👾 Amazon’s sprawling empire of in-house brands❗🇺🇲🇺🇲🇺🇲

24.10.21 at 08.00 pm

There is no doubt that the Amazon e-commerce platform is the largest in the world. Therefore, entrepreneurs working in the manufacture of small and medium products rely mainly on Amazon to generate sales.

This is what happened with Robert Gomez, who sells many products on the platform, including a coffee grinder. It took Gomez five whole months for his product to appear in the first 3 results when searching for coffee grinders.

Gomez owns a startup called 4Q Brands. He needed to restructure his product page on the platform more than once, while maintaining buyer ratings. Besides, Gomez pays Amazon $40,000 per month to promote his product and increase its sales.

What encourages Gomez to pay her on a monthly basis is that she has made it clear to sellers that participating in promotional programs will help the products stay high in internal search results.

What happened is that the company itself then introduced a competing product to Gomez’s product, under the famous Amazon Basics brand for small appliances and accessories, in addition to the inclusion of another product in the same field that is sold exclusively on Amazon. It is affiliated with a brand known as DR Mills.

As Gomez grumbles, these new products have gained advanced positions in search results as soon as they are listed. The reason here is simple, that Amazon prefers its products over others regardless of quality or reviews.

Amazon dominates search results with its tags

According to an investigation conducted by The Markup platform, Amazon places its products, or its exclusive products, above those of competitors, even if the latter achieves greater sales and a wider spread. This happened even though Amazon officially told the US Senate (Congress) in 2019 that it does not favor its own products over others.

When examining the code of the product search page, it was found that these products do not appear within the “funded products” on the one hand, and on the other hand, they do not receive the same programming treatment as the regular products – such as the Gomez product – in terms of the programmatic classification.

Returning to Amazon’s statement to the US Senate, the sellers on the platform have strongly objected to it. They have also made it clear that this is not the case. And that Amazon products appear in the first place, whatever the circumstances.

Prefer lower rated products

Amazon, for example, places its Happy Belly Cinnamon Crunch in its « breakfast cereal » category at number one. This is despite it having a rating of 4/5 and only 1,010 reviews. While the next product, Cap’n Crunch, has a full five-star rating and 14,069 reviews.

Also, a former employee of the company stated that it is used to giving its products an undeserved position in search results, just because they are products of the company. According to a poll, 33% of users are not sure whether the company does this intentionally or not, compared to 38% who believe that the products that get the first positions are the most rated and sold. While the remaining percentage supports the exclusivity of those centers for the company’s products.

With these actions, the company can achieve significant sales of its products. And this happens at the expense of the rest of the products, regardless of their quality. In a brief statement to the company’s official spokesperson, it made it clear once again that it does not favor its products in any way, and refused to respond to everything that was stated in The Markup report.

Checking for code again. It has been observed that Amazon is putting the “sponsored” tag on these products. However, this hashtag is not visible to the public, and instead appears to the public as “Amazon Brand”. The spokesperson stated, explaining that the company treats its products in search results as “goods content” and not as “search results.”

Written by:

Otto M Yassine

CEO of OTTO Magazine