Are You Using Your Competitive Advantage?

by Colleen Quattlebaum

From 2008 to 2009, 130 swimming world records were broken. 15 of the 20 current men’s world records were set in the same time period. There were 14 world records broken in the 2008 Olympics, but only three in 2012.

What happened? Did the world’s swimmers suddenly peak? Did everyone just collectively agree to ease up their training regiments?

During this time, most professional swimmers wore high-tech swimsuits, nicknamed “Shark Skin.” These suits gave swimmers a significant advantage over competitors who didn’t wear them, reducing drag and improving speed. The International Swimming Federation banned them in 2010, hence the sharp dropoff in world records since then.

Athletes and businesses alike have always looked for ways to gain a competitive advantage in their respective fields. The Amazon ecosystem is no different. Whether it is a private supplier that offers rock bottom prices or innovative shipping methods, everyone is looking for a way to stay ahead.

The FBA Advantage

The go-to advantage professional sellers use is FBA. FBA offers sellers a chance to maximize their profits and focus on great product sourcing by turning over many of the fulfillment tasks to Amazon. This is not only a strategic business advantage, but Amazon also rewards FBA sellers by giving them a higher percentage of the Buy Box as opposed to merchants who fulfill their own orders. For many sellers, being FBA is like getting to wear Shark Skin in every race they enter. Being FBA gives a seller the advantage.

Scout it Out

As a savvy seller, you want to scope out the competition before you enter the race. What kind of sellers are there? Is it more like a friendly race at the community pool in boardshorts, or are there some serious Shark Skin-wearing players who have come to play?

One of MarketScout’s most useful features is seeing the total number of sellers for each ASIN and the total number of FBA sellers. You want to know who you are competing against before you get up on the starting blocks, and MarketScout gives you a good picture.

If you find a race where there are no other Shark Skin wearing competitors, you know you have a significant advantage and can go towards Buy Box domination. However, if you see that there are several other FBA sellers, then you will need to either rely on other advantages (e.g. a very low sourcing price or kitting), or just expect a smaller share of the Buy Box.

Take Every Advantage

As a business owner, you are constantly looking for advantages to help you stay ahead of the pack. MarketScout is a fantastic tool to be able to see which races you are most likely to win, and how you can leverage your advantages to their fullest.

Try out MarketScout for free, and find some races where you can really show your stuff.

Originally published on July 30, 2015, updated June 14, 2019

This post is accurate as of the date of publication. Some features and information may have changed due to product updates or Amazon policy changes.