The Amazon Effect in the Branded Product Space: What it is, Why it Matters, and How to Compete

By Hayley Bell on 22 Jan 2020


Where is your phone right now? Chances are, it’s within arm’s reach or you’re even using it to read this blog post. Over a decade ago, phones were used for just one thing: calling people. Now they are the epicenter of our lives and have literally changed the world.

Similarly, consumer buying habits and purchasing expectations have drastically changed over the past couple of decades with increased price competition, faster product delivery, and the rise of online shopping. This impactful shift is something seen across every market and has been referred to as the Amazon Effect.

What is the Amazon Effect? 

Gone are the days of needing to make the effort to get to a brick and mortar store to make purchases. Online retailers like Amazon allow consumers to purchase anything they could possibly need, from all over the world, at the most competitive price, with the click of a button. Even more intimidating is the fact that Amazon can have the ordered product in the consumer’s hand within just a couple days – or even hours.

Consumer expectations are now so high that brick and mortar stores are struggling to compete. In fact, CNBC reported that for the first time in history, the U.S. Department of Commerce discovered that online sales beat out general merchandise store sales.

For the first time ever, online sales beat general merchandise stores

In addition to serving dealers, distributors, and decorators, the question that keeps OrderMyGear up at night is this: How does our industry keep up with these changing markets and consumer expectations?

Why it Matters?

Consumers want to purchase online, and eCommerce is here to stay. But what does that mean for the custom products, team gear, and promotional products industries? These industries have particular nuances that make it difficult to compete with the speed that the typical online shopping experience has taught the modern consumer to expect.

There are two significant benefits you provide as a purveyor of branded or custom products:

  1. The ability to provide online shopping solutions, and
  2. The ability to provide custom products

How to Compete? 

Own your customization offerings

The data: A Deloitte consumer review concluded that 48% of consumers are willing to wait longer for a personalized product, and a survey done by Bain & Company discovered that customers are willing to wait between 3-4 weeks to receive their custom item.

Action item: Confidently provide valuable and unique customization offerings to customers, while effectively communicating the item completion timeline.

Build extra costs into the price of the product

The data: Statista reports that 56% of online shoppers leave without paying when they are presented with unexpected costs at checkout. 55% of online shoppers cite free shipping as the most important checkout option, as reported by a UPS Study.

Action item: Build shipping and handling costs into the prices of your products to keep your bottom line while protecting customers from experiencing unexpected costs at checkout.

Give an expected order delivery or completion date

The data: Econsultancy found that 25% of online shoppers didn’t purchase because an estimated delivery date wasn’t available, but suggested that a flexible shipping or pickup options “may be the key to developing repeat business for small businesses.”

Action item: Clearly state and continually repeat an expected shipping date through the ordering process to help customers feel comfortable about their customized ordering. For local group orders, consider offering ship-to-home, ship-to-group, or pickup-in-store options.

Own the advantage you provide of creating a unique shopping experience

The data: Invesp reports that 59% of online shoppers believe that it is easier to find more interesting products on personalized online retail stores, and that 53% of online shoppers believe that retailers who personalize the shopping experience provide a valuable service.

Action item: Offer custom online stores to the different groups you serve, allowing them to find products for them to rep the groups they love with a shopping experience specific to them.

Sell using mobile-friendly online stores

The data: Statista reports that 58.9% of eCommerce sales were made on a mobile device, and expects it to hit 72% by 2021. For the year of 2019, OrderMyGear reports that over 60% of purchases made on the online store platform were made on mobile devices.

Action item: Ensure that the online store platform you use to sell to customers are mobile-friendly, as well as having a way to communicate with email and social links.

Understand that customers are willing to pay a premium price for custom items

The data: A survey by Bain & Company found that 1 in 5 customers are willing to pay 20% more for a product that has been customized for them. Forbes echoes this by stating that “when your main objective is volume, low pricing becomes more of a focal point. If your product offers something besides saving people money, you’re free to focus on adding more value to the consumer, [like customization].”

Action Item: Customizing products increases costs for your business, so don’t be afraid to charge more to cover those costs and allow customers a better buying experience with it.

As you can see, managing the Amazon Effect in custom apparel and branded products industries is more feasible than you might think.

Now… go forth and sell!

About OrderMyGear

OrderMyGear is an industry-leading sales tool, empowering dealers, distributors, decorators, and brands to create custom online pop-up stores to sell branded products and apparel. Since 2008, OMG has been on a mission to simplify the process of selling customized merchandise to groups and improve the ordering experience. With easy-to-use tools, comprehensive reporting, and unmatched support, the OMG platform powers online stores for over 3,000 clients generating more than $1 billion in online sales. Learn more at

Media Contact: Hayley Bell | | 214-396-2110