Similarweb’s Shopper Price Index, based on estimates of Amazon’s performance metrics, including revenue, product views, conversion rate and units sold, provides a directional proxy for inflation.
- Amazon March 2022 revenue rose 25%, driven by a 7.5% increase in units sold and 17% rise in average product price, according to Similarweb’s Shopper Intelligence platform
- Both average unit price and units sold rose, suggesting that consumers are willing to pay a higher price for certain products, particularly in categories, such as baby products and pet supplies
- The appliance category saw the greatest jump in price YoY, up 114%, driven by supply chain and raw material costs
- U.S. inflation jumped 8.5% in March 2022 from the previous year
Post-Pandemic Demand, Supply Chain and Rising Material Costs Drive Inflation
As Amazon is one of the largest and most competitive marketplaces, this index provides color on how price changes affect consumer purchase behavior.
In March 2022, Amazon’s total sales rose 25%, driven predominantly by the 17% jump in average unit price across selected categories. Prices have been rising due to supply chain issues, labor shortages and freight costs, exacerbated by pent-up demand. The trend in pricing will also affect Amazon’s rivals, who may not have the scale or product portfolio strategy to manage rising costs without negatively affecting consumer demand. The acceleration in price increases was likely very notable to consumers’ wallets and subsequently their spending, especially after the significant slide in the early months of the pandemic.
In March, the average price per unit increases was mixed across categories, with inflation hitting the appliance category hard, followed by patio, lawn & garden and tools & home improvement; the greatest price increase was the 114% jump YoY in appliances. These categories comprise a significant portion of sales at home improvement retailers, such as Home Depot and Lowe’s, potentially lifting the companies’ same-store sales. For appliances, product shortages were due to supply chain delays, on top of rising raw material costs, forcing manufacturers to raise prices in order to maintain margin; large appliance manufacturer, Whirlpool Corp, expects $1.5 – $1.75 billion in raw material inflation in 2022, an increase to its 4Q21 forecast. On a sequential basis, the average price per unit across categories increased by just 99 basis points.
Higher unit prices have had a negative impact on units sold for various categories on a YoY basis, though units sold soared in all categories from the prior month. Categories, such as electronics, home improvement and grocery and gourmet food, which were buoyed by remote work/school and pantry stocking during the pandemic, saw units sold fall on a YoY basis as well.
Unfortunately, it doesn’t appear that inflation will ease in April. This will further weigh on consumers’ spending capabilities, particularly given that wage growth, while still rising and at historical highs, is beginning to temper. Additionally, while there has been improvement, there are still significant bottlenecks in the supply chain, leading to product shortages. Consumers are also dealing with skyrocketing gas prices, which then lowers discretionary spend, especially for the low-end consumer. Lastly, rising interest rates will make the cost of borrowing higher, further limiting spend.
Shopper Price Index Methodology
Data used in this report is based on Similarweb’s proprietary Shopper Intelligence platform. Data, including revenue, product views, conversion rate and units sold across categories on amazon.com were then used to calculate average unit price on a monthly basis. This data excludes the impact of fuel, housing and healthcare costs.
March 2022 Revenue by Category
March 2022 Units Sold by Category
March 2022 Average Unit Price by Category
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