Amazon is increasingly becoming a marketplace where consumers can order genetic tests with a view to finding out their heritage or if they are predisposed to suffering from particular rare genetic conditions. During the busy holiday season DNA-testing firms are expected record sales on Amazon.
Some of the DNA-testing firms which started selling their services in the category of home tests on Amazon in the last two years or so include 23andme, Ancestry and many others. Ancestry was among the first to offer its services through Amazon as it introduced its family and lineage-connections DNA tests two years ago. In the beginning Ancestry sold between 400 and 500 sets of tests a day but by the end of last the figure had swelled to approximately 1,300 tests per day according to the firm’s chief marketing officer, Vineet Mehra.
Six million tests
Initially Ancestry did not expect offering its services on Amazon to be so successful. Now revenues derived from the e-commerce platform comprise between 5% and 10% of the DNA-testing company’s overall sales. So far Ancestry has sold over six million DNA tests on Amazon at a price of $79. Initially the price was $99 but it went down recently. On Prime Day both 23andme and Ancestry were featured and this resulted in their sales spiking. The same is expected to happen on Cyber Monday and Black Friday.
The growing sales of DNA tests is a testament to Amazon’s growing health business which now includes equipment business and medical supplies. The online retail giant now also offer health products such as cancer risk tests which are carried out by Color Genomics upon getting a prescription from a doctor. Last year in November, genetic-testing firm Good Start Genetics partnered with the Seattle, Washington-based e-commerce giant to offer home tests which would alert would-be parents on the kind of potential genetic risks that their unborn child would likely face.
No prescription required
But unlike the cancer risk tests, DNA tests don’t require a prescription from a doctor. Per Ancestry’s Mehra offering services on Amazon presents an opportunity for DNA-testing firms to access a new customer base who are used to only purchasing consumer products. On the other hand 23andme considers selling on Amazon an opportunity to obtain insightful customer-data.
“Amazon provides us with valuable consumer insights, promotional opportunities and best-in-class logistics. We hope to expand our relationship with Amazon in the coming years,” Jon Ward, a vice president at 23andMe, told CNBC in a statement.