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Third party sellers enjoy Amazon shipping boom

06 January 2017 - 10:28 by Mike Price

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As well as offering thousands of products from its own extensive catalogue of items, Amazon also acts as a marketplace through which third party sellers can distribute their wares. Now figures from the festive season of 2016 show that there was a 50 per cent increase in the number of packages the e-commerce giant handled for its independent vendors, according to Reuters.

This news comes as Amazon prepares to announce how well it performed over the course of last year. Annoyingly for investors, it has remained cagey about whether or not it will actually make a profit, which is up in the air as it often reinvests the majority of the cash it makes into new endeavours.

Amazon’s extensive fulfilment infrastructure means that it is generally more convenient for third party sellers to pay it a small fee to manage the storage and delivery of packages, rather than having to deal with this themselves. Furthermore, because plenty of vendors are sole traders rather than major businesses, being able to outsource distribution is an immense benefit.

These figures also show that customers who carry out safe shopping online with Amazon are increasingly happy to buy items from third parties through its marketplace rather than simply to settle on its officially stocked products.

The marketplace system allows for a wider range of goods to be offered for sale online than it would normally be possible to offer. New as well as used items can be purchased and this has become a core benefit of Amazon as a whole.

Whether or not this trend will continue remains to be seen, but strong online sales and a matching fall in bricks and mortar activity bodes well for the entire e-commerce community in the UK and worldwide.