Q&A with Amazon UK’s Gemma Miskimmon, senior vendor management watches at Amazon.
Q: With brands like Gucci and Bulova now being sold on Amazon, what does this say about the direction that you and Julian [Julian Exposito-Bader, head of vendor management jewellery and watches] are taking the company?
Amazon UK started selling watches in 2007 with the launch of a dedicated Watch Store at www.amazon.co.uk/watches. Today, we offer thousands of watches for men, women and children across sports, luxury, Swiss, and digital. Our aim is to be the leading online shopping destination for watch consumers by offering great ranges and branded experiences across all our channels.
Q: To what extent do you think that Amazon is now considered a serious ‘player’ in the watch industry?
During our busiest week for fashion sales in 2014 more than 2.5 million fashion items (including watches) were ordered from Amazon.co.uk. Amazon is serious about fashion – it is one of its fastest growing categories, and in 2014 we became a patron of the British Fashion Council. If a customer wants to research a watch brand there is a high chance they will do so on Amazon.
Q: What criteria do you look for in a brand before you decide to sell it on Amazon?
We work backwards from the customer, so if we see customer demand for a brand through searches on our site then we want to ensure we are stocking it. We also look for up-and-coming designers at trade shows like Baselworld and follow GfK for seasonal trends to ensure we offer our customers the latest must have time pieces and brands. It’s incredibly important that we can offer our customers brands which are credible and relevant to the market.
Q: What innovations have you introduced to the Watches department on Amazon, and what innovations can we expect to see in the future?
We are continually looking for ways to improve the browsing and purchasing experience of our watch customers. To complement the launch of our new luxury watch brands we have launched dedicated brand stores so that our customers can experience the true brand experience whilst browsing and shopping for these products. Some examples of new stores are for Swiss and Luxury or brand levels like Invicta, Timex, Casio, Gucci and Bulova. We have also recently launched branded stores on mobile so that browsing on the move is even easier for the customers.
We also continue to add new delivery options and offer Sunday delivery, same-day delivery and Amazon lockers to make it even easier for customers to get their orders at a time and place that’s convenient for them.
Q: How many new brands do you anticipate Amazon taking on in the coming year?
The selection of watches available at Amazon.co.uk continues to grow each year. In 2014 we added 50 new brands to the platform including Anne Klein, Komono, Welder, Perrelet, ChronoSwiss and Caravelle New York. We will continue to grow our brand portfolio in line with customer demand. Without giving too much away, we are already working very closely with several very big brands and are anticipating 2015 to be another exciting year of brand launches… so watch this space!
Q: What makes Amazon a more appealing platform to buy watches online than watch-specific websites?
Amazon is a trusted online retailer with a reputation for its customer-centric approach. Amazon Prime members can enjoy one-day delivery in the UK and we are continually expanding our portfolio of delivery options and pick up methods and locations. With our pan-European approach to buying, we are able to offer our customers a wider selection and help brands reach new audiences.