Once upon a time, Amazon quietly launched a private label. After falling under the radar for a while, people began to notice the success of items under a new and unique brand.
That brand was Pinzon.
When ChannelAdvisor first reported the development back in 2009, there was a lot of speculation: Did the name, likely inspired by Vicente Yáñez Pinzón, the Spanish explorer who discovered the Amazon River, mean Amazon was behind the label? Was the fact that pinzon.com automatically redirected traffic to Amazon an indication that the marketplace was making its first foray into the private-label world?
Today, we know definitively that the answer to these questions is “yes.” Amazon had been manufacturing and selling its own line of affordable bedding and towels.
There’s also a lot more to the story.
To this day, the Pinzon collection of luxury linens continues to develop a following of loyal fans and advocates. (“I’m obsessed,” said one reviewer. “This brand has kind of changed my life,” said another.)
There’s even a vibrant Pinzon market on eBay, where thousands of items are for sale.
More importantly, Pinzon is now just the tiny tip of a very large iceberg — one that extends beyond both Amazon’s growing line of Prime-exclusive goods and private-label brands. AmazonBasics alone, which started with less than three dozen consumer electronic products, has expanded to offer thousands of items across numerous categories.
It all comes down to this:
After decades of e-commerce dominance and consumer data collection, Amazon knows exactly when, why and how people are buying. And it appears to be using that intel to kick its private-label launches into high gear.
For years, Pinzon was the only known line to be made by Amazon itself. If there was any indication that another brand might be manufactured by the marketplace, it was usually just a notation that the products were “exclusively for Prime members.”
Not so today. In the recent rampage of private-label launches, Amazon has begun to call out when it owns a brand that appears in search results.
Amazon Sponsored Ads are drawing even more attention to these private-label products.
And that means the competition is fiercer than ever for third-party and first-party sellers alike.
What can you do to stay ahead? We’ll continue to watch this trend as it evolves, so be sure to subscribe to ChannelAdvisor’s monthly newsletter if you’d like to receive updates as they occur.
Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in June of 2009 and has been updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness.