This is the TJI Amazon Briefing for March 21, 2019.
Twelve Belei brand products are now live on Amazon.com in the US, including moisturizers, eye cream, cleansing wipes, masks, and spot treatments. Belei’s brand messaging is focused on simplicity and transparent ingredients. No products contain sulfates, parabens, or phthalates, and product detail pages contain full ingredient lists.
The Belei brand items we are seeing include:
Amazon has previously sold beauty and personal care items under its Solimo private label brand, as well as other Amazon Exclusive “Our Brands,” but Belei is the first Amazon US private label brand we have seen dedicated to beauty.
In January, Amazon started selling private label cosmetics in Europe under its Find brand.
The launch of Belei is Amazon’s latest move in its effort to grow its private label portfolio and selection. It’s the 138th private label brand from Amazon that we are tracking. In addition, Amazon has been growing its assortment within many of its private label brand substantially over the last year.
Amazon is promoting Belei products with advertisements in its beauty section and “25% off” coupons.
Brands like Olay, Estee Lauder, Chanel, Clinique, and Neutrogena, and retailers that rely heavily on beauty like Sephora, Nordstrom, Macy’s, and Neiman Marcus will likely be taking note of how Amazon steers the Belei brand.
We’ll continue to track Amazon’s private label efforts here at TJI.
As Amazon prepares to expand its role in the insurance business in India, it has obtained a corporate agent license from the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDA), we have learned.
When reached for comment, an Amazon India spokesperson told us, “We are pleased to receive the corporate agency license from IRDA. At Amazon Pay we continue to work customer backwards and focus on providing value to customers wherever we see an opportunity, insurance being one of them. We are exploring the landscape in India and are looking at insurance solutions that provide a convenient and seamless experience for our customers.”
There has been much speculation about what types of insurance Amazon might offer in India, ranging from general health and life insurance to product-specific services like property insurance for high value purchases made from its retail channels or trip protection insurance.
According to IRDA, “Corporate Agents can represent one life insurer, one non-life insurer and one standalone health insurer. In addition they can represent the two specialised insurance companies, Export Credit Guarantee Corporation and Agriculture Insurance Corporation of India.”
Amazon has been making significant changes to its India operations in the first quarter of 2019 in response to several new regulatory mandates the Indian government announced in late December, including the impactful new FDI (Foreign Direct Investment) rules that added new restrictions to marketplace operators. Some in India have heard that Amazon was planning roll out big new insurance products in early 2019 before those plans were delayed by the FDI changes.
Amazon already sells damage protection plans in India, such as this Acko 1-year Total Damage Protection Plan for Phones between INR 10,001-20,000 for R1,199. Amazon is an investor in Acko, and we would expect Amazon to continue to invest in and partner with a variety of other India insurance underwriters as it expands its offerings. Amazon Pay can currently be used to book flights, meals, movies, and more through various Indian partners, and would likely figure prominently in Amazon’s insurance sales plans.
Flipkart appears to be planning to compete heavily with Amazon in the Indian insurance markets. In October, Flipkart announced a partnership with Bajaj Allianz General Insurance to offer mobile phone insurance programs to customers. Binny Bansal, the co-founder of Flipkart is also an investor in Acko.
Big picture, as Amazon aggregates more demand, it is in a position to sell its customers more products. Amazon is innovating quickly in India in many areas, ranging from financing to logistics to private label goods.
In North America, Amazon is backing Haven, its health care joint venture with Berkshire Hathaway and JP Morgan Chase. Haven says it intends to initially target employees of its three partner firms, but hasn’t announced its specific strategies or tactics yet. Amazon has an Insurance page on its US store, but it is currently blank.
We’ve added 5 Amazon Exclusive “Our Brands” to the TJI Amazon Brand Database. The new brands we’re seeing are across grocery, household goods, and apparel.
The new brands are:
To track Amazon’s ongoing private label and exclusive brand efforts, Subscribe to the TJI Amazon Briefing.
Here’s a roundup of selected TJI Research citations from across the media world for the week ending March 15, 2019:
Following our findings a few weeks ago that Amazon was launching private label milk, dairy, and coconut water products under its Happy Belly and Solimo brands, we are now seeing signals that Amazon is planning to further invest in and expand its private label food and beverage offerings in the form of new job posts focused on these roles.
Here are the recently posted positions we are seeing:
On a related note, Amazon brand meal kits were spotted in a physical Whole Foods in the wild this week (pictures here). Generally speaking, we believe Amazon is going to be investing heavily in private label meal kits — as we highlighted in January when we found that Amazon was hiring for leaders to build out a “new perishable food platform.”
Amazon has been growing its private label food & beverage offerings under a portfolio of brands, including Happy Belly, Solimo, AmazonFresh, and Wickedly Prime. In the case of Happy Belly, its assortment has grown from just a couple dozen items last fall to many dozen today.
Amazon now sells “Our Brand” items under 130+ private label brands and 400+ Amazon Exclusive brands. For more on Amazon’s private label efforts, subscribe to the TJI Amazon Briefing and check out the TJI Amazon Brand Database.
Bosch, the 130-year-old German industrial and consumer goods conglomerate, has launched a new Amazon Exclusive brand of tools called FYX, we believe.
As is usually the case with new Amazon Exclusive brands, neither Bosch nor Amazon have made an official announcement about the launch. We are seeing one item for sale on Amazon in the US under the FYX brand, which appears to be owned by Bosch, according to US trademark records.
Amazon labels the item — the FYX Ultimate Household Drill and Drive Mixed Set — as “Our Brand,” and the product page contains no reference to Bosch. Some reviews are dated from last fall, including some Vine reviews.
Bosch joins several other established brands, such as Tuft & Needle, Equal, and Carter’s, in launching a new brand specifically for Amazon’s retail channels. Given that Bosch has chosen not to publicly associate FYX with the parent company’s brand, it appears FYX could likely be an experiment for the company in figuring out how Amazon’s “Our Brands” world works.
Many Amazon Exclusive brands are owned by smaller firms hoping to build a new brand by taking advantage of the marketing benefits Amazon offers its exclusive brands. Amazon Exclusive brands “receive a suite of marketing support executed by our Amazon merchandising team. Products with high ratings and reviews can receive additional placements across Amazon.com,” Amazon says.
On the whole, Amazon continues to ramp up its private label and exclusive brand selection across retail categories.