPMorgan Chase. founder and CEO Jeff Bezos.
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Amazon's Prime Day is likely right around the corner, and that means the company will be pushing its own in-house brands with time-sensitive deals and deep discounts.

This year, the e-commerce giant has much more to offer, according to a new report from One Click Retail.

Amazon hasn't announced the day of its annual shopping extravaganza, but it's expected to fall around mid-July, with promotions running for more than 24 hours. Amazon created the shopping day in 2015.

The digital retailer is heading into the summer months with more than 80 private brands, One Click Retail found, up from around 40 in 2017. It also has more paying Prime members this year, more than 100 million, the company said in April.

The company generated an estimated $1 billion in sales on Prime Day last year, according to Cowen & Co. and JPMorgan Chase. Amazon said it added "tens of millions" of Prime members to the platform overnight. Prime members are known to be more loyal to Amazon's own brands, some of which aren't sold anywhere else. Amazon declined to say how many customers it had last year.

"One of the key advantages of private brands for any retailer is their ability to drive customer loyalty — producing items that are exclusively available through Amazon will drive more traffic to the platform, which also benefits Amazon sellers by bringing more consumers in front of their products," One Click Retail marketing analyst Ojastro Todd said.

Amazon's top in-house brands in 2018, which are "making a significant impact on the market," include Mama Bear, Basic Care, Presto, Solimo and Wag, according to Todd.

The Mama Bear brand sells diapers and baby food; Basic Care sells over-the-counter medication; Presto covers household cleaning items like paper towels and dish soap; Solimo is its line of coffee pod, sunscreen and other grab-and-go items, and Wag is Amazon's dog food brand.

"Private brand expansion is a major priority for Amazon, with new product lines being introduced across nearly every major category," Todd said.

Last year, some of the best deals during Prime Day were those for the Echo Dot, Fire tablet, the Kindle device and Happy Belly bottled water — all Amazon brands. Many of the private brands were plastered across landing pages on its website during the event, something industry analysts say will be more of the case this year.

"I think Amazon is going to continue to disrupt themselves," PwC analyst Steve Barr told CNBC. "Expect Amazon to continue to come forward with distinctive offerings because they've become so extraordinary at leveraging their own broader ecosystem, now with Prime Wardrobe [for fashion] and Whole Foods [for groceries]."

CNBC reported in December that the company's private labels could have a breakout year in 2018.

Key to Amazon's success has been its ability to use the data it collects on other sellers to improve its brand rollouts. The company has been more secretive about some label launches, targeting niche sectors of shoppers. Wickedly Prime, for example, sells Matcha green-tea powder, roasted seaweed snacks and cocoa truffle spread. Core 10 is for sports bras and yoga pants.

PwC said it expects the top product categories this Prime Day to be home and garden, apparel and accessories, and health and beauty products. Other retailers like Target and J.C. Penney are also expected to jump into the back-to-school season and compete against Amazon with their own deals in July.

"It's now become an event for the industry," Barr said. "It's a time to really capture attention ahead of the holidays."

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