Amazon ‘Surprises’ Members with Samples

Axios: “Amazon is quietly piloting a program to let brands like Maybelline and Folgers pay to send free samples to consumers — all based on what the retail giant already knows they’re likely to buy. Turning free samples into new targeted ads plays to Amazon’s strength as a trusted delivery service of everyday goods, something Americans already expect from the company … The tech giant has the purchasing data and logistics infrastructure to offer samples of actual products, which could be more effective than display ads on Facebook or search ads on Google for certain kinds of consumer packaged goods brands.”

“Amazon has more than 100 million subscribers to its Prime services alone, meaning it has established long-term relationships with users. Millions more purchase goods regularly from the company, even without a Prime subscription … Samples of new products are sent to customers selected using machine learning based on Amazon’s data about consumer habits, according to recent job postings and details listed on its site.”

“There could be privacy concerns. Customers are getting items that Amazon’s vast trove of customer data predicts they’ll want to buy. But that some customers could feel violated when something they haven’t ordered shows up unexpectedly on their doorstep … Amazon tells consumers that it ‘surprises select customers with samples that we think will be delightful and helpful,’ sent to their account’s default address.”

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