Amazon Obtains Corporate Agent License to Sell Insurance in India

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.

Haven Added to the TJI Amazon Healthcare Overview

Today, Atul Gawande, the CEO of the previously-unnamed healthcare joint venture between Amazon, Berkshire Hathaway, and JP Morgan Chase, announced that the entity will be named Haven.

“Haven’s focus is the 1.2 million employees and families affiliated with Amazon, Berkshire Hathaway, and JPMorgan Chase across the United States and over time it intends to share what it learns to help others,” Gawande says.

Haven has been added to the TJI Amazon Healthcare Overview.

Beurer Launches innoHaus, a New Amazon Exclusive Brand of Blood Pressure Monitoring Devices

Beurer, a century-old European healthcare and beauty brand, has quietly launched a new brand of Amazon Exclusive blood pressure monitoring devices called innoHaus, we believe. The Amazon product pages for the devices have gone live with several Vine reviews.

While the company has made no official announcements (as is commonly the case with Amazon Exclusive brands), the products are now live on Amazon.com and labeled “Our Brand” by Amazon. Beurer owns the innoHaus trademark and is listed as the contact on innoHaus’ website. innoHaus also makes other products in the health and home categories.

innoHaus is the second Amazon Exclusive brand of blood pressure monitoring devices that we have found. The other is Choice, which was launched by Arcadia Group in October. We have added innoHaus to the TJI Amazon Brand Database.

The launch is another sign of Amazon’s desires to increase its private brand coverage of health care supplies and consumer medical devices, and in general to become more pharmacy-like. A number of Amazon Exclusive brands providing OTC medicines have launched recently on Amazon, along with the growth of Amazon’s private label and exclusive brand efforts in general.

As we outline in our TJI Amazon Healthcare Overview, Amazon is making increasingly substantial moves in healthcare, both in B2C and B2B.

Not only has it become a large purveyor of healthcare supplies, but it is also investing in the growth of PillPack, the online pharmacy it acquired last year. Alexa is playing a growing role in healthcare management, and AWS powers a wide array of backend healthcare applications and services. And everyone is closely watching Amazon’s new non-profit-seeking healthcare joint venture with Berkshire Hathaway and JP Morgan Chase.

We see many new potential healthcare growth opportunities for Amazon, including diagnostics, evaluation, treatment, fulfillment, and insurance. As Amazon’s healthcare initiatives evolve, continue to follow TJI for the latest.

 

HealthWise and EverOne, Two More Healthcare-Related Amazon Exclusive “Our Brands,” Launch

As we continue to track Amazon’s healthcare efforts, we are seeing two new healthcare-related Amazon Exclusive “Our Brands” now live on Amazon.com.

The first is Healthwise, which currently only lists one product for sale, the HealthWise Maximum Strength Pain Relief 4% Lidocaine Patch. We are not totally clear on who is making this Healthwise brand as there are multiple other Healthwise brands out there – one possibility is this Healthwise that makes dietary supplements, but we’re not yet sure.

The second is EverOne, which is currently selling this first aid EverOne Instant Cold Pack, in addition to several nitrile gloves. The item is launching with several Vine reviews. Based on trademark records, EverOne appears to be produced by Brooklyn-based EverReady First Aid, a maker of first aid kids for industrial, commercial, residential, and military use.

 

Healthwise joins other OTC medicine Amazon “Our Brands” including Basic Care (Perrigo), SoundHealth (Bestco), Wellness Basics (PL Developments), and Primary Health (Aurohealth), whose launch we identified in November. EverOne joins SimplySafe and SupplyMaster as Amazon Exclusive brands selling nitrile gloves under Amazon’s “Our Brands” program.

Both Healthwise and EverOne have been added to the TJI Amazon Brand Database. For more, subscribe to the TJI Briefing.

Amazon Launches Private Label Medical Scrubs, Gets Into Work Uniforms

Amazon’s private label clothing efforts are well-known, but to date they’ve been focused on consumer products. Now, we’re seeing what we believe is Amazon’s first foray into private label occupational uniforms with the release of a new line of Amazon Essentials brand medical scrubs.

The items we’re seeing that Amazon has quietly launched are:

Each item is available in around 15 color variations. The women’s versions are both near the top of the list in Amazon’s New Releases in Women’s Uniforms, Work & Safety list.

