Jeff Bezos asked to reveal how Amazons Choice works

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If you shop on Amazon, you can hardly have missed the Amazons Choice badge gifted to some products, but what exactly is Amazons choice?

We do know that all Prime-eligible items sold or fulfilled by Amazon could be gifted the badge, as a merchant you may have had the accolade given to some of your items. The only information Amazon actually give is a pop up if you mouse over the badge which reads “Amazon’s Choice recommends highly rated, well-priced products available to dispatch immediately.”

What we don’t know is if the products are chosen by humans or algorithm, but it would be inconceivable for Amazon to have people curating Amazon’s choice as it covers tens of thousands of products across multiple categories. The chance are high that it’s an automated choice.

Amazons Choice was introduced for Alexa shopping by voice, if you asked for a product type that you’d purchased before Amazon would offer to ship the same again, but ask for a product you’d never previously purchased and it would be Amazons Choice that was the first to be offered. Later, Amazons Choice appeared on the website and mobile app and today there’s barely a category where you won’t be steered towards a product with the badge.

Now, two US Senators have written to Jeff Bezos, CEO of Amazon asking them to reveal how the badge is awarded and insisting Amazon make the criteria public. It’s part of a wider ranging letter about fake Amazon reviews and asks if fake reviews are part of the decision making process pimping Amazons Choice products.

How does Amazon determine to label a product as “Amazon’s Choice”?
a. What steps does Amazon take to ensure that such products have legitimate, non-deceptive product ratings and reviews?
b. Does Amazon take any steps to independently verify the quality of products labeled “Amazon’s Choice”? If so, please describe.
c. How does Amazon promote products labeled “Amazon’s Choice” and to what extent are such products promoted differently from other products on Amazon’s marketplace. For example, do such products receive higher rankings in search results or preferential placement in recommendations to customers?
d. Does Amazon receive financial compensation for sales of products labeled “Amazon’s Choice” compared to other products on Amazon’s online marketplace? If so, please describe.

– Questions from Senators Pallone and Schakowsky in a letter to Amazon

The one question we’re pretty certain off is that you can’t buy the Amazons Choice designation. If you could, enough people would be buying it that it would be pretty common knowledge.

2 Responses

  1. Must be above average selling price, good sales with low returns and good feedback.

    From what I can tell, maybe price doesn’t come into it, just above average price products are better.

    We get it on a few products sometimes, doesn’t increase sales massively but may do in more busy categories.

    It’s the tax fraud on these platforms they need to stop, everything else should come second, like this for example. But pretty sure amazon hold back sales taxes for foreign sellers on .com anyway. Shame they don’t do it in the UK.

  2. I look forward to reading the Amazon reply to that letter.

    FWIW I think buyer choices is an automated algorithm based on:

    sell through rate
    stable pricing
    competitive pricing
    FBA or SFP
    number of reviews
    number of reviews marked as useful
    low return/refund rate


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