Amazon shows consumers one price in search results and then hikes the price by the time they get to purchase. Typically this appears to take place when the consumer has subscribed to Amazon Prime, they may see one price in search results but click to buy and Amazon will divert them to an offer that qualifies for Prime Delivery even if this means paying higher prices.
As shown in the image above, an £8.99 price displayed in search results looks attractive, but viewing the single product detail page the price jumps to £9.49. The lower price is still available, but it’s not the default.
This will be no surprise to those familiar with Amazon, but seeing a low price in search results could hoodwink consumers into buying without even noticing the higher prices they actually pay. It’s most likely to happen if a search takes place before the consumer signs in and as soon as Amazon discovers that they are Prime members they show them Prime eligible items.
In this case it’s particularly interesting because Amazon applied the tag ‘Amazon’s Choice’ to both offers, originally in search results for the lower priced item but they have no shame in applying the same tag to offers with higher prices to Prime members on the single product detail page.
This is an important lesson for merchants selling on Amazon to remember – consumers not only don’t often check prices but, even if you have the best offer, if your product is not eligible for Amazon Prime a product with higher prices will be switched in in preference. Recent research revealed that 45% of consumers won’t consult another online store if all the information they need is provided in the first shop they visit and almost half of consumers visit Amazon first.
Of course not everyone is an Amazon Prime member but there are over 100 million of them and Prime members they are Amazon’s most loyal customers. Not only are they paying higher prices but these products are being promoted as Amazon’s Choice implying that they’re one of the best deals available.
[Article title edited at Amazon’s request to clarify Prime members can still access the same offers and prices as non-Prime subscribers]
“All customers, regardless of Prime membership, have access to the same offers and prices. The featured offer for a product may vary based on shipping speed but all offers are always available on the Offer Listings Page.”
– An Amazon spokesperson