In 2017 Amazon launched its Brand Registry, where over 200,000 brand owners registered their content and IP with Amazon to help the marketplace provider weed out fakes. The program worked so well, that Amazon has since seemingly gone against that program to now make it easier for non-brand owners to sell.
Why would it undermine a program it created to prevent fakes?
The answer is because marketplaces like Amazon depend on volume and by making it harder for non-brand owners to list products, volume numbers dipped.
“Counterfeiting is a problem considered a necessary evil when you’re going to be selling at this volume,” said Chris McCabe, a former Amazon investigator who now consults for sellers on the site. — source
This is just one reason why D2C brands like Allbirds don’t list their products on Amazon, but it’s not the main reason. That would be the the fact that brands like Allbirds don’t own valuable customer information and behavior (e.g purchase intent).This lack of control gives details that could be copied by the marketplace as some have claimed Amazon has done.
To put it simply — Amazon uses the data that is created by customers buying products from sellers on its platform to create and improve their own private labels. –source
Another reason for Allbirds, like many D2C brands, they favor quality and sustainability over price. When Amazon copied their brand with the 206 collection, the Allbirds CEO wrote out against Amazon which resulted in a gain in social media mentions for the brand, perhaps proving that consumers are also siding with brands.
Sustainability often run counter to marketplaces private label brands which are mass produced to provide a lower quality but cheaper version of the original.
So how come D2C brands like Casper still list on Amazon ?
It would be misleading to say that D2C brands should never list on a marketplace or that none of them are doing it. This article lists 15 D2C brands including Casper that are on Amazon.
This might be surprising, considering Amazon has a blatant copycat of Casper called Rivet.
However, Casper makes it pretty clear that while they are happy to have a partnership with Amazon, it’s always better to buy direct, as customers can expect prices to be cheaper (with promos), receive better support, and obtain easier returns.