Medical scrubs are about a $10 billion industry in the US. Chatsworth, CA-based Strategic Partners owns 40% of the market, according to a 2017 Bloomberg report. Strategic Partners’ Cherokee and Dickies brand medical apparel are some of the best selling work clothing items on Amazon. Strategic Partners also owns and operates Scrubs Magazine.

Los Angeles-based Figs became the first DTC brand to sell scrubs directly to consumers a few years ago, and reportedly saw $100 in revenues last year.

Several B2B Amazon Exclusive “Our Brands” have also launched recently offering various industrial products, including SimplySafe and SupplyMaster, which offer nitrile and other disposable gloves for exams, food preparation, and other occupational purposes.

Big picture, Amazon says its B2B healthcare supplies business is experiencing “rocket ship” growth. We would only expect this to continue. For more on Amazon’s healthcare efforts, see the TJI Amazon Healthcare Overview.

Stay tuned to TJI as Amazon continues to ramp up its private label and exclusive brand selection across categories. Check out the TJI Amazon Brand Database, and track Amazon’s efforts on an ongoing basis by subscribing to the TJI Briefing.

Amazon Releases Alexa.Health Developer Tools for Tracking Baby Activities

Much like driving, baby care is an excellent use case for hands-free computing. As such, Amazon is investing in tools to help developers build Alexa skills to track baby activities.

Amazon has announced a new API for Alexa called the Baby Activity Skill API. Per Amazon, “The Alexa.Health API is a set of interfaces that allows you to build baby activity skills for your health and wellness apps and devices. Your customers can manage health and wellness data for themselves, their children, and other family members by talking to Alexa.” Amazon has created specific APIs around tracking weight, sleep, diaper changes, and infant feeding.

It’s another step in the overall tact Amazon continues to take with the Alexa ecosystem: building API sets tailored to the needs of various product categories to optimize for new usage scenarios. In this case, it’s activity logging for early childhood.

With the Baby Activity Skill API, you can build Alexa skills and that enable your customers to easily log and query activity information using just their voice. Voice is a powerful tool that increases the accessibility of your service. It can help increase consistent input and make your service more valuable, increasing usage and retention of customers.

Here are some sample utterances:
User: Alexa, Jane woke up from a 3-hour nap.
User: Alexa, log a bottle feeding of 6 ounces for Jane.
User: Alexa, when was the last diaper change?
User: Alexa, what was Jane’s average weight last month?

Hatch Baby, a maker of “smart nursery” products, also announced that it has received investment from Amazon’s Alexa Fund.

We would expect to see more Alexa integrations into hardware and software in the baby category in the year ahead. While some will be hesitant to adopt tools like these, as parents and caretakers begin to use Amazon services for more aspects of child care, the Baby Activity Skill API creates another vector for engagement and ultimately sales.

Amazon Business Hiring New Senior Vendor Manager for Professional Healthcare

As Amazon continues to grow its B2B healthcare efforts, it is seeking a new senior vendor manager in its professional healthcare supplies and scientific categories, according to job posts.

The position is Sr. Vendor Manager, Professional Healthcare & Scientific and was posted yesterday. The position description reads:

The Professional Healthcare & Scientific team is looking for a self-driven Senior Vendor Management candidate that has a proven track record of delivering results in a B2B industry. He/She will play a critical role in managing strategic suppliers to drive the profitability and topline performance for their category and partnering with the Amazon Business team to drive growing of the strategically important Healthcare and Education customer segments.

The Senior Vendor Manager is responsible for managing the full scope of their category and vendor portfolio, driving the topline performance and profitability for their business. He/she owns the end-to-end vendor relationship, from signing new vendors, leading negotiations, managing promotional activities and resolving operational or logistics issues that impact our customer. He/she will leverage key metrics to develop customer insights to drive innovation, and will leverage these insights to drive vendor participation in marketing, merchandising and promotional activities in order to drive overall business growth.

