It is being said that Amazon shopping has become worse and less dependable. If it wasn’t clear, Amazon uses various perplexing techniques to advertise particular products to users. People have started to realize how problematic Amazon shopping has gotten lately because of “sponsored products” and goods that Amazon announces as “highly rated.”
Millions of individuals are starting, continuing, or finishing their shopping sprees as the holiday season approaches. With an absurd 1.5 billion goods sent around the 2020 holidays, Amazon is no stranger to the surge in orders and deliveries around this period. However, some customers are beginning to have a different perspective on the Amazon shopping experience.
Geoffrey Fowler of The Washington Post published an article last week on the adjustments that Amazon (and other rivals who followed suit) have undergone in recent years. Before now, Amazon’s algorithms relied on product popularity, reviews, and general product quality to determine the results of product searches. However, circumstances have altered. According to Fowler, businesses can pay their way to the top of the search results page.
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An illustration is provided by the image above, which displays “4K TV” search results. The left one, from 2015, only shows the search’s most popular items. Over half of the right side of the screen is taken up by sponsored goods, one of which isn’t even a TV and has no business being there.
Instead of being “sponsored products,” Fowler refers to these items as “shill outcomes.” He claims that in 2021, Amazon sold $31 billion worth of advertising, ranking third only after Google and Facebook. Although Patrick Graham, a representative for Amazon, maintains that these advertisements are “helpful, educational, and help make purchasing a little bit easier,” it appears that they may have the opposite effect.
Another comparison between 2015 search results and current-day result pages was given by Fowler, who used the example of a search for KitchenAid mixers.
The 2015 screenshot (on the left) accurately depicts five KitchenAid mixers. The most recent results show only one KitchenAid product and five more products from various firms (right). If someone is looking for one, it makes no sense to suggest five products that need to be made by KitchenAid right away. Amazon ensures that these modifications give users “more options” and “drive discovery.”
Fowler urges customers to take charge in two distinct ways. First, familiarize yourself with how Amazon advertises things to you. These so-called “shill results” can be identified by phrases like “sponsored,” “featured from our brands,” or even logos from unrelated businesses (as seen above).
Before exploring Amazon, research the item you’re thinking about buying. Amazon may be unsuccessful in getting you to choose a different thing if you already know what you want. Fowler believes that when consumers shop differently on Amazon, the retailer will adjust how it generates personalized recommendations.
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