Amazon's sprawling empire of in-house brands
Amazon's sprawling empire of in-house brands

There is no doubt that Amazon's e-commerce platform is the largest in the world. As a result, entrepreneurs who make small and medium-sized products primarily rely on Amazon to generate profits.

Such is the case with Robert Gomez, who sells several products on the platform, including coffee grinders. When researching coffee grinders, it took Gomez a full five months for his product to show up in the top 3 results.

Gomez owns a startup called 4Q Brands. He has to check his product page on the platform more than once while keeping reviews from buyers. In addition, Gomez pays Amazon $40,000 per month to promote its products and increase sales.

The reason Gomez encourages paying it monthly is because it has been made clear to the seller that participating in the promotional program helps keep the product high in internal search results.

What happened is that the same company then launched a product that competed with Gomez's products and used the popular AmazonBasics brand as small hardware and accessories, in addition to selling another product in the same field that was exclusive to Amazon. It is owned by a brand called DR Mills.

As Gomez complained, these new products topped search results from the moment they entered the market. The reason is simple, regardless of the quality or the reviews, Amazon prefers their products.

Amazon dominates search results with its tags

According to a survey by The Markup, Amazon prefers its own products, or although Amazon officially announced to the US Senate (Congress) in 2019 that it does not prefer its own products over others, this still happens.

When I checked the code on the product search page, I found that on the one hand these products did not appear in "Funded Products" and on the other hand did not receive the same treatment as B. Gomez products - in terms of the program rating.

To go back to Amazon's statement in the US Senate, sellers of the platform vehemently rejected it. They also indicated that it was not. In all cases, Amazon products are shown first.

Prefer products with low ratings

Amazon, for example, puts Happy Belly Cinnamon Crunch at number one in the "breakfast cereal" category. Although it has a rating of 4/5 and only 1010 reviews. The next product, Cap'n Crunch, has a full five-star rating and 14,069 reviews.

A former company employee said she included incorrect positions in search results for her products simply because they were the company's products. A survey found that 33% of users are not sure if the company intends to do this, while 38% of users think the product is primarily the product with the highest ratings and sales. The remaining percentage supports the exclusivity of these centers for the company's products.

Thanks to these actions, the company can achieve huge sales of its products. And that at the expense of other products regardless of their quality. In a brief statement to a company spokesperson, the company again made it clear that it would not promote its products in any way and declined to respond to anything described in The Markup report.

Check the code again. It has been observed that Amazon applies a "sponsored" tag to these products. However, this mark is not visible to the public, but appears to the public in the form of an “Amazon Brand”. The spokesperson said the company treats products as "product content" and not "search results" in search results.

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