How Swarovski opening Amazon store could impact retailers
Swarovski have jumped on Amazon with five dedicated Brand Stores at Amazon.co.uk, Amazon.de, Amazon.fr, Amazon.it and Amazon.es.
Amazon Fashion first started selling jewellery in 2007 and has built up a large portfolio covering everything from designer jewellery to wedding and engagement collections, gemstones, and diamonds. The new online Swarovski Brand Stores across Europe offer over 170 different classic and new season pieces. Styles available include the iconic ‘Swan Collection’ with Swarovski’s legendary swan motif and a selection from the ‘Remix Collection’. 29 different styles of watches are also available including Swarovski’s new collection of timepieces which all pay homage to a long heritage of master craftsmanship. Jewellery price points range from £45 to £199 and for watches, from £199 to £299.
Since 1895, founder Daniel Swarovski’s mastery of crystal cutting has defined the company. His enduring passion for innovation and design has made Swarovski the world’s premier jewellery and accessory brand. Today, the family carries on the tradition of delivering extraordinary everyday style to women around the world.
This is a double edged sword, demand for Swarovski jewellery on Amazon should rise but doubtless Swarovski are now part of the Amazon Brand Registry program. This could cause issues or the hundreds of sellers who supply Swarovski products on the marketplace.
Increasingly we’re seeing brands launch their own shops on Amazon (and indeed other marketplaces) and once they do there’s little need for other sellers unless they can compete on either price or carry out of season stock. Amazon see retailers as useful box shifters while they need them but consider that they add little value to the supply chain compared to dealing direct with a brand.
To protect yourself there are two strategies that retailers should consider. First and foremost is if you specialise in a particular brands products then do your utmost to get a proper relationship with the brand as an authorised reseller in the territories in which you sell. Brand Registry can cut off unauthorised retailers with no notice.
In the longer term consider how you can launch your own branded products as this protects you from manufacturers and brands cutting your business off when they themselves decide to launch on a marketplace.
There are no indications yet that Swarovski sellers on Amazon might find business harder in the future, but we’ve seen it happen with other brands and one day it might be the Brand that suppliers your best selling lines who signs up to Amazon Brand Registry, opens their own store and decides that only authorised retailers can sell on Amazon moving forward.