Amazon is now promoting its own products inside the listings of competitive brands.
According to CNBC, some users searching for various products in beauty, health and household and baby items have reported seeing the link “Similar item from Our Brands” show up at the bottom of the listing. The link, which is not an advertisement, then takes shoppers to the product page for Amazon’s own private-label offering.
The eCommerce giant is becoming a direct competitor for more sellers as its private label sales have been exploding. The company has significantly increased the number of private-label brands in recent years and currently has over 120 of them, according to a new report published by TJI Research. Last week, it was reported that Amazon is getting into the mattress business, and in terms of clothing and footwear on Amazon, the retailer’s own private labels are the fourth most purchased brand, with only Nike, Under Armour and Hanes ranking higher.
It is expected that Amazon’s private-label business will generate $7.5 billion in sales in 2018 and $25 billion by 2022.
“Private label is one of the highly under-appreciated trends within Amazon, in our view, which over time should give the company a strong ‘unfair’ competitive advantage,” the note by TJI Research said.
As a result, competitors have raised questions around how Amazon’s use of its marketplace sales data could give it an unfair advantage over its rivals.
“If you’ve got Amazon brands competing against you, it’s just become that much more difficult to be competitive in the marketplace,” said Jeff Cohen, the marketing chief of Seller Labs, a company that helps sellers advertise on Amazon.
One merchant complained on a seller’s forum that Amazon’s latest move is “not very nice,” while another wrote that the company is now the “biggest competitor for most of us who sell here.”