Amazon has been testing its latest mobile experiment — a move that could potentially lure shoppers away from other sellers on its own platform.
According to the The Wall Street Journal, a new feature on the Amazon app allows the e-commerce giant to promote its own private-label and lower-priced products through pop-up windows that appear on vendors’ pages. Customers then have the ability to either dismiss the notice and continue browsing or click through to the item and make a purchase.
While conducting a search for AAA batteries, for instance, the publication found the first product offering to be a sponsored listing of a 24-pack from batteries manufacturer Energizer priced at $12.14. Upon selection, the customer was then greeted by a pop-up window touting a 36-count pack of batteries offered by house brand Amazon Basics, retailing for $8.99.
“We regularly experiment with new shopping experiences for customers, and this was a small test,” an Amazon spokesperson confirmed in a statement sent to FN. “The similar, lower-priced product options shown to customers featured relevant items from a range of brands on our website and were displayed when a customer clicked on any type of listing.”
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Advertisements on search results and product pages already appear throughout the Seattle-based company’s website. However, Amazon’s latest move comes shortly after a study by e-commerce research firm Marketplace Pulse revealed that customers aren’t more inclined to purchase its private-label products, despite their higher placement in search results. (The retailer boasts more than 100 in-house brands, including home, travel and outdoor accessories.)
Amazon’s experiment reportedly ended more than a week ago and did not appear on every user’s device.
The company’s branded goods also made headlines just over a week ago when Sen. Elizabeth Warren proposed banning major companies, including Amazon, from participating in their own marketplaces. “This can create a conflict of interest that undermines competition,” she wrote in a Medium post.
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