Amazon started as online book store and has grown to be the worlds largest online retailer.
Amazon ramps back Amazon Own Brands advertising
Amazon appear to have ramped back the promotion of their own products on sites across the world. Where once you’d expect to see Amazon Own Brands prominently promoted, Amazon Own Label promotions are now notably missing from many areas of the marketplace.
Amazon Own Brands are a mixture of Amazon branded products from their own private labels and Amazon Exclusives which are external brands who manufacture specific product version only available to purchase on Amazon. Amazon have in the past given high visibility to their own brands both on search result pages and also on competing single product detail pages.
In the image above from September 2018, sponsored products have been highlighted in pink, orange for Sponsored products with Amazon Own Brands in green and Amazon Choice in purple. (Red line indicates the fold on a laptop – the part of the page you can see without scrolling).
It’s now very obvious if you search for AA Batteries or a computer mouse that the Amazon Own Brands advertising has gone. Typically in the past we expected to see a sponsored brand above the fold followed by sponsored products and then the Amazon Own Brand and Amazon Choice before natural search results lower down the page. Sponsored Brands and Sponsored Products are still on the page, but Amazon Own Brands are non longer as prominently displayed and now appear lower down mixed in with natural search results or occasionally as sponsored products.
Amazon have recently come under fire with calls in the US for some of the largest tech companies to be broken up. It’s also interesting to note that in India Amazon, as a marketplace, aren’t allowed to directly sell their own brands on their marketplace as the Indian government consider this to be unfair competition.
Amazon may simply be testing product placements to gather data or they may be reacting to potential future regulation and taking evasive action before they are forced to act. Either way, for those merchants selling on Amazon and especially for those paying with Sponsored Brands and Sponsored Products it’s good news as there is (currently) less competition from Amazon Own Brands.
“Winter Is Coming” and also “Regulation Is Coming” for FAANG. It’s just a question of exactly what sort of regulation – and timing. They will need to accept it and adjust.
This isn’t Amazon testing, this is Amazon reducing their liability for fines under the numerous amounts of antitrust investigations that are soon to be coming their way. They’re basically cleaning up their act as quickly as they can to lessen the effect but I think the damage has already been done because the investigators already have plenty of evidence to prove that Amazon have, for a number of years, and quite knowingly, abused their power and position to manipulate search results and business decisions in their favour to the detriment of the honest sellers that make up its marketplace business. Amazon have skimmed your ideas for years and you’ve paying them whilst they’ve been doing it, and now it’s coming back to bite them on the arse.
Amazon needs to be broken up
The sooner, the better