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Shoppers want Amazon-brand prescription drugs, medical marijuana and cryptocurrency – MarketWatch
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Shoppers want Amazon-brand prescription drugs, medical marijuana and cryptocurrency – MarketWatch

by Eric ChristopherFebruary 7, 2019

A new survey shows that Amazon shoppers would be open to more private-label goods from the e-commerce giant.

Consumers can buy almost anything on Amazon.com Inc., but they would like to be able to purchase more, including prescription drugs, medical marijuana and cryptocurrency, according to an Investing.com study.

Investing.com polled about 1,000 Amazon AMZN, -0.16%   shoppers, both Prime members and non-Prime members. Of the 1,013 respondents to a question asking which products and services they would feel comfortable purchasing beneath an “Amazon” brand, 36.7% said prescription drugs, 29.5% said medical marijuana, 16% said virtual doctor visits and 12.7% were OK with cryptocurrencies.

Nearly three-quarters of respondents (72.9%) said they would be comfortable buying an Amazon-branded computer, the top answer.

Read: Amazon will spend more cash in 2019 and that’s a good thing

An Amazon-branded computer is also the most “hypothetically anticipated” Amazon product, the survey found. Medical marijuana and prescription drugs also made the top five of that list, along with health-care coverage.

Amazon has already made inroads into the private label business with names like Mama Bear baby products and Lark & Ro, a women’s fashion brand.

According to an Edge by Ascential report from December 2018, Amazon has been selective about adding to its list of private labels, so shoppers will have to wait for more.

“Amazon’s total number of private products is certainly growing, but it’s doing so at a careful, steady pace and the retailer isn’t shy about discontinuing products and changing its approach,” the report said.

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And Edge by Ascential doesn’t think 2019 will be the year that Amazon takes a deeper dive into the private label business.

“Amazon is more likely to continue in its slow build, introducing new products carefully, backed up by plenty of data and research and always willing to experiment with new strategies and change when something isn’t working,” the report said.

“Rather aggressively taking on the competition, Amazon’s private labels and exclusive brands will sneak up on us, growing organically and finding their way into the minds and carts of consumers.”

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Competing retailers, including grocers, have focused on private labels as a way of adding something unique to their shelves and build a more expansive moat between their offerings and what can be found on Amazon. Target Corp.TGT, -0.90%  , for instance, had more than 20 private label brands available during the holidays, with A New Day, a women’s clothing brand, and Cat & Jack, a kids brand, reaching more than $1 billion in sales.

Many shoppers polled in the Investing.com survey (88%) say they think there’s even more room for Amazon to branch into new industries. A quarter of respondents think an in-house delivery service will be next, 19% say pharmaceuticals is the big push, 13% pegged artificial intelligence and 9% think it will be health care.

Amazon already dominates the books category, with 48.5% of respondents saying they turn to Amazon exclusively for their reading material. Nearly half (48.3%) say electronics, computers and office is an Amazon-exclusive category.

“As we went through the answers, we got the overwhelming sense that millions of Amazon shoppers will stay with the company through thick and thin,” Investing.com wrote. “To them, Amazon isn’t just any online retailer — they truly trust the brand.”

The survey also found that 43% of respondents say they no longer go to malls, though they shop at brick-and-mortar stores five times per month; the average amount spent with Amazon each month is $120.45; and while 55.5% of respondents trust Amazon to store their personal information, only 37% trust Google GOOGL, -0.08% GOOG, -1.48%   , 35.6% trust Apple Inc. AAPL, -0.11%   and 9.3% trust Facebook Inc. FB, -2.41%  

Amazon shares have gained 13.5% over the past year while the Amplify Online Retail ETF IBUY, -1.17%   is up 5.3% and the S&P 500 index SPX, -0.94%   has gained 0.6% for the period.
Via marketwatch.com

About The Author
Eric Christopher