Amazon is also seeking to grow its B2B healthcare sales efforts in Europe. In another new job post titled Sr. Product Manager, Amazon Business Verticals Expansion, Amazon says:

Amazon Business is looking to enter various verticals such as healthcare, public sector and education. Our mission is to make Amazon Business the preferred shopping destination for these customers. We seek to understand the specific needs of these customers, vendors, and sellers in order to deliver innovative solutions to serve their needs. We are looking for a talented product manager to build our offerings to these customers. You will define the needs and requirements of these customers and will work with our product management team to deliver. You will also work directly with our category teams to ensure we have the right selection for our customers.

Last week, Amazon posted similar positions on the consumer healthcare supplies vendor management side, for new Senior Vendor Managers for Healthcare and Medical DevicesAmazon also continues to hire for 20+ positions in its PillPack pharmacy subsidiary. 

Amazon is making increasingly substantial moves in healthcare. For more on Amazon’s growing healthcare efforts, see our TJI Amazon Healthcare Overview or subscribe to the TJI Briefing.

Amazon Hiring New Senior Vendor Managers for Healthcare and Medical Devices

As Amazon continues to grow its healthcare efforts, it is seeking new senior vendor managers in its consumer healthcare supplies and medical device categories, according to job posts.

The positions are Sr. Vendor Manager, Medical Devices and Sr. Vendor Manager, Healthcare. Both have been posted recently. The healthcare position reads:

Amazon is looking for a passionate candidate with the proven ability to build and drive the healthcare category within the Health and Personal Care (HPC) business. In this role, your charter will be to build Amazon’s relationship with key vendors in the healthcare OTC (over the counter) industry to grow our selection and drive topline for the category.

The Senior Vendor Manager is responsible for managing the full scope of their category and vendor portfolio, driving the topline performance and profitability for their business. The role will also work with multiple product groups and leaders to grow sales on Amazon.com. He/she owns the end-to-end vendor relationship, from signing new vendors, leading negotiations, managing promotional activities and resolving operational or logistics issues that impact our customer. He/she will leverage key metrics to develop customer insights to drive innovation, and will leverage these insights to drive vendor participation in marketing, merchandising and promotional activities in order to drive overall business growth.

Meanwhile, Amazon is also hiring for 20 positions in its PillPack pharmacy subsidiary. The positions at PillPack include software engineers in Boston, a pharmacy quality manager in Phoenix, a senior financial analyst in Seattle, and a senior billing manager in Manchester, New Hampshire.

Amazon is making increasingly substantial moves in healthcare. For more on Amazon’s growing healthcare efforts, see our TJI Amazon Healthcare Overview or subscribe to the TJI Briefing.

Amazon Launches 5-Blade “MotionSphere” Razor, Many More Health & Personal Care Products Under Its Solimo Private Label Brand

Continuing its expansion into private label health and personal care products, Amazon has launched several new items under its Solimo brand in recent days and weeks.

Of note is a new Solimo 5-Blade MotionSphere Razor for Men, which sells with two cartridges for $7.49. It launched with several Vine reviews. Of course, Amazon is selling replacement blades as well, at 8 for $15.99. Those price points are generally lower than high-end 5-blade razors from Gillete, Schick, Bic, and others.

In addition, Amazon has launched a barrage of new Solimo private label health and personal care products, including:

These will compete with similar products from national brand owners including Johnson & Johnson, Proctor & Gamble, Neutrogena, Olay, Dove, Nivea, Chattem, & more.

Solimo is one of Amazon’s fastest growing private label brands, both in the US and around the world. It has added dozens of products over the last couple of months across a variety of product categories.

Amazon now sells “Our Brand” items under 135 private label brands and over 330 Amazon Exclusive brands. For more on Amazon’s private label efforts, subscribe to TJI Briefing and check out the TJI Amazon Brand Database.

Introducing the TJI Amazon Healthcare Overview

While Amazon has historically been known as an online retailer and cloud services provider, it is making increasingly substantial moves in healthcare. In our view, the healthcare category represents one of the largest growth opportunities for Amazon over the coming decade.

That’s why we’ve created the TJI Amazon Healthcare Overview. The TJI Amazon Healthcare Overview aims to outline both what Amazon is doing now across product categories and where Amazon could be going in the future. It is intended to be a starting point for researchers and analysts to navigate the breadth and depth of Amazon’s healthcare initiatives.

For professionals interested in tracking Amazon’s healthcare efforts on an ongoing basis, subscribe to TJI Briefing, which covers the latest developments on at Amazon from around the world.