Amazon sellers see ‘scary’ holiday season as consumers pull back Spencer Soper, sellers are bracing for a bleak holiday shopping season as inflation-bitten consumers curb their spending.
Many merchants, who sell more than half of the goods on Amazon’s web store, fear they’ll be forced to cut prices to move a mountain of unsold inventory. It’s an abrupt change from the previous two years when sellers scrambled to get enough products into Amazon warehouses to meet pandemic-fueled demand even as chronic shortages let them jack up prices.
This year US online sales will rise just 9.4 per cent to US$1 trillion, the first time growth has slipped into the single digits, according to Insider Intelligence, which in June lowered its earlier annual forecast. Spending on Amazon will hit US$400 billion, up 9 per cent and slower than the overall industry, the research firm says.
“Consumers don’t seem to be spending much on anything beyond basic necessities, so sellers have to offer discounts and coupons and aggressive marketing, which can be expensive,” said Lesley Hensell, a co-founder of Riverbend Consulting, which advises Amazon sellers.