Online retail giant Amazon has begun promoting its private brands just before online shoppers add similar products to their shopping carts. If this sounds familiar, it is because the retailer has borrowed the decades-old strategy that places private brands next to the national brand competitor. In bricks and mortar, the two products literally sit side-by-side on the shelf.
In a round of explosive investigative journalism reporters at The Washington Post conducted dozens of product searches and received offers for a “similar item to consider” featuring an Amazon private brand appeared just above where the add to cart button. The promotion offered Amazon private brand versions of items like Dr. Scholl’s gel insoles, Glad trash bags, and Energizer batteries. (Shall we call it AmazonGate)
Amazon commented in a statement to The Washington Post:
“Like any retailer, we promote our own brands in our stores, which provide high-quality products and great value to customers,” Amazon spokeswoman Nell Rona told The Post. “We also extensively promote products from our selling partners.”