Tech

Amazon prioritizes its own “brands”

Amazon gives hundreds of private labels a head start and exclusive products that most people don’t know about are connected to Amazon. According to a report: It took Robert Gomez about five months to bring his Kaffe coffee grinder to the e-commerce greats: among the top three search results for “coffee grinder” on Amazon.com. Gomez, founder of Atlanta-based consumer goods startup 4Q Brands, said he obsessively refined his photos and description, garnered reviews from happy customers and paid Amazon $ 40,000 a month in advertising for increase sales, one of the things Amazon tells sellers to increase search rankings. Next, Amazon introduced a competitor to the Amazon Basics house brand and another from a brand that sells exclusively on Amazon, DR Mills. “They ranked well right away,” Gomez said, with each of them immediately appearing in the top three results for “coffee grinder” searches. The reason, he said, was clear: “Their search ranking is high because it’s an Amazon brand.”

A survey by The Markup found that Amazon places its private label products and the site’s exclusive products ahead of its competitors – even competitors with higher customer ratings and more sales, judging by the notice volume. We found that just knowing whether a product was an Amazon brand or exclusive could predict in seven out of ten cases whether Amazon would place it first in search results. These ads are not visibly marked as “sponsored” and they are part of a grid that Amazon identifies as “search results” in the site’s source code. (We only analyzed the products in this grid, ignoring the modules strictly intended for advertising.) When we analyzed the star rating and the number of reviews, none could predict much better than a raffle which product Amazon placed first in search results. Amazon told Congress in 2019 that its search results do not take into account that a product is a brand owned by Amazon. Salespeople say it doesn’t seem like that to them. Gomez said Amazon’s brands have “unfair advantages” that make it harder for small marketers like him to compete in its open market. “It’s the entrepreneurs and small businesses that can’t afford to fight back that are paying the cost.” From Wednesday: Amazon copied fake products and search results to promote its own brands, documents say.

Amazon prioritizes its own “brands”